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Facebook Buys Gowalla – Most of the Gowalla team will be working on Facebook’s new Timeline feature (CNN Money)
Secret Software Logging Cellphone Use Found on Android, BlackBerry and Nokia Phones – Carrier IQ says the data is gathered ” to understand the mobile-user experience” and denies logging user keystrokes. (Wired)
Microsoft Plans to Release Office for the iPad (The Daily)
Facebook Status Size Limit Increases Dramatically – A Facebook status can now reach up to 55,000 characters. Is this an attempt to distinguish itself from Twitter? (ReadWriteWeb)
Google Hangouts Add Free Voice Calls – You can now add someone to your group chat via the phone. Remember those? That means you don’t need a Google account or even a computer to log into the group conversation. (Mashable)
India Asks Google and Facebook to Screen User Content - Well, so much for democracy! (New York Times)
Syria Bans Use of iPhones - Pretty ironic since Steve Jobs’ biological father is Syrian (The Next Web)
Cane for the Blind Uses Social Media to Aid Navigation – Probably the most useful thing location-based social media has done in a while (The Next Web)
Not quite as much social media and internet marketing news this week because everyone is busy shopping! So I decided to publish a special edition of the Web Weekly with lots of Cool Tools. Enjoy!
UPDATE, Nov. 28: The Wall Street Journa
l is reporting Facebook is planning to go public between April and June 2012. They expect to raise $10 billion, raising the company’s worth to $100 billion.
iPad Game from Dominoes Lets You Create a Custom Pizza You Can Order: Fun never got this tasty. (Mashable)
Black Friday Breaks Apple Sales Record: Online sales boost Apple; the company website was the fifth most visited online retailer, according to comScore. (Mashable)
Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday Mobile Payments Up 538% (Read Write Web)
Report: Fastest-Growing Language on Twitter is Arabic: Although Arabic accounts for only 1.2% of all public tweets, the growth rate over the past year has been an incredible 2,146% (The Next Web)
The Four Degrees of Facebook: A new study shows that we’re related to each other (at least on Facebook) by only four people.
PoorSquare: Find freebies, all around the world.
Uptake: The best way to get advice on things to do, places to stay, and insider info abroad is to ask the locals. But sometimes you don’t know anyone at your destination or don’t speak the language. Enter Uptake, a source for locals to provide advice about your travel destination.
Cardmunch: Business cards are difficult to organize and easy to lose. Cardmunch not only digitizes the information on every business card you get, it also adds the user as a connection on LinkedIn.
Spartify: Tired of taking turns on the laptop playlist? Allow everyone at your party to create the music playlist at your next event with this app.
Facebook’s Sneaky Sharing Meets Backlash
Have you noticed updates in your News Feed about what others are reading. Some applications, most notably the Washington Post Social Reader engage in “frictionless sharing,” posting activities, l
ike what news articles you’ve read, or what music you are listening to, without your explicitly deciding to share or “like” that bit of content.
Richard MacManus at ReadWriteWeb interprets this update as a new, improved, pe of sharing, making the case that “Facebook hasn’t ruined sharing, it’s just re-defined it.” Meanwhile, Deena Levenstein at the illuminea blog, explains that this development automates some of the process of sharing, which is convenient, but adds that frictionless sharing also integrates a high degree of “chutzpah”. Not liking the idea of everything you read being broadcast to your Facebook friends? She shows you how to change your settings.
In other Facebook news, you can now call Facebook friends from Skype, reports TheNextWeb.
- Who is an average Facebook user? Check out this great infographic on Mashable: “The Average Facebook User”
Google Music Launches
U.S. users can now access Google Music, a service that lets you host up to 20,000 of your songs and stream them to your devices. Additionally, music shared on Google+ can be played by anyone in a user’s circles. Could this be a valuable enough lure to get more users onboard Google+?
Brin Donates Half Million Dollars to Wikipedia: Google co-founder Sergey Brin donated $500,000 to Wikipedia week during the company’s annual fundraiser, VentureBeat reported. (Search Engine Watch)
Cool Tools of the Week
Tor improves your web browsing privacy. This is particularly important for those using public networks. Developed initially for the security of the U.S. Navy, it is now a free tool for anyone seeking to guard their civil liberties online and prevent snooping.
Proliphiq is a social media tool to help you find the most popular and useful contributors to your social media network in a particular area of interest. More than ever, social media users are eager to cut through all the clutter, and this tool helps you find the cream of the crop among users. While it’s still in a limited beta release, you can get an access code from Mashable.
Google+ Opens Doors to Business Pages
I’ve been waiting with bated breath for what and when Google+ will come up with for its business pages. They’re now available but haven’t yet taken off. ReadWriteWeb provides a handy comparison between Facebook and Google+ pages. Why should you bother? As Google+ grows, having a business account can provide you with:
- Increased exposure, transparency and a more personal connection with customers and potential buyers through video chat Hangouts
- A way to get recommended through Google Search with a “+1″.
- More control over your messaging. As opposed to the Facebook wall on a page, you can send a particular message to select Circles.
