Have you created a ShazzleMail account on your smartphone? This is a required first step.

Yes No

Free Encrypted Email

Posts Tagged ‘Instagram’

art1

Meet Vero: Why a billionaire’s Instagram alternative is suddenly so popular

March 1, 2018

Instagram haters are jumping on a new social media bandwagon.

Vero, a photo-sharing app that launched in 2015, is the latest app to benefit from ongoing frustration with Instagram’s hated algorithm.

SEE ALSO: Download this: Alto is back and better than ever in ‘Alto’s Odyssey’

A week ago, the app was ranked so low it didn’t even appear in the App Store’s top 1,500 apps; today it’s the most popular app in the entire App Store. It’s gotten so popular that the app’s servers have been overloaded, with many users unable to post or even sign up for an account.
The app’s pacing to add more than 500,000 users in 24 hours, and that’s just on iOS in the U.S., according to data from Sensor Tower, a company that specializes in app analytics.

What is Vero?
Launched in 2015, Vero bills itself as an ad-free “social network that lets you be yourself.” The app is the brainchild of billionaire businessman Ayman Hariri, son of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. Hariri, who has a net worth of $1.33 billion, according to Forbes, told CNBC he started the app because he was frustrated with the privacy policies of ad-based social networks.

In practice, though, it’s very similar to Instagram, with a few important differences. Though most users seem to be posting photos, the app also lets you share text and URLs, as well as recommendations for books, TV shows, and movies.

Perhaps the app’s biggest differentiator from current social networks is that it sorts posts in reverse-chronological feed, not algorithmically. You can also browse posts from your connections by type or browse popular hashtags.

It also distinguishes connections based on their relationship to you. You can designate people as close friends, friends, acquaintances, or followers and opt to share posts specifically with these groups.

Vero also emphasizes its privacy polices. It says it only collects a minimal amount of data about its users, like their names, email addresses and phone numbers, but doesn’t provide data to advertisers or other third parties.

So how does it make money?
The short answer is that it doesn’t — at least, not yet. Because there are no ads on the platform, Vero says it will eventually rely on user subscriptions for the bulk of its revenue.

The company hasn’t begun to implement subscriptions yet — it says it’s permanently “waiving” the fee for its first million users — but that users will eventually be required to pay “a small annual fee.” (CNBC reported the fee will be “a few dollars a year.”)

Vero also takes a cut from products other companies sell within the app.

Why now?
Vero first launched in the App Store in 2015, where it initially got very little attention. In December 2015, it briefly reached No. 45 in the App Store’s social networking category, according to data from App Annie. It dropped off the charts entirely soon after (the App Store only ranks the top 1,500 apps in any category).

That changed in the last few days, though. Late last week, the app suddenly shot up the rankings, moving from No. 566 to No. 1 in a matter of four days, according to data from App Annie. It will soon go from around 600,000 lifetime downloads in the App Store and Google Play, to more than 500,000 in a day, according to forecasts from Sensor Tower.

And while it’s not clear what has prompted Vero’s sudden surge, it appears to be at least partly due to frustration’s with Instagram’s algorithm, which has been bubbling up for months.

Instagrammers have been upset over the app’s algorithm since it rolled out last year. But, unlike other changes, which people have gotten used to over time, frustration seems to have only intensified over time.

Now, Instagram users are promoting their Vero accounts to followers. There are currently more than 500,000 Instagram posts tagged as #Vero, the majority of which are users posting screenshots of their profiles and asking followers to join them on the app.

Whether the app’s popularity will last is another matter. Other social apps, like Ello and Peach and Sarahah, have been able to briefly capitalize on Internet virality, but ultimately lacked the staying power to become viable alternatives to Facebook and Instagram.

Tags: , ,

xl-2014-social-media-sites-1

Social Media Analytics, Meet Big Brother

November 2, 2016

The American Civil Liberties Union recently uncovered evidence that led Twitter, Facebook and its Instagram subsidiary to stop sharing data with Geofeedia, a firm accused of improperly collecting social media data on protest groups, and sharing that information with numerous law enforcement agencies.

