Facebook Quietly Signs EU’s Privacy Shield Data Treaty

Facebook Signs EU's Privacy Shield Treaty; May Spark Privacy RowSocial networking giant Facebook has agreed to adopt a new European Union (EU) data accord that allows personal information to be transferred to the US, potentially sparking yet another privacy row, the media reported.

Facebook has quietly signed the Privacy Shield – a controversial treaty that allows US technology companies to transfer EU citizens’ details abroad. It will apply to certain advertising data and its new Workplace service for businesses, the Telegraph UK reported on Saturday.

Privacy Shield, a replacement deal that was designed to provide extra safeguards for Europeans, came into force in July. Google and Microsoft have already adopted the treaty.

Facebook signed up at the end of September, although only two aspects of the social network use it.

The first is Workplace, a special version of Facebook that allows company employees to communicate, which was launched last week.

The other is its “Ads and Measurement” technology that uses customer data supplied by other companies to target adverts.

Other user data is not covered by the treaty, although it can be transferred to the US under secondary legal measures, the report said.

“We have signed up two important parts of our business to the EU-US Privacy Shield Framework – Facebook at Work and our relevant Ads and Measurement services,” a Facebook spokesman confirmed the report.

Facebook’s adoption of the treaty is significant because the prior US-EU agreement, Safe Harbour which was abolished by the European Court of Justice as a direct result of legal action against the social network by privacy campaigners.

However, it is likely to lead to further scrutiny of the Privacy Shield deal from Facebook’s critics, the report stated.

LinkedIn Wants to Help You Look for a Job Behind Your Boss’s Back

LinkedIn Wants to Help You Look for a Job Behind Your Boss's BackLinkedIn has long been a way to promote your resume to other companies or recruiters without hanging out a “for hire” sign that your boss can see. Now it’s launching a way to let recruiters know you’re open to considering other jobs – and do so privately, the company says.

On Thursday, the professional social network announced a new feature it has been testing called Open Candidates, which allows users to flip a switch under the “preferences” tab that tells recruiters they’re open to job opportunities. Recruiters who pay for LinkedIn’s premium service will then see a tab in its search results that lists profiles of those who have turned on the signal, connecting them with whatLinkedIn calls “warm” talent. Others won’t be able to see if a user has turned on the feature, and LinkedIn hides the signal from recruiters at an individual’s own company or its subsidiaries.

The move is an interesting one for LinkedIn, which grew into a giant in the recruiting world because of the access it gave recruiters to millions of desirable “passive candidates” who are not actively job hunting. Some 87 percent of recruiters say they use LinkedIn, which Microsoft said in June it would acquire, to evaluate candidates during the hiring process, more than twice that of any other social network, according to a survey by Jobvite.


Now even if they’re “passive,” LinkedIn users will be able to signal a little more active interest in considering opportunities, helping recruiters more accurately target the huge number of employed candidates who might be open to making a move. Estimates from the consulting firm CEB say that about 40 percent of the labor market is made up of people who don’t want to be contacted by recruiters at all, while another 35 percent are not looking but open are open to contact. “It should theoretically make it more effective and efficient for recruiters,” said Brian Kropp, CEB’s human resources practice leader.

It could also cut down on the deluge of inquiries some users, especially those in high-demand industries, receive from recruiters, which turns some people off, Kropp said, pushing them to more specialized forums, such as GitHub for software professionals. “Candidates are bombarded by so many recruiters that they’re not responding to anything,” he says. (A spokesperson says users can block messages from recruiters if they wish.)

Meanwhile, a crop of startups has begun helping people, particularly in tech jobs, covertly scan for opportunities. Switch, for instance, is an anonymous Tinder-like tool that lets users rate job opportunities by swiping right or left, while Anthology, formerly known as Poachable, acts as an anonymous career matchmaker. A LinkedIn spokesperson said the new feature was not a response, but a way to “improve the experience.”


