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Inside Facebook

Inside Facebook (Jul 5th, 2017)

Facebook is changing its News Feed algorithm to give a lower priority to links from suspected spammers. The change will affect just 0.1 percent of accounts that share 50 or more posts daily that are considered clickbait, misinformation, or sensationalism. The company says it is constantly tweaking its algorithm to combat low-quality content, and posts regularly about the changes. — TECHCRUNCH

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Facebook will offer additional metrics and measurement tools to advertisers. The network launched the first in a series of monthly features to provide more "transparency and understanding" about how ads work on the site. The first update will show landing page views, or how many users reach a website after clicking on an ad. Future updates will include showing which users are new or have previously visited the website (pre-impression activity breakdown), and how users interact with a page. — DIGITAL TRENDS

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Germany is investigating whether Facebook's Terms of Service violate antitrust laws. The Federal Cartel Office is examining how the company collects data from users, which it says could amount to extortion because users who don't agree to the terms are kicked off and socially isolated. Just last week, the EU's antitrust organization fined Google €2.4 bn ($2.7 billion) for skewing search results to favor its interests, and in May, the same group fined Facebook 110 million ($122 million) for data sharing with WhatsApp, something the company said it would not do when it acquired the app.  — GIZMODO

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WhatsApp has added new emoji search and text formatting features. The updates are meant to make the chat messages more visually appealing, and they are just two of a host of features that have been added in 2017. Users can format text by highlighting and selecting from a drop-down menu, and the app will suggest relevant emoji when users type a word. The app also has a new night mode feature that currently only works on iPhones. WhatsApp has 1.2 billion global users. — INDEPENDENT

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Facebook is making its "Find Wi-Fi" feature available globally. The feature was tested in a limited capacity last year, and shows users where to find free public Wi-Fi. Both Android and iOS will have the feature, but businesses need to manually opt in to appear. Find Wi-Fi is accessible from the "More" tab of the app. — BUSINESS INSIDER

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Facebook has denied the request from Christian campaigners to add a crucifix emoji. The request came after the network added a rainbow flag emoji last month to honor the LGBTQ community. Joshua Feuerstein, an evangelist from Arizona, posted in favor of a cross emoji. His post was shared more than 9,000 times and some of the comments disparaged the rainbow. Other comments pointed out that the site doesn't support faith-based emojis for any religious groups. — HUFFINGTON POST

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A note to subscribers of Inside Facebook: We are adding special, in-depth weekly pieces about Facebook and related media entities. This week's feature will be about how the company acquired WhatsApp and what it has meant for Facebook's global reach. 

This is premium content available to subscribers only. To get access to this and other upcoming Inside special reports on the Facebook universe, including personalities, subsidiaries and more, sign up today for just $10 a month. Here's where to go to upgrade to a premium subscription

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