Posts Tagged ‘social networking’
Whatsapp might have annoyed everybody by attaching themselves like a limpet to Facebook in a controversial $19bn deal, but there’s no denying they’re doing pretty well – with a staggering 500 million monthly users – making it almost as big as Twitter.
The enormous figure appeared on the Whatsapp blog with this message:
‘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 more than 700 million photos and 100 million videos every single day.’
The Facebook deal created a backlash against the messaging service, leading to an avalanche of privacy concerns and much gnashing of social media blog teeth, but that doesn’t seem to have bothered users too much.
In an attempt to address those privacy concerns, however, Whatsapp CEO Jan Kuom wrote:
‘Respect for your privacy is coded into our DNA, and we built Whatsapp around the goal of knowing as little about you as possible: You don’t have to give us your name and we don’t ask for your email address. We don’t know your birthday. We don’t know your home address. We don’t know where you work. We don’t know your likes, what you search for on the internet or collect your GPS location. None of that data has ever been collected and stored by Whatsapp, and we really have no plans to change that.’
Well, they really have no plans to change that. But does Facebook?
Are you one of those people who can’t let a dinner or a sunset or a fleeting bloody moment pass without taking a photo of it and putting it on Facebook for the world to see? Well, you might be suffering from ‘photo-taking impairment effect.’
Yes, that’s actually a thing. A new psychological study by Linda Henkel of Fairfield University in Connecticut has proved that when we take a photo of something, our useless potato brains fail to fully experience it, and it has a detrimental effect on memories.
In one of Henkel’s studies, she took a tour of a museum with her students, who were asked to make notes by either taking photos of objects or just looking at them. The students who relied on their cameras to document everything remembered arse all. Whereas the ones who looked with their EYES remembered more. However, interestingly, if the students zoomed in on a specific detail of the object, their memories were intact. The zoom, it seems, literally helps the brain to focus.
But the general verdict is this: actually look at what’s in front of you, otherwise your life will be a digital archive of terrible selfies and ‘huh? Where was that?’ moments.
It’s what we’ve suspected all along, really. But the next time you’re at a gig and some risible moustachioed cock-knocker is filming it on his iPad, you can legitimately give him a kick in the nuts and destroy his tablet, because it’s good for his BRAIN.
The end of life, IRL, is marked by much wailing and gnashing of teeth, hearses and gravestones. But online, a Facebook page or an email address can linger in the ether long after the owner has shuffled off this mortal coil and gone to the great Tumblr in the sky.
Google, in an attempt to address this, will now offer users a chance to delete to all those lols, memes and tedious blogs about depression/Mrs Thatcher/horsemeat when they are no longer on earth to bore everyone.
Users can choose to have their online data deleted either three months, six months or a year after their demise, and this will apply to your social networking, email and blog accounts. (Although if you’re on Google Plus, people will think you’re dead anyway.)
‘We hope that this new feature will enable you to plan your digital afterlife – in a way that protects your privacy and security – and make life easier for your loved ones after you’re gone,’ Google said.
Digital afterlife? *shudder*
Personally, I’d like to bequeath my archived tweets, lolcats and George Takei Facebook shares to my grandchildren.
Today’s grannies aren’t like the crusty biddies of old. They need to network – to discuss the price of fish and what a horrible dress their daughter in law has on.
But rather than the traditional Mrs Doyle meet ups in the supermarket, Gransnet is now launching local sites, so that grandparents who have been reglated to a lifetime of pushing prams round the park by their busy offspring can meet up and not go insane.
It’s being funded by the Nominet Trust, and so far 20 local editors have been recruited, despite the fact that a large proportion of the UK’s older population still aren’t online.
But times they are a changin’, and Gransnet is proving to be a hit, with high profile celebs such as er, Kathy Lette writing for the site.
Gransnet founder Geraldine Bedell said: ‘Occasionally in the past our members have admitted to sometimes feeling lonely…Gransnet Local will extend the support and friendship we offer online into meet-ups and will provide a forum to discuss everything that’s going on locally.’
Like her at number 76. Never washes her step. TUT.