I just opened my own Google+ page to check it out. Just as with Facebook, you can choose from a drop-down menu whether you are using G+ as yourself or as a business. However as an improvement on Facebook’s pages, you can edit your posts and select which groups of fans receive select messages. I happen to find Facebook’s pages very cumbersome. But G+ pages will only be useful if they become popular.
In other Google news, the company acquired Katango, a social algorithm that should make organizing connections into Circles more seemless.
As a result of skirmishes with the Federal Trade Commission, Facebook’s privacy changes are now “opt-out” instead of “opt-in”, reports The Next Web. This means that when Zuckerberg and friends roll out new privacy changes, your account will be by default more secure. You won’t need to be following all of the myriad updates and constantly updating your account settings in order to keep your shares going to the people your think they are.
Microsoft, AOL, Yahoo to Share Ads
In an attempt to ward of irrelevancy, Microsoft, AOL, and Yahoo reached an agreement to create a display advertising alliance. By banding together, they hope to provide a stronger challenge to the dominance of Google and Facebook. Despite the partnership, each of the companies are vying for their own advertiser signups, Reuters reports.
Take This Lollipop, an interactive video that launched two weeks before Halloween, became fastest growing app ever. This feat is even more amazing when you consider that it wasn’t backed by a major brand or business promotion. (Mashable)
LinkedIn Offers Statistics for Groups, providing a dashboard with drill-down information for Group leaders to optimize their hubs for discussion and information (Mashable)
Cool Tools of the Week:
T2 Mood Tracker: This free mobile app, which won the “General Wellness” category of the Apps4Army competition, helps users self-track moods and feelings over a set time period. The app has implications for military deployment, mental health, and even dieters (mood –> food).
Myxer: This “social radio” music streaming system allows you to find new music and share easily with your friends, create custom ringtones, and more, all for free. Their media catalog contains over 13 million pieces of free and premium licensed content including music, apps, images, games and video.
LinkedIn Releases Glowing Q3 Report
.com/digits/2011/11/01/linkedin-doubling-headquarters-space-amid-growth-spurt/?KEYWORDS=linkedin”>doubling its office space at its Mountain View, Calif., headquarters, reports the Wall Street Journal. In its Q3 report, LinkedIn boasted a 60% increase in its user base and a 200% increase in premium membership subscriptions. ReadWriteWeb reports that LinkedIn is focused on capitalizing from matching employers with successful job candidates.
Internet Explorer Usage Drops Below 50%
It boggles the mind how many people use Internet Explorer as their web browser. It’s probably because it’s the default on PCs and people don’t bother to change. But oh how it’s worth the extra few minutes to download Firefox (my fave) or Chrome! After a decade of being the dominant internet browser, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer fell below 50% of web traffic served, reports Mashable.
Web developers will rejoice as old versions of IE, which don’t render fancier web features as well, are finally getting replaced with friendlier browsers by most users.
While its outdated browsing capabilities haven’t been enough to convince most users to switch, the fact that Microsoft’s inability to capitalize on the mobile browsing market has made an impact. Safari is the default browser on iPhones and iPads, which dominate mobile web browsing.
Google Reader Gets Cosmetic Surgery
When a product gets updated, one usually expects more features and user-friendly design. According to most users, that hasn’t been the case for Google Reader’s recent upgrade. The most bemoaned change is that the only way to “Share” is, of course, +1. Check out the comments on just about any blog post covering this change, and you’ll see a lot of griping. A lot of the flack users shared in response to the ReadWriteWeb coverage of Google Reader’s update is all of the valuable real estate given up at the top of the page in the new design and removal of the “Share” feature. While only a small portion of Reader users actually took advantage of the feature of sharing content with other Reader users or leaving notes, they were a loyal group, who are now peeved that their favorite toy has been taken away.
One of the best points was made by internet marketing consultant Tamar Weinberg on Google+: “New Google Reader redesign couldn’t give the real number of unread articles? If there would have been one change I’d have appreciated, it would have been seeing ’1230′ unread articles rather than ’1000+’”
And that’s not the only Google product to undergo some cosmetic features. GMail also unleashed some new features and a new design, which I wrote about in last week’s Web Weekly.
New Apple Store App Sends Your Order to Retail Store: Get immediate checkout with your iPhone after picking up your order, to be complete within 12 minutes of ordering via the app. (Fox Business)
Live Hajj Broadcast: In partnership with YouTube, the Saudi Ministry of Culture and Information is live streaming the Hajj, the world’s largest annual pilgrimage. This is what 2.5 million people looks like! (Official Google Blog)
Widespread Siri Outages on iPhone 4s: Widely hyped virtual assistant runs into tits second day of outages (New York Times Bits Blog)
Google Algorithm Update Rewards ‘Freshness’: If you weren’t sure about the need to have a blog, this news should finish convincing you. Google now gives even bigger rank points to websites that are updated frequently and displays more recently updated pages in its results. (Search Engine Land)
Cool Tools of the Week
News360: Using your items on the cloud and semantic analysis, this handy app aggregates news designed to fit your interests.