Archive for April, 2019

Why women are indefinitely sharing their locations

Rae Witte Contributor Share on Twitter Rae Witte is a New York-based freelance journalist covering music, style, sneakers, art and dating, and how they intersect with tech. You can find her writing on i-D, The Wall Street Journal, Esquire and Forbes, among others. New York-based DJ and creative consultant Amrit and I are sitting at a women’s empowerment dinner waiting for her manager, Ramya Velury. Another friend of ours asks where Ramya is. “She said she was getting an Uber 15 minutes ago,” Amrit says as she unlocks her phone to check Ramya’s location. “She’s still at home!” Ramya and Amrit share their locations with each other indefinitely through Apple’s Find My Friends app, which allows you to see a contact’s location at all times. Most of us have our locations shared with a friend. One can easily wonder why anyone would want to allow someone complete 24-hour access to their location, especially the type who text “On my way!” before they’ve even stepped foot into the shower. However, women are foregoing privacy among their most trusted friends to offer full access to their location (more specifically, the location of their phone) at all times. Conveniences by way of technological advances are normalizing a culture of being alone with strangers. Uber launched 10 years ago and multiple ridesharing apps followed. Tinder changed the world of online dating (and dating as a whole) with its millennial-friendly, instantly gratifying match-making. You can connect with someone nearby and be on the way to meet them as soon as you can get out the door. We talk to strangers online, pay them to get into their cars and meet up with them alone. These developments go against every rule about strangers that our parents imbedded in our childhood brains. Danueal Drayton, known as the “dating app murderer,” confessed to killing seven women, all of whom he met on dating apps. His criminal trial has been put on hold pending further psychiatric treatment and evaluation after a Los Angeles County judge deemed him incompetent for trial. And 24-year-old Sydney Loofe was murdered after a 2018 Tinder date. “We utilize a network of industry-leading automated and manual moderation and review tools, systems and processes — and spend millions of dollars annually — to prevent, monitor and remove bad actors who have violated our Community Guidelines and Terms of Use from our app,” a Tinder spokesperson tells me, regarding the measures it takes to keep users safe. “These tools include automatic scans of profiles for red-flag language and images, manual reviews of suspicious profiles, activity and user-generated reports, as well as blocking email addresses, phone numbers and other identifiers.” While these aren’t necessarily common occurrences, they are real-life horror stories nonetheless. Sexual assault and sexual misconduct has gotten bad enough within Ubers that the company can no longer ignore it. In 2018, the company released a list of 21 types (categories, not 21 incidents) of sexual misconduct reported by drivers and riders, ranging from explicit gestures to rape. Uber offers […]

Instagram will now let creators and influencers sell items directly

The monetization hose is on full blast at Instagram now, and today at F-8 Facebook unveiled one of the latest developments on that front. The company said that creators will now be able to tag items to sell them directly to people viewing their posts and Stories. For now, this will work only on items that are tagged from businesses that are part of the new checkout beta program Instagram is running in the US. It’s also part of a bigger transactional swing that we’re seeing at Instagram that extends beyond just catering to consumerism and influencers speaking to Instragram’s billion-plus users. Today Instagram also confirmed that it would be adding donation stickers in Stories — something we reported it was working on several months ago. The tags that creators and influencers can now add is a significant development on product tagging, which up to now had been reserved just for businesses and brands, not open to individuals. But the purpose for now doesn’t seem to be to help creators make commissions on those sales. Facebook tells us that “at this time,” creators will not make a cut on any purchases made as a result of anyone clicking on links in their posts (meaning: it may come down the line). Rather, the point is to cut down on some of the repeat questions that creators get about what they are wearing, and where to buy it. “People are already shopping from creators by asking product questions in comments and Direct,” a spokesperson said. “With the ability to tag products, creators can provide the information their followers are looking for and get back to expressing themselves and sharing what’s on their mind, which will make their followers happy too.” But they are not getting diddly, either. The spokesperson notes that creators will also receive additional insights with shopping posts, such as engagements and shopping insights. For those who are making a living out of their influencer status, these could help them leverage better deals with those brands longer term. Instagram will start testing first with a small group of creators over the next few weeks including on the accounts of Gigi Hadid, Kim Kardashian West, Kris Jenner, Kylie Jenner and Leesa Angelique (who runs @saythelees).  “It’s my job to share beauty secrets and tips,” she said about the new feature. “I’m usually writing long, detailed captions about the latest products I’ve been using. Having this tool just makes it that much easier to let everyone know what I’m wearing and from where – down to the shade.”