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  1. Instagram’s TikTok competitor is coming to the US next month Just as the White House increases talks of a TikTok ban Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge Instagram plans to launch its TikTok clone in the US and more than 50 other countries within weeks, NBC News reported this morning. Instagram later confirmed to TechCrunch that the feature will launch in “early August” in the US and more. The feature, called Reels, is Instagram’s attempt to recreate the short musical video format that thrives on TikTok. Reels will let users record and edit 15-second video clips set to music, or users will be able to reuse audio from another person’s video, as is commonly done on TikTok. So far, the feature is only available in a few countries, including India and Brazil. Instagram — like its owner, Facebook — has a history of replicating popular features from other apps. Its Stories feature was taken from Snapchat, and it led to explosive growth for Instagram, seemingly at Snapchat’s expense. Seeing the rapid growth of TikTok, Instagram is likely hoping to achieve the same feat again. The launch also comes as political pressure builds against TikTok in the US. White House chief of staff Mark Meadows said yesterday that the administration was looking at taking action against TikTok within “weeks,” after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo floated a potential ban earlier this month over security concerns. For now, it sounds like Instagram isn’t necessarily going all-in on Reels, though. Reels will live inside of Instagram Stories, where it’ll be one option among many when posting. And videos won’t necessarily stick around, as they do on TikTok, unless creators specifically add them to their profile, TechCrunch previously reported. It’s still unclear exactly how viewers will find Reels to watch. TechCrunch previously reported that they would live inside of the Explore tab, but NBC News said today that Instagram will add a new tab to the bottom of the screen where you’ll be able to watch them. A dedicated viewing tab could make the experience a lot more like TikTok, which throws users directly into an endlessly scrolling screen of videos. Instagram’s TikTok competitor is coming to the US next month
  2. yaschir

    NinjaGram v7.6.3.3

    NinjaGram v7.6.3.3 (Instagram bot) What makes NinjaGram so special? Auto-follow Mass follow targeted Instagram users, from any location in Instagram (search results, your feed, another user’s followers, or pictures taken at a particular location (NEW)!) Auto-unfollow Mass unfollow users with various settings, such as only those who don’t follow you back or only users followed more than X days ago. Auto-like Mass like thousands of other finely targeted and filtered images on Instagram with the click of a button. Auto-like your own feed, monitor a tag, or images from anywhere in Instagram. Auto-comment Automatically leave comments from a preset list on your targeted photos. Spintax allowed! Superlike feature Target users and like their recent photos (you can specify how many). Extremely effective method to gain more followers.Much more effective than just liking a single photo! Auto-accept requests If your account is set to private, then your follow requests can accumulate drastically. With NinjaGram you can automatically accept all your pending follower requests in one go! Targeting filters Filter users by number of followers, followings or posts. Filter pictures by number of likes and age (NEW!). Monitoring Monitor a tag or location search and automatically like new pictures or follow users immediately. This ensures you are targeting only active users! Location search Automatically like pictures taken at a certain location, or follow users posting from a location. Image resizer NinjaGram includes a general purpose image resizer. Resize any image(s) to custom dimensions for posting on Instagram or anywhere else! Account protection Use a random time delay setting as well as “breaks” at intervals to stay under the radar and avoid getting flagged for spamming. Proxy support Although not strictly necessary, you can hide your IP if you feel the need. Private proxies are also supported. Blacklist/whitelist Avoid unfollowing your own known friends, or following, commenting, etc. certain people you would like to avoid. Import/Export ID's Have a third-party list of users you want to follow? No problem! You can also export the usernames or photo ID’s to a text file to process elsewhere. Top notch support We strive to answer all messages within 24 hours (weekdays) and deliver regular updates to keep the software running bug-free. Multiple accounts Perform all these actions on one account, or use multiple accounts simultaneously. >More Info< Trial Version: RePacked Full Version (by yaschir):
  3. yaschir

    NinjaGram v7.6.1.0

    NinjaGram v7.6.1.0 (Instagram bot) What makes NinjaGram so special? Auto-follow Mass follow targeted Instagram users, from any location in Instagram (search results, your feed, another user’s followers, or pictures taken at a particular location (NEW)!) Auto-unfollow Mass unfollow users with various settings, such as only those who don’t follow you back or only users followed more than X days ago. Auto-like Mass like thousands of other finely targeted and filtered images on Instagram with the click of a button. Auto-like your own feed, monitor a tag, or images from anywhere in Instagram. Auto-comment Automatically leave comments from a preset list on your targeted photos. Spintax allowed! Superlike feature Target users and like their recent photos (you can specify how many). Extremely effective method to gain more followers.Much more effective than just liking a single photo! Auto-accept requests If your account is set to private, then your follow requests can accumulate drastically. With NinjaGram you can automatically accept all your pending follower requests in one go! Targeting filters Filter users by number of followers, followings or posts. Filter pictures by number of likes and age (NEW!). Monitoring Monitor a tag or location search and automatically like new pictures or follow users immediately. This ensures you are targeting only active users! Location search Automatically like pictures taken at a certain location, or follow users posting from a location. Image resizer NinjaGram includes a general purpose image resizer. Resize any image(s) to custom dimensions for posting on Instagram or anywhere else! Account protection Use a random time delay setting as well as “breaks” at intervals to stay under the radar and avoid getting flagged for spamming. Proxy support Although not strictly necessary, you can hide your IP if you feel the need. Private proxies are also supported. Blacklist/whitelist Avoid unfollowing your own known friends, or following, commenting, etc. certain people you would like to avoid. Import/Export ID's Have a third-party list of users you want to follow? No problem! You can also export the usernames or photo ID’s to a text file to process elsewhere. Top notch support We strive to answer all messages within 24 hours (weekdays) and deliver regular updates to keep the software running bug-free. Multiple accounts Perform all these actions on one account, or use multiple accounts simultaneously. >More Info< Trial Version: RePacked Full Version (by yaschir):
  4. How To Stop Instagram From Tracking Everything You Do Though the Facebook-owned app doesn't give users complete control, there are ways to limit the data it collects and the types of ads you see. Photograph: Josh Westrich/Getty Images Instagram is a massive money-maker. Parent company Facebook doesn’t release figures on how much money the division makes but reports claim it generated $20 billion in advertising revenue in 2019 alone–that’s a quarter of Facebook’s entire yearly revenue. Or, to put it another way, more money than YouTube makes for parent company Alphabet. At the heart of Instagram’s financial success is two things: advertising, the Stories feature it nabbed from Snapchat is now filled with it, and the data that powers all that advertising. There’s a lot of it. Instagram, through its integrations with Facebook, uses your personal information to show you ads that it believes you’ll be mostly likely to click on. This information comes from what you do within the app and Facebook, your phone and your behavior as you move around parts of the web that Facebook doesn’t own. First off–everything you do on Instagram is tracked. Almost every online service you use collects information about your actions. Every thumb scroll made through your feed provides it with information about your behavior. Instagram knows that you spent 20 minutes scrolling to the depths of your high-school crush’s profile at 2am. The data that Instagram collects isn’t just for advertising. The company uses your information—for instance, what device you use to login—to detect suspicious login attempts. Crash reports from your phone can help it identify bugs in its code and identify parts of the app that nobody uses. In 2019 it ditched the Following tab, which showed everyone the public posts you had liked. Other than deleting the app completely there’s