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FACEBOOK UNVEILS ANONYMOUS LOGIN

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Are you uncomfortable with the information Facebook shares about you with third-party apps and websites? Good news: Facebook has a solution.

Facebook (FBFortune 500) on Wednesday unveiled an anonymous login feature that allows users to sign into apps without sharing their identities. The apps will be forbidden from collecting personal data from people who use the feature.

Facebook has become a kind of universal sign-in mechanism for websites and apps, allowing people to click one “login with Facebook” button rather than remembering an endless number of usernames and passwords. But Facebook also shares users’ personal information with those apps and websites, making some people wary.

“By giving people more power and control, they’re going to trust more apps,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said at the company’s annual F8 developers conference in San Francisco.

The social network rolled out the new feature to a limited set of apps, including Flipboard, but Facebook said anonymous login will be available more broadly in the coming months.

 

For those who don’t mind sharing their information with apps and sites but want to choose exactly what those third-parties can see, Facebook also plans to unveil a line-by-line privacy control option for its regular login feature. Users could choose to share their birthday but not their friends’ list, for instance.

“We know some people are scared of pressing this blue button,” Zuckerberg said pointing at the Facebook login button. “We want to do more to put control and power back in people’s hands.”

Facebook said that new feature will be ready in the coming months.

Also on Wednesday, Facebook launched a new mobile ad network, essentially making it easier for app developers to use mobile-optimized ad formats and partner with companies to target specific audiences with their ads.

Overall, this year’s F8 was far less sexy than in years’ past, during which the company has unveiled bold new features, including Graph Search and Timeline.

Even Facebook’s new motto is kind of dull. The social network giant is ditching its familiar, “Move fast and break things” catch phrase for a less catchy one: “Move fast with stable infra” (short for “infrastructure”).

Facebook created its new motto with the aim that it will make it easier for mobile developers to build apps atop Facebook’s platform and make money. And rather than manufacture a phone or launch any “shiny consumer product,” as Zuckerberg calls it, Facebook will instead focus on useful social tools for end users.

“We want to make sure we put people first,” he said.

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Facebook paid users to track smartphone use

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Facebook paid users, including teens, to track their smartphone activity as part of an effort to glean more data that could help the social network’s competition efforts, according to a new report that may raise fresh privacy concerns.

An investigation by the online news site TechCrunch said the effort, which had been known as the Onavo Project and later rebaptized as Facebook Research, was used to gather data on usage habits.

The news could be a further embarrassment for Facebook, which has been under heightened scrutiny over failing to crack down on manipulation of its platform and for sharing private data with its business partners.

According to TechCrunch, Facebook said it shut down the application on Apple’s iOS on Wednesday after the article was published, but apparently kept it active for Android users.

The report said the initial Onavo app was shuttered for violating Apple’s privacy policy and that the newer version may also contravene Apple’s terms.

The program paid users ages 13 to 35 up to $20 a month for “root” access to their devices to track their location, app usage, spending habits and other activity.

According to a statement to TechCrunch, Facebook claimed there was nothing secret about the effort and that it obtained parental consent for teens where required.

Facebook did not immediately respond to further requests for comment.

The project may have allowed Facebook to scoop up more data about younger users as it fends off a challenge from rival services like Snapchat, which has become more popular than Facebook among US teens.

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Instagram is down for some users (FB)

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It’s not clear exactly how many people are affected, or what’s causing the outage. Business Insider has reached out to the Facebook-owned photo sharing app for more information.

The app’s news feed is refusing to refresh for some users, while the homepage on desktop won’t load.

Down Detector, a website that tracks outages of popular websites, reported a spike in users saying Instagram was down on Monday, with particular hotspots on both coasts of the United States and the UK.

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INSTAGRAM READY TO GIVE INFLUENCERS AND CELEBS SPECIALIZED TOOLS VIA CREATOR ACCOUNTS

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Instagram plans to offer high-profile influencers special tools that will provide them with a deeper insight into various data regarding their followers. These tools will be delivered in the form of Creator Accounts, which will only be available to select Instagram users (i.e. influencers, celebs).

An Instagram official recently told The Hollywood Reporter that the company wishes to make sure that “Instagram is the best place, and easiest place, to build fan communities and also build creators. personal brands.”

These creator accounts are meant to function like business-focused profiles and will offer growth insights, including information about follows and unfollows. Influencers will also be able to see weekly and daily data about their followers count changes so that they can better understand what might have caused a decline in their fan base or a spike in new followers.

Also, direct messaging tools that will enable Instagram users to filter notes from brand partners and friends will be available as well. Furthermore, influencers will be allowed to choose how they want to be contacted via flexible labels.

According to Instagram. these new features are being tested with a small beta group at the moment, but they are expected to be rolled out to everyone sometime in 2019.

 

 

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