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Ah, Microsoft. Late to the game with tablets, phones, consoles and now social networking. They've got phones going well, just not in sales. Consoles are in their stride, tablets from most reports are set to kick arse. But social networking? Enter "Socl".
Internally tested under the name "Tulalip", which is named after a group of Native American tribes, Socl promises to head butt Facebook and Google+. It features a three-column layout with a social search bar sprawled across the top, basic navigation on the left panel, your news and activity feed in the middle, and a "video party" feature on the right-hand side.
Socl does things a bit different with its tagging feature, allowing users to tag topic of interest and later receive updates on those interests. Microsoft is also making social searching a big part of Socl. The bar up top allows you to enter either a search term or status update, with friends being able to comment on either. Bing will of course be the search provider for Socl.
Google have finally opened the flood gates to Google+ to business and brands, not just individuals. The new feature is being called "Google+ Pages", and there seems to be little different between a Page and an individual account.
You're able to add Pages to any of your regular Circles, and Page owners are able to post as usual and take part in Hangouts. Pages also turn up in Google search results, which is quite handy. Google have also introduced a new Direct Connect as well that allows you to specifically search for Google+ Pages, to do this type "+Google" or "+Angry Birds" in a Google Search box and you'll be directed to the respective page.
Both features rollout on a limited basis starting today with Google promising everyone will have it soon.
Zynga's next entry in their "Ville" franchise, which includes FarmVille, FrontierVille, and CityVille, is CastleVille. The latest game allows players to built mini-empires from castles, craft art and armor and trade, and defend your kingdom in a medieval world. The game was created by the Zynga Dallas team, which was part of Zynga's acquisition of Bonfire Studios.
The game starts off by letting you choose your character and build your look. Zynga Dallas director Bill Jackson says that this is the most expansive character building feature to date, with dozens of looks to choose from. The games objectives is for you to build the castle of your dreams and transform the the unexplored land into your own kingdom. There are many characters you'll meet along the way, who are all involved in the storyline of the game.
With multiple social networking sites available now that give you the ability to share anything and everything about the goings on in your life; be it personal or working (or in most cases, both), some of you might be left wondering where the best place is to post your status. Or even if you have it down to a fine art already, what you'll see below should only cement what has already become common practice for much of the well embedded social networking community across the board.
There is now a quite comedic, yet accurate flowchart spreading around detailing what sort of status updates should go where. I think most of you would agree they've hit the nail on the head with this one!
Facebook are eyeing down a fine worth $139,000 after an Australian law student discovered that Facebook held 1,200 pages of personal data about him, much of which he had previously deleted. Max Schrems, 24, requested a copy of his data after attending a lecture hosted by Facebook's chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg whilst he was on an exchange program at Santa Clara University in California.
Facebook sent him a CD of his data and Schrems was shocked to find information through his three years of having an account despite having deleted most of the information. Among the 1,200 pages of data were rejected friend requests, information regarding incidences where he had removed friends from his list and his entire conversation history.
Also included in his personal data CD were images that he had removed tags of himself, every event he had attended and every event he never responded to, poked and email addresses of people he'd corresponded with.
CEO of Twitter, Dick Costolo has revealed some statistics about Twitter's insane growth. Twitter now has over 100 million active users and that signups via iOS have tripled since the launch of iOS 5. It was only back in June that Twitter was hitting 200 million tweets per day, but this number has expanded out to 250 million tweets per day. If we rewind back to January 2011, there were around 100 million tweets per day.
Quite the growth, huh? Costolo revealed the stats during an interview at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco. With those 100 million active users, half of them login daily. Costolo says:
We had 30% of our monthly active users loggin in every day at the beginning of the year. Now it's over 50%.
At this pace, Twitter's growth is around 40-percent quarter-on-quarter. The numbers, millions of users, and tweets per day, while interesting, don't really impress me as much as the tidbit on the iOS 5 impact on Twitter. Apple integrates Twitter directly into iOS 5 and for Costolo to reveal that Twitter signups via iOS 5 have tripled sine the update to iOS, that is insane. A 300-percent increase in signups via iOS 5 devices, in what, a week? Wow.
Zynga is holding a press event tomorrow in San Francisco dubbed "Zynga Unleashed", where it is expected to share its plans on how they're going to use Facebook's new HTML5-based mobile platform. Facebook's platform was announced this afternoon and runs on Apple's iOS devices as well as across the mobile Web. It will allow game developers such as Zynga to connect versions of the same application on PC and mobile devices.
In order to achieve this, developers will build applications in HTML5, rather than the commonly used Adobe Flash technology. Zynga is expected to launch "selected titles" tomorrow, with other developers set to follow such as EA, Moblyng, Storm8 and Wooga. Zynga are quite on what they're bringing to the table tomorrow, saying to AllThingsD they "will have HTML5 games coming soon the Facebook's mobile apps site".
After months of speculation, opinion, leaks and other events, Facebook have today launched what people have expected: a mobile app platform as well as Facebook for iPad. Before this, Facebook users had to use their computers for gaming and app needs (or obsessions) where now, they should be able to play and participate from almost any device with a web browser. This experience amplifies if you're on an Apple iOS-based device.
It was rumored that Facebook were totally against Apple, with iOS 5 having Twitter integration but this news is joy to the ears of Facebook and Apple users. The reason is simple. Facebook apps and more importantly, games, don't work on phones or tablets because iOS devices don't support Flash. Facebook has now helped a select group of developers, Audiovroom, Branchout, EA, Flixster, Gilt Groupe, Huffington Post, Moblyng, Storm8, Wooga and Zynga, all create HTML5-based versions of a selection of their apps and game titles that will work within Web browsers.
Alright, we were a little too hasty in our previous news post saying that Spotify would be the provider of music on Facebook.
It turns out that Spotify is just one of the partners that will provide music playback on Facebook. It will be very easy for you to discover what songs your friends are playing and listening to via the ticker notification system. All you will need to do is click on the song and the song will playback on the music service which you use and it will play in the area where you usually see the chat window.
This does make more sense - if Facebook did just use Spotify, it would only work in countries where the service is supported. Mark quickly mentioned that he thinks all music should be free as in his opinion it enables users to discover new music which will encourage them to buy more in the long run. That's an interesting theory since nowadays if you are in the right part of the world; you don't need to pay a cent for the music you enjoy.
Let's just hope in this social web we live in these days, the revenue models used by Spotify and others work and the record companies and music producers are happy with their earnings. We saw it with Napster back in the day and we all know how that worked out.
While checking out the new Facebook Timeline introduction page we posted about just recently, we spotted a Spotify app in the Timeline.
This suggests and somewhat goes along with rumors over the past few weeks or so that Facebook will be teaming up with Spotify to bring music playback to Facebook.
According to the Timeline introduction, you'll be able to play music from the Facebook website and the music you listen to will be shared on your timeline, so that your friends can see what you are listening to and also listen along at the same time.
We will find out soon enough. The Zuck has discussed music during his F8 keynote yet.