very little you can do to stop Instagram from tracking your behavior on its platform, but there are things you can do to limit some of the data that’s collected and the types of ads you see online. Delete (Some) of Your Data Want to see the information you’ve given Instagram? Head to the app’s settings page and tap the security option. Here there’s the choice to see the information Instagram has collected about you and download it. If you tap on ‘Access Data’ you’ll be able to see all your password changes, email addresses and phone numbers associated with the account, plus more about how you use the app. In total there are 25 different categories of information that are collected—these range from interactions with polls that you’ve completed in people’s stories to hashtags you follow and changes to the information in your bio. Instagram’s access tool can be found here. While it’s possible to see all of this data, there isn’t a lot you can do with it. Your search history can be deleted through the Security menu options, although when you do so you only delete it locally. Instagram and Facebook still know what—or who—you have searched for. “Keep in mind that clearing your search history is temporary, and that searches you clear may reappear in your history after you search for them again,” Instagram says. It is also possible to delete the contacts that you may have uploaded to Instagram from your phone—this includes names and phone numbers. Uploading your contacts allows Instagram and Facebook to provide friend suggestions but also builds out its knowledge of your social activity. This Instagram page shows whether you’ve uploaded any contacts and allows you to delete them. Deleting them will not stop new contacts being added to your phone from being uploaded. The setting can be turned on or off through the settings menu on iOS or Android. The option to download your data includes photos, comments, profile information and more. This has to be requested through the Security menu. Location You probably use Instagram on your phone. By default, Instagram’s location gathering abilities are turned-off by default but you’ve probably inadvertently turned the feature on while adding your location to a post or story. To change this—or at the very least check if you’ve given it permission—you need to visit the settings on your phone. It can’t be done through the Instagram app. On Android, navigate to settings then tap on apps and find Instagram. Here you can see whether you’ve given it permission to access your location, microphone, device storage, contacts and more. You can turn these settings on and off, allowing Instagram access to your location all the time, only while you’re using the app or to completely deny it. If you own an iPhone, the process is similar. Tap your way to the phone’s settings, go to privacy and then location services and find Instagram. Here you can choose whether location tracking is on all the time, when you’re using the app or off completely. Control Ads in Stories As Facebook has tried (successfully) to make more money from Instagram, it has filled it with adverts. What you see is all powered, technically, by the parent company. Facebook is the ads server for Instagram and the two are inseparable. Instagram shows you ads based on what it and Facebook think you like. This is based on what you do while on Instagram (e.g. liking posts from particular brands) but also what you do on websites and services not owned by Facebook. Facebook's Pixel is a tiny piece of code that’s on almost every website you visit and collects information saying you have visited it. The Pixel gathers data about your activity online and links it to an identifier and that helps decide what ads you’ll be shown. It’s just one way data is collected that feeds into the company’s bigger advertising machine. “Advertisers, app developers and publishers can send us information through Facebook Business Tools that they use, including our social plugins (such as the Like button), Facebook Login, our APIs and SDKs, or the Facebook pixel,” Facebook’s data policy says. This includes what you buy and the websites you visit. So what can you do about it on Instagram? The controls are limited. Within the app, though the settings tab, you can see your ad activity. This shows you the ads you have engaged with—such as commenting on posts, liking or watching the majority of. There’s also links out of the Instagram app that explain ads on the platform within the settings tab. If you don’t like an individual ad it is possible to hide it by tapping the three dots that appear next to the ad and tapping hide. It’s also possible to report an ad if it could break Instagram’s policies. To really attempt to control ads on Instagram, you need to go to Facebook. Here it’s possible to change preference settings, which will apply to Instagram as well as Facebook. There are no ad preference settings for people who only have an Instagram account and not a Facebook account. The company says it is working on building controls within the Instagram app. Facebook’s ad preferences page is a mine of information. It shows what Facebook thinks your interests are, companies that have uploaded information about you, how ads are targeted, ad settings, and ads you’ve hidden. To change the ads you see you need to spend a short amount of time on this page working through the settings. Some key choices that can be made are in ‘Your Information.’ Here you chose not to see ads that are based on your employer, job title, relationship status and education. The businesses section allows you to stop businesses who have uploaded information about you from showing you ads. And ‘Ad Settings’ stops Facebook products showing you ads based on information that’s collected from other websites and services you visit. For any of this to apply to Instagram, the company says your accounts need to be connected. “To make sure your ad preferences are applied, connect your Instagram account to your Facebook account,” it says. Delete Instagram If you’re just fed up with Instagram in general you can delete the app. You can’t delete your Instagram account from within the app – we’re not sure why – but instead you have to visit this page. From here it’s possible to delete your account. “When you delete your account, your profile, photos, videos, comments, likes and followers will be permanently removed,” the company says. Or you can temporarily disable your account. This can be done here. This story originally appeared on WIRED UK. How To Stop Instagram From Tracking Everything You Do
  5. Instagram just threw users of its embedding API under the bus People may need to get permission before embedding someone else's Instagram photo. Enlarge Aurich Lawson 36 with 29 posters participating, including story author Instagram does not provide users of its embedding API a copyright license to display embedded images on other websites, the company said in a Thursday email to Ars Technica. The announcement could come as an unwelcome surprise to users who believed that embedding images, rather than hosting them directly, provides insulation against copyright claims. "While our terms allow us to grant a sub-license, we do not grant one for our embeds API," a Facebook company spokesperson told Ars in a Thursday email. "Our platform policies require third parties to have the necessary rights from applicable rights holders. This includes ensuring they have a license to share this content, if a license is required by law." In plain English, before you embed someone's Instagram post on your website, you may need to ask the poster for a separate license to the images in the post. If you don't, you could be subject to a copyright lawsuit. Professional photographers are likely to cheer the decision, since it will strengthen their hand in negotiations with publishers. But it could also significantly change the culture of the Web. Until now, people have generally felt free to embed Instagram posts on their own sites without worrying about copyright concerns. That might be about to change. Two lawsuits, different results Newsweek recently found this out the hard way. Photographer Elliot McGucken took a rare photo (perhaps this one) of an ephemeral lake in Death Valley. Ordinarily, Death Valley is bone dry, but occasionally a heavy rain will create a sizable body of water. Newsweek asked to license the image, but McGucken turned down their offer. So instead Newsweek embedded a post from McGucken's Instagram feed containing the image. McGucken sued for copyright infringement, arguing that he hadn't given Newsweek permission to use the photo. Newsweek countered that it didn't need McGucken's permission because it could get rights indirectly via Instagram. Instagram's terms of service require anyone uploading photos to provide a copyright license to Instagram—including the right to sublicense the same rights to other users. Newsweek argued that that license extends to users of Instagram's embedding technology, like Newsweek. Newsweek had reason to be optimistic about this argument because Mashable won a very similar case in April. The judge in the Mashable case ruled that photographer Stephanie Sinclair "granted Instagram the right to sublicense