Meanwhile, Snapchat wants almost $1 million for disappearing ads, advertisers are Pinterest for a fool, and Facebook announced Amber Alerts and AI tools for everyone.

It's time for Social Media Saturday!


It's the End of the World as We Know It?

It might have been the scariest hack on Twitter since The Associated Press Twitter account was hacked almost two years ago and reported two explosions in the White House. Late on Friday, the United Press International (UPI) Twitter feed -- along The New York Post's -- announced that the U.S. Navy was in an active shooting war with China in the South China Sea.

Adding to that, UPI's account then posted a fake quote from Pope Francis, according to TIME, saying, "World War III has begun."

Any possible public damage from the hoax was short lived, as in the 2013 AP Twitter hack, since The Post gained control of its Twitter account soon after and announced it had been hacked and the posts weren't real.

Maybe for Twitter

Twitter's security reputation, on the other hand, took yet another hit. While the company focuses on gaining new users in response to its continued rough ride on the stock market, it's becoming obvious it needs to focus on account security as well.

In many Twitter hacking cases, of course, the company isn't directly at fault. As BGR noted, many account owners use weak passwords, access their accounts from open public WiFi, and sometimes they just lose their phones without noticing until it's too late.

On the other hand, wrote BGR, "For a service that is used by nearly 300 million users, it is shocking to see how easily its accounts are getting hacked on a daily basis."

"Security experts have been calling on Twitter for a very long time, asking it to improve its security and add measures such as sharply limit the log in attempts from a single IP address, and only allow one person to access a Twitter account at a given time."

Twitter was slow to adopt 2-factor authentication, and while it's working on a supposedly revolutionary no-password login system, it's becoming clear that the troubled social network needs to do something more to slow down the hackings: after all, the week began with the U.S. Army's CENTCOM account getting hacked.


Now Featuring Amber Alerts

As we previously reported, Facebook announced this Tuesday that it would begin using its social media networks to send out Amber Alerts to help find missing children. The new public service was actually inspired by Facebook users sharing the alerts voluntarily.

Soon Invading Your Workspace

The same week, Facebook announced the limited pilot launch of Facebook for Work, a new effort to coax businesses into using the website and new apps to create employee social networks. While still in limited release, the new system promises a bit of separation between work and personal accounts, even though they'll still be linked for the user.

And Sharing Some of Its Intelligence 

Finally, Facebook has begun open sourcing some of the algorithms it uses to drive the network, so-called "deep learning" or AI services like voice and image recognition created by the Facebook Artificial Intelligence Research Lab. According to Wired, the idea is to spare startups the trouble of having to build their own AI algorithms from scratch while eventually benefitting from improvements that others might make.


Advertisers: 'Screw Snapchat's Price Tag'

The advertising industry balked at the young ephemeral messaging app Snapchat this week, after hearing a pitch that put the price tag on a day's worth of advertisements that disappear from users feeds at $750,000.

According to Adweek, who heard from insider sources getting that pitch from Snapchat, the problem isn't whether or not Snapchat's audience is a coveted demographic. It's that apparently Snapchat still has limited capabilities to show advertisers very many metrics about their campaigns' effectiveness yet -- making it essentially like gambling almost $1M a day on the possibility that those young Snapchatters are even paying attention.

Advertisers Screw Pinterest, Using Workaround

Meanwhile, as we previously reported, Pinterest has worked for about a year on getting its ad metrics, pricing, and packaging just right for marketers.

But just weeks into Pinterests official ad platform launch, advertisers are bypassing it, according to the Wall Street Journal. Instead, marketing campaigns are paying people with a lot of followers on Pinterest, so-called "Pinfluencers", to spread their messages. The result is low cost, but Pinterest itself gets nothing.