Facebook’s New Privacy Policy

The night before Thanksgiving at around midnight Eastern Standard Time, Facebook sent out a notice regarding changes to its privacy policy, or as they like to call it, “Data Use Policy”. There are three main changes to the policy that are important to understand if you are going to be using the site:

  1. You are not going to be allowed to vote on policy changes anymore.
  2. Now, Facebook is allowed to share “information with affiliates”. Basically, Facebook will now be able to build unified profiles of users with information from all companies that it owns, like Instgram. Those drunken Thanksgiving Eve photos that you Instagrammed? Facebook can now use them to build a more complete profile of you and use that information to create an external ad network. 
  3. Additionally, Facebook is altering the way private messages function. They are in the process of changing your ability to block users from sending you private messages. Facebook wants to have filters for managing messages as opposed to the “Who can send you Facebook message” setting. Some are concerned that this will leave users with unwanted spam-like messages. 

You may have noticed a lengthy status update written in legalese cluttering your Facebook news feed for the past few days. As a response to these new privacy changes, many users have been posting a “copyright protection notice” as their Facebook status updates. This is not the first time a status like this has gone viral. However, nobody seems to realize that this is not effective on Facebook. The user agreement is the only binding legal contract between Facebook and user. If you are concerned about copyright, the best way to protect your work is to not post anything that you would not be willing to share with Facebook and its affiliate companies. If you are a business present on the social networking site, be sure to consult with a reputable social media agency for best practices. 

Sick of your friends’ political posts on Facebook? Hide them with noppl!

The 2012 Presidential Election is now less than one month away. Tonight is the Vice Presidential Debate between Republican Vice Presidential nominee Paul Ryan and the nominee of the Democratic Party, Joe Biden. Social networking has been a huge part of both the Obama and Romney campaign. Political updates from the candidates and qualified individuals are valuable. Random opinions from your friends, typically, are not. If you’re active in the social sphere, you most likely have friends that post their political opinions to various social networking sites. Sometimes, this can be frustrating. Political discussion on social networking sites, such as Facebook, do not typically change anyone’s views. All they seem to do is pit friends against each other.

Enter: noppl. Noppl, “no politics please”, is a extension for the Google Chrome browser. The extension allows you to hide unwanted posts from your Facebook news feed. You hide the unwanted posts by typing in specific keywords you want to block. Noppl gives some pre-filled examples: Romney, Paul Ryan, Obama, Biden, Election. If you’re not a Chrome user, noppl is available as a bookmarklet for other browsers. So, if you’re not interested in your friends political opinions clogging your news feed, or if you’re going to DVR the debate and watch it later, I suggest looking into installing noppl.

Why Mobile Payment Applications Like Square Are the Future

Jack Dorsey. If you’re anyone who’s into social media at all, I’m sure you have heard of him. Dorsey is a founder of both Twitter and Square. He currently holds positions as Executive Chairman of Twitter and Chief Executive Officer of Square. If you’re not familiar with the company, Square is a tool that gives merchants the ability use their tablets or smartphones to process customer credit or debit transactions. Currently, Square is used by two million merchants – most of them small businesses. Merchants can swipe a customer’s credit card on the Square device (given free to merchants) or manually enter credit card information. Merchants must pay 2.75% of every transaction to Square in order to be able to use the application. Square says that it will be successful because, overall, its costs are lower than traditional credit card processors.

Business Insider gives four reasons as to why businesses should be using Square instead of conventional credit card readers:

  1. The middle man is eliminated
  2. Flat fee – 2.75% per swipe or $275 a month
  3. Analytics are provided
  4. Fast processing

Personally, I think Square is an excellent use of the tablets and smartphones that most businesses and the digital marketing company already have. Using Square is even eco-friendly! Customers have the option of receiving an electronic receipt, which can cut down of vast amounts of paper. Using a tablet or a smartphone as a tool for making payments is a use for these devices that I would not have considered previously. Are there any other uses of tablets or smartphones that you can think of that are unexpected, but have worked out well?

Much Anticipated iPhone 5 Announced

As you probably already are aware, the iPhone 5 was announced yesterday. The device has been a long time coming, especially after the 4S release last October that many consumers thought was going to be the 5. Tim Cook kicked off the keynote with an update about Apple’s retail presence. Although Apple’s new Barcelona store looked amazing, I don’t know about you, but I was anxious to hear about the new iPhone. Eventually, Cook went on to describe the new device. The new iPhone will have a display larger than its predecessor. The display is a gorgeous 4-inch retina display with a 16:9 aspect ratio – perfect for watching movies! It is 18% thinner than the iPhone 4s and 20% lighter. iPhone 5 will work on 4G LTE networks, meaning blazing fast download times. Some other notable new features are an improved camera, faster processor, and a new dock connecter named “Lightning”.

The iPhone 5 will be available for pre-order on September 14, and it ships on September 21, the same day the device is available for purchase at retail outlets. It holds the same pricing scheme as the previous model, with the base model starting at $199 for 16 GB. I know I will be pre-ordering the device. Although I know I want one, and it is certainly one of the best smartphones currently on the market, I can’t help but have the same view as Wired’s Mat Honan. The iPhone 5 manages to be both amazing and boring at the same time. All of the updates are what were expected (or similar), and nothing revolutionary was announced. However, I will still be purchasing the device and am super excited about it, and so is one of my co-workers at the digital agency. Is the smartphone market becoming so saturated, that we are no longer thrilled by something that has become so embedded in our daily lives?

Digital Media Consumption is Inevitable

Being born in the early nineties, I am part of the last generation to grow up with heavy exposure to tangible media. I grew up with a fax machine, a cassette player, and a print newspaper delivered to my house daily. Now, I email, listen to music digitally, and subscribe to a newspaper on my iPad. I just purchased a laptop without an optical drive. Almost all content I consume is digital. It is a great time to be at an digital marketing company like Ingenex while the digital world is evolving rapidly.

Despite the amount of digital consumption of media, I am still and will always be a huge fan of print media. I love the feel of good quality paper stock. The vibrancy of ink printed on paper. However, the transition to digital media is inevitable.  Consuming content digitally is eco friendly (something we love to be here at Ingenex!) The amount of paper I saved this year alone by purchasing textbooks on my iPad is huge. There is no shipping either when content is purchased digitally – just one click and done. Digital consumption is just more convenient. I don’t have to waste resources driving over Barnes & Noble to get a book, wait for a textbook to be delivered from Amazon, or worry that my monthly issue of Vogue is not going to make it to my doorstep. Besides being eco friendly, digital content is inherently social. It is super easy to share an interesting article read on a tablet. Humans are naturally social beings, and digital media makes it that much easier.

I am eager to learn about all things digital since digital and social media are taking over our lives. During my internship at Ingenex, I hope to grow and strengthen my knowledge of digital marketing. I am looking forward to applying skills learned to a my future career!