TweakTown NewsRefine News by Category:
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.