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Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook & The Internet


Envision individuals in creating nations thinking Facebook is the passage to the Internet. They might log into Facebook to gain access to email, Wikipedia pages, climate data, and sustenance costs. In the event that they needed extra administrations like the capability to stream motion picture, they can purchase it with a basic navigate Facebook.

That is Mark Zuckerberg’s vision for Internet.org.

At the Mobile World Congress on Monday, Zuckerberg outlined some of his arrangements for making headway with Internet.org, the activity headed by Facebook to carry Internet connectivity to poor nations around the globe.

While Zuckerberg touted the philanthropic vision of his organization’s objective to associate the following one billion individuals, its vital to note that the task isn’t right for the sole purpose of carrying fundamental administrations to those that don’t have it, but instead carrying a huge number of extra eyeballs to Facebook and its promoters.

“[we are] making it with the goal that we can build the measure of up-offers to memberships when they’re utilizing these fundamental administrations,” Zuckerberg said in his keynote. “They will go to a connection that isn’t incorporated in the essential administrations bundle; a popup that says, alright in the event that you need to expend this, you need to purchase this information plan.”

Facebook is making a long haul guarantee to both information bearers and promoters Zuckerberg said the following one billion individuals to accomplish Internet access won’t be as well-off as those as of recently on Facebook, in this way making it harder to adapt the organization’s administrations. Zuckerberg said the interpersonal organization will sponsor Facebook, Messenger, and different administrations like climate or fundamental news and data, and after that give up-offers in requisitions to convey the entire bundle like a door drug. Those up-offers are the place transporters and Facebook profit.

“The motivation behind why they’re not on [the Internet] is they don’t know why they might need to get access to it,” Zuckerberg said. “[we will show] individuals why its objective and bravo to use the restricted cash that they have on the Internet.”

How Whatsapp Fits Into Internet.org

Facebook as of late used $19 billion to get the versatile informing provision Whatsapp, a requisition Zuckerberg cases will be one of the few administrations to store up a billion clients later on. He guaranteed that, without anyone else present, Whatsapp is worth more than what the organization paid for it.

In creating nations like those Internet.org is focusing on, numerous individuals depend on SMS correspondences because of an absence of information administrations. Whatsapp is as of now prevalent in numerous developing markets, incorporating those in South America and Asia where Facebook’s development was stagnating.

While blasting in fame, Whatsapp was confronting weight to adapt. It as of recently had a membership based plan of action, yet keeping in mind the end goal to handle the onrushing of clients, Whatsapp would’ve required to keep tabs on building out a plan of action. With the Facebook obtaining, Whatsapp was given the chance to center only on development without stressing over income models, since Facebook is taking care of everything.

The Next One Billion

“Joining the world” is Facebook’s vision—one that can’t be attained without the backing of different associations, including the six telecom organizations it collaborated with for the Internet.org activity.

Zuckerberg said the association is searching for an extra three to five accomplices to carry ready for, that will wager huge that Facebook subsidies of social administrations will pay off by up-offering their information plans. In most immature nations, 2g and 3g information systems are as of now accessible; individuals simply don’t comprehend the quality of the Internet yet.

“One thing I think is not difficult to underestimate is that most individuals on the planet don’t have admittance to the Internet,” he said.

In place for Facebook’s technique to work, it will make Internet moderately competitive, and furnish motivating forces like free Facebook access—for individuals to utilize it. Less expensive base, simpler openness and up-offering extra information utilization will at last develop the organization into a worldwide Internet supplier.

A Facebook telephone may have fizzled in the U.s., however it may very well work in universal markets. By utilizing Facebook as an on-incline to the Internet, the following one billion individuals will utilize social logins to control different applications, as well as their whole Internet utilizat

The Lie of Superman


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YouTube Gets Google’s Card Design And Puts Stronger Focus On Playlists

YouTube is rolling out a new design to its users today that takes its cues from the “card-like” design Google now uses on many of its other web and mobile apps. The aim of the redesign, Google tells me, is to emphasize playlists by putting them front and center in the left sidebar.

In addition, however, the company also center-aligned the site to make it look better on any screen and give it a “feeling similar to the mobile apps you’re spending almost half your YouTube time with.” This move allows it to easily employ the card look, which is clearly the main organizational metaphor for any Google product these days.

As part of this design tweak, YouTube also added new icons to the sidebar and introduced a new persistent menu button next to the YouTube logo in the top-left corner of the screen that will bring up the guide with playlists, subscriptions and everything else that’s usually in the sidebar. Overall, the site looks a bit fresher and brighter now and — thanks to some tweaks in the typography — quite a bit more readable.

