Facebook

You Can Now Use Facebook Through Tor, Still Can’t Actually Be Anonymous

Screen Shot 2014-10-31 at 11.42.45 AM

People are starting to wake up to the fact that using Facebook is like selling your quantified soul to an advertising giant, and Facebook clearly realizes that they might want to adjust their course lest they creep us all out eternally. Unfortunately, everything they do in the name of progress is anything but.

Today, Facebook announced in a post that they’ve built a direct route to using Facebook through Tor, the popular tool for browsing the Internet without being tracked. So this means you can use Facebook anonymously now? Of course not. Read More

Facebook

Facebook Creates ‘Safety Check’ Tool for Natural Disaster Survivors

Safety Check's interface. (Facebook)

Nowadays, when natural disasters strike, Facebook users often take to the social network to alert their loved ones that they’re okay.

To facilitate this type of communication, Facebook has created Safety Check, a tool that lets users alert their friends and family of their status in the wake of earthquakes, hurricanes, and other natural emergencies. The company announced the new service in a blog post yesterday. Read More

Ello

Ello Finally Rolls Out Privacy Features, Races To Finish Beta and Secure the Site

Screen Shot 2014-10-03 at 12.50.32 PM

The past week has been a gauntlet for the team behind Ello, the elegant Anti-Facebook, as the seven founders to hold tight to the reins of what is likely the fastest growing social network in history. Perhaps the biggest upset around Ello, besides cynical griping about their business model or manifesto, is the fact that even as Ello explodes in popularity, it’s still in beta — a totally unfinished product.

As of today, Ello has checked off the first couple of boxes on their most-wanted features list — the first updates to the site since their sudden acceleration. Since shoring up user privacy is Ello’s new top priority for building out new features, today’s additions are “blocking” and “muting,” both triggered by a little icon next to a user’s Friend/Noise buttons. Read More

Expert Thoughts

Do you write for Reddit, Yelp or Facebook? You should own it too…

(Photo via Rocío Lara)

Most of us do contribute to some sites like this.  We write reviews, post pictures, and make lengthy or funny comments.  We even recruit new users for them by inviting our friends, family, and our co-workers to join them.

In other words, we are the reason these sites are so popular.  We are the reason these sites are so valuable.

Our contributions are the reason people come to these sites day after day, so why don’t we get some ownership for our contributions. Read More

Facebook

Facebook’s ‘Apology’ To The Transgender Community Is Full of Half-Truths

Screen Shot 2014-10-02 at 12.35.47 PM

For weeks, the LGBTQ community has been fighting Facebook over its stringent policy that says users have to identify publicly by their “real names,” a conflict which reached a boiling point when hundreds of thousands of people fled en masse for Ello, a network that isn’t even in open beta yet. Yesterday, Facebook finally responded in a way that repaired its public image without actually changing a damn thing.

In a public post, Facebook CPO Chris Cox issued an apology to the drag performers and LGBTQ community who, in the “two weeks since the real-name policy issues surfaced” (it’s been three) have been fighting loudly under the banner of #MyNameIs to get Facebook to reconsider their policy. Read More

Ello

Ello Cofounder: ‘We Have NO Exit Strategy’

Screen Shot 2014-09-26 at 2.36.16 PM

It’s been about 48 hours since interest in Ello flew off the damn charts, and the number of think pieces about its inevitable downfall is … well, expectedly enormous. Outside of the Medium.com designer circle-jerk about how unintuitive the interface is or complaints that a product in beta testings feels incomplete, most of the focus has been on Ello’s promise that they’ll never sell user data or put ads on the site. Mainly the claim is they’re either lying or just wrong, with headlines like “Ello Says You’re Not a Product, But You Are.”

The first piece of the why-Ello-is-doomed puzzle is their proposed freemium model, which many think just plainly won’t work. Instead of selling ads, data or putting up a paywall, Ello will eventually offer on-site purchases like multi-user logins, layout adjustments, or new ways of organizing your follows beyond Ello’s current Friends/Noise system. Read More

Ello

Ello’s Traffic Deluge Almost Caused a Total New User Freeze-Out, Crisis Averted

Screen Shot 2014-09-25 at 2.38.49 AM

Yesterday, we reported that Ello, the social network with a manifesto, had suddenly gone nuclear and was pulling in 4,000 invite requests per hour. Throughout the day, as word spread that Ello was the new safe haven for people fleeing Facebook’s invasive ads and purge of non-verified users, that number ramped up to over 27,000 and then to 31,000 requests per hour.

When we spoke to Ello founder Paul Buditz late last night, he was getting off a plane and totally exhausted. Ello was facing a crisis — traffic was coming in much faster than anticipated, and the Ello team was getting ready to stop all new invites to their site.

“It seems like we’ve got a big portion of the U.S. and much of Europe all trying to get on Ello at the same time,” Mr. Budnitz told Betabeat, saying that in the morning they’d have to “turn off the spigot for a while.”

But over the course of a few frantic meetings, the tech team has decided that Ello will stay online, soldiering through the storm and letting the hype-machine rage on. Read More

Ello

Ello Will Remain Ad-Free and Porn Friendly, Says Founder

Screen Shot 2014-09-25 at 12.16.06 AM

Update #1: Overwhelmed by the deluge of new users, Ello almost choked off all access for new members, but have gone all-hands-on-deck to keep Ello alive and soldier on through the hype.

Update #2: Brands are showing up like crazy to make profiles on Ello — here’s why it won’t ruin everything.

When we broke the news about Ello, a new social network that claims to be the safe haven from its fiendishly invasive competition, it mostly fell on deaf ears — but the past six months were nothing compared to what’s happened in the past 24 hours.

Since the sudden Facebook exodus to Ello, requests to join went from 4,000 to 27,000+ per hour, Twitter exploded with desperate requests for invites, eBay responded with an enormous black market for invites, and Ello became the fifth hottest trend on Google searches. No big deal. Read More