|Original articles from Jessica Cherok.|
|Twitter's Trust & Safety Council|
Twitter has been plagued with harassment on its site for quite some time, and has been criticized for its lackluster response. Last week, the social media site once again made attempts to clean up its content.
Twitter has formed the Twitter Trust & Safety Council, comprising 40 organizations, to assist in developing policies to combat harassment and abuse.
|Congress May Force White House Strategy on Terrorism and Social Media|
Social media has received a lot of attention recently for its part in the recruitment and proliferation of terrorism. In response, the U.S. Senate is considering a bill that would force the President’s office to come up with a social media strategy to combat terrorism.
This bill is coming on the heels of a similar one that passed in the House after the shooting of 14 people in San Bernardino, CA...
|Surviving Another Valentine's Day|
Valentine’s Day is fast approaching, and regardless of your relationship status, technology is here to help you through the lovefest.
For those in relationships:
First of all, we all hate you and your happiness (kidding!). Make sure to keep the spark of love burning brightly by using some of the several apps designed to help even the most forgetful Cupid.
|Twitter Pop-up Showcases Long Conversations|
In an effort to make Twitter easier, Twitter managed to make itself more cumbersome. This week, the social media–sharing site unveiled its new pop-up feature, aimed at making long tweet conversations easier to read.
Before, when users clicked on tweets with many replies, the conversation expanded within the feed. Users would have to click to show the oldest responses...
|Private Gun Sales Banned on Facebook|
Facebook and Instagram have announced that they are banning private sales of firearms on the social media sites.
While sales from licensed dealers are still allowable, person-to-person gun sales are no longer allowed under the policy revision. The move is seen as Facebook weighing in as a supporter of gun control.
|Pinterest is Not for Medical Advice|
Pinterest is probably a great place for finding a cute craft project, but not where you should be going for information on health. According to a recent study, nearly 75% of pins related to vaccines are negative.
Buried under recipes and hairstyles are pins related to health issues such as depression, medications, and more. The study, from Virginia Commonwealth University, sifted through 800 pins related to vaccines, and found them overwhelmingly negative toward whether or not vaccines are safe.
|Twitter Says Goodbye to Executives|
It looks like the executives at Twitter had a terrible case of the Mondays. Late Sunday night, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey tweeted that four senior executives would be leaving.
Dorsey returned to Twitter recently in an effort to assist the social media site in growth. While the executives’ departure is part of this plan for turning ship, Dorsey was quick to applaud the work of Alex Roetter (engineering), Brian Schipper (HR), Katie Jacobs Stanton...
|Marshmallow Peeps Seek to Unseat Groundhog|
You’re about to see a whole lot more of those delicious Peeps in your social media accounts, especially if you also happen to be a Millennial mom.
The little marshmallow chicks are trying to break out of their typecasting as an Easter-only treat and claim all of springtime as their own. Just Born Quality Confections, the makers of Peeps...
|Germany Orders Social Media to Remove Hate Speech|
Facebook COO Cheryl Sandberg launched the new Online Civil Courage Initiative (OCCI) from Berlin this week. The campaign is designed to respond to online extremism and hate speech.
Facebook has promised over a million euros ($1.09m) to financially support NGOs working against online extremism...
|WhatsApp is Starting 2016 with a Bang|
For WhatsApp, 2015 was a banner year. In 2016, however, the app is clearly aiming to go even bigger.
At the 2016 DLD conference in Germany, WhatsApp made three big announcements: First, it has nearly reached a billion active users. For scale, Facebook has 1.19 billion active monthly users.
|Colleges Don't Care About Applicants' Social Media|
All those years of tirelessly warning younger generations about the lasting consequences of what they post on social media were a waste. Apparently, you can be a total moron on social media without it affecting your collegiate aspirations.
Kaplan Test Prep conducted a survey recently that appears to dispel the myth that college admissions officers were perusing...
|Social Media & the Presidency|
This president is the most Internet-savvy president yet. Or, at least, his staff is. The White House is all over social media, now including Snapchat.
The White House joined Facebook and Twitter in 2009, but Barack Obama had been tweeting since 2007, well before his presidency.
|Is Peach a New Social Media Powerhouse?|
If you like Vine, chances are you’ll like Peach. Even if you don’t like Vine, you’ll probably like Peach. Let’s face it: Peach is everyone’s new favorite social tool.
You may have never heard of Peach before, but don’t worry about being behind the times. Peach is very new. Like, debuted over the weekend new...
|Keeping Your Resolutions with Social Media|
It’s that time of year again, when everyone is still diligently (hopefully) sticking to their New Year’s resolutions. It’s hard to maintain this commitment even through February, let alone the whole year. Thankfully, social media is to the rescue.
If you’re like most people, your New Year’s resolution was related to health and fitness.
|Zuckerberg Building Real-Life Jarvis|
Collectively, in all of our years, probably none of us has made it their New Year’s resolution to build an AI for a little help around the house. Or, perhaps you have, but were likely to not be taken quite as seriously as Mark Zuckerberg was when he said it.
The CEO of the social media giant Facebook posted his 2016 goal:
"My personal challenge for 2016 is to build a simple AI to run my home and help me with my work. You can think of it kind of like Jarvis in Iron Man."
|Chrome Extension Filters Out Trump|
If you’re tired of hearing from Donald Trump on social media, Google Chrome has the extension for you. The filter, Trump Filter, does exactly as its name implies — it erases Donald Trump from the Internet. At least, the Internet non-Trump fans see.
The extension is incredibly popular...
|Social Media Recaps 2015|
It's that time of year when everyone looks back upon 2015 and reminisces about the year that was. To aid in this retrospective, social media sites are offering their top posts, trends, and year in review features.
On Facebook you can have a slideshow of your 2015, complete with pictures and most popular posts. Thankfully, Facebook has also added the ability to weed out unhappy posts...
|Uber & Messenger Team Up|
Coordinating with your friends can be harder than trying to herd a bunch of cats, so any little help you can get is welcome. Enter Facebook and Uber to help make your social life just a little bit easier.
Facebook's Messenger now has Uber inside the app. You can either "request ride" by selecting an address posted within the thread or by finding the transportation option in the app's menu. Other friends who book their ride from the thread will show up in your notifications.
|'Star Wars' Explodes on Social Media (and How to Avoid Spoilers!)|
If you haven't seen Star Wars: The Force Awakens, stop reading and go see it right now. Not because this article contains spoilers, but because it is so much more awesome than anyone dared to hope.
The movie's awesomeness radiated across social media, in particular Facebook, where it was the most talked-about movie...
|Visas Contingent on Social Media Posts|
For people coming into the United States, social media profiles may become a big part of their visa applications. The State Department is making moves to include social media as part of the vetting process.
The proposed change is in response to alleged posts made on social media by the San Bernardino shooters. However, it now appears that there were no such public postings made...
|UK Tinder is After Organs|
Tinder in the United Kingdom has partnered with Britain’s National Health Service to encourage users to support organ donation.
Tinder users can swipe right on profiles for NHS that will take them to sign up as an organ donor. According to Tinder’s European office, the campaign is designed to raise awareness of just how many people are awaiting organ transplants in the UK. and potentially save lives.
|Say It With 'Star Wars'|
If you love Star Wars, Facebook has something to fanboy/girl out with in your Messenger inbox. The social media giant unveiled a collection of official Star Wars stickers to add some awesomeness to your messages.
As part of promotion for the upcoming Star Wars: The Force Awakens film...
|Live Stream Yourself on Facebook|
Facebook is going after Periscope and Meerkat with its own live-streaming feature. Starting last week, Facebook rolled out live-streaming capabilities to its U.S. iPhone users.
Live streaming has been available to Facebook's more famous users
|Deleting Terrorism on Social Media|
For a horrific terrorist organization, ISIS has managed one hell of a social media campaign. The group has used social sites, including Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube, to spread its propaganda campaign and recruit members.
While each of these sites does some level of monitoring themselves to identify hate groups and content...
The graduation announcements of the class of 2033 will sound a lot like your Instagram filters. According to BabyCenter.com, some of the biggest baby names for 2015 have been inspired by how people have showcased their food.
The Kelvin filter made your Mexican meal look so amazing that one time...
|Social Media Christmas Shopping|
This year's holiday shopper is most likely to be fulfilling their Christmas list from their smartphone. According to eMarketer, consumers are becoming more and more comfortable with making purchases directly from their smartphones, and estimate that kind of transaction will account for 25% of retail ecommerce by the end of 2016.
|Facebook Makes Breakups Just a Little Easier|
Getting over an ex is hard. It has been even harder since social media came along. Endless hours can be spent stalking your ex's social media accounts, keeping you from moving on with your life.
Sure, it would probably be best to unfriend, block, and move on, but too few of us possess the iron will to do so.
|Belgians Use Cats to Fight Terrorism|
In response to continued fears regarding terror attacks in Europe, as well as information that an attack could be imminent in a crowded place, authorities in Brussels requested that the public not post information about their operations on social media. Authorities feared terrorists could be monitoring social media as part of a new attack.
The people of Brussels responded in the most Internet way possible — with cats.
|Facebook's Safety Check Now Available for Human Disasters|
In the wake of several recent natural disasters, Facebook had instituted its Safety Check feature, which allowed users to notify their friend group that they were safe. Now, in response to criticism that the Safety Check feature was not available for all disaster situations, Facebook has promised to implement it...
|Anonymous Recruiting You for War Against ISIS|
Hacktivist group Anonymous is empowering non-hackers to take down Islamic State social media accounts. This week, Anonymous posted a video online promising "not to stop until there is a total blackout of ISIS online."
ISIS has had huge success on social media as a propaganda and recruitment tool for the terror group. Their efforts have been so prolific that security experts...
|Moccasins Rocking November's Social Media|
This month, people are showing off their Native American pride with Rock Your Mocs on social media.
November is Native American Heritage Month, and all across social media, people are posting pictures of their moccasins. Rock Your Mocs is an online event that was started several years ago to raise awareness and solidarity for indigenous people around the world.
|Facebook's Notify Brings All Your Favorites Together|
In yet another move designed to make Facebook your one and only source for all things Internet, the social media giant has now launched the Notify news app, allowing users to tailor content sources in their feed.
So far, 70 organizations have signed on, including big names in news like CNN and Fox News. Users who install the app can pick from the participating news outlets...
|Protecting Versus Stifling in the Internet Age|
The Internet is a scary place. It's even scarier when you are a parent letting your kids go online. Figuring out how to keep them safe without stifling the development of vital online skills is a difficult balance to find.
The Internet, social media, and apps all have opportunities for children to be exposed to unsuitable content. Even the most diligent parents find it impossible...
|Starbucks Uses Red to Hate on Christmas|
'Tis the season to become offended.
Social media is rampant with people victimizing themselves, and not even global coffee conglomerates are safe. This year, Seattle-based Starbucks is facing criticism for its decision to make their Christmas coffee cups entirely red this year.
Perhaps you are thinking that a group of well-organized bulls...
|Finland's Official (and Awesome) Emojis|
Oh, you have a little flag emoji to represent your country? Well, Finland has a whole set of country-themed emojis, and they are so much cooler than yours.
Finland's government has launched its own set of Finnish emojis to promote all things Finland in their 2015 ThisisFINLAND Christmas calendar.
|Stars Criticize Need for Social Media Validation|
It seems like everyone is quitting social media lately. Well, not really, but a couple of celebrities have ditched social media with claims that it's ruining lives.
Superstar Kate Winslet stated recently in an interview with The Sunday Times that she doesn't allow her children to use social media and attempts to keep their device usage to a minimum. "It has a huge impact on young women's self-esteem, because all they ever do is design themselves for people to like them," Winslet said.
The actress went on to say that this desire for online validation leads to issues like eating disorders, something the actress has been very outspoken about in recent years.
|Snapchat Uses Sponsored Lenses to Promote 'The Peanuts Movie'|
Snapchat is making you part of Snoopy and the gang. The photo-sharing app has introduced a new sponsored lens featuring Snoopy.
The lens is part of 20th Century Fox’s promotion of The Peanuts Movie, coming out November 5, 2015. Snapchat users can find the lens with the other animated lenses...
|Chicken Tweets for Its Freedom @ChickenTreat|
If you've ever wanted to feel badly about the number of Twitter followers you have, then look no further than Betty.
Betty is a chicken. An actual, live chicken. That tweets.
Betty (@ChickenTreat) is the Twitter professional for an Australian fast-food chain, Chicken Treat. Betty tweets for the company under the hashtag #chickentweet...
|Old Facebook Posts May Now be Public|
With Facebook's newest revamp of its search feature, the social media giant is asking users to revisit their privacy settings.
Facebook has now included over two trillion older posts to its searchable index. This change could mean some users' old Facebook posts are now searchable...
|Vilified Camerawoman Sues Facebook|
Most likely, we all remember the Hungarian camerawoman who tripped a refugee carrying a small child in September 2014. Not unexpectedly, the Internet exploded with comments about her actions. Now, the camerawoman, Petra Lasizo, is suing Facebook for its part in the backlash.
|Facebook Warns Against Government Spies|
Facebook has announced it has your back when it comes to the government spying on you.
In a blog post this week, Facebook's Chief Security Officer, Alex Stamos, announced that the social media giant would let you know when it suspected your account had been targeted by a government or someone acting...
|HealthKit Tracks Your Sexy Time|
Apple wants to know when you get busy. No, not when you need help with your to-do list. Apple wants to track how often you are having sex.
Apple’s newest iOS release has updated its HealthKit to include the ability for women to track menstruation and intercourse. Previous HealthKit versions had been lambasted for seeming to not include enough health resources for women.
Apple wasn’t the only device company to forget about women’s health. Both Samsung and Google failed to include these features...
|Bernie Sanders is Social Media's Cinderella|
If there is any current social media darling in the 2016 presidential candidates, it is certainly Bernie Sanders.
Sure, many of the other contenders are more well known and have more followers. Donald Trump has 4.5 million followers; Hillary Clinton comes in just below with 4.4 million. By comparison, @SenSanders 828,000 seems downright weensy, even when you add in the 710,000...
|Will You Really Read Playboy for the Articles?|
Is social media responsible for Playboy covering up? It seems very likely to have at least influenced the major change.
This week, the iconic gentlemen's magazine announced it was doing away with its nude photos, instead focusing on society and culture content. According to Playboy, the change is stemming...
|Google on Mobile is Getting Faster|
Thanks to its competition with Facebook, Google is bringing faster load times to mobile. Google has announced what it calls "accelerated mobile pages," or AMP, which seems to be a clear counter to Facebook's Instant Articles (though Google hasn't commented).
The AMP project is designed to speed up the load time for pages accessed on mobile, thereby creating a more pleasant user experience. According to Google's Richard Gingras's interview with TechCrunch, AMP...
|Facebook Mobile Just Got So Much Cooler|
It's about damn time! Facebook is finally allowing its users to set GIFs as profile pictures. The new feature is part of an update Facebook brought to its mobile platform. The seven-second video can either be one you record on Facebook or a GIF you upload. But unless you're in California or the UK, this feature...
|Facebook in Space!|
Facebook, as part of their Internet.org project, has been working for the last several years to make Internet access more available to rural parts of the world.
While Facebook has touted the project as purely humanitarian, many have criticized it as a way for the social media giant to dominate in fledgling internet markets.
According to Internet.org's website, "Connecting billions of people ..."
|Buying Products Directly From YouTube Videos|
We've all been there: watching a YouTube video about some product — shirt, purse, or gadget — that you must have. YouTube is now capitalizing on this opportunity by allowing viewers to buy the product directly in the video.
|Facebook's Semi-Annual Privacy Hoax|
It's that time of year again; the time when uninformed Facebook users seek to protect their photos by posting about copyrights in their Facebook feed.
The near semi-annual freak out is a hoax, and has been going on for years.
Posting to Facebook does not transfer any copyright. The social media site's policy is that by uploading content...
|Pope Urges Less Social Media Use|
The Pope wants you to put down your social media and make some real-world connections. In his recent visit to the United States, the religious leader said that social networks are contributing to a "radical loneliness."
In his speech at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, Pope Francis said, "Today's culture seems to encourage people to not bond with anything or anyone," Francis said.
|Tweet a Poll|
Twitter has now introduced polls within tweets. Well, sort of. The social media site is now allowing certain users to embed polls in tweets viewed from the mobile and desktop site.
Twitter, however, says that they are just experimenting with the ability to poll, so they may not be a permanent addition to the site.
Not everyone has the ability to embed polls, though.
|Facebook Uses 'Star Wars' to Announce 360 Videos|
Facebook now has 360-degree videos, and they launched the feature in the best possible way. This week, Facebook posted an exclusive 360-degree clip of the upcoming Star Wars movie.
Android and iPhone users can access the clip and change their view by moving their device around.
|Never Miss Movie Action with RunPee|
There's nothing worse than having to pee during your favorite movie. Do you risk missing some vital action by running to the restroom? Or, do you risk trying to hold it through the rest of the movie?
Having to go to the bathroom at least once during a movie happens to nearly everyone. If you happen to be seeing the movie with small children, then you know it can happen several times, in rapid succession. No one wants to trade seeing the good part with a trip to the restroom...
|New Dating App Prevents Catfishing|
In a world where catfishing runs rampant on dating sites, one app is seeking to prevent that. 7heaven will only allow pictures that are less than six hours old.
The app checks the photo's timestamp and deletes the photos after six hours. According to their website, the photo rule is designed to "guarantee that the person who..."
|Not Quite a Dislike Button|
It may have seemed really obvious to all of us that Facebook needs a dislike button, but the social media giant has been slow to recognize our wisdom. That is, until now, and not exactly in the way we were thinking.
