It’s a never-ending cycle of news when it comes to technology and social media. In this edition of #ICYMI we cover Russian hackers who have stolen 1.2 billion user names and passwords, BuzzFeed receiving $50 million from venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz and how Twitter has begun to add tweets to your timeline.
1. Many of you will remember the Heartbleed bug that plagued the internet this past April. It’s now been reported that Russian hackers have stolen 1.2 billion user names and passwords. The hack has affected 420,000 websites and more accounts could be compromised if hackers sell the information they’ve gathered. The information is currently being used to send marketing pitches, schemes and other messages through social networks such as Twitter.
The identities of the hacked websites weren’t revealed but, according to reports, none were major email providers.
What can you do? Since companies are responsible for the security of their websites, it’s important to be vigilant. Tim Stevens, editor of CNet suggests that websites should find a more secure login method, possibly by using biometrics. However, it’s also important for users to change their passwords often to decrease the likelihood of hacks.
2. Privately owned media company BuzzFeed just received a $50 million investment from venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz. Chris Dixon, a partner at the firm, announced the investment on his blog, which places the value of BuzzFeed at $850 million. He states that news and entertainment are being shared more widely on social networks and consumed on mobile devices.
With this huge investment, BuzzFeed is planning on expanding its editorial and video offerings, as well as growing internationally. With 150 million viewers per month, BuzzFeed appears to be heading in the right direction.
This investment validates how social media and mobile devices influence our day-to-day lives. For brands, it’s important to be active on social media and to have mobile-compatible websites to capitalize on this new consumption model.
“…when we identify a Tweet, an account to follow, or other content that’s popular or relevant, we may add it to your timeline. This means you will sometimes see Tweets from accounts you don’t follow. We select each Tweet using a variety of signals, including how popular it is and how people in your network are interacting with it. Our goal is to make your home timeline even more relevant and interesting.”
Albeit controversial, this decision does have a method to its madness. Twitter selects the tweet using an algorithm that looks at how popular it is and how people in your network are interacting with it.
This change has a great impact on brands on Twitter, as users with similar interests and behaviours to followers may now be shown your content without promotion. Brands now have even greater reason to create engaging content, as retweets now not only represent the ability to reach followers of followers, but also an entirely new audience that Twitter’s algorithm deems relevant.
Update: Twitter’s CFO has suggested that Twitter is going to change the reverse chronology of its feed and introduce algorithmic curation similar to that of Facebook. Zeynep Tufekci shared her thoughts on the impact this change would have and why it’s not necessarily the right move for Twitter or brands.
Let us know what you think about these social media #ICYMIs by leaving a comment below, and stay tuned for more social updates to help you manage your presence on social channels.