On Monday, Mark Zuckerberg announced on his Timeline that Facebook bought popular photo-sharing app Instagram for $1 billion. This was a great acquisition for Facebook since photo sharing is such an important part of their user experience, so what better way to improve the user experience than to buy the best and most viral photo app?
“Providing the best photo sharing experience is one reason why so many people love Facebook” said Zuckerberg, “and we knew it would be worth bringing these two companies together.” There has been mixed feelings from Instagram users. Take a look at this Mashable Poll:
What do you think about the acquisition, will it make Instagram for the better or worse?
Google+ launched their redesign this Wednesday in an effort to create a cleaner and more aesthetically pleasing user experience. The redesign is said to resemble Facebook’s Timeline, including the addition of a cover photo that stretches across the top of the profile, a bigger photo and video displays. The redesign also features a new Hangouts page and a new Explore page.
Yammer Buys OneDrum
Yammer acquired OneDrum, a Scotland-based startup enabling users to co-author, file share and instant message within Microsoft Office documents in real-time. Adding this business functionality to Yammer will bring the enterprise social networking platform full circle to not only be a communications platform but to providing business functionality as well.
Pinvolve – Turning Facebook Pages into Pinterest Pinboards
Bazaart, a fashion catalog for the iPad, launched a Facebook app called “Pinvolve” to convert Facebook pages into Pinterest pinboards The app creates a new section on your Facebook Brand page to present all of your photo posts on a pinboard and it also allows you and the page’s fans to re-share on Pinterest. Bazaart’s co-founder Dror Yaffe says that the app has increased their re-pins by over 150% and that early adopters have seen the same. See Audrey Kitching’s Page below.
9-year old Caine Monroy builds an arcade from a big pile of cardboard. This video is worth the 10 minutes, it will melt your heart.
During the Facebook Launch Event this Wednesday in San Francisco, Carl Sjogreen, Facebook’s Director of Platform Products, announced the improvements to their new Open Graph and Gestures platforms it introduced during the f8 Developer Conference last September. With the new Open Graph, developers are able to create apps that allow users to add anything they want directly to their Timeline. Later on, they introduced 60 new now live apps that are tightly integrated to the new platform including some by well-known companies such as eBay, Foursquare, Airbnb, Foodily and LivingSocial.
Not familiar with the new Open Graph concept? Take a look at the video below:
SOPA and PIPA Outrage
Wikipedia, the most respected free encyclopedia website on the Internet, blocked their service for 24 hours on Wednesday to raise awareness, for those outside of the technology community they claimed, of two proposed legislations regarding Internet censorship – Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect Internet Property Act(PIPA).
For those of you who are not yet familiar with the proposed legislations, here are the descriptions, as described by Wikipedia:
The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA)is a law (bill) of the United States of America proposed in 2011 to fight online trafficking in copyrighted intellectual property and counterfeit goods. Proposals include barring advertising networks and payment facilities from conducting business with allegedly infringing websites, barring search engines from linking to the sites, and requiring Internet service providers (ISP) to block access to the sites. The bill would criminalize streaming of content, with a maximum penalty of five years in prison.
The Protect IP Act (Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act of 2011 or PIPA), also known as Senate Bill 968 or S. 968, is a proposed law with the stated goal of giving the US government and copyright holders additional tools to curb access to “rogue websites dedicated to infringing or counterfeit goods”, especially those registered outside the U.S. The bill was introduced on May 12, 2011, by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and 11 bipartisan co-sponsors. The Congressional Budget Office estimated that implementation of the bill would cost the federal government $47 million through 2016, to cover enforcement costs and the hiring and training of 22 new special agents and 26 support staff. The Senate Judiciary Committee passed the bill, but Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) placed a hold on.
Many tech companies like Google, Wikipedia, etc. state that the two bills, if passed by the United States Congress, would fundamentally hurt the Internet Industry. For example, websites like Youtube, Vimeo, Flickr all seem likely to shut down if the bill becomes law, not to mention the developments of many emerging Internet and social media websites would be forced to stop, which would push technological innovations into the Dark Age according to one Mashable article published on Wednesday.
Content sharing website Reddit, as well as the famous tech blog Boing Boing, also joined forces and shut down their services for 24 hours. Many other websites added banner links, protest pages and published articles on the front page regarding the issue. One of the notable changes was Google covered its logo with a giant black ‘censor’ bar and wrote ‘Tell Congress: Please don’t censor the web!” below with a link to its online petition.
Watch this infographic video (originally created by Fight for the Future and posted to their Vimeo Channel. Reddit put it up during the service shut down) regarding the SOPA and PIPA bills and the effect they would have on the Internet Industry.
The official SOPA protest website, sopastrike.com, called the protest ‘The Largest Online Protest in History’ with an infograph showing the overall effect to date, and listed all the participating companies and organizations.