This week, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced as part of a Q&A session that the dislike button would be coming soon to the site. "I think people have asked about the dislike button for many years...."
|Dress Like a Tumblr Post IRL|
In yet another example of "these darn kids today," Tumblr has announced that it's partnering with Print All Over Me to launch a new clothing line. The line is debuting this week at New Your Fashion Week, and was available on PAOM's website starting September 14.
|Instagram's New Ad Features|
While Instagram's users are excited about breaking out of the square picture format, advertisers on Instagram are about to get a feature update of their own. The photo-sharing app announced this week that companies around the world will have an easier time advertising on the site.
According to Instagram's blog, large and small businesses can now launch campaigns in 30 countries around the globe in areas such as retail, entertainment, and travel.
|Facebook's M is Part AI, Part Human|
Social-media giant Facebook has created a new digital assistant, M. M, which is part of Facebook's Messenger, now joins Apple's Siri and Google's Now as the newest digital assistant vying for your attention.
But M isn't all digital. Part of the reason Facebook is confident M will blow other digital assistance out of the water is because M has humans backing up its abilities. For any question or request that M can't answer on its own, the behind-the-scenes humans will step in.
|Instagram Direct Just Got Cooler for Groups|
In 2013, Instagram launched Instagram Direct for messages within the app. Now, the photo-sharing site has beefed up its messaging feature, making Instagram Direct much more fun to use.
In a blog announcement from Instagram about the new features...
|Tumblr Comments Now Make Sense|
Finally, Tumblr just got a whole lot easier to read.
For most of us (most, meaning those over 25), Tumblr can be a weird place to try to navigate through. Perhaps most perplexing was trying to decipher the comments section of Tumblr posts. The more comments made, the more the section became...
|Protecting Video Content on Facebook|
Facebook is doing more to protect its push toward more video content. Last week, the social media giant announced its development of a "video matching technology" that will detect content posted without the creator's permission.
According to Facebook, "Our matching tool will evaluate millions of video..."
|Instagram Stops Being Such a Square|
Instagram has finally done away with the square photo format, and frankly, it's about time.
The photo-sharing site has been square-only since its creation in 2010. As its popularity soared, it added filters and other photo editing features. But the company remained true to the square format.
|Video Autoplay Needs to Stop|
There are probably very few people who haven't been outed for perusing social media at work by autoplay videos. Suddenly sound starts playing and the whole office knows you're not working diligently on that TPS report.
Yesterday, however, video autoplay took a horrific turn.
|Spotify Bumbles Policy Change Announcement|
When you read through the new policy, it sounds a lot like Spotify will now be able to track your location...
|Finally, You Can GIF Yourself|
Giphy is now making it easier for us to create GIFs.
If you're unfamiliar with Giphy, it indexes GIFs for users to search and share. Their collection of GIFs comes from which GIFs are the most popular and shared across the web. GIFs are used across all kinds of media, and have quickly become a favorite of Internet users.
According to Giphy's COO Adam Leibsohn, “GIFs are working, and they’re really excellent because what they do is borrow from culture."
|Facebook Beats Google in Traffic|
Facebook has finally overtaken Google as the primary way people access news online. According to analytics site Parse.ly, Facebook made up 43% of traffic within their network of media sites. Google made up only 38%.
Facebook has been working hard to make their site a one-stop shop for its users.
|Twitter Direct Messages Now A Whole Lot More Verbose|
Twitter has announced that they are removing the 140-character limit from direct messages. The limit remains the same for tweets, but at least you'll be able to finish your sentences in the messages.
According to last week's blog post about the change, Twitter said:
"While Twitter is largely a public experience, Direct Messages let you have private conversations about the memes, news..."
|One Man Wins Facebook Customer Service Trolling|
This week, a fake Facebook account claiming to be Target Customer Service trolled angry Target customers so hard, our sides split from laughing.
Now, most of the time, Internet trolling ranges from incredibly lame to downright awful. But every once in a while, someone trolls in the most entertaining kind of way. This was one of those times.
|Tinder Gets Its Feelings Hurt|
For a dating app based largely on superficials and the gamification of dating, Tinder sure does seem to take itself seriously. So when Vanity Fair published an article about how Tinder was ruining romance, Tinder went ballistic on Twitter about it.
|Blab Switches up Video Chatting|
If you're the type of person who is looking for some live commentary on your video chats with your friends, then Blab.im is for you.
Think of Blab like Google Hangouts, but with a Meerkat or Periscope feel.
You and up to three of your friends can get together in a video chat with an audience. Viewers can comment or switch places with the video chat users.
|Social Media Saves Lives (No, Really!)|
Turns out liking and sharing about someone needing life-saving surgery on social media can actually save them.
We've all seen the posts on Facebook. Some poor soul needs a million likes for doctors to perform surgery to save them. The reality is that these posts were largely fake.
|Surprise! Engineers Can be Smart and Attractive|
Once again, the Internet seems surprised that attractive people have jobs. Instead of lounging around poolside or walking a runway, some attractive people are actually working in very demanding and technical fields.
This week, Isis Wenger, an platform engineer for One Login, had a photo of her go viral. In the photo, Wenger is commenting on reasons why she loves her job, but that seems to be the last thing anyone is talking about.
|The Internet is Full of Liars|
People lie on social media all the time. Turns out, though, that women tend to lie more when using social networking sites.
Researchers recently analyzed public social media posts from Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter using a "deceit algorithm" to measure how many posts contained lies.
|Twitter's Making It Hard for You to Steal Jokes|
If you're a joke-stealing hack, Twitter is about to become a whole lot less fun for you. The social media site is now removing tweets containing material that has been reported as stolen.
Twitter blocks the tweet with a message saying "This Tweet from @[user] has been withheld in response to a report from the copyright holder."
|Social Media May Harm Young People|
Social media may affect your well-being, especially if you are young.
The City of Ottawa's Public Health Department conducted a study showing that near-constant social media use results in poorer mental health. "Results clearly show that youth who report use of [social networking sites] for more than 2 hours per day have also reported poor self-rated mental health..."
|Social Media Helps Parents|
If you're a parent, especially a stay-at-home one, you know how important social media can be to your sanity. Social networks can be vital to keeping in touch and finding support, a new Pew Research Center study says.
The study found that 75% of parents using social media used it to find parenting information and support. These users also gave support to those they...
|Being Mushy on Facebook a Sign of True Love|
People who are in love are gross. Not really, but it's certainly tiring to scroll through your Facebook feed and see all of the happy, loving couples gushing about their relationships. In fact, you may even be inclined to assume some of them are lying about their happiness.
That may be true for some of the romantic posts. After all, people like to make their lives seem better...
|Staying Dead on Facebook|
Facebook wants to make sure that when you die, you stay dead. The social media giant has recently made changes to its policies regarding users who have passed away.
Facebook used to allow the option of keeping a deceased user's account active, or have it memorialized. Now, Facebook has removed the option. According to Facebook's updated policy...
|Beme Circumvents Your Social Media Perfection|
We all know social media is fake. The image of who we present ourselves to be online simply isn't genuine. Sure, it's less genuine for some, but by and large we're all trying to present our online selves in the best light possible.
A new app called Beme aims to change all of that.
|Do Selfies Mean You're a Bad Person?|
It's no secret that taking a lot of selfies may be an indication of someone being a narcissist, but new research is beginning to show that this level of self-involvement may be an indication of something much more sinister.
Enter "The Dark Triad."
Sounds ominous, right? That's because it is. This collection of personality traits isn't something you would want to be known for. Narcissism, Machiavellianism, and psychopathy make up the triad, and posting a lot of selfies is a telltale sign someone is part of this trifecta...
|Social Media's Rise as a Source for News|
Soon there won't be a reason to leave social media at all. Well, not really, but according to a new Pew Research Center report, over half of Facebook and Twitter users stay current on news from these sites.
The study found that 63% of Facebook and Twitter users are now using the sites as their primary source for news and events.
|iPhone Users Can Customize Facebook Feed|
Congratulations, iPhone users! You can now customize to your liking your Facebook News Feed even more. As part of Facebook's continued efforts to make the News Feed content relevant, the social media giant has rolled out some new preferences.
With the new changes, Facebook users can not unfollow or hide posts...
|#dontjudgeme Challenge May be Missing the Point|
A new social media trend is one the rise, and this time it isn't about being skinny. The new challenge, #dontjudgechallenge, is all about being unattractive and proud.
Social media users are embracing flaws by drawing on acne, uni-brows, and messing up their hair...
|Buy Online with Your Face|
Your selfie habit may now allow you to make purchases online. MasterCard has begun testing a new smartphone app that will allow purchasing via facial recognition technology.
While some maybe leery of such tech, MasterCard believes it will appeal to the younger generation.
|New Social Campaign to End Indoor Tanning|
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) wants teens to stop using tanning beds, and they’re taking to social media to spread the word.
The agency plans on spending over half a million dollars on a social media campaign to educate teens’ mothers on the dangers of tanning salons. Project “Likes, Pins, and Views: Engaging Moms on Teen Indoor Tanning Thru Social Media”...
|Is ResearchGate Science's Facebook? |
Social media is changing the way that scientists science. A specialized social media site, ResearchGate, designed to help academics.
|Use Messenger without Facebook |
Apparently there are people in the world who don’t have Facebook accounts, but would still like the convenience of messaging each other. And for some reason using IM or email just isn’t satisfying them.
|Are Millennials Shunning Social Media?|
For quite a while now, it was believed that millennials didn’t look at privacy online the same way older generations did. Millennials understood that in order to have certain features online – custom experiences, online socializing – that a level of personal privacy had to be given up.
|Facial Recognition without Seeing Faces|
Facebook’s facial recognition technology is impressive. Impressively creepy, that is.
|Social Media Hates Brian Williams's Move to MSNBC|
Brian Williams has been having a hard time, especially in the social media court of public opinion. The once infallible news anchor has been laying low for the last several months after news broke that he had embellished details of events he had been involved with, including a military helicopter crash.
|Facebook's New Photo Sharing App |
Facebook has come out with, yet another, free standing app. The new app, called Moments, is specifically designed for you to share photos with certain friends only.
|Pictures are the New Words |
Snapchat says the future is all about pictures. To prove it, the company’s CEO deleted every tweet he ever posted.
|Reddit Shuts Down Bullying Forums |
Reddit has taken a big step in its attempts to prevent online bullying on its site. The social media site has shut down several forums and subreddits for trolling and abuse.
In May, Reddit announced that forums harboring harassment would be shut down.
|Facebook Place Tips Bring Deals to News Feeds|
Facebook is currently testing its Place Tips beacon, a device that automatically sends out information to users who are nearby. The beacon senses the users’ smartphone, and sends information related to the business.
This technology presents a great opportunity for businesses to promote their brands...
|Pizza Hut's Dinner and a Movie|
Maybe you want to invite your friends over for pizza and a movie, but all you have is your smartphone and some Pizza Hut coupons. It may seem like your night isn’t going to pan out, but never fear — Pizza Hut has you covered.
Pizza Hut debuted its new “Blockbuster Deal” box, which allows you to turn the pizza’s box into a delicious-smelling projector for your smartphone.
|ISIS's Social Media Slip-up|
Sometimes it just makes you happy when someone isn’t careful on social media. Especially when that someone is a member the terror group ISIS.
ISIS has been very successful at using social media to spread its terror agenda and recruit new members. The group is unnervingly social media savvy, finding the young and vulnerable online...
|Going Broke with Pinterest's Buyable Pins|
For those of you who were frustrated by not being able to buy that to-die-for item you found in Pinterest, your life is about to get a whole lot better. Pinterest has announced that later this month is will roll out its Buyable Pins feature, allowing pinners to purchase directly in the app.
|Finally, GIFs on Facebook|
Now you can finally post the perfect reaction GIF to your friends’ Facebook posts. The social media networking site announced last week that GIFs are now supported.
Previously, Facebook had been focusing hard on supporting video. They didn’t even jump on GIFs when their social rival Twitter rolled out the ability in 2014.
|Is Facebook's Messenger Stalking You?|
Facebook stalking just got a whole lot easier. Thanks to a new Chrome extension, users’ locations can be tracked through Facebook Messenger.
A Harvard student, Aran Khanna, created the Marauders Map extension. Simply download it in the Chrome browser, and follow your Internet friends’ real life movements.
According to Khanna’s blog post on Medium...
|Periscope Gains Popularity and Critics|
There really isn’t much hotter than Periscope right now. But while the live-streaming app has gained a lot of fans, it has also ruffled quite a few feathers.
For those that don’t know, Periscope is a live-streaming video app that allows users to "explore the world through someone else’s eyes." According to Periscope’s website, “A picture may be worth a thousand words..."
|Find Tweets on Google|
Now, instead of going through the arduous task of logging into Twitter to find a tweet, you can search using Google.
Okay, admittedly, it’s not that hard to search in Twitter, but it is definitely easier to just go ahead and search with Google. The social media site and Google partnered up this week...
|@POTUS Now Tweeting|
As President Barack Obama’s presidential term is coming to an end, the leader of the free world has finally started a Twitter account.
|Reddit's Efforts to 'Keep Everyone Safe'|
Reddit is fed up with bad behavior and bullying, and has decided to lay down some rules.
The social sharing site has long been touted as a haven for free speech, with limited moderation, and full of fiercely independent users.
|Better News Access Coming to Facebook|
Facebook is attempting to make it easier for you to read the news. This week, the social media giant is introducing Instant Articles, allowing news outlets to create interactive content specifically designed for the mobile News Feed.
Several organizations have already signed up, including the New York Times, BBC...
|Getting Diversity in Your Facebook Feed|
Turns out, your Facebook News Feed is more diverse than you may realize. At least, according to Facebook it is. Last week, Facebook released a study that “quantifies for the first time exactly how much ideologically diverse news and information individuals are exposed to on social media.”
|Stop Making a Big Deal Out of Quitting Social Media|
If you’re thinking about quitting social media — temporarily or forever — perhaps you’re also thinking about making a big farewell speech. If so, perhaps you should reconsider.
We’ve all been there. The urge to quit social media happens to everyone, but people who announce their leaving are the worst.
If you’re really leaving social media because you’re tired of it, there isn’t much need...
|Find a Smuggler on Social Media|
Need a human trafficker? Try Facebook.
In northern Africa and the Middle East, human traffickers are using social media to lure potential clients to be smuggled into Europe. Many migrants find their smugglers on Facebook, Twitter, or Viber. The crossing can cost anywhere from $3,500 to $10,000 cash and is a multi-million dollar business.
|Searchable Emoji and New Filters in Instagram|
Instagram just got a whole lot more expressive. Now you can add emoji hashtags to your posts, as well as gussy up your photos with new filters.
Instagram updated their iOS and Android apps to include the emojis when using hashtags. This means you can search posts using the emojis.
According to the company’s blog post:
"You can also now use emoji in your hashtags...."
|iPad App Crash Grounds Plane|
It’s frustrating enough to have an iPad app crash when you're trying to change your My Idol's clothes, but it’s a whole different issue when that app’s crashing causes serious flight delays.
Such delays happened for American Airlines when the app the company uses for pilots to view flight plans crashed.
|Social Media Response to Nepal Earthquake|
Social media is once again proving how vital it can be in disaster situations. Following this weekend’s earthquake in Nepal, several social media sites have created tools to help people let their loved ones know they are safe or gather information on the missing.
Facebook created Safety Check, where users can “mark themselves safe.”
|Clean Up Your Social Media Past|
Maybe you’re fresh out of college, or suddenly find yourself looking for a new career. Either way, you’re on the hunt for a new job, and it’s time to clean up your social media image.
But sifting through hundreds (or thousands!) of posts across various social media sites can be daunting.
|Man Booted From Flight Over Tweet|
Want to be banned from an airline? Try tweeting about hacking into the plane’s onboard computer system.
As if most of us didn’t already know this — it’s not the best idea to go on social media and joke about hacking into the flight's operating system and deploying the oxygen masks.
|Is Facebook's Internet.org Against Net Neutrality?|
Recently, Internet.org has come under fire from India. The project, which is headed by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, has been accused of being against net neutrality.
Internet.org is "a Facebook-led initiative bringing together technology leaders, nonprofits and local communities to connect the two thirds of the world that doesn’t have Internet access.” While Zuckerberg insists that he, Facebook, and Internet.org support net neutrality, critics in India disagree.
In fact, India’s Save The Internet Coalition claimed that...
|Live-Stream App Users Up to No Good|
Live-streaming apps are so hot right now, but not just in popularity. The two biggest apps out there, Periscope and Meerkat, have found themselves in hot water after piracy and softcore porn complaints began cropping up.
This past Sunday, some users used the sites to live-stream HBO’s Game of Thrones.
|Divorce Papers Via Facebook|
Facebook may be getting even more involved in the end of your marriage. It’s no secret that Facebook has contributed, at least in part, to the demise of some happy unions. Now it may be the messenger of impending doom.
Depending on where you live, you could potentially be served divorce papers via the social media site. Recently, a woman in Brooklyn, NY was able to serve...
|Facebook's Facial Recognition is Headed to Court|
Facebook’s facial recognition technology is now the subject of a lawsuit.
The social media giant rolled out the facial recognition several years ago as a way to help its users tag each other in photos easily. The tagging was automatically defaulted to being on, causing many users and privacy experts to cry foul. Now, an Illinois man is taking Facebook to court.
|Students and Parents Abusing Teachers on Social Media|
More and more teachers and professors are dealing with social media abuse, and it’s not just from their students; many parents are joining in.
A recent poll put the level of abuse at 60%, which is a sharp rise from the 21% of teachers facing abuse the previous year. The majority of abusive posts originated from students, but 40% of cases were posted by parents.
According to the poll:
Almost two-thirds (62%) said pupils had posted insulting comments, while just over a third (34%) said students had taken photos or videos...
|The Ugly Side of Pinterest Projects|
Let’s face it; not all of us are crafty individuals. And try as we might to recreate some of the awesome things we see on Pinterest, sometimes we just plain fail.