LinkedIn says it will hide the signal from “known recruiters” at a user’s employer, as well as affiliated companies, but there is some fine print: On its web site, LinkedIn says “we cannot guarantee, however, that every company is accurately identified, or that affiliated companies are accurately mapped on our platform. We also cannot guarantee that every recruiter has an up-to-date and correct Company ID, so there’s a small chance that your career interest preferences will be visible to a recruiter at your current employer or an affiliated company.”

Another risk, meanwhile, may exist for employees in senior management jobs or niche fields where signaling their interest, even discreetly, could make them less attractive to some recruiters. David Staiti, who runs an executive search firm in New York that focuses on placing senior managers in technology and startup companies, says “clients pay me to find someone they can’t engage on their own.” Because it could mean they’re interviewing for other jobs at the same time, he says, “when I hear someone’s potentially looking, their marketability goes down for me and my clients.”

Still, he says he uses LinkedIn all the time to recruit candidates and gather intelligence on them, and could see the new feature being useful for other jobs and at other levels. “In high demand, low supply jobs,” he says, such as programmers, “I would think it might be valuable, for the person looking but also for the person advertising it.”

Meanwhile, CEB’s Kropp says there’s another group beyond candidates and recruiters who might want to pay attention to the change: Managers. With such easy access to a quiet way of advertising to other employers, workers have yet another avenue for jumping ship.

“It puts more pressure on companies to think about the careers and management of their workforce,” he says. “You can imagine employees coming in to work, they have a bad day with manager, and they say ‘sure, I’m going to show them.’ And they turn a feature like this on.”

Twitter to Share Ad Revenue on Videos by US Users

Twitter to Share Ad Revenue on Videos by US Users

  • Twitter offers revenue sharing to media and entertainment compani
  • New program will offer video creators a 70 percent share of revenue
  • Users would also be allowed to share their videos on other platforms

Twitter Inc on Tuesday stepped up its battle to attract video talent to its platform, saying it will allow US users who upload a video to share in any advertising revenue it generates.

Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat and YouTube are all competing to keep or recruit top video talent as they seek to cash in on the wave of televison-style advertising that has been moving to the internet.

Twitter already offers revenue sharing to media and entertainment companies such as CBS Corp and the National Football League which post videos through its Amplify Publisher Program. That option will now be open to any Twitter user, Twitter said in a blog post.

YouTube has long offered its video stars a cut of revenue. Facebook, for its part, has ramped up its Live video product in recent months and paid a relatively small number of media companies and celebrities to generate video.

Facebook said it is testing ways to “create a sustainable, long-term monetisation model for live video that includes new and different ways of sharing revenue with some partners.”

 Instagram and Snapchat also rely heavily on celebrities, who often have millions of followers, to encourage user engagement and growth by posting personal photos and videos.

Twitter’s new program will offer video creators a 70 percent share of revenue. YouTube, which is owned by Alphabet Inc’s Google, shares 55 percent of the ad revenue with content creators.

Twitter said individual users would also be allowed to share their videos on other platforms.

Under Chief Executive Jack Dorsey, the company has made a significant push into video, signing deals with several media companies and sports organizations to stream major events.

Twitter shares dipped 0.5 percent to close at $18.38 on the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday.


Importance of Content on Social Media

Millions interact with social media sites every day. If you have a business you need to interact on there too – and you should be doing so with strong content. This article explains just how important this is.

Did you know more than half of the population today has some kind of presence on social media sites? Perhaps the more important question is whether or not your business is in a position to interact with them.

Even more important is the question of how you interact with them. Quick messages designed to get people clicking through to your website may not be sufficient to get the end result you want. Nowadays, you have to focus on content marketing. This newish phrase relates to the idea of creating content that social media users will find and want to read. It doesn’t have to mean long articles or posts – in fact going in the opposite direction and keeping things short is probably the best way to go about things.


However, content marketing is vitally important and it is here to stay. The question is how you will go about using it.

Content has always been important to websites. It should stand to reason then that it is important to social media marketing as well. However, content should not be average. It shouldn’t be churned out in the hope people read it. Instead it should be clearly thought-through and part of a plan.

The whole idea of promoting content on social media is for people to find it, read it and ideally share it. Having some kind of plan in place to help you do this makes a lot of sense. A social media marketing agency can assist with a plan if you cannot find the time to do it yourself.

