Friday Social: FaceApp Data, InstaLikes, and Twitter’s New Look

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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 via Twitter – @Umpf

FaceApp’s Data Furore

FaceApp. The power behind those aged selfies you’ve seen all over your social feeds again this week, after its first wave of popularity a few years ago. How much data are we giving away when we sign up? An increasing number of people have raised concerns this week over the app’s terms of service…

While some have countered that FaceApp isn’t unique or unusual in what it requests access to –

In response to the questions, FaceApp has this week released a statement regarding its data use –

We are receiving a lot of inquiries regarding our privacy policy and therefore, would like to provide a few points that explain the basics:

  1. FaceApp performs most of the photo processing in the cloud. We only upload a photo selected by a user for editing. We never transfer any other images from the phone to the cloud.
  2. We might store an uploaded photo in the cloud. The main reason for that is performance and traffic: we want to make sure that the user doesn’t upload the photo repeatedly for every edit operation. Most images are deleted from our servers within 48 hours from the upload date.
  3. We accept requests from users for removing all their data from our servers. Our support team is currently overloaded, but these requests have our priority. For the fastest processing, we recommend sending the requests from the FaceApp mobile app using “Settings->Support->Report a bug” with the word “privacy” in the subject line. We are working on the better UI for that.
  4. All FaceApp features are available without logging in, and you can log in only from the settings screen. As a result, 99% of users don’t log in; therefore, we don’t have access to any data that could identify a person.
  5. We don’t sell or share any user data with any third parties.
  6. Even though the core R&D team is located in Russia, the user data is not transferred to Russia.

Additionally, we’d like to comment on one of the most common concerns: all pictures from the gallery are uploaded to our servers after a user grants access to the photos (for example, https://twitter.com/joshuanozzi/status/1150961777548701696).  We don’t do that. We upload only a photo selected for editing. You can quickly check this with any of network sniffing tools available on the internet.

Instagram Continues to Hide Likes

Earlier this year, Instagram began experimenting with allowing users to hide the number of likes and views on content shared. The pilot began in Canada, and this week Instagram has announced that it’ll be expanding the feature to New Zealand, Australia, Brazil, Ireland, Italy, and Japan.

While users who opt in can always see their own like and view figures, the feature aims to remove some of the pressure associated with receiving enough engagements on images shared – encouraging users to focus on connections, rather than number of likes.

Twitter Reveals New Look

Twitter has this week unveiled a new desktop site:

While it’s looking pretty slick, one peek at the replies to Twitter’s announcement reveal what users really want…

Like this if you want an edit button. ?

— MIKE BRESLIN’S POINTLESS TWEETS (@mikebreslin815) July 15, 2019

Facebook’s Anti-Scam Process

Facebook is implementing a new anti-scam process in the UK – part of its agreement with Martin Lewis following his lawsuit against the platform in 2018.

The suit was based on the number of scam ads that users were seeing, and Lewis dropped the case after agreeing with Facebook that it would create a scam ads reporting tool as well as donate funds to set up a Citizens Advice Scams Action service.

When tapping on the three dots at the top right of any ad post, you’re given the option to report an ad as a scam – as you always could. Now though, there’s a new addition – ‘Send a detailed scam report’. The user will be able to add details to be assessed by a dedicated internal team.

Twitter Launches SnappyTV Replacement

Twitter has this week introduced LiveCut, a ‘new media publishing tool that integrates SnappyTV’s core functionality into Media Studio, Twitter’s content management platform for publishers’.

From the Twitter media centre:

We designed LiveCut to be easy, fast, and free in order to meet the needs of social video producers, whether you’re part of a global media company or a one-person production team.

With the addition of LiveCut, Media Studio becomes a one-stop shop for publishers’ video needs, empowering them to launch a live broadcast, cut video clips from it, and share them across Twitter within a single platform.

Additionally, publishers are now able to launch private broadcasts, share broadcasts across teams, and create and monetize video clips.

Twitter added that Liverpool FC was one publisher that took part in the LiveCut beta program, using it to live broadcast the 2019 UEFA Champions League trophy homecoming.

LiveCut replaces SnappyTV, Twitter’s service which allows users to create video clips in real-time for sharing across social. Twitter will be killing off SnappyTV by the end of this year.