“Social Media Roundup” is a weekly roundup of news pertaining to all of your favorite websites and applications used for social networking. Published on Sundays, “Social Media Roundup” will help you stay up-to-date on all the important social media news you need to know.
Facebook is starting to roll out the memorialized accounts feature, which allows users to leave messages on a memorialized timeline. And the word Remembering will be shown next to the person’s name on their profile.
The content the person shared such as photos and posts will stay on Facebook and will be visible to the audience it was shared with. Memorialized profiles will not appear in public spaces like ads, suggestions for “People You May Know” or birthday reminders. And no one can log into a memorialized account.
Facebook users who are designated as legacy contacts for managing their accounts after they pass away have been notified about the feature this past week. If you want to add a legacy account to your profile, then you can do this by tapping on the menu down arrow at the top-right of the desktop version of Facebook and going to Settings > Manage Account > Your Legacy Contact.
Facebook CEO and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg recently published his vision for the social network going forward. And that vision has an emphasis on communication with privacy and security. This vision will be spread across Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger. Each of these messaging platforms have more than one billion users.
“I understand that many people don’t think Facebook can or would even want to build this kind of privacy-focused platform — because frankly we don’t currently have a strong reputation for building privacy protective services, and we’ve historically focused on tools for more open sharing,” wrote Zuckerberg in his letter. ”But we’ve repeatedly shown that we can evolve to build the services that people really want, including in private messaging and stories.”
Facebook has lost trust from many of its users due to Cambridge Analytica scandal and revelations about how the social network was exploited during the 2016 presidential election.
Zuckerberg said that he believes the future of communication will increasingly shift to private and encrypted services where people will feel confident that what they say to each other will stay secure and their messages and content will be ephemeral.
“At the same time, there are real safety concerns to address before we can implement end-to-end encryption across all of our messaging services. Encryption is a powerful tool for privacy, but that includes the privacy of people doing bad things. When billions of people use a service to connect, some of them are going to misuse it for truly terrible things like child exploitation, terrorism, and extortion. We have a responsibility to work with law enforcement and to help prevent these wherever we can,” Zuckerberg added. “We are working to improve our ability to identify and stop bad actors across our apps by detecting patterns of activity or through other means, even when we can’t see the content of the messages, and we will continue to invest in this work. But we face an inherent tradeoff because we will never find all of the potential harm we do today when our security systems can see the messages themselves.”
In an interview with Wired, Zuckerberg said that the intention is to focus on building the consumer service that “people really want” first. And then the company will focus on making it so that people can “organically interact with businesses” and “paid ways that businesses can grow and get more distribution.” Currently, Facebook is in the first phase of this vision so it will likely take several years for the company to roll out the changes. This is not a major concern right now because Facebook does not currently use messages through its service for targeting ads.
To further ensure that messages will remain private is by avoiding sensitive data from being stored in countries with weak records on human rights. This makes it seem unlikely that Facebook will be open in China.
“Upholding this principle may mean that our services will get blocked in some countries, or that we won’t be able to enter others anytime soon,” explained Zuckerberg. “That’s a tradeoff we’re willing to make. We do not believe storing people’s data in some countries is a secure enough foundation to build such important internet infrastructure on.”
Foursquare launched ten years ago at SXSW in 2009. Foursquare was a pioneer in the location-based “check-in” trend. Now there are similar features on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and other social media apps. In conjunction with Foursquare’s ten year anniversary, the company announced a new feature called Hypertrending.
Hypertrending allows you to see how popular a place is based on a heat map. However, this feature will only be available in Austin, Texas until March 21.
Essentially, Hypertrending gives you a real-time look at how people spread throughout the city. Each dot represents a different place and the size of each dot corresponds to the number of people at each place. And each color represents a different type of place.
Why is this feature only available in Austin? Foursquare plans to just test it out during SXSW and there are no plans to roll it out broadly.
“We realize location data is different than data about books and music – location data is some of the most sensitive data there is. And we’re aware that Hypertrending walks a fine line between being ‘creepy’ and ‘cool,’” wrote Foursquare co-founder and Executive Chairman Dennis Crowley in a blog post. “That’s why we decided to make the Hypertrending demo available only in Austin, only during SXSW, and we currently have no plans to launch it to a larger audience after SXSW. We are limiting access to it because *we know* it’s provocative. It’s also our belief that before something like our Hypertrending demo changes the game, we should try to give everyone a chance to get their head around the rules. So we are looking to get your thoughts and feedback on Hypertrending as it relates to the larger conversation around the need for transparency, thoughtful leadership, and ethical behavior from technology companies.”
Last month, Foursquare CEO Jeff Glueck told The Verge that the company turned down “millions of dollars” to sell data. This is because Foursquare believes it was against their sense of ethics.
This past week, messaging app company Viber announced “dark mode,” which is available in the Android version of the app. And dark mode will be coming to the iOS version of the app in the coming weeks.
The Dark Mode feature on Viber makes using the app easier on the eyes and it conserves the battery life on devices with OLED displays like the iPhone X, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, Samsung Galaxy S9 and Samsung Galaxy S10.