the photograph, and Instagram validly exercised that right by granting Mashable a sublicense to display the photograph." But in a surprise ruling on Monday, Judge Katherine Failla refused to dismiss McGucken's lawsuit at a preliminary stage. She held that there wasn't enough evidence in the record to decide whether Instagram's terms of service provided a copyright license for embedded photos. Instagram’s bombshell Now Instagram has dropped another bombshell that throws the entire premise of Newsweek's defense into doubt. "Wow. That is going to blow up the Sinclair case," Cornell copyright scholar James Grimmelmann wrote after I shared Instagram's comment with him. By stating outright that users of its embedding feature don't get licenses from Instagram to display photos, Instagram is preventing future defendants from using Mashable's argument. It will be hard for Newsweek to convince a judge that it had a sublicense from Instagram when Instagram has explicitly claimed the opposite. Instagram tells Ars that it's exploring the possibility of giving users more control over photograph embedding. Right now, Instagram users can block embedding of their posts by switching their Instagram account to private. But that will also prevent users on the Instagram platform from seeing their content, too, which can be a career liability for professional photographers. Right now, Instagram offers no option to make content public inside the Instagram app while disabling embedding on external websites. Kim Almazan, a copyright litigator at the law firm of Withers Worldwide, argues that the safest route is for media companies to ask photographers for permission before embedding their work in news articles—and to use another photo if the photographer says no. The “server test” is more important than ever Newsweek has a couple of other legal options. Newsweek claimed fair use, but Judge Failla seemed skeptical of this argument in Monday's ruling. Grimmelmann pointed to another argument Newsweek might raise: that Instagram—not Newsweek—was the distributor of the photograph. An embedded Instagram post is actually a bit of code that instructs the user's browser to fetch the contents of a post—such as McGucken's photograph—directly from Instagram's servers. In the past, courts have ruled against plaintiffs in embedding cases based on the "server test," which holds that liability goes to whomever runs the server that actually delivers infringing content to the user—in this case, Instagram. This argument is binding law in the 9th Circuit, which includes California (and therefore covers a lot of technology companies). Appeals courts in most other circuits haven't ruled on the question one way or the other. A federal trial judge in New York rejected the server test 2018, creating a worrying precedent for defendants. But because it was only a trial court ruling, it wasn't binding on other judges. Instagram's decision to throw users of its embedding API under the bus makes the server test crucial for cases like this. If the server test is adopted outside the 9th Circuit, it could provide a legal basis for the continued use of embedded Instagram posts. On the other hand, if the 2nd Circuit—which covers New York—ultimately rejects the server test, then it would become legally hazardous to use Instagram embeds without a separate copyright license. Grimmelmann notes that Facebook's statement is "studiously noncommittal" about whether the server test is the law. At this point, Newsweek's best chance is likely to be to raise a server test defense. Eventually, the case may make its way to the 2nd Circuit Appeals Court, which will have to decide whether it wants to follow 9th Circuit precedent—which could make it a de facto national standard—or reject the server test and throw the legality of embedding into doubt nationwide. Instagram just threw users of its embedding API under the bus
  6. Continue your Instagram direct messages from your phone to your desktop. Homepage : https://igdm.me or https://github.com/igdmapps Features 1. Continue conversations : You will be able to continue your conversations from where you left off on the mobile app. 2. Disable Read Receipts : IGdm provides a setting that allows you prevent users from receiving read receipts. 3. Quote Messages : IGdm provides a custom and convenient style of quoting chat messages within a conversation 4. Search for users : You can search for any user and start a conversation with that user. 5. 2-Factor Authentication : IGdm has login support for accounts with two-factor authentication enabled. 6. Unfollowers : View the list of users that are not following you back. 7. Save Videos and Images You can save videos and images in the instagram posts that a shared with you in a chat. Download : Site: https://github.com Sharecode: /igdmapps/igdm/releases/download/v2.8.1/IGdm-Setup-2.8.1.exe
  7. Instagram adds stickers for restaurants to sell gift cards and food delivery Support small businesses Instagram Instagram is trying to make it easier for small businesses to spread the word about how people can support them during the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, the company announced that business and creator accounts can now include stickers in their stories that direct people to a website where they can order food delivery or buy gift cards. Tapping the sticker will bring people to a website where they can complete their order. Businesses can also include stickers that link out to a fundraiser built on Facebook. These stickers can be added to businesses’ profiles, too, as a permanent button. Food delivery and gift card stickers will be available in the US and Canada starting today with a global rollout planned for the “coming weeks.” Fundraisers are “coming soon.” People who see the stories can share the stickers to their own stories to further spread the word. This could be a useful feature for businesses because people likely follow the places they enjoy. Also given that people have more time on their hands and therefore are likely on Instagram more, they also might see these stickers in stories more frequently than they otherwise would have. Source: Instagram adds stickers for restaurants to sell gift cards and food delivery (The Verge)
  8. Updated Instagram for Windows 10 app now available to all In December Facebook started replacing their Windows 10 OSMeta app for Instagram with a Progressive Web App. While in theory, the PWA will be less powerful than the OSMeta app, Instagram has not updated the older app for more than 18 months and has also been adding features to their website such as Direct Messaging. The PWA is now available to download from the Store here. Via ALumia Source: Updated Instagram for Windows 10 app now available to all (MSPoweruser)
  9. Facebook's Twitter and Instagram accounts hacked, 'OurMine' claims responsibility Facebook’s Twitter and Instagram handles were compromised earlier today, as tweets and posts began showing up that said: “Well, even Facebook is hackable but at least their security better than Twitter”. A group called OurMine claimed responsibility for the hack, which reportedly was also responsible for the NFL’s Twitter account hack last month. The hackers began posting tweets from Facebook and Messenger accounts, which were constantly being deleted by the company (as seen in Jane Manchun Wong’s tweet here). The accounts were compromised for about 30 minutes, after which they were locked. Twitter confirmed in a statement to some journalists that the accounts were indeed compromised and that it was working with Facebook to restore the accounts: As soon as we were made aware of the issue, we locked the compromised accounts and are working closely with our partners at Facebook to restore them. Facebook later posted in a tweet that it had “secured and restored” access. Interestingly, the hackers seem to have had taken control of Facebook and Messenger Instagram handles (spotted by The Verge). Though the hackers claimed that “Facebook” was hackable, it wasn’t Facebook that was hacked, but its social media accounts alone, such as Twitter and Instagram. The tweets by 'OurMine' were posted from 'Khoros', a third-party service that helps its customers interact with and post on social media – including Instagram and Twitter. From the tweets, it looks like the hackers were promoting their security services and did not seem to have any malicious intent. Source: Facebook's Twitter and Instagram accounts hacked, 'OurMine' claims responsibility (Neowin)
  10. Instagram PWA for Windows 10 updated with new features A month ago Facebook replaced the OSMeta Instagram app for Windows with a new Progressive Web App (PWA). The old app was rarely updated, with the last update nearly 18 months earlier. Today Facebook released its first update for the new PWA, which will hopefully be a sign of what’s to come. Noticed by WindowsBlogItalia, the update adds support for direct messages. Users can now access direct messages from the web app by visiting pages or profiles and are now able to send messages also. The update also includes the usual bug fixes and improvements. The PWA is available to download from the Store here. Source: Instagram PWA for Windows 10 updated with new features (MSPoweruser)
