1 big thing: Fundraisers take over Facebook
The latest trend to take over your minifeed is the personalized fundraiser, and it's thanks to the "Donate" button, the NYT's Matt Stevens notes.
- "When Facebook rolled out the new button in 2013, it allowed people to contribute directly to nonprofits through the social media platform for the first time... About two years later, officials began testing another new tool: Fund-raisers."
- "[B]y June 2016, Facebook announced it would expand its Fund-raisers tool to allow users themselves to raise money for more than 100 nonprofits in the United States."
- "[I]n August, the company announced that users in the United States would be able to create Fund-raisers in honor of their birthdays."
- "In interviews, some Facebook users worried that it would take too long for nonprofits to get their donations."
- "Others groused that inviting friends to donate one by one was time consuming."
- "And a few said they were confused about whether they would be charged a service fee."
- "Still, users overwhelmingly said they were amazed by the ease, simplicity and effectiveness of fund-raising on Facebook."
Facebook's potential motivations:
- Public relations: "In its news releases and presentations, Facebook has framed the development of its Fund-raisers as part of a broader effort to do 'social good.'"
- Business: Platforms like GoFundMe have used Facebook to make fundraising campaigns go viral. Facebook has a motivation in keeping those campaigns directly on Facebook.
Be smart: This is another aspect of Facebook trying to bring aspects of real-life community to the internet. But growing pains accompanied prior effort to load up the minifeed with news and video. This could bring the same.
2. What (we hope) you missed
- The AP did a deep dive into Trump's July: Highlights include Anthony Scaramucci, the Trump attacks on Jeff Sessions, the FBI's raid on Paul Manafort and the infamous briefing that prompted Rex Tillerson to reportedly call Trump a "moron." Details.
- The White House plans to cut down the historic Jackson Magnolia, which has stood on the grounds since the 1800s but has decayed beyond repair in recent decades. More.
- Among the top 10 Christmas Day downloads from Apple's App Store are Amazon Alexa, Google Home and Fitbit. Chart.
- Internet users are complaining more about net neutrality-related issues since the FCC voted to repeal the existing net neutrality rules earlier this month. Another chart.
- China exported no fuel products to North Korea in November. More.
3. 1 tilt thing
The old-school arcade game of pinball is resurgent, with the number of players and competitions growing worldwide, AP's Carrie Antlfinger reports:
- In 2006, there were 500 players in 50 competitions worldwide, according to the International Flipper Pinball Association. This year, there were 55,000 players in 4,500 competitions.
- The first game was patented in 1871. Pinball stalled from the 1940s through the 1970s, with some cities banning the game because it was deemed to be gambling.
- How it happened: Stern Pinball Inc., the world's leading pinball manufacturer, attributes some of the growth to apps that show enthusiasts where to find pinball machines, video pinball and arcade bars.