RoundUp

  • 30th January 2017

    Hey download generation, your future is up on YouTube

    Do-it-yourself bloggers, video diarists (vloggers), artists with their pixel-palettes of innumerable hues, sounds and images – the explosion of online content creation is one of the contemporary wonders of the world. User-generated content (UGC) and their applications are by far the largest type of online content, both now and in...

  • 28th January 2017

    Social rejection: why Snapchat turned down Facebook’s offer

    Facebook last week was reported to have offered US$3 billion to acquire the Snapchat social network service – an offer that was rejected. The hefty buyout offer (maybe strategically leaked by Snapchat) tells us quite a lot about online demographics, business models and valuation. But why would Facebook offer that...

  • 27th January 2017

    When authenticity and advertising collide on social media

    Be true to yourself! Embrace the real you!  Fundamental philosophical imperatives or contrived marketing slogans? The answer, of course, is both. And 19-year-old Instagram model Essena O’Neill’s very public rejection of the inauthentic nature of social media last week can been read through both lenses. On the one hand, O’Neill deleted...

  • 25th January 2017

    Disappearing votes: why investors should steer clear of Snapchat’s dual-class shares

    Snapchat’s parent company (Snap) is preparing for an intial public offering (IPO). But it seems that ordinary shareholders will not have voting rights. Shares in the newly public Snap will either be dual-class or multi-class. A dual-class structure creates two classes of shares, each with different voting rights; a multi-class...

  • 24th January 2017

    Five years after the Arab Spring, how does the Middle East use social media?

    In 2011, the Arab Spring rocked many parts of the Middle East. Regime change in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya saw the departure of long-established – seemingly untouchable – political leaders and inspired ripples of protest and disquiet in many neighboring Arab nations. The tumultuous ramifications are still playing out in...

  • 24th January 2017

    Facebook trials a new way to push your buttons …

    Facebook is currently trialling a range of new buttons that could influence how your data is harvested. The trials have been construed by some observers as a response to the corporation’s anaemic share price, media interest in competitors such as Pinterest and Twitter, and forecasts that many users will move...

  • 23rd January 2017

    The responsibilities of social media companies over free speech

    The global uproar over the YouTube trailer for Innocence of Muslims may have subsided, but the controversy lingers. Last week I wrote about the US obligations regarding that video, and concluded that it was under no international obligation to censor the movie. In fact, it is forbidden under its own...

  • 23rd January 2017

    How Facebook changed what it means to ‘like’

    The “like” is the predominant gesture on social media, whether you’re sticking to Facebook or shifting to Instagram. It may even be the most common gesture among humans nowadays. Some of us probably “like” content from our online friends more often than we communicate with them in real life. Depending...

  • 20th January 2017

    Facebook is no charity, and the ‘free’ in Free Basics comes at a price

    Who could possibly be against free internet access? This is the question that Mark Zuckerberg asks in a piece for the Times of India in which he claims Facebook’s Free Basics service “protects net neutrality”. Free Basics is the rebranded Internet.org, a Facebook operation where by partnering with local telecoms...

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