  11. Instagram will now ask for your birthday when creating an account Facebook is taking new steps to increase the safety of the younger Instagram audience, including barring children under 13 from joining the social network. Starting today, users who create a new account on Instagram will have to provide their birthday, though it won't be shared with the public. If a Facebook account is used to create an Instagram account, the information will be pulled from the Facebook profile. For now, it's mostly aimed at preventing younger users form joining the platform, which is against Instagram's terms of use in many countries. However, in the future, Instagram will use this information to provide more tailored experiences to its users, specifically by providing more education around account controls and recommending certain privacy settings for younger users. Instagram is also making some improvements to the privacy settings for Direct messages on Instagram. Users can now make it so that they can only receive messages from accounts they follow, which should reduce the number of unwanted messages. A separate setting allows users to restrict strangers from adding them to group chats. Instagram has been taking a series of measures towards protecting its users in one way or another, such as an AI tool to reduce bullying on the platform. The platform is also hiding like counts from users in some countries so these numbers can't be used to attack users. Source: Instagram will now ask for your birthday when creating an account (Neowin)
  12. Instagram today announced it’s expanding its test of hidden likes to users around the world. This means that a significantly higher number of people will be logging into Instagram today and seeing their friends’ posts sans numbers. The test was run in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Ireland, Italy, Japan, and New Zealand earlier this year. Now it’s been expanded to the rest of the world. So if, all of a sudden, you can’t see the number of likes on another user’s post, it’s because you’ve been included in this test. The layout is otherwise unchanged. Starting today, we’re expanding our test of private like counts globally. If you’re in the test, you’ll no longer see the total number of likes and views on photos and videos posted to Feed unless they’re your own. — Instagram (@instagram) November 14, 2019 The social media platform’s pivot away from the instant gratification of likes and views is an interesting experiment — how much do our fellow users respond to the number below our pictures more so than to the pictures themselves? Likes are intended to be a sign of approval from one user to another, not a reactive desire to join a crowd. Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram, said during an interview at Wired25 that this was intended to make Instagram less of a cutthroat place: “The idea is to try to ‘depressurize’ Instagram, make it less of a competition and give people more space to focus on connecting with people that they love, things that inspire them.” Still, this won’t abate the sense of validation that comes with the likes on your own posts — and it’d be well nigh impossible for Instagram to ever eliminate that. I’d be curious to see if any popular influencers notice a significant change in their like counts one way or another. Instagram has also stated it’s trying to find other ways for content creators to keep their sponsorships that can sometimes be dependent on like counts. In addition, we understand that like counts are important for many creators, and we are actively thinking through ways for creators to communicate value to their partners. — Instagram (@instagram) November 14, 2019 Some users aren’t exactly supportive of the idea: Nicki Minaj has already said she won’t post to Instagram because they’re “removing the likes” and said in a now-deleted tweetstorm that Instagram like counts help empower independent artists. Cardi B has also weighed in, saying comment likes are more harmful than likes themselves, as they allow people to reward harmful backchat to otherwise positive posts. Still, others have come out in support of the decision. Several influencers told Buzzfeed the potential improvement to users’ mental health is most important. Kim Kardashian West, someone who’s consistently been one of Instagram’s top ten most-followed users, has said the change could be “beneficial.” And when TNW ran its own poll, the majority of answers said hiding likes was a good thing. Source
  13. Only available in Brazil Instagram has launched a new video editing tool in Brazil that copies some of the best-known features of TikTok. As reported by TechCrunch and Variety, the tool is called Reels and is available on both iOS and Android. There’s no word on whether it will be launched in other countries, but it’s certainly likely if the tool is a success. With Reels, users can record 15-second videos, adjust their speed, set them to music, or borrow audio from others’ videos — similar to the “Duet” feature in TikTok. They can share them to their stories, send them via DMs, or post them to a new section of Instagram’s Explore tab called Top Reels, where the company is hoping the best clips will go viral. It seems like a clever way for Instagram to leverage its existing network of users in order to take on TikTok. Facebook has previously tried to clone the app’s success with a standalone product called Lasso but it’s difficult to build a user base from scratch. Instagram previously had great success with this tactic copying Snapchat’s signal Stories feature in 2016. You can watch a quick demo of Reels below: It’s clear that Instagram is trying to steal TikTok’s thunder, but the company’s director of product management, Robby Stein, told TechCrunch that there was more than one way to skin a cat. “No two products are exactly the same, and at the end of the day sharing video with music is a pretty universal idea we think everyone might be interested in using,” said Stein. “The focus has been on how to make this a unique format for us.” The Verge previously reported that the new tool might be called Scenes, after a similar feature was spotted by Jane Manchun Wong, a software engineer who’s made a name for herself reverse engineering code from top apps. It now seems Scenes is actually Reels. We’ve known for a while that Facebook is extremely keen to counter TikTok’s rise. As well as launching Lasso, Mark Zuckerberg revealed the company’s ambitions regarding the Chinese app in audio leaked to The Verge in October. The Facebook CEO indicated then that Instagram would probably have to be enlisted in the fight against the new upstart. TikTok has “married short-form, immersive video with browse,” said Zuckerberg. “So it’s almost like the Explore Tab that we have on Instagram.” Now is certainly a good time for TikTok’s competitors to pounce (Google is also reportedly working on its own response). The app has seen huge growth but is facing trouble from regulators, including a US national security review. For TikTok, the clock is ticking. Update November 12th, 7:23AM ET: Story has been updated to incorporate news of the launch of Reels. Source: Instagram is testing a new video editing tool called Reels that copies TikTok’s best features (via The Verge)
  14. Instagram is testing Direct messaging for desktop Instagram's current web-based version has certain limitations in terms of capabilities that users can do compared to its mobile app. More specifically, it's only possible to comment and like on desktop, while sending direct messages is only for mobile. That could change in the future if a new report is any indication. Jane Manchun Wong, best known for discoveries of unreleased app features using reverse engineering, shared on Twitter an interface showing how Instagram Direct will look on the web. Based on the screenshot shared by Wong, the web version of Direct may look somewhat similar to Facebook's Messenger. In addition, details about a specific message thread will show up on the right sidebar next to the conversation view. It will display the list of members in a particular conversation, for example. It's not clear when and if this capability will roll out to everyone. Nonetheless, when it does, it will be a welcome change for users who want to interact with their friends with a bigger screen. Source: Instagram is testing Direct messaging for desktop (Neowin)
  15. Perfect for late-night Insta binges. Following the introduction of Apple's system-wide dark mode on iOS 13 and a similar feature in Android 10, users have been able to switch to a white-on-black theme for their system elements and for supported apps. Now, Instagram is going over to the dark side as well, offering a dark mode in its app for both mobile operating systems. Instagram's dark mode is responsive to the iOS or Android system settings. If you have dark mode enabled on your device, when you get the new Instagram update you should see that the app automatically switches to a black background with white text. Twitter's iOS app, however, works differently: you can set it to correspond to system-wide dark mode settings or you can enable dark mode manually. To enable dark mode on your iPhone, go to Settings, then Display and Brightness and select Dark. There's also a toggle to enable Automatic mode in which your iPhone will change to dark mode at night and go back to light mode during the day. To enable dark mode on your Android device, go to Settings, then Display, then Advanced and then select Dark from the Device theme menu. Source
