Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, has confirmed the launch of a new Facebook feature/product which is set to be announced next week. Now, before you start salivating about what it could be, let's think. Could it be something to combat the huge positive launch of Google+, could it be video chat? Maybe the rumored iPad app?
It could be a photo-sharing app for iOS, or a total change for the site itself. The news comes from Reuters, with their editor reporting that Zuckerberg confirmed to inquiring reporters at their Seattle-based office that Facebook plan on launching "something awesome" next week.
Chief Executive and founder Mark Zuckerberg told reporters in a visit to Facebook's Seattle office on Wednesday that the company planned to "launch something awesome" next week.He said the project had been developed at the 40-person Seattle office, Facebook's only major engineering center outside of its Palo Alto, California headquarters.
If you have gotten an invite into Google+, you'll know just how cool it is so far. I've been using it most of the day and I must say I'm very, very impressed. I can definitely see the potential for not only Google here, but for users in general. It feels more secure, very stable and very well made, many features that other social networking sites don't have like video chat. Hangouts is surprisingly cool, with Cameron and I currently video chatting (he may or may not be naked, join our Hangout to see) and it "just works".
It took all of five seconds to get into the room, flawless is an understatement. You're able to view YouTube videos together, smilies in chat are pretty cool as they transform from the text to an actual smilie, and tagging also works if you use it like Facebook, @Anthony, etc.
Once you've been invited, feel free to add the TweakTown staff to your circles and we hope to bring you some TweakTown themed Google+ action soon! How does a "Hangout" and drinks with TweakTown staff and readers sound? Leave your thoughts, email me or +1 me! Come +meet us now! :)
Google+ has been launched today and it is quite the bundle of joy. Included are multiple parts which create one large social networking web of connectivity, social fun and constant information on friends and more specifically the friends you want to know your whereabouts or specific posts.
Included are four major sections, +Circles, +Sparks, +Hangouts, +Mobile. First off +Circles is all about sharing what matters, to those who mean the most to you. Not all relationships and friendships are equal, +Circle allows you to create a "circle" which allows you to add the people you want to it and share what's new or something cool you found online. Instead of going out to all of your friends at once.
Facebook is rumored to start holding hands with Spotify on a music-streaming service that could be launched within a fortnight. It is currently going through testing and when launched, Facebook users will see a Spotify icon appear on the left of their newsfeed, along with the usual icons for photos, events and CityVille.
Once that icon appears, clicking on it will install the service on their desktop in the background and will allow users to play from Spotify's library of millions of songs through Facebook. The service goes one step further since it's on a social networking site, by letting Facebook users listen to music simultaneously with their friends over Facebook.
I just finished up some news and tweeted them, thought oh yeah I'll look at my Twitter and see what's going on - heart stops. Oh my god, my time line is empty, I've been hacked! I thought it were ironic as yesterday I talked about hackers and just now I posted about the iOS 4 hack... Alanis Morisette would be laughing at me right now.
But, status.twitter.com is reporting that some users might be experiencing empty timelines, myself and a friend are definitely feeling it. Twitter says:
We're currently experiencing an issue where some user's timelines will appear empty until new tweets come in. The older tweets will eventually begin to display as well. The team is aware of the issue and working to resolve it.
Normally I wouldn't bring the world of reality TV to TweakTown, but this news is quite hilarious. I've been watching snippets of Dancing with the Stars (#dwts) and its funny. The show features a bunch of 'celebrities' and they dance. If you haven't heard of it, then start painting that rock you live under in a better colour. Anyway, the show feels rigged because the three (to me anyway) main stars are Manu from My Kitchen Rules, Lara Bingle (I'm sure you all know her) and Damien Leith (Australian Idol winner). These 3 seem to dance the best and I'm sure they were picked up by producers months in advance and told to get practice, now.
During the show, I hear the word "Twitter" at least 3,219 times and have noticed they have "live" tweets scrolling down the bottom of the screen. These tweets are nearly all positive tweets, hash-tagging various dancers and the show itself (#dwts). SMH has picked up on this and has had various results. The accounts that are tweeting are new (created just hours before #dwts aired) and have been inactive since. Strange, huh?
California residents David Gould and Mike Robertson had previously filed a lawsuit accusing Facebook of sharing their names and privacy information with advertisers, violating Facebook's privacy policies and a host of other Acts. The lawsuit came out of a Wall Street Journal report that revealed that popular Facebook apps like Farmville were sharing very private information with advertising and information tracking firms. Whoops.
So these two jumped on this with a lawsuit, but some weird stuff is happening. Yesterday San Jose, CA U.S District Court Judge James Ware shot down Facebook's request that the lawsuit be dismissed because Gould and Robertson hadn't followed some random bureaucratic procedure. Nice try, guys. Ware however threw out 8 of the 9 claims that the plaintiffs had filed (also preventing them from re-filing all but 5).
So uh......I got nothing. Not like I went to Law School, so I can only imagine how this is going to turn out. See the court docs here.
