It was a rough week the world over.
Read about the unique role Facebook played in the aftermath of the Paris attacks and its plans to build a nonprofit competitor to Kickstarter. Also: Google is building a programmatic ad sales tool for native and mobile video, and consumers rank the social ads they consider the most effective.
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How Facebook and Twitter played a critical community role during the #ParisAttacks
People often decry social media for its superficiality, triviality, and insincerity. Sometimes, though, it can be the most important tool in our lives. When darkness enveloped Paris last week, social was a source of critical information and comfort for millions.
Facebook's Safety Check, which asks users in the area affected by a crisis to label themselves "safe," alerted over 360 million family and friends within the first 24 hours following the attacks. Twitter also became a source of refuge for those in the city, with Parisians using hashtag "#PorteOuverte" ("open door") to identify homes and businesses for people to take shelter in. It was used over 400,000 times in just a handful of hours.
Some questioned Facebook's decision to activate Safety Check during the Paris attacks but not for the previous day's double suicide bombing in Beirut. The social giant acknowledged the discrepancy and said the tool will be more widely employed. Case in point: it was activated later this week for the Nigeria bombings.