Ever felt like sending obscene Facebook abuse to Miranda Hart? Haven’t we all! But it seems that Facebook has very quietly begun charging us plebs to contact celebrities – with a going rate of up to £10.68 to send a harmless message about wanting to kill them in their sleep! WTF?
Facebook is currently trying out a sliding scale of fees, which is intended to stop people in the public eye getting spammed. But it’s also a stinging indication of celebrity Internet popularity.
Those who have previously been in the firing line of Internet trolls, like Olympic diver Tom Daley, are commanding the highest rates, along with high rollers like Snoop Dogg. It’s even a tenner to contact pop Highland cow Ed Sheeran’s FAKE account.
But others are cheaper to abuse – er, send fan mail to. So if you’re a celeb you’ll probably spend sleepless nights wondering why you’re not worth a tenner on Facebook and crying to your agent at 3 am.
Facebook is also charging people if they wish to contact someone outside their circle of friends. It’s only free if you send a general message to that weird secret inbox that nobody knows is even there.
But it’s OK. Vicious Internet trolls can take some comfort in the fact that it’s only 71p to tell Jeremy Hunt he’s a big Jeremy Hunt. And even if these cash strapped times, that’s got to be worth it.
The Facebook Internet popularity barometer
Tom Daley – £10.68
Ed Sheeran, singer-songwriter – £10.68 (fake account)
Michael Rosen – £10.68
Salman Rushdie – £10.08
Snoop Dogg – £10.08
Laura Trott, Olympic cycling champion – 71p
Louis Theroux – 71p
Miranda Hart, comedian – 71p
Jeremy Hunt, health secretary – 71p
Facebook’s new Home software, which was displayed to the world yesterday like a magic digital unicorn, was immediately criticised by industry analysts for compromising privacy.
Facebook Home works as a kind of home screen ‘wrapper’ which does away with the traditional app based interface and replaces it with er, well, Facebook.
Instead of giving you the option to open apps, there will be a live feed as soon as your phone screen is unlocked, containing pictures of kittens and the latest news and details about your boring friends. It basically represents the ‘Facebookification’ of everything, and no doubt there’ll also be enormous sponsored ads for crap you didn’t ask for.
After its official unveiling, during which Mark Zuckerberg failed to appear wearing a blue cape and holding a foam thumbs up ‘like’ hand, critics said the ‘always on’ nature of Facebook Home will ‘destroy privacy.’
There’s been something of a collective eye roll from industry experts about it, but privacy issues aside, Charles Golvin, an analyst at Forrester Research, perhaps put it best.
‘Facebook thinks it’s more important to people than it actually is,’ he told Reuters. ‘For the vast majority of people, Facebook just isn’t the be-all and end-all of their mobile experience. It’s just one part.’
Yeah. Hit ‘Like’ if you like what he just said. If he gets a million likes his mum will buy him a puppy lol.
Twitter is 7 years old today, and like most seven year olds hasn’t got a clue how to behave itself in public and there’s a 20% chance it might shit its pants.
With 200 million active users worldwide and 400 million tweets about the pope clogging up the atmosphere on a daily basis, it’s fair to say that the social network has been a success, attracting such luminaries as Stephen Fry, George Osborne and Carol Decker from T’Pau.
It’s all a far cry from the year 2006, when a spunky little boy (citation needed) called Jack Dorsey first dreamed up the real time social network. Back then it was called ‘stat.us’ – which is rubbish – and then changed to ‘twittr’. Then he added an ‘e’ and the famous bird symbol, and it took off like a seagull cawing incessantly over a festering landfill.
Now obviously, Twitter rules the world, influences ideas and policies and is a great place to air your half-formed, worthless opinions.
So how will you celebrate Twitter’s seventh birthday? Will you tweet your lunch? Noise up Liz Hurley? Champion Cheese Pastie and Cunnilingus day? Over to you…
Statistically, half of the people reading this are infuriatingly lazy and need to get up off their lazy, lazy arses. That’s because a survey has shown that nearly half of us use mobile phones to contact someone in the same house, but in a different room.
Nearly three quarters of Brits also say that they’d struggle to get through 24 hours without the use of a phones, tablets or laptop, but that isn’t surprising or shocking at all.
