Have you gotten any surprise visits in your WhatsApp groups lately?
You can find and join private WhatsApp through a simple Google search
Google is indexing invitations to group chats on WhatsApp. This practice makes invite links to both public, and private, group chats show up on Google with particular Google searchers. Consequently, anyone can find and join hundreds of thousands of WhatsApp groups. If you enter a WhatsApp group from a Google Search, you can see the name and phone number of all members.
Google has around 470 000 search results for "chat.whatsapp.com," part of the URL that makes up the invite links to WhatsApp groups. Many of the links indexed by Google lead to groups for sharing porn. Others link to private groups that its members probably didn't want to showcase on Google.
Danny Sullivan from Google tweeted that this is "no different than any case where a site allows URLs to be publicly listed," but it might be WhatsApp users that disagree to that statement. A WhatsApp spokesperson said "Like all content that is shared in searchable, public channels, invite links that are posted publicly on the internet can be found by other WhatsApp users. Links that users wish to share privately with people they know and trust should not be posted on a publicly accessible website."
Trump's re-election campaign will take over YouTube on election day
While the potential Democratic presidential candidates are bashing it out in the primaries, Trump already knows he will be one of two players in the US presidential election in November. A decent head start.
Trump's re-election campaign has now bought all masthead ads on YouTube for "early November", including Election Day (November 3rd). This move means that YouTube will only advertise just one candidate: Donald Trump, during the crucial days when voters across the country prepare to head to the polls.
The cost of the ad placement ranges from a couple of hundred thousand dollars up to $1 million per day. Brad Parscale, the president's campaign manager, said that the Trump campaign could spend as much as $500 million on digital ads and strategies. YouTube declined to comment but said that "All advertisers follow the same process and are welcome to purchase the masthead space as long as their ads comply with our policies."
Twitter buys Chroma Labs suggesting it will launch "Stories"
Twitter is currently one of the few social media platforms without a 9:16 "stories" format, but it looks like that is coming to an end. This week, Twitter acquired Chroma Labs, the company behind the popular app Chroma Stories.
The app allowed users to create high-quality videos in the 9:16 stories format easily and to share them on multiple platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Chroma Stories will continue to work for users that have already installed it – until it doesn't.
Chroma Labs writes on their webpage that "As part of this we're shutting down our business, effective immediately", and "We're proud of this work, and look forward to continuing our mission at a larger scale – with one of the most important services in the world." So, it looks like Twitter will have some decent groundwork in place for a big update in the future.
Tool of the week: Mailmeteor
Have you ever wished you could send personal emails to a list, instead of a newsletter? It is usually a lot of work to send individual emails to more than a few people, and I'm always worried that I will mix up people's names and write "Hey Sara!" to the wrong person.
However, with Mailmeteor, you don't have to do it manually anymore. It is a Chrome plugin for Gmail and an easy and secure way to send emails at scale. You can use it to run campaigns so that each of your recipients gets a personalised email. It uses Google Sheets as a base for email addresses, and you create your emails as templates in Mailmeteor. You can send up 100 emails a day for free. Pretty neat!
Anna Loverus Newsletter
Join the newsletter to receive the latest updates in your inbox.