Social Media News | The Professor’s Pick

Periscope video app takes over Meerkat

Two weeks ago, we looked at Twitter’s purchase of live streaming app Periscope. Wasting no time, last week, the micro-blogging platform launched Periscope under the Twitter banner and immediately stole the march on more established rival Meerkat.

The Periscope app allows people to broadcast live video and audio from their smartphones. Viewers can tune in mid-stream and submit comments in real-time. Periscope also features location tagging, and users have access to live feeds from around the world.

Meerkat, which had been dominating conversation in the live video steaming space has suffered since Twitter removed access to its distribution and communications tools. In fact, just days after Meerkat announced $14 million in new funding, Twitter launched Periscope and Meerkat plummeted to the number 523 slot on the US iPhone download chart. Periscope on the other hand is currently sitting at number 50 (eight in the Social Networking category).

Facebook completes first UK drone flight

Last week, Facebook’s solar powered drones trialled in UK for first time. The drones, which provide internet access to rural and remote areas were developed by Somerset based company Ascenta, which was bought by Facebook last year.

The drones have a wingspan greater than a Boeing 737 and will be able to keep flying at altitudes of 60,000 ft. for months at a time.

With some parts of the UK struggling with poor broadband speeds, the news has been broadly welcomed by campaigners in local areas.

Part of Facebook’s internet.org – an initiative that aims to connect the two-thirds of the world that don’t currently have internet access – the drones promise an affordable solution without significant investment in new internet infrastructure.

Facebook breaches EU Law

According to a report commissioned by the Belgian data protection agency, it appears as if Facebook has landed in further hot water over the privacy of user data. The findings follow a draft report which claimed that Facebook’s privacy policy breached European law.

The report, which is based on ‘extensive research’ found that Facebook tracks the web browsing habits of everyone who visits a page on its site, whether they are logged into Facebook or not. In addition, the report claims that such tracking takes place even if the user does not have a Facebook account or has explicitly opted out of tracking in the EU. This behaviour directly contravenes EU privacy laws.

Facebook had not as yet, responded to the new findings.

Millennials snapping up Snapchat

A recent study by research firm ComScore, has found that 71% of Snapchat users are between the ages of 18 and 34. In comparison just 38% of Facebook and Twitter users fall into the same age bracket. With reports suggesting that Snapchat may be closing in on 200 million active users, it seems this growth is in no small part due to uptake by Millennials. According to the report, only 7% of Snapchat’s users are over the age of 55.

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WhatsApp will not release public API

WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton has announced that there are no plans in place to launch the cross-platform mobile messaging app’s API to the public.

The statement was made at Facebook’s F8 conference.

Facebook, acquired WhatsApp last year for $19 billion and access to its API had been highly sought after by a number of developers keen to create communication apps.

Commenting on the decision Acton said: “I am very empathetic to [the API] cause. I receive emails on a regular basis from people who want to run their business or want to run something using WhatsApp as the backbone for communication, but we’re balancing that with user experience.”

 

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