Archive | Social Media RSS for this section

Inside Facebook Data Center

After pictures made by Google about its data center , here is the presentation of building 10,000 m2 for the data and the data center of the social network Facebook. Located in Prineville, Oregon, discover a work of architecture and space with pictures of the photographer Jonnu Singleton.

Advertisements

Skype 6.0, Facebook integration and all, now ready for desktops

The company’s updated software for Mac and Windows also includes Microsoft sign-in integration.

Just days before its app launches with Windows 8, Skype announced today that it has updated its current desktop program for Windows and Mac.

Dubbed Skype 6.0, the voice over Internet protocol application now includes support for signing into the service with a Microsoft or Facebook account, effectively eliminating the requirement for new users to create a Skype account. In addition, users will be able to instant message with contacts from Windows Live Messenger, Hotmail, and Outlook.com.

Skype’s update illustrates its increasing integration with Microsoft products. Microsoft acquired Skype last year for $8.5 billion, saying that it planned to make Skype work closely with many of its products.

One of those many products is Windows 8. Earlier this week, Skype introduced a revamped version of its software for Windows 8 users. The app is designed to mimic the look and feel of Microsoft’s operating system, which launches on Friday and offers everything from instant messaging to audio and video chatting.

Until then, Skype 6.0 is ready and waiting. Skype says it has also increased its Windows client’s language support with six more languages. The Windows client also comes with an interface refresh. On the Mac side, Skype will allow users to open chats in multiple windows. The software also now includes support for Apple’s Retina display.

Skype 6.0 for Desktop is available now.

Is Pheed the New Twitter?

Miley Cyrus seems to think so. As does Ashley Tisdale, David Guetta, Paris Hilton, Chris Brown, and thousands of others who have joined the site in a matter of days.

So what is Pheed?

In short, think of it as Twitter, with a business plan. We always hear of “the-next-greatest-idea” social network that thinks it has what it takes to compete with the likes of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, or Instagram. Yet we also see big brands like Myspace or Google+ struggling to get in the game. So what makes Pheed any different? Why won’t this site crash and burn after a short run of attention, like so many others?

 

Pheed’s Secret Sauce:

It’s pretty simple, if you allow influencers to charge for content, high quality content will be produced. Pheed enables users to share all forms of digital content, including text, photo, audio, video, and live broadcasts. “Pheeders” then have the option to share for free or at a premium, either by applying a monthly subscription fee to their channel or setting up a pay-per-view live broadcast event. Users can charge anywhere from $1.99 to $34.99 per view, or $1.99 to $34.99 per month. In both cases, the user selects their own pricing and owns all of the content. Pheed makes money by taking half of the revenue, which covers bandwidth and storage, payment processing, and of course, Pheed’s profits.

The folks at Pheed see a lot of problems with current social networks –namely, the fact that users are somewhat limited on Twitter, or bored of Facebook. There’s just too much noise, and that means most of the content quality is poor. Because of this, people become focused on gaining followers rather than using the platforms for what they’re actually meant to do: share quality content.

O.D. Kobo, Pheed CEO and co-founder, who is a veteran in the game of creating successful online ventures, thinks that it is time to introduce quality content online by giving the power and platform directly to the content providers. He believes that if the option to monetize is there, users will be motivated to create quality content. Whether that’s concerts from someone’s living room or studio, comedy stand-up from the kitchen, interviews on pay-per-view, or a boxing match, there is no limit to what users can do and earn.

Miley Cyrus recently launched her own Pheed, and her audio recording drew 10,000 visitors to the site in just half a second. To me, Pheed is akin to the bonus footage that comes with a DVD—if fans really care about the celebrity, influencer, or content producer enough that they’d pay to see their private or exclusive content, Pheed will be a win-win for both the fan and the celeb.

The big question is: how many of Paris Hilton’s 8.9 million Twitter followers or David Guetta’s 35 million Facebook fans will actually pay to view an event or subscribe to their content?

