Bill is having issues with Facebook's latest version of the smartphone app because the videos autoplay and it's hitting his bandwidth caps. Leo says that Facebook is planning to do that so that they can sell advertising on user's feeds. While Leo believes that Facebook needs to monetize in order to pay the bills and stay in operation, it also has a social contract with it's members not to do such things that impact their own bottom line. It's a shame that they don't see that. The good news is, he can go into the settings for his app and turn off autoplay.
Facebook is testing a new "satire" label for articles that appear real, but are featured on numerous satire sites like "The Onion." Leo says that's a good idea because most people who share articles don't read them fully and as such, are easily fooled. He thinks it's a good thing for Facebook to take this step.
Facebook is facing a virtual revolt from members after they required mobile app users to download their messenger app to use the private message feature. Leo says the app requires a stunning amount of control over a user's phone including making phone calls and text messages on your behalf. The bottom line is, users would have to trust Facebook with their privacy and phone use, and as such, it's proven to give Leo the ideal excuse to delete the app from his phones. He'll just use the desktop app from now on.
Leo decided to try out Facebook Messenger this week since Facebook has decided to force users to use it instead of the regular Facebook app for private messages. Leo says that not only does the app deplete your battery by constantly monitoring your activity and location, but you also can't turn off notifications on messages for longer than 8 hours in the app. As a result, Leo was more than happy to delete both the Messenger app and the Facebook app from his phone. He'll just continue to use Facebook on the desktop instead.
Have you ever been in a flame war online? It happens when you're involved in a discussion on a controversial topic. Nick Bilton of the NY Times has written an interesting article on how to know whether or not you're getting into a flame war before it fully develops.
Facebook admitted this week that back in January 2012 it conducted a psychology experiment that involved manipulating user feeds to see what people would post or share. The experiment was to see whether more negative or positive content in a news feed would have an impact on that user's future posts. Leo says it's probably legal since they are a private company and we've given them permission to toy with our feeds. But how does it make everyone feel to know that Facebook manipulates users for their own ends?
Cheryl wants to know how to use social media to reach the most people. Leo says that most social media is set up that most won't hear her unless they follow her. So she'll have to build an audience. She can't expect to be heard by the masses automatically -- she'll have to generate interest. Leo says that a blog or a podcast are good options so she can own a place on the net and get her message out. Then she can use social media as an offshoot of that.
Whenever Netflix has been having buffering issues, they have been checking with other customers of the same internet service provider to verify that they also are having problems. If they are, Netflix has been displaying a message that puts the blame on that internet service provider for being too congested. Verizon sent Netflix a cease and desist letter to get them to stop doing this, though.
Bill wants to know about the Oculus Rift. Leo says that it's a virtual reality tool that Facebook just bought for over $3 Billion. Leo has one. It is basically designed to immerse people into a more realistic gaming experience. When Facebook bought it, many of those who backed it on Kickstarter were quite upset. Notch, the creator of Minecraft, cancelled the Occulus version just because of that. So Leo says the jury is out on whether it was a good thing for Oculus. But the creators made a lot of money.
Violet Blue from ZDnet put out a very strongly worded opinion piece blaming Google's Sergey Brin about the woes of the world. She says that in 2011, Brin was telling all of us that Google+ was the future of Google. But just earlier this week, Brin confessed that his involvement in anything tangentially related to social media was a mistake to begin with. She goes on about how Google sees the users as a "little more than webs of flesh spun over packages of salable data."