Germany gets tough with Facebook, Twitter still awash in abusive accounts, upheaval in the podcast landscape and one lucky cat: What you need to know

Mindset Digital
Mindset Digital // February 8, 2019

Our weekly roundup brings you a list of curated content in social, technology and Mindset Digital happenings from need-to-know to silly social trends.

Last week in social…

Germans to Facebook: Knock it off. This week Germany told Facebook that it had to change the way it was gathering data, saying the company had a virtual monopoly on social media thanks to the combined user information from Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp. The company will have to get a user’s explicit consent to gather data in this way. (via CNN)

Study finds Twitter still struggling with fake accounts. A study released this week by two researchers from the University of Iowa shows that the company is still behind the 8-ball when it comes to fake and automated accounts. The researchers used AI and machine learning technology to examine more than 1.5 billion tweets, and argue that their method finds abusive accounts more quickly and accurately than Twitter’s current system. (via Wired).

A major social media platform finally gets the edit button! Oh sorry, did you think it was Twitter? Those prayers still go unanswered, but at least you can now recall Facebook Messages within the first 10 minutes of sending. You might remember news that founder Mark Zuckerberg was reportedly able to do this last year. Now the rest of us social schlubs can exercise the same power. (via Mashable)

Last Week in Tech…

Spotify Bets Big on Podcasts with two acquisitions. The relatively small world of podcasting felt some big waves this week as music streaming service Spotify announced the acquisition of Gimlet Media –  an independent production house responsible for popular shows like Reply All, Homecoming and Startup, for a whopping $230 million. For context, the previous largest acquisition of a podcast studio was IHeartRadio’s acquisition of Stuff Media (makers of the How Stuff Works podcasts)  for $55 million. In Anchor, Spotify acquires an up-and-coming podcast hosting and production services company. No word on whether favorite pods are going behind Spotify’s paywall, but the company did suggest more podcast-related acquisitions are in the offing. (via the Verge)

Ikea wants to become the Netflix of Jävgottesplarts. It’s an intriguing idea: furniture rental at a fraction of the price of ownership. The Swedish chain is testing it out with office furniture for now, which makes sense given how expensive those costs are for small businesses. But there’s also a significant number of people (us included) for whom a trip to the nearby Ikea is as indelible a part of the yearly college experience as the trip to the campus bookstore. It could be an interesting (and more eco-friendly) model if the program expands beyond business clientele. Still no word on how we’re expected to fit a couch in the envelope to send back though. (via Curbed)

SpaceX gets one stage closer to Mars. There’s still a long road (sky?) ahead, but the private space company completed a successful test of its redesigned Raptor rocket engine designed to power their next-generation starship—which they want to send to Mars, among other far-flung destinations. CEO Elon Musk tweeted about the achievement over Super Bowl weekend. (via Ars Technica)

Thank you, Internet!

A story designed to give all the good feels: in Montana, an injured cat who had wandered out into the Polar Vortex was found and delivered to vets, essentially frozen stiff. Amazingly, they were able to thaw Fluffy out for a complete recovery! Obligatory disclaimer: don’t try this at home no matter how many lives you think you have. (via Mashable)


Matt Weiner and Pete Brown contributed to this week’s roundup.