News digest 22.02.2021

Facebook inflated ad metrics to make more profit

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Documents made public allege that Facebook executives brushed off an employee who proposed changing a Facebook ad metric to make it more accurate.
The documents come as part of an ongoing class action lawsuit that claims Facebook inflated metrics to boost ad revenue.
Facebook’s senior executives knew for years that its “potential reach” function was inflated and misleading, but they failed to act and actively tried to conceal the issues.

Windows 10 forced update rolling out to remove Flash Player

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A new update is rolling out to Windows 10 version 20H2, version 2004 and older to permanently remove Adobe Flash Player. Windows 10 KB4577586 is said to be an optional update, but it seems to be downloaded automatically when you click on the ‘Check for updates’ button.
It appears that Microsoft is actually pushing Windows 10 KB4577586 as an automatic update with the February 2021 cumulative updates. This patch will represent a final goodbye to Adobe Flash Player for all versions of the operating system and it will be pushed via Windows Update to more users over the next few weeks.

Asian authorities clamp down on digital lenders

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Authorities in Asia are clamping down on digital lenders, stepping up to rein in a sector that has charged ahead with little oversight in credit-hungry large economies such as India and Indonesia.
Apps and websites offering easy loans have proliferated in India and south-east Asia, where hundreds of millions of people are unable to access the formal credit system. In India, 190m people did not have bank accounts as of 2017, according to the World Bank, along with 95m in Indonesia.
But officials have struggled to control the fast-growing sector. While many apps are licensed, thousands operate illegally. They are notorious for preying on consumers with limited financial literacy by charging exorbitant interest rates and harvesting data from phones, used for example to embarrass debtors by calling family members.

Google and Facebook still dominate mobile apps

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Google and Facebook's share of the top 15 mobile apps by reach in the U.S. has increased in the past few years, despite the fact that dozens of new mobile apps, from TikTok to Zoom, have experienced record downloads.
Why it matters: most of our time engaging with digital content happens in mobile apps. Google and Facebook continue to dominate the app economy, and through it, the attention economy.
By the numbers: Nearly 80% of all digital minutes are spent on mobile, per Comscore, and roughly 88% of those mobile minutes are spent within apps.

ByteDance walks away from TikTok deal with Oracle after Donald Trump’s White House exit

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ByteDance decided to postpone the deal to sell the TikTok U.S. part to a group of companies led by Oracle. This became possible after Donald Trump left the U.S. presidency.
The source said that the deal was mainly designed to entertain demands from the Trump administration. But Trump is gone, and the reason is gone with him.

Apple tests new search ad, moves to become safe advertising supplier

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Apple continues to make changes to its services in iOS 14.5 beta — in what seems like an effort to move away from a dependence on Google.
In a new way to monetize the Apple store, the company has been testing other offerings in Search Ads. Some users now see a new sponsored ad slot in the Search tab as a “suggested” item. Apple previously only served ads in the App Store when users searched for an app.
Advertisers bid on keywords, similar to Google Search ads. This new sponsored ad type displays to users before they search on anything.

Facebook news ban drops reader traffic to news stories by 13% within Australia

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Traffic to Australian news websites tumbled in the hours following Facebook's news ban and audiences overall have not shifted to new platforms, according to data from web analytics company Chartbeat.
Facebook blocked Australians from accessing news content on its platform in response to the Government's proposed new laws forcing tech companies to pay publishers for news content.

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