  16. “Oxys, Roxy, Xans, Addy, codeine, perc...Available 24.7 for delivery.” Image:Monika Bickert, head of global policy management at Facebook At a Senate hearing on Wednesday, Facebook’s head of global policy management, Monika Bickert, touted her company’s potential to help people addicted to opioids. “We have seen social media be a tremendous place of support for those thinking of harming themselves or struggling with opioid addiction,” she said. “We’re exploring and developing ways of linking people up with resources. We’re doing that for opiate addiction, for thoughts of self-harm, people asking or searching for hateful content. We do think this can be a positive thing for overall wellness.” Yet even as Bickert addressed the Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, popular Instagram tags related to opioid abuse and recovery remained an easy portal for users of Facebook’s image-sharing service to find those very drugs. Dozens of top posts under the #opioidcrisis and #opioidaddiction hashtags contained comments touting Oxycontin, Percocet, Codeine, and other prescription opioids — along with phone numbers and usernames for encrypted messaging accounts. A typical entry, under a video describing tens of thousands of deaths by drug overdose, offered "fast deals" on "Oxys, Roxy, Xans, Addy, codeine, perc...Available 24.7 for delivery." "We do not allow the sale of illegal drugs on Instagram," a Facebook spokesperson wrote in a comment to BuzzFeed News. "It is against our policies to buy, sell or trade non-medical or pharmaceutical drugs on our platform — including in comments. Inappropriate comments can and should be reported, and will be reviewed like posts or stories." Social media’s role in boosting the American opioid crisis, and the way dealers have used Instagram to connect with buyers, have long been known. Last year, the Washington Post described the service as “a sizable open marketplace for advertising illegal drugs.” Instagram responded by cracking down on the drug-specific hashtags where many of these offers once lived. Now, though, as Facebook strives to highlight the way its services can connect addicts with recovery communities, these hubs are also valuable real estate for dealers. It’s a significant oversight for the company, which is trying to show it can deal with the problem of drugs on its platforms to discourage legislation that would increase its liability for hosting such content. Eileen Carey, an activist and former tech industry executive who for years has kept a record of drug sales on social platforms, told BuzzFeed News that she approached Bickert after the hearing and showed her the comments. “She thanked me for flagging,” Carey said. A day later, however, the hashtag-located opioid markets remained open for business. Source
  17. Instagram has been testing in some countries what its platform would look like without likes appearing on posts. The removal of likes is designed to improve the lives of consumers, but influencers are starting to feel the impact of the change on their accounts and their brands. But brands value "authentic" influencers who are their "true selves" more than engagement metrics such as likes, influencer marketers tell Business Insider. Influencers say it's a catch-22: Instagram's built-in algorithm values engagement for curating the posts that show up first in front of users, meaning that influencers — especially those that Instagram chose to remove likes from — have found their content is getting much less reach than ever before. The easiest link that brings together social media's wide range of consumers and influencers is a simple need: validation. Instagram — one of those places for likes, comments, followers, and reblogs — has recently tried to curb that need. The platform has been testing out what it would look like without the "like" feature, claiming the feature will help to reduce its associated impacts on mental health and societal pressure. The "like" feature won't be hidden completely; users can see the number of likes on their own posts, but not on others' pictures and videos. The results of the tested removal of likes are still being collected; the test only rolled out in July to some users in seven countries. But some consumers have started to share their reactions to the change. In a recent article for Huffington Post, affected users said they appreciated the less pressurized, more carefree version of Instagram without likes. But for influencers in those countries, response to the change has been different. Although influencers Business Insider talked to haven't seen significant change yet to their business and brand deals, the idea of a like-less Instagram makes many of them nervous. Affected influencers have already noticed their posts are getting fewer likes and less engagement, pushing their posts farther down in Instagram's algorithmic feed. Some have expressed concerns it'll affect their reach and ability to grow on the platform. Others say that the popularity-contest-style pressure associated with Instagram likes will just shift to another one of the many metrics measured on the platform. "I really think that likes are just part of the platform," Canadian influencer Jess Grossman told Business Insider. "What can I do? It's a platform I'm using for free." Fewer likes, more authenticity The removal of likes rolled out two months ago in seven countries: Australia, Brazil, Canada, Ireland, Italy, Japan, and New Zealand. Almost immediately, influencers noted that their posts are accruing fewer likes than they used before the test started. Kate Weiland, a Canadian influencer known for matching family outfits, said it's been a "bummer" to post a picture and not be flooded with the droves of likes and comments she's used to receiving. It's affected how she's able to evaluate her audience's interest in a post, which she uses to figure out what content she should keep posting or move away from. Weiland's wildly intricate outfits and poses with her three kids and husband can take time to set up. But Weiland says she's found it a harder to put as much effort into the content when she can't get a good idea of what her fans even want. "Likes are a motivation factor," Weiland told Business Insider. "Now there's no audience applause at the end of a performance. It's kind of like crickets in the background." A recent research survey of Canadian influencers by #paid, a platform connecting brands with creators, found that more than half of influencers affected by the Instagram test have seen the number of likes drop on their posts. Over 50% of surveyed influencers have seen the growth of their follower counts slowed. But while influencers are starting to worry, influencer agencies that secure brand deals and marketing campaigns don't seem to be as concerned about the effects of likes disappearing. Likes are only one of the several metrics used to evaluate an Instagram post's performance, says Mike Blake-Crawford, Social Chain's strategy director. Likes are only "surface-level," while metrics like engagement and click-throughs of URLs in posts show more about the relationship an influencer has with their audience. "Likes are the currency of social media," Blake-Crawford said. "It's going to separate influencers who have trigger-happy followers ... versus the ones who have a real connection with their audience and have the trust element." Instead of likes, influencer marketers say they care more about "authenticity." Sideqik CEO Jeremy Haile said the most important part of working with influencers is seeing who can actually build relationships with their audiences, and who can get fans to click on ad campaigns and purchase products that influencers put their backing behind. So far, affected influencers who talked to Business Insider have not seen their partnerships with brands and request for ads decrease or disappear. But that hasn't stopped them from wondering how the removal of likes could stymie to growth of their brands as their engagement numbers continue to fall. The catch-22 algorithm What Instagram looks like without likes. A grievance raised in conversations with influencers revolved around a discrepancy between what Instagram has taken away with removing likes, and what the platform intrinsically values: engagement. It's been more than three years since Instagram changed its order of posts in users' feeds, shifting from reverse-chronological to a feed based on what Instagram's algorithm thinks you personally want to see first when you open up the app. The algorithm, which dictates what appears first in your feed, is based on three things, according to Instagram: The likelihood you'll be interested in the content Your relationship with the person posting The timeliness of the post Instagram's reason for changing its feed was to put a greater emphasis on users seeing posts from "friends and family," although it's not clear