Social Media

WhatsApp now forced to share data with Facebook

No more opt-out option

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For years, Facebook has notoriously misused its users’ data, prompting several legal actions in numerous countries including the United States. However, though Facebook’s own reputation plummeted, the company’s sibling platforms got through relatively unscathed. That, unfortunately, was always going to change. Now, despite previous promises to the contrary, WhatsApp is now requiring users to share their data with Facebook.

Today, the messaging company updated its privacy policy. WhatsApp must now share all its data with other Facebook companies. This will include all identifying information including IP addresses, phone data, location data, and possibly even payment data. Naturally, this also covers the basics such as messages and contacts. As expected, WhatsApp states that the information is used only for analytic purposes.

Starting on February 8, users have no choice but to agree to the terms. There is no opt-out option. It’s either say yes or uninstall the app.

The update rolls out globally except in the European Union. The region’s stricter GDPR policies prevent internet companies from sharing their data with other parties. Unfortunately, other regions have not implemented similar policies.

Years ago, WhatsApp promised minimal data sharing between companies, marking a difference from Facebook’s more invasive policies. However, with Facebook’s renewed drive to simplify its platforms, both Instagram and WhatsApp are now drawn into Facebook’s web. Already, Facebook has simplified both apps’ messaging system into one ecosystem.

SEE ALSO: Facebook might be forced to sell Instagram and WhatsApp

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Twitter unveils dislike button in beta test

Swears it’s not a dislike button, though

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Twitter is finally getting a (sorta) dislike button, according to a new beta test. For ages, the social media platform thrived under a simple set of tweet interaction buttons: like, retweet, or comment. For the most part, all three encourage users to contribute positive feedback towards what other people have to say. Though anyone can certainly contribute negative feedback through comments, Twitter’s latest test introduces a new way to show disagreement without putting anyone down.

Officially introduced by the Twitter Support account, Twitter is testing an upvote and downvote system for some iOS users. Currently, the system is available for tweet replies but not for the actual tweet itself. While the original tweet will remain unscathed (for now), users can upvote or downvote replies and show their agreement to important bits in a conversation.

However, Twitter is also adding some important caveats to the experiment. The platform is adamant that the downvote button is not a dislike button. (That might be a matter of semantic, though.)

Also, a reply’s number of downvotes are visible only to the commenter. Hiding the downvote count likely prevents a mass number of users from brigading against certain replies just for the sake of doing so. Finally, Twitters says that the number of votes will not change which replies will be on top.

If the system sounds familiar, it sounds similar to how Reddit works. In fact, the popular content aggregator even commented on Twitter’s original post. The only difference is that Reddit publicizes how upvoted or downvoted posts are.

Since the feature is still in its testing phase, there is no indication as to when (or if) it will make its way to a mass market.

SEE ALSO: Twitter is retiring Fleets

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Facebook to invest $1 billion in content creators through 2022

Taking on TikTok and YouTube Shorts

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Facebook has successfully managed to somehow take on TikTok in the short-video segment, thanks to Reels on Instagram. The social networking giant has now announced it’ll double down on content creators for its Facebook and Instagram platforms.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced US$ 1 billion in investments to reward creators for content through 2022. The cash will go to creators who use the platform’s tools as competition with TikTok and YouTube continues to boil.

The investments will include bonus programs to pay creators who hit certain milestones. At first, it’ll be an invite-only initiative. Towards the end of this year, Facebook will create a portal where participants can keep track of their earnings.

One of the bonus programs is a Reels Summer Bonus that will launch in the coming weeks and pay U.S. users who create great Reels content for Instagram. The move comes amid rising competition from TikTok, Snapchat, and many more regional apps.

TikTok has committed to spending US$ 2 billion to support creators over three years, while Snapchat previously paid creators a total of US$ 1 million per day to post popular short-form videos. YouTube has also created a fund to encourage content creators.

“We want to build the best platforms for millions of creators to make a living, so we’re creating new programs to invest over $1 billion to reward creators for the great content they create on Facebook and Instagram through 2022.” Zuckerberg wrote on his Facebook wall.

As the war heats up, Facebook is confident it can stay afloat thanks to its unmatchable user base. It has a history of taking inspiration from the competition and using its wide reach to gain a quick headstart. The company was severely criticized for ripping off the Stories feature from Snap, but it has done little to stop the giant from experimenting.

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Twitter is retiring Fleets

Ending on August 3

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Last year, Twitter rolled out a new feature called Fleets. The popular social media platform took a page from Instagram’s playbook by implementing the latter’s Story feature. However, a successful feature taken from another platform won’t necessarily perform just as well on another platform. That said, only around a year later, Twitter is ending Fleets on August 3.

Twitter’s Fleets work similarly to the other temporary content on other platforms. They last for only 24 hours before being deleted for good. Unfortunately, as is now evident based on the announcement, no one really used the feature.

Twitter knows this fact and says as much in the tweet announcing the feature’s retirement. The tweet says, “we’re sorry or you’re welcome.” The company doesn’t seem to care as much about the feature’s extinction.

Throughout the past year, Twitter has implemented a lot of features to expand its platform beyond its standard short-form format. Besides the disappearing stories, the platform also added in a Clubhouse-like feature called Spaces. It opened up chatrooms wherein hosts can hold live conversations with others and for their audience. The company has also considered adding a premium subscription system for content creators, opening it up for select territories.

Regardless, after the rush to add in more and more features, Twitter is now at a stage wherein it is pruning less than useful features from the platform.

SEE ALSO: Here’s how to get your Twitter profile verified

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