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Social networking leader Facebook had their earnings call yesterday, where CEO Mark Zuckerberg talked about the company's further investment into product development. This will be a huge push in terms of creating products that make the social networking site money, and lots of it.
Zuckerberg said during the earnings call that Facebook will grow their headcount quickly this year in product development. This quick expansion will cull some of their profits, but they're really pushing their revenue earning products like graph search, Gifts and others. These products could eventually be the strongest parts of Facebook, so they're getting much needed attention.
Just last year alone, Facebook added 1,419 employees which pushed them to a total of 4,619 employees across the world - representing a 44% jump. Facebook will continue adding staff to their payroll, concentrating on engineering and jobs associated with product development. Facebook CFO David Ebersman revealed during the earnings call that Facebook's expenses would expand by 50% this year, which is mostly due to hiring new staff.
Back in October, Facebook settled a class action lawsuit for $20 million dollars over user images being used in advertising. You may have a claim to part of that $20 million. Do not get too excited however, because as many as 150 million other users are entitled to part of it as well.
To lay official claim to your portion of the settlement, you or your child had a Facebook account with a Facebook Sponsored Story featured, and Facebook must have used your images in that featured post. If you are one of the "lucky" ones, you may be entitled to a payment of less than $10 from the social networking giant.
Chances are that no individual will see a single dime from the settlement though as a clause in the class action settlement states that if too many people are found to be valid claim holders, the settlement funds will be donated to several charities. This is because it would be too costly to send a check for $1 to 200 million (give or take) different people.
Roughly 1.5 billion people worldwide use social networking sites such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. Google+ has claimed the second place spot in the race to become the largest social network in the world, beating out YouTube and Twitter by a few percent.
In a new report from GlobalWebIndex, Facebook is visited by more than half of all internet users, while Google+ sees about half that many users, with YouTube and Twitter getting about 20% each. Facebook is still the dominate monster, but Google+ is slowly chipping away at the top spot.
Since its launch, Google+ has managed over 300 million account creations and most of them are still considered active. That may seem a small when compared to Facebook's 1 billion+ user base, but not all of those accounts are active. In the end, ratings like these are hard to generate as all the major social networks are timid about sharing traffic data regularly.
Twitter ordered to reveal users personal data by French court in an effort to combat racism and antisemitism
The AP and Reuters are reporting that a Paris High Court has today ordered Twitter to reveal data that will help authorities identify authors of racist and anti-Semitic tweets.
The ruling is the result of a summons filed against Twitter by the French Jewish Students Union which wished to trace users who had tweeted hate speeches and rhetoric last October. The Students Union is hoping to get the tweeters prosecuted on the grounds that racial hatred is a crime in France.
Twitter has been given 15 days to comply with the order, after which the social networking company will be fined a daily penalty of $1335 until compliance is met. No word has been released yet on when or if Twitter will comply with the court's ruling.
In Indiana, it has been illegal for some time now for sex offenders to join popular social networks such as Facebook. Today the Associated Press is reporting that the 7th US Circuit of Appeals court has ruled that the law banning sex offenders from social networks is unconstitutional.
In the ruling, the judge writes that the law "broadly prohibits substantial protected speech rather than targeting the evil of improper communication to minors." The ACLU was behind the case and has fought for such bans to be removed before.
Federal judges have in the past barred such laws in other states, and this case sets further precedence for ongoing battles in several states where sex offenders are battling the right to sign up on social networking sites, chat rooms and instant messaging clients.
Google's job search page has been one of the search giant's often visited pages, and now Google has decided to spice things up by adding the service to Google+, making it easy for its 500+ million member base to search listings.
The Google Jobs board now lets users narrow down search results by using their Google+ profile data. This gives users a customized job recommendation list and quickly lets one apply for the job. Users also get the ability to follow with existing Google employees, sign up for job alerts, and the option to "star" roles.
I have found myself searching the Google Jobs page before with dreams of working at one of the massive employee friendly campuses. While we are on the subject of Google+, it would only be natural for me to plug the TweakTown Google+ page.
I'm a huge Facebook users, and upload heaps of pics on a weekly, or daily basis - but just how many photos were uploaded over the New Year's Day and New Year's Eve period? An insane, and record-breaking 1.1 billion photos.
The social network sees around 300 million photos uploaded on an average day, so that is a huge spike in uploads. The 2010 NYE and New Year's Day period saw just 750 million photos uploaded. Facebook's total collection of users' photos now exceeds 240 billion, which founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced at the Graph Search launch on Tuesday.
All of these 240 billion photos will be indexed within Facebook's new internal search engine.
Facebook's big announcement today was the preview and beta launch of Graph Search, a new tool that will help you sift through the massive amounts of connections and data that Facebook has in its social graph. For the questions that can't be answered by Facebook's data, Bing will try and provide the answer from the Internet.
The current version is available in a limited preview for English users only. Zuckerberg stressed that privacy was an important issue when building the search engine. For instance, you should only be able to search for content shared with you, however, you can search for something like "TV shows watched by doctors" or "Music liked by people who like Mitt Romney."
The ability to do searches such as the examples above could allow researchers to sift through connections to see if there are any connections. According to Zuckerberg, there are currently 1 billion people, 240 billion photos, and 1 trillion connections in the social graph. How it works:
"Graph Search will appear as a bigger search bar at the top of each page. When you start typing to search for something, it will make suggestions of searches you're looking to perform and once you select the search it will return results on a page that you can further customize and filter."
Only "hundreds of thousands" of users will be getting the initial roll out of the Graph Search feature.
Myspace, the once king of social networking, has been hard at work completely redesigning the website and business model as well. The new design has been in beta for some time now, with only users who requested early access being able to participate, but now it's open to everyone.
The new site is bright, vibrant, and (thankfully) not full of glittery GIF images. Users can upload a "cover" photo as their background, "connect" to friends, celebrities, and entertainers, and even update your status. The social network also allows users to build playlist from what appears to be a music library that rivals Spotify.
As you can see above I did create an account for this article, and one interesting thing that popped up is that you can now sign up to the service by using Facebook or Twitter via OAuth. You can also access Myspace classic at the sign up page. Myspace says the redesign is focused around following artists and consuming content such as music, film and photographs.
Sending Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg a message on the service will now cost you a cool $100. The social network's Pay-To-Message plan has a normal price to message someone you are not friends of a mere $1.
We get it, Zuckerberg's official account most likely receives thousands of unsolicited messages a day, and that has got to be annoying. What we don't get is why the $100 fee. Facebook could block all non-friends from messaging Mark with no important messages lost.
Facebook has said that it would like to begin experimenting with amounts larger than $1 for its pay-to-message service, but we were thinking that it would be something on the order of $5-$10, not $100. What do you think about having to pay to message someone who is not your friend?