You've undoubtedly heard about the controversy surrounding Facebook's attempt to smear Google via what turned out to be a pretty shady public relations firm. If you haven't, here's a quick summary:
Last night, Dan Lyons of The Daily Beast exposed that the social network had hired PR firm Burson-Marsteller to get newspapers and news outlets to publish stories about how Google was invading its users' privacy:
Confronted with evidence, a Facebook spokesman last night confirmed that Facebook hired Burson, citing two reasons: First, because it believes Google is doing some things in social networking that raise privacy concerns; second, and perhaps more important, because Facebook resents Google's attempts to use Facebook data in its own social-networking service.
Like a Cold War spy case made public, the PR fiasco reveals-and ratchets up-the growing rivalry between Google and Facebook. Google, the search giant, views Facebook as a threat, and has been determined to fight back by launching a social-networking system of its own. So far, however, Google has not had much luck, but Facebook nonetheless felt it necessary to return fire-clandestinely
(UPDATE: We clearly got way too excited about this- it's evidently been around for a while, but may have just become active today for us here at Tweak Town. )
It's true. The social network notorious for hoarding user data just opened up its vaults. You will now find the following option in your Facebook account settings:
Anti-Facebook and open-web advocates have been decrying the site's miserly approach to user data for years. The ill-fledged Diaspora open-source Facebook clone even launched on that very premise. Users can now leave, well, anytime they want, with all of their data in tow. I doubt that this changes Facebook's policy on retaining your data after you deactivate your account "for your convenience", but it's definitely a step forward.
In case you live under a rock, or in a multi-acre off-the-grid "luxury" Pakistani compound, Osama Bin Laden is officially dead and accounted for, thanks to a successful Covert Ops mission yesterday. Not only did the news start pouring in on Twitter before mainstream media had time to compose stories and segments of greater than 140 characters, but the announcement saw the highest sustained tweets per second (TPS) ever.
The above is the "first" tweet that alerted the Twitterverse to the impending media onslaught, posted 10:25PM EST May 1, yesterday by Keith Urbahn, former Chief of Staff for Donal Rumsfeld, himself the former Secretary of Defense under the George W. Bush administration, one that made the search for Bin Laden a primary ideological focus. It seems that the news itself was actually broken, retroactively, by a resident of Abbottabad, Soahib Athar (Twitter user @reallyvirtual).
At 11PM EST, the announcement of Bin Laden's death came in at over 5000 TPS, outdoing every other major Twitter event in the social network's history with the exception of the Japanese New Year's Eve 2010, which peaked at over 6000 TPS. The Bin Laden announcement however sustained a 3,440 TPS for over 3 hours, the longest and highest sustained TPS ratio.
Other notable Twitter events include last week's Royal Wedding (now sixth all-time), the Japanese Earthquake & Pacific Tsunami (p
Yesterday at the Guardian Activate conference in New York, Twitter Vice President of International Strategy Katie Stanton confirmed that there are now over 200 Million registered users on Twitter. She commented that over 70% of Twitter traffic comes from outside the US, with around 25% in Japan alone. Also remarkable -but not altogether surprising- is that 40% of Twitter traffic comes from mobile phones.
Twitter isn't so much a triumph of technology, it's a triumph of humanity - connecting those stories and connecting those voices.
Stanton also noted that because the founders of Twitter (Evan Williams, Noah Glass, Biz Stone, Jack Dorsey) wanted the service to be accessible even in parts of the world with very weak mobile capability. This makes sense as Twitter was an invaluable resource for news, status updates, and communication during both the Egyptian Revolution and Japanese Earthquake & Pacific Tsunami events of this year.
Given their growth rate, it is quite possible that Twitter will catch up to Facebook within the next two years, especially considering that many people use both for different reasons. It is clear that Twitter is going to hang around for a while- I for one cannot be happier. Brevity is the soul of instantly accessible knowledge- embrace the short form and sign up.
It was only a few months ago that Facebook rolled out Check-In Deals which allowed you to gain access to special offers when you check in at a local business from your mobile. Deals on Facebook is a step further which lets you help find fun experiences to share with your favorite people.
Deals on Facebook is currently limited to just a few US-based cities: Atlanta, Austin, Dallas, San Diego and San Fransisco. Facebook have worked with partners and local businesses to help deliver the best social activities in your area. Once you've found a deal that you like, you can then share the activity to friends, buy it and plan it all from Facebook.
Tweeters, shortformers, and lazy people alike: if you're in college / university or just recently out and enjoying how deplorable the job market is out there, check out this post from . Under Armour's Facebook page:
Got any plans for the summer? Waiting tables? Lurking in your parents' basement? We've got a better idea. How does hanging with world class athletes, helping to develop the newest innovations in all of sports, and working with the world's original performance brand sound? Good? Then get ready for the most memorable summer of your life.
How does one apply for such a grandiose position? Crazy good references? Incessant email pinging and queries? In with LeBron?
Nope. Just submit a 140-character (re: a Tweet) cover letter with your CV / resume attached. Also, "like" their Facebook page to get started.
Submissions are due May 12th- they'll let you know by May 16th if you get in. So get creative, get witty, get social- all so you can get an internship.
