Tag Archives: Facebook

Facebook Marketplace And DoorDash Team Up



Drivers for DoorDash Inc., are delivering items that consumers purchase from Facebook Marketplace as part of a new partnership between the delivery app and Meta Platforms, Inc., The Wall Street Journal reported.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the deal is an attempt to get more people, especially younger ones, to use Meta-owned Facebook, according to a person familiar with the plan. For DoorDash, the partnership boosts its ambition to expand into delivering more than food.

The service lets Facebook users purchase and receive items from Marketplace without leaving their homes. It can deliver items that fit in a car trunk and are up to 15 miles away, people familiar with the plan said. Deliveries would be made within 48 hours, they said.

For Meta, the idea behind the partnership is to try and get young people to use Marketplace more often, according to the person familiar with its plans. Marketplace is a feature within Facebook that lets people sell new and used goods to one another.

The Guardian reported, in 2021, that Apple’s iOS 14.5 update included the App Tracking Transparency feature. As you may recall, the update included a setting that requires applications to ask users’ for consent before they are able to track their activity across other apps and websites. If users decline, then applications will not be able to access they unique user ID that they need to follow individuals as they live their digital lives.

The Wall Street Journal reported: Over the past two years, Meta has increased its efforts to expand e-commerce on its social-media apps because it would help it sell ads. The company lost ad revenue over the past year after Apple Inc. changed its privacy for iPhones and iPads. The changes, according to The Wall Street Journal, made it easier for people to stop apps from tracking their devices.

Personally, I think that it is good for consumers to be enabled to choose whether or not they want a specific app to track them. It is my understanding that the vast majority of Apple users opted-out of being tracked. In my opinion, it is unhealthy to base your company’s revenue entirely on the hopes that consumers will decide to allow you to track them across the internet.

In the two years since that happened, it appears that Meta is now hoping that the younger demographic it is trying to attract have forgotten about Facebook’s full-page add that appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post. In short, Facebook paid for the ads in an effort to spread misinformation about Apple’s App Tracking Transparency and Apple’s “nutrition label” that shows exactly what each app wants to track.

The Verge reported that it is still not exactly clear how many Marketplace users currently have the option for DoorDash deliveries, or how much it costs. It remains to be seen how many younger consumers want to order delivery through the Facebook and DoorDash partnership when they could just order food from DoorDash themselves.


Social Media Companies Killed A California Bill To Protect Kids



California lawmakers killed a bill Thursday that would have allowed government lawyers to sue social-media companies for features that allegedly harm children by causing them to become addicted, The Wall Street Journal reported.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the measure would have given the attorney general, local district attorneys and city attorneys in the biggest California cities authority to try to hold social-media companies liable in court for features that knew or should have known could addict minors. Among those targeted could have been Facebook and Instagram parent Meta Platforms, Inc., Snapchat parent Snap Inc., and TikTok, owned by Chinese company ByteDance Ltd.

In June of 2022, Meta (parent company of Facebook and Instagram) was facing eight lawsuits filed in courthouses across the US that allege that excessive exposure to platforms including Facebook and Instagram has led to attempted or actual suicides, eating disorders and sleeplessness, among other issues. More specifically, the lawsuits claim that the company built algorithms into its platforms that lure young people into destructive behavior.

The Wall Street Journal also reported that the bill died in the appropriations committee of the California state senate through a process known as the suspense file, in which lawmakers can halt the progress of dozens or even hundreds of potentially controversial bills without a public vote, based on their possible fiscal impact.

The death of the bill comes after social media companies worked aggressively to stop the bill, arguing that it would lead to hundreds of millions of dollars in liability and potentially prompt them to abandon the youth market nationwide. Meta, Twitter Inc., and Snap all had individually lobbied against the measure according to state lobbying disclosures.

This doesn’t mean that a similar bill cannot be passed by the federal government. Politico reported earlier this month that the Commerce Committee advanced the floor considerations for two bills: It approved the Children and Teens’ Online Privacy Protection Act on a voice vote and the Kids Online Safety Act by a unanimous 28-0.

