Items tagged with Social Networks

Facebook gave the world a heads up earlier this month that it was planning to host full-length news articles as part of a new initiative called Instant Articles, and now just over a week later, the social network is ready to make good on that promise. What that means for you (assuming you use Facebook) is a better reading experience, versus clicking through to an external site that sometimes takes up to 8 seconds to load. In addition to speed, Instant Articles boasts a few interactive features that publishers can take advantage of. For example, you can zoom in and get a closer look at parts of... Read more...
Folks, there is no such thing as a deadly snow snake, even though someone may have posted a disturbing article on your Facebook feed warning of a white snake that hides in the snow and, once bitten by it, causes your blood to freeze. While these and other hoaxes may seem obviously fake to some, they often spread with reckless abandon across Facebook, and that's something the social networking site is actively working to reduce. To combat these false stories, the Facebook team rolled out an update to the News Feed that reduces the distribution of posts that people have reported... Read more...
Unless you happen to hail from north of the border or otherwise follow the digital design industry, you probably have never heard of Teehan+Lax, one of Toronto's most successful digital design agencies. And it's a name you may soon forget, though three of its top partners are headed to Facebook in what's being described as a talent acquisition, not a takeover. That means Facebook has hired the three partners in question -- Jon Lax, Geoff Teehan, and David Gillis -- as opposed to buying out the company, which will reportedly shut its doors. Some other members of the senior designers at the firm... Read more...
Like just about every social networking service, Twitter tries out new things every once in awhile. Unfortunately for Twitter, people are creatures of habit, so these changes don't always go over very well, particularly the most recent one -- now when you click on the star icon to favorite a tweet, it will get retweeted on the main timeline. According to The Next Web, this new functionality has been in place at least since the beginning of August for some users, though it appears that Twitter has begun expanding the feature to more users over the past several days. The problem users have with this... Read more...
In a filing with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Twitter disclosed that around 23 million of its monthly active users are actually bots, or programs that automatically post updates "without any discernible additional user-initiated action." That works out to about 8.5 percent of of the microblogging service's total monthly active users. This is an important metric for advertisers to consider because those automated programs aren't going to generate any sales from ads. They do, however, serve different purposes -- some are nefarious, such as spamming nonsense that nobody... Read more...
A man in China has been arrested for writing on WeChat that three people carrying explosives were shot and killed by police outside a hospital in the eastern province of Jiangsu. Chinese authorities detained the individual just hours after government officials issued new rules on instant messaging tools, one of which bans spreading panic. This is the first time someone has been arrested in China for such a thing. According to Reuters, this is part of a broader state initiative to squash the spread of rumors and obscene material online, and also to censor political commentary. In this instance,... Read more...
People have a tendency to get ticked off if you mess with their heads, especially without their permission. Facebook, the world's largest social network, found this out the hard way when it revealed that it had altered nearly 700,000 user feeds to study people's emotions. Not cool, but are these types of studies necessary in order to build a better online experience? Online dating site OkCupid seems to think so. "OkCupid doesn’t really know what it’s doing. Neither does any other website. It’s not like people have been building these things for very long, or you can go look up... Read more...
Soccer might not be the most popular sport in the U.S., but it's certainly growing on Americans. Of course, soccer enjoys an enormous global audience, and if anyone needs reminding of that, just check out the World Cup activity on Facebook. At only halfway through the tournament, there are more than 1 billion related posts, likes, and comments on the world's most popular social playground. That makes this year's World Cup -- a tournament that's held every four years -- the most active topic ever on Facebook, according to data obtained by Reuters. Mighty impressive, especially since there are two... Read more...
Facebook wants to be the No. 1 source for breaking news stories, and with over 1 billion members playing on the world's largest social playground, it's certainly feasible. What's lacking are resources journalists (or would-be journalists), but that's changing with the roll out of FB Newswire, which Mark Zuckerberg and the gang say will make it easier for news posters and newsrooms to find, share, and embed newsworthy content from Facebook in the media they produce. In doing so, Facebook is taking a shot at Twitter, the go-to social networking platform for real-time news updates and breaking stories.... Read more...
Life is a funny thing. What seems important one day and consumes all of our time and energy eventually fades into another chapter of our past. Sometimes it takes a major event to put these moments and decisions into perspective, and so it happened that way for Vic Gundotra, the driving force behind Google+, who today announced he is leaving the company. The death of his wife's uncle in a tragic accident served as a catalyst for his decision to leave Google. A truck hit and killed the man as he was riding his bicycle in L.A. to get lunch. During the memorial service, the man's daughter told a story... Read more...
As Twitter looks to become a viable platform for mobile advertisers much like Facebook, there have been a series of changes to the service leading up to that goal, both behind the scenes and on the surface. Today's update falls into the latter category -- the recently introduced web profile experience is rolling out to all users worldwide today. Twitter first announced the revamped profile option earlier this month. Taking a Google-like approach, Twitter slow rolled the availability of its new profile features to users. Satisfied with what it's seen, the microblogging service is now ready to let... Read more...
Facebook isn't afraid to make a splash, hence the decision back in February of this year to scoop up WhatsApp for $19 billion in cash and stock options. It remains Facebook's largest transaction to date, though it could prove a brilliant move in the long run, especially as WhatsApp keeps attracting more users. As of right now, WhatsApp is home to 500 million active users. "Thanks to all of you, half a billion people around the world are now regular, active WhatsApp users. In the last few months, we've grown fastest in countries like Brazil, India, Mexico, and Russia, and our users are also sharing... Read more...
The U.S. government might not negotiate with terrorists, but it is willing to use social media as a tool to engage in conversation with jihadists and their sympathizers online. Why bother? The U.S. government hopes that it can convince potential terrorists to go in another direction. It's an ugly world the government's stepping into, but can it work? "We are actually giving al Qaeda the benefit of the doubt because we are answering their arguments," Alberto Fernandez, coordinator of the State Department's Center for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications (CSCC), tells CNN. "The way I see it... Read more...
Like a scorned ex-lover, the U.S. government might be very interested in your Facebook activity these days. According to a new transparency report published by Facebook, Uncle Sam and his merry band of freedom fighters asked the world's largest social network to provide information on 18,715 user accounts between July and December of 2013. This is by far the most requests of any country, with India coming in a distant second with 4,711 requests. Out of the 18,715 user accounts the U.S. government probed, it went on to request some specific user data for 12,598 of them, with Facebook granting just... Read more...
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