According to the Halifax Insurance Digital Home Index (whoop!), a poll found that 25% of people checked their emails and messages in bed, with 10% checked their messages in the bathroom. The latter is clearly a lie, because 78% of Twitter’s traffic comes from people browsing on the bog.
Psychologist Dr Aric Sigman isn’t happy about this, and thinks that our over-reliance on technology is becoming a problem, saying: “As the amount of time spent looking at a screen or plugging in increases, the amount of time spent on direct eye-to-eye contact and developing real life relationships inevitably decreases.”
“By the age of seven years, the average child born today will have spent one full year of 24 hour days watching screen technology; by the time they reach 80 they will have spent almost 18 years of 24 hour days watching non-work related screen technology. That’s a quarter of their lives.”
That’s the same Dr Sigman who wants to ban television for toddlers and hates daycare centres for children and generally says things like this, with a straight face. Either way, half of you lot are so idle that you’ve probably messaged someone sat at the other end of the couch in a bid to get them to read out this dreck to you.
Many people have been kicking up a huge stink at Instagram, after the photo microblogging service changed their T&Cs. Suddenly, everyone thought that their photos of cats, lunches and needy self-taken near-nudes were going to be sold to advertisers.
A mass exodus was planned to Flickr, which no-one likes using apart from five Mac users who take photos of graffiti.
In response to this, they’ve tried to clear things up with a message called ‘Thank you, and we’re listening’. IG co-founder Kevin Systrom told users: “It is not our intention to sell your photos,” and that ”legal documents are easy to misinterpret”.
“The language we proposed also raised question about whether your photos can be part of an advertisement,” Systrom wrote. “We do not have plans for anything like this and because of that we’re going to remove the language that raised the question.”
Basically, IG isn’t claiming ownership of users’ photos and privacy settings aren’t being changed. And besides, no-one seems to care that pretty much everything else on the internet has very similar T&Cs.
Either way, there is very little chance of this affecting you because it is likely that your shared photographs are either awful or terribly boring. Don’t expect to see that average sunrise photo you took to appear on a Nike billboard advert any time soon.
You may have seen people pointlessly cutting and pasting Facebook updates, specific to privacy concerns and the like. It happens throughout the year and never gets less tiring. However, it isn’t without some foundation.
Some privacy groups have decided to write to the social network and have asked them to rethink the proposed changes. One of the key changes that has raised eyebrows is that Facebook are thinking of dropping the system that says users have a say in FB’s privacy policies.
“We deeply value the feedback we receive from you during our comment period but have found that the voting mechanism created a system that incentivised quantity of comments over the quality of them. We’re proposing to end the voting component of the process in favor of a system that leads to more meaningful feedback and engagement,” said Facebook communications chief Elliot Schrage.
“In the coming weeks, we will roll out new ways of responding to your questions and comments about Facebook.”
The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) and the Center for Digital Democracy, didn’t like this one bit and tagteamed over a letter, sent to Mark Zuckerberg asking him to reconsider.
“Because these proposed changes raise privacy risks for users, may be contrary to law, and violate your previous commitments to users about site governance, we urge you to withdraw the proposed changes,” said the letter.
“Facebook’s proposed changes implicate the user privacy and the terms of a recent settlement with the Federal Trade Commission. The settlement prohibits Facebook from misrepresenting the extent to which it maintains the privacy or security of covered information.”
“Scrapping the [voting] mechanism altogether raises questions about Facebook’s willingness to take seriously the participation of Facebook users,” they said.
“We ask that Facebook be similarly responsive to the rights of Facebook users to control their personal information and to participate in the governance of Facebook. We ask that you withdraw the proposed changes to the Data Use Policy and the Statement of Rights and Responsibilities.”
The Co-operative Food have an official Twitter account and, for some bizarre reason, it decided to post a topless self-shot. They have, of course, deleted the image.
It would appear that the person running the account forgot to sign-in to their personal one, before showing off their Fair Trade abs and Ethically Sourced moodiness.
The Co-op said of the mishap: “Hmm, sorry about that folks. Slight technical hiccup which we are still investigating – but we hope we gave you all a smile! *Mel”, continuing ”Sorry about that! slight technical issue… whilst we have your attention, we have some great deals on at the moment!”
