Today, Facebook has announced that it has finished rolling out its Graph Search feature to everyone using US English as their primary language. Eight months ago, the company launched the advanced search feature to a handful of select beta testers and then began to slowly roll the service out a few months later.
Graph Search lets users search using common phrases such as "pizzerias in my city that my friends have visited and liked." In the early weeks of the beta program, the service received much criticism as the level of search capable was just to much for some people to be comfortable with.
A search phrase such as "photos of friends of my friends at the beach" would return photos of all the friends of your friends who were at the beach. This became a problem because many of those photos featured women in bikinis. Facebook has since restricted certain search phrases and this issue is no longer a problem.
I have had Graph Search since the beginning of last October and was one of the original groups of beta testers. The novelty wore off after only a few weeks, and I have not used the search terms more than three or four times since. I am hoping that with everyone now using Graph Search the algorithms will become smarter and return more relevant results.
Today, Mark Zuckerberg has to be celebrating as his company's stock hit $37.96 per share in late trading on Tuesday. That equates to an increase of more than 7 percent for the day. The jump in share price comes after the company posted impressive second quarter earnings last week, which derived from better-than-expected mobile growth.
Facebook says that it now has more than 800 million active monthly mobile users and that mobile ads are accounting for more than 40 percent of the company's ad revenue. This is up from 30 percent the previous quarter and more than triple what it was during the previous year. The rise in stock price can also be attributed to the social network's new program announced today for game publishing in which it will help distribute games from small- and medium-sized developers and in turn collect some of the profits for itself.
Pinterest announced today a new addition to its popular image collecting service that allows users to edit their feed to provide them with content that is related to what they have been pinning. Dubbed the "Edit Home Feed" option, users can now opt out of letting Pinterest track your activity on other sites.
Pinterest now tracks you on sites that have a "Pin It" button whenever you pin something from that website. It then uses this data to suggest boards based on your interests. Opting out is a simple as ticking a box in your account settings. Pinterest added this feature to help ease concerns over online tracking which is been at the forefront of the news for the past few months now.
When the announcement was first made that Yahoo had purchased Tumblr, thousands of users began posting their concerns that the service would remove its erotica category which made up roughly 10 percent of the social blogging service's user base. Yahoo shortly thereafter released a statement that said they had no intentions to remove any of the adult material, pages, or blogs from Tumblr.
Yesterday, Yahoo completely backtracked on the promises and removed more than 12 million blogs from the service that were marked as featuring adult content on both Tumbler's internal search results and the indexing of all of the major search engines such as Google and Bing. Additionally, the "Erotica" category has been removed alongside other adult themed content.
While the blogs are still hosted on the site, removing them from any and all search results as well as any internal linking that would help users find their way to such blogs renders them virtually invisible and only findable through direct links. Additionally, a recent update to Tumbler's iOS app removed search results for the hashtags #Gay, #Lesbian, and #Bisexual.
A few months back, I reported that the French authorities were pushing Twitter to release user data on one of its members who posted an anti-Semitic tweet to his account. Today, the company said in a statement that it has complied with a French government request to hand over tweets related to a rash of anti-Semitism on the site.
The offenses took place last October when several anti-Semantic tweets and hashtags appeared on the short message social network. I won't repeat the tweets here because they are quite offensive, but if you must read them, you can head over to Source #1 below. The tweets caused an uproar in the Union of Jewish French students and other anti-racism groups around France.
The UEJF took their case to the French court system and won a ruling in January that said that Twitter must hand over the account information and names of those who posted the anti-Semitic tweets. Just two months later, the UEFJ sued Twitter for $50 million when the company failed to comply with the court's request.
Early this morning, Facebook finally switched on Graph Search for all of its English-speaking users in the US. By expanding its test program that was rolled out in January from a few thousand users to a few million users, Facebook can now see how its new search performs on a massive scale.
Graph search is a tool that allows people to search Facebook's fast database using natural language searches to find almost anything the social network has ever indexed. An example of one search would be: "Photographs of my friends taken before 2005" or "restaurants in New York City my friends have visited and liked." Facebook would then return results based on your query.
I feel the graph search, while cool, is not really useful past searching for restaurants, photos, or places. I have been a member of the beta program since the week it was released and to be quite honest, the novelty wore off very fast. In the past few months, Facebook has modified the search so much that now most results are quite broad and not a specific as they used to be.
Yesterday, the popular image hosting service Imgur launched its very own meme generator in an effort to lure all of Reddit from several other meme-generating websites. This announcement comes shortly after Reddit banned links from Quickmeme earlier this week which was accused of running upvote bots and injecting malware via its images.
All of the most popular and least favorite meme images are preloaded into the generator, and a built-in gallery collects all the most popular memes created each day. During a quick scan through all of the memes, I noticed such timeless classics as Overly Obsessed Girlfriend, Bad Luck Brian, Scumbag Steve, Actual Advice Mallard, and everyone's favorite, Grumpy Cat.
With Imgur already one of the most popular image sharing websites on the Internet, not to mention Reddit's go to source for image hosting, we are sure to see thousands of more memes pop up everywhere. What's your favorite meme? Post the link below in the comments for everyone to see.