As part of the emphasis on playlists, Google now shows you all of the playlists you have created and those from channels you liked in the sidebar. In addition, it now highlights playlists on YouTube channels with a new playlist tab. For those who want to create playlists, YouTube is also making it easier to do that. When you make a playlist now, YouTube will pop up a new page that lets you organize your videos.

The new design starts rolling out today, though it may take a few hours or even days before every user will see it.

Screen Shot 2014-02-18 at 3.24.09 PM

http://techcrunch.com/2014/02/20/youtube-gets-googles-card-design-and-puts-stronger-focus-on-playlists/

TC

Can Someone Explain WhatsApp’s Valuation To Me?


February 20, 2014

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Unless you were off the internet yesterday, it’s old news that WhatsApp was purchased by Facebook for a gobsmacking $16B + $3B in employee payouts. And the founder got a board seat. I’ve been mulling over this since the news came out and I can’t get past my initial reaction: WTF?

Messaging apps are *huge* and there’s little doubt that WhatsApp is the premier player in this scene. Other services – GroupMe, Kik, WeChat, Line, Viber – still have huge user numbers, but nothing like WhatsApp (although some of them have even more sophisticated use cases). 450M users and growing is no joke. And I have no doubt that WhatsApp will continue on its meteoric rise, although, as Facebook knows all too well, there are only so many people on the planet and only so many of them have technology in their pockets (even if it’s a larger number than those who have bulky sized computers).

Unlike other social media genres, messaging apps emerged in response to the pure stupidity and selfishness of another genre: carrier-driven SMS. These messaging apps solve four very real problems:

  • Carriers charge a stupidly high price for text messaging (especially photo shares) and haven’t meaningfully lowered that rate in years.
  • Carriers gouge customers who want to send texts across international borders.
  • Carriers often require special packages for sending group messages and don’t inform their customers when they didn’t receive a group message.
  • Carriers have never bothered innovating around this cash cow of theirs.

So props to companies building messaging apps for seeing an opportunity to route around carrier stupidity.

I also get why Facebook would want to buy WhatsApp. They want to be the company through which consumers send all social messages, all images, all chats, etc. They want to be the central social graph. And they’ve never managed to get people as passionate about communicating through their phone app as other apps, particularly in the US. So good on them for buying Instagram and allowing its trajectory to continue skyrocketing. That acquisition made sense to me, even if the price was high, because the investment in a photo sharing app based on a stream and a social graph and mechanism for getting feedback is huge. People don’t want to lose those comments, likes, and photos.

But I must be stupid because I just can’t add up the numbers to understand the valuation of WhatsApp. The personal investment in the app isn’t nearly as high. The photos get downloaded to your phone, the historical chats don’t necessarily need to stick around (and disappear entirely if a child accidentally hard resets your phone as I learned last week). The monitization play of $.99/year after the first year is a good thing and not too onerous for most users (although I’d be curious what kind of app switching happens then for the younger set or folks from more impoverished regions). But that doesn’t add up to $19B + a board seat. I don’t see how advertising would work without driving out users to a different service. Sure, there are some e-commerce plays that would be interesting and that other services have been experimenting with. But is that enough? Or is the plan to make a play that guarantees that no VC will invest in any competitors so that all of those companies wither and die while WhatsApp sits by patiently and then makes a move when it’s clearly the only one left standing? And if that’s the play, then what about the carriers? When will they wake up and think for 5 seconds about how their greed is eroding one of their cash cows?

What am I missing? There has to be more to this play than I’m seeing. Or is Facebook just that desperate?

Write your thoughts

Posted by:danah boyd

Aetna CEO Says Company May Opt Out of Obamacare


Aetna CEO Says Company May Opt Out of Obamacare

Image credit: mutrock

There is so much uncertainty about Obamacare that Aetna, the U.S.’s third-largest insurance provider, may be forced to double its rates or opt out of the program, the company’s CEO, Mark Bertolini, told CNBC on Thursday.

What action Aetna will take is still up in the air, but the company doesn’t plan to set its 2015 Obamacare rates until May 15. Between now and then, though, Bertolini said he’s trying to get the necessary information from the Obama administration to properly price its insurance products.

“I think in the end analysis, pulling out is always the last resort,” Bertolini told “Closing Bell.”

