Vincent Varney, 26 Nov 2018

The week in social: Instagram redesign, Tumblr ban, and fake followers

New-look Instagram profiles are on the way

Instagram is rejigging the profile tab on its mobile app, aiming to help users “better express [themselves] and more easily connect with the people [they] care about.” The changes, which are rolling out over the coming weeks, are centered on the bio section: follower and following counts have been de-emphasized, IGTV is more easily accessible, and businesses can now provide audiences with a slew of CTA buttons. Unsurprisingly, the sacred grid remains unchanged, thus avoiding user panic of Snapchat redesign proportions.

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Read more at Instagram Info Center

Tumblr gets banned from the App Store

Blogging platform Tumblr has been MIA on the iOS App Store since mid-November, and now we know why: Apple booted it from its marketplace due following the discovery of child pornography on the service. Tumblr has since released a statement acknowledging that while the company cross-checks all content against an industry database of exploitative material, a “routine audit” found abuse content that was absent from the database, thus slipping through the filter. The content has since been removed, but Tumblr has yet to reappear on iOS.

Read more at Cnet

Facebook’s Policy VP to chat fake news with international committee

Following calls for Facebook to address online disinformation and data misuse in front of international lawmakers, the company has agreed to send vice president of policy solutions Richard Allan to front a committee from seven countries. The meeting, which takes place this week in London, will see Allan answering questions from elected officials of Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Ireland, Latvia, and Singapore, and a parliamentary committee from the UK. A press conference has been scheduled to follow, with the seven countries signing a set of “International Principles for the Law Governing the Internet.”

Read more at TechCrunch

YouTube goes hard with free movies over Thanksgiving

Video streaming giant YouTube has been quietly amassing a library of ad-supported feature films since October, and the Thanksgiving holiday marked its biggest push yet. The Lego Movie hit YouTube’s free-to-view library on Black Friday, functioning both as a commercial for the upcoming sequel, and – more importantly – as a way to steal the family’s eyeballs away from competitors such as Netflix over the holiday.

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Read more at Gizmodo

LinkedIn found in violation of data protection rules

Ireland’s Data Protection Commissioner has released a report showing that LinkedIn violated the nation’s rules on consumer data when it used 18 million email address from non-LinkedIn accounts to advertise on Facebook. An investigation was prompted following a complaint concerning LinkedIn’s targeting of non-members, resulting in the social network immediately ceasing the practice. LinkedIn didn’t face any financial penalty, as the investigation took place before the implementation of the GDPR, meaning regulators in the EU had no power to serve fines.

Read more at TechCrunch

Instagram uses machine learning to take on fake followers

The war on fake followers continues, with Instagram employing a new tactic to remove inauthentic accounts from its platform. The social network is using machine learning tools to identify and remove accounts controlled by third-party apps, which are often employed to inflate a user’s likes and follower count to #influencerstatus. Anyone who has been using these third-party apps (whether intentionally or not) will receive a message from Instagram alerting them of their fake fans and asking them to change their password.

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Read more at Instagram Info Center