Thank goodness there are websites to showcase the failures!
PinterestFail.com gives you a hilarious view of all the projects gone wrong. From DIY to recipes, the site is full of the funny and the horrifying.
|Amazon's Awesome Dash Button|
Amazon has now made it easier than ever for you to order from them. The retail giant hopes that more and more people will use their new Dash Button to order household goods.
Amazon’s Dash Button, which is only available to Amazon Prime subscribers, can be attached to appliances, allowing customers to easily push to reorder supplies. "Dash Button comes with a reusable adhesive and a hook..."
|Tasteless Selfies at Blast Site|
Perhaps as faux pas as snapping the selfie itself, the selfie stick has become a hated accessory. But several young women took narcissism to a whole new level when they snapped a picture of themselves posing in front of last week’s explosion in New York’s East Village.
|Male Tinder Users Tricked|
A Tinder prank tricked men into flirting with other men, and according to experts has brought security lapses to light.
A Tinder developer is accused of creating fake dating profiles for women, which tricked men using the app into flirting with them. The developer created a program that would match up men interested in the same dating profile, then allow them to flirt with one another.
As if online dating needed to be any shadier, right?
The developer said he only created the profiles to prove how easily it could be done...
|Instagram Launches Layout, Its New Collage App |
Instagram launched its new, freestanding app, Layout. Now you can create that photo collage you’ve always wished for.
The collage can be of up to nine photos, which are organized by Layout into sections. Users can also use the “Photo Booth” option to have the app take four successive photos. The app then provides a number of layout choices, letting users decide which to use.
According to Instagram’s blog:
"…you have complete artistic control. Drag and drop photos to rearrange them, pinch to zoom or pull the sides of each photo to adjust its size and get your layout just right. Then flip and rotate your photos to create cool arrangements and mirror effects." The collages can be shared on various social media sites, including Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat.
Instagram created Layout to address the growing number of people using third-party apps to create collages to be posted in Instagram.
|Facebook's Suicide Prevention Gone Wrong|
Is Facebook’s suicide prevention tool really helpful? According to at least one man, no.
Tusch claims that in an effort to test whether or not the suicide prevention tool worked, he posted a fake threat about killing himself on Facebook. One of his Facebook friends saw the post and flagged it for a potential suicide.
|Facebook Now Lets You Message Money|
Starting this week, you can send money to your friends via Facebook Messenger. The new, free service makes it easy to transfer funds without having to download another app.
Facebook is banking on its money service being popular because everyone is already on Facebook and likely using Messenger.
|Facebook Updates Community Rules|
If you wanted to show your private bits on Facebook, you’re now going to have a harder time. The social media giant has made some major updates to its Community Standards, including what is — and isn’t — tasteful nudity.
The Community Standards page covers things like nudity, bullying, harassment, and hate speech.
According to Facebook, “We want people to feel safe when using Facebook. For that reason, we've developed a set of Community Standards, outlined below. ..."
|Put Down that Selfie Stick|
It’s time to leave that selfie stick at home; at least, if you’re headed to a museum. Several museums around the world are banning the hottest accessory in narcissism.
The National Gallery in London is the latest in a string of museums to ban selfie sticks. The gallery, which also bans tripods, claimed the sticks could injure people...
|Facebook Removing Page Likes|
Facebook is updating the way that likes are counted. The social media giant is removing Page likes from voluntarily deactivated and memorialized accounts.
According to Facebook’s blog:
"There are two primary benefits to removing voluntarily deactivated and memorialized Facebook accounts from Pages’ like counts:
Business results: Removing inactive Facebook accounts from Page audience data gives businesses up-to-date insights on the people who actively follow their Page and makes it easier..."
|Twitter's New Procedures for Trolls |
After being lambasted with criticism about its lack of control over trolls and abuse, Twitter has brought on additional staff to help monitor and respond to claims.
Previously, the CEO admitted in a leaked internal memo that Twitter wasn’t doing enough to combat the abuse
|30 and Over Paying More for Tinder|
Some things get better with age. Tinder, however, may not be one of them. The new premium version of Tinder is out, and if you’re over 30, you’ll have to pay more.
You can now pay to use Tinder’s premium features, including the ability to go back...
|Facebook's Suicide Prevention Tool|
In an effort to help prevent suicides, Facebook has launched a new tool for those worried about suicide among their friends.
Facebook posts that contain suicidal keywords can be flagged, which in turn triggers a message from the social media site. According to a Facebook strategist, “Often, friends and family who are the observers in this situation don't know what to do.”
"The person who flags the post will see a screen with links that allow them to message the potentially suicidal person...
|More Diverse Emojis on the Way|
Apple has been criticized for not providing a diverse enough set of emojis for the iPhone and iPad. Even after releasing gay and lesbian couples emojis, some continued to claim the company was not including enough diversity. Now Apple is bringing more color to the emoji keyboard. There will be a variety of skin tones, same-sex couples, more family icons, as well as over 30 countries’ flags.
|YouTube Launches Kid-Friendly App|
In an effort to make YouTube safer for younger users, the company is launching a new app designed for children.
YouTube Kids will include parental controls as well as upload restrictions. Parents can limit the amount of time a child is allowed to spend on the app, as well as the ability to turn off the search function. It is also separate from the main YouTube app in order to allow for better content...
|Striking Up a Convo with Barbie|
Every child who dreamed of having a real conversation with their favorite Barbie doll is about to get their wish. The doll’s maker, Mattel, is teaming up with ToyTalk to bring conversations with Barbie to life. And it’s all thanks to the Internet.
According to Mattel, the biggest request they have received over the years is...
|Is Facebook Your New Matchmaker?|
Could you find the love of your life on Facebook? Now, with the help of Lovebook, you just might.
Lovebook was created by CJ James, who wanted to find a better online dating option than the dating websites out there today. He created a three-tiered service: First Date, Lovebug, and Casanova. Each tier has a different...
|Facebooking from the Grave|
Facebook now has a way to allow someone to handle your social media affairs after you die. This week, Facebook announced its new legacy contact feature.
You can now designate someone as your legacy contact, giving them access to your Facebook page after you die. They can:
Write a post to display at the top of the memorialized Timeline...
|Twitter Sucks at Dealing with Trolls, Says Leaked Memo|
Dick Costolo, chief executive of Twitter, says the company “sucks” at dealing with tolling on the social media site.
An internal memo was leaked online, and in it Costolo states, “We suck at dealing with abuse and trolls on the platform and we've sucked at it for years.”
The memo goes on to state that the company’s failure to effectively handle harassment and online trolling have driven people away from the site. The entire memo is below:
"We suck at dealing with abuse and trolls on the platform and we've sucked at it for years."
|Can Ask.fm Repair the Damage?|
Ask.fm may be shutting down for good. After a rocky history, including involvement in several suicides, is the social media site calling it quits?
Many people have condemned it, including the families of people who were victims of cyberbullying and suicide. The company promised to do better, but soon after...
|Google to Relaunch Glass|
Apparently, Google Glass is coming back. Google stopped the sale of the glasses in January of this year.
Google moved the Glass division out of their headquarters and into its own office. It’s believed that the Glass team will be redesigning the eyewear, and will rerelease them once it’s completely finished.
|What Are YouTube Captions Talking About?|
YouTube has a captioning problem. Specifically, an automatic captioning problem. The video-sharing site has admitted that its automatic subtitling has some serious issues.
In response, hard-of-hearing vlogger Rikki Poynter has started a campaign to get video posters to manually subtitle their videos until YouTube...
|Social Media Warfare|
The British Army has started up a new unit called the Facebook Warriors. These soldiers are specifically assigned to “wage complex and covert information and subversion campaigns.”
The 77th Battalion has been charged with spreading information designed to elicit specific responses from the enemy.
|Snapchat Adds Discover Feature|
Apparently, everyone is getting into the news business. The messaging app Snapchat has just launched its Discover feature, which allows users to access content it has called “editions.”
Editions are content — either a photo, video, or text — from 11 media companies.
|Twitter Details New Features in Blog Post|
Twitter is rolling out a flurry of new services. The latest features to be added to the social media site are video and group messages.
The group messages can include up to 20 people, and the videos can be shot and edited. Twitter announced the new features in a blog post:
“Private conversations on Twitter are a great complement to the largely public experience on the platform. You might prefer to read (or watch) Tweets but converse about them privately. You might want to continue a public conversation privately..."
|Video Ads Coming to Snapchat|
The social photo-sharing application is teaming up with some big companies to bring ads to the app. Big brands like CNN, National Geographic, and the Food Network will all feature ads on the site.
Snapchat has more than 100 million users worldwide, most of whom are teens and young adults. These demographics make it particularly appealing to advertisers.
|Privacy Loss to Combat Cyber Bullying|
The State of Illinois has taken steps to handle cases of cyber bullying a lot more seriously. The state just passed legislation this January requiring that those suspected or accused of cyber bullying turn over the passwords to their social profiles.
The law also now includes social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter...
|SOTU Leads to Many Trending Topics on Social Media|
The President’s State of the Union Address had some record moments in it, including the first-ever mention by a president about lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender persons in a SOTU. The President’s use of these words was a trending topic on social media.
President Obama said, "As Americans, we respect human dignity, even when we're threatened..."
|Facebook at Work for Actual Work|
Gone are the days of using Facebook at work, because now you can use it for work. Last week, the social media giant launched its Work app.
The new app is meant to be an alternative to email. Businesses can set up company social media within Facebook.
|Google Glass is No More|
You can stop saving your pennies. Google is no longer selling its smart-wear glasses, Google Glass.
Google Glass’s Explorer Program was launched in 2013, and was expected to have a large-scale launch shortly thereafter. Google even partnered with Warby Parker to make the smart glasses more fashionable.
|Private Instagram Photos Are Public|
For a while, at least, some of your private Instagram photos were not so private. The image-sharing site recently fixed a bug that allowed users’ private photos to be seen publicly.
For users who previously had public accounts, some of their photos remained public even after the account was switched to private. The glitch wasn’t exclusive to Instagram.
|Which State Brags the Most?|
Who are the most narcissistic people online? In the United States, Californians hold the less-than-dubious distinction of being the most into themselves.
In a survey by HeyLets of 2,500 social media users, people were asked about their habits...
|Where Teens Do Social Media|
Ever wonder what the kids are into these days? According to at least one 19-year-old college student, it sure isn’t Facebook.
Andrew Watts, a college student from The University of Texas at Austin, has written a teenager’s take on social media sites. Watts expresses his frustration with so-called "experts" who break down the what and why of teens’ feelings toward social media. His aptly named post: “A Teenager’s View on Social Media: Written by an Actual Teen."
No matter your age, Watts' post is worth a read. He makes several compelling points, some of which are highlighted below...
|Creating a Social Media Policy for the Workplace|
As a brand new year is underway, it is perhaps time to take a look at your company’s social media guidelines. New social media sites emerge constantly, and it is important to make sure you’re including all the different kinds.
Whether you’re deciding to go fast and loose or conservative, it’s a good idea to at least have some sort of policy in place. Without it, employees won’t know what is expected of them, leading to confusion and even lawsuits. Designing a good social media policy for the workplace can seem like a daunting task.
|Stop Posting About Copyright Ownership on Facebook|
It is a brand-new year, and time for a brand-new reminder of an old fact — posting some legalese statement on Facebook about copyright ownership doesn’t do anything. Seriously, nothing.
Most likely, you have seen some variation of the following statement posted in your friends’ Facebook statuses:
"Due to the fact that Facebook has chosen to involve software that will allow the theft of my personal information, I state: at this date of January 4, 2015, in response to the new guidelines of Facebook..."
|Vein-Reading Biometrics Win Security-Conscious Customers|
After hearing that a hacker managed to clone the thumbprint of a German politician from a photo, vein-reading biometrics are getting another look.
If you own an iPhone 5 or 6, or one of Samsung’s devices, the idea of cloning your fingerprint from a photo can be unsettling. Not to mention the fear of how such clones can be used to fool biometric systems beyond personal devices.
|Facebook Says Sorry for 'Year in Review'|
For forcing some people to relive their most tragic memories of 2014, Facebook has apologized.
Perhaps the most annoying feature of Facebook’s December, "The Year in Review" has been nothing but in your face. Of course, this has to be annoying for users who did not have a good 2014.
For web designer Eric Meyer, the Year in Review was particularly heartbreaking.
|New Feature for Facebook's Year in Review|
Was 2014 a banner year for you? Now you can relive the memories with Facebook’s Year in Review feature. That is, assuming you want to relive it.
Year in Review debuted on Facebook in 2013, allowing users to view a video of their year’s posts. Unlike the 2013 review, Facebook users can now pick which photos are in the 2014 review.
|The Instagram Purge Deletes Millions|
Instagram is cleaning house and deleting millions of pictures in what has been dubbed the “Instagram Purge.” The photo-sharing site is trying to rid itself of spam accounts, but some accounts lost thousands of followers, leaving many to wonder if the deleted accounts were legit.
Needless to say, the owners of some of the legitimate accounts are upset, and rightly so.
|CNN #AskACop Live TV Fail|
Creating a hashtag can be a tricky thing; even trickier when your hashtag centers around a controversial topic and live television.
On Monday of this week, CNN created #AskACop on Twitter to go along with its “Cops Under Fire” show. The town hall–style show featured a panel of police officers...
|Dislike Button Coming to Facebook?|
It’s been something Facebook users have talked about for years: the dislike button. Yet, despite the obvious multitude of uses for it, the social media giant has seemed resistant to bring the dislike button to our feeds. That is, until now.
According to the man himself, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, the company...
|Facebook May Save You From Embarrassing Photos|
Worried about unflattering photos of yourself being posted on Facebook? Or that your friends will tag you in a photo doing something you’d rather not have everyone see? Now the same company that brought that fear into your life is working on a way to alleviate it.
The new software uses the same facial recognition to determine whether or not you’re intoxicated.
|Uber's Good Name May Suffer|
Uber has been a huge hit, valued at over $40 billion. Yes, despite their wild popularity, the company has received a lot of criticism. Many states and some countries have tried to ban the service altogether. Drivers have decided to strike in order to get better wages. And, most recently, an Uber driver in India has been accused of raping a passenger.
|Google Making a Safer Internet for Kids|
For parents of young children, the Internet can be a scary place. In order to keep the wee ones safe from what dangers may be lurking online, Google has been developing kid-friendly versions of some of its services. Google wants to make its search site and YouTube safer for children to use.
|Vloggers Chastised for Ads in Vlogs|
It’s all about transparency, people; a lesson learned by a group of vloggers in the United Kingdom after posting videos to YouTube promoting Oreos.
The vloggers were paid by Mondelez UK to post positive videos about Oreo cookies. The Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) came down on the vloggers, claiming they had violated the Committee of Advertising Practice code. The code is what regulates advertising in the United Kingdom.
|Twitter to Track Your Apps|
Twitter wants to be the best Twitter it can be to you. Part of being the best for you means Twitter has now decided to track what apps you download in order to better understand what you like.
The new app update keeps tabs on what apps you download to your device. According to the announcement, Twitter is using this new feature...
|Could Twitter's New Search Feature Keep You From a Job?|
Twitter has launched a new feature where every public tweet ever made since its launch in 2006 is searchable. Here’s why this could be a problem:
Sure, most likely your entire Twitter history is full of tweets of little importance. There’s a chance you may have said something you would wish you hadn’t...
|Facebook for Work Coming Soon|
In yet another move to be the only place you visit online, Facebook has created a network for coworkers to collaborate.
Facebook at Work allows users to share work documents and chat, but keeps the work-related network separate from your personal Facebook profile. Facebook at Work hopes to compete with similar services such as Google Drive and Microsoft’s Office.
|Facebook Introduces Privacy Basics Page|
Facebook finally released a helpful privacy tool. The new page, Privacy Basics, will actually help you understand privacy settings.
The social media giant has long been criticized for its lackluster privacy safeguards. Historically, the controls have been difficult to find and cumbersome to understand. Even better, the new explanation is not simply limited to what your friends can see, it also includes what advertisers have the ability to see about you.
|YouTube's Ad-Free Subscription Service|
Want to watch YouTube ad free? Well, you’re in luck. Google is starting an ad-free subscription service.
The service, called Music Key, is $9.99 per month and allows users to watch videos without ads and also download videos. Music Key is Google’s amped-up version of Spotify and Rdio.
The service hasn’t been without hiccup, though. Music Key’s launch was delayed because of a dispute...
|No Neutrality Ruling in 2014|
There is yet another delay in the neverending saga of "will we or won’t we have free and open Internet." The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has put off making its decision on classifying the Internet as a public utility.
The FCC was supposed to vote in December on whether or not...
|Holiday Shopping Via Social Media|
The Christmas decorations are hitting the malls and retail outlets. Soon nowhere will be safe, even social media. We are now entering the season of social media shopping.
This year we have a seen an increase of purchasing within social media sites. Twitter has partnered with several brands to offer an in-feed buy button.
|Why Are There So Many Photo Leaks?|
Just how many celebrities are taking nude photos? A lot, apparently. Yet another batch of photos has been posted on Reddit and 4chan.
As a result, Apple’s iCloud security has once again been called into question. Though the tech giant denies any security breach has occurred...
|Facebook Endorses Tor for Accessing Site|
If you live in a country that blocks access to sites like Facebook, you now have a way to access the social media giant without compromising your anonymity. Facebook has enabled access via Tor for those who want to remain anonymous.
Tor is “a free software and an open network that helps you defend against traffic analysis, a form of network surveillance..."
|Instagram to Feature Video Ads|
Instagram already has photo ads, but now they’re adding video ads as well. Instagram’s parent company, Facebook, debuted video ads on its site at the end of 2013, and now they’ve spread to Instagram.
