Category Archives: Social Media Developments

Facebook Plans News Subscription Service

The social media site Facebook has been in the early stages of developing a subscription news service that will integrate with many of the largest publishers in the world and create easy to access news for their users. While the site is still in the early stages of development it may be rolled out in a trial basis with some publishers gaining access to selling subscriptions through the site.

This service would operate in the following manner, similar to that of other paid news sites. Users who log in to Facebook would be able to read a certain number of free articles per month but would be locked from reading more until they signed up for the subscription service and began to make payments for the subscription. Users would not be actually visiting the publisher news site, but rather staying in Facebook while reading these articles which would leave Facebook with the ability of providing advertisements to users during this time period as a way of monetizing their site users. There is no indication of whether or not Facebook would be sharing in the revenue generated from the news subscriptions that are signed up through this program.

This subscription news platform would be built on top of the site’s current Instant Articles platform which provides viewers with access to news articles through the site. Users on Facebook interact with other users with these news articles and provide commentary on the articles after liking and sharing them with other users.

This initiative by Facebook would represent the first time that they are initiating a paywall on their site and working with publishing news sites to block content for non-payers. There is also no indication of how the pricing of this program and how it will compare to the news memberships sold directly through the news sites.

Latest Social Media Developments

Instagram has just added the Story Search feature, so now users can search for a location or a hashtag and see story compiled from posts made by other users. It can be useful in many ways such as checking what’s going on at a specific location. It can also be used to find out what other people are thinking about developing events, TechCrunch reports. There will be a privacy feature, which means only public posts will be seen.

 

Meanwhile, Pinterest has improved its food recognition software. Basically, it allows users to take photos of dishes with its Lens camera search, which the software recognizes and then delivers recipes for those dishes. Pinterest already had a feature that recognized an ingredient, and now is further expanding it.

 

In another development, Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Amazon are calling for surveillance reform. These giants are asking the government to overhaul foreign surveillance program.

 

This is likely to lead to further tensions between the White House and the tech giants. In a signed letter sent to House Judiciary Committee, these tech companies are asking for several reforms including greater privacy protections and more transparency.

 

Lately, social media and high-tech companies have become politically active. For example, they have entered into legal battles with Trump’s administration over travel ban and transgender equality. They’re also preparing a battle over net neutrality regulations.