It looks like Microsoft are going to throw $1bn at a thing called Yammer that no-one has really heard of, which is nice. Obviously, Bill Gates wants to show that Mark Zuckerberg that the older boys in the yard can throw their money around willy-nilly too.
Microsoft are playing it cool though.
In a statement, the company said: ”Microsoft does not comment on rumour or speculation.”
This of course, gives everyone carte blanche to say what they like about Microsoft if they’re in the business of not speculating on rumours. We’ve heard that they’re going to buy Bolton Wanderers for $100bn and turn them into an army of robot assassins.
Should GatesCo buy Yammer, they’ll join messaging service Skype who were snapped up a while ago. Of course, Microsoft may not want to actually develop Yammer, rather, buy it to kill it off.
We’ve no idea, but the mutterings are loud on this one.
Facebook has been tinkering more than Claudio Ranieri and, after piddling about with people’s timelines and floating on the stockmarket, Zuckerberg’s company has announced that they’re opening an app store.
This is obviously an attempt to cash-in after Facebook failed to make any dough from adverts on mobiles.
This app store won’t affect Apple or Google much, instead, keeping bums on seats by telling users what their friends are playing in an attempt to direct them toward an app marketplace to install the software.
According to paperwork, Facebook got 12 per cent of its revenue in 2011 from online gaming startup Zynga (they make Words With Friends and other idling platforms), so it’s obviously an area for growth… and growth means money.
American users will be first to see the app store, with a European roll-out coming over the next couple of weeks.
A statement says: “The App Center gives you personalised recommendations, and lets you browse the apps your friends use. It only lists high-quality apps, based on feedback from people who use the app. You can send apps you find on your computer to your mobile device using the new ‘Send to Mobile’ feature. If a mobile app requires a download, you’ll be sent to install it from the Apple App Store or Google Play.”
Justin Timberlake seems like a pretty decent bloke. He’s good-looking, talented and self-deprecating. However, he appears to be spunking his money up the wall by being a major shareholder in MySpace which is planning yet another reboot.
See, instead of focusing on the one thing that MySpace was good at – notably, giving unsigned bands a platform to share their music in a very easy, manageable system – JT & Co are going to be looking at television.
Now, seeing as sharing TV shows online is always fraught with licensing and territory issues, going global seems daft. YouTube, Vimeo and the like have the whole ‘upload your own stuff’ angle covered… so what’s the plan?
In a statement, he says: “We’re ready to take television and entertainment to the next step by upgrading it to the social networking experience. Why text or email your friends to talk about your favorite programs after they’ve aired when you could be sharing the experience with real-time interactivity from anywhere across the globe?
“As the plot of your favorite drama unfolds, the joke of your favorite Snl (Saturday Night Live) character plays, or even the last second shot of your favorite team swishes the net, we’re giving you the opportunity to connect your friends to your moments as they’re actually occurring.
“This is the evolution of one of our greatest inventions, the television. And, we no longer have to crowd around the same one to experience it together.”
So, basically, it’s trying to muscle in on the immediacy of Twitter then? Trying to swipe the hashtags that fly around for popular shows?
Facebook are looking into reports saying that pornographic and violent images have been posted to its website, shown mainly in users’ newsfeeds. According to ZDnet, this exciting highly offensive material is being spread via a “linkspam virus”, which is basically something that looks like a harmless link, when in fact, it isn’t! It’s something that’ll corrupt your brains!
A spokeswoman for Facebook said: “We are aware of these reports and we are investigating the issue”.
Our own investigations into the matter ended up in a sweaty, masturbatory heap. And that was just the ‘violent’ images.
Of course, not everyone is happy. On twitter, one person wrote: “Discovered a new porn site, it’s called Facebook.” How very droll. Another said: “Facebook should do something about the photoshopped porn images, it’s offensive.”
Thus far, there have been complaints about pictures of mutilated animals and people, which has seen some deactivating their accounts. They’ll end up reactivating them in the end though when they feel left out of event invites and baby pictures.
Naturally, current bogeyman/hacktivist group Anonymous are being pointed at for all this after they apparently threatened to “kill” the social network. However, most people in the know think that this line of thinking is a load of hooey.
Still, catch the filth while you can!