13th Jul 2018 by Sam Benzie

Facebook faces more trouble, Snapchat gives users more freedom, Twitter stocks drop and Shutterstock turns fifteen

Facebook faces a big fine

Facebook’s fudged up and now it has to pay, well that’s what the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has announced. This comes after the Cambridge Analytica data breaches and sees Facebook facing a £500,000 fine (the maximum allowed in these cases). According to the BBC, the ICO said that Facebook “had failed to ensure another company” in this case Cambridge Analytica “had deleted users’ data.”

Along with this fine, the ICO also intends to direct criminal action towards Cambridge Analytica and its parent company – SCL Elections. Facebook may not be the only company to be hit by the wrath of the ICO, but it is going to be hit the hardest. In comparison to previous fines however, this fine isn’t really that hard hitting for Facebook. With previous fines being €110 million from the European Commission in 2017, the ICO fine doesn’t break the bank especially considering the breach, not of just one account but of tens of millions of users’ personal data.

In a statement, the ICO explained that its investigation concludes that “Facebook contravened the law by failing to safeguard people’s information,” as well as failing to “be transparent about how people’s data was harvested by others.”

Yes, the £500,000 fine may be a tiny amount for Facebook, but these actions create a precedent for further actions in the future. Under the new GDPR rules, companies can be fined up to €20 million, or 4% of their global annual turnover, whichever is higher, and I have a feeling this might get Facebook’s attention!

Snapchat introduces Lens Explorer

Snapchat has announced its new feature ‘Lens Explorer’ - a new and easy way for users to discover and unlock user-generated lenses that its global creator community has made.

Since Snapchat launched its Lens Studio tool, the Lens creator community has submitted over 100,000 user-generated lenses for others to use in their Stories. Now Snapchat is giving all users the ability to discover and unlock thousands of Lenses that have been built by Snapchatters around the world through the discovery tool ‘Lens Explorer’.

To access these new features users can tap on the new smiley face icon that appears when the Lens Carousel is active and then tap on a Lens tile to unlock it. Users will then be taken to the Snap Camera to use it.

Users can also browse the new lenses in the featured stories section, where they can browse their favourite lenses and, if users know the name of a lens, then they can simply just search for what they’re looking for.

I personally think this is great: less creative work for Snapchat and more freedom for the users to develop and take the app the way they want it to go.

Twitters stocks drop

Twitter is currently in the middle of the tech equivalent of a two-week juice cleanse, working hard to rid itself of bots, trolls and all that’s in between.

Between May and June of this year, Twitter was reported to have wiped out close to 70 million suspect accounts, according to Washington Post. This adds up to almost 1 million accounts a day. Now this is great. Twitter is showing that it cares about its users and wants the best experience for them, but this is making investors nervous and this is a serious issue. This week alone the stock price for Twitter dropped by 9%, this hit took a whopping $3.1 billion off of Twitter’s market value!

Since Twitter confirmed that it had suspended the 70 million accounts, there has been suspicion that this will hurt month active users in Q2 of this year. According to Fortune, Twitter’s shares were downgraded to ‘Sell’ from ‘Hold’ following the confirmation, with CFRA analyst Scott Kessler explaining, “Twitter had 336 million monthly active users in the first quarter. We wonder about potential negative impacts on pricing and revenue.”

Overall however, the 9% drop in stock value that hit Twitter isn’t the end of the world. This is because their shares gained 83% this year already, and they’ve also posted record profits.

And an honourable mention...

Shutterstock celebrates 15 years!

Shutterstock is officially the granddad of the social media assets world and, to celebrate this, Shutterstock’s in-house designers have created a poster series that represent major historical events. The Shutterstock team chose one defining event for each year since its creation back in 2003…

2003 – Mapping of the Human Genome

2004 – Launch of Facebook

2005 – Angela Merkel elected as Germany’s first female Chancellor

2006 – Disney’s acquisition of Pixar

2007 – Release of the first iPhone

2008 – Barack Obama, first African-American President of the U.S., elected

2009 – The oldest skeleton of a human ancestor found

2010 – The worst oil spill in U.S. history takes place in the Gulf of Mexico

2011 – Game of Thrones premieres on HBO

2012 – NASA’s Curiosity Rover lands on Mars

2013 – Nelson Mandela dies at age 95

2014 – Germany wins FIFA World Cup in Brazil

2015 – Same-sex marriage becomes legal across the U.S.

2016 – Pokémon Go shows the possibilities for augmented reality

2017 – #MeToo movement goes global

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