Time will tell. Pheed has a good opportunity to succeed if it stays focused and doesn’t try to become a jack-of-all-trades. For now, it’s safe to say Pheed is a site we should all keep an eye on—its Twitter-with-a-business-model approach stands to seriously impact the social media game.

Twitter bans German group for hate speech

The Financial Times says Twitter has, for the first time, elected to shut off access in Germany to an account due to the group’s alleged illegal expression of pro-Nazi sentiment.

Twitter is said to have for the first time banned a Germany group’s account due to its alleged hate speech.

On the heels of a firestorm of controversy over anti-Semitic tweets in France, Twitter has for the first time banned access in Germany to a German group’s account due to its alleged hate speech.

According to the Financial Times (registration required), the San Francisco-based microblogging service has blocked access in Germany to the Twitter account belonging to an organization known as “Besseres Hannover,” which means “Better Hannover” in English. The group is said to be a neo-Nazi organization, reported Danny Sullivan of Marketingland.com. The public expression of Nazi views is illegal in Germany.

The profile header for the Twitter account of TK, which has been blocked in Germany, a report said.

(Credit: Screen shot by CNET )

Twitter’s steps toward blocking access to the Besseres Hannover account began when the company was asked by German Police to do so, according to documents uncovered by the group Chilling Effects. The police said that all the group’s social network accounts had to be shut down.

Sullivan wrote yesterday that while it’s still possible to access Besseres Hannover’s Twitteraccount in the United States — which CNET has confirmed — those in Germany are unable to do so. “This is part of the wink-wink system of ‘censorship’ that’s long been operated by Google,” Sullivan wrote. “The search engine, similar to Google, may ‘ban’ pages from appearing in certain countries. But those outside those countries (or those able to pretend they are outside of it) can still access the content.”

In a tweet last night, Twitter general counsel Alex Macgillivray alluded to the company’s action against Besseres Hannover. Though he didn’t name the group that had had its German access blocked, he wrote, “We announced the ability to withhold content back in Jan. We’re using it now for the first time re: a group deemed illegal in Germany.”

LinkedIn launches redesigned profiles to help you engage and connect with your network better

LinkedIn has just announced that they are rolling out redesigned profile pages that will enable users to better engage and connect with their network.  These updates are designed to simplify the profile page and help you find more relevant information about your professional colleagues. These new profiles are being rolled out starting today.

linkedin new profile 520x294 LinkedIn launches redesigned profiles to help you engage and connect with your network better

Aaron Bronzan, Product Manager at LinkedIn, took the stage to give people a sneak peek at what the new profiles is going to look like. This new design centers around three core ideals: enabling simplified editing, building relationships, and offering rich insights.

To get the new profile design, LinkedIn went ahead and rebuilt the profile-editing process from the ground up. Now, you’re going to be shown options to add sections that are relevant to your profession: projects, languages, test scores, courses, etc. Your profile will also include a visualization of how complete your profile is and features a breakdown of your network, broken down from company, school, location, and industry — something that will help you better understand your network’s reach.

The new LinkedIn meets the company’s three core tenants: simplify, grow, everyday. Basically the new profile pages will help you to easily find the information you want about you or your peers while also enabling you to share your content and virally to your professional community. And the new profiles will help you engage with your followers even when you’re not actively using the site.

If you look at the profile page of one of your connections, you’ll be able to gleam insights from it so you can better understand the relationship you have between the two of you. This allows you to compare and contract one another and find out how you can both help each other and will also share what you have in common.

To promote further engagement with a user’s network, LinkedIn has now posted your recent activity to the top all profiles, allowing you to stay current with what’s going on within your connections.

The launch of these profile pages is the newest development in this booming company. Deep Nishar, LinkedIn’s SVP of Product & User Experience, said that there are over 175,000 new profiles being created each day with 3 billion profiles searched on the network as of last month. Moreover, 25 million profiles are viewed each day — so the potential for creating a more useful and logical presence for its members was enormous.

If you want to be one of the first few to take a look at the new Profile, LinkedIn is accepting sign ups here to be a part of this experience. However, these profile pages will be rolled out over the next few months, according to the company.