exactly who that group is. Instagram told Recode last year that users see 90% of posts from "friends and family" as a result of the new algorithmic feed means, compared with seeing only 50% of these posts in the reverse chronological feed. But on the flip side, the Instagram algorithm de-emphasizes posts from brands and accounts you don't typically interact with. Instead, the way to get put in front of more people's eyeballs during the precious moments a user scrolls through their Instagram feed is through engagement, comprising of likes and comments. "You're not getting the likes and you're not getting the reach, and your content is not going as far," said Grossman, one of the Canadian influencers. "You're taking away one of those pieces that is driving engagement, how is that algorithm going to work?" Engagement, which includes likes and comments, are more important than ever in the algorithmic feed. That's where the catch-22 comes in: The "likes" feature is built into the fabric of what gets seen on Instagram, so influencers caught up in Instagram's experiment — who are getting fewer likes in turn — are seeing less reach and growth on their posts than ever before. "Any artist's goal is to create work that people will see," Canadian influencer Reza Jackson told Business Insider. "By limiting that, it's jeopardizing our businesses." Although influencers are the ones who could be most heavily impacted, a trickle-down effect of a like-less Instagram looks imminent. Influencers told Business Insider that without seeing likes on their own posts, they feel less incentivized to like and interact with other users' posts as well. "I've started liking less, because what's the point?" Grossman said. The social media-depression connection Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram, told BuzzFeed News in April that the purpose of the like-less test is to create "a less pressurized environment where people feel comfortable expressing themselves." However, the "like" feature, and the issues surrounding it, aren't something that exists solely on Instagram. It's something that plays out on essentially any social platform: Twitter favorites, Tumblr notes, Reddit upvotes, or TikTok hearts. Instagram isn't the only platform to weigh the effects of like counts on users' mental health. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has said if he had to go back and redesign the platform, he "wouldn't even have a like count in the first place." Dorsey has floated the idea before of getting rid of the "like" button to ensure the platform is "incentivizing healthy conversation," but Twitter has denied that will happen anytime soon. Facebook and YouTube have both also recently made moves to eliminate some popularity metrics from their platforms. Several studies and numerous psychologists have found a link between the amount of time teens spend on social media and depression. Celebrities such as Selena Gomez and Demi Lovato have publicly spoken out about needing to take breaks from their social-media accounts in order to care for their mental health. Gomez has said social media has been "dangerous" for both herself and for teens. Any number of people who have spent time on social media can attest to its addictive qualities, which are even apparent in this viral video of a chimpanzee mindlessly scrolling through an Instagram news feed. Many have compared the battle for Instagram likes to an online popularity contest, and everyday consumers aren't the only ones who have noticed how much of a toll the constant comparison of likes can take. Savanna Mak, who describes herself as the "anti-influencer," has experienced first-hand the feelings of "worthlessness and not-enoughness" that can come with Instagram. "You're not living the life you're supposed to be. You start to question whether you're good enough," Mak told Business Insider. "Being an influencer is asking a human being to show the world only the perfection of their life and who they are, at all times." Source
  18. The app promotes sharing your status, location, and more with your closest friends Facebook is developing a new messaging app called Threads that is meant to promote constant, intimate sharing between users and their closest friends, The Verge has learned. Threads, which is designed as a companion app to Instagram, invites users to automatically share their location, speed, and battery life with friends, along with more typical text, photo, and video messages using Instagram’s creative tools. The app, which is designed for sharing with your “close friends” list on Instagram, is now being tested internally at Facebook. Instagram declined to comment. In May, Instagram ceased work on Direct, a standalone messaging app that it had been developing since late 2017. At the time, executives said that beta testers were frustrated about having to switch between Instagram and a second app whenever they wanted to send a message. But the company has remained interested in building new messaging experiences, executives have said. Instagram employees who work on messaging were moved to the Facebook Messenger team earlier this year as part of a broader consolidation between the parent company and its prized acquisition. A messaging app built around your close friends might be more popular. That’s what Snapchat already is today for a healthy portion of its users. Reports have indicated that the average Snapchat user spends more time inside the app than the average Instagram user does. For Facebook and Instagram, which have long coveted Snapchat’s strong engagement among younger users, Threads could represent another effort to chip away at their rival’s appeal. Illustrated screenshots from Threads, a new messaging app from Facebook and Instagram The working logo for Threads, a new messaging app from Facebook and Instagram Screenshots reviewed by The Verge show an app that’s designed to promote constant, automatic sharing between users and the people on their “close friends” list on Instagram. Opt in to automatic sharing, and Threads will regularly update your status, giving your friends a real-time view of information about your location, speed, and more. At the moment, Threads does not display your real-time location — instead, it might say something like a friend is “on the move,” according to sources familiar with the matter. You can also update your status manually, with statuses appearing in the main feed along with messages. It’s the latest effort to automate status sharing using mobile phone sensors and one-tap status sharing. (An app called Status tried something similar in 2014, and Danny Trinh’s Free app took another approach in 2015.) The core of Threads appears to be messaging, and it looks very similar to the existing messaging product inside Instagram. Messages from your friends appear in a central feed, with a green dot indicating which of your friends are currently active. If your friend has posted a story recently, you can view that from inside Threads as well. Threads also has a camera, which you can use to capture photos and videos and send them to your close friends. It’s unclear when Threads might launch. Facebook might end development before shipping the app to the general public, as it did with Direct. But Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in March that he sees private messaging as the future of the company. Threads appears to represent the company’s latest effort to make that vision a reality. Source
  19. maziar

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  20. The Federal Bureau of Investigation is soliciting technology firms to build a tool that can monitor social media for threats. The agency posted a request for proposals on July 8 claiming it wants a “social media early alerting tool,” that will help it track the use of the platforms by terrorists, criminal organizations, and foreign agencies. “With increased use of social media platforms by subjects of current FBI investigations and individuals that pose a threat to the United States, it is critical to obtain a service which will allow the FBI to identify relevant information from Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and other social media platforms in a timely fashion,” the request reads. “Consequently, the FBI needs near real-time access to a full range of social media exchanges in order to obtain the most current information available in furtherance of its law enforcement and intelligence missions.” The solicitation was first reported on by Defense One. The documents released by the FBI show that the agency plans to have a tool that can be accessed from all FBI headquarters and field offices, or through FBI-issued mobile devices. The tool would allow FBI agents to access people’s email addresses, phone numbers IP addresses, user IDs, and associated accounts. It would also allow agents to create filters and custom alerts, so they can receive notifications when “mission-relevant” activity happens on social media. As CNN points out, in 2016 the FBI announced it was using a Dataminr tool to “search the complete Twitter firehose, in near real-time, using customizable filters.” During a recent speech at the International Conference on Cyber Security—a couple of weeks after the request was posted—Attorney General William Barr told tech companies that they must allow law enforcement to gain access to encrypted messages of criminals and suspected criminals. Later at the same conference, FBI director Christopher Wray said he strongly agreed with Barr on this matter. In the wake of many recent acts of terrorism and mass shootings, the suspects’ social media activity, which sometimes includes online manifestos, have been assessed by law enforcement and the greater public. So it’s no surprise that there is growing interest within government agencies to track this activity in real-time but one of the biggest questions is whether social media companies will offer their help in the FBI’s mission to figuratively plant the biggest wiretap of all time. We’ve reached out to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to ask for comment and we’ll update this post when we receive a reply. The FBI’s social media tool solicitation claims the service must ensure “all privacy and civil liberties compliance requirements are met,” but there’s no doubt this push will further erode privacy and put anyone with a social media account at greater risk of data breaches. Source
