Tag: People

A Delta Airlines Security Flaw Lets You Check In To Flights As Other People

You can even switch seats.

If you plan to fly Delta this holiday season, you may want to double check your boarding pass.

As one of my BuzzFeed colleagues recently discovered, a security vulnerability on Delta Airlines' website allows anyone with a valid boarding pass to access the boarding pass of another traveler, simply by switching the numbers in the URL.

To prove it, my colleague sent me the URL of an old Delta boarding pass, which looks like this:

After tweaking one number in the URL, I refreshed the page and found a new boarding pass — with the passenger's full information, including his frequent flyer number.

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BuzzFeed – Tech

Instagram Says It Has 300 Million People Using It Every Month

In March, it was 200 million people.

Lucas Jackson / Reuters

Facebook continues to amass a non-trivial portion of the internet across its portfolio of applications — today saying that Instagram, a photo-sharing app it acquired for around $ 1 billion at the time in 2012, has 300 million monthly active users.

Facebook now has either built or bought several apps that have collected hundreds of millions of daily users. It also purchased WhatsApp for what was $ 19 billion at the time, which was last reported to have more than 600 million monthly active users.

Since forcing users to download a separate messenger application, the company said it has 500 million people using Facebook messenger. Most recently, Facebook built a standalone application for Groups, which the company said has more than 700 million people using it every month. Collectively pieced together, Facebook's fiefdom of the internet is rapidly growing beyond a billion users to basically begin reaching saturation point for the overall population of people connected to the internet.

Instagram, increasingly, is justifying its $ 1 billion price tag — with many in the Valley whispering that the price was actually cheap, in retrospect, given the growth and engagement the photo app commands. In addition to the 300 million monthly active users it has disclosed, Instagram has become a popular tool for photographers that are building audiences large enough that allow them to quit their day jobs and focus on that. That drives a virtuous growth cycle, bringing more users into Instagram and encouraging those users to create high-quality photos.

“It's a significant increase,” Rob Fishman, co-founder of Niche, a service that connects popular Instagram, Snapchat, and Vine users to potential brands for advertising campaigns, told BuzzFeed News. “Especially for advertisers, who are looking beyond traditional display (last week, Google admitted 56% of all display ads are never seen by a human!). Instagram's fast-growing user base has always been hyper-engaged, and now there's scale there too.”

Instagram is also rolling out verified badges for public officials and brands, and is going to crack down on spam and fake accounts, the company said.

Instagram has also attracted developers who are interested in building services and products that tie in with the photo-sharing app — something that, initially, helped drive a lot of adoption of Facebook. Here's a snapshot of several services featured on ProductHunt, which aggregates new products that the community can rank by voting:


And with that usage comes monetization. In the case of Instagram, the company began running sponsored ads last year. In the span of a few short years, Facebook has built a mobile advertising business that generated more than $ 2 billion, according to the company's most recent earnings report, as a result of its growing News Feed and mobile app ads.

“As more people join, keeping Instagram authentic is critical — a place where real people share real moments,” Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom said as part of the announcement.

That means that Instagram, too, has become another application in Facebook's portfolio that has surpassed Twitter in terms of usage. The company said it had 284 million monthly active users as part of its most-recent earnings report, with 80% of those users coming from mobile devices. Twitter, with that user base, has gone on to build an advertising business that's expected to pass $ 1 billion in revenue annually.

“Instagram's ad business is still very new and has a lot of growing up to do,” eMarketer principle analyst Debra Williamson said. “For example, its targeting capabilities are still very limited, but the company's new authentication initiatives send a message to the ad community that their followers will be real entities and that the impressions they receive will not be fakes or bots.”

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BuzzFeed – Business

Here’s How Uber Is Trying To Talk People Out Of Deleting Their Accounts

Community managers for the transit company confront journalist investigation allegations head-on to try and retain users.

Kai Pfaffenbach / Reuters

In the wake of a BuzzFeed News report that Uber SVP Emil Michael suggested hiring opposition researchers to find and publish personal information on journalists covering the company, some users have begun to delete their Uber profiles. But the company isn't letting them go easily.

One San Francisco Uber user, Brian Brophy, tried to cancel his account Tuesday evening, citing the company's “disturbing” business practices. In response, an Uber community manager vehemently defended the company in an attempt to retain Brophy as a user.

“We have not, do not, and will not investigate journalists. Those remarks do not reflect the views of the company and have no basis in the reality of our approach. Our executive has apologized for his comments,” the community manager replied.

Guardian columnist Jessica Valenti noticed and tweeted similar statement from an Uber community operations manager when she tried to cancel her New York account yesterday afternoon:

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BuzzFeed – Tech

5 Things Most People Forget About Local SEO

5 Things Most People Forget About Local SEO
Local search engine optimization (SEO) can be tricky. Not only do you have to do all the customary SEO stuff, but then you have to do a new layer of complex SEO activities. Most tech-savvy local-business owners have a decent idea of how to do local SEO …
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SEO Strategist
Digipath Recruitment is looking to recruit for Somerset West based digital agency that requires SEO copywriter/strategist. Client focus: Conduct exhaustive site audits and compile benchmark reports. Work with the head of department to develop ethical …
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SEO: Optimizing Product Content on Amazon
In “SEO: The Case for Optimizing Amazon,” my article last week, I reviewed the growing importance of optimizing products for Amazon's massive internal search engine. In this article, I'll describe steps to accomplish that goal. Organic search …
Read more on Practical Ecommerce