To make content shareable it must be short, sharp and engaging. Most people don’t have enough time to read in-depth articles and content, no matter how interesting it might be or how much they might like to read it. Furthermore it helps to plan great content that is published occasionally rather than pumping out an endless stream of mediocre content. This is liable to put your customers off following you altogether.

A social media marketing agency will have the know-how and experience to put together a plan if you don’t have the ability to do so. It is tempting to flood your social media channels with content, but as we have seen it is not necessary to do so. Smaller, bite-sized and useful information chunks are the best way to approach your audience. Remember, lots of other marketers are going to go about things the wrong way and end up sending out lots of content people are going to get bored with. Make sure you are not about to do the same thing.

Whether you go it alone or get help with your plans, publishing great content on social media sites brings your business in front of plenty of other people on a regular basis.


Classic games can now be embedded in tweets

Classic games can now be played on Twitter, by tweeting the URL the game user wants to play.

According to the Verge, the feature only appears to work for MS-DOS games right now.

Also, users can even embed the tweet, and thus, the game inside a webpage.

The Internet Archive added 2400 MS-DOS games earlier this year, preserving classic games by making them playable in your browser. The group’s efforts have covered everything from MS-DOS games to titles from the arcades.

Retro titles like original Street Fighter, Metal Gear, Maniac Mansion, Oregon Trail and Doom are all available, with the only downside being that users had to visit each specific game’s page to play them.

But not every game is well suitable to the platform, considering the dedicated hardware that used to be required to play these games.

Facebook to give you control over data sharing

If you are bewildered by the expanse of data that many apps and websites have about you, relax. Facebook is about to give you greater control, now, over how much data you want to share with others.

Also, apps that Facebook determines are asking for unnecessary information from users could have their data access revoked.

A new version of Facebook Login, to be rolled out shortly, will present users with a prompt — “Edit the info you provide”.

Clicking it will let users grant or deny access to different types of information. The login now also highlights who will see content posted by the app on Facebook, for apps that request the ability to do so, pcworld.com reported.

Many of the most popular apps, like Pinterest and Netflix, are already using it and over the next few weeks, Facebook will turn on the system for every app that uses Facebook Login.

Facebook is also making a change to its software development kit so that third-party developers can ask permission to access a list of an individual’s friends, who also use the app, but not information related to the friends such as their birthday, photos and likes.

Additionally, the company has a new team to review apps that ask for more than people’s public Facebook profile, email address and friend list.

The moves are part of Facebook’s broader efforts to give better privacy controls to users in the hope more people will log in to Facebook.

Facebook’s new login also provides clearer information to users about how other apps post on their behalf.

“If people don’t feel comfortable logging in with Facebook, then we don’t have a platform,” Simon Kross, a product manager at the company, was quoted as saying at a press conference.

Why some companies fail at Twitter

You may find shopping at a Nike showroom or visiting Starbucks for your favourite coffee a reason to cheer you up but according to a latest study, these two brands are among those who are failing at corporate tweeting.

A data analysis by the Harvard Business Review (HBR) has revealed that among top 50 companies that handle their Twitter accounts better are American Airlines, Bank of America, Kraft Foods, Dish Network, Verizon and Facebook.

Other big names in the list are Microsoft, Wal-Mart, Intel, Kraft, Whole Foods, McDonalds, Lowes, Amazon.com and FedEx.

Starbucks share the “worst 50” space with Burberry, American Express, Allergan, Nike, Johnson & Johnson, United Health Group and Hewlett-Packard.

For the study, the team used data analysis to identify patterns and quantify degrees of engagement.

After analysing 350,000 tweets across 300 companies, they were able to pinpoint which brands are winning at Twitter and which are not.

“Social media is not merely a place for people to chat with each other and for brands to talk at their customers,” the HBR report stated.

“For a new generation of consumers who get their news and form their views about the world primarily on social media, it is an essential proving ground,” it further read.

Empathy is a vital component for corporate tweeting.