Geofeedia, a developer of location-based analytics, had been marketing its technology to law enforcement agencies. It was used for such purposes as monitoring Black Lives Matter protests in Ferguson, Missouri, and Baltimore, Maryland, according to the ACLU.

The ACLU of Northern California uncovered the practice after requesting public records information from 63 law enforcement agencies in California.

The documents revealed that Instagram had provided Geofeedia access to streams of user posts, called the “Instagram API,” until that practice was terminated last month, according to Matt Cagle, technology and civil liberties policy attorney for the ACLU of Northern California.

The data also shows that Facebook provided Geofeedia access to its Topic Feed API, which is supposed to be used for media and branding purposes, according to the ACLU. The API gave the firm access to a ranked feed of public posts that mention a specific topic.
API Access

Geofeedia had access to the Facebook’s API source information, said Facebook spokesperson Jodi Seth.

Using APIs the way Geofeedia did is a “violation of our platform policies, which prohibit the sale or transfer of data,” she told TechNewsWorld.

“This developer only had access to data that people chose to make public,” Facebook said in a statement. “Its access was subject to the limitations in our Platform Policy, which outlines what we expect from developers that receive data using the Facebook Platform. If a developer uses our APIs in a way that has not been authorized, we will take swift action to stop them and we will end our relationship altogether if necessary.”

Facebook terminated Geofeedia’s access to its APIs last month, after learning about the infractions, Seth said.

While not providing access to its Firehose technology, Twitter did allow a subsidiary to provide Geofeedia with searchable access to public tweets, the ACLU said.

Twitter earlier this year added contract language designed to protect users against further surveillance techniques, the organization noted.

Based on information in the ACLU report, Twitter suspended @Geofeedia’s commercial access to Twitter data.

The ACLU’s Cagle acknowledges in a post on the organization’s site that “neither Facebook nor Instagram has a public policy specifically prohibiting developers from exploiting user data for surveillance purposes,” Twitter spokesperson Nu Wexler pointed out to TechNewsWorld.

The ACLU post goes on to say that “Twitter does have a ‘longstanding rule’ prohibiting the sale of user data for surveillance as well as a developer policy that bans the use of Twitter data to ‘investigate, track or surveil Twitter users.'”

Twitter this spring cut off U.S. intelligence agencies from access to Dataminr, a firm that scans social media activity for information on potential terrorist attacks and political unrest, Wexler noted, pointing to a Wall Street Journal story published in May.

Targeted Protesters

Facebook severed its agreement with Geofeedia because it violated Facebook’s data-sharing policies, noted Brandi Collins, campaign director of Color of Change, which had joined the ACLU and the Center for Justice in making the document request.

Facebook’s decision to abandon the agreement suggests that the methods Geofeedia was employing were illegal, Collins told TechNewsWorld.

“More broadly, we should be concerned that police departments are wasting critical public resources on monitoring the social media profiles of the people in their communities, they’re supposed to be protecting,” she said.

“Geofeedia brags about its success monitoring protesters in Ferguson,” Collins remarked, “but how does tracking people who are protesting police killings of unarmed black people make any of us safe?”

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Introducing ShazzleMail Email and How it Works

Privacy is your Fundamental Human Right.

Our Daily Blog
main-snowden
Edward Snowden’s Autobiography Makes a Plea for the Fourth Amendment, the Right to Privacy, and Encryption
September 24, 2019

America's most famous whistleblower calls for restricting the power of government. Article by SCO...

Read more
ph
Chinese deepfake app Zao sparks privacy row after going viral
September 3, 2019

Critics say face-swap app could spread misinformation on a massive scale A Chinese app that lets ...

Read more
1463600977631262
Google tightens grip on some Android data over privacy fears, report says
August 19, 2019

The search giant ends a program that provided network coverage data to wireless carriers. BY CARR...

Read more
4000
Wikipedia co-founder slams Mark Zuckerberg, Twitter and the ‘appalling’ internet
July 8, 2019

Elizabeth Schulze Wikpedia Co-Founder Larry Sanger said in an interview social media companies ...

Read more
venmo_pub_priv
Why America Needs a Thoughtful Federal Privacy Law
June 26, 2019

More than a dozen privacy bills have been introduced in this Congress. Here’s what it needs to do....

Read more