TL;DR: the week in tech, for you
We know. The news can be a little Too Long; Didn’t Read sometimes. TL;DR is our roundup of the week in tech, just for you. We digest the biggest stories and trends in technology, business and innovation from across the web, and dish it out to you in 5 easy bytes (get it?).
What we couldn’t miss this week
1/ Status update: skeletons in the closet
Cambridge Analytica. Harvesting Data. #deletefacebook. Zuckerberg’s silence. What does it all mean? If you’ve been too busy to wade through the mud which Facebook has found itself sinking slowly into this week, we can help you out.
Concerns over market dominance and the spread of ‘fake news’ have dogged Facebook in the last 18 months. But now the shine has finally been taken off. It all began with revelations about the use of Facebook users’ data by third parties in this exclusive interview in the Guardian with a maverick data analyst formerly of Cambridge Analytica, the company who supposedly “harvested” personal data that 50 million Americans thought was private. In reality, the data really wasn’t, and yours probably isn’t either – as this piece in Inc. makes clear.
The fallout, in brief:
- Users are abandoning Facebook, and the New York Times spoke to a few
- A lot of people are talking a lot more about regulation – Wired considered what that would look like
- The arrival of European GDPR legislation spells trouble for Facebook’s business model, according to Reuters
- Mark Zuckerberg promises the company will clean their act up in a Q&A with Wired
The week in tech
2/ The view from “Crypto Valley”
With Facebook on its knees, it’s a good time to be considering who in the digital world we can really trust. Twitter is set to join Facebook and Google in clamping down on cryptocurrency advertising on the platform – a move meant to protect users from unaccountable digital currency outfits. But what should we make of that claim? A piece in the Financial Times looks more closely at the crypto-industry which has emerged in – of all places – the Swiss town of Zug, nestled in what has recently been dubbed “Crypto Valley”.
3/ YouTube and your webcam
YouTube has joined the live-streaming party in earnest, as picked up by the Verge. It’s making its live streaming process a lot easier, and has launched an extension for Chrome to do it straight from your webcam (rather than from a phone, as before) – enabling a more direct connection between those in front of and behind the camera. Expect to see a more dynamic and personal approach to the site, and a little less of the polished, meticulously-edited video blogs of its better known influencers and stars.
4/ The world as your API
Google Maps is now an open resource for game developers, according to Mashable. Fans of augmented reality (AR) gaming – such as Pokémon Go, which took the world by storm in 2016 – will be excited to know that game makers can now drawn on Google’s encyclopedic knowledge of our planet to build their next AR game changer – using Google Maps APIs. Who said data can’t be fun?
5/ Dancing to the algorithm
Last week we highlighted how influencers are the new black for advertisers on Facebook and Instagram (despite the fact they might have bots for friends). This trend toward placement marketing with influencers and stars on social media has come hot on the heels of Facebook’s algorithm update in January this year – when “friends and family” were supposed to make up more of the newsfeed. Digiday spoke to a self-confessed influencer about how the changes have affected their work.