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A ttention Theft, Fake Accounts and AR Stickers

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Nick Cotton Apr 14, 2017

Here’s the news we’re talking about around the Zbra Studios water cooler. We’ve provided key bullet points from each article for the speed readers out there. For those looking to dig in, click on the links for the full story.

The Crisis of Attention Theft—Ads That Steal Your Time for Nothing in Return
By TIM WU from Wired
  • “The centrality of that deal in our lives makes it outrageous that there are companies who seize our time and attention for absolutely nothing in exchange, and indeed, without consent at all…”
  • “Advances in neuroscience over the last several decades make it clear that our brain’s resources are involuntarily triggered by sound and motion; hence the screens literally seize scarce mental resources.”
  • “In some ways this is a problem we have faced before: In the 1940s cities banned noisy advertising trucks bearing loudspeakers; the case against advertising screens and sound-trucks is basically the same.”
Facebook is stepping up efforts to automatically identify fake accounts and Likes
By Chaim Gartenberg from The Verge
  • “Today, the company announced that it has put an end to a spam operation that generated thousands of fake Likes on publisher’s pages.”
  • “Coupled with the recent push against fake news and inaccurate information being shared on the site, the announcements from Facebook show that the company is continuing to take spam and fraud more seriously going forward…”
Instagram Stories hits 200M users, surpassing Snapchat as it copies its AR stickers
By Josh Constine from TechCrunch
  • “Exactly one year ago, Snapchat launched augmented reality “3D stickers” and text you can stick to objects in videos, which then stay stuck to them and grow or shrink as they move around. Today Instagram launches a clone of this feature called Pinning for stickers and text, with an added improvement of a video timeline for scrubbing back and forth for picking when to Pin something and demoing how it looks.”
  • “At this point the only major feature left for Instagram to copy is Snapchat’s animated selfie masks, which Facebook already has in its app and Messenger thanks to its acquisition of MSQRD.”
  • “Snapchat’s growth sank 82 percent after Instagram Stories launched. Now all eyes will be on whether Snapchat can get user growth back on track when it has its first earnings call next month.”

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