The targeted ads will be 15-second-long videos from L’Oreal, CW, and Disney, with more companies advertising to come.
When Facebook began its video ads, there was a lot of backlash...
|Samaritans Radar App Helps ID Troubled Tweets|
In the wake of tragedy, many people question whether something could have been done to avoid it. Murders, suicides, school shootings, and so on — people look back and think “what if.”
Sometimes there are no signs that someone is deeply disturbed, but sometimes there are. Social media posts gain a lot of attention, as they’re combed through to see what, if any, hint of impending violence was given. If those tweets had been seen earlier, would the tragedy have been stoppable?
|Facebook's Rooms Brings Back the Chatroom|
Miss the old chatroom style of the 1990s? If so, Facebook has just the feature for you. The launch of their new Rooms app brings back fond memories of message boards.
Facebook is seeking to bring people together based off common likes and experiences. It’s not about chatting with people you already know. It’s about chatting with people who share the same interests.
|Ello Promises to Be Forever Ad-Free|
Ello is committed to never becoming anything like Facebook. So committed, in fact, that the social site has secured a multi-million dollar backing from investors. Ello sent out an announcement detailing its promise to remain ad-free:
"There has been some speculation in the press since our launch 11 weeks ago that will someday be forced to allow paid ads on our social network...."
|Up to 73% Harassed Online|
The Pew Research Center found that 73% of adult Internet users had been harassed online, with 40% having experienced the harassment personally.
Online harassment and cyberbullying are hot-button topics as of late, and the numbers released in the study are disheartening.
|Does Anyone Want a More Relevant Twitter Feed?|
“We’re working to show you better, more relevant content” is perhaps the most dreaded phrase in social media. Just hearing it from your social media platform of choice is enough to trigger an eye roll. So, not surprisingly, Twitter’s recent announcement that it will be tweaking with the feed has many users annoyed.
|HBO Launching Standalone Service|
For all of those who have left cable and satellite television behind, HBO’s announcement to sell its service online in 2015 is great news.
For years, many have complained about the high cost of cable, yet it’s hard to give up because of the quality shows airing on some cable channels.
|Facebook's Year of Birth Not Working for 114-Year-Old |
When you get to be 114 years old, you would think you wouldn’t have a need to lie about your age. Not so for Anna Stoehr. The 114-year-old woman had to lie about age in order to join Facebook.
Facebook’s age count tops out at 99 years, well shy of Stoehr’s age.
Once again, Snapchat is in the news for a massive hacking of their supposedly deleted photos. The company originally tried to deny there was any validity to 4chan’s threat to post photos online, calling the entire thing a hoax. Turns out it wasn’t a hoax.
On Sunday, 98,000 photos and videos from Snapchat were uploaded.
|Social Media Rumors About Ebola Put More at Risk|
Social media is an amazing tool for spreading information. Unfortunately, that same awesome speed with which the truth is disseminated is the probably half the speed that falsehoods are spread. This is proving to be true in the case of Ebola facts.
According to some social media posts...
|DOJ Made Fake Facebook Page Without Consent|
Does getting arrested and having your cell phone searched count as giving consent for the Department of Justice to use the phone’s images to create a fake Facebook page? According to the Department of Justice, it does. Sondra Arquiett was arrested several years ago in 2010, and later discovered that the DOJ...
|Facebook Fighting Against Fake Likes|
Facebook is fed up with scammers selling fake likes to businesses. Facebook is now talking about how these fake likes are hurting the company and businesses, all as part of National Cyber Security Awareness Month. Facebook recently won a $2 billion judgment against a company who sold fake likes on their site. The scammers will sell likes to businesses on Facebook, but the likes are often from fake accounts that only send out spam.
For more from the Facebook’s security team’s blog post, click here.
|Facebook to Update Real Name Policy|
Facebook’s real name policy is going away! Or, at least, it's changing. Yesterday, the social media giant released a statement that it will allow users to go by preferred names. It also apologized.
Many in the LGBT community, as well as victims of domestic violence, had criticized Facebook for forcing users...
|FireChat Keeps Hong Kong Protesters Communicating|
China is notorious for controlling the media, and the pro-democracy demonstrations in Hong Kong are being no less censored. However, many protesters are using the app FireChat to communicate and coordinate.
Twitter, Instagram, and others have been blocked in Hong Kong and in mainland China...
|Could Ello Unseat Facebook?|
Facebook’s real-name policy may have inadvertently led to the rise of a new social media site, Ello. The site, which launched in May of this year, has experienced a sharp rise in interest, and may be signaling the end of an era for Facebook.
The real-name policy on Facebook requires users to go by their real, legal name on the site.
|Space Tweets from MOM|
Is there anything cuter than two spacecrafts tweeting each other? Maybe, but not much.
Last week the Indian Space Research Organization’s Mars Orbiter Mission made it to Mars’s orbit. Following in NASA’s Curiosity Rover’s footsteps, the Mangalyaan began tweeting from its own Twitter account, @MarsOrbiter.
|Don't Bend Your New iPhone|
Some of Apple’s iPhone 6 and 6 Plus users are getting an unwanted feature. The new, ultra-thin phones have a nasty habit of bending when left in a pocket while someone is sitting for long periods of time.
The thinner phones are easier to bend than previous, thicker versions. But the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are hardly the first of Apple’s smartphones to have this issue.
|iPhone Users Get a Whole New Twitter Profile|
iPhone users received a whole new Twitter experience last Thursday after the site’s update to its profiles. In what Twitter calls “our biggest update to profiles to date,” users will see new design and emphasis on bios and photos.
As long as you have iOS 7 or above on your iPhone, you will be able to see the updated profile. Your bio will be immediately viewable on Twitter.
|Social Media Site Caters to the Wealthy |
Let’s say that you’re super rich, and that as a super rich person, you don’t feel you have a lot in common with people who aren’t in the same income bracket. Now there’s a social media site for you.
Netropolitan, a new social media site, markets itself to the one percenters.
|Should You Worry About Your Gmail Account?|
Google’s Gmail has been the victim of the latest large-scale security breach. Nearly five million email addresses and passwords were listed online — yet despite the large number of accounts potentially affected, Google says not to worry.
According to Google, “We’re always monitoring for these dumps so we can respond quickly to protect our users...."
|Most Apps Still Gobbling Up User Data|
Surprise, surprise — apps are failing at protecting your privacy. According to a new report, apps are still collecting huge amounts of personal data.
The Global Privacy Enforcement Network (GPEN) surveyed over 1,200 apps, finding that the large majority of them were not being clear or detailed in telling users what information was being collected.
|Internet Slow Down Day is Here |
It’s Internet Slow Down Day! The day where the Internet won’t actually be any slower, but your awareness will be raised about that possibility. Hopefully.
Several websites — such as Netflix, Reddit, Etsy, Upworthy, and Vimeo — will prominently display...
|Make Purchases Right From a Tweet|
See something on Twitter that you just have to have? Well, now you won’t have to scour the Internet, or even follow an external link, to find it. Twitter has introduced a “buy” button on mobile.
Twitter made the announcement in a blog post informing users that they can make purchases directly from tweets. Clicking the “buy” button allows the user to enter their payment information...
|Say Goodbye to Twitpic|
Twitpic was our go-to image posting site for Twitter, but we’ll have to say goodbye come the end of this month. Come September 25, Twitpic will be shut down.
According to Twitpic, the shutdown is due to a battle with Twitter. The social media site has long been after Twitpic to end, and it looks like it’s finally won out. Twitter threatened to take away Twitpic’s access to the API.
|Social Media: Not the 'Great Equalizer' After All|
Social media may not be the great equalizer that it's been touted to be. A recent study by the Pew Research Internet Project found that people are not emboldened by sites such as Facebook or Twitter when it comes to speaking out about issues.
Hard to believe, right? After all, it seems like nearly everyone on the Internet has an opinion.
It comes down to whether or not you think people will agree with you. If you feel you are in the minority, you’re less likely to voice your opinion.
|US Open to Show Off Polo Smartshirts|
Ralph Lauren’s Polo Tech shirts are helping to track the biometrics of some of the US Open ball boys. The smartshirt will provide real-time information via its Bluetooth connection to an iPad or iPhone.
The shirt contains conductive threading throughout, as well as a rechargeable band that snaps around the lower rib cage. The band is what collects the heart rate...
|Can You Spot Satire?|
Some people simply can’t pick up on a joke. So, until there really is a sarcasm font, Facebook has decided to start labeling The Onion stories as “satire” in order to cut down on confusion in your News Feed.
While some of The Onion’s headlines are obvious jokes, others can be deceptively genuine-sounding. It’s a weird world out there, making it hard for Facebook users to distinguish between links to authentic news sources and parody sites like The Onion. Apparently, the problem was rampant enough to make Facebook implement the change.
|Vine's Import Feature Is Here|
Now you can import your own video into Vine. And, quite frankly, it’s about time this change happened.
Not only that, but you can also edit the video, including duplication and audio editing. Even better, you can use the slow-mo feature from the iPhone 5S. As part of the debut of their new features...
|Groceries Delivered to Your Door by Uber|
How could Uber get any better? By offering a same-day grocery delivery service, obviously.
The new Uber service, The Corner Store, is available as part of the company’s smartphone app. Customers can log in, pick from over 100 competitively priced items, and have them delivered to their homes...
|Would You Wear a Computer Jacket?|
Wearable tech may be hitting a whole new level as advancements in nanomaterials create things like foldable computers. That’s right; thanks to nanomaterials, you could one day find yourself wearing a computer jacket. Or maybe a dapper computer suit.
Kyung-Suk Kim of the Center for Advanced Materials Research at Brown University...
|Ask.fm's New Owners Promise Big Safety Changes|
Tinder has bought the problematic website Ask.fm and promised to “invest millions” in improving the site’s safety features for its users.
Ask.fm has been linked to several teenage suicides in recent years.
|Circle of 6 App Helps Keep Students Safe|
Violence and sexual assaults on college campuses are things that have received a lot of national attention as of late. Parents want to know that their children are safe, and students need systems of security in place in case an incident occurs.
Circle of 6 is a mobile app that will “connect [the student] with your circle of friends to stay close, stay safe and prevent violence before it happens.”
|Social Tools for Suicide Prevention |
In the wake of Robin Williams’s death, a lot of attention is being paid to suicide and suicide prevention. Calls and visits to suicide prevention websites have seen a huge increase in volume since news of the actor’s death. For people suffering with depression and suicidal thoughts, there are some social tools out there that may be able to help.
Most of the major social sites — Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Tumblr — have reporting options for suicidal users.
|Tech Firms Stand with Facebook|
Some of the biggest tech companies have come out in support of Facebook’s fight against turning over user data to a New York court.
Google, Microsoft, LinkedIn, Twitter, Tumblr, Dropbox, and Yelp are just some of the companies who filed papers with the court arguing that the court’s request for data violated the First and Fourth Amendments.
|Twitch Falls from Grace|
Twitch used to be the most awesome of streaming services, but it’s now falling from grace thanks to changes to its services, and mostly because of how poorly it communicated the changes to users prior to their happening.
Now, whenever Twitch recognizes third-party music, it mutes the video content. This angered many of its 45 million monthly gamers...
|Hotel Just Won't Learn Its Lesson|
It’s easy to assume that the Union Street Guest House wishes it had never heard of Yelp. Or social media. Or maybe even the Internet. The New York hotel learned a very hard — and very public — lesson about customer service and social media this week.
It all started with what hotel owner, Chris Wagoner, insists was a joke. As part of the hotel’s policy, customers could be fined $500 for posting negative reviews online. The money would be deducted from wedding and event deposits, and would be kept unless the review was removed. The policy, of course, is ridiculous, and after it went viral things got even worse for the hotel.
|Facebook Videos Ruining News Feeds|
If you’ve used Facebook in the last couple of weeks, you surely have also said something along the lines of “Make it stop!” Facebook’s new push for videos is perhaps the most obnoxious thing since the last obnoxious thing Facebook debuted in the News Feed.
According to Facebook, we’re now seeing double the videos we saw earlier this year. Yes, we’re seeing them because Facebook is forcing us to see them.
|Facebook Brings Facebook to Zambia |
If there was one thing you could say Facebook is being the good guy about, it’s probably its Internet.org initiative. Internet.org is “a global partnership dedicated to making affordable internet access available to the two thirds of the world not yet connected.”
|OKCupid's Been Messing With Your Love Life|
It shouldn’t be surprising to anyone that OKCupid didn’t learn from Facebook’s social experiment mistake. But at least Facebook conducted their negative feelings study on our News Feeds in conjunction with actual scientific research. OKCupid’s reason for their experiment? Because they were curious.
|Social Media News Agencies Playing Role in MH17 Investigation|
In the wake of the MH17 crash (the plane shot down by pro-Russian fighters), social media may be helping investigators piece together parts of what may occurred before and after the disaster. Each side has been pointing fingers at the other, making it incredibly difficult for investigators to figure out exactly what happened. As a result, social news agencies are sifting through posts to verify claims.
Social news agencies, such as Storyful and Open Newsroom...
|Personalized Emojis from Imoji|
Everyone loves emojis, so much so that there has been a huge rise in the number of emojis that comes standard with our smartphones. But we still want more!
Today, a new app called imoji launched its product, which allows you to take your own images and create emojis or stickers. Imoji is used with iMessage, and can be used on any picture you’ve taken or image you find online. The emojis you create can either be marked as private, or shared publically. Publically shared emojis become part of the imoji gallery.
Imoji was created by Tom Smith, who previously worked at Apple. Smith says he was passionate about creating more emoji options as part of the rapidly expanding popularity of text messages.
|LinkedIn's New App Has Helpful Hints|
Have a big meeting coming up? You should consider looking to LinkedIn for some helpful, pre-meeting advice.
LinkedIn is launching its new app, which is supposed to be smarter and more helpful via “anticipatory computing.” The new technology prompts users with helpful information about LinkedIn members, as well as integrates with smartphone calendars.
|Move Over 'Like,' Here Comes the New 'Buy' Button|
You come across something in your Facebook feed and think, “I must buy that!” Well, Facebook may be looking to make it a whole lot easier for you to purchase items without ever leaving the site.
At first, Facebook promised it was not going to add a “buy” button to its posts.
|Blogger's Review Ruled Too Popular|
Perhaps the ability to remove unwanted and unflattering stories about you has gotten out of control in Europe. This week, a French judge handed down a ruling against a blogger whose negative restaurant review was too popular.
|Time to Make Up Your Google+ Name|
Google is finally relenting on its absurd insistence that Google+ users use their real names. Relenting and apologizing.
The original intention behind the policy of real names was meant to cut down on trolling. After all, people are less likely to act like complete jerks if their online comments can lead back to them in real life. The policy, which started in 2011, was met with a lot of backlash...
|Laughable Yo App Saving Lives?|
It’s no secret that technology is helping to save lives, especially in times of disaster and war. In fact, the app Yo has teamed up with Red Alert, the Israeli missile alert system, to help warn citizens of incoming missiles and mortars.
Yo, which was developed by an Israeli living in San Francisco...
|Birth Control Goes High-Tech|
Watch out, ladies. Our reproductive organs are going high-tech. Scientists have invented a remote-control contraceptive!
The chip is implanted under the skin and releases birth control into the body every day for 16 years. The chip emits an electrical impulse, melting a small amount of the birth control, levonorgestrel. The release is controlled by remote...
|The Space Station Just Got Smartphones|
Smartphones are everywhere. And now they’re even on the space station.
NASA has equipped tiny robots with smartphones to collect information while they float around the space station. The smartphones are part of Google’s Project Tango, and were purchased from Amazon and Best Buy.
|Facebook Video Ads Are Imminent|
Video ads are coming to Facebook. We all knew it was going to happen eventually, and Facebook’s purchase of LiveRail last week pretty much confirms it’ll be happening soon.
Of course, no one is surprised. Online video advertising is expected to be the next big thing in coming years.
|Tinder Faces Sexual Harassment Suit|
Tinder’s former vice president of marketing is suing the popular dating app for sexual harassment and discrimination.
The former VP, Whitney Wolfe, says she was stripped of her co-founder title, and called a “whore” at a Tinder company event. Despite bringing her complaints to Tinder’s CEO, Wolfe claims nothing was done.
IAC/InterActiveCorp, which owns the majority of Tinder...
|Call for Google Glass to be Banned from Cinemas in UK|
The Cinema Exhibitors’ Association (CEA) has come out against Google Glass being worn in UK cinemas. The CEA, which represents the interest of cinema operators in the United Kingdom, has said Google Glass should be banned “whether the film is playing or not.”
The fear is that Glass wearers will use the device to record...
|Facebook Study Tampered with Your Mood|
Having a bad day? Turns out, Facebook may have purposely tried to make it even worse. In 2012, the social media giant manipulated the news feeds of about 700,000 people to gauge users’ emotional responses.
Some were shown more negative posts, others were shown more positive posts. Digital Pivot wrote about this experiment last week.
|Facebook Isn't Losing Teens|
The rumor has been that teens are avoiding — and even leaving — Facebook en masse. But according to a new survey of 12 and 13-year-olds, Facebook usage has actually increased. Why the sudden positive shift?
It may very well be Facebook’s focus on mobile that is enticing teens.
|No More Parking Spot Auctioning |
Parking in San Francisco sucks. So much so that a new app called MonkeyParking sought to help users find parking spaces and make money off of spots they were leaving.
The app allowed users to auction off parking spots they were occupying to the highest bidder.
|Facebook Posts Affecting Your Mood|
Is your Facebook News Feed affecting your mood? Probably.
According to a new study by Cornell University, the University of California, San Francisco, and Facebook, the type of posts you encounter in your feed greatly impact the way you feel. “When positive posts were reduced in the news feed, the percentage of positive words in people’s status updates decreased.”
