Welcome to "#SocialStocks," The Fly's weekly recap of social media news.
FACEBOOK PAID CONTRACTORS TO TRANSCRIBE USER AUDIO: On August 13, Bloomberg's Sarah Frier reported, citing people with knowledge of the work, that Facebook (FB) has been paying hundreds of outside contractors to transcribe clips of audio from users of its services. Facebook confirmed that it had been transcribing users' audio and said it will no longer do so, the author added. "We paused human review of audio more than a week ago," noting that the users affected chose the option in Facebook's Messenger app to have their voice chats transcribed.
SNAP UNVEILS SPECTACLES 3: On August 13, Snap (SNAP) announced the unveiling of Spectacles 3, "the latest version of Spectacles sunglasses delivering innovative design with dual HD cameras to empower creativity in 3D." The camera company said Spectacles 3 are equipped with two HD cameras "to capture Snaps in 3D and transform them with 3D Effects, inspiring creativity like never before." The company continued, “Tap either button for video, up to 60 seconds continuously, or press and hold for a still.” Snap concluded, "Spectacles 3 supplements high-definition videos with high-fidelity audio from a 4-microphone array. LED indicator lights notify people when recording, and users will see a light as well." Spectacles 3 will ship this fall and are available to pre-order now for $380.
TWITTER TESTING WAYS TO FOLLOW/UNFOLLOW TOPICS: On August 13, TechCrunch's Lucas Matney reported that Twitter executives announced at a press event in San Francisco that they intend to push users to start following "topics" that bring in well-engaged tweets from a variety of accounts that the user may not necessarily follow. The company is currently testing the feature on Android with topics focused around sports "from MMA to Formula 1" to specific professional teams, Matney said. Twitter plans to broaden the scope of these topics so fans will be able to have timelines dedicated to different interests, the author noted. The company is curating the overall topics manually, but will be relying on machine learning to intelligently populate the subjects themselves so that the tweets can stay up to date, the author said. Twitter is also beginning to experiment with is the ability to temporarily unfollow a topic so that users can keep certain tweets out of their timeline, Matney noted.
Keywords: privacy, audio transcription, messenger, privacy concerns, contractors, Spectacles, Snapchat, follow, unfollow, Twitter topics