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If you have gotten an invite into Google+, you'll know just how cool it is so far. I've been using it most of the day and I must say I'm very, very impressed. I can definitely see the potential for not only Google here, but for users in general. It feels more secure, very stable and very well made, many features that other social networking sites don't have like video chat. Hangouts is surprisingly cool, with Cameron and I currently video chatting (he may or may not be naked, join our Hangout to see) and it "just works".
It took all of five seconds to get into the room, flawless is an understatement. You're able to view YouTube videos together, smilies in chat are pretty cool as they transform from the text to an actual smilie, and tagging also works if you use it like Facebook, @Anthony, etc.
Once you've been invited, feel free to add the TweakTown staff to your circles and we hope to bring you some TweakTown themed Google+ action soon! How does a "Hangout" and drinks with TweakTown staff and readers sound? Leave your thoughts, email me or +1 me! Come +meet us now! :)
Google+ has been launched today and it is quite the bundle of joy. Included are multiple parts which create one large social networking web of connectivity, social fun and constant information on friends and more specifically the friends you want to know your whereabouts or specific posts.
Included are four major sections, +Circles, +Sparks, +Hangouts, +Mobile. First off +Circles is all about sharing what matters, to those who mean the most to you. Not all relationships and friendships are equal, +Circle allows you to create a "circle" which allows you to add the people you want to it and share what's new or something cool you found online. Instead of going out to all of your friends at once.
Facebook is rumored to start holding hands with Spotify on a music-streaming service that could be launched within a fortnight. It is currently going through testing and when launched, Facebook users will see a Spotify icon appear on the left of their newsfeed, along with the usual icons for photos, events and CityVille.
Once that icon appears, clicking on it will install the service on their desktop in the background and will allow users to play from Spotify's library of millions of songs through Facebook. The service goes one step further since it's on a social networking site, by letting Facebook users listen to music simultaneously with their friends over Facebook.
I just finished up some news and tweeted them, thought oh yeah I'll look at my Twitter and see what's going on - heart stops. Oh my god, my time line is empty, I've been hacked! I thought it were ironic as yesterday I talked about hackers and just now I posted about the iOS 4 hack... Alanis Morisette would be laughing at me right now.
But, status.twitter.com is reporting that some users might be experiencing empty timelines, myself and a friend are definitely feeling it. Twitter says:
We're currently experiencing an issue where some user's timelines will appear empty until new tweets come in. The older tweets will eventually begin to display as well. The team is aware of the issue and working to resolve it.
Normally I wouldn't bring the world of reality TV to TweakTown, but this news is quite hilarious. I've been watching snippets of Dancing with the Stars (#dwts) and its funny. The show features a bunch of 'celebrities' and they dance. If you haven't heard of it, then start painting that rock you live under in a better colour. Anyway, the show feels rigged because the three (to me anyway) main stars are Manu from My Kitchen Rules, Lara Bingle (I'm sure you all know her) and Damien Leith (Australian Idol winner). These 3 seem to dance the best and I'm sure they were picked up by producers months in advance and told to get practice, now.
During the show, I hear the word "Twitter" at least 3,219 times and have noticed they have "live" tweets scrolling down the bottom of the screen. These tweets are nearly all positive tweets, hash-tagging various dancers and the show itself (#dwts). SMH has picked up on this and has had various results. The accounts that are tweeting are new (created just hours before #dwts aired) and have been inactive since. Strange, huh?
California residents David Gould and Mike Robertson had previously filed a lawsuit accusing Facebook of sharing their names and privacy information with advertisers, violating Facebook's privacy policies and a host of other Acts. The lawsuit came out of a Wall Street Journal report that revealed that popular Facebook apps like Farmville were sharing very private information with advertising and information tracking firms. Whoops.
So these two jumped on this with a lawsuit, but some weird stuff is happening. Yesterday San Jose, CA U.S District Court Judge James Ware shot down Facebook's request that the lawsuit be dismissed because Gould and Robertson hadn't followed some random bureaucratic procedure. Nice try, guys. Ware however threw out 8 of the 9 claims that the plaintiffs had filed (also preventing them from re-filing all but 5).
So uh......I got nothing. Not like I went to Law School, so I can only imagine how this is going to turn out. See the court docs here.
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.