“In our view, empathy consists of three components: reassurance, authenticity and emotional connection. Empathy goes beyond simply solving a problem. It involves making a customer feel valued,” the HBR study noted.

Why companies like Starbucks are ranked so low on Twitter?

The reason behind this may be because inquiries at Starbucks Twitter account are responded by a presumed bot that simply provides users an e-mail address, idigitaltimes.com reported.

These companies need to spruce up their social media strategies, the report concluded.

How Facebook is changing Internet.org to make it more inclusive

Internet.org, Facebook’s marquee program to bring people in developing countries online, first came to India in February. Facebook partnered with Reliance Communications to provide almost 40 websites and services free to users — everything from news and weather information to travel sites like Cleartrip. It also included free access to Facebook and Facebook Messenger.

Last month, the cookie crumbled. Partners like Cleartrip and NDTV publicly pulled out of the program stating that Internet.org violated the principles of net neutrality, which state that all data on the internet should be treated equally. Cleartrip’s blog postannouncing the decision said: “It is impossible to pretend there is no conflict of interest (both real and perceived) in our decision to be a participant in Internet.org.”

Internet.org’s biggest problem was its lack of transparency. No one knew how Facebook or telecom operators picked and chose the services that Internet.org featured. Today,Facebook is changing that.

Internet.org is now an open platform for website developers. Think of it like the app store on your Android device or your iPhone. Just like developers can write apps and submit them to Apple or Google to be featured in their app stores, website makers can customise their sites to Facebook’s guidelines and submit them to Facebook to be a part of Internet.org.

In an interview with Hindustan Times, Chris Daniels, the Vice President of Product for Internet.org at Facebook talks about why the world’s largest social network is moving fast to fix its ambitious — and controversial — program to connect the next billion people to the internet.

Excerpts from the interview:

Are you making Internet.org into a platform that anyone can sign up for in response to high-profile partners like Cleartrip and NDTV puling out?

This is a natural evolution to the program. We started off with just a few content partners because we needed to prove the model worked for operators, that it was bringing more people online. I’ve been talking to many content and operator partners and I think it’s good timing now.

So why did your partners pull out?

I think you’d have to ask them why they pulled out. So, um, yeah, you should probably just talk to them.

What is the biggest difference between Internet.org and the new Internet.org platform?

I think the biggest change is that we’re offering consumers choice. Any developer can submit their site or service to us to be a part of the new Internet.org platform.

When you say “submit”, is this going to be like submitting an app to an app store? Is there going to be an approval process?

Yes, there will be an approval process. We’re going to have guidelines for developers. In general, sites and services that are part of the Internet.org platform will need to adhere to three principles: they need to offer a simpler version of their existing service to encourage people go out and explore the broader internet. They will also need to be extremely data efficient because this has to work for [telecom] operators. It can’t be a constraint on their networks. So things like video or high-resolution photos aren’t going to be appropriate for this. These are basic services.

Isn’t that discrimination against different types of content? Isn’t this against net neutrality?

I think the key thing here is that some access is better than no access. The purest definition of net neutrality shouldn’t be used to deny people access to the internet. We firmly believe that we need to give people access to some sites in order to show them how they can use the broader internet to improve their lives.

Is this about educating people about what they can use the internet for? Or is this about making access free?

This is about online literacy. This is about helping people understand the value of being online.

And making it free for them.

Yeah, of course.

Isn’t that a problem in the long term? Once people start getting certain services for free, why would they use anything that they are required to pay for?

It’s absolutely not our goal to introduce people to a version of the internet that’s free and have them believe that is the entire internet. In order for this to work for operators who are paying for free data, people have to be encouraged to eventually pay for data to explore the broader internet.

What we’re doing is just giving people a jumping-off point. You have to give them a basic understanding of what’s on the internet and a place to begin their journey.

So what’s that jumping-off point going to be? How will people find these free, basic services on Internet.org?

There will be a search option. And something like a browser with a set of bookmarks.

Who chooses the bookmarks?

Well, we’ve consulted with governments and our operator partners to determine what services are valuable to people. Things like education, jobs, health information, weather, etc. But people are not going to be limited to this set [of bookmarks].

