Social Media News | The Professor’s Pick

Facebook breaches European privacy law

A report commissioned by the Belgian Privacy Commission has found that Facebook is in violation of European consumer protection law.

According to the findings, Facebook’s privacy policy (updated in January) does not comply with the Unfair Contract Terms Directive. The report states that: “Facebook places too much burden on its users. Users are expected to navigate Facebook’s complex web of settings in search of possible opt-outs”. It also found that Facebook’s policies for third-party advertising do not “meet the requirements for legally valid consent”. It is understood that Facebook has met the Belgian privacy minister to discuss the report.

In other Facebook news, the social network has released three UK TV advertisements focusing on the power of friendship. ‘Friends’ is Facebook’s first UK TV campaign and is designed to promote the meaningful connections that Facebook generates between users. You can view all three ads here: .

Is Twitter about to get a major redesign?

In a recent interview with TechCrunch, Twitter has said the future of its service hinges on videos, advanced private messaging and customised timelines. Hinting that significant changes may be round the corner, Twitter’s vice president of product Kevin Weil said: ‘Anything you can do on your phone, you should be able to do on Twitter.’

Commenting that Twitter shouldn’t be a ‘one size fits all’ experience, Weil also stated that the organisation of content and followers should be different for different users. With Twitter currently trialling a personalised grid-style system with select users, long Twitter feeds could soon be a thing of the past.

Twitter has recently introduced a number of changes, such as a video service, group DMs and its ‘while you were away’ feature. Only this week Twitter also joined up with Nestlé to promote a paid ten-week internship at either company. Candidates are required to submit a Vine along with their application using the hashtag ‘#6secondCV’.

LinkedIn settles class-action

Business networking site LinkedIn has agreed to compensate up to 800,000 users in the US.

In 2012, 6.5 million encoded LinkedIn passwords were posted on a Russian hacker site. Following the breach, a number of premium account users claimed that LinkedIn misled them over the level of security used to protect their personal information when then signed up to the platform.

LinkedIn has since improved its security measures, but a class-action was raised against the company. Following the settlement, 800,000 American users are now eligible to make a claim on a $1.25 million fund agreed with LinkedIn. After fees, this works out to about $1 per affected user.

Ello appoints its first chief marketing officer

Social media site Ello – which was dubbed the anti-Facebook when it launched last year – has been relatively quiet following an initial burst of media fame. However, it appears as if Ello is looking to increase its marketing activity with the appointment of Rene Alegria as its first chief marketing officer. With a mission to guide Ello’s “narrative” and show “what Ello stands for” Alegria is apparently keen to stop the comparisons with Facebook and instead work towards “galvanizing the creative community.”

Ello, which initially promised not to use ads or user data to monetise its service has a mobile app set to launch this Spring and recently raised $5.5 million in funding.

According to Ello’s chief executive, the platform plans to make money by allowing users to “spend a dollar or two and customize” their pages. Ello is also likely to provide a commerce service between small businesses and self-employed creatives.

WhatsApp voice calling rolled out to Andriod users

WhatsApp’s eagerly anticipated voice calling feature was rolled out to a number of Andriod users last week. The service, which is activated by receiving a WhatsApp call from a friend who already has the feature, is not however, currently available to all.

With the invite feature having since been disabled, it appears as if the original launch was an early test. Users who have already activated voice calling on WhatsApp can still do so.

Snapchat launches a safety centre

In a bid to shed its image a ‘sexting’ app, Snapchat has launched a safety centre for parents and children. With the fleeting nature of images on Snapchat causing concern from some quarters, the company wants to improve its reputation as it moves towards becoming a more rounded media company.

The safety centre, which includes social media guidance for parents has been developed in conjunction with online safety groups including the UK Safer Internet Center.

Reddit donates 10% of ad revenue to charity

Online news platform Reddit is to give 10% of its 2014 advertising revenue to charity. The site is currently asking members to vote on which charities should receive a percentage of its donation, with the ten most popular non-profits receiving $82,765.95 each. Anyone who registered as a Reddit user prior to 18th February can take part in the vote. The result of this vote will be announced this Thursday.

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