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Facebook Testing a Feature “Watch Videos Together” on Messenger

Along with allowing Messenger users to create shared experiences from afar, the "Watch Videos Together" feature would introduce new revenue opportunities for the company, the report said

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400 mn using Facebook Watch, now available on desktop. Pixabay
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Facebook is testing a feature called “Watch Videos Together” on Messenger that would enable simultaneous co-viewing of videos over a group chat on different devices.

A Facebook spokesperson said this is an “internal test”, TechCrunch reported on Friday.

The code discovered describes Messenger allowing you to “tap to watch together now” and “chat about the same videos at the same time” with chat thread members receiving a notification — “Everyone in this chat can control the video and see who’s watching.”

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This photo shows a Facebook app icon on a smartphone in New York. VOA

The feature was first spotted by Ananay Arora, the founder of deadline management app “Timebound” and an engineer named Jane Manchun Wong in Messenger’s code-base, the report added.

Along with allowing Messenger users to create shared experiences from afar, the “Watch Videos Together” feature would introduce new revenue opportunities for the company, the report said.

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Since the News Feed ad revenue growth has slowed down amidst fluctuating user growth and limited ad space, the social media giant has recently been focussing on its subsidiaries like Messenger and photo-messaging app Instagram to increase monetisation.  (IANS)

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Irish Watchdog Opens Inquiry into Latest Privacy Breach of Facebook

The private information of Facebook users was alleged to be used to influence the US 2016 general elections in favour of President Donald Trump's campaign

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Irish watchdog opens inquiry into latest Facebook privacy breach. Pixabay

Ireland’s Data Protection Commission (DPC) has announced a fresh investigation into Facebook, a day after the social networking giant admitted another security breach where nearly 6.8 million users risked their private photos being exposed to third-party apps.

Facebook, which is already facing a probe from the Irish watchdog for a previous privacy leak in September that affected 50 million people, may end up with fine of 4 per cent of its annual turnover – the highest fine under the new European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), The Independent reported on Saturday.

In Facebook’s case, the fine could amount to nearly 1.5 billion euros.

“The Irish DPC has received a number of breach notifications from Facebook since the introduction of the GDPR on May 25, 2018,” a spokesperson for the watchdog was quoted as saying.

The fresh move came after Facebook on Friday said more than 1,500 apps built by 876 developers may have also been affected by the bug that exposed users’ unshared photos during a 12-day-period from September 13 to 25.

Facebook, in a statement, said it has fixed the breach and will roll out next week “tools for app developers that will allow them to determine which people using their app might be impacted by this bug”.

“Currently, we believe this may have affected up to 6.8 million users and up to 1,500 apps built by 876 developers. The only apps affected by this bug were ones that Facebook approved to access the photos API and that individuals had authorised to access their photos.

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This photo shows a Facebook app icon on a smartphone in New York. VOA

“We’re sorry this happened,” said Facebook, adding that it will also notify the people potentially impacted by this bug via an alert.

The disclosure is another example of Facebook’s failure to properly protect users’ privacy that may drew more criticism of its privacy policy.

Earlier this month, Italian regulators fined Facebook 10 million euros for selling users’ data without informing them.

The competition watchdog handed Facebook two fines totalling 10 million euros, “also for discouraging users from trying to limit how the company shares their data”.

The Irish watchdog, which is Facebook’s lead privacy regulator in Europe, in October opened a formal investigation into a data breach which affected 50 million users.

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“The investigation will examine Facebook’s compliance with its obligation under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) to implement appropriate technical and organisational measures to ensure the security and safeguarding of the personal data it processes,” said the DPC.

The world’s largest social media network has been grilled over the past year for its mishandling of user data, including its involvement in a privacy scandal in March when Cambridge Analytica, a British political consultancy firm, was accused of illegally accessing the data of more than 87 million Facebook users without their consent.

The private information of Facebook users was alleged to be used to influence the US 2016 general elections in favour of President Donald Trump’s campaign. (IANS)