But Facebook is still playing editor. How many people are going to go beyond the pre-chosen bookmarks on their screen and search for other services if they don’t even know about them in the first place?

I don’t know how consumers are going to behave. I feel pretty confident that this is a good user experience.

Will consumers have to sign in through Facebook to access Internet.org?

No, they won’t. You don’t have to be a Facebook user to access Internet.org content.

Can Facebook track the usage of sites that people access through Internet.org?

Yes, we do know what users are accessing. We do have some of that information. But all of it is governed by Facebook’s standard data policies.

Here’s a tweet that Cleartrip put out when they pulled out of Internet.org. It’s a quote by [philosopher] Edmund Burke: “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. #NetNeutrality”

Why are your own former partners calling you evil?

I honestly don’t know why partners would call Facebook or this program evil. Our intentions are good. I want to make something clear: we are not exclusive with any single operator. We are not paying operators for the data that is consumed. The only way an operator gets any benefit is if people coming online as a result of this service discover the broader internet and pay for the broader internet.

Sure. But if I’m someone who runs an online service or a website, I’m thinking “Why do I have to go through Facebook to reach the next billion people?”

You don’t. There are many companies who have partners with operators to zero rate their services.

Let’s talk about zero rating, which Facebook has long supported. It’s a controversial term in the net neutrality debate in India today.

We think zero rating is a good thing if it brings more people online. A lot of people aren’t aware of the value of the internet, so a basic set of services becomes an on-ramp for them. Providing these for free makes sense. A version of net neutrality that prohibits people from coming online more quickly is not something we think is good for the world.

And yet, Facebook is a part of the Cellular Operators Association of India, a telecom industry lobby that is, arguably, pushing the government for a non-neutral internet in India. They want online services to be licensed, among other things.

I think we’re also a part of other trade associations that are on both sides of the [net neutrality] debate. So, um, I don’t know. We’re part of a lot of associations.


Facebook launches open Internet.org platform amid net neutrality debate

Facebook Inc is launching an open platform for online content and application developers to join its Internet.org service, in a move the social media giant said would boost efforts to get people online in low-income and rural areas in emerging markets.

The platform, unveiled on Monday, will be open to all developers who meet certain guidelines, including content being built for browsing on both feature and smartphones and in limited bandwidth scenarios, the company said in a statement.

The move comes amid growing debate in India, home to the world’s third-largest population of Internet users, over free access and net neutrality in the country.

Facebook partnered with Reliance Communications to launch Internet.org in India in February. But a number of e-commerce firms and content developers pulled out of the service subsequently as activists claimed it violated principles of net neutrality – the concept that all websites on the internet are treated equally.

“We’ve heard the debate about net neutrality in India and have been tracking it,” Chris Daniels, vice president of product for Internet.org, told Reuters.

“The principles of neutrality must co-exist with programs that also encourage bringing people online,” Daniels said, highlighting that Internet.org was open to mobile operators and involved no payments, either to or from the developers.

Facebook has launched the service in nine countries, including in India, bringing over 8 million people online, said Daniels, who was in India to speak with partners and operators.

The Internet.org application offers free access to basic internet services on mobile phones, as well as access to Facebook’s own social network and messaging services.

Meerkat dumps Twitter for Facebook

The much hyped but little used live video streaming service has added closer ties with the world’s largest social network as part of a new iOS app update.

As well as being able to post streams to Facebook, Meerkat users will now also be able to see if anyone they’re friends with listed in their device’s contacts book, is also using the app.

Meerkat launched to huge publicity from tech journalists and initially used Twitter as a means of sharing streams. However, since launching a competing service, Periscope, Twitter has limited Meerkat’s access to its platform.

And despite huge fanfares, neither app appears to be getting real-world consumers particularly excited. According to 7Park, as of April, Meerkat had a 0.1% reach in terms of all US iOS device users while Periscope boasted a 0.5% reach. For some perspective, Vine, which is well established by comparison, currently reaches 5.4% of American iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch users and its owner, Twitter, 19%.