“We don’t like to do that because we disenfranchise customers and we disappoint customers, so we always look at that as a last resort, but that is an option that we will pursue if we need to if the program doesn’t settle down; if we can’t get a good handle on the data and the less data we have, the more risk premium we need to put into our products and that means the prices are higher.”

To Bertolini, it’s still unclear whether Aetna will need to expand its network or if people will be able to keep their program for another year, for example, under the Affordable Care Act.

Still, Bertolini said Aetna probably wouldn’t withdraw from Obamacare completely. He said the insurer would decide to pull out of the program only on a market-by-market basis, based off of the level of competition and whether it can achieve an adequate return on capital.

Bertolini first threatened to pull out of Obamacare two weeks ago, in a “Squawk Box” interview from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Since then, he said the Obama administration has reached out to get the insurer the information it requires. Enrollment has grown, too, with 40,000 more paid members, he said.

Regardless of the grief it may have caused, Bertolini downplayed criticism of the many changes to the law since it was passed.

“If you take a look at a bill like Medicare, every year it gets tweaked or changed. So to expect that Obamacare hasn’t been changed already and that the Affordable Care Act won’t change in the future is probably not realistic,” he said.

Why we will all like the new app, Jelly


Jelly is a new Q&A based app founded by Twitter co-founder, Biz Stone. If Jelly can successfully filter questions, I think it will soon be prominent in the social world. Jelly is going to be used for many different types of questions and hopefully, Jelly will be good enough at sorting these questions based on our interests and knowledge so we see more of what we want to answer and less of what we don’t. A lot of people aren’t seeing the value this platform can bring and just see it as a one-dimensional “stupid question” app.

You’ll get:

“Do I look cute in this sweater?” questions.

“What the hell is this thing that I’m looking at right now?” questions.

“What color iPhone 5C should I get?” questions that are asked while waiting in line at the Verizon Wireless store.

— And of course product questions, such as “should I sign up for Netflix or Hulu Plus,” or “Is McDonald’s ever going to bring their McAwesome sandwich back?” This is where brands can become involved with Jelly… and connect with their customers on new levels.

Some people want to answer certain questions and other people may want to answer entirely different questions. The idea is that Jelly will be able to tell which questions you like and just show you those (very similar to Facebook and EdgeRank).


Ok so now on why it will work:

We value what our friends and peers think way more than we want to admit

For example, if we have our mind set on the blue iPhone 5C but eleven out of thirteen Jelly answers from our friends say “GET YELLOW!!!!,” well then we’re probably going with yellow. You may not want to admit it now but it’s true. You want your friend’s opinions and their approval.

We want quick easy answers on the spot

Why would I Google search a product comparison between Netflix and Hulu Plus when I can just Jelly it? The idea is that I ask this question, it gets pushed to people AND FRIENDS in my network who are interested in this field, or own/use the product. I will have 10-20 answers within minutes, hopefully a majority of them from people I physically know and trust. This is also cool when you’re in a store and ready to make a purchase, but don’t know which model to get. Just Jelly — “should I get Product A or Product B? HELP!!”

It’s a little addicting

When I first opened the app, I didn’t even realize I was playing around with it for over an hour. Not only did I get solid product advice in just two hours that ended up finalizing my purchase decision but I also learned new things by looking at questions and curiously browsing through answers. Once users grow on this platform, this two-hour turnaround time for product advice is going to turn into 15 minutes. If a thought or question passes through your mind but isn’t worth your time to Google it, you can just Jelly it. It’s cool, it’s easy, it’s addicting.

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Burned marketing partner makes overtures to Facebook, but this relationship may be toast


Burned marketing partner makes overtures to Facebook, but this relationship may be toast
Peter Hamilton

Chastened HasOffers CEO Peter Hamilton

If you hear howling, look no further than the doghouse, current residence of HasOffers.

The chastened chief executive of this advertising marketing startup, which was recently shown the door by Facebook for violating data storage policies, apologized to the social media giant Tuesday and said his engineers have introduced new feature sets so the snafu never happens again.

“I’m sorry. I’m really sorry about it. Absolutely. We should should have pressed harder with the Facebook audit team and worked harder on the best ways to comply,” with the social media giants data storage and file sharing agreements, HasOffers CEO Peter Hamilton told VentureBeat.

HasOffers and Playhaven-Kontagent were both notified by Facebook earlier this month that they were no longer welcome partners in their mobile advertising agreements. Both players provide mobile analytics to customers that allows them to tell which mobile advertising campaigns are generating the best traffic, or clicks.

HasOffers does not monetize their clicks, nor does it sell advertising.