  21. Hyp3r, an apparently trusted marketing partner of Facebook and Instagram, has been secretly collecting and storing location and other data on millions of users, against the policies of the social networks, Business Insider reported today. It’s hard to see how it could do this for years without intervention by the platforms except if the latter were either ignorant or complicit. After BI informed Instagram, the company confirmed that Hyp3r (styled HYP3R) had violated its policies and has now been removed from the platform. In a statement to TechCrunch, a Facebook spokesperson confirmed the report, saying: HYP3R’s actions were not sanctioned and violate our policies. As a result, we’ve removed them from our platform. We’ve also made a product change that should help prevent other companies from scraping public location pages in this way. The company started several years ago as a platform via which advertisers could target users attending a given event, like a baseball game or concert. It used Instagram’s official API to hoover up data originally, the kind of data-gathering that has been happening for years by unsavory firms in tech, most infamously Cambridge Analytica. The idea of getting an ad because you’re at a ball game isn’t so scary, but if the company maintains a persistent record not just of your exact locations, but objects in your photos and types of places you visit, in order to combine that with other demographics and build a detailed shadow profile… well, that’s a little scary. And so Hyp3r’s business model evolved. Unfortunately, the API was severely restricted in early 2018, limiting Hyp3r’s access to location and user data. Although there were unconfirmed reports that this led to layoffs at the company around the time, the company seems to have survived (and raised millions shortly afterwards) not by adapting its business model, but by sneaking around the apparently quite minimal barriers Instagram put in place to prevent location data from being scraped. Some of this was done by taking advantage of Instagram’s Location pages, which would serve up public accounts visiting them to anyone who asked, logged in or not. (This was one of the features turned off today by Instagram.) According to BI’s report, Hyp3r built tools to circumvent limitations on both location collection and saving of personal accounts’ stories — content meant to disappear after 24 hours. If a user posted anything at one of thousands of locations and regions monitored by Hyp3r, their data would be sucked up and added to their shadow profile. To be clear, it only collected information from public stories and accounts. Naturally these people opted out of a certain amount of privacy by choosing a public account, but as the Cambridge Analytica case and others have shown, no one expects or should have to expect that their data is being secretly and systematically assembled into a personal profile by a company they’ve never heard of. Facebook and Instagram, however, had definitely heard of Hyp3r. In fact, Hyp3r could until today be found in the official Facebook Marketing Partners directory, a curated list of companies it recommends for various tasks and services that advertisers might need. And Hyp3r has been quite clear about what it is doing, though not about the methods by which it is doing it. It wasn’t a secret that the company was building profiles based around tracking locations and brands — that was presumably what Facebook listed it for. It was only when this report surfaced that Hyp3r had its Facebook Marketing Partner privileges rescinded. It’s unclear how Hyp3r could exist as a privileged member of Facebook’s stable of recommended companies and simultaneously be in such blatant violation of its policies. If these partners receive even cursory reviews of their products and methods, wouldn’t it have been obvious to any informed auditor that there was no legitimate source for the location and other data that Hyp3r was collecting? Wouldn’t it have been obvious that it was engaging in Automated Data Collection, which is specifically prohibited without Facebook’s permission? I’ve asked Facebook for more detail on how and when its Marketing Partners are reviewed, and how this seemingly fundamental violation of the prohibition against automated data collection could have gone undetected for so long. This story is developing and may be updated further. Source
  22. There isn't a day when I don't come across comments from bots on Instagram. They're all over the place. But there's nothing they love more than to spam high-profile pages with millions of followers. Whether it's LeBron James, Kim Kardashian, ESPN or Ariana Grande, their posts are often the target of comments such as "We gonna ignore the fact that I've GOT A HUGE BOOTY?" Behind these, are fake accounts featuring pictures and videos of naked and half-naked women, whose primary goal is to get people to sign up for shady porn sites. This has become a serious problem for Instagram, one that seems to be getting worse by the day and that the company needs to get a handle on, before it gets more out of control. On April 21st, two days after we first reported on how these bots were invading Instagram, celebrity and social media influencer Chrissy Teigen tweeted about the issue to her more than 11 million followers. "Honestly Instagram needs to handle this shit," she said. It was a reply to a tweet from someone who had taken a screenshot of the comments section in one of Teigen's Instagram posts, which showed it being flooded by spam comments like the examples given above. "I don't know how you cope," the tweet to Teigen said, referencing comments , What makes these sketchy comments thrive is that they tend to garner hundreds or thousands of likes instantly, sending them to the top of the comments section on posts from celebrities and other popular accounts. Some of those likes come from bot networks, others from regular people who just happen to find them funny. Sean Spielberg, co-founder & CEO of Instascreener, an analytics agency that focuses on influencer marketing, says it is quite easy to write a script that continually pings an Instagram account and checks for new posts. "One of these [spam] networks could check LeBron's profile every second and, as soon as a new post goes up, add a comment immediately and have other accounts like [it] comment," he said. "The network could also continually leave multiple comments from multiple accounts to make sure theirs are the most recent." It's unclear how many of these spam profiles are out there, but a recent report from Instascreener claims there are over 150 million fake accounts on Instagram. Facebook told Engadget it couldn't disclose specific numbers, but the company says that every day it blocks "millions" of attempts to create fake accounts during the sign-up process on Instagram. The Facebook-owned social network has over 1 billion monthly active users, so even if only one percent of those accounts were bots, that would still amount to ten million fake accounts. To give you an idea of the extent to which Facebook has to combat bad actors on its family of apps, in May the company revealed it took down 2.19 billion fake accounts during the first quarter of 2019 alone. That's quite a staggering figure when you consider that Facebook has 2.4 billion monthly active users. According to a report by Tenable, a cybersecurity research firm, many of these "porn bots" are coming up with new techniques to avoid being detected by Instagram's security systems. This may come as a surprise, but that includes using lines from Game of Thrones in their image captions -- which tricks Instagram's systems into thinking they're being written by a real person, not a bot. Facebook says the challenge with this is that it needs to ensure that the methods it puts in place to fight spam, as well as other inauthentic engagement, doesn't end up affecting real people. For instance, Facebook said, it's difficult to train technology to tell the difference between a Game of Thrones comment