Facebook is Giving Us the Messenger Feature We've Always Needed

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks on stage during the annual Facebook F8 developers conference in 2017

A Facebook Messenger spokesperson told TechCrunch that "the only possible option is an expiration timer users can set on messages". And now, the social media company is planning to expand that functionality to any individual looking to buy ads on political topics discussed around the country or any similar "issues".

Previewing Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's testimony before Congress this week, Wired editor-in-chief and CBS News Contributor Nicholas Thompson says that the billionaire has received an "education" in the wake of the 2016 election and ongoing privacy concerns for users on his social media platform. "We're starting this in the USA and expanding to the rest of the world in the coming months".

"These steps by themselves won't stop all people trying to game the system", Zuckerberg wrote in a separate post to his wall. "This will make it much harder for people to administer a Page using a fake account, which is strictly against our policies", Facebook points out. Facebook said that "After Sony Pictures' emails were hacked in 2014 we made a number of changes to protect our executives' communications". To get verified, advertisers will need to confirm their identity and location.

Facebook Inc (FB.O) said on Friday that it had suspended Canadian political consultancy AggregateIQ from its platform after reports that the data firm may have improperly had access to the personal data of Facebook users.

This marks an expansion of Facebook's previous plans on this front, when these measures would have applied only to political ads - typically defined as mentioning a specific candidate - but not to ads that only talk about hot-button issues without mentioning candidates.

"This work has not progressed past the planning phase, and we have not received, shared, or analysed anyone's data", a Facebook spokesperson told CNBC, the U.S. media outlet that broke the story today. "We should have done this sooner-and we're sorry that we did not". The company said it will wait for the feature to be available for everyone, and that it won't unsend or retract any more of Zuckerberg's messages. While the extent to which an alleged Russian operation to flood Facebook with disinformation and propaganda before the 2016 elections actually swayed them in favour of Donald Trump is unclear, the PR fallout from it is not.

Sandberg was asked by NBC television's "Today Show" if other cases of user data misuse could be expected.

Yet political advertising could also come up at the hearings.

Facebook seeks to improve its transparency and accountability around political campaigns.

Some investors see the chaos as a chance to snap up shares in a service for which there is scarce alternative, despite rising public scrutiny and the prospect of a grilling from United States legislators when Zuckerberg testifies before Congress next week.