Oct 042011



Facebook is now closer than ever to becoming the phone book for the internet. The site recently launched a Directory of people, Pages, and Places to allow users to find friends and official entities by name. The People Directory displays an alphabetized list of all users who’ve made public search listings available in their privacy. In addition to browsing by first letter, the Pages and Places Directories surface the most popular presences first for speedy discovery

Until now, users could only find people, Pages, and Places through search, the personalized Find Friends feature, and the buried Pages Browser. Directories will assist users that are looking for things with common names or that they’re not positive about the spelling of. Though certainly slower than search, it could become a powerful last resort for people intent on finding someone or something on Facebook.

via To Complement Its Search Engine, Facebook Launches People, Pages, and Places Directories.

Oct 032011



By now it’s become fairly obvious that Google’s new social network, Google+, is here to stay (unlike some of the company’s past efforts at being social): depending on which estimates you believe, Google+ may have as many as 50 million registered users, which is not bad for a three-month old product. And the company has made it clear that it wants to use Google+ as a kind of identity platform for other things — hence the importance of its controversial “real name” policy. But it wasn’t obvious just how much was riding on the new network until recently, thanks in part to some comments made by vice-president of product Brad Horowitz, who said that in the future, Google+ and Google will effectively become inseparable.

via It’s official: Google+ will be connected to everything — Tech News and Analysis.

Sep 302011



Google Analytics, the super dominant free web analytics platform, has to date offered analytics that were roughly 24 hours behind. The wait to stop waiting has come to an end and today the company announced that Google Analytics is now rolling out real-time reporting to its users.

via Google Analytics Finally Goes Real Time (Plus New Premium Accounts).

Sep 282011



Sure, it’s easy to say you’ll quit Facebook. Even without the most recent changes, its sheer size and near-ubiquity is enough to make the more paranoid amongst us want to opt-out. After all, the world existed for billions of years before Facebook; certainly life would continue to be just fine without it.

This is true. Still, quitting Facebook is much more difficult than it sounds. After all, what happens when someone sends you a link to a photo, video or conversation, but requires a Facebook login to see? Facebook is unique in its broad social reach. Unlike earlier social networks like LiveJournal, Friendster or MySpace, Facebook isn’t just for younger users. Despite getting its start on college campuses, Facebook is now just as popular amongst adolescents as it is with Baby Boomers.

That broad social reach means cutting the service out of your life is easier said than done. Sure, it’s fun to say “I’ll delete my account and never log in again,” but as soon my cousin posts photos of her new baby and makes those photos only visible on Facebook… well, that kind of kills my resolve.

via No, You Aren’t Going to Quit Facebook.

Sep 282011



Google Plus’ big killer feature from the start has been that it lets users organize their friends and acquaintances into Circles to control what is shared, and with whom. But creating all these curated groups seemed a little like a half baked feature seeing as you couldn’t let anyone else in on that perfectly organized group. Well, now you can. Google is rolling out the ability to share circles on Google+.

To share a Circle, just click on the Circle in question and choose Share. This will pull up the familiar composition field where you can choose who to share it with.

via Maximum PC | Google+ Now Allows You To Share Circles.

Sep 222011



Users part of the initial roll out of the news feed redesign announced yesterday are also receiving several other unannounced changes to Facebook’s interface. These include an expansion of the character limit on posts from 500 to 5,000, a rollout of the floating navigation bar we saw tested last week, the ability to edit bookmarks in the home page’s left navigation bar, and a more convenient way to leave birthday greetings. Over the last few days Facebook has also buried the poke button within a drop down menu, and removed the ability to accompany a friend request with a message.

By launching these interface alterations now rather than amongst other sweeping updates at the f8 developer conference on Thursday, Facebook may be able to reduce the shock to users. The timing will also help the site keep attention focused on Platform-related updates that directly impact developers. Unfortunately, the combination of so many changes with the prompts necessary to explain them gives the home page a foreign look that may turn off some users.

via Facebook Increases Character Limit on Posts to 5000, Rolls Out Floating Navigation Bar and More Amid Unrest.

Sep 202011



Facebook will add new feedback buttons to stories in the news feed, according a TechCrunch source. Starting with “Read”, “Listened”, and “Watched” buttons, users will be able to indicate that they’ve already consumed a piece of content. This will allow them to provide more specific information about how they’re related to different types of content, which could help Facebook refine the news feed to show them more of similar types of content. The tip matches with the tagline “Read, Watch, Listen” which AllThingsD heard will be used for the f8 conference.

via Facebook’s Rumored Read, Listened, and Watched Buttons: A Money-Making Fit With Broad Category Ad Targeting.

Sep 202011



Look out Facebook, here comes Google+. After three months as an invite-only service, Google+ has thrown open its door to the world and rolled out a slew of new features. The announcement comes just days before Facebook’s annual f8 developer conference and seems clearly aimed as a shot across the social network giant’s bow. Let the social wars begin.

Of course Facebook has already weathered at least one of Google’s attempts at a social network, the now marginalized Buzz (two if you include Wave). But this time around Google has done more than roll out a Facebook clone. As part of Google’s attempt to carve a unique spot for Plus, the company is rolling out several new features, including mobile support for the Google+ video chat feature known as “Hangouts.”

via Google+ Adds 9 New Features, Opens to the World | Webmonkey | Wired.com.