Watch What You Like
This morning, rewardStyle announced, “Stop ‘Liking’ Start Screenshotting”. As of today, you will be able to shop Instagram content exclusively with a screenshot, as like-based shopping will no longer be supported due to changes in Facebook/Instagram’s third-part access to likes.”
That’s right, LIKEtoKNOW.it ironically won’t action off of likes, and will instead allow users to shop their Instagram through their content on the LIKEtoKNOW.it app. Why did this happen in the first place? Due to the recent Facebook scandal where information of up to 87 million people (81% in the US) was improperly shared, Facebook (which in case you are living under a rock, owns Instagram), updated their policies to restrict data access to third-party APIs.
API stands for Application Programming Interface. You know when you give an app permission to post on Facebook? That’s because it’s using your data to provide a more seamless user experience. For example, adding a Facebook event to your Google calendar or ‘liking’ an Instagram picture and subsequently receiving an email from LIKEtoKNOW.it is because of API integration. Depending on what you (or Facebook) allows, apps have access to everything from photos, videos, events, groups, pages, check-ins, aka. everything you do.
Why do we always place our eggs in one social media basket (now with Instagram), when we don’t own our followers and the following happenings inevitably occur?
1. The platform becomes obsolete. Does anyone care about how many MySpace friends or Tumblr followers you have now?
2. The platform changes its algorithm and engagement or other metrics dramatically decrease as a result. This keeps happening on Instagram as it slowly funnels the joy out of sharing and into business profitability. Social media is just becoming e-commerce.
3. The platform updates its privacy policies and it affects the end user and/or applications like LIKEtoKNOW.it. Most people don’t read privacy policies thoroughly, if at all, but social outlets like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have all endured scrutiny for perceived or actual breaches in customer data security.
It’s crazy how much data companies have about us - our likes, dislikes, preferences, location, demographics, and now apparently even conversations through our iPhone microphones! Back in the earlier days of the internet, Millennials were most concerned with employers finding incriminating party pictures on Facebook. Now, we’re wondering how we saw an ad on Facebook and Instagram for those new sneakers we were talking about with a friend yesterday. I’m all about brands building a connection with and learning more about its consumers (it’s literally what I do for a living), but social media, where the permissions granted to apps by users may be intentionally taken advantage of, seems particularly invasive.
This update in Facebook’s policy is the result of apps’ reach extending beyond the privacy limits that we as users expect when using a social media platform - to the point where our daily lives are affected. Dramatic, or just a to-be-expected reality of the technologically-integrated lives we lead?