According to Politico, The Kids Online Safety Act was co-sponsored by Richard Blumenthal (Democrat – Connecticut) and Marsha Blackburn (Republican – Tennessee). That bill, if passed, would require social media platforms to allow kids and their parents to opt out of content algorithms that have fed them harmful content and disable addictive product features.

The Children and Teens’ Online Privacy Protection Act was sponsored by Bill Cassidy (Republican – Louisiana) and Ed Markey (Democrat – Massachusetts). That bill, if passed, would extend existing privacy protections for preteens to children up to age 16 and bans ads from targeting them. It would also give kids and their parents the right to delete information that online platforms have about them.

Personally, I think that parents of children and teenagers who have allowed their kids to use social media should have complete control over preventing the social media companies from gathering data on their children. Huge social media companies need to find other ways of sustaining revenue that doesn’t involved mining underage people in the hopes of gaining money from ads.


Instagram And Facebook Can Track You Through Sketchy Methods



Are you using Instagram and/or Facebook (Meta) on your iOS phone? If so, you might want to stop doing that. Felix Krause provided detailed information that, to me, sounds like those apps can track you on your phone even if you’ve told them not to. It is done in a sketchy way that most people won’t immediately recognize.

I recommend you read Felix Krause’s entire blog post. It made me reconsider using the Instagram app on my phone. (I stopped using Facebook ages ago).

What Instagram (and Facebook and Meta) do:

  • Links to external websites are rendered inside the Instagram app, instead of using the built-in Safari
  • This allows Instagram to monitor everything happening on external websites, without the consent from the user, nor the website provider
  • The Instagram app injects their JavaScript code into every website shown, including when clicking on ads. Even though pcm.js doesn’t do this, injecting custom scripts into third party websites allows them to monitor all user interactions, like every button & link tapped, text selections, screenshots, as well as any form inputs like passwords, addresses and card numbers.

According to Felix Krause, Meta (Facebook, Instagram) is losing money due to Apple’s App Tracking Transparency. You may recall that 96% of iOS users in the U.S. opted out of App Tracking almost immediately after it became available. The vast majority of Apple users don’t want to be tracked.

It is my understanding that Meta (etc.) heavily relies on making money from advertisements that users click on or visit the website of. It can’t do that anymore, thanks to the efforts by Apple, including Safari’s ability to block third party cookies by default. Firefox announced Total Cookie Protection by default to prevent any cross-page tracking. Google Chrome will soon phase out third party cookies.

In my opinion, Meta is desperately clinging to what worked for them in the past, as their ad revenue dries up. Those who click on a link in Instagram on an ad that caught their attention likely had no idea that the browser it opened was altered by Meta. It’s a sketchy move, and no company should be doing that, and especially not to iOS users who opted to prevent Meta from tracking them.

The Guardian reported that Meta, the owner of Facebook and Instagram, has been rewriting websites it lets users visit, letting the company follow them across the web after they click links in its apps. According to The Guardian, the two apps have been taking advantage of the fact that users who click on links are taken to webpages in an “in-app-browser,” controlled by Facebook or Instagram.

As for me, I’m going to avoid using the Instagram app in favor of scrolling through it on my desktop computer. It seems much safer than allowing Meta to substitute the browser of its choice instead of mine – and for Meta’s own benefit.


Facebook Shifts Resources Away From News To Focus On Creator Economy



Meta Platforms Inc.’s Facebook is reallocating resources from its Facebook News tab and newsletter platform Bulletin, as the company focuses more on the creator economy, senior executive Campbell Brown told employees in a memo, The Wall Street Journal reported.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Ms. Brown, a former journalist who leads Facebook’s global media partnerships, said the company would shift engineering and product support away from the two products as “those teams heighten their focus on building a more robust Creator economy.” The decision was made at the product level, not by the partnerships team that Ms. Brown is a part of, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Facebook News is a curated selection of news stories that users can find as a tab on the mobile app or website, similar to the Facebook Watch tab for video. Bulletin, which Facebook unveiled in June 2021, is a subscription platform meant to compete with Substack. It is aimed at supporting independent writers.