Facebook’s decision is a potentially big hit for both startups and the mobile advertising space at large, said Creative Strategies analyst Ben Bajarin.

“I do think it is a big deal,” Bajarin said. “The nature of advertising is changing with an eye to mobile. Companies are now figuring out how to best capture ads from the desktop to the mobile space.”

The mobile advertising arena is expected to grow from $11.4 billion from 2013 to $24.5 billion in 2016, Bajarin said.

Playhaven-Kontagent chief executive Andy Yang did not respond to multiple emails for comment.

A Facebook spokesperson said both startups violated the contracts.

Facebook was up front from the beginning about how the relationship would work, the spokesperson added, and there “was no miscommunication on our part.”

The spokesperson declined to comment whether the social media titan would work with either companies ever again.

The agreement with Facebook and its existing mobile marketing partners, including Apsalar, Trademob, and Localytics, stipulates that all data collected must be erased after 180 days and that information generated by the mobile analytics platforms be stored differently from Facebook’s.

Facebook still has over a dozen mobile advertising partners.

Hamilton expressed contrition at the blowout.

“We needed to be storing Facebook’s data in a different channel, but it wasn’t clear to us at the time we weren’t doing it right. So now, we’ve created a whole new feature set for purging data,” Hamilton said.

HasOffers has 144 employees and his headquartered in Seattle. Revenue for the company clocked in at $19 million last year, and Hamilton projects that number to reach $45 million by the end of 2014.

Hamilton said Facebook’s decision was a minor setback for his startup but that a majority of his clients, whom he declined to name, continue to support him. Less than one percent of HasOffer’s revenue derived from their Facebook account.

“Today we are already 100 percent compliant with the 180-day data-deletion policy. I do wish we could have moved faster, but we were hoping for more clarity before pursing various tech solutions,” Hamilton said.

“These events have inspired us to create custom data deletion tools to make sure partners and advertisers can easily work with each other in the future,” he added.

 

http://venturebeat.com/2014/02/18/burned-marketing-partner-makes-overtures-to-facebook-but-this-relationship-may-be-toast/

On the NSA: How Well-Meaning Bureaucrats Build a Surveillance State


On Thursday, the Guardian published a secret government order that forces an arm of Verizon to turn over the phone calling records of its mobile customers every day, for three months, to the U.S. government.

In one sense, the story was a massive scoop showing how the government’s secret surveillance programs work and what the government thinks the limits of the Constitution are.

In another sense, it just confirms the details of what’s been known in the bones and reported for years — the nation’s telecoms function as an extension of the U.S. government’s intelligence apparatus.

The latter interpretation was given weight by the nation’s top senators on Tuesday, who defended the order, saying this kind of collection has been going on for seven years and, perhaps, best of all, that no citizen has complained.

So don’t be too particularly pissed at Verizon, however pliant the telecom has been in the past. The order is likely routine and something every telecom gets. It’s very likely that similar orders are dropped on the nation’s credit card companies and ISPs.

What does the revelation mean?

Very simply, it means that the government is likely running a secret, massive data-mining operation. At the very least, the feds are collecting and storing huge amounts of data so that they can tell which numbers are calling which numbers. Think of it as how the Internet is built of links. There’s a lot of knowledge just in those links.

Then, say, the feds get a tip about a potential spy — they can then figure out that person’s phone number, query their giant database and see all the numbers that number was in contact with, and what numbers those numbers were in contact with — and then use other tools to force phone providers to disclose the names associated with those accounts.

Or, one could, following the dreams of John Poindexter, run pattern matching software on the metadata, looking for patterns of communication that resemble those of a terrorist cell. There you’re seeking to find the “bad guys” before they strike, albeit with the very real probability that the feds will put under suspicion political movements, knitting circles, book groups, etc.

That would mean the the government is likely still running, at least in part, the Total Information Awareness program that was ostensibly shut down 10 years ago, and the Verizon order is, in all likelihood, just a sliver of the government’s secret data collection about American citizens.

The collection of the metadata is legally predicated on a maximalist interpretation of an obscure catch-all provision of the PATRIOT Act known as the business records provision.

It was meant to augment the powers to wiretap and physically search targets in a terrorism investigation. Sec. 215 was there to give terrorism investigators a way to get other kinds of records, say from a rental car agency suspected of being used by a known suspect.

But instead of being targeted, it’s being used as a dragnet.

The government tells a secret court that phone records are relevant to counter-terrorism or intelligence, and the court gives them a three-month order — every three months.