Thankfully, the opposite is also true — increase the number of positive posts, and more people feel positive.
|Twitter Enables GIFs; Internet Rejoices|
Let us all collectively say, “Finally!” Twitter has announced the ability to post GIFs on their site!
It’s been a long-awaited feature on Twitter. Now you can tweet your favorite GIF to all of your followers. The ability to post a GIF only works from Twitter.com, but you are able to view them on Android phones and iPhones.
|Massive Phishing Scam for Dating Websites|
It’s time to start being even more wary in your online dating. According to Netcraft, users of several of the most popular online dating sites have begun to receive phishing emails from scammers.
Users from eHarmony, Christian Mingle, Match, and Zooks have been receiving emails attempting to gain their log-in information. The emails sent are trying to befriend users...
|YouTube Cutting Out Indie Artists|
If you’re a big fan of bands signed on indie labels you’ll soon find you’re no longer able to watch them on YouTube.
As YouTube begins launching its subscription service, it will also begin removing videos from artists on independent labels that have not agreed to YouTube’s terms.
|Dating Apps Increasing STDs|
Could technology be responsible for the recent rise in sexually transmitted diseases? According to at least one study done in Los Angeles, the use of Internet dating sites may be to blame for an increase in diseases such as chlamydia and gonorrhea.
The study looked at the number of infections affecting gay men who used online dating apps versus the number of infections of those who didn’t use apps. Those that did use apps had higher rates of infection.
|Facebook's Release Snafu|
Facebook slipped up and accidentally released its new photo-sharing app, Slingshot.
The new app, which was erroneously posted in the Apple App Store, is similar to the wildly popular Snapchat. Users can share videos and photos, insert text on the pictures, and set expirations dates for the messages to be deleted.
|Instagram Announces Global Ad|
The popular photo-sharing app, Instagram, has announced the introduction of advertisements in the UK, U.S., and Canada.
There are currently 200 million Instagram users worldwide, 35 million of which are in the United States. Because of its high number of users, eMarketer deemed their choice to add ads a “logical step.”
|CIA's Twitter Account a Hit|
Like many other U.S. intelligence agencies, the CIA has recently faced a lot of criticism over being too secretive. In an effort to clean up their image and appear more transparent, the Central Intelligence Agency has started their own Twitter account. And they have jokes!
|Ask.fm Keeping Anon Feature Despite Deaths |
Part of Ask.fm’s appeal is its user anonymity. But that anonymity has recently come under fire by those who claim it makes it easier for cyberbullying. Despite a handful of deaths linked to bullying on the Ask.fm site, the site’s director defends their choice.
Ask.fm’s director told BBC News that the site didn’t go far enough following the death of 14-year-old Hannah Smith. The UK teen reportedly committed suicide after receiving bullying posts and comments on the site.
|Keep Your Shirt On in Instagram Photos|
Like it or not, Instagram won’t let you post photos of topless women on their site. The photo-sharing site says they don’t allow the photos because they want to create the “safest possible place for teens and adults.”
The question is, why is this coming up now? Instagram’s CEO spoke out this week following the backlash surrounding the removal of topless photos of Scout Willis. The daughter of Bruce Willis and Demi Moore protested Instagram taking down topless photos posted on her account.
|Facebook User Helps Reunite Abducted Baby|
We’ve heard stories about people finding their adopted parents on Facebook, but this may be one of the first where the social media site helped an abducted baby reunite with its parents.
A woman dressed as a nurse abducted a baby from a Quebec hospital last week.
|PR Stunt Ends in Bomb Squad Being Called|
What was supposed to be a witty publicity stunt turned into a serious situation — and building evacuation — last week. A mysterious beeping package arrived at an Australian news site’s office, setting off a panic.
|Is Reading Rainbow Coming Back?|
Hooray! Reading Rainbow is coming back! Thanks to over $1 million in Kickstarter funds, we are well on our way to getting back the beloved children's show.
For children of the 1980s, it sounds too good to be true. And that's because it is. The Kickstarter campaign will not revive the classic show, but fund the Reading Rainbow tablet app and a web-based expansion...
|Facebook to Stop Implicit Updates|
Facebook is going to stop sharing your business quite as much. The social media giant announced this week that it was going to stop putting as many automatic updates into our News Feeds.
This is really great news for those who are tired of seeing what tools were bought on FarmVille or the constant playlist some of our friends are listening to.
|Judge Bans Woman's Facebook Posts|
If you're the kind of person who rants about your exes and family members online, you could find yourself in legal trouble. A New Jersey woman was ordered by a judge to stop posting about her ex-husband and kids on Facebook.
The New Jersey woman began ranting about her ex and children on the popular social media site in 2011.
|Facebook to Start Listening to You|
Is Facebook about to start listening to you? It is, and all in an effort to find out what kind of music and TV shows you’re into.
Facebook announced the release of a new listening feature. It’s like Shazam, but without having to leave the comfort of Facebook. The feature will listen to the music or show via the microphone on your mobile device and if it recognized the show/song, it will publish the information on your profile.
|Kansas State Attorney General's Policy Allows Firing for Posts|
If you’re a public university employee in Kansas, you'd better start being more cautious with what you post on social media. The state attorney general has approved the ability for those employees to be fired for improper social media use.
Unfortunately for those employees, what constitutes "improper" is very broad.
|Facebook Introduces 'Ask' Button|
In Facebook’s quest to do literally everything, they’re now introducing an “Ask” button similar to the “Like” button, but with the intention of flirting.
Now you don’t even need to leave Facebook to score a date.
|Facebook's New Mobile Feed Option Stinks|
Have you found Facebook’s new Top Stories-only setup for your mobile News Feed to be the most annoying feature change in quite some time? You’re not alone.
It used to be that Facebook only defaulted to Top Stories on mobile, meaning that users had to change the setting in order to see the Most Recent features.
|Anonymous Apps Aren't Anonymous|
Got a secret? Well, there’s an app for that. But be careful, because there’s no such thing as anonymity online.
Promises of confidentiality and anonymity online just aren’t totally true, and that’s putting a lot of us at risk. Anonymity apps, like Whisper, allow users to post whatever they want without revealing their identities.
|Net Neutrality Fight Comes to a Head This Week|
Hopefully you’ve been paying attention to the net neutrality fight going on in Washington. The Federal Communications Commission is set to decide this week whether to proceed with the currently drafted guidelines for prioritized data delivery.
|Miami Dolphins Players Tweet Intolerance|
In addition to sensitivity training, the Miami Dolphins' football team could probably use a social media course as well.
Two of the team’s players tweeted their negative reactions to Michael Sam kissing his boyfriend on ESPN’s coverage of the NFL Draft. Sam, who is the NFL’s first openly gay player, was drafted to the St. Louis Rams last week.
|FTC Files Complaint Against Snapchat|
Surprise, surprise — your Snapchat snaps are not as private as you thought. The Federal Trade Commission has announced that the photo sharing app has not been deleting photos like it claims to.
According to FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez, “If a company markets privacy and security as key selling points in pitching its service to consumers, it is critical that it keep those promises. According to FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez...
|Facebook Does Away With Two of Its Apps|
Not that you were using them anyway, but Facebook has officially done away with its Camera and Poke apps.
Facebook’s Poke app was seemingly the victim of bad timing. Launched shortly after the launch of Snapchat, Poke simply fell victim to its competitors runaway success.
It makes sense that the Camera app has gone away.
|Foursquare to Split Into Two Apps|
Foursquare is now becoming two Twosquares? Not exactly, but the app’s CEO did announce that the popular app will be splitting in two.
The Foursquare we all know will still be around, but there will also be a new app, Swarm. The focus of the new app is to keep users in touch with their friends...
|Moves Claims It Won't Share Data with Facebook, Then Does|
When Facebook bought Moves app last month, many users were worried their data from the app would be shared with the social media giant in ways they didn’t want. At the time Moves claimed data sharing wasn’t going to happen. Turns out, the claim was incorrect.
|Hiding From Big Data |
Big data is everywhere, and it knows a lot more about you than you might think. Recently, one woman decided to hide her pregnancy from big data, and see if she could go an entire nine months without being found out. It couldn’t have been an easy thing to do. There are bots and cookies...
|Save the Rhino: Don't Tag Poachers!|
You probably haven’t thought about what geotagging your photos can do to endangered species. In a world where everyone is getting more sophisticated, even poachers are using social media to find their kills.
A recent post on Reddit by desmondxeos shows a sign posted in a rhino park in Africa. The sign reminds park visitors that posting pictures of the endangered rhinos...
|New Anonymous Facebook Login|
Let’s be frank; this isn’t something any of us expected to see coming from Facebook. The social media giant has announced it now has an anonymous login feature for users to sign in without being identified.
We’ve all seen the “Login with Facebook” button on various websites. The login feature is meant to make surfing the web easier because we don’t have to remember a billion different usernames and passwords.
|Amazon to Give Tours of Warehouses|
Now you can visit your favorite online retail giant! That’s right; you and anyone over the age of six can take a tour of a giant warehouse.
Actually, it’s a little cooler than just a “giant warehouse.” The online retail giant, Amazon, has opened its doors for public tours.
|Regulators to Ban Photoshop in Ads?|
Just in time for bathing suit season, the Truth in Advertising Act of 2014 bill is seeking to curtail the use of Photoshop in advertisements aimed at women and girls.
|NYPD Twitter Hashtag May Prove Foolish|
Have we learned nothing from McDonald’s Twitter fail? Apparently the NYPD hasn’t. The department started a new hashtag recently, #myNYPD, and it’s been met with quite a lot of backlash.
Almost immediately after the hashtag was launched, thousands of replies bombarded the NYPD account. And similar to the #McDstories fail, most of the responses were negative.
|New Technologies to Stop Texting and Driving|
Despite the dangers, we just can’t seem to keep ourselves from texting and driving. For those having a difficult time putting down their phones to pay attention to the road, new technologies may provide an answer.
There are already applications to keep us from texting or answering calls while driving.
|Facebook: New Features and New Purchase!|
Facebook has been really busy this week! First they added a new page, FB Newswire. Then they bought the activity-tracking app Moves.
First, FB Newswire. The new page features posts from verified stories across Facebook. The stories are “hand-selected and journalist-verified” according to Facebook’s director or news and global media partnerships. FB Newswire comes as part of a partnership with Storyful...
|Moderators Censor on Reddit|
If there's one thing Reddit users hate, it's censorship. But that's exactly what happened to r/technology, and people are downright annoyed by it.
r/technology has over five million users, and had been featured as one of the default subreddits on the site's homepage. The subreddit has since been removed while r/technology's moderators get their act together.
|Kids Innovate with 3D Printer Project|
3D printing is cool. Everything from clothes to medical devices to handguns. And now, some high school students in Missouri are using the awesomeness of 3D-printing technology to solve one of life's most annoying annoyances — watery ketchup.
Students from North Liberty High School in Liberty, MO are using CAD/CAM software to reinvent the ketchup bottle cap so that we will no longer have to fear squirting water onto our delicious French fries.
The students are participating in a Project Lead The Way (PLTW) STEM program. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.
|Facebook's Creepy 'Nearby Friends' Feature|
Facebook has had a history of feeling a little like stalking. Now, they’ve really upped the stalking abilities with their new "Nearby Friends" feature.
The new feature for iPhone and Android can tell you which of your Facebook friends is close by. You won’t need to post a status about who’s around to hang out; Facebook will send you a notification! Well, only if you and your pals have the feature turned on.
|Better Pay for YouTube's Top Channels|
Becoming a YouTube sensation may get you more than just millions of views. YouTube has announced that it will start giving its hottest stars promotional spots and premium ad rates.
So now, if you are one of YouTube’s top 5%, you could find yourself with a pretty sweet spot on subway ads to billboards to national ads on ABC Family and the CW.
|Google Glass: Symbol of Tension|
Is Google Glass starting class warfare? A recent attack on a reporter for Business Insider suggests that Google Glass may be a sign of increasing tensions between the gadget-haves and the gadget-have-nots. Kyle Russell recently told CNN of the March attack.
|Mashable's Tweet Spoiled 'Game of Thrones'|
Sunday night, a mere two minutes after the new episode of Game of Thrones aired, Mashable tweeted a spoiler. And then the Internet exploded. Well, almost.
Certainly Mashable isn’t the first to drop a spoiler, and they likely won’t be the last. But for many, it was the fact that they should have known better. After all, this is a company that touts itself as being “a leading source for news, information, and resources for the Connected Generation.”
|Pop-Up Notifications Coming to Twitter|
If you use twitter.com, you are about to get some web notifications. The social media network announced recently that users on their site will get a real-time pop-up notification whenever someone else on the platform engages with them.
Hurray for no more delays!
For most Twitter users, this will be most helpful when receiving a direct message in your inbox.
|Biometric Passwords Not Too Far Off|
Worried about the security of your passwords, but find yourself fumbling to remember a myriad of alphanumeric jumbles? Never fear, because biometric password keepers might just be the thing for you. Apple’s iPhone 5S already uses fingerprint identification to unlock the phone, and to make purchases within iTunes.
|Vine's New Private Messaging|
The social video sharing site Vine released its private messaging feature last week. Now, you can send text messages along with the videos you upload.
The feature works similarly to how video posts currently work, but with private messages you are now able to upload, add texts, and then send the message...
|U.S. Government Creates Cuban Twitter|
Recently news of the U.S. government building a secret Cuban Twitter has come out. The project, called ZunZuneo, lasted for about two years and was designed to stir up unrest in Cuba.
In Cuba, where Internet access is restricted, ZunZuneo gained tens of thousands of subscribers over the project lifetime. According to reports, the U.S. government set up a shell company...
|Costly App Purchases by Kids May be Refunded|
If you use iTunes, you likely received an email from Apple regarding in-app purchases from apps sold in the App Store. If you’re an iTunes user and a parent, this email probably made you very happy.
According to the email, “Apple is committed to providing parents and kids with a great experience on the App Store. ..."
|Facebook's Privacy Dinosaur is Cute and Helpful|
If you haven’t updated your Facebook privacy settings in a while (or ever) you may have gotten a visit from the Facebook privacy dinosaur. The hilarious — yet random — extinct visitor started popping up for Facebook users within the last week of so.
The privacy dinosaur’s message is for you to get with it.
|Facebook's WiFi Plane|
Facebook has been working hard on making the Internet more accessible to everyone. Now their mission to do so includes bringing Internet access to places that have no network via plane.
Facebook and Connectivity Labs are working on a plane that can broadcast a WiFi connection to the area it’s flying in. The plane, which can stay in the air for months...
|Instagram Gained Twitter's Usage Numbers|
Apparently we were wrong to be worried about the fate of Instagram when Facebook bought it in 2012. The photo-sharing company has seen an increase of 35% in 2013, and continues to grow across many user demographics.
According to eMarketer, Instagram has gained so much popularity in the last year that it now rivals Twitter...
|Your Emojis Are About to Get More Diverse|
Sometimes you just can’t find an emoji that accurately reflects who you are. There are a limited number of faces and people emojis, and let’s face it; the majority of them are pretty vanilla.
|Malaysia Airlines Texts Bad News to Families|
When Malaysia Airlines found that they believe to be wreckage from flight MH370, they sent a text message to the families of the missing passengers. Likely, the text was sent in an effort to be quick and responsive; something the airline has been accused of not being. However, the text came off as cold and in poor taste.
|Social Media Terrorist Recruitment|
Social media is certainly the place to share what you’re up to, as well as find information about all kinds of things. But social media isn’t the place to try to become a terrorist. That is, unless you want to get caught.
Nicolas Teausant, a 20-year-old college student in California, used social media to ask about terrorist how-to books and confess his wishes to fight for Al Queda.
|Turkey Bans Twitter|
Twitter users in Turkey are having to take extra steps in order to be able to tweet. In response to a corruption scandal, which has spread quickly on the social media site, Turkey’s Prime Minister has vowed to do away with the site.
|Calm Down with the Hashtags, Already|
Some of us need to #seriouslystopit with all of the #crazylongandoverlycomplexhashtags.
We all have that friend whose every post includes — not one, but several — super long hashtags. Hashtags were meant to unify posts, to make finding likeminded people easier, but now we’re just abusing it, and it has to stop.
|Facebook and Google Dominate Mobile Ads|
It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that Google and Facebook are the biggest players in the mobile ad market. After all, the two companies are the biggest players on the Internet.
According to a report released by eMarketer, Facebook has more than tripled its share in the mobile ad market over the last year. Google, who experienced a decline in 2013...
|Facebook and TED Collaborate in Paper App|
If you hadn't tried Paper yet, you may have found yourself more interested this week. Facebook’s mobile app, Paper, teamed up with the TED2014 Conference to bring special content to the app.
The exclusive material will be featured in Paper’s Idea section. The content will be from those in attendance to the conference...
|Fave People Feature is Testing on Twitter|
Don’t you hate it when your favorite tweeps get lost in the enormity of your Twitter feed? Now, Twitter is testing out a new feature that will keep us from missing out on tweets.
The new feature, Fave People, is a timeline that will group up tweets made by your preferred Twitter users.
|Flappy Bird Creator Breaks Silence|
Last month many were shocked to learn that the wildly popular mobile app, Flappy Bird, had been removed from the iPhone and Andriod app stores. For the most part, the app’s creator, Dong Nguyen, was silent on the decision, saying only that the app had ruined his life.
|Roseanne Barr Sued by Zimmerman's Parents Over Tweet|
It’s against the rules on Twitter for anyone to tweet another person’s private information without permission. But that’s exactly what Roseanne Barr did when she tweeted the home address and phone number of George Zimmerman’s parents, and now the actress/comedian is being sued. Zimmerman’s parents — who had nothing to do with the murder of Trayvon Martin...
|Krispy Kreme Uses Social Media in Its Comeback|
Let’s face it — Krispy Kreme is just gosh darn delicious. For years the company’s sales steadily decreased; that is, until they started using social media to their advantage.