September 23, 2011 / Comments Off on The New Facebook – Social Media Roundup for September 23, 2011 / Posted in: Blog, Social Media Roundup
With the recently passed F8 Developer Conference, Facebook’s spotlight from last week has continued into this week and I think it may hold onto that spotlight for a little while longer as the new features roll out, which started happening on Tuesday night.
Facebook has replaced the old News Feed with a smarter feed. Whether you are on Facebook every day or not all that often, the new feature will let you know the “top stories” since the time you last logged on, so you don’t have to go through everything or miss out on important news. How does it do this? By simple actions such as hiding something on your News Feed and using the new control in the top right of each story to unmark something as a top story, Facebook gets a better idea of what you want to see. In other words, it starts thinking, “What would Kirsten be interested in seeing?”
The old Facebook didn’t seem to have the best representation of an individual, as it only offered a snippet of our current life. Say, if I added a new friend, they would only be able to easily see what I have been up to within the last week or so but the new Facebook Timeline allows for friends to see the highlights of my life (whatever I choose to share of course) and this can be kept on my Timeline forever, dating back all the way to birth!
Check out this video for a little introduction to the Timeline:
You never have to leave; it’s a one-stop shop! With newly formed partnerships, you can watch a show on Hulu, listen to a song on Spotify or stay updated on current events with Yahoo News and you can let all of your friends know what you are “watching,” “listening,” or “reading.” These types of notifications will show up on another one of the new features, your real-time Ticker. This sounds like a great marketing opportunity. If you see that a lot of your friends are “watching” the Grey’s Anatomy premier, maybe you want to tune in too?
This is all great but that real-time Ticker will keep changing as updates keep happening. How does a brand become important enough to a find a permanent place in your timeline? This is the real opportunity for a brand to build a relationship with you and get on your Wall so that your friends can see the brands you are loyal to. This is the challenge that seems to be ahead of us.
Here’s the results from a Mashable poll asking people how they feel about the new Facebook:
How do you feel?
Finally, check out this video of Andy Samberg impersonating Mark Zuckerberg at the F8 2011 for some end of the week giggles.
June 4, 2010 / Comments Off on Social Media Roundup for June 4, 2010 / Posted in: Blog
AP Stylebook Adds Social Media Guidelines
The Associated Press has recognized that social media is being used more and more by professional journalists. To help facilitate the evolution they have released the 2010 Edition of the AP Stylebook which includes a new section dedicated to social media information and policies for platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. The stylebook has gained a serious online following of nearly 46,000 followers.
The style book is easily ordered, and the updates specifically illustrate how journalists can utilize social media for their work, and ways to verify the sources found through these platforms. Additional information is documented that relates to terms such as blog, app, friend, unfriend, RSS, search engine optimization (SEO), trending, widgets, and wiki.
Mark Zuckerberg has a Nixon Moment
Kara Swisher recently grilledMark regarding privacy and policy changes that have caused online civil unrest and widespread criticism. Mark created a “great moment in internet history” when he took off his company issued hoodie for the first time on camera, while sweat visibly dripped from expressionless face. In a shot of irony, the CEO of a company who wants everyone to share was reluctant to divulge his personal thoughts, or specific details regarding their revenue model and the rationale behind privacy decisions. On the upside, Facebook has launched a fan page for privacy which will help keep people informed and encourages feedback from users.
Microsoft Live Essentials Wave 4
After describing future updates to Hotmail and Messenger, Microsoft is at it again for their Essentials. The main improvements revolve around making it easier for users to do three main tasks; creating and sharing polished photos or movies, organizing your email accounts in one place and adding productivity tools, as well as syncing files across the computers and workplaces enabling instant access from anywhere. Products included in the Essentials toolkit are Messenger, Mail, Writer, Photo Gallery, Movie Maker, Family Safety, Sync, and the Bing Bar.
Coke & Mentos Powered Rocket Car
Many of us already know what happens when Coke and Mentos are mixed (see explosion), but Stephen Voltz and Fritz Grobe have taken it one step further! The white coat duo built a custom car chassis, mounted 108 2L Coke Zero bottles and then added 648 Mentos mints. The Results…? See below!
May 29, 2010 / Comments Off on Social Media Roundup for May 28, 2010 / Posted in: Blog
Youth get smart about privacy settings
Today’s youth may have a reputation for texting in short hand, but they are proving to be a savvy bunch when it comes to privacy on social networks. A new report from the Pew Internet & American Life Project has sparked discussion about how young people are rising to the top when it comes to online reputation management. The study highlights how young people in the 18-29 age bracket are actively deleting comments that others have made on their profile and locking down privacy settings in an effort to maintain a clean image online, particularly those who are entering the workforce.
In a column in The Washington Post, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg talks about how Facebook missed the mark with it’s latest privacy settings. Users recently began to complain about the overly complex Facebook privacy settings, a move which Zuckerberg described as an attempt to give people more granular control over privacy settings. Zuckerberg promises that they will be releasing simpler controls for privacy settings in the coming weeks, which will help users easily turn off all third-party services.