During today's Microsoft Build conference, CEO Steve Ballmer announced that Windows 8 is finally getting an official Facebook app. This announcement comes almost a year after the new Windows operating system was announced.
Facebook and Microsoft have partnered up to build a native app for the company's flagship operating system, and as a result, Facebook will default searches to Microsoft's Bing search engine. In return, Microsoft will deeply integrate Facebook into Windows 8.
There are also reports coming in that Facebook-owned Instagram will also be getting a Windows 8 app and that tMicrosoft hopes Twitter's Vine will follow suit. Ballmer also announced that Windows 8 will be getting an official version of Flipboard as well as an NFL Fantasy Football App.
Something that has been itching at me for quite a few weeks now is Facebook's 'Sponsored Results', but it's almost as if the social networking giant was reading my mind - most likely with the help of the NSA - and are now going to removing them.
Facebook will retract the annoying ads in July, and have been using them mostly for brands, groups and in searches since August of 2012. The social networking site decided to cut the ads after noticing that the marketers were using both the Sponsored Results and mobile app install ads in a similar fashion. Businesses will continue to use mobile app install ads, so don't expect too much of a de-clutter from your mobile social networking experience.
Twitter announced this morning that it has began opening up it's Twitter Analytics Platform to the public, a feature that was previously only open to advertising partners. This means that users can now track the "reach" of their tweets as well as track what country their post have the most reach in.
All of the data can be downloaded into a CSV file allowing users to build customized graphs, spreadsheets and presentations based on their actual Twitter analytics. At the moment all Twitter users should be able to access the data, but some accounts are experiencing issues. Twitter hopes to work out these bugs soon and says to keep checking back if you are having issues.
For about a year now Facebook users have been adding useless hash tags to the end of their post. I am sure I speak for many when I say this was probably the most annoying trend to ever hit the social network. Unfortunately we're about to see an onslaught of hashtags as Facebook has just enabled them to function similar to the way Twitter utilizes them.
Facebook says that starting today hashtags will be clickable on the social networking service that will function similarly to other services like Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr and Pinterest. When clicking on a hashtag, you will see a feed pop-up of what other people are saying about that event, or topic.
Facebook says that now you can:
- Search for a specific hashtag from your search bar. For example, #NBAFinals.
- Click on hashtags that originate on other services, such as Instagram.
- Compose posts directly from the hashtag feed and search results.
Facebook says that as always you believe control the audience for your post, including those with hashtags and that privacy settings can be adjusted in the normal fashion. They went on to say that hashtags are just the first step to help people more easily discover what others are saying about a specific topic and participate in public conversations. The company will continue to roll out more features in the coming weeks including training hashtags as well as deeper insights.
Tumblr users flock to WordPress after Yahoo acquires the popular blogging service and promises it won't screw things up
On Friday I reported on rumors that Yahoo was in talks to acquire popular social blogging service Tumblr for a reported $1 billion. As it turned out, those rumors were quite true as the deal was sealed over the weekend. The once king of the internet purchased Tumblr for a reported $1.1 billion US, of which all will be paid in cash.
Marissa Mayer, Yahoo's CEO, stated that Yahoo and Tumblr will remain separate entities and Tumblr CEO David Karp will remain at the helm of the massive blogging site. In the official press release, Yahoo said: "Per the agreement and our promise not to screw it up, Tumblr will be independently operated as a separate business." This announcement may have calmed some fears, but not all were sure.
WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg posted some tell-tell metrics on his blog last night that showed more than 72,000 post per hour were imported from Tumblr to WordPress last night, which was up from an average of 400-600 per hour. While this may sound like a massive migration, Tumblr says that it sees more than 75 million blog post per day, so 72,000 is but a mere drop in the ocean in comparison.
Early Thursday morning reports began to surface about rumors of Yahoo preparing a bid for social blogging site Tumblr. This would put the once king of search on the front lines of the social media war.
AllThingsD reported on Thursday that Yahoo was considering the acquisition of Tumblr for $1 billion. This is not the first time CEO Marissa Mayer has shown interest in Tumblr though. As an executive at Google, Mayer closely watched the blogging service loved by hipsters all over.
The rumors carry some weight as AllThingsD is usually spot on with its predictions on all things Yahoo, and there have been documented meetings between Mayer and Tumblr top execs including founder and CEO David Karp. While the acquisition seems imminent, we are left wondering what will happen to all of the Tumblr pr0n if Yahoo does take over.
Google has just debuted a completely new look for its social network Google+. The service is getting 41 new features or upgrades with the most noticeable being a complete facelift. Google+ will now feature a dynamic and modern multi column design that will allow users to explore post more in-depth than previously possible.
Also announced is a new hash-tagging system that will dynamically search relevant content on Google+ and will instantly add relevant hashtags to your post upon submission. When you click a hashtag it will show related items that are specifically sorted to the sources Google things you may prefer.
