Facebook has announced a new search feature dubbed Graph Search, a service which is built atop the network’s Social Graph. CEO Mark Zuckerberg says the company has been working on Graph Search for years, and claims it offers something that no other service can. It is available as a limited preview right now for English audiences only.
Zuckerburg made it clear that this isn’t a Web search service, and that user privacy has been taken into concern. Graph search is designed to take a precise query and deliver an answer. While Facebook says users can only search for content that has been shared with them, it is possible to search for things such as “TV shows watched by doctors” or “Music liked by people who like Mitt Romney” or even “Languages my friend speaks”.
Facebook’s CEO says that every piece of content on Facebook has its own audience with most of it not available to the public. Currently, you can only search for content that has been shared with you.
Under the new policy, Facebook claims the perpetual right to license all public Instagram photos to companies or any other organization, including for advertising purposes, which would effectively transform the Web site into the world’s largest stock photo agency. One irked Twitter user quipped that “Instagram is now the new iStockPhoto, except they won’t have to pay you anything to use your images.”
Incredibly creepy policy shift from the recently-acquired Facebook subsidiary, Instagram.
While Apple has been hugely successful in selling phones and tablets, it has little traction in social networking, which has become a major engine of activity on the Web and on mobile devices. Social media are increasingly influencing how people spend their time and money — an important consideration for Apple, which also sells applications, games, music and movies.
Apple has considered an investment in the hundreds of millions of dollars, one that could value Twitter at more than $10 billion, up from an $8.4 billion valuation last year, these people said. They declined to be named because the discussions were private.
The fact that Google+ has 75 million daily users is testament to it being such a key part of Google’s more established and bigger properties – such as search and YouTube. As a standalone social network, Google+ still struggles to achieve the user engagement that Facebook and Twitter have. Facebook is where you go to see what your friends are up to, Twitter is the daily virtual water cooler. I wouldn’t go so far as to call it a ghost town, but as a social network Google+ isn’t where the action is. The action is on Facebook, Twitter, … and YouTube, Google search, Blogger and other Google products.
One year ago, I think we all expected Google+ to turn into a better standalone product than what we’ve got now. But despite that, Google+ has turned out to be incredibly useful to Google. If I was to project what Google+ will be like in July 2013, I’d guess it will be even less about being a standalone social network and even more about supporting YouTube, Google search et al. One hopes it will also have a better API, so that more third party services can utilize that Google+ glue.
I know I haven’t logged into G+ in over a month, so I guess I’m no longer an ‘active monthly user’ unless you count seeing G+ integration into my search results. I wonder how many of their reported 150M AMUs are auto-signed in by Google services, as opposed to explicitly slogging over to the actual Google+ site?
one other strategy proved crucial to Reddit’s early success, which most people are unaware of: The team submitted a ridiculous amount of content under fake user accounts to give the appearance of popularity. Yes, you read that right. Reddit — a site that values a fair and open democratic process to determine worthy content and police itself — sleeps soundly on a bed of lies.
“When you would go to Reddit in the early days there would be tons of content,” Huffman said, explaining that the initial Reddit submission page contained only a “URL field” and “Title field” to plug in. Yet when logged in as an admin, a third field appeared that allowed the team to enter a custom user name that would automatically be registered for an account upon hitting submit. The fake user submissions, which were motivated by embarrassment over having an empty site, actually had a positive impact in a few different ways, he said.
In a six-minute interview on stage with TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington, Zuckerberg spent 60 seconds talking about Facebook’s privacy policies. His statements were of major importance for the world’s largest social network – and his arguments in favor of an about-face on privacy deserve close scrutiny.
Zuckerberg offered roughly 8 sentences in response to Arrington’s question about where privacy was going on Facebook and around the web. The question was referencing the changes Facebook underwent last month. Your name, profile picture, gender, current city, networks, Friends List, and all the pages you subscribe to are now publicly available information on Facebook. This means everyone on the web can see it; it is searchable.
“When I got started in my dorm room at Harvard, the question a lot of people asked was ‘why would I want to put any information on the Internet at all? Why would I want to have a website?’
“And then in the last 5 or 6 years, blogging has taken off in a huge way and all these different services that have people sharing all this information. People have really gotten comfortable not only sharing more information and different kinds, but more openly and with more people. That social norm is just something that has evolved over time.
“We view it as our role in the system to constantly be innovating and be updating what our system is to reflect what the current social norms are.
“A lot of companies would be trapped by the conventions and their legacies of what they’ve built, doing a privacy change – doing a privacy change for 350 million users is not the kind of thing that a lot of companies would do. But we viewed that as a really important thing, to always keep a beginner’s mind and what would we do if we were starting the company now and we decided that these would be the social norms now and we just went for it.”
