Mark Zuckerberg

Spark Bites: Facebook Apologizes for Social Media Scandal

If you’ve seen the news at all the past few days, you’ll know that this week’s social media news has been a serious rollercoaster that had some of us like:

But also kind of like?:

Strap yourselves in, folks, because this edition of Spark Bites by Spark Growth contains a lot of important updates about the social media world that everyone should be aware of. Let’s get started!


  • Pinterest’s Shopping Ads are now available to hundreds of advertisers. This will allow businesses to automatically create ads on the platform by pulling images from their existing product feeds. To qualify for this program, businesses need to complete a Pinterest Propel Program sign-up form.



  • And now for something you don’t often see on our site: an excellent example of how NOT to use social media marketing. Rihanna publicly criticized Snapchat the other day for displaying a highly inappropriate ad featuring herself and her ex-boyfriend Chris Brown, the latter of whom was known to be physically abusive during their relationship. The ad was for an app called “Would you Rather?” and prompted users to choose between the options of “slap Rihanna or punch Chris Brown.” Snapchat apologized for the incident and is currently conducting an investigation into the matter.



  • Congrats to YouTube, who became the Top Grossing iPhone app in the U.S. for the first time on Tuesday! The app has been among the Top Grossing for years, but surprisingly this is the first time it’s ever made it to the top spot.



  • We of course can’t talk about this week’s social media news without mentioning Facebook. Oh, Facebook. It’s been a rough week for the social media giant, to say the least. Here’s a very brief summary of what’s been happening in case you’ve been out of the loop:
  • Last week, Facebook suspended Cambridge Analytica—a data and analytics firm—due to the fact that Cambridge used data that was improperly obtained from roughly 50 million Facebook users to try to sway elections.
  • This past Wednesday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg finally spoke publicly to address the matter. Zuckerberg apologized for the scandal and laid out new steps the company will take to prevent this in the future, such as:
    • The top of the News Feed will soon display a user’s installed apps along with a feature that allows them to revoke permissions easily.
    • On top of actually getting the user’s approval, developers will need to sign a contract with Facebook to ask users for access to their private data.
    • Developers will lose their access to a user’s data if the user hasn’t used the app in over three months.
    • And Zuckerberg says more changes are coming soon. Stay tuned to our blog for more updates!



  • The social networking platform is making both socializing and networking easier with every update! LinkedIn has started rolling out a new feature for users called “Ask for a Referral.” With this feature, a job listing will include an aptly-named “Ask for a referral” button if you know people in that company. Selecting this feature will allow a user to easily send those people a message to ask them to recommend the user for a job. So go ahead and dive into that job applicant pool with confidence!

    (And while you’re at it, don’t forget to check out our job openings here at Spark Growth!)




  • Twitter’s got some problems of their own too. Israel’s justice minister said on Wednesday that the Israeli government is considering taking legal action against Twitter for not taking action to remove pro-terrorist content on their site. The Israeli government submitted 12,351 requests to remove posts in 2017, which is nearly six times more than the previous year.
  • Brands are being impacted by Twitter’s ongoing effort to combat spam and bot activity. Last month, Twitter announced that it would no longer allow simultaneous tweets across multiple accounts containing identical content. Many businesses have had to adapt to not being able to post content across the company’s multiple Twitter accounts. Native retweeting has become the most common alternative instead.



  • Last year, Instagram gave US businesses the ability to add e-commerce links within their organic posts. Now, the photo-based social media app is expanding its shoppable organic posts to eight more countries: the UK, France, Italy, Germany, Australia, Brazil, Canada, and Spain.
  • We mentioned last week that the return of Instagram’s chronological feed was only a rumor. This week, Instagram confirmed that the chronological feed would not be returning (sad, we know) BUT they did offer a compromise: the algorithm for the feed will soon be changing to make it more likely for users to see newer posts higher up. In addition, the social media company mentioned that they are testing a “New Posts” button to make it easier for users to refresh their feeds when they want to, as opposed to the feed refreshing automatically.


And that’s all the social network news for today! We’ll be back here on the blog next week with more updates and to let you know how successful the social networking giants are in the de-escalation of their respective controversies.

…Hopefully more successful than that one. Happy weekend and we’ll see you back here next Friday for the next edition of Spark Bites!