Here’s an image of the new profile page on LinkedIn:

linkedin new profile screenshot01 520x995 LinkedIn launches redesigned profiles to help you engage and connect with your network better

How to protect your phone number on Facebook: Three options you and your friends need to know about

Earlier today, we reported on how a security researcher managed to collect countless phone numbers and their corresponding Facebook names with very little effort before the company could stop him. All he had to do was write an automated script to exploit some basic Facebook privacy settings.

For its part, Facebook gave us this explanation of what the script was exploiting:

The ability to search for a person by phone number is intentional behavior and not a bug in Facebook. By default, your privacy settings allow everyone to find you with search and friend finder using the contact info you have provided, such as your email address and phone number. You can modify these settings at any time from the Privacy Settings page.

So, how do you protect yourself? There are three options you need to know about.

Limit Who Can See Your Number

Go to Facebook.com, login if you haven’t already, and click your name in the top-left corner. Click on the “Update Info” button on the right side. Under Contact Info, click the “Edit” button. Next to your phone number, there will be a drop-down menu. Make sure this option is not set to “Public” and that it at least says “Friends” or even “Only Me.”

facebook phone 1 520x198 How to protect your phone number on Facebook: Three options you and your friends need to know about

This will make sure that if someone visits your profile, they cannot see your phone number unless they are your friend. This means that even if your profile is public (it probably shouldn’t be), your phone number is not visible to the public. Unfortunately, that’s not enough; see the next option.

Limit Who Can Search Your Number

This is the part that the researcher exploited to essentially build his Facebook phone book. Even if your phone number is set to private, someone can still find you if they have it. As such, if someone writes a script that picks random phone numbers and searched for them on Facebook, as the security researcher did, they can link phone numbers to Facebook profiles, which include people’s names and other information.

Here’s the setting that started it all:

facebook default 520x209 How to protect your phone number on Facebook: Three options you and your friends need to know about

Above you can see how the default options look like. To modify them, click on the drop-down menu in the top-right corner on Facebook and choose “Privacy Settings.” Next, scroll down to “How You Connect” and click on the blue “Edit Settings” link on the right-hand side.

Change the “Who can look you up using the email address or phone number you provided?” to Friends, and anything else you think should be changed. This will stop someone from being able to look you up on Facebook if they have your phone number.

Facebook May Ditch Its Boring Logged Out Homepage For This 3D Polygon Art Or This Cute Couple

Facebook doesn’t want to look like just another website, so it’s testing colorful new versions of Facebook.com on a very small percentage of logged out visitors. One features a 3D polygon art map of the Facebook universe, while another showcases an adorable couple.

So next time you login, or finally surrender and sign up, you might be greeted with something a lot more vibrant than text inputs.

Our writer Drew Olanoff called the tested poloygon design “ugly as sin” and “very busy”. Personally I dig it, though it does make finding the email address and password inputs a bit more difficult.

Facebook confirmed the images sent in by our awesome readers and watermarked by us are real but otherwise just gave the standard “we’re constantly testing new products and features across the site. We have nothing more to share at this time.” The data could prove that these designs confuse people are reduce or delay logins. That could lead get them scrapped, never to be seen again.

However, I’d expect Facebook will debut a more exciting log out page soon, maybe with a rotating set of photos and artwork that appeal to different demographics. For example, instead of  the same photo of a couple for everyone, visitors might see photos of people from their country or part of the world.

Along with the very small test of the polygon art, Facebook is showing some users a logged out home page with the “Chairs Are Like Facebook” brand video it released to commemoratereaching 1 billion users.

Facebook started jazzing up its logout page in February. It now frequently plasters the exit screen with big banner ads, some of which are interactive like a Bing search page or an in-line video seen below.

If push comes to shove with Wall Street, Facebook may end up putting ads on the logged out home page too. But that doesn’t give a very good impression to people it’s trying to convince to sign up or sign in more frequently. The polygon landscape dotted with Likes, chats, friends, and photos is much more inviting.

IT’S FACEBOOK OFFICIAL: A ‘Want’ Button Is Getting Tested

After months of talk, it’s finally official: Facebook is testing a “Want” button.

