In the news this week – more options for live streaming on social media, attack of the Twitter bots, and the discovery of Skull Island on Google maps…
Up to 48 million Twitter accounts are bots
A new study released by University of Southern California and Indiana University has suggested that up to a whopping 15 percent of active monthly Twitter users are bots. Using over 1,000 features to identify bot accounts across six categories and Twitter’s most recent figure of 319 million active monthly users, the study suggests between 28.7 and 47.9 million are bots.
The figure is significantly higher than that most recently cited by the Twitter team which suggested that 8.5 percent of active monthly users are automated accounts – translating as little over 27 million. Researchers form the study believe that their figure of 15 percent is a “conservative estimate” given the complex nature of some more sophisticated Twitter bots.
Pinterest is now also blocked in China
Pinterest, until recently one of the few popular western sites still accessible from within China, has been blocked. According to sources, the social network has been inaccessible for over a week, suggesting that the country’s internet censorship system The Great Fire Wall has intentionally blocked it. It is as yet unclear why a social network famed for shabby chic wedding ideas and baking inspiration has been blocked.
Twitter wants to make it easier for companies to live stream
Twitter looks set to open up its live streaming API in order to give media companies a more direct path to live stream on the network. The move will mean that media users won’t have to rely on Periscope. It seems that the new open API for live streaming would only be open and available to media partners and not regular Twitter users – which shows that Twitter is serious about furthering live content on the network.
Hoax Facebook facial recognition app turns out to be publicity stunt
A strange and creepy facial recognition app which claimed to be able to identify people by matching their photo with their Facebook profile picture has been revealed to be a hoax publicity stunt by a viral marketing agency. Once the app, called Facezam, was revealed to be a hoax, Facebook claimed that such an app would violate their privacy policies, stating:
“People trust us to protect their privacy and keep their information safe. This activity would violate our terms.”
Kong’s Skull Island appears on Google Maps
As part of a promotional stunt for the newly-released film “Kong: Skull Island”, the fictional island has appeared on Google Maps. According to sources, the location could be found only by direct search in the South Pacific. It was labelled as an archaeological site, had 200 photos and nearly 8,000 reviews. One such high-rated review stated:
“Lovely holiday. Would have been 5 stars had the helicopter tour gone smoother. Wife swallowed whole by an oversized ape; wouldn’t have been a problem but she had the passports. Would go again.”