OMD FWD – 5th April

Scoop: Facebook aiming to launch News for Watch this summer

2017 was the year of fake news on Facebook, where users repeatedly shared false information from unknown sources. Moving forward, Facebook took crucial steps to combat the spread of misleading news, with the aim of driving more authentic engagement from users on its platform and improving their relationship with their publishers. One of its most recent moves is launching a news section in ‘Facebook Watch’ consisting of different videos from 10 publishers.

While Facebook has collaborated in the past with several publishers to launch similar products, namely Instant Articles and Facebook Live, this is the first time it has solely developed a national news-oriented product through ‘Facebook Watch’.

Five breakthroughs behind Facebook’s Augmented Reality play

When the first AR device was created by Harvard Computer scientist Ivan Sutherland, universities, governments and companies sought to develop the technology for their benefit. However, no-one could have predicted it would play such a big role in the everyday user’s life on social media. Today, animal masks and filters have become the gamechanger in how the platform’s content is interacted with.

Here are five key breakthroughs that made AR on Facebook possible:

  • Better Smartphone Chips –  In the last couple of years, Facebook and other tech-oriented companies started to partner with chip makers to develop smartphones, to better understand and process AI, algorithms and training models.
  • Caffe2Go – Facebook finished building Caffe2Go, a learning tool that could process AI and neural networks directly on smartphones.
  • Advancements in SLAM (“mapping”) –  Or Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM) is the ability to place and “remember” digital effects relative to real-world objects. The technology can be developed and included in other practices, like self-driving cars, minimally invasive surgeries and robot vacuum cleaners.
  • Improved Computational Photography – In 2015, Facebook began working on another AI technology related to computational photography, one that enables them to understand the visual aspect of digital content (images and videos) and improve AR tools on the platform.
  • A Dedicated “Camera Team” – In 2016, Facebook began to hire a team of AI researchers and designers who formed the camera team, responsible for maintaining and developing application for AI in Facebook app cameras. One of the team’s achievements was creating Instagram Stories, which had a user-friendly and sleek design, to compete with Snapchat.

YouTube turns to Wikipedia to help debunk conspiracy theories spreading on its platform

With hoaxes, conspiracy theory videos and misinformation spreading across YouTube over the last 12 months, the platform has been trying to find the best way to combat this. The latest solution has seen them add Wikipedia links to their content, to lend some credibility to what is being posted. However, given that Wikipedia is largely updated and maintained by the public, their validity may not be 100% accurate either, and could instead be used to drive large crowds of conspiracy theorists to the website.


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The OMD team works on delivering insights that unlock demand potential, ideas that ignite consumer desire and results that accelerate business growth for our clients.

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