A new Google+ Hangout app was also announced that makes hanging out on your mobile device easier than ever. It allows users to easily enter into a text based group chat and quickly drop into a video call with the simple tap of a button. Google says that this new app along with the video calls will be free. Stay tuned to TweakTown for more feature updates as they become known!
Over the weekend, LinkedIn marked its 10th year of slowly pushing forward in a sea of social networking websites. The company itself was founded in 2002 by entrepreneurs Allen Blue, Konstantin Guericke, Eric Ly and Jean-Luc Vaillant, but the official website did not launch until May 5th 2003.
While some are quick to point out how small LinkedIn is compared to Facebook, Google+ or even what MySpace once was, LinkedIn is quite successful at what it does. Facebook and Google+ have the fun, photo sharing and interest sharing aspects of social networking covered, but what they lack is a place for professionals to market themselves. This is where LinkedIn really shines.
LinkedIn serves up employment history, online resume, and skill set postings of over 225 million members worldwide, with 77 million of those members being from the US. From an economic standpoint, the company employees more than 3,700 people worldwide and saw a total revenue of more than $300 million in 2012.
Facebook has over 1.1 billion monthly users, 751 million mobile users and over 665 million daily users
Trace covered Facebook's Q1 earnings earlier tonight, and touched on the social network's insane numbers - but they really do need their own story they're so gigantic. Facebook now have over 1.11 billion monthly active users, and a chunk of those are on mobile.
During March 2013, daily active users passed 665 million on average, and there was a huge 751 million monthly active users, too. The 665 million daily active users (DAUs) is an increase of 26% year-over-year, with the 1.11 billion monthly active users (MAUs) being an increase of 23% year-over-year. Mobile MAUs sitting at 751 million is an increase of a mammoth 54% year-over-year.
As you can see, the center of all of this is mobile. Facebook know this, and are pushing out better mobile apps, such as Home. Sure, I use Facebook on my desktop, but I live on it on my mobile - if I'm away from my desktop or notebook, I'm on my Facebook app constantly.
This year's "Who Has Your Back" report published by the Electronic Frontier Foundation has just been released and Twitter is sitting pretty in the number one spot. In contrast, Facebook, Apple and Amazon all ranked very low on the list.
The report is based on how far the world's biggest tech companies go to protect your data from government demands. Each company is evaluated on six different criteria and given a star if they fit the requirements. Of the 18 companies tested, only two met every criteria with an excellent rating.
Twitter and Sonic.net both scored a full six stars, while on the other end of the scale, Myspace was awarded nothing. Facebook was middle of the road with three stars while Google, Dropbox, and Spideroak all tied for second best with five stars each.
Blogs across the web have slowly been integrating Facebook's commenting system into their blogs. The practice has become so popular that popular Content Management Systems like Drupal, WordPress and Joomla all have modules that quickly let bloggers replace stock commenting modules with Facebook's system. Even TweakTown uses Facebook's commenting system.
Seeing the success that Facebook has had with this, today Google has announced that it has begun allowing Blogger users the ability to integrate Google+ Comments into their blogs. Unlike Facebook comments, this new integration will allow users to set deep permission restrictions on who can see comments.
Users will be able to set permissions to individuals, circles or the general public. Blogger will also display discussions on Google+ that pertain to a user's specific post. Meaning that if a public discussion about your post pops up on Google+, those comments can also appear on your blog post.
Facebook may have over one billion users, but how could they make more money from these users? The social network is reportedly set to roll out their own video-based advertising service, reports Ad Age.
A video ad on Facebook won't be cheap, where it might cost one million dollars for a 15-second spot. Quite an astronomical amount, but considering the amount of people you'd reach, it could just be worth it. Facebook are currently experimenting with four advertising slots, which could see the social network make around four million dollars in revenue, per day.
Facebook will do it well though, where they won't make you see the same video ads more than once per day, while simultaneously limiting the total delivery of ads to three per user, per day. How would these ads display to you? They could pop up as the 15-second ads, playing automatically and taking up a portion of your screen.
This morning Twitter users found themselves unable to navigate to any links that were shortened by Twitter's own URL shortening service. AllThingsD reported that the company had no comment on the issue, and Twitter's status blog had no information on the outage either.
At one point in the morning, Twitter switched over to the URL shortening service Bit.ly, which fixed the situation temporarily. At the time of this writing, the service has been restored to Twitter's in-house URL shortener and several test confirm that everything is back to normal and working fine.
We just noticed an issue with our link to our Twitter account from TweakTown, which doesn't work with the trailing slash in the URL, whereas it did before this morning. We're not sure what happened to Twitter, but we'll report back if details come to hand.
Facebook announced this morning that it has begun rolling out a new emotion selection feature on its status box. Users can select between a full list of emotions or share what they are watching, listening to, reading, drinking or eating.
The new tool is only available in the US at the moment and the complete roll-out is expected to take several days. Facebook says that it wants to funnel conversations a bit to better convey what a user is doing, thinking or feeling.
Facebook wants you to actively link to an artist, food brand or even brewery when composing your status in hopes of drumming up more marketing revenue when those pages see increased traffic from your status updates.