Technology StocksFacebook, Inc.

Previous 10 Next 10 
From: Glenn Petersen9/1/2017 6:53:55 AM
2 Recommendations   of 3043
After Harvey, Small Social Networks Prove Their Might

Immediate, intimate, and local social networks such as Nextdoor and Zello are proving vital to Harvey rescue efforts.

Posted on August 31, 2017, at 3:38 p.m.
Alex Kantrowitz
BuzzFeed News Reporter

The North Houston Rescue Zello Channel

On Wednesday morning, with flood waters still rising in Houston, voices bubbled inside the relatively obscure walkie-talkie app Zello, coordinating a volunteer effort to get help to those in need.

“I have an 18-foot flat bottom aluminum boat, I need to know where to go this morning," one member of the app’s 500-plus person North Houston Rescue channel told the group.

”Is there any need for a couple of jet skis and four guys?” another asked. Almost instantly and with calm precision, group administrators directed them to areas that could use their help.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey — which has left thousands seeking shelter — small, locally oriented social networks like Zello are showing their strength as organizing tools. Though social networks are an imperfect substitute for rescue infrastructure, a listen into Zello, or a peek into Nextdoor (where neighbors are working to inform and help each other), or even a visit to Harvey-related Facebook groups shows why people are relying on these networks. They are focused, intensely local, and put critical information in front of the right audiences quickly with little distraction or noise.

“It’s not 911, but it’s pretty effective,” Zello CEO Bill Moore told BuzzFeed News. The app, used exactly like a Walkie Talkie, is filed with channels made up of dozens of members spread far apart, something the traditional devices cannot support.

Harvey related channels dominate Zello's Trending section

Houston volunteer organizations seem to think so too. Houston-area app opens on Zello are up 600% compared to last week, with an average session time of more than 22 minutes, Moore said. The app’s new user registration in the Houston area is up 20 times over last week.

Moore said Zello is effective because it helps people convey a sizable amount of information, along with emotion and level of urgency, quickly — so responses come fast. “It’s a higher burden but because of that it’s pretty effective and it creates a level of trust.”

Zello is working so well that some people are using Facebook to direct people to the download the app. “I am overwhelmed and can't coordinate the amount of volume of requests for is a better way... Download the Zello App,” Tricia Bell Montalbano, a Houston resident helping with the relief effort, wrote on Facebook this Monday. “There are boats and rescuers responding thru this app to help people. Please share so people know how to get people on a rescue list!!”

Houston-area residents are also flocking to neighborhood-based social app Nextdoor, using it to share updates with their neighbors and offer help. On Sunday, Houston resident Joseph Graham tweeted a screenshot from a Nextdoor community where one resident’s home was filling up with water. “A rescue is desperately needed," the resident wrote. "Have been calling for help but can't get through." Within an hour, a fellow Nextdoor member got them on a boat and they were off to safety.

"That was one of several moments that made me tear up," Graham, who lives in Houston's Historic Heights neighborhood, told BuzzFeed News. "We live in a big city, so it’s not super neighborly. When you’re online and everyone’s in need, everybody drops that big city mentality. It’s a very Houston moment, everybody dropping everything to help each other."

Taylor Darnell, a resident of Houston’s East Downtown district, told BuzzFeed News that her Nextdoor community has featured running updates on flooded streets, volunteer requests, and places to give donations. She’s solicited donations inside Nextdoor herself, for a non-profit she runs that’s providing backpacks to students impacted by the storm. Darnell, an infrequent Nextdoor user before Harvey, said she regularly checks the app before other social platforms and the news. “Everyone that you’re connecting with is in a radius where the same thing that’s happening to you is most likely happening to them,” she said. “It helps a lot.”

Nextdoor has been proactive too. The company partnered with the National Weather Service months ago to distribute weather alerts. Before Harvey hit, he NWS used Nextdoor to notify Houston-area residents of the incoming storm, sending them information to prepare for it and take action when it arrived.

Requests for updates inside Taylor Darnell's Nexdoor community

Member activity in the affected areas is five times greater than normal, Nextdoor told BuzzFeed News, and its membership in those areas is up 650%. Close to 100 local agencies are using Nextdoor to connect with residents in the affected areas, the company said.

Though Facebook is a major social platform of more than 2 billion members, its groups form individual mini-social networks of their own, operating outside the usual broadcast-style method of sharing content on the platform. And these groups have been active too, used to coordinate everything from animal rescue to boat dispatch.

Though small social networks have proven indispensable to some, they also come with risks. The hype around their utility can cause people to view them as a savior, even though they don't employ the tried and true methods of a system like 911.

There is also a risk of vigilantism. In Zello’s North Houston Rescue channel, for instance, the discussion Wednesday turned to looters after one member of the group suggested shooting them on sight. "Where are the looters located? We do have weapons on board,” one group member volunteered. Eventually, a trickle of group members insisted looters be left alone. And the topic was dropped.