Damn if the world isn't a crazy place.
Does anyone remember Friendster? Better yet, does anyone still have a Friendster account? Deemed "the social network pioneer", Friendster began in 2002- and that's pretty much it. It began in 2002.
For some reason, Friendster was just a tad too early to enjoy what would become a social media boom- then again, MySpace hasn't really fared any better. It has been the subject of nigh infinite malign ever since its inception- including one my favorites by the Onion- which will now be just as outdated as its subject:
Evidently Friendster hasn't been doing that badly, as it managed to raise almost $50 million in venture capital and was subsequently acquired by a Malaysian firm, MOL Global for possibly $40 million in 2009.
Much like MySpace, Friendster is repositioning as an "entertainment and news site" (I wonder if at some point there's going to be some kind of internet elephant graveyard for social-networks-turned-entertainment-news...
Though social network Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg may have inadvertently sold half of his company to some rando from upstate New York, another rando is saying it won't matter because Facebook has the capability to become the world's largest bank by 2015.
This guy, Ken Rutkowski, evidently both founder of Metal International and chief dude at the Founder institute in Los Angeles, believes that in a few short years Facebook will have amassed enough financial credibility so as to calculate the credibility of consumers. Rutkowski told TechWorld:
If you play games on Facebook, which, by the way 40 to 50 per cent of the time spent on Facebook is playing games, and those games - like Farmville and Mafia Wars - are paid for and you have to buy credits for that and they are called Facebook Credits.
Rutkowski's logic is as follows: he claims that 40%-50% of people play games on Facebook, and that playing those games requires in-game purchases (they're not actually required, but it's easier to play them if you buy virtual goods), and....well, it gets kind of fuzzy after that. He goes on to claim that China and the rest of Asia already use Facebook as a massive revenue source...
GetGlue is a social service that allows users to check-in to films, television shows, books, music, sports games, etc.; it's like the Foursquare of...pretty much everything. They then use your check-ins and likes to tabulate stats and data to better recommend other pop culture for you to consume (sidenote: as much as this seems helpful, algorithms and similar services like Netflix and even the Facebook suggestions are generally redundant- big @#$%ing surprise, I liked SNL and now you're recommending that I would enjoy 30 Rock, which features at least 50% former SNL cast members. Thanks, supersmart algorithm).
You know how Foursquare has digital badges? Well GetGlue gives you physical, touchable, and stickable badges based on your commitment to the things you like and check-in to. Incredibly, this service has managed to take advantage of what everyone else is trying to eleiminate (including Netflix): Snail Mail. They just mail the stickers to you. Wow. Good for you, GetGlue.
Twitter has a brand new home page. As you can see, popular accounts populate the row of profile pictures in the center of the page, and they've rearranged their sign-up interface to be a little more accessible. A map now extends from left-to-right in the background, and the search bar is clearly visible. Not a huge fan, Twitter. I liked your blue & yellow theme better. Now you look like a consulting firm or a bank.
Not like I ever look at the home page though- I use browsers with cookies. Mmmmm.
I really hope that the generation is random, because I thought my profile would have given me something a little more literary.
LinkedIn is joining in the April Fools Shenanigans by offering connections to people that are clearly not on LinkedIn.
A couple more that made me laugh:
Keep refreshing your LinkedIn page, you're bound to get one that will make you chuckle.
redpepper Labs made a physical incarnation of the famous Facebook "Like" icon out of everyone's favorite creative architectural compound: Legos.
Matt Reed of redpepper wrote on his post,
So, what if I built a Facebook Like button out of Legos? What if I made it light up every time someone liked redpepper's Facebook page? Is that even possible? Yes.
Using the recently released Facebook Graphs API that returns requests for "Like" info and the O-S physical computing hardware Arduino, Reed slapped some bricks together and wrote a script with the intention of having the Lego sculpture light up each time someone liked the RedPepper Facebook Fan Page.
That didn't work out that well, so Reed set it to Lil' Wayne's Facebook Fan Page.
That worked considerably better.
Don't forget to check out the video of the creation of the object, with a sick "pixellated" remix of Kanye West's "All of the Lights".
It's SXSW time and with it comes some changes to social networking giant, Foursquare. Foursquare have started rolling out the changes ahead of the official start of the event on the 11th.
The changes are somewhat different to what you'd expect and creates an evolving step toward something exciting for Foursquare. Version 3.0 brings a bunch of changes which are listed below. I'm sure Facebook won't be far behind this, Zuckerberg's fist must be shaking in the wind right about now.
Facebook's head of U.S. agency relations Sarah Personette revealed a joint event held by Obilvy and Buddy Media a bunch of statistics on global usage for Facebook. According to Facebook, they have 149 million Americans actively using the site with 70-percent of those users logging in daily.
Personette also revealed that France has 22 million active users with 65-percent returning daily, the UK has 29 million active users and Canada fills it's void with 19 million active users. From the picture above, we can see that my home country Australia has 10 million active users with 66-percent returning daily. Not bad at all, Facebook. Poke.