Even though developers noticed code for a “Want” button in Facebook’s Javascript SDK in late June, the social media giant was very coy when approached about the matter, refusing to really confirm or deny its intentions.

Almost two months later, Facebook announced that it has joined forces with seven retailers — including Pottery Barn, Victoria Secret, and Neiman Marcus — to test the platform which allows users to “want,” “collect,” or “like” a product. Note: if you “like” something, then the item will show up in your Timeline.

A spokesperson emailed a statement to AllFacebook explaining:

We’ve seen that businesses often use pages to share information about their products through photo albums. Today, we are beginning a small test in which a few select businesses will be able to share information about their products through a feature called Collections.  Collections can be discovered in news feed, and people will be able to engage with these collections and share things they are interested in with their friends. People can click through and buy these items off of Facebook.

Mashable points out that even though this sounds Pinterest-like, Facebook has one upped the pinning website because products within a given collection will also feature a Buy link.

Although Facebook won’t get a cut of sales, Robert W. Barid analyst Colin Sebastian told Reuters that the “Want” button provides other opportunities for monetization. “In addition to potentially collecting a transaction fee for referring users to an e-commerce site, Sebastian said that retailers might also pay Facebook to promote products featured on users’ wishlists, similar to the way the Facebook’s current ads function.”

Facebook’s Very First Ad: The Things That Connect Us

Social media giant Facebook is now 1 billion users strong. To thank those who already use the platform to connect and hope to inspire those who have yet to join the ranks, Facebook has created its first official advertisement, entitled, “The Things That Connect Us.”

Sure, Facebook connects us, but many other things do as well, such as chairs, doorbells, bridges, and airplanes, according to ‘s video.

But mostly chairs, really, and that is why “Chairs are like Facebook.”

While ad agency Wieden + Kennedy’s first shot at making a Facebook commercial has been knocked for being silly and baffling rather than profound and poignant, what do you think of the short video?

Facebook Pages Manager for iOS adds landscape mode for iPad, Facebook Offers, longer status updates

Facebook today updated its Pages Manager app for iOS. You can download the latest version now from the official Apple App Store.

Apple iPad users will be happy to learn that the new app lets them use Facebook in landscape mode. The social networking giant did not provide a screenshot of this feature in action, but my colleague Josh Ong has an iPad, so voilà:

facebook pages manager landscape 520x390 Facebook Pages Manager for iOS adds landscape mode for iPad, Facebook Offers, longer status updates

Next on the list is the ability to make Facebook Offers to your fans, directly from the app. Here’s how this feature looks like (notice the Offer button in the top-right corner of the first screenshot):

This should prove to be particularly useful for those who are looking to win over fans by giving them deals. iOS users can now do so without fumbling with their PCs or Macs.

Last but not least, the app now lets you write longer status updates, which should be handy for those who use their Pages to post lots of details about events or promotions to their fans. Facebook won’t say up to what length the status updates are now limited to, but I’m guessing it’s the same limit as what the social network has elsewhere: 63,206 characters.

Here’s the official Facebook Pages Manager for iOS version 1.5 changelog:

  • Use in landscape mode on iPad.
  • Eligible Pages can create Facebook Offers.
  • Post longer status updates.
  • Bug fixes and performance updates.

In addition to Facebook Messenger and Facebook Camera, Facebook Pages Manager is yet another of the social networking giant’s standalone apps. Unlike the others though, Pages Manager is geared towards businesses rather than consumers, or in other words, towards directly growing the company’s revenues.

Facebook first launched Pages Manager for iOS in May 2011 and has been regularly updating it ever since. In fact, the previous version was released just two weeks ago.

At the time, I said that we’ll likely see version 2.0 next year. With Facebook’s newaccelerated schedule for mobile apps, however, it might even arrive before 2012 is over.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Emil is a technology journalist writing for The Next Web. Over the years, he has covered the tech industry for multiple publications, including Ars Technica, Neowin, TechSpot, ZDNet, and CNET.