“Oh, it’s used for bad, yes. Cartels, gangs, ISIS and others. Like any communications tool, it’s used for good and evil both,” Zello’s Moore said. “It’s a net positive but it’s not without risk. It doesn’t replace law.”

Lam Thuy Vo and Blake Montgomery contributed reporting to this story.

Share RecommendKeepReplyMark as Last Read

From: Sr K9/3/2017 8:41:19 AM
   of 3043

Instagram Says It Fixed Bug That Revealed Emails, Phone Numbers

By Sarah Frier

September 1, 2017, 7:39 PM EDT

Facebook Inc.’s Instagram said it found a bug that exposed people’s email addresses and phone numbers, which it quickly fixed, according to Chief Technology Officer Mike Krieger.

No passwords were exposed, and the photo-sharing app is working with law enforcement to prevent further fallout, Krieger said in a blog post.

Share RecommendKeepReplyMark as Last Read

From: hollyhunter9/4/2017 10:14:38 PM
   of 3043
Bullish crossover in MACD and RSI(14) stands at 62.56.

Share RecommendKeepReplyMark as Last Read

From: The Ox9/7/2017 11:35:30 AM
1 Recommendation   of 3043

Why Facebook Inc (FB) Stock May Continue To Outperform

Here are 5 reasons to buy Facebook stock.

Share RecommendKeepReplyMark as Last Read

From: JakeStraw9/12/2017 12:07:45 PM
   of 3043
Facebook pays millions for reality show on NFL's Marshawn Lynch

Share RecommendKeepReplyMark as Last Read

From: JakeStraw9/12/2017 12:09:40 PM
1 Recommendation   of 3043
Brands can now advertise on Instagram Stories more easily. They can use a new uploading tool to convert their organic Instagram Stories into ads and can run ads on Instagram Stories existing Facebook ad products. These new offerings are designed to help brands reach newer audiences with existing content and give them more flexibility with how they create and buy ads on Instagram Stories. Facebook wants to turn Instagram Stories into the next big ad platform, and is trying to get brands of all sizes embrace it.

Share RecommendKeepReplyMark as Last Read

From: JakeStraw9/13/2017 12:18:06 PM
   of 3043
Facebook tests Bonfire group video chat as app and in Messenger

Share RecommendKeepReplyMark as Last Read

From: Rob Phil9/13/2017 3:43:24 PM
   of 3043
Facebook tests Bonfire, group video chat app, clone to Houseparty

Just heard of the latest app that FB is testing. Loved the name Bonfire, a group video chat app, which is believed to be a blatant clone of Houseparty. And most importantly, the company is trying to win back the attention of the teens.

2. Sadly its a one-country launch as is on the Danish iOS App. I hope the company gradually rolls this out to the rest of the users.

3. This move by Facebook could be a serious threat to Houseparty, and might be a hinder the current momentum.

3. It's to early to predict, whether or not Bonfire will be profitable. But Facebook is being quick enough to combat the competition for Houseparty. They have followed similar tactics in the past against Snapchat buzz, by adopting the key features in its products like WhatsApp and Instagram.

Share RecommendKeepReplyMark as Last Read

From: FUBHO9/15/2017 11:34:17 AM
   of 3043
The Silicon Valley Backlash is Heating Up

By Eric Newcomer
September 15, 2017, 6:00 AM CDT

Hi all, it’s Eric. Big tech is falling out of political favor. This week, BuzzFeed's Ben Smith convincingly argued that the tides are turning against Google, Facebook and Amazon. The article, “There's Blood in the Water in Silicon Valley,” is worth a read. As Ben points out, Steve Bannon is leading the charge from the right, calling for Google and Facebook to be regulated like public utilities. Bernie Sanders is helping to push the anti-tech charge from the left. Populists on both wings want to kneecap big tech.

Unfortunately (or fortunately) for the technology giants, there isn't a coherent, unified critique of their behavior. The grievances come in many forms and from many camps. They include:
  • Simmering 99 percenters angry over tech's growing power
  • Mounting antitrust concerns
  • Animus from ad-dependent media companies
  • Bias charges from right-wingers without a seat at the table in Silicon Valley
  • Complaints, especially from Democrats, about Russian interference in the election, particularly via social media
  • An effort to reckon with gender discrimination and harassment at male dominated engineering companies
  • Accusations of fake news and clickbait all around.
The situation keeps getting worse.


Share RecommendKeepReplyMark as Last ReadRead Replies (1)

From: JakeStraw9/15/2017 12:19:50 PM
1 Recommendation   of 3043
Facebook is the latest tech giant to hunt for AI talent in Canada

Share RecommendKeepReplyMark as Last Read
Previous 10 Next 10 

Copyright © 1995-2018 Knight Sac Media. All rights reserved.Stock quotes are delayed at least 15 minutes - See Terms of Use.