The Hill reported that, in a statement to The Hill, a spokesperson for Meta, the company that owns Facebook, said it evaluates products to ensure that they are bringing the most “meaningful experiences” to users on the platform.

“We regularly evaluate the products we offer to ensure we’re focused on the most meaningful experiences for people on Facebook and the future of our business,” a Meta spokesperson said. “We remain committed to the success of creators, and are doing even more to ensure they can find audiences on Facebook and grow engaged communities there.

In October of 2019, Facebook announced that it was starting to test Facebook News, which was described as “a dedicated place for news on Facebook”, to a subset of people in the United States. The initial test showcased local original reporting from the largest major metro areas of the country, beginning with New York, Los Angeles, Dallas-Fort Worth, Philadelphia, Houston, Washington D.C., Miami, Atlanta, and Boston.

In June of 2020, Facebook rejected a proposal by the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) to share advertising revenue with Australian news organizations, The Guardian reported. Facebook says there would “not be significant” impacts on its business if it stopped sharing news altogether.

In 2021, ABC News reported that Facebook had to walk back its block on Australian users sharing news on the site after the government agreed to make amendments to the proposed media bargaining laws that would force major tech giants to pay news outlets for their content.

No one should be surprised that Facebook is now pushing toward creator content, and away from news content, considering the platform’s history on the topic.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Facebook has paid publishers who participate in the News program. The company signed deals worth tens of millions of dollars with news organizations such as The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and The Washington Post. But, as these deals approach their expiration dates this year, Facebook began to signal to publishers and others in the industry that renewing the deals wasn’t a priority.


Meta Adds Discord-Like Features To Facebook Groups



Meta (parent company of Facebook and Instagram) announced that they are testing new ways to quickly access your favorite Facebook Groups and to simplify how they are organized. Meta also introduced channels, which are focused spaces for people to connect in smaller, more casual settings with their communities.

Here are some of the features that Meta is adding to Facebook Groups:

Meta is testing a new sidebar that helps you easily find your favorite groups more quickly. It will list your groups and the latest activity within them, like posts or chats you haven’t seen yet. You can also pin your favorite groups so they show up first, discover new groups, or create your own group.

Within your group, you’ll see a new menu that includes things like events, shops and a variety of channels to make it easier to connect with others around the topics you care about.

Admins can create channels to connect with their groups in smaller, more casual settings where they can have deeper discussions on common interests or organize their communities around topics in different formats.

Community chat channels: a place for people to message, collaborate and form deeper relationships around topics in a more real-time way across both Facebook Groups and Messenger.

Community audio channels: a feature where admins and members can casually jump in and out of audio conversations in real time.

Community feed channels: a way for community members to connect when it’s most convenient for them. Admins can organize their communities around topics within the group for members to connect around more specific interests.

The Verge reported that the changes made by Meta to Facebook Groups looks a lot like Discord. It has a left-aligned sidebar and channels list for Groups. According to The Verge, the changes are giving off “some serious Discord vibes.” The change has a lot of purple color added to it, which evokes Discord’s look.

The Verge also pointed out that part of the new Facebook Groups includes text chats, audio rooms, and feed rooms where people can post and comment. Again, it looks a lot like Discord. Meta included images that show what Facebook Groups will look like. It just so happens to have focused on a group that is for gamers, perhaps to boost Facebook gaming.

It isn’t unheard of for social media companies to copy features that originated somewhere else. Many of them have a tendency to “copy” another social media’s “homework”, rather than creating something unique on their own platform. Personally,

In short, Meta decided to take the lazy way out and copy-paste the features it saw in Discord. It is unclear what, exactly, Meta hopes will happen next. I suppose it is possible for Discord to object to having their main features appropriated by Meta. Personally, I doubt that people will leave Discord, where their game-playing friends are at – in favor of using Meta instead.


