Facebook watchers -- particularly those of the Wall Street variety -- are eager for Facebook to launch a third-party ad network that will eventually take on Google's AdMob for mobile and Google's AdSense for the Web in general.
The idea, talked about for a while, is that Facebook will mix the data it receives from Web sites plugged into the social network -- think every time you "share" or "like" something -- with data it has from within Facebook to serve up ads across the Web.
Facebook executives haven't spoken much about this, … Read more
After two days of increasingly loud arguments, the flap over Instagram's new terms of service has started to quiet down. Amid widespread concern the Facebook-owned company was about to start selling user photos to advertisers, the company yesterday said it "has no intention" of doing so, and would change its terms of service to reflect that intention.
At this point we should probably turn our attention to more pressing worldly concerns, of which there are plenty. And yet the fracas has revealed something ugly in the way that many in the tech press blame average people for … Read more
The last thing you need as an entrepreneur is for your company to be engulfed in a public controversy. Just ask Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Path, Airbnb, Geeklist, and the countless other companies, big and small, that have been the target of press backlash and user vitriol.
It doesn't matter how careful you are: the more successful you become, the more likely it is that you'll make a mistake that ignites the blogosphere. There are ways to minimize the fallout and, more importantly, ways to prevent a large-scale user revolt in the first place.
Facebook started testing another version of its Pinterest-like Collections feature today, adding more retailers and testing out a few more buttons.
In addition to buttons for "collect" and "want," Facebook is testing the words "save," "add," and "Wishlist." Users will see different words depending on which test group they are in. A Facebook spokeswoman said the company is using the latest test -- which follows one in October that debuted the feature for businesses -- to understand how people interact with and share the items from a Collection to their … Read more
The backlash over announced changes to Instagram's terms of service has led National Geographic to suspend its posting activity on the photo-sharing app.
The Facebook-owned app ignited a storm of protest with the announcement earlier this week that it was claiming perpetual rights to sell users' photographs without payment or notification. Under the new policy, Facebook claimed the perpetual right to license all public Instagram photos to companies or any other organization, including for advertising purposes, effectively transforming the Web site into the world's largest stock photo agency.
National Geographic, a magazine long respected for presenting high-quality photographs … Read more
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that he let go of nearly $500 million today by donating it to the Silicon Valley Community Foundation.
This nonprofit foundation focuses on grant giving to serve the community in the San Francisco peninsula. Zuckerberg said in a Facebook post today that he, his wife, Priscilla Chan, and the Silicon Valley Community Foundation will work together to "look for areas in education and health to focus on."
The hefty sum of cash comes as a gift of 18 million Facebook shares, which is valued at more than $498 million, based on the social … Read more
Autoplay video ads may be coming to Facebook's news feed within the next six months, according to AdAge.
These video ads are supposedly scheduled to hit the desktop version of the social network first, then could be rolled out to mobile. According to AdAge, the ads will most likely play 15 seconds, could be targeted to certain users, and may even have an auto-audio function. On the desktop version, the ads are expected to get users' attention by expanding out of the site's news feed into the left and right columns.
Facebook's goal is to attract advertisers … Read more
Instagram apologized to its users today, saying it will "remove" language from its legal terms that would have let it sell users' photos or use them in advertisements.
In a blog post this afternoon, Chief Executive Kevin Systrom said it's "our mistake that this language is confusing" and that the company is "working on updated language."
"Since making these changes, we've heard loud and clear that many users are confused and upset about what the changes mean," he wrote.
As the old Internet saying goes, "If you use something for free, you are the product for sale."
Facebook and its shiny new acquisition Instagram seemed to have taken that maxim to its logical extreme when Instagram announced new terms and conditions yesterday granting it the ability to license users' photos for display by advertisers without user consent and without compensation.
Whatever Instagram's actual plans for our photos -- artfully filtered iStock photos? sponsored posts of latte art? -- or the full legal implications (some argue that Instagram already owned your photos), the ramifications of the terms … Read more