For one, Krispy Kreme basically oversaturated itself with consumers. Their stores were everywhere; they were sold in grocery stores as well. Add to that stiff competition like Dunkin’ Donuts...
|You Should Try Imgur|
Don’t know how to Reddit? Clueless about Tumblr? Never fear — Imgur may be the website for you!
Imgur, the simple image sharer, calls itself “home to the web’s most popular image content.” Users scroll through images, up or down vote the content, and provide comments, which can also be voted upon. Points rack up, and trophies are given based off of your level of notoriety.
|Snowden Talks to SXSW About Data Collection|
American whistle-blower Edward Snowden spoke via Google Hangout at South by Southwest (SXSW) from his exile in Russia. He, and his fellow panelist, made weighty points about the amount of information being collected by tech giants. According to Snowden, people need to be more concerned...
|Pinterest Releases Transparency Report|
Is the government trying to look at what you’re pinning? Apparently not. According to Pinterest’s first ever transparency report, the feds aren’t interested in what is on your boards.
According to the report, a mere 12 government requests were submitted to Pinterest from July to December 2013. Of those 12, only one was from a federal agency.
|New Page Restrictions on Facebook|
Want to sell your gun on Facebook? Showcasing your goods on Instagram? Well, you’re now going to have to deal with new restrictions. Facebook is seeking to cut down on the amount it and Instagram are used by people engaging — or seeing to engage — in illegal activities.
|The $80,000 Facebook Post|
No one likes a braggart. One family learned a hard lesson about what can happen when you brag on social media. A hard lesson to the tune of $80,000.
Patrick Snay, formerly the head of Gulliver Preparatory School in Miami, FL, won an age discrimination suit against the school after he was let go. Snay won the suit, and the school paid him $80,000. After the agreement was finalized, Snay’s daughter, a student at said preparatory school, posted on her Facebook page...
|New Unlimited Secret Boards on Pinterest|
Good news for those of you who love Pinterest’s secret boards. The company has announced that users will now be able to enjoy an unlimited number of secret boards.
Previously, Pinterest only allowed users to have up to six secret boards. That number was up from the original three available in 2012.
|Facebook Working to Expand the Internet|
A week after dropping a behemoth amount for the mobile messaging company WhatsApp, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg spoke at the Mobile World Congress about the company’s future. But he didn’t want to use the platform to discuss this major purpose.
According to Zuckerberg, Facebook wants to bring cheap or free Internet to people around the world. "Most people in the world don't have access to the Internet at all. After Facebook reached its milestone of connecting a billion people..."
|Pheme Exposes Twitter Lies|
If some European researchers have their way, you won’t be able to lie on Twitter anymore without being found out.
The researchers, working on a software called Pheme, are seeking to stop the dissemination of incorrect information on the social media site. Twitter has been hailed in the past for providing breaking news — often even before traditional news outlets.
|Dangerous Drinking Game Spreads on Social Media|
A dangerous drinking game played via social media has reportedly contributed to the deaths of at least four people. Its wild popularity has raised growing concern about its safety, considering the extreme scenarios and amounts of alcohol being consumed. The game, Neknominate, is where participants film themselves while consuming large amounts of alcohol very quickly.
|Facebook's Paper App Too Hard To Use|
Facebook’s Paper app has been out for a couple of weeks now, but it hasn’t been as wildly popular as the social media giant may have hoped. Could the problem be the app’s complexity?
Will Paper’s lack of intuitive design discourage users? The simple answer is yes.
Paper is certainly more attractive than Facebook’s mobile app.
|New Facebook Gender Choices|
Some people just don’t fit into traditional gender categories. Now — at least on Facebook — they don’t have to. This week, Facebook unveiled new custom gender selections for user profiles.
Previously, Facebook limited gender choices to male and female. Meaning it was either “he/his” and “she/her.” Now, users can select the gender-neutral they/their.
|Gasp! Flappy Bird is Gone!|
The wildly popular Flappy Bird game has been deleted from the iPhone and Android app stores. But why did a game making up to $50,000 a day end up being removed?
The game’s popularity was remarkable. More than 50 million downloads since its release, and $50,000 from advertising every day.
|Reporters Tweet on Sad Conditions in Sochi Hotels|
Want a behind the scenes look at the Winter Olympics? Then check out the hilarious — and occasionally cringe-worthy — accommodations in Sochi.
A horde of reporters descended on Sochi in recent weeks, preparing to report on the 2014 Winter Olympics.
|Paper, Facebook's New Storytelling App|
Facebook has debuted a new app, Paper. The app is designed to make it easier for you to peruse through the content on your Facebook feed. According to Facebook’s introduction of Paper, “Your Paper is made of stories and themed sections, so you can follow your favorite interests. The first section in Paper is your Facebook News Feed, where you’ll enjoy inspiring new designs...
|Facebook's Mobile Ad Growth|
If you’re checking Facebook on your phone, you’ve probably started noticing an increase in ads showing up in your news feed. The social media giant has made a considerable investment in ensuring ads show up in the feeds of its mobile users. The investment paid off, with the company experiencing a 76%...
|Social Media is Redefining Beauty|
For decades, print and television dominated how images of beauty were delivered to us. As such, we had little control over the images we were shown, and therefore very little input into the definition of what is beautiful. Now, social media is changing all that.
Ten years ago, Dove conducted a study about how much control women felt they had over their view of beauty, and found that only 23% considered themselves in control. Today that number is more than three times what it once was, thanks in large part to social media. It’s the sheer number of images we’re exposed to via social media that seems to be making the difference. Millions of images are uploaded, shared, or retweeted at incredible speeds.
|Which Pharmaceutical Co. Ranks #1 in Social Media?|
Ever wonder which pharmaceutical company is the highest ranking social media engager? Probably not, but social media in healthcare is growing, albeit slowly. And Johnson & Johnson is #1.
According to a new study, Johnson & Johnson outranks its competitors by a lot. For many pharmaceutical companies there has been significant hesitation...
|Denny's Odd Social Media Antics|
Sometimes it pays to be a little bit strange. Or, as in the case of Denny’s social media strategy, a lot strange. From Twitter to Facebook to the depths of Tumbr, Denny’s is putting an odd embrace on social media. Their weirdness is paying off, too. Further proving that when it comes to social media, non-traditional approaches can be real winners.
|BBC News Bringing Videos to Instagram|
BBC News has launched a mini-video service called Instafax. The videos, which are specifically designed for Instagram, are aimed at increasing audiences within mobile and tablet users. While Instafax is only an experimental project at this point, successful news organizations the world over could follow suit.
For a month, BBC News will upload three 15-second videos each day.
|Threatening Emojis Admissible in Court|
Sorry, everyone, but you’re no longer going to be able to use emojis to threaten people. Not that you should have been threatening people in the first place. Certainly not, but now your emoji antics are admissible in court. Threatening comments posted on social media sites — in addition to violating most sites' terms...
|Position-Shift App Lets You Hide Your Location|
If you're one of those people who doesn't want to be discoverable by your phone’s geolocation technology, you may be really invested in an app called Position-Shift. The app, developed by the social discovery app SinglesAroundMe, shifts your public geolocation whenever you choose to do so.
People will be able to shift their location either on the device or within the application they are using. Many people like the appeal of social discovery apps, but are uncomfortable with the public settings, which let anyone else know their location. With Position-Shift, and other apps like it, users could still enjoy social discovery without being quite as public. For example, social networking sites could integrate the app to only allow those within a user's inner circle to see their geolocation information.
|Email Anyone on Google+|
With all the buzz about Google buying Nest, you may have missed their recent announcement about the new feature allowing anyone with a Google+ account to email anyone else with a Google+ account. Anyone. Google, who once touted Google+ as a more private alternative to Facebook, announced on its blog last week that it will start offering suggestions from people within the Google+ network when Gmail users type addresses into the email.
|You're Now Advertising for Google|
Guess who’s the newest face of Google advertising? You! That’s right, your lovely face, name, as well as other personal information will be used by the internet giant as part of their advertising network.
Google published changes to its Terms of Service in December stating it would start using users' profile information...
|Facebook Purchases Another Tech Startup|
For one startup in India, things just got a whole lot richer. Little Eye Labs, a tech company that creates tools for Android developers to use in making mobile apps, was bought this week by Facebook.
The purchase is part of Facebook’s continued push toward a bigger presence in mobile apps.
|Snapchat Tells Facebook No|
Is the president of Snapchat crazy? Because he just turned down a $3 billion offer from Facebook. Turned it down in the middle of a somewhat serious snafu in the company’s privacy permissions.
Evan Spiegel, Snapchat’s CEO, was on the cover of Forbes this month, detailing why he turned down Facebook’s offer. According to Spiegel, “There are very few people in the world..."
|High-Tech Apps for Your Pants|
First it was wired diapers telling parents when their precious little ones wet themselves. Now, there are connected unmentionables that can bring you intimate pleasures with the help of an app.
|Facebook Says It Doesn't Collect Your Unpublished Posts|
Recently, Digital Pivot wrote a post about whether or not Facebook was collecting and storing data on the status updates users delete before publishing. This week, Facebook — in response to an online petition on Care2 — has responded by saying it does not collect unposted updates.
|Shark Attack Tweets|
Social media has been credited with doing a lot of things. Giving people all over the world equal voice. Helping victims of natural disasters. Unifying nations around a cause. Now it’s help save beachgoers from a shark attack.
|Keeping Resolutions with Apps|
It’s that time of year where everyone is making a New Year’s Resolution. Instead of making them, and then letting the resolutions fall to the wayside, how about using technology to keep you committed?
Want 2014 to be the year you accomplish all the things? Try Livifit. The, easy-to-use, 40+ goals are designed to assist with mind, body, and relationships. Unfortunately, it’s only for iPhone, but never fear, Android users — you can get the same goal tracking with GoalTracker.
|Twitter's Back-and-Forth With Blocking|
First you could block anyone on Twitter. Then you couldn’t. Now, you can again. Twitter’s decision to return to their original blocking policy may seem like a flip-flop, but it’s a welcome one.
Originally, if you had someone spamming or outright stalking you on Twitter, you could simply block them with relative ease.
|Facebook Collects Info on What You Don't Post|
You typed out a new status update, but for whatever reason, you decided against posting it. Perhaps it was TMI (too much information), or a thinly veiled humble brag. You may have deleted the update, but as it turns out Facebook didn’t.
|Instagram Announces Instagram Direct |
Congratulations Instagrammers! The wildly popular photo-sharing site announced its private messaging feature, Instagram Direct. Now you can send a photo or video to your Instagram cohorts (up to 15 of them) without having to post it for everyone to view. The feature has been long rumored to be in the works...
|Elfster, the Gift-Giving Social Media Site|
Tired of the same old, boring Secret Santa? The holidays are a busy time, and it can be difficult to come up with gift ideas or find the time to actually do the shopping. Never fear, though, because Elfster is here to save you. Elfster is a social media network for Secret Santas. The company was launched in 2004, and is free for anyone who signs up.
|Are You Guilty of Subtweeting?|
Ever heard of subtweeting? If not, chances are you’ve been a victim of it. Or worse — a perpetrator.
Subtweeting is the new name for the passive aggressive undertone in tweets. The online realm has long been the place for non-confrontational...
|Virus Hacks Major Websites' Accounts|
Facebook, Google, Yahoo, and Twitter have all had the login credentials hacked for almost 2 million accounts. According to Trustwave, a cyber-security firm, a virus captured the log-in info on several websites during the months of October and November. The affected sites are: Facebook — 318,000 accounts; Google — 70,000; Yahoo — 60,000; and Twitter — 22,000.
|Facebook Seeks to Be Your One and Only |
Tired of weeding through nonsense and trivial fluff in your Facebook feed? Well, you’re in luck. The social media giant is working on bringing even more high-quality content to your feed. But Facebook’s definition of “high quality” and yours may be vastly different.
|Must Be Over 21 to Follow on Twitter|
You now have to go through a couple of extra steps to follow your favorite alcohol brand on Twitter. The social media site has now started an age-screening process related to following alcohol brands.
The measure is designed to keep Twitter users under the age of 21 from following adult beverage accounts.
|Randi Zuckerberg's Social Media Advice|
Randi Zuckerberg is perhaps the last person you’d expect to tell you to tell you to make sure you disconnect from social media every once in awhile. Okay, second-to-last person. But the former Facebook executive and older sister to Mark Zuckerberg has come out with a new book advising just that.
|How Well Do You Trust Your Facebook Friends?|
How well do you trust your friends? Sure, maybe you trust your close friends, but how well do you trust your acquaintances? Do you trust them enough to risk compromising your privacy?
To be fair, a lot of people have set their Facebook privacy settings to allow their information to only be viewable by their friends, or perhaps friends of friends.
|Do Not Track Kids|
The House and Senate are looking into new legislation, Do Not Track Kids, that would extend children’s online privacy protections to kids ages 13–15. Considering how inept this age group generally is at forethought...
|JPMorgan's Twitter Fail|
JPMorgan has learned a hard lesson last week with its #AskJPM hashtag. Like many a well-intended Twitter campaign before it, the company found itself the recipient of hate-filled responses to its #TwitterTakeover.
The takeover, meant to be a Q&A with with one of JPMorgan’s senior executives, focused on career advice for students. However, it was promptly cancelled as the negative tweets rolled in. In an email about the snafu, a JPMorgan spokesperson stated “#Badidea! Back to the drawing board!”
JPMorgan certainly isn’t the first to experience this kind of hashtag backlash.
|Twitter Announces Custom Timelines|
Forget weeding through the Twitter feed. Now, with the help of TweetDeck, you are now able to make custom timelines related to events. Users create their own timelines and add related tweets, either by choosing them personally or by using the API.
Timelines are probably best described as being similar to their own Twitter profiles. Kind of.
The timelines are public and display on an individual twitter.com page.
|Printstagram Prints Your Instagram Photos|
For those of you who wish your Instagram photos could be more than just in the app, there’s Printstagram. Now you can print your Instagram photos, make them into a memory box, or create a card to send out on the holidays.
Printstagram “makes your photos physical, with wonderful products to match the quality of the app itself.” There are individual picture squares, posters, greeting or gift cards, framed prints, memory books, calendars, and even stickers.
|Twitter Noise Slowing Disaster Efforts|
With more than 10,000 people feared dead, many of us are wondering how we can help. Twitter continues to prove its usefulness in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan, but there is also a downside: noise. Tweeting about a disaster, retweeting about a disaster, and so on...
|Rethink Your Selfies|
The Internet sure is hating on selfies right now. In the last couple of months, there have been more articles, posts and parodies of the stereotypical self photograph. How did the selfie become so hated? Personally, selfies don’t bother me as much as they seem to bother other people.
|Google Finally Outraged About NSA Spying Program|
There are probably more than a few people finding hilarity in Google’s Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt’s outrage upon learning that the NSA had been spying on the company’s data centers. See, Schmidt — at least up until a couple of days ago — hasn’t been the biggest advocate for Internet privacy. Some of Schmidt’s most controversial statements came in 2009...
|New Google+ Features|
Google+ has updated itself big time this week. In an announcement Tuesday, Google unveiled 18 new features.
Google+ Hangouts have the most updates, including SMS messaging, geo-location using Google Maps, as well as GIF support.
|Facebook Photos in a Post-NSA World|
In recent months we’ve been inundated with the realization that the government is spying on us. We’re outraged. We’re concerned. We’re also kind of meh about the whole thing since most of us don’t have anything to hide. As more information comes to light, our collective unease with the role social media plays in government spying continues to grow.
|Getting Your News From Facebook|
We all know the news media is skewed. Whether it's under-reporting or sensationalizing, it’s a safe bet that you’re not getting the total picture on any news story. Even more skewed, it appears that some people (30% to be exact) are getting their news updates from Facebook.
Facebook wants to be your Internet everything. They want their site to be your home page, for Facebook Home to be on your phone, and for the social media site to be your online home base.
|Teens Use Twitter Over Facebook|
In the showdown of social media giants, Twitter has officially unseated Facebook from its supreme seat. At least amongst teens.
Facebook has been losing popularity with the younger crowd for quite a while. Most likely the result of their parents' and grandparents' use of Facebook, teens sought a place free from nagging parental units.
|Why Can't We Block People on LinkedIn?|
Why in the world isn’t there a blocking feature on LinkedIn? It may be the world’s largest professional network, but that does not mean it’s made entirely up of professionals. Perhaps one of the biggest drawbacks to LinkedIn is their complete lack of resources for dealing with creepers. Pretty much the last thing you need when you’re unemployed and looking for work is a stalker. And while other social media sites give you tools to protect yourself...
|Personal to Professional Social Media|
There are a lot of things you should be conscious of when posting on social media in your personal time. Similarly, there are a lot when posting as a business. But what happens when you become your own business and go from regular social media user to one-man social media team?
|Teens to Share Publicly on Facebook|
Once again, Facebook is changing its privacy settings. This time, however, the settings are exclusive to a specific demographic: teenagers. The social media giant has decided to now let 13–17-year-olds share updates, comments, and photos publicly. Previously, users within this age group could only allow their activity to be seen publicly if they lied about their age.
|Your Name No Longer Hidden From Facebook Social Graph|
If you're one of those who felt it necessary to keep your name hidden from Facebook profile searches, your profile privacy is changing. Facebook is no longer allowing users to keep their names out of searches within the social media site’s social graph. This change will not come into effect until December...
|Google+ to Use Your Info in Ads|
Beginning November 11, Google+ users are going to start helping Google’s ads be more effective. Like it or not, your comments, reviews, and image can all be part of Google ads to your friends.