Facebook Wants You To Share Reels From Third-Party Apps



Meta (parent company of Facebook) has introducedSharing to Reels. It is described on the Meta for Developers site as “a new way for developers to make it easy for people to share video directly to Facebook”.

Enabling Sharing to Reels makes it easy for people to share short-form videos directly to Facebook. Once integrated, third-party apps will have a Reels button so people can share short videos, then customize with Reels editing tools like audio, text, effects, captions and stickers. Instead of downloading their video content and uploading it later, they can now create and share video seamlessly with one tap.

At launch, Facebook has partnered with Smule, Vita, and VivaVideo who have integrated #SharingToReels and are finding new ways for Creators to express themselves, grow their communities, and reach new audiences.

Personally, I’ve never heard of those companies. I’m also wondering why Facebook didn’t choose to include Instagram which has its own version of Reels (and is also connected to Meta). That seems like the obvious choice!

TechCrunch reported: While Reels first began as a way to directly combat TikTok with a feature inside the Instagram app, Meta also brought them to Facebook shortly after. The company touted during its Q4 2021 earnings that Reels is now its “fastest-growing content format by far.” The company also said Reels was the biggest contributor to growth on Instagram and “growing very quickly” on Facebook, too.

Facebook also did not mention TikTok, which is pretty much all about reels. Why? Engadget may have the answer to that question.

Engadget reported: Facebook is taking another step to encourage users to create original content for its TikTok clone. The company introduced a “sharing to Reels” feature to allow users of third-party apps to post directly to Facebook Reels.

Engadget also reported: Now, with Facebook losing users to TikTok, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg has staked a lot on the success of Reels. He said last fall that Reels would be “as important for our products as Stories” and that reorienting its service to appeal to younger users was the company’s “North Star”.

In short, Facebook made a clone that does what TikTok and Instagram have already been doing. Cloning features from other social media platforms is not new. If Facebook excludes TikTok and/or Instagram from Reels, Facebook users might simply decide to continue posting their content on either Instagram or TikTok instead bringing it to Facebook.


Australian Watchdog Group Sues Meta Over Fake Crypto Ads on Facebook



The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) has sued Meta over its misleading conduct for publishing scam celebrity crypto ads on Facebook. The lawsuit includes Ireland Limited (which is also part of Meta).

The ACCC alleges that Meta “engaged in false, misleading or deceptive conduct by publishing scam advertisements featuring prominent Australian public figures.” It also alleges that that Meta aided and abetted or was knowingly concerned in false or misleading conduct and representations by advertisers.

The ACCC alleges that the ads, which promoted investment in cryptocurrency or money-making schemes, were likely to mislead Facebook users into believing the advertised schemes were associated with well-known people features in the ads, such as businessman Dick Smith, TV presenter David Koch, and former NSW Premier Mike Baird. The schemes were in fact scams, and the people featured in the ads had never approved or endorsed them.

According to the ACCC: “The ads contained links that took Facebook users to a fake media article that included quotes attributed to the public figure in the ad endorsing a cryptocurrency or money-making scheme. Users were then invited to sign up and were subsequently called by scammers who used high pressure tactics, such as repeated phone calls, to convince users to deposit funds into the fake schemes.”

Reuters reported a quote from ACCC Chair Rod Sims, who said: “The essence of our case is that Meta is responsible for these ads that it publishes on its platform. It is alleged that Meta was aware… scam ads were being displayed on Facebook but did not take sufficient steps to address the issue.”

The Guardian reported: The scam has likely raked in millions from unsuspecting people. One 77-year-old grandmother lost $80,000 in the investment, while the ACCC has said another person lost $650,000 through the scam.

The Sydney Morning Herald posted a response from a Meta company spokesman, who said the company did not want ads seeking to scam people out of money or mislead people on Facebook.

Personally, I do not believe the statement the Meta spokesperson gave. Meta is a huge company, and if it truly wanted to protect users from being harmed by fake crypto ads, it should have immediately acted to remove them. Meta left those ads up.