coming from a normal user like you and another from an account that might be fake. But these porn bots aren't just using pop culture reference to try to make it harder for Instagram to distinguish between them and an authentic user: They're also leaving comments with weird spacing between letters and grammatical errors. The reason spammers might format their comments this way is because, in 2016, Instagram started letting people filter words out of post comments. So, while it may be easy for someone like Teigen to block words from showing up in her posts spreading the letters out may require a little more work on the user's part. Facebook says it is fully aware of spam/porn bots on Instagram, noting that it is investing more in research to better understand how these bad actors are evading its systems. And, more importantly perhaps, the company says it is working to build tools to get rid of these bots more quickly and efficiently. "Nobody likes receiving spammy follows, likes and comments," a Facebook spokesperson said to Engadget. "It's really important to us that the interactions people have on Instagram are genuine, and we're working hard to keep the community free from spammy behavior. Bad actors continue to do everything they can to get around the measures we're putting in place, and it's our job to stay one step ahead." Satnam Narang, the author of Tenable's report, says these porn bots are now so sophisticated that not only can they like your pictures or comment on them, but they can even slide into your direct messages. Regardless of how they try to interact with you, though, the intention is always the same: to peddle dubious dating and webcam sites for adults. "To its credit, Instagram has worked to try to thwart the efforts of the operators of these porn bot accounts," he said. "But, as you can imagine, it is a cat-and-mouse game." Facebook told Engadget it is committed to figuring out the motives and tactics of these bad actors on Instagram, and that its abuse-fighting team is constantly updating its automated and manual systems to help detect any suspicious activity on the app. One of the ways it's doing that, Facebook said, is by using machine learning to examine thousands of attributes from accounts and focus on behavior that's difficult for spammers to fake, like their connection to real people on Instagram. In addition, the company says it is investing heavily in tackling inauthentic engagement, which makes it easier to spot when an account is using a third-party service to generate fake likes, comments and followers. Given the massive scale of Instagram, this problem isn't going to be fixed overnight, however. And while Facebook is adamant that it is dedicating plenty of resources to combat spam/porn bots on Instagram, the company said something similar months ago and not much has changed. If anything, these comments are more prominent now than they were in April, when we first reported on them. Still, Facebook says it is investing in this area for the long term, and the hope is that one day soon you won't come across any of these accounts on the app. Until then, don't be surprised when you check out a celebrity's post and keep seeing comments from random accounts telling you to stop ignoring their huge booty. Source
  23. Facebook really wants you to know that it’s in charge Just how uncool can Facebook make Instagram and WhatsApp? If exerting more influence over the direction of both apps by installing Facebook executives wasn’t enough, now the social network giant is going to add “Facebook” to their names. Instagram will soon become “Instagram from Facebook” and WhatsApp will turn into “WhatsApp from Facebook.” The company already follows this approach with its Workplace app. The Information first reported the planned changes, which Facebook confirmed directly. The new titles will appear in the title for both apps in Apple’s App Store and Google Play. On your device’s home screen, the name for each will mercifully remain the same (for now). But it’s also very likely that you’ll see “from Facebook” on the splash screen for both apps. Facebook already made this exact change with Oculus. “We want to be clearer about the products and services that are part of Facebook,” a spokesperson told The Information. Mark Zuckerberg has already unveiled his grand vision of a connected (and end-to-end encrypted) messaging system between Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp. But some level of separation from Facebook, however artificial, has served both apps well with users. As Facebook has sagged in popularity with younger consumers, both Instagram and WhatsApp have soared. The flex of control is also surprising in that it comes just as Facebook faces more antitrust scrutiny from the Federal Trade Commission, which is said to be looking into the company’s history of acquisitions. The Wall Street Journal yesterday reported that the FTC is examining whether Facebook’s many acquisitions were made with the goal of squashing competition. Now, two of the company’s most significant purchases will have Facebook stamped right onto their names. Source
  24. 49 Million Instagram Influencers, Celebrities Personal Data Leaked Online A new massive database uncovered that contains nearly 49 million of Instagram Influencer’s, celebrities and brand account contact information leaked online. Security researcher Anurag Sen discovered this unprotected database and reported to Tech Crunch, in result, owners have been notified and secured the database. Further investigation reveals that the database owned by Mumbai-based social media marketing firm Chtrbox, a company paying to top accounts owners link influencers for sponsor content in their account. This unprotected database hosted in Amazon web services doesn’t have any password protection which allows anyone can access the database online without any password. Database contains tons of personal information which belongs to tens of millions of Instagram influencer’s including, their bio, profile picture, the number of followers they have, if they’re verified and their location by city and country, but also contained their private contact information, such as the Instagram account owner’s email address and phone number. Tech Crunch Revealed today. ” Each record in the database contained a record that calculated the worth of each account, based off the number of followers, engagement, reach, likes and shares they had. This was used as a metric to determine how much the company could pay an Instagram celebrity or influencer to post an ad.” This incident happened 2 years after the massive Instagram data breach due to a security bug in its developer API which allowed hackers to gain access the email addresses and phone numbers of six million Instagram accounts. “We’re looking into the issue to understand if the data described – including email and phone numbers – was from Instagram or from other sources,” said an updated statement. “We’re also inquiring with Chtrbox to understand where this data came from and how it became publicly available,” Facebook said in Tech Crunch Statement. Source
  25. The AchieVer

    WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram Down

    WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram Down Facebook’s services are once again down, including here not only the social network, but also Instagram and WhatsApp. At the time of writing this article, attempts to connect to Facebook return a simple error message revealing that “something went wrong.” The official Instagram website fails with “5xx Server Error.” Furthermore, the WhatsApp mobile clients on both Android and iOS can no longer send and receive messages, with the app displaying a “Connecting…” message on launch. WhatsApp Web also appears to be impacted by the outage, and the service can no longer connect to mobile devices.Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp down in EuropeAccording to DownDetector, Facebook is down mostly for users in Europe, and several countries like Hungary, Serbia, and Romania are apparently the most affected. The social network appears to be working fine elsewhere. In the case of Instagram, the problem seems to be more widespread. Romania, Hungary, and Moldavia once again appear to be impacted by the outage, but the aforementioned service also indicates sporadic connectivity issues in other countries like the UK, Germany, France, Italy, Russia, and China. Part of the US was also hit by Instagram connectivity problems. WhatsApp is down mostly for users in Europe, but this time the regions that experience connectivity problems are Germany, the Netherlands, Romania, Italy, and the UK. Facebook hasn’t released a statement on what’s happening with its services, and most likely, the company would restore them shortly. Obviously, no information on the cause of the outage has been provided either. In the meantime, there’s not much you can do than wait for Facebook to provide us with some status updates. Nevertheless, the social network rarely discloses the cause of service outages, unless it’s something truly critical, so it remains to be seen how fast this new blunder is resolved this time. Source
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