Facebook Breach Frazzles Users, Again

After the NSA’s Prism program leaked to the public, it’s safe to say every intelligent flesh and blood social net user has been questioning just what privacy means on Facebook, Twitter and everywhere else people like to share information.  Facebook just gave their users another reason to worry.  On Friday, they revealed that the phone numbers and email addresses of 6 million users became accessible, even if they were set to private.

Facebook blamed a bug, one that wasn’t found by their own staff.  It was found by an outsider participating in Facebook’s bounty-based DIY debugging program, where users who find vulnerabilities in the social net can earn money.

Facebook described the flaw as only making the information — either email or phone — available to people already in a user’s network, and only if they downloaded their account histories.  Major news media has been making it a point to highlight how 6 million users is a drop in the bucket when you consider Facebook has more than 1 billion of them.  (The factoid smells like a Facebook PR sound bite.)  So it’s a mild breach, if there is such a thing.

Based on a Huffington Post article today, Facebook users haven’t been quick about seeing the silver lining around this one.

“Users are extraordinarily upset that Facebook did not apologize for leaking this information,” writes HuffPo.

It then goes on to a list a selection of angry posts, with most of them tying this breach of trust to the one with the NSA and Prism.  The first user tells Facebook to fix loopholes “before you go down swinging.”

Let’s be realistic, the notion of privacy on the internet is dead.  Before the U.S. was exposed — characteristically by a concerned citizen — plenty of other countries killed it for their netizens, and did it brazenly.  The more likely scenario is angry users swinging, but as far as internet privacy is concerned, still going down.

Source: Huffington Post

Ellen Page Says The Last Of Us Copies Her Image

While Sony’s newest game The Last of Us has been getting great reviews, actress Ellen Page isn’t so happy with it. Page used a Reddit AMA session to vent about the similarities between herself and The Last Of Us heroine Ellie.

“I guess I should be flattered that they ripped off my likeness, but I am actually acting in a video game called Beyond Two Souls, so it was not appreciated,” she said in a post {link no longer active} on Reddit about the Naughty Dog title.

Naughty Dog said in response that they toned down Ellie’s likeness to Page between reveal and launch, though it wasn’t out of concern for the likeness. Creative director Neil Druckmann said the change down was made to better reflect the actress playing Ellie, Ashley Johnson. “After delving further into the game’s narrative over the past few months, we decided to modify Ellie’s model to better reflect Ashley’s personality, and also resemble a slightly younger teen more fitting to the story,” said Druckmann last May.

Source: GamesIndustry International

Gumulon By Stride Gum Appeals To Gamers

Companies using games and apps to reach customers isn’t entirely new, but Stride Gum’s new game Gumulon may be one of the most unique advertising games yet. The game, which is now available on iOS, uses the front facing camera to watch your mouth and use your chewing motions to control the game.


The game has players chewing toward the screen to move a character named Ace around in order to avoid being eaten. When the player fails, the game takes a picture of the player’s dumb chewing face, which can then be posted to social media. For the less adventurous, the app is also playable by tapping the screen as well.

Ever since games like Dominoes Pizza’s Yo! Noid and 7-Up’s Cool Spot back on the NES, advertising products through games has been one of the ways companies have tried to tap into the gamer audience. This new game offers something memorable by introducing this new control scheme, and this new experience to the iOS market.

Source: Adweek

Twitter To Roll Out Location-Based Promotion

Twitter is set to roll out location-based promoted tweets by the end of the year. Twitter’s promoted tweets program allows stores and companies to pay a small fee to get their tweets to show up on relevant news feeds. By the fourth quarter of this year, Twitter plans on giving location support to these tweets. For example, if a store promotes a tweet and a user walks near the store, the promoted tweet would show up on their feed. Showing specials or deals in these promoted tweets is a good way to get users to walk into stores nearby.

This addition of location to promotion is a bid to contest Facebook, which has been using zip code-based promotion since 2011. As Twitter is beginning to focus more and more on advertising tools, location-based advertising is the next logical step in turning Twitter into a more advertiser friendly place. Twitter has a strong mobile user base, so advertising directly to these mobile users and getting them to walk into stores will offer up many new options for direct advertising to users. The question for gamers is whether GameStop might be tweeting customers into their stores for this fall’s game and console bonanza.

Source: Ad Age

Fix Incoming For Broken PlayStation Update

On June 27, Sony will release a new system update that will fix a firmware issue that has bricked a number of systems. Earlier this week, Sony released the 4.45 firmware update to PlayStation customers, meant to improve certain aspects of the system’s UI. Instead, the update ended up making a small number of systems that downloaded the patch completely useless.

Sony took the patch offline after hearing about the problems. It has now sent out a tweet stating that they have identified the issue and will release a new patch next Thursday to hopefully bring people’s PlayStation 3s back to life.

This update comes nine days after the original update, which means nine days of some angry PS3 owners unable to use their consoles. The misstep occurred only days after an incredibly strong showing at E3, including the reveal of their PlayStation 4 console.

Source: Engadget

Apple’s New Pie Chart Goes After Android

In a move to show the benefits of developing for the iOS operating system over Android, Apple has made a sneaky marketing move lampooning Google. Google previously used a pie chart to show the percentages of people using the different versions of their operating system, showing that 29 percent of people use version 4.1, 36.4 percent of people use version 2.3, and even more people use  a multitude of other versions of the operating system.

Apple’s pie chart only has three segments – 93 percent of iPhone users use iOS 6, six percent use iOS 5 and only one percent use earlier versions. This goes to show that developers developing for iOS can develop for the most current version of the operating system and reach the most amount of people. On the other hand, developing for Android involves making sure applications work with almost every previous version of the operating system, as users are on both current and outdated versions depending on the phone used.

As Apple shows off more features of iOS 7, they want to prove to developers that developing for the current version of the operating system is always the most effective way to reach the greatest number of people. In contrast, Google’s own graph shows how developing for the most current version of the Android OS actually doesn’t reach as many users as one of the previous versions would, creating a compatibility issue.

Apple knows it has an advantage over Android in that developers generally make more money on iOS than Android, and the company is bent on underscoring that advantage. It’s an important tactic as Android device sales continue to outpace iOS, creating a more attractive development target, at least on the surface. Expect this battle to continue for quite some time.

Source: Apple Insider

Instagram Video Service Ripe For Advertising

After Instagram announced that it would allow users to post 15-second videos, it didn’t take long for advertisers to hop aboard. Lululemon, Burberry, and Charity: Water all posted advert-instagrams as soon as the program went live. There is incredible potential for advertisers to use Instagram’s video service to post short, bite sized advertisements to followers. The 15-second time limit may even be ideal for advertisers.

In an interview with Mashable, Rachel Tipograph, director of global, digital, and social media for Gap, said, “The timing of 15 seconds is very interesting. They know advertisers have a historical comfort level with purchasing 15-second spots. I don’t think that number was random.”

Tipograph is right, it’s not likely Instagram picked 15 seconds at random since it’s a number advertisers are well versed in. Moreover, many advertisers already have a stock of 15 second spots, creating instant inventory usable on Instagram.

The connection between Instagram and its owner Facebook also leaves a lot of opportunity for companies to create these Instagram videos and cross-promote them on Facebook as well. Up to this point, most advertisers have been using micro-video service Vine. We may see a big shift to Instagram in the near future.

Game marketers are also beneficiaries of the 15-second length, creating a little more time to show gameplay or cool features. It will be interesting to see how the 15-second length is used creatively to get across key game selling points. Will mobile games make use of this channel first, or will we see console or PC games heading to Instagram more quickly?

Source: Mashable