Sec. 215 wasn’t intended to let the feds collect all the things all the time, but it seems some clever lawyer in the Obama administration came up, sometime around 2009, with a secret, broad interpretation that passed muster with a secret court.

But there’s something very intriguing of note in the order. The government asked for all the data on which numbers called which numbers and when and where — but explicitly ordered Verizon not to provide the names and billing information on those accounts.

It’s an odd way to narrow the request, because there’s nothing in Sec. 215 that prevents the collection of names. There are rules that force the NSA to anonymize (“minimize”) the names of Americans caught on its wiretaps, but that wouldn’t apply here — this is meta-data, not content.

So why would the feds explicitly say they don’t want the names?

My guess is that it’s a policy choice driven by the desire to be able to say technically accurate, though highly misleading, things, like, “The NSA is not creating dossiers on Americans.” But that’s only narrowly true because the data doesn’t have names attached — even though attaching names is a very simple matter.

But that leaves us with a few cold truths:

1) The NSA, thanks to the original warrantless wiretapping program started in 2001 and this program continued after, no longer believes that it should not be spying on Americans. That used to be the NSA’s honor code after the abuses of the 60s and 70s. It no longer exists.

2) The Obama administration’s interpretation of Sec. 215 to allow the collection of databases full of information on American citizens’ lawful activity on an ongoing daily basis is extremely dangerous.

The Administration will say that it’s not really so bad because they don’t know names. But they only don’t know names because of a policy decision that could fall at any time in this administration or the next.

The interpretation also makes it possible for the government to order any company to turn over, on a regular daily basis, all of the records to be stored indefinitely. Those could include health records, purchase records, veterinary records, you name it.

The Obama adminstration’s interpretation of Sec. 215 allows the feds to demand any database — and nothing in the law prevents this uber-database from being used for criminal investigations.

The only thing that stops all the databases from being siphoned is a politically driven policy decision inside the administration in power.

And if Obama has taught us anything about the presidency and institutions, it’s that new administrations do not relinquish the power carved out by the one that preceded it, no matter what promises get made on the campaign trail.

3) There is no winding down of the surveillance state, despite Obama’s pledge to deescalate the so-called “Global War on Terror.”

The tools have been built and the political imperative not to have a terrorist attack will keep them in place, regardless of whether they are effective or invasive.

These databases will be abused, just like FBI agents did when Verizon and AT&T were paid millions to station employees inside the FBI to make it faster to search phone records.

The political will to firewall off these databases only for intelligence and anti-terrorism will fade and at some point, all the databases will be opened to investigations of all kinds (the so-called legal Wall between intelligence and law enforcement was knocked down post-9/11).

The administration and the previous one are and were full of well-intentioned men and women seeking to prevent another attack on the country.

But we’ve allowed them, to build, out of fear, a surveillance apparatus on a scale only imagined previously by science fiction writers and dictators.

It’s time to bring that apparatus into the sunlight, think about what could be done with it in the hands of people with good intentions run wild, and then, if we do not outright smash it, we should start to unbuild it.

Further Reading

MyNSA: Google for the Private Web

 — With a citizen-facing pivot, NSA’s PRISM could take on Evernote, Intuit, Bing, and more

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PhotoSpace: A Private Instagram for Personal Cloud


And why we built a photo app where users control their data

Link to the app

Like the millions of other millennials out there who document their infatuation with food, puppies and babies, I love Instagram. But sometimes I’d like to filter my photo to death without the world seeing and keep that photo in a safe place where I can access it later. We envision a different paradigm of photo editing apps, one that’s more private and built on top of personal cloud.

Why on Top of Personal Cloud?

  1. Control of where your data goes: Users of the app are able to choose which personal cloud- Google, Dropbox or Box- they save pictures to. Once they snap photos within the app, they can view them from anywhere they can access their personal cloud. This means that not only can I see where my data is, but I can also easily delete it or share it if I so choose.
  2. Private vs. Public: Public photo storage is great- Facebook and Instagram do a great job of it. However, I want to share only a portion of my pictures, not every single one. Personal cloud fits my requirement well since private is the default setting.
  3. Storage and access: My iCloud, while great for default photo storage, is annoying for exporting and sharing photos. Personal clouds already do this extremely well and in a user-friendly way. Storing my photos across various personal cloud also gives me a lot more storage (Drive gives 15GB for free, Dropbox gives 5 GB, Box gives 50GB!) .

The actual app

First you login with your provider of choice and then snap a photo.

