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I've never quite understood why FaceBook has a poke option, nor why it seems to have such a high appeal with FaceBook users. I imagine that it is meant to bring some sort of "real" contact back into something that is purely digital with no physical contact. Thanks to two inventors, however, there can now be real physical contact that is initiated by a lowly FaceBook poke.
Jasper van Loenen and Bartholomäus Traubeck have invented a machine that translates a digital FaceBook poke into an actual poke, albeit by a machine. Simply strap it to your body in a location of your choosing, and the machine will jab you every time you get poked on FaceBook, almost like it were a voodoo doll.
Exactly six years ago, the first tweet ever was posted by Jack Dorsey, co-founder of the popular micro-blogging service Twitter. This makes today Twitter's sixth-birthday. The public debut of Twitter is technically July 6th, but the service was clearly running as the first tweet was placed today. Incredibly, the micro-blogging service now has over 350 million registered users, with 100 million posting regularly during 2011.
Google have added another notch to their social networking belt by updating their Google+ service, where it now handles photos better. Google have added an album organizer, which can sort, reorder, move and delete photos, if you wish.
The organizer can be access by the top level icon above the photos themselves, and once in the organizer, the images can be rearranged by ascending or descending upload date. The photos can also be reordered by selecting, dragging, then dropping them into a new position. Once selected, multiple images can be easily pulled into a different album or deleted from an album in bulk.
The Google+ changes apply to the desktop web version only, with iOS and Android users having a totally different interface.
Google have just rolled out their new design for the Google+ mobile site, and now pulls it more in line with the designs of the Google+ apps for both Android and iOS devices. iPad users should be quite happy, in some ways, with this new update, as they've been waiting for a native app for Google+ for a while now.
The new UI includes a visual refresh, and includes some new features to make it easier to use Google+ with the mobile browser. One of the biggest improvements is that now individual posts can be reshared with the click (or touch?) of a single button. Google+ rolled out some major localization just a few days ago, which made the service available in more than 60 languages including Zulu and Icelandic.
One thing still missine is an actual native iPad app for Google+. Right now, we have an iPhone app, Android app (of course) but the iPad-based users have to upscale the app, which doesn't look too good at all. A Google spokesperson has said that there is "no update" on the availability of an iPad app.
After making Timeline for personal profiles last month mandatory, Facebook have just rolled out Timeline for Pages. From now, businesses are being encouraged to make the switch starting today, as it will become involuntary on March 30th.
Timeline for business, brands and more will usher in something completely new for businesses to interact with customers. The large cover photo is a huge asset for businesses, where they can show off their product or service. After all, a picture is truly worth a thousand words.
I'll suggest that you check out our Facebook page now, as it has been updated to Timeline and looks quite amazing if I may say so myself!
If we listen to the latest data from comScore, Google+ users actually spent an average of 3.3 minutes per month on Google+ in January of this year. Comparing this number to Facebook, where they have an average of 7.5 hours last month, this is a whopping 136-times greater than the average Google+ visitor.
Google of course downplayed the super-low numbers, claiming that their own internal data shows much higher numbers, and that Google+ is actually growing. If we look at the other comScore data, LinkedIn, MySpace, and Twitter all beat Google+ in minutes-per-month spent on the respective social networking websites. We have 17 minutes, 8 minutes, and 21 minutes for LinkedIn, MySpace, and Twitter, respectively.
Just 7.5 hours a month on Facebook? Well, considering I'm on the thing for 8 hours-plus per day, what am I? A super non-average Facebook user? Am I addicted? Not as much as some, I have friends and family who literally spend those 7.5 hours, in a single day, on a smartphone, and not get bored. I'm bored of Facebook in minutes, I just have it sitting in a Chrome tab, waiting for that (1) to show up and haunt me to check it out.
What about you?
Our Mobile App of the Day is GroupMe for Windows Phone.
GroupMe is the best way to chat with everyone you know. It's absolutely free, whether you're talking to a group of friends, or texting with one person. Best of all, it works on nearly every phone, via push or SMS. With GroupMe, it's easy to reach anyone, anytime, anywhere.
On GroupMe, you can catch up with your family, get a group together for a night out, coordinate with co-workers, or just gossip with a few of your closest friends. Think about it like your own private Twitter, just for the people you really know. Or like a faster, better reply-all email.
No matter how you think about it, "you won't know how you lived without it once you give it a shot." -Gizmodo
Now a part of the Skype family.
-Start groups with the people already in your contacts...no need to remember usernames or PINs.
-Whenever you or anyone else in the group sends a message, everyone receives it. The conversation starts instantly.
-The app uses your data connection by default, but when you have a poor connection, you can switch to receiving messages via SMS. You'll never miss a message!
-Chat online when you don't have your phone nearby at http://groupme.com
-Share photos inline-take them on-the-go or choose from ones you've already taken.
-Send a direct message to anyone who has the GroupMe app for free.
Foursquare lover? PlayStation Vita owner? Well, the Foursquare app has officially checked in to the US PlayStation Store, and for just 4.5MB, it can be yours. The app works over Wi-Fi, but the app does suggest you use 3G to help the Vita's GPS get the correct position of your check-in.
Foursquare's app is also said to be compatible with the Vita's rear touchpad and cameras, which is a nice bonus. Engadget have prodded around with the Foursquare app and report that it feels similar to the Facebook app released just a few days ago for the PS Vita.
Vita owner? Foursquare user? Be sure to leave a comment to let us know your experience with the Vita + Foursquare, there's over 1.2 million of you out there now!
Have you so far liked no ads on your Twitter feed on your iOS, or Android-based devices? Well, not for long! Twitter are now allowing promoted tweets to appear in the feeds of the iOS and Android apps, according to an announcement.
Promoted tweets are nothing new, but until now, they've only been shown on the twitter.com web client. Advertisers, at the moment, are limited to displaying tweets to people who already follow them on Twitter, but over the next few months this restriction will fade into oblivion. At the moment, iPads escape these ads.
This will of course annoy some Twitter users, because smartphones have been essential to Twitter's immense popularity, and until now, have been a safe haven from ads. Twitter's mobile apps do have some advertising, but only in a similar way that other smartphone apps do. Promoted tweets appear mixed in with the content a person chooses to receive, adding to the clutter.
Twitter only recently started a self-serve advertising program, and expects an injection of new ad buyers. All new ad buys will include mobile by default now.
Well, the chief over here at TweakTown would be happy - he's a check-in master on Foursquare, so is our currently hospital-bound VGA editor, where I've stayed away from the whole Foursquare thing. In the mean time, Google have quietly rolled out Latitude Leaderboards.
From the title, you should be able to tell. There's been an update baked into the latest Maps app, where Google have introduced another level of functionality. Check-ins now earn you points that get tallied up and are used to rank Google+ users on a global leaderboard, kinda like Foursquare.
The feature hasn't rolled out to everyone just yet, and only reveals itself after you check-in somewhere. If I used Google+ more, I think I'd probably get into it, but this is something I'd personally like to just 'pop-up' on my phone. For example, you walk into a store (say a McDonalds) and it pops up with a notification "would you like to check-in?" Clicking 'yes' goes into whatever check-in app you prefer (Facebook, Google+, Foursquare) and checks you in. If it did that, I'd use it.
Get to it, Facebook/Google/Foursquare.