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PHOTO: Clyde Robinson

Facebook's privacy-first campaign, after the Cambridge Analytica data scandal, surges on as the social media giant is making privacy settings easier to find. Erin Egan, vice president and chief privacy officer for Facebook, announced in a blog post that Facebook has heard "loud and clear" that privacy settings and other important tools are too hard to find. "We must," she wrote, "do more to keep people informed."

The commitment to better access to privacy comes after Mark Zuckerberg’s announcement that Facebook is cracking down on abuse of the Facebook platform, strengthening policies and making it easier for people to revoke apps’ ability to use your data. Zuckerberg's post came after The Guardian reported March 17 that data analytics firm Cambridge Analytica harvested around 50 million Facebook profiles of US voters as it worked with now US President Donald Trump’s election team and the winning Brexit campaign. The unauthorized data-collection practices helped profile individual US voters and target them with personalized political advertisements, according to the Guardian.

Egan reported on her post that Facebook's redesigned its settings menu on mobile devices to avoid having settings spread across nearly 20 different screens. It's also updated settings so it’s clear what information can and can’t be shared with apps, Egan wrote. Facebook's also made changes so that information about privacy, security and ads should be much easier to find, Egan promised. "The new Privacy Shortcuts," she added, "is a menu where you can control your data in just a few taps, with clearer explanations of how our controls work. The experience is now clearer, more visual, and easy-to-find." 

Egan said the changes will help users:

  • Have more secure accounts 
  • Control personal information
  • Control the ads they see 
  • Manage who sees their posts and profile information.

Facebook in the coming weeks will update its data policy to better spell out what data it collects and how it uses it, Egan said.

In other customer experience software news ...

Smartly.io Doubles Down on Social Video

Facebook marketing partner Smartly.io has launched a new Smartly.io Video Templates feature, which company officials said will automatically generate video and still creatives to fit a variety of ad formats on Facebook and Instagram. 

Video Templates allows users to create short-form, mobile-friendly video campaigns in a single interface. Advertisers can pull image or video assets from their product catalogs or feeds, as well as modify and customize templates with an in-tool video editor. The product videos can be retargeted based on user behavior. A built-in video editor allows advertisers to run A/B tests, according to company officials.

Zendesk Releases AI-Backed Product

Zendesk has released Guide Enterprise, a new product that leverages AI and is designed to help organizations recognize knowledge gaps in customer service content. Guide Enterprise will allow organizations to build forums, community articles and FAQs to help customers find answers. 

Zendesk also announced that it has surpassed the $500 million annual revenue run rate. It took Zendesk seven years to reach $100 million in revenue, and only four years to reach the $500 million milestone, according to company officials.

Temkin Group Announces CX Winners

The Temkin Group has released its 2018 Temkin Experience Ratings (TxR) that ranks the customer experience of 318 companies across 20 industries based on a survey of 10,000 US consumers. This year marks the eighth straight year of the ratings.

Wegmans, H-E-B, Citizens, Publix and Subway earned the highest overall ratings, while CarMax, Spirit Airlines, Optimum, Medicaid and Comcast received the lowest. 

Sprout Social: Consumers Give Thumbs Down to Social Advertising

Sprout Social released research today that found that 27 percent of consumers said their opinion of social media advertising has declined in the past year. About 39 percent of respondents said recent political events have decreased their trust in social ads. 

What do social media users want from advertisements? That data from the Sprout Social research included the following information.

  • 41 percent of respondents report that entertaining content makes them more likely to engage with a social ad
  • Those who said their opinions on social media advertising has declined cited uninteresting content (31 percent) and irrelevance (26 percent)
  • About 33 percent are more likely to engage with social ads that teach them something, and 65 percent of consumers will click through to learn more
  • 37 percent of people across generations are more likely to engage with social ads that save them money.