The Internet giant released an updated version of its Terms of Service last week, allowing it to pull information from Google+ users’ profiles. While the ads won’t be part of regular searches, they will appear on the sites...
|Sharing Safely on Social Media|
The holidays are fast approaching and probably the last thing you want for Christmas is to have your identity stolen. Protecting yourself isn’t as simple as making sure you’re careful with your credit card online. You probably don't want to have your house broken into either. Unfortunately, a lot of crimes are committed by using the critical information we willingly give up about ourselves. Of course you’re excited about taking that family ski trip...
|Becoming a Meme|
We’ve all seen the uber-viral internet memes: Success Kid, Scumbag Steve and his female counterpart, Scumbag Stacey. There’s Incredibly Photogenic Guy and Bad Luck Brian. All real people, whose pictures became memes that went viral. Have you ever wondered who they really are?
|Want a Retweet? Embed a Photo|
The newest piece of advice for those wanting more followers on Twitter include a picture. According to a recent study by HubSpot, tweets that include a picture are 94% more likely to be retweeted. But you can’t just upload the picture from Instagram or Flickr; there’s a trick to it.
|Facebook's Graph Search Includes Every Tiny Detail|
Have you found yourself thinking recently about how you wished Facebook’s Graph Search could find you even more informational minutiae? Well, you’re in luck, because now it can!
Facebook’s Graph Search has just been updated to allow users to search within status updates and comments, as well as posts.
|Please Stop Automating|
As someone who browses social media in my personal time, I absolutely hate when I come across automated posts. It’s hard to feel good about something meant to be timely and heartfelt, but was no doubt written a week (or more) ago. Yet, as someone who uses social media for work, scheduling and automation...
|Twitter's New Emergency Alert System|
This week, Twitter announced its new emergency alert system. The system is for public agencies as well as non-governmental organizations (NGO) to send messages, either by text or push notifications. As a Twitter user, you will need to sign up with the specific account in order to receive the alerts. They will also appear as part of the social media site’s stream.
|California Proposes Internet Delete Button for Minors|
At least one state is trying to make it easier for kids to control their personal information online. California has proposed legislation that would give minors the ability to delete their online activities. Sort of like an Internet do-over button. The bill calls for “right-to-delete” where website users under the age of 18...
|Facebook Starts AI Research|
Facebook wants to understand you better. To do so, they’ve compiled an internal research team to use deep learning (a fancy way of saying artificial intelligence) to better understand what you and the 700 million other Facebook users are really saying in your posts. Deep learning isn’t a concept exclusive to Facebook. The AI is basically a simulated network that responds to data the same way your brain does.
|Social Media Heavy Hitters Ask to Share Requests from the Feds|
After it became known that the federal government was collecting user information from various internet companies, many of the companies involved began asking the feds to allow them to share some of what had been requested. Last week, Facebook and Google filed a petition with the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) requesting permission to share statistical information.
|NASA Launches Instagram Account|
NASA has an Instagram account. Time to look at pictures of space!
And really, it’s about time we heard something the government is doing online that doesn’t include spying on us.
According to a NASA official, "We've been on Instagram for a while, but I wish we were on it sooner. Sometimes the government doesn't move as fast, but I think it's a great platform for us...
|New Facebook Feature for Job Seekers|
Need a job? Now Facebook may be able to help you find one.
The social media site added a “professional skills” category to users’ profiles. In addition to Work and Education, users can now add their skill sets under the About Me section of their Facebook profile. While the addition may be helpful to some job seekers...
|Big Data for Good|
Facebook, Twitter, Google, and so on all collect data from their users, in part to improve their services, and to sell to advertisers. Big Data is a — sometimes unpleasant — reality of the Internet. But it’s not all about turning a profit.
|New Changes to Facebook Policies|
Last week, Facebook sent out an email about proposed updates to its Data Use Policy and Statement of Rights and Responsibilities. As with most proposed changes, users are feeling somewhat uneasy. According to the email, the changes will impact the following...
|A Better News Feed|
Facebook has updated its News Feed algorithm in order to provide you with more “high quality” content. Perhaps Facebook doesn’t know about “garbage in, garbage out.” In order to provide more high quality content. there needs to actually be quality content in the feed. Or perhaps I just have terrible Facebook friends.
|Shared Albums Now on Facebook|
Finally, you can share photo albums on Facebook! Okay, maybe it isn’t that exciting, but now you and all your pals (up to 50) can contribute to a single album. This event-specific feature saves you the trouble of recreating the album within your own profile in order to share it with your friends.
|Google Glass's Field Trip App Shows You Around|
If you can get over your hesitations about wearing Google Glass in public, then this app may be pretty awesome for you. This week Google launched its Field Trip app, which is meant to guide you through what’s around you. Google’s Field Trip will notify you, via pop-up notifications, of nearby points of interest...
|After Suicides, Ask.fm Changes Safety Policy|
Like many social media sites, Ask.fm, which is an anonymous Q&A networking site, has had to make changes to their policies in response to tragedy. And after teen suicides, they have made updates to their online safety policy. Ask.fm users are able to report abuse by specifically labeling it “bullying and harassment.” Ask.fm also made the report button a more prominent feature on the site. The site also added a safety officer position, increased staff, and promised...
|Smarter Shopping Thanks to Your Phone|
Your phone got you to the store; now let’s see if it can help you find the item you’re looking for. As our phones get smarter, this kind of right-to-the-shelf technology may not be too far off. Soon, phones could be equipped with beacons to help create more location-specific information. Everyone who remembers their first time in a Home Depot will rejoice.
|Local PD Responds to Drug Tweet|
Earlier this week, a Toronto man was fired from his job for a tweet he sent. A lot of times there is some ambiguity in whether or not termination was deserved, and if employers are somehow violating employees’ rights. This, however, is not one of those cases.
|Protecting Kids from Information Collection|
There is a lot of concern about how we’re being tracked online, and how much of our personal information is being collected. And while it’s concerning enough when we’re talking about tracking adults activities, it becomes doubly so when the information being collected belongs to kids.
|Facebook Debuts Embed Codes|
Almost 75% of Facebook users set their status updates to private. So it seems a little strange that Facebook would spend time in developing embed codes for public status updates, but they did. The question is — why?
And as always, the answer is: advertising. Facebook’s hope is to give advertisers more user information...
|Ikea's Augmented Reality|
The new Ikea catalog has more than just furniture. The 2014 catalog includes augmented reality!
Augmented reality (AR) is when elements of your real-world environment are supplemented by computer-generated input. Some marketing genius over at Ikea decided to make AR part of the printed catalog, allowing users to use their mobile device to see what certain pieces of furniture would look like in their own homes. They did this last year, but this year it's getting a lot more attention. The feature is cool if you want to see what a piece of furniture...
|Twitter's New Log-In Verification|
You no longer need half a dozen phone numbers to verify multiple Twitter accounts. Twitter updated its iOS and Android apps last week with better login verifications.
|Twitter-Themed Vacation, Anyone?|
Most people go on vacation to get away from social media, but apparently there are some who love social media enough to immerse themselves completely in a Twitter-themed hotel.
#forreal? Yes, it’s for real.
|Mashable's '9 Types of Facebook Users'|
It smacks a little of a Cosmo quiz, but it’s still really accurate. Earlier this week, Mashable posted an article outlining "The 9 Types of Facebook Users." While it may have been meant as a humorous infographic for advertisers, let’s take a moment to use it as a self-help tool.
|You're Welcome, Facebook|
Facebook turned a profit in the second quarter, and they did so largely off of your information. How does that make you feel?
When Facebook went public in 2012, expectations were high. But the social media giant performed dismally, leaving many to lose faith in their earning potential. This week, however, Facebook posted its biggest earnings since its initial debut — $333 million.
|How Safe Are Your Passwords?|
Does anyone else feel a little irked by the fact that the Feds aren’t even slightly apologetic about the NSA spying on Americans thing? Just last week, the government made demands for Internet companies to turn over the stored Internet passwords of their users. While most companies, like Google and Microsoft, have said that they do not turn over passwords, answers to security questions...
|Chipotle's Fake Hacking|
Last Sunday, Chipotle faked a hacking of its Twitter account. But why? Probably because they gained 4,000 followers that day, and had almost 12,000 retweets. Chipotle isn’t the first company to fake a Twitter hacking. After the legitimate hackings of Jeep and Burger King’s Twitter accounts, both MTV and BET staged hackings...
|Kids Have an Online Image Before They're Online|
What kind of online image are you creating for your kids? Sure, they’re silly and cute, doing all those kids-will-be-kids things. Your family and friends might enjoy seeing nearly every moment captured for posterity, but once your child is online, will they find it as adorable?
|J. K. Rowling's Secret New Book Exposed|
Not even the super successful, with their teams of publicists and handlers, are immune from erroneous social media updates. This week, uber-famous writer J. K. Rowling was outed via Twitter as having written a detective novel under the name Robert Galbraith.
That is, it sounded like a snafu. At first.
It’s time we all were really honest with one another, because frankly, it has gone on for far too long. We’ve all been guilty of it at one time or another, but now it’s time to stop. No more ridiculous editing of the photos we post online. It’ll be hard, but together we can do it.
There’s nothing wrong with wanting to look your best. Putting on makeup, getting your hair cut, donning a head-turning outfit. These were all rituals for first dates, job interviews, or getting headshots, but we’ve taken narcissism to a whole different level.
|Tracking You Anyway|
The ad industry has some interesting ideas on how to handle Do Not Track (DNT). That is, if by interesting, you mean flawed.
When Internet Explorer first announced it would default its browser’s DNT setting to be on, the Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA) said they wouldn’t require companies to listen. The DAA claimed that the default-on setting would hinder user choice...
|Jailed Facebook User Freed by Anon Donor|
One of the teens recently jailed for making “terroristic threats” on Facebook has been released. An anonymous donor posted his $500,000 bond.
Justin Carter, 19, was jailed earlier this year for a Facebook status update in which he referred to “shooting up a kindergarten.”
|Twitter's Ad Experiment|
Twitter is about to experiment on us! Okay, not in a mad science kind of way. More with user data and targeted ads.
Last week, Twitter posted a blog titled “Experimenting with new ways to tailor ads.” The experiment will be for United States users only, and will be related to “brands and businesses..."
|How Serious Are Status Updates?|
Should social media be used as an indicator of someone’s mental state? Certainly, in the aftermath of tragedy, people wish that they had only known something was wrong beforehand. But with seemingly everyone making status snafus every once in a while, how can we be sure when what’s said is real?
|Facebook's Shadow Profiles|
Last week, we learned there had been a glitch in Facebook resulting in the personal information of millions of users being unintentionally disclosed. While Facebook reassured its users that this glitch was purely accidental and that none of the information appeared to be used for nefarious purposes...
|Move Over, Vine: Instagram Now Has Videos|
Forget moving over. Vine may as well pack up its stuff and go home. Instagram is crushing Vine, with nearly a 40 percent drop in tweets containing Vine videos on the day Instagram’s video feature launched.
But why has it been such a virtual stomping?
Perhaps it’s the length.
|Timehop's Fun Nostalgic Glimpses|
Remember last year? Probably not, unless you’re one of those eidetic types. For those of us without a photographic memory, Timehop gives you the chance to relive what you were up to exactly one year ago.
Every day, Timehop will send a snapshot of the pics and updates you made the year before. The photos and posts come from the social media sites you use — Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Flickr, and Foursquare. You can relive special events, remember fun moments otherwise forgotten, and find yourself getting downright nostalgic.
|Get Paid to Hack Facebook?|
Nearly six million Facebook users have had their personal information exposed thanks to a glitch in the social media site. Facebook is assuring those impacted that the bug doesn’t appear to have been part of any nefarious plot. Still, the unintended exposure of users’ email and telephone numbers is, once again, raising a lot of privacy concerns. As part of a statement, issued Friday, the company said...
|Snapchat for Children?|
As if there weren’t already enough questions around Snapchat, now they’re debuting a new app — SnapKidz. The app, specifically created for the 13 and under crowd, raises a lot of privacy concerns.
Snapchat, a photo-sharing service allowing the uploader to pick an expiration date for images shared, became wildly popular because it gave users more control over their pictures. Except recently it was discovered that deleted Snapchat photos can still be accessed on some mobile devices...
|Cleaning Up Your Online Image|
You used social media all throughout your youth. You made drunken duckfaces in college. You’ve been tagged in questionable pictures. You tweeted things you thought better of later. No big deal, right? Maybe. That was then, and this is — now. Now you know you may have played a little too fast and loose with your digital persona.
|Facebook's Impact on Your Mood|
Does Facebook make you sad? Not sad about the state of society today, but an actual psychological sadness.
We use Facebook to keep in touch with our friends and family. Except we’re not really getting a realistic view of their lives. As much as we complain about people posting the trivial and mundane details of their lives...
|Social Media in the Workplace|
Want to make sure your employees aren’t goofing off on social media at work? For a lot of companies, there is a tendency to try and ban social media outright in order to keep employee productivity in line. But before you go all North Korea and attempt to control everything, there are some things you should consider.
|Waze Brings Social Media to GPS|
Google just bought Waze for a $1 billion. A hefty price tag for an app a lot of people never heard of before. Is Waze worth the price?
Waze describes itself as a community-based traffic and navigation app. Essentially, it’s a social network on top of a GPS mapping application. Users share real-time information about traffic, road closures, gas prices, and even police activities. The app also uses your location to send alerts about nearby road and traffic conditions.
|Can an App Protect Your Privacy?|
PRISM has gotten a lot of us thinking about which of our personal information is vulnerable to being collected without our knowledge. It only makes sense that many people have been in a rush to download those apps that claim to help better protect their privacy. A lot of the apps promise privacy, but few deliver...
|Live Stream Weddings|
It’s tough not to be there for someone you love on their special day. Whether it’s geographic, financial, or bad timing, there are lots of reasons you may have to miss a wedding. But thanks to a new trend in webcast weddings, you may never have to decline a wedding invite again. Weddings broadcasted online, say via Skype...
|Legal Protection Against Revenge Porn Soon|
There may finally be some protections coming for victims of so-called “revenge porn.”
If you have never heard of revenge porn, it is when someone — an ex-boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, wife, or even former friend — uploads nude photos of another person to the Internet in an effort to shame and embarrass. There are several websites out there dedicated specifically to revenge porn...
|Facial Recognition Apps Won't be on Glass|
Maybe one of the biggest privacy concerns surrounding Google Glass is the unauthorized use of facial recognition technology. From its initial debut, Glass brought along fears that users would — intentionally or not — violate the privacy of others via the utilization of facial recognition.
|Facebook to do Better Against Hate Speech|
In a blog post this week, Facebook says it hasn’t been effective enough at identifying and removing hate speech posted on its site. The admission comes after pressure from women’s activist groups, demanding the social media giant do more to protect women and gender equality.
|Xbox One is Spying on You|
Microsoft has touted its Xbox One as the “next generation of gaming,” and apparently the next generation’s console is nosy.
Xbox One allows users to watch TV and movies, listen to music, surf the Internet, etc., all while using voice command. While the voice command feature is neat, it means, of course, that the console is always listening.
|Where the Cool Kids Aren't|
As a teenager, pretty much the last place you want to hang out is where your parents are. No surprise then that Facebook’s popularity is waning amongst the teens and young adults. Hanging out with mom and dad, even online, is totally lame.
Unfortunately for Facebook, this trend may only increase as more and more of its users' children become old enough to start using social media sites.
As a freelancer for a couple of different companies, I found myself needing to automate messages across a variety of social media platforms. Automation was supposed to make my life simpler, but little did I know it was going to turn it into a complex scheduling nightmare. There are a lot of different automation applications out there.
The ability to grow a majestic beard is a coveted thing. Now, it’s a profitable thing.
It’s also a silly thing. Probably a flash-in-the-pan thing, but definitely a thing.
From tattooing company logos or writing promotions on your pregnant belly to naming your firstborn after your most favorite television network...
|A Better Pin|
Pinterest has been diligently working on improving its usefulness over the last several months. At the beginning of the year, they debuted a new site design. Today, Pinterest announced its made its pins more useful.
Pins will now include little icons indicating there is more information about product availability, recipe information, or details about movies. Pinterest added these features by working with popular websites to create better, more useful content. Pinterest added these features by working with popular websites...
|Book a Flash Mob|
Does anyone else find it disheartening that flash mobs are now for hire? In maybe one of the biggest displays of how much corporations just don’t get it, many companies are hiring flash mobs to create spontaneity at their corporate functions.
Yes, create spontaneity.
Now HR departments are organizing flash mobs rather than social media.
|Facebook Home is About to be Evicted|
It looks like Facebook Home hasn’t found its forever home. At least, not with AT&T. After only one month, the service provider is rumored to be looking to ditch the HTC First smartphone. If you’ll remember, HTC First is the model debuted as having Facebook Home fully integrated into its operating system.
If Facebook Home had launched a couple of years ago...
|Snapchat's Not-So Deleted Photos|
It’s been said time and time again — once it has been made public, it’s out there forever. To which Snapchat responded, “Not with us.”
Snapchat, a photo-sharing service allowing the uploader to pick an expiration date for images shared, became wildly popular because it gave users more control over their pictures. That silly, albeit slightly risqué photo may not be so funny...
|Facebook's Trusted Contacts|
Locked out of your Facebook account? No problem, phone a friend.
Last week, Facebook debuted a new security feature allowing users to contact one of their Facebook friends in order to regain access to their account. Facebook calls these people your “Trusted Contacts,” and you can select between three and five...
|Photo Tagging Now in Instagram|
Finally the day has come when we can tag people in our Instagram photos! And people can tag us! The circle of narcissism on Instagram is complete.
Instagram announced last week it was rolling out its new Photos of You feature — a way to tag your friends, followers or other Instagram users in your photos. No longer will we have to take a screenshot...
|The 'Do Not Track' Face-off|
If you use the Internet, next week’s W3C conference will be making some big decisions related to how your information is collected online. Users, advocates, advertisers, developers, tech firms, and social media applications are all waiting with bated breath to see what happens.
