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Hey Pinterest, who is Mike and why am I stuck liking him?

A mystery Chrome extension has popped up, and the internet was no help in solving the mystery, but through some tricky maneuvering, it was made obvious that not all Google Chrome extensions are made equal.

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What is MikeLike?

A few weeks ago, I noticed in my Google Chrome when I right click on a photo, a small blue icon and the words “Pin to MikeLike,” and red alarms immediately went off in my head – who the bleep is Mike and why is he up in my Chrome? I’ve never heard of MikeLike, nor have I ever installed anything from the Pinterest clone, so where did this come from?

I put on my Sherlock Holmes hat, stuffed my pipe with pretend tobacco, and began sleuthing. First, I headed over to the MikeLike site and read their about page and terms, and found nothing about uninstalling MikeLike from Google Chrome. Maybe I accidentally downloaded some Google Chrome extension, so I dug through all of my Google Chrome settings and there was nothing called MikeLike that I could delete or uninstall.

Nothing? I checked my browser history that goes back nearly 12 months, and I found no instance of having visited anything named MikeLike. Google searching didn’t reveal much information about it, so I headed over to the Google Chrome Web App Store and found a MikeLike extension, but it wasn’t installed on my Chrome.

The mystery deepens

This mystery is frustrating. Who is Mike? Someone please tell me! In desperation, I ran a sweep on my computer to make sure it wasn’t some malware I had been exposed to, and all was clear. I quickly decided that Pinterest was out to get me, but just in case that wasn’t true, I kept searching for answers.

With a little digging, I found someone complaining that the Pinterest Right Click Google Chrome Extension had added the ability to “Pin to MikeLike,” so I searched to see if I had downloaded that extension. I could tell from the “Add to Chrome” button on the page that I did not have it installed.

It seemed like a dead end, until I remembered that I had tested out several Chrome Extensions for pinning to Pinterest and settled on the “Pinterest Button” which is not designed by Pinterest, so it can technically make any changes it wants to, even if it is just one guy who built an app once upon a time.

By uninstalling the “Pinterest Button” Chrome extension, there was no more “Pin to MikeLike” when I right click an image, and when I am in Pinterest, I no longer have a stupid extra button when I hover over a picture.

Problem solved, what was the lesson learned?

It may seem minor to some, but this felt like a major violation to me – the brand was inconsistent and not even named the same thing as the Pinterest Button extension, and there was no way for most people to stumble upon the answer as to who the hell MikeLike is. I panicked and wasted a lot of time trying to uninstall this and that, and to no avail. MikeLike may be useful for some, as it offers private pin boards, but through no fault of Pinterest, a rogue extension downloaded to Chrome led to a great deal of confusion.

The lesson: when installing Chrome Extensions or any sort of browser tool, try to use the official extension from the source if you can, even if the functionality lacks. Although there is no official Pinterest extension on Chrome, the closest, most legitimate extension is the Pinterest Pin It Button (by Shareaholic) which works just fine and doesn’t force you into liking Mike, who is still a mystery person.

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8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Janet Aronica

    May 8, 2012 at 11:17 am

    Hey hey – thanks so much for the kind words on our Pinterest Chrome extension! We’re glad you like it and find it to be a good substitute for this other one. Please give me a personal shout-out if it causes you any issues like that other one did – jaronica at shareaholic.com. Glad to have you as a user.

    – Janet from Shareaholic

  2. LindseyMclain

    July 22, 2012 at 5:25 pm

    thank you so much for explaining that!  i agree with the feeling of violation.  i am following your lead and switching to shareaholics extension.

  3. MTgrrl

    July 24, 2012 at 7:15 pm

    Thanks very much for your sleuthing.  I suspected that was the issue, but had not got off my lazy butt long enough to track it down and find a legit Chrome extension.  It was fabulous to find  your answer to my problem!

  4. Reema_ajdeeda

    August 15, 2012 at 4:50 pm

    I uninstalled the extension but it still says the mike thing. I dont know what to do.
     

  5. Reema_ajdeeda

    August 15, 2012 at 5:01 pm

    nevermind. i was on the wrong extension. 🙂

  6. margaretalmon

    August 27, 2012 at 10:15 pm

    Thank you for solving this mystery!  I appreciate you taking the time to figure this out.

  7. TARAdactyl

    October 10, 2012 at 10:49 am

    THANK YOU! I was going nuts with this and SO felt it was annoying AND a violation. I was not going to use the service and the fact that it interfered with the functionality of Pinterest made that doubly bad..:)

  8. mystitsu

    December 9, 2012 at 11:50 pm

    I found out if you want to use the Pinterest right click extension you can turn off the option to pin to likemike  Make sure you turn them both off if you do. One says Pin to likemike and one says pin to likemike from pinterest.

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Social Media

Facebook releases Hotline as yet another Clubhouse competitor

(SOCIAL MEDIA) As yet another app emerges to try and take some of Clubhouse’s success, Facebook Hotline adds a slightly more formal video chat component to the game.

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Woman forming hands into heart shape at laptop hosting live video chat, similar to Facebook's new app Hotline

Facebook is at it again and launching its own version of another app. This time, the company has launched Hotline, which looks like a cross between Instagram Live and Clubhouse.

Facebook’s Hotline is the company’s attempt at competing with Clubhouse, the audio-based social media app, which was released on iOS in March 2020. Earlier this year, The New York Times reported Facebook had already begun working on building its own version of the app. Erik Hazzard, who joined Facebook in 2017 after the company acquired his tbh app, is leading the project.

