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Amid Hack-Attacks, Unstable User-Base, Facebook Will Now Tell Its Own Stories, Starting With India

© REUTERS / Dado RuvicA 3D plastic representation of the Facebook logo is seen in this illustration in Zenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina
A 3D plastic representation of the Facebook logo is seen in this illustration in Zenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina - Sputnik International
New Delhi (Sputnik): Ever since it was revealed in 2018 that Facebook had secretly exposed the data of millions of its users to the UK-based research firm Cambridge Analytica, its main app, along with its other popular platforms including WhatsApp and Instagram, has witnessed several ups and downs in terms of user-base in India and globally.

In the wake of data breach incidents which followed the Cambridge Analytica scandal, the social networking giant Facebook has decided to not rely solely on others to tell its stories. Beginning with India, Facebook plans to reach out to people and highlight the “power of connections” in the country with a new campaign titled “More Together”, India's Economic Times reported on Monday.

The 360-degree campaign – which would air advertisements in eight regional languages via film, radio and various digital platforms – would be the first step towards Facebook’s plans of ramping up its investments in marketing and advertising strategies amid a questionable market image.

In 2019, India emerged as Facebook’s largest market in terms of user base in the world with 241 million active users. In addition, the company noted over 400 million and over 69 million users on its other top apps WhatsApp and Instagram.

However, in June 2019 Facebook confessed that it had been discreetly collecting the data of 187,000 users since 2016, out of which 156,000 were Indians including 29,700 teens between the ages of 13 and 17.

Later in November, WhatsApp confirmed that an Israeli cyber Intelligence Company, NSO Group, was snooping on Indian activists and journalists via spyware called "Pegasus" that was capable of compromising a device and getting access to all of its data.

Within days, Facebook witnessed an 80 percent decline in WhatsApp downloads in the country.

In fact, after 2017, Facebook, which has been surrounded by data breach scandals, has remained unsteady with its user-base, not just in India but globally. People have just become extremely cautious when it comes to using Facebook over other apps, out of concern that their private data such as names, email ids and location information could be exposed and misused at an ytime.

In a bid to win back its users under its “More Together” campaign, Facebook has partnered with Taproot Dentsu in India – the creative branch of London-based digital marketing firm Dentsu Aegis Network (DAN) to bring out stories of real people in whose journeys Facebook and its family of apps played an important role.

“Over the last few years, in the absence of Facebook telling a story about itself, invariably that story has been written by others. And we are quite keen to change that,” the media quoted Managing Director Ajit Mohan, as saying.

The scrutiny over Facebook's vulnerability has shot up to such a magnitude that  an official instruction was issued to the Indian Army, advising them to refrain from using any app from the social networking platform - especially for official communications. 

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