Terms of Disservice

Have Yourself a Very Litigious Christmas: Instagram Sued for Changes to Its Terms of Service


All those calming platitudes from Kevin Systrom haven’t silenced the blowback over recent changes to Instagram’s terms of service. Reuters broke the news that a class action lawsuit was filed against Instagram this past Friday in San Francisco federal court.

The complaint (below) was filed on behalf of a California Instagram user named Lucy Funes “and all others similarly situated.” It accuses Instagram of a breach of contract for violating the convenant of good faith and fair dealing, among other allegations, and demands a jury trial. Read More


Sue Something: Employees File Class Action Lawsuit Against Zynga

No reprisals here!

This is the Summer of Zynga’s discontent. There are Zynga’s stock woes, which have prompted Forbes to question whether the gaming company is really worth any money at allForbes‘s Eric Savitz writes that “the market is basically saying it simply does not see any long-term value in the company’s ongoing business.”

Then there’s also this class action suit filed against Zynga in a California Superior Court on July 16, which alleges Zynga failed to pay overtime and has unfair business practices. Read More

Facebook Faceoff

Facebook Agrees to $10 M. Settlement, You Can Now Opt Out of Having Your Face Appear in Sponsored Ads


In a settlement agreement for a class action lawsuit filed yesterday, Facebook agreed to give users more control of their face. According to the terms of the agreement, which still needs to be approved by the judge, users will now be able to opt-out of having their likeness appear in a type of ad Facebook calls “Sponsored Stories,” says Reuters.

Back in December, Betabeat got a copy of a leaked document that showed how Sponsored Stories would feature the name of friend and the friend’s profile picture and an indication that they “liked” the advertiser in question. The social network thought it had a sweet new revenue stream locked up seeing as users are more likely to click on something when they see their friends’ face attached to it as an endorsement. Read More

It's Zuck's World We're Just Living In It

Exclusive: Leaked Details of How Facebook Plans To Sell Your Timeline to Advertisers

Screengrab from an October 2011 presentation "Facebook Updates"

This is a guest post from a former CTO who now does tech consulting for other start-up ventures and was briefed on Facebook’s advertising strategy. The story was edited and checked for accuracy by Betabeat.

If you logged onto Facebook yesterday, perhaps you caught a link at the top of the News Feed that read: “About Ads: Ever wonder how Facebook makes money? Get the details.” The answers provided some context on the news that starting in January, Facebook will start integrating a type of ad, called “sponsored stories,” that display your friends faces next to content they have “liked” in larger-sized ads your News Feed mix. “Facebook makes its money from showing you ads,” the company told consumers yesterday and with the ramp up to its spring 2012 IPO, the social network is getting serious about that endeavor.

In what seemed like an unrelated move, in September, Facebook announced a brand new type of profile called Timeline, where your whole personal history is laid out by month-by-month, all the way back to your birth. At the time, Facebook described it to consumers as a chance to: “Share and highlight your most memorable posts, photos and life events on your timeline. This is where you can tell your story from beginning, to middle, to now.” By the end of this year all 800 million plus Facebook profiles will have been converted to this new interface.

What most users don’t know is that the new features being introduced are all centered around increasing the value of Facebook to advertisers, to the point where Facebook representatives have been selling the idea that Timeline is actually about re-conceptualizing users around their consumer preferences, or as they put it, “brands are now an essential part of people’s identities.” Read More

IP Uh Oh

Groupon Through the Glass Door, Darkly

Employees of the daily deal giant have filed a class action lawsuit claiming Groupon failed to pay them millions of dollars in overtime pay. It’s another blow to an already shaky company, whose accounting is being questioned by the SEC. Groupon cancelled its IPO roadshow earlier this week.

The story broke in PaidContent, which mentioned that several posts on Glass Door, a site where employees can anonymously rate their company and bosses, made mention of long hours under difficult conditions. Betabeat wandered over to check out some of these reviews. What we found was a little shocking. Some choice reviews: Read More