FridaySocial – Cell Phone Lanes, Instagram Adverts and More!

Tom Scott

September 19th, 2014

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Our #FridaySocial is a weekly round-up of the key social media news stories from the previous seven days. Let us know your thoughts in the comments or on Twitter – @Umpf / @tomscott1

1.China introduces cell phone lanes for pedestrians

You know how it goes, you’re sending a quick text or checking Google Maps for directions, when, wham you walk in to a lamppost or even another person! China has a lot of people and it is fond of technology, so you can imagine this happens fairly often. Introducing the cell phone only lane, the pavement is marked in English and Chinese and tells pedestrians which lane and direction to walk in if they are or are not using their cell phones. No more accidents!

2.Facebook Privacy

Facebook has launched a new privacy check-up tool. You have the option to go through three stages of privacy checks to make sure you are happy with your settings. The tool asks you to look at your settings for your posts, your apps and your profile. Facebook is often under fire for its privacy settings so this seems a nice touch to get users back onside and help ensure everyone is happy with how their content is protected.

3.Instagram UK ads set to go live

Instagram has revealed that sponsored posts will be rolled out on the platform imminently, with some users reporting that it has already commenced.  The company has been running sponsored posts in the US for the past year so it was always only a matter of time before it was rolled out to new markets. Adverts will feature a sponsored logo so users can differentiate between them and normal posts, users can also hide adverts in the same way as they would on Facebook.

4.Channel 4 launches Snapchat and Whatsapp accounts to deliver news

Channel 4 has launched two new accounts to push news content to a wider audience, Whatsapp and Snapchat are seen as two of the most prominent communications platforms for the youth demographic, an audience traditional news broadcasting can struggle to obtain.

The broadcaster used the accounts to send updates during its coverage of the Scottish Independence Referendum. They are also using them in an experimental format to see if users are willing to receive news updates in applications which are traditionally used for communication with your friends.

 5.Tim Cook takes a swipe at Google and Facebook

Apple chief executive Tim Cook has released an open letter to customers explaining that Apple does not build profiles on its users with the data it collects. This is presumably a veiled attack on Google and Facebook who are regularly accused by users of doing just that.

Cook, said, “We don’t build a profile based on your email content or web browsing habits to sell to advertisers. We don’t ‘monetise’ the information you store on your iPhone or in iCloud. And we don’t read your email or your messages to get information to market to you.”

The timing of the letter is apt, with Facebook struggling to fight back criticisms of its messenger application as well as the recent emotional manipulation study which caused a vicious user backlash.

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