The app was created by the New Product Experimentation (NPE) Team, Facebook’s experimental development division, and it’s already in beta testing online. To access it, you can use the web-based application through the platform’s website to join the waitlist and “Host a Show”. However, you will need to sign in using your Twitter account to do so.

Unlike Clubhouse, Hotline lets users also chat through video and not just audio alone. The product is more like a formal Q&A and recording platform. Its features allow people to live stream and hold Q&A sessions with their audiences similar to Instagram Live. And, audience members can ask questions by using text or audio.

Also, what makes Hotline a little more formal than Clubhouse is that it automatically records conversations. According to TechCrunch, hosts receive both a video and audio recording of the event. With a guaranteed recording feature, the Q&A sessions will stray away from the casual vibes of Clubhouse.

The first person to host a Q&A live stream on Hotline is real-estate investor Nick Huber, who is the type of “expert” Facebook is hoping to attract to its platform.

“With Hotline, we’re hoping to understand how interactive, live multimedia Q&As can help people learn from experts in areas like professional skills, just as it helps those experts build their businesses,” a Facebook spokesperson told TechCrunch. “New Product Experimentation has been testing multimedia products like CatchUp, Venue, Collab, and BARS, and we’re encouraged to see the formats continue to help people connect and build community,” the spokesperson added.

According to a Reuters article, the app doesn’t have any audience size limits, hosts can remove questions they don’t want to answer, and Facebook is moderating inappropriate content during its early days.

An app for mobile devices isn’t available yet, but if you want to check it out, you can visit Hotline’s website.

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Social Media

Brace yourselves: Facebook has re-opened political advertising space

(SOCIAL MEDIA) After a break due to misinformation in the past election, Facebook is once again allowing political advertising slots on their platform – with some caveats.

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Facebook open on phone in a wallet case, open for political advertising again.

After a months-long ban on political ads due to misinformation and other inappropriate behavior following the election in November, Facebook is planning to resume providing space for political advertising.

Starting on Thursday, March 4th, advertisers were able to buy spots for ads that comprise politics, what Facebook categorizes as “social issues”, and other potentially charged topics previously prohibited by the social media platform.

The history of the ban is complicated, and its existence was predicated on a profound distrust between political parties and mainstream news. In the wake of the 2016 election and illicit advertising activity that muddied the proverbial waters, Facebook had what some would view as a clear moral obligation to prevent similar sediment from clouding future elections.

Facebook delivered on that obligation by removing political advertising from their platform prior to Election Day, a decision that would stand fast in the tumultuous months to follow. And, while Facebook did temporarily suspend the ban in Georgia during the senate proceedings, political advertisements nevertheless remained absent from the platform in large until last week.

The removal of the ban does have some accompanying caveats—namely the identification process. Unlike before, advertisers will have to go to great lengths to confirm their identities prior to launching ads. Those ads will most likely also need to come from domestic agencies given Facebook’s diligent removal of foreign and malicious campaigns in the prior years.

The moral debate regarding social media advertising—particularly on Facebook—is a deeply nuanced and divided one. Some argue that, by removing political advertising across the board, Facebook has simply limited access for “good actors” and cleared the way for illegitimate claims.

Facebook’s response to this is simply that they didn’t understand fully the role ads would play in the electoral process, and that allowing those ads back will allow them to learn more going forward.

Either way, political advertising spots are now open on Facebook, and the overall public perception seems controversial enough to warrant keeping an eye on the progression of this decision. It wouldn’t be entirely unexpected for Facebook to revoke access to these advertisements again—or limit further their range and scope—in the coming months and years.

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Social Media

Twitter to start charging users? Here’s what you need to know

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Social media is trending toward the subscription based model, especially as the pandemic pushes ad revenue down. What does this mean for Twitter users?

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Twitter and other social media apps open on a phone being held in a hand. Will they go to a paid option subscription model?

In an attempt to become less dependent on advertising, Twitter Inc. announced that it will be considering developing a subscription product, as well as other paid options. Here’s the scoop:

  • The ideas for paid Twitter that are being tossed around include tipping creators, the ability to pay users you follow for exclusive content, charging for use of the TweetDeck, features like “undo send”, and profile customization options and more.
  • While Twitter has thought about moving towards paid for years, the pandemic has pushed them to do it – plus activist investors want to see accelerated growth.
  • The majority of Twitter’s revenue comes from targeted ads, though Twitter’s ad market is significantly smaller than Facebook and other competitors.
  • The platform’s user base in the U.S. is its most valuable market, and that market is plateauing – essentially, Twitter can’t depend on new American users joining to make money anymore.
  • The company tried user “tips” in the past with its live video service Periscope (RIP), which has now become a popular business model for other companies – and which we will most likely see again with paid Twitter.
  • And yes, they will ALWAYS take a cut of any money being poured into the app, no matter who it’s intended for.

This announcement comes at a time where other social media platforms, such as TikTok and Clubhouse, are also moving towards paid options.

My hot take: Is it important – especially during a pandemic – to make sure that creators are receiving fair compensation for the content that we as users consume? Yes, 100%. Pay people for their work. And in the realm of social media, pictures, memes, and opinions are in fact work. Don’t get it twisted.

Does this shift also symbolize a deviation from the unpaid, egalitarian social media that we’ve all learned to use, consume, and love over the last decade? It sure does.

My irritation stems not from the fact that creators will probably see more return on their work in the future. Or on the principal of free social media for all. It stems from sheer greediness of the social media giants. Facebook, Twitter, and their counterparts are already filthy rich. Like, dumb rich. And guess what: Even though Twitter has been free so far, it’s creators and users alike that have been generating wealth for the company.

So why do they want even more now?

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