Next, you can add different filters and sticker effects or meme-ify your photo (powered by Aviary), and add a file name to store.

Now you can see the picture both inside the PhotoSpace app (first image) and your personal cloud (Google Drive mobile app in the second image)!


Apps on top of personal cloud can work for anything

There are many other apps in the same vein as PhotoSpace where ownership of data is valuable to, perhaps even a requirement for, the user. Private messaging apps like Tinder or Whatsapp, apps with sensitive healthcare information, apps that contain personal finance information and password savers are all examples of apps where storing the data in my Google Drive or Dropbox, where I can easily delete it and it’s harder for hackers to access, is highly preferred over the app’s external server.

Hosting app data on personal cloud is the wave of the future. I cofounded NimbusBase to help create an SDK where any developer can effortlessly store their app data on their user’s personal cloud. This vastly simplifies the backend process for developers and gives users the privacy they want. Check out our site, www.nimbusbase.com, and drop me a note at alex@nimbusbase.com if you want to be part of the revolution.

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In Defense of Upworthy


Every good debate requires empathy and a valid argument from both sides. You might not think that one of the guys behind Headlines Against Humanity would be someone arguing FOR Upworthy, but anyone who pokes fun must also be willing to poke holes in their own position.

With that said, let’s look at why the Upworthy critics are being unfair:

  1. Upworthy has proven copywriting can be a huge business driver. While most content companies prioritize UX, distribution partnerships, and fresh content, Upworthy clearly places copywriting at the top. By optimizing headlines through formulas and human testing, they’ve mastered the art of the “curiosity gap.” Whether or not the copy is “good” is a separate debate. There’s no question that it’s effective. David Ogilvy would be proud…
  2. They celebrate the old web. Unlike in the 1950s, news does not get read and then thrown away. It sits on the internet forever. While most news sites ignore old content and try to produce something fresh each day (or repackage an old story to look new) Upworthy dives into the vast stockpile of content that exists and unearths gems that are interesting to many people.
  3. They are a social impact business. Unlike their clones (Distractify, Viralnova, etc) OR most other news organizations, Upworthy does not earn revenue from advertising. Their income comes from generating leads for non-profit organizations. In other words, you watch a video about Cause X, and likely a non-profit that supports that cause is recruiting new potential donors via Upworthy. This isn’t blatantly stated anywhere, but it’s what is happening. They’re a for-profit business with non-profit customers. This fact alone should probably diminish some of the negative attention that the established news community is giving them. Unless generating ad revenue is somehow a more righteous business model.
  4. They were first (to go big). As mentioned above, a lot of clones have shown up and taken the viral publishing tactics made popular by Upworthy, and used them for far more “evil” purposes. To some degree, Upworthy is taking the blame for creating a super effective weapon. They arguably used it for good, but others aren’t. It’s really not fair to lump them all together because as mentioned in point 3, they have different business goals.
  5. Guns don’t kill people. When I see a post from a friend in my Facebook feed from Viralnova, etc., I don’t get mad at the publisher, I get mad at my friend. Sure Upworthy content is engineered to compel, but much like McDonald’s or Marlboro, consumers have a choice. Upworthy is fulfilling demand, not creating it. Sounds like they’re doing what any good business person would. If you don’t like the news you’re seeing on Facebook and Twitter maybe the issue is your own network?
  6. Vetting Data. Although Upworthy isn’t a news source, they spend time fact-checking the videos they share by looking at research papers, government sites, and major media sources. It would be so easy just to post highly emotional content and not worry about facts (which is basically what every aggregator does) but Upworthy acts like a true curator and filters content before it goes viral. That’s being mindful of consumers and the non-profit customers they support.

Is Upworthy a product I’m personally interested in today? Not really. Frankly, I’ve gotten burned-out from it despite being a huge fan initially. That said, I don’t believe they deserve the massive criticism (i’m guilty of fueling that fire) they’ve receiving.

Much like the art world spurned Banksy for a very long time, the established media has been quick to dismiss Upworthy’s approach to the content business. At the same time, you see hundred-year-old newspapers starting to copy their tactics (and benefit greatly).

Upworthy pissed off the world of journalism because it crisply pointed out how relatively ineffective old business models have become. We’ve all had the opportunity to discredit and poke fun, but I hope that now the smart news organizations stop to analyze themselves and take the risks required to find their own success (or stay alive).


To get m0re of my thoughts or argue with me over electronic mail, sign up for my small batch newsletter. You can also tweet me @LenKendall or even better, join CentUp, a microdonation platform for content creators.

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