That’s Not a Believable Explanation
This is a radical change from the way that Zuckerberg pounded on the importance of user privacy for years. That your information would only be visible to the people you accept as friends was fundamental to the DNA of the social network that hundreds of millions of people have joined over these past few years. Privacy control, he told me less than 2 years ago, is “the vector around which Facebook operates.”
Zuckerberg always comes off as very clever, but ultimately elusive — and not trustworthy at all.
His anxiety-ridden, robotic, speech, and manipulative word choice, turns me off, and certainly doesn’t endear me to his point of view.
Reflecting on how deeply I’ve let this guy into my life, and yours, makes me want to cut him out, completely.
A Twitter spokesperson told us that the firm has fixed a number issues with the integration and added features that include support for business pages, images and — as we earlier highlighted — links to hashtags and Twitter usernames:
We have fixed many issues with the Twitter for Facebook integration, including the ability to post to Facebook Pages, and added some new features.
The updated Twitter for Facebook integration now includes additional rich media experiences related to the first photo, URL, @mention or #hashtag in the cross-posted Tweet.
Those who already linked their Twitter and Facebook accounts and want to take advantage of the new features need to visit their Twitter profile settings page (here), and then disconnect and reconnect their accounts. That’s a bit of an inconvenience but well worth the effort.
The resulting integration is pretty impressive. When a tweet includes a photo, for example, the corresponding Facebook status update includes a thumbnail and link to click through to view the full photo, and other images from the user, on Twitter:
Sweet! Especially exciting given the news of Facebook’s integration with Apple products in the next iOS update.
Now… when will Facebook wise up and realise it’s got to play nice with Google too?
It happened. It’s over.
The bubble was popped by Facebook’s IPO belly flop. Some saw it coming, but before May 18, plenty of smart people saw only blue skies. Chris Sacca predicted we’d see a $56 price on opening day. But within 2 weeks, the price had dropped 29% to a low of $26.83. According to Bloomberg, it was the worst IPO of the decade.
Sad but possibly true. I knew Facebook’s success was the devil’s work.
Enter Viddy and Socialcam, two of the hottest start-up apps, both of which have the buzz of being the “Instagram for video.” The pair have exploded in popularity over the past few months, with each garnering user bases in the tens of millions seemingly overnight.
But the growth of one of these apps is not like the other.
Using a combination of fortunate timing, Facebook’s Open Graph influence and a new way of playing the system, Socialcam has effectively gamed Facebook, YouTube and the App Store to keep a strong grip on that ever-so-valuable user base. In the short term, at least, the three-man Socialcam start-up team has discovered a method to beat the 20-plus person outfit that is Viddy.
The method is so effective that Socialcam skyrocketed from around 1.4 million monthly active Facebook users to a whopping 40 million in a span of little more than two weeks. Socialcam surpassed Viddy in the Facebook app rankings last week, and currently sits fat atop Apple’s powerful App Store as one of the most downloaded free applications.
Fascinating take-down of a truly unscrupulous practice employed by new “Instagram-of-Video” upstart SocialCam, an app you’ve likely seen clogging up your Facebook news feed recently.
Mike Isaac of AllThingsD dives into the story, shownig some surprisingly cutthroat tactics at play in the social sharing app space, empowered by Facebook’s black-box dominion over the news feed.
Girls Around Me does not allow anonymous usage of the app. It is impossible to search for a particular person in this app, or track his|her location. The app just allows the user to browse the venues nearby, as if you passed by and looked in the window. The Girls Around Me user has to be registered in Foursquare and must be logged in this service to be able to see anything in Girls Around Me. The app Girls Around Me does not have access to user login and password, authentication is carried out on the social network side. Girls Around Me shows to the user only the data that is available to him or her through his or her accounts in Foursquare, and gives the user nothing more than Foursquare app can provide itself (when you browse venues around you in Foursquare, you can see how many people checked in there and you can see their profiles and photos, even contacts and social networks profile). The aim of the app is to make the usage of this data more convenient and more focused on finding popular and crowded venues.
Girls Around Me, the most recent in a slate of disturbingly creepy apps which aggregate public data from social media networks together to give you a picture of the activities of people you don’t know, has released a statement about the negative press they’ve been receiving. On one hand, it suggests the company didn’t do anything unethical — while at the same time, pointing out just how oblivious many users are to how much data they’re sharing.
Isn’t capitalizing on users’ ignorance still kinda… creepy? Especially when you give it such a stalker-inducing name?