Tag Archives | social networking

Reveal More, Consume More: Facebook’s Big Changes

Facebook’s f8 conference started off on a light note, with Saturday Night Live star Andy Samberg doing his best Mark Zuckerberg impression, but the conference quickly got down to serious business with some big changes for the world’s biggest social network.

With a huge smile on his face, Zuckerberg showed off a new kind of Facebook profile, called the “Timeline.” Think of your Timeline as a digital scrapbook that builds itself automatically through your activity on Facebook. Photos, app updates and other Facebook activity assemble in reverse chronological order, forming what Zuckerberg described as the “story of your life.” Whatever details are missing, you can add manually.

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The Google+ Identity Mess

My latest TIME.com column–online now and in print next week–is about Google+, identity, and anonymity.


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Facebook’s F8 2011 Keynote: Live Coverage on Thursday

I’ll be attending Facebook’s F8 developer conference tomorrow. It kicks off at 10am with a keynote by Mark Zuckerberg, who will apparently talk about new media-sharing features, presumably among other topics. (I’m still holding out for a great Facebook app for the iPad.) I’ll liveblog the keynote at technologizer.com/f8, and hope you’ll join me…


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Twitter To Sell Political Advertising

With the 2012 campaign expected to cost candidates well over a billion dollars, it’s no surprise that companies that count on advertising are angling to get a slice of that huge pie. Twitter is one of them, and plans to market its advertising services to the campaigns thanks to a key hire of a former political marketing executive from Google.

Twitter told Politico that it plans to sell ads through features such as promoted tweets and trends. At least five campaigns have already signed on to the new offering, including Republican Mitt Romney’s campaign. Twitter declined to specify the other participants.

One thing it will not do is insert ads within user’s timeline, a new advertising option that it has been experimenting with over the past few months. It also plans to differentiate a political ad from a standard one: the ad will carry a small purple checkmark.

You won’t see the standard “I approve this message” tag on tweets. Twitter won’t display them directly with the tweet, however hovering over the tweet would show who purchased the advertising if the campaign decides to disclose it. (It should be obvious anyway, since the ads would direct to a URL or Twitter account where the identity would be disclosed, I’d guess).

I wonder if like TV and radio, Twitter will become a sea of political ads in the days before an election, with the candidates sniping at each other continuously. Let’s hope not.


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Why Have People Stopped Posting on Google+?

So young, so promising. It was in its prime, and stood to reap the rewards of all of Facebook’s flaws—and in a weird twist, made Facebook copy Google+ for some of its newest “changes.”

But the fact of the matter is, public posts on Google+ have decreased 41 percent since the social networking service launched a few months ago. Even Larry Page, you know – Google’s CEO – last updated one month ago. And I thought something was wrong with me when I forced myself to post something on Google+ so my friends didn’t think I’d virtually disappeared.

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Techies to Follow on Google+

Pay no attention to the first person on this list of techies to follow on Google+, as compiled by TechRepublic’s Jason Hiner. But the rest of his choices are worth your attention.


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Google+ Makes It Easier To Say “I’m Just Not That Into You”

Somebody annoying you enough in your Google+ feed (Robert Scoble, maybe? Just kidding, buddy!) that you’d rather not read their incessant posts? Are you not doing anything because you think blocking them is just a bit too harsh? Well, the fine folks at Google have added a new feature to the social networking service just for you.

Now available is the “Ignore” option. Rather than blocking people from seeing and interacting with you and vice versa, it will remove their posts from your stream and disable notifications on their posts. What it won’t do is prevent them from seeing or interacting with your content however.

This seems like a useful feature for the celebrities that Google is now trying to attract to Plus. They can ignore those overzealous fan that’s just a bit too obnoxious. The best thing about Ignore is the ignored person isn’t notified, so no hard feelings.

Ignore is rolling out now so it may not immediately be available to you, but when it is you’ll be able to access the option through one of the following: from your circles themselves, by clicking on the down-arrow drop down to the right of the post in the streams, or from the notifications window in the Google bar.


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Google’s +1 Button Gets More Useful

When the Google +1 button first appeared, it really had only one purpose and that had to do with search. As you +1’d stuff around the Web, all it would really do is highlight pages you recommend to your circle of friends on Google’s search results.

That was before Google+. Now, the +1 button can do much more, and the company realizes this. The feature will act a lot more like Facebook’s “Like” button: when you +1 something, it will now appear in your stream to be viewable to allow your followers.

I should mention that on your Google +profile, there has always been a +1 tab where your +1’s (as long as you were logged in to the account you have a Google+ profile with) were stored. It’s buried, though, and I’m willing to bet many didn’t even realize it was there.

Just like the “Like” button, the new +1 button will allow you to comment on what you’re +1’ing. It will also allow you to select who you want to share it with, a feature Facebook recently added to its own offering.

It’s good to see that Google is making these changes . I guess you could call it the natural progression for the +1 button as social sharing becomes more important to Google in light of Google+’s dramatic gains in popularity.


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SendLove.to, a Voting System for People

SendLove.to, which launched this week, wants to get people talking about politicians, entertainment figures, and other celebrities–and to do so, it’s launching an intriguing service that feels a little like a Facebook Like button and a little like a commenting system. It hopes that vast quantities of blogs will start using it, creating a giant community of people across the Web assessing famous personages.

SendLove is available as a plugin for WordPress, Tumblr, Blogger, and other blogging platforms. Its technology scans the words in an article, identifies public figures mentioned in them, and turns their names into hyperlinks. Click on one of the links, and you can vote the person in question up or down, and (optionally) add a comment about him or her.

At the bottom of the page, SendLove rejiggers the comments section so that there are tabs for the personages mentioned in the post.  The tabs graph the person’s popularity over time, both at the specific site and across the Web.

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New Twitter: Now Mandatory!

“Old Twitter”–the version that predated the much-improved one which Twitter released last September–has remained available as an option. Now the company has terminated it. None of you were still using it, were you?


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