Archives September 10, 2017

Facebook has mapped populations in 23 countries as it explores satellites to expand internet

“Facebook doesn’t only know what its 2 billion users “Like.” It now knows where millions of humans live, everywhere on Earth, to within 15 feet. The company has created a data map of the human population by combining government census numbers with information it’s obtained from space satellites, according to Janna Lewis, Facebook’s head of strategic innovation partnerships and sourcing. A Facebook representative later told CNBC that this map currently covers 23 countries, up from 20 countries mentioned in this blog post from February 2016.

The mapping technology, which Facebook says it developed itself, can pinpoint any man-made structures in any country on Earth to a resolution of five meters. Facebook is using the data to understand the precise distribution of humans around the planet. That will help the company determine what types of internet service — based either on land, in the air or in space — it can use to reach consumers who now have no (or very low quality) internet connections.”

Facebook and Google own the top apps

“On mobile, where the majority of the world’s content is now consumed, Google and Facebook own eight of the top 10 apps, with apps devouring 87% of our time spent on smartphones and tablets, according to new comScore data (Figure A):

“In sum, the majority of our time online is now mediated by just a few megacorporations, and for the most part their top incentive is to borrow our privacy just long enough to target an ad at us.”