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Why Facebook Continues to Make Profit Despite the Odds

Kevins Jerameel

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It seems every couple of days another scandal for Facebook comes up yet its profits continue to soar. What would it take to dent the enthusiasism of users and advertisers of the social media giant?

Early this year, Facebook faced another privacy scandal after it was revealed that it had targeted teenagers with a market research app that saw them hand over lots of personal information in exchange for a monthly fee.

Apple accused Facebook of dodgy dealings with the app, which was distributed to consumers via a platform designed to allow organizations to share private apps with employees. Meanwhile, a more serious crisis for the company’s reputation was unfolding – Instagram, owned by Facebook, stood accused of failure to protect young people for disturbing content about suicide. The case of Molly Russell, who took her own life in 2017 at the age of 14, appeared to highlight the dangers of an unregulated social media industry.

Nonetheless Facebook has been recording good results with their profits balooning each time with 2.7 billion people using its product every month. So why is Facebook’s business not suffering from the scandals?

Research analyst Ryan Doheny from one of the leading surveys and markets organization says “Instagram’s rapid growth is one reason advertisers still love the company. Instagram stories hit the 500 million user mark for daily users,” he explains “That provides an incredible platform for advertisers that’s pretty well unmatched in terms of daily reach.

Scandals at both Facebook and Google have led advertisers to question if they are safe places to promote brands. But Emily Bell, director of the Tow Centre for Digital Journalism at Columbia University agrees that in the end, their sheer scale is persuasive. “The Google and Facebook platforms are so much cheaper and more efficient in terms of how they profile and reach their people. The location data that the services have is really unpareled.”

Emily says there is a lot of talk from advertisers about wanting a “cleaner information environment,” but they have not voted with their wallets yet. That of course might change if users do begin to get fed up with the product. Jamie Bartelt, author of The People Versus Tech says there are plenty of anecdotes about people leaving Facebook, but the numbers tell a different story.

Perhaps a more imminent danger is regulation. British MPs recently called for a new code of practise for social media, with firms like Facebook having a legal duty of care to make sure users under 18 years do not get harmed.

The world has fallen out of love with Facebook over the last couple of years. So far that has not affected its bottom line, but if a combination of regulators, concerned parents and advertisers unite to demand reform that could change.

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Facebook Launches News Tab to Select Users in USA, Publishers to get Paid for Content

News Team

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Facebook on Friday unveiled a new tab that is dedicated entirely to news content with an intention to bring users back to the site regularly to consume news on sports, entertainment, business, politics and tech.

The new tab, which is currently being tested on 200,000 select users in the United States, will offer stories from a mix of publications, including The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post, as well as digital-only outlets like BuzzFeed and Business Insider. It will become widely available to all Facebook users in a few months.

Through deals with national and local publishers, Facebook says the aim is to make it easier for users to locate the day’s major headlines, as well as stories geared toward particular topics or locales.

Some of the stories will be chosen by a team of professional journalists lead by former CNN journalist and Facebook’s vice president for global news partnerships, Campbell Brown. Apart from the chosen stories, other news items will be tailored to readers’ interests over time using Facebook’s machine-learning technology.

The news tab will have a section called Today’s Stories, which will feature the day’s top events. In addition, Facebook says the tab is personalized based users read, with the tab serving up a better reflection of your interests over time. Users will also be able to personalize the tab by using controls to hide publishers, articles, and subjects one is not interested in seeing.

As with any other general news publication, Facebook News includes dedicated sections for business, entertainment, science and technology, health, and sports. If you subscribe to one or more of the publishers in the tab, you can view those subscriptions in a dedicated section.

While Facebook will pay publishers for their content, to qualify for inclusion, a publisher will need to register as news pages and follow the company’s publisher guidelines. They have to have a “sufficiently large audience,” and they are forbidden from posting misinformation, hate speech, or other violations of Facebook’s community standards.

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Facebook to Remove “Group Stories” For Good Effective September 26 (Thursday)

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Global Social Media giant, Facebook, is killing Facebook Group Stories starting Thursday September 6 2019 – a feature that allows administrators and members who’re part of the social network’s groups to post videos and photos that vanish within 24 hours. This shutdown comes barely 9 months after its public debut in December 2018.

The news, which were first shared by social media commentator Matt Navarra via tweet were confirmed by Facebook on Friday in a statement.

“We’re sunsetting group stories because we want to make sure that features in groups enable people to connect in fun and useful ways, and we’re always looking at ways to improve the overall experience for communities on Facebook,” a Facebook spokesman said in a statement.

Facebook Group stories has been available globally since December but company now plans to start sun-setting the feature on Sept. 26 at 9 a.m. PT (7PM in Nairobi). Existing group stories will be deleted and users won’t be able to post any new ones. A similar feature is available for all Facebook users, which won’t be discontinued, so content that will vanish in a day may still be posted on individual profiles.

The first iteration of group Stories to selected users was launched in November 2017, before expanding the functionality to all groups last December. While group Stories added a new consideration for group engagement, the company also added extra moderation workload for group admins. In October 2018, ahead of the full rollout, Facebook added the ability for admins to mute or block members in order to stop them from contributing Stories content which was unrelated to the group. Group admins were also enabled to delete or report any story photos and videos which they felt were inappropriate.

Social stories are one of the most used features on Facebook’s digital properties, with over 500 million daily users each across Facebook (and Messenger), WhatsApp, and Instagram. However, judging by the fact that the company is shutting down group stories merely nine months after debut suggests it wasn’t widely used. The company declined to say how many people used the group stories feature that it’s discontinuing.

Facebook groups are an online space where users gather and chat about common interests. According to the latest stats, more than 1.4 billion people on Facebook use groups every month.

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