First, the basics:
Do Not Track, or DNT, is technology enabling users to opt out of their online activities being tracked by websites. Currently, the user has to actively elect to opt out of tracking by disabling the setting within their browser.
However, several browsers, such as Internet Explorer and Mozilla...
|Facebook to Start Video Ads in News Feed|
A couple of weeks ago, an irksome report came out that Facebook is going to start showing video ads in our news feeds. Oh joy.
Except these videos won’t be something you can just scroll past like you can with the current ads in your news feed. According to a couple of sources, the video ads will be played prior...
|Password for Hire|
Congratulations! You’ve landed that job of your dreams, and everything is perfect. Except that your new company has asked for the passwords to the social media sites that you use. Now what? Should you just start including your social media passwords on your resume?
|Can You Opt Out of Facebook's Data Brokering?|
A couple of months ago, Facebook partnered with four data brokering firms in an effort to increase the flow of information about Facebook users to advertisers, and thus — more targeted ads. Only it’s hard to understand what that partnership means for users, or why we should care.
|A Little Birdie Told Me |
Twitter has been eavesdropping on us. The social media site made a big announcement this past week: its newest tool allowing analyses of the content of users' tweets.
When compared to Facebook's billion+ users, Twitter's 200 million seems small. Still, the company is projected to bring in somewhere around $600 million this year.
|Facebook's Most Hated Feature|
What do you hate most about Facebook? Okay, yes — the fact that your mom is on it is a pretty good point, but beyond that.
Like most people, you probably hate Facebook’s privacy controls. Ever-changing, cumbersome, and perplexingly inconsistent. It’s like a terrible labyrinth where you can lose your job, your significant other, or worse...
|Social Media Advocacy and National Tragedy|
You’re a good person, right? Someone who cares about the goings-on in the world around them? Someone who aligns themselves with the most just cause?
Of course you’re a good person. So am I. But — at least statistically — the biggest difference between you would I is who ultimately bows to social media pressures.
|Facebook Home: Know What You're Getting Into|
How impressed is everyone with Facebook Home? Well, as it turns out, not very.
At least that’s what the data suggests from Google Play reviews. Nearly a week after Home’s release, the app had received an average rating of 2.3 stars. To be fair, it should be noted that Facebook Home is only available on certain phones. But that only explains the low download numbers, not the low rating.
So what’s wrong with Facebook Home?
Right now it seems like a lot.
There are a lot of comments related to clunky functionality, but more concerning are comments related to privacy concerns. More concerning, but definitely typical Facebook.
|More Fake Stuff on the Internet by 2014|
According to Gartner, Inc., a technology research firm, by 2014 up to an estimated 15% of social media reviews are expected to be fake. That stinks for the consumer, but even worse for businesses who find themselves victims of negative fake reviews. The problem, in part, is due to the fact that companies, in their quest to continuously increase their customer loyalty and generate sales...
|Facebook Tax Cheats|
Not that you should be cheating on your taxes, but just in case you are — the IRS is using Facebook as a way to catch you. We’ve all heard about the feds monitoring social media for criminal activity, but tax cheats?
It’s not entirely outside of the realm of possibility. After all, government and law enforcement...
|Facebook Phone May be a Smart Move|
Facebook has a phone now. Should we all be concerned that this means the end of personal privacy as we know it? Well, yes. But only as much as Google Glass meant it, too.
Because ultimately — just as with Google Glass — we’re all looking around at each other wondering who in their right mind would even want such a thing.
Most likely it’ll be the nerdiest of our friends who opt for a Facebook phone, at least in the beginning. They’re the same ones who know about apps while still in beta...
|OKCupid Isn't OK for Privacy|
Online dating can be scary enough. Add in the unintended exposure of your personal information or private conversations and the whole thing can be downright humiliating.
Recently the popular online dating site OKCupid launched its new Crazy Blind Date feature.
|Lost in Texting Translation|
Is social media degrading our language skills, or is it simply that we’ve reached a new evolutionary place in communication? After all, you don’t hear anyone demanding we return to conversing in Latin.
Of course we’ve all been there — on the receiving end of an unintelligible text or email from someone that saddens your faith in the future of humankind. Srsly...u no rite? Right, you do seriously know.
|Klout's Popularity Contest is Coming to Businesses|
Apparently there is now Klout for businesses — aptly named Klout for Business — where you can find the same meaningless number, once only available to individuals, now ranking businesses as a whole.
If you’re unfamiliar with Klout, it is an application that will measure the amount of social media influence someone has.
|Busy? You Might Need a Sherpa|
You have a busy week — an unreasonable number of meetings, dinner plans with old friends, soccer practice for one kid, ballet lessons for the other. Not to mention heading out of town for a couple of nights to woo that potential client. You’re unreasonably busy, and you, my friend, need a Sherpa.
All of the hype to hashtag and like what’s going on in real-time is ruining the viewing experience for some. Is there some sort of social media etiquette for watching TV shows, movie premiers, and so on?
Recently some theaters around the country were offering free seats to patrons who would come and watch performances...
|Tweet Got You Fired|
This week a tweet meant to shame lewd behavior ended in two firings. While we’ve certainly heard before of people losing their jobs over something posted online, this particular incident has caused a lot of controversy. Is social media the place to publicly shame people?
|Pinterest's Subtle Changes for the Better|
Pinterest has a new design. You’ll have to look closely, but we promise it’s different. Very, very slightly different.
If you’re one of the people who uses Pinterest like a crack addict, then you’ll likely notice the changes more easily than the rest of us. For the more casual user, here’s what is different (from Pinterest’s blog)...
It’s about damn time. Facebook is finally implementing hashtags within the social media site, just like Twitter, Instagram, and others. But really — what took so darn long?
While hashtags have been around a lot longer than Twitter, they are certainly something synonymous with the site.
|Apps to Protect Kids|
Kids these days — always texting, uploading photos, and what-have-you. But the long-term ramifications of what is posted online are hard to impress upon the younger generation. Heck, it’s a lesson some adults are still learning.
But before we all go gray with worry and give up entirely on the future of humanity’s sense of decency online, you should know that there is hope. First, it’s not that younger people just don’t care about online privacy. For them, sharing information is par for the course...
|Big Data Can Help You Find the Best Social Scene|
You and your friends are trying to decide where to go this weekend. Sure, there are lots of options, but how do you know if it’s really happening there? After all, it’s a total buzzkill to get to somewhere only to find it completely dead.
Well never fear, ladies and gentlemen, because Microsoft may have an answer for you.
|Warrantless Email Requests|
Holy crap! Did you guys know how many government requests for data Google receives in a year? No, of course you didn’t, because that information wasn’t public. Until now.
According to Google, federal, state, and local government agencies made a record 13,753 requests for emails and other information from Google for 2012. That’s up from the 23,300 made in 2011. Most concerning is that more than half of the requests came without warrants. Google has more than 425 active Gmail users in addition...
|Facebook's Redesign Actually Isn't Annoying|
Facebook’s new news feed redesign is touted by Mark Zuckerburg as being the “best personalized newspaper” ever. Well, maybe not ever, but still pretty cool.
Unlike the previous feed, Facebook’s new version gives the user more visual ease over the content that is seen. We’ve probably all been somewhat tricked recently when seeing an a post that looked like it was posted by our friend...
|When Is Photo-Sharing Funny...or Creepy?|
Is it okay to take a photo or video of someone and post it online without their permission? If your automatic answer is no, then it’s obvious you don’t like humor. If your automatic answer is yes, then you must be a heartless creeper.
See? It’s a slippery slope. Maybe it’s a giant, hairy man on a beach. Or the woman at the coffee shop wearing head-to-toe leopard print.
|Desperately Seeking Girl Scout Cookies?|
If you’re lucky, the daughter of one of your friends or coworkers is in the Girl Scouts. You don’t have to think about when Girl Scout Cookie season starts or where to find the elusive little booths. For the rest of us, there’s the Cookie Locator.
The Cookie Locator, which debuted in 2001, is a smartphone app that lets you find where Girl Scout Cookie Booths have been set up in your area...
|Facebook's New Custom Audiences, Explained|
Facebook announced this week that it was partnering with four data brokering firms to expand their custom audiences tool capabilities. Facebook's statement highlights the benefits users will see in terms of more relevant advertising.
Nowadays everybody loves themselves an infographic, don’t they? Sure, infographics are helpful for when you want to read, but not really read. For when you want to digest information in a word-picture hybrid.
Infographics are great for conveying — often incredibly complex — information, no doubt about that.
|Et tu, Tumblr?|
Last week it was Flickr. Before that, Twitter. Now Tumblr has its own security breach. According to Tumblr, the data exposed is pretty minimal — the subject lines and perhaps the email addresses of messages sent to Tumblr Support.
|Social Media's Influence on Business|
In 2012, social media put a stomping on business technology. Social media gets a bad rap for hindering employee productivity about as much as it is touted as vital to a business’s communication success. Love it or hate it, social media has changed what we expect from technology in the workplace.
Think about when you’re using Twitter or Facebook. Or how fun and shiny the new app you downloaded is. Okay, now think about that clunky old application you have to use for your job. Eww, right? Social media applications have placed user experience on a high pedestal.
Did you happen to notice in between all of the Harlem Shake videos that a couple of fairly high-profile Twitter accounts were hacked? If you missed it, that’s too bad because it was awesome. Unless of course you were part of these companies’ PR teams.
First, @BurgerKing was hacked. In a flurry of hilarious tweets, Burger King announced its sale to McDonalds because of the Whopper's flop. Then came the @Jeep hack, also including hilarious (and less crude) tweets.
|Use AmEx to Buy on Twitter|
Get ready for it to be a whole lot easier to max out your American Express card! Twitter and American Express recently announced giving eligible cardholders the ability to buy items by using a special hashtag. Really cool, and quite possibly a whole new way to purchase goods.
American Express cardholders could already purchase $25 American Express gift cards by using #buyamexgiftcards25. Now, cardholders are able to buy additional things like a Kindle Fire, Sony Headband camera, Xbox, etc.
|CSR and Social Media|
In a world where corporate social responsibility has become critically important in the mind of consumers, businesses need to ensure they are including good corporate citizenship initiatives in their social media communications.
Corporate social responsibility, or CSR, is commonly defined as companies’ taking responsibility for their impacts on the environment and social welfare. In recent years, there has been an increased trend in consumers believing companies have a social responsibility beyond their shareholders and turning profits. As a result, many have adopted very successful CSR campaigns...
|Why Aren't We Talking About MySpace?|
In January 2013, MySpace launched its new, revamped site, and it was cool. For about a day. Should we still be talking about it?
It’s no secret that Facebook — whether you love it or hate it — has a stranglehold on social media. Interestingly enough, the same stranglehold MySpace once held. And while the new MySpace looks great visually and is fairly pleasant to use, it apparently isn’t enough to entice users to move away from Facebook. This shouldn’t be surprising, though...
|Need A Booty Call App?|
Social discovery apps help you find other users nearby. This way, you can connect with like-minded individuals into the same activities you are. You know, like wine tasting book clubs, or — as in the case of Bang With Friends — sex.
Bang With Friends is a Facebook app that basically facilitates a hook up.
|Twitter to Add Account Security Feature |
After nearly 250,000 accounts were suspected of being compromised by ‘sophisticated’ hackers, Twitter reset the affected users’ passwords as a precautionary measure. In order to prevent hackings in the future, it appears Twitter will now opt for a two-factor authentication to better secure accounts.
According to Twitter, the hackers could have accessed “limited user information — usernames, email addresses, session tokens, and encrypted/salted versions of passwords.”
|Facebook's Photo Tagging is Back|
A couple of years ago, Facebook debuted a new photo tagging feature using facial recognition technology. "Debuted" may be too strong a word for it, though. More accurately, Facebook released its tagging suggestion feature, and a whole bunch of people freaked out, subsequently prompting an announcement of its debut.
|Tweeting for the Arts?|
Having your cell hone out in a theater during a show is typically regarded as being a major no-no. Recently, however, several theaters around the country are actually giving away free seats to people who will keep their phones out to tweet about performances.
These “tweet seats” are meant to generate buzz about the theaters’ shows, and hopefully entice more people to attend.
|Google, Facebook and Others Requiring Warrants for Your Online Communications|
Do you know what is required in order for companies like Google or Facebook to turn over information about your electronic communications when government entities ask? Both say that they require full warrants in order to give over information they have. This is a notable change for Facebook, which had in the past complied with simply a subpoena.
Their policies are actually above what is legally required to be provided, at least at a federal level.
|Facebook and Instagram Requiring Users to Upload Photo ID|
By now, you have probably heard the rumor that Facebook and Instagram are requiring your government-issued ID in order to restore locked accounts. Probably more accurate: By now, you’ve heard this is not a rumor, but true.
Instagram users who have found themselves locked out of their accounts have been prompted by the applications to upload a picture of their government-issued photo ID in order to regain access to their account.
|The Privacy Talk|
It seems a little counter-intuitive to be the one teaching your child about how to behave online when you're just learning the rules ourselves. But we’ve been doing that throughout human history — from the first caveman to warn his cave children about fire to teaching little Timmy about pedestrian safety after the invention of the Model T.
|Banjo, the Social Discovery App|
Ever been out at a particular place and thought to yourself, “I wonder what the social network profiles are like of other people who have been here?” Admittedly, that’s an oddly specific thought. But if you’ve ever wondered what your connections are doing, social discovery apps are right up your alley.
|Understanding Facebook's Graph Search|
Maybe you’re one of the many who has been laid up with the flu recently and missed Facebook’s big announcement this past week. Hopefully now you’re feeling better and can have enough energy to understand just what exactly Facebook’s Graph Search is, and what it means for your privacy.
First, Facebook unveiled its newest feature last Tuesday, but make no mistake...
|Standardizing Privacy Notifications|
Do you know the details of your online data privacy? No, of course you don’t. No one does. Don’t feel too bad. For whatever reason, it’s become rocket-science complicated.
What is clear: The White House has decided this is a big issue. After developing the Privacy Bill of Rights, The White House has set about pressuring the app industry to come up with a fix to the issue of informing the consumer. If the industry can’t come up with a system on its own, then it’s likely Congress will become involved...
|Facebook's Sponsored Stories Settlement|
Remember the Sponsored Stories on Facebook? They weren’t so much stories as they were ads that, as part of a recent lawsuit stated, “used Facebook members’ names and likenesses to sell products without their consent.”
You may have noticed a lot of your friends suddenly seeming to “Like” a product or company completely out of character for them.
|Social Media Hindsight |
Bragging about your latest accomplishment on social media is nothing new. We’ve all heard about engagements, weddings, babies, new cars, etc. from our friends and followers. While these types of updates certainly give us a glimpse into the happenings of others, they are relatively innocuous, and not exactly the kind of information that would get anyone into trouble.
|When Decency Fails Privacy|
“It’s not about privacy settings. It’s about human decency.”
At least it is according to Randi Zuckerberg’s tweet responding to a friend of her younger sister posting a Zuckerberg family photo. The sister’s friend, Callie Schweitzer, apparently is not Facebook friends with Randi Zuckerberg, but was able to see — thus copy and tweet — the photo because Randi’s privacy settings allowed for “Friends of Friends” viewing.
|The Good and Bad of Location Sharing|
Certainly location tracking without users' knowledge and consent is not okay. No one, regardless of their opinions yay or nay for location-related services, would likely say unauthorized tracking was okay. So, assuming everyone knows their information is being tracked in a particular scenario, what makes location-related services so controversial?
|Big Data in Social Media|
Big Data has been a hot topic as of late, but with its unfortunately Orwellian name, is it actually something to be concerned about? The answer as to whether Big Data is friend or foe comes down to context.
For businesses, Big Data provides the opportunity to put an actual value on marketing efforts. For example, instead of relying on the number of page likes or followers to measure social media impact, Big Data gives measurement of marketing activities in dollars.
|Keeping Your Resolutions with Social Media Accountability|
If you have ever made a New Year’s resolution you probably know how it can sometimes be a little difficult to stick to the commitment the whole year through. In fact, most people are lucky if they can stay on track through February. By June, more than half of people have bailed on their resolutions. If you’re the type that needs a little extra accountability in your resolution, turning to social media may be a great way to stay on track.
There are currently all kinds of apps out there that let you track a wide variety of activities...
|Understanding Privacy in the New Year|
Now is the time of year when people start to reassess their habits and make New Year’s resolutions. Just like every commitment to starting anew in other areas, it’s time to brush up on your current settings or start anew in your online privacy.
Even Facebook — if you have had a chance to notice over this holiday season — has asked you to look at how your information is shared...
|What Instagram Did for Flickr|
Whether or not you were one of the people who ceremoniously quit Instagram in the wake of their Terms of Service faux pas, you probably considered, signed up, or returned to Flickr. After all, it is pretty easy to assume all of the bad press recently focused on Instagram probably led to some of the best press Flickr has seen in quite some time.
Unfortunately, Instagram had also just removed one previously held advantage over Flicker — instant photo sharing in Twitter.
|Why Can't Mobile App Privacy Be Simple?|
We all know someone — ourselves, friends, children, or heaven forbid our mom — playing Words with Friends, Instagram, Ruzzle, etc. to a near obsession. But what kind of personal information are these apps, and others, collecting about us once we’ve downloaded?
Turns out, quite a lot.
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If a stranger was following you down the street, you would tell them to stop, right? Or if you came home to find a hoard of strangers rifling through your belongings, would you feel some kind of way about it? After all, you have the right to be left alone. No one should be allowed to just take your information without your consent.
So let’s talk about cookies, and how they enable a digital version of the scenarios outlined above. No, these cookies are not your grandma’s kind of cookies.