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Twitter Changes Causing Backlash

Twitter has upset many of its users recently by confirming that Tweets from people that you do not follow will begin to appear on your personal timeline causing somewhat of a backlash online due to the changes to the ‘favourite’ button on the popular social network.

The move has baffled many users who are already turning away from sites like Facebook due to the lack of control on their own timeline that has quickly become irrelevant after being bombarded with one too many adverts, but many felt that Twitter offered an alternative edgier experience.

Twitter was built on a reputation of being a network where you can customise your timeline so the only material you see is relevant, but it seems that the powers that be are eager to introduce change and ensure the platform continues to grow and evolve.

The confirmation was reported by the Guardian newspaper and Twitter posted What’s a Twitter Timeline? Reading between the lines, the most revealing section advised:

Additionally, when we identify a Tweet, an account to follow, or other content that’s popular or relevant, we may add it to your timeline. This means you will sometimes see Tweets from accounts you don’t follow. We select each Tweet using a variety of signals, including how popular it is and how people in your network are interacting with it. Our goal is to make your home timeline even more relevant and interesting.

Users resistance to change has long plagued social media sites such as Facebook and the all familiar backlash has turned into a joke over the years due to the the same people who complained about the previous improvements can often be seen 12 months later, campaigning to keep the same same changes they originally hated, but this Twitter story is different as it appears they do not understand how people use their own service.

The Twitter favourite button for example has many different uses, many users will use the button as a sort of bookmark tool so they can save something of interest to refer back to whilst also use it to acknowledge a comment at the end of a conversation. (more…)

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How To Stop Facebook From Using Your Browsing History For Targeted Advertising

Last week Facebook announced plans to target advertising to all of its users by utilising information gained by your browsing history. Basically Facebook will act as intermediary and deliver the targeted ads from advertiser to user, but stressed that it won’t share an individual user’s web-browsing information with advertisers directly.

There are two ways of looking at this latest change, you could take the liberal approach of “if this means I get adverts of products or services that directly interest me rather than random garbage then what’s the problem?” or the slightly pessimistic view of “how dare they use my personal browsing history to benefit advertisers

This has sparked an interesting debate on how our browsing data is used, but there is a surprising number of websites already doing this anyway, how else do you think that shortly after booking flights to New York, it seems that every website you visit has adverts for New York Hotels.

However the Digital Advertising Alliance has come to the rescue to prevent your browsing habits outside of Zuckerberg’s behemoth from being used to help deliver custom Facebook ads, this service will also raise a few raised eyebrows at just how many companies are utilising your browsing history.

So if you would like to take a look at what’s under the hood of your browser, simply disable any pop up blockers you may have installed and follow these simple steps on how to stop Facebook from using your browsing history for targeted ads.

Visit the Digital Advertising Allowance here and the scanning against your browser will begin.

Stop Facebook Targetting Ads

You might be a little surprised at just how many companies are using your browsing history so tick  the box for Facebook and any other cheeky sites you don’t feel comfortable following you and simply press “Submit your choices”

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After a short wait, you should be greeted with a message saying “Opt Out Complete” and you can smile smugly safe in the knowledge that you just secured a tiny victory against Mark Zuckerberg and maybe even watch the scene from the movie “Social Network” that states Ads aren’t cool, Facebook is Cool.

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Eduardo Saverin: “You know what, settle an argument for us. I’d say its time to start making money from theFacebook but Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t want advertising. Who’s right?”

Sean Parker: “Neither of you, yet. TheFacebook is cool. That’s what it’s got going for it.”

Mark Zuckerberg: “Yeah.”

Sean Parker: “You don’t want to ruin it with ads because ads aren’t cool.”

Mark Zuckerberg: “Exactly.”

How times have changed and ironically, maybe this is the reason that Facebook is no longer cool.

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Facebook Buys Oculus Rift For $2 Billion and The Internet is Not Happy

Facebook has just announced that it’s buying Oculus Rift for $2 billion, no you are not reading some clever political satire here, the Zuckerberg behemoth has struck again!

Initial thoughts of a nightmarish future that feature the worlds population plugged into games like Farmville and Candy Crush Saga as targeted adverts are sent directly to your brain in rapid succession spring to mind but Facebook isn’t that creepy is it? I cannot help but feel a little suspicious of their motives, when they say that they want to promote a device for social purposes, anyone who has ever seen a photo of it Oculus Rift in action can see that you cannot get much more anti social than strapping a computer to your face.

The full statement from Mark Zuckerberg states the following.

“I’m excited to announce that we’ve agreed to acquire Oculus VR, the leader in virtual reality technology.

Our mission is to make the world more open and connected. For the past few years, this has mostly meant building mobile apps that help you share with the people you care about. We have a lot more to do on mobile, but at this point we feel we’re in a position where we can start focusing on what platforms will come next to enable even more useful, entertaining and personal experiences.

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