Thursday, 30 June 2011

Bringing My|________|Back

SexyBack singer Justin Timberlake takes an ownership stake in MySpace

Timberlake, who plays Sean Parker in The Social Network, has partnered with Specific Media to pay $35 million for the faltering social network.

This represents a significant drop in the value of MySpace after News Corp bought the site for $580 million in 2005. With user numbers falling rapidly and reports of up to 50% staff cuts, it is no wonder that the value of the company has plummeted so dramatically.

However, Timberlake suggests that "there's a need for a place where fans can go to interact with their favourite entertainers, listen to music, watch videos, share and discover cool stuff and just connect. MySpace has the potential to be that place." (sounds awfully like a social network that Timberlake was fictionally involved with). 

The announcement claimed that Timberlake will be playing an active role in both the functionality and design of the new MySpace that is due to be unveiled at a press conference later this summer. The new MySpace is also set to launch "socially-activated advertising campaigns" which would let users share their favourite ads with friends.

The whole project seems somewhat ironic in the wake of the following interview with the real Sean Parker who goes on to explain the failure of MySpace. You can skip forward to 20.54 to see Parker's response to "Why did MySpace go wrong?"

What remains to be seen is whether this venture is a genuine attempt to re-invent MySpace or an elaborate PR stunt by Specific Media. What do you guys think? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below...


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Wednesday, 29 June 2011

What is Google+?

So you may have seen a lot of fuss being made about Google's new stab at social networking in the form of 'Google+', which was announced last night.

Following on from the-not-so-succesful 'Buzz' and 'Wave', Google it would seem has a lot of making up to do in the social space. That's an understatement considering the popularity of Facebook; can Google+ ever lay a finger on Zuckerberg's empire? 

We've pulled together some of the chat going on and some helpful vids to give you the lowdown.

What is Google+?


What is being said? 

Wired says:

The parts announced Tuesday represent only a portion of Google’s plans. In an approach the company refers to as “rolling thunder,” Google has been quietly been pushing out pieces of its ambitious social strategy — there are well over 100 launches on its calendar. When some launches were greeted by yawns, the Emerald Sea team leaders weren’t ruffled at all — lack of drama is part of the plan. Google has consciously refrained from contextualizing those products into its overall strategy.

That will begin now, with the announcement of the two centerpieces of Google+. But even this moment — revealed in a blog post that marks the first limited “field tests” outside the company — will be muted, because it marks just one more milestone in a long, tough slog to remake Google into something more “people-centric.”

GigaOM says:

One of the reasons why I think Facebook is safe is because it cannot be beaten with this unified strategy. Theoretically speaking, the only way to beat Facebook is through a thousand cuts. Photo sharing services such as Instagram can move attention away from Facebook, much like other tiny companies who can bootstrap themselves based on Facebook social graph and then built alternative graphs to siphon away attention from Facebook. Google, could in theory go one step further – team up with alternative social graphs such as Instagram, Twitter and Tumblr and use those graphs to create an uber graph.

TechCrunch says:

Overall, I’m impressed by Google+ after day one. Of course, like many, I also had fairly low expectations of anything Google tried to do in the social sphere after Wave and Buzz. Still, I used Google+ for hours and kept coming back. And I have a desire to come back tomorrow. That’s never a bad thing.

Google has done a very good job with the early execution. Can they maintain that? Once the novelty is gone, will there be a reason to use it? And will the idea scale — meaning both in absolute size and in terms of moving beyond an early adopter market? Remember, as great as FriendFeed was, it never really went beyond the early adopters.

Of course, you could also make the case (as I once presciently did) that a lot of what FriendFeed was is now being used by hundreds of millions of people around the world inside of Facebook. Google, given its size, will have a similar opportunity to take their concepts to the masses. It didn’t work with Buzz, will it with Google+?

Let’s revisit the question in about a month.


Would you make the switch from Facebook to Google+?

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Friday, 24 June 2011

This Week In Social:

Twitted and LinkedIn Ads, American Express and Foursquare, Skype and Facebook, Foursquare Reaches 10 Million, Klout Comes to Facebook, Google Photosharing and Harry Potter


Twitter Ads

After nine months of testing in-stream Promoted Tweets on third party client Hootsuite, reports have surfaced today that Twitter’s head of monetization Adam Bain has been pushing a new in-timeline Promoted Tweets product during this week’s advertiser-heavy Canne Lions awards. To the two of you that this comes to as a shock, one word: Inevitable. Twitter has made no secret of the fact that in-stream Promoted Tweets have been an eventual business model goal since April of 2010. 

You can read more on TechCrunch.


LinkedIn Social Ads

LinkedIn today announced that they plan to roll out changes to the advertising platform across LinkedIn which will surface actions from your network, like recommendations and company follows. The focus is to deliver ads that are more useful and relevant to you. Above are a couple of examples that illustrate these changes well. 


American Express & Foursquare Team Up

Last March, foursquare rolled out a small test with American Express: link your AmEx and foursquare accounts, spend at least $5 at a local merchant in Austin, and get a $5 savings applied directly to your monthly statement. They have now announced that the partnership is going national. Across the whole country, at select merchants, you can now check-in with foursquare, pay with your American Express card, and get big savings on your monthly statement.


Skypes Facebook Integration

With the announcement of Skype 5.5 Beta it has also been confirmed that Skype is continuing to bring people together whenever they are apart by introducing an easier way to connect with family and friends on Facebook. You can now instant message your Facebook friends directly from Skype, helping you stay connected with the people that matter the most to you. Simply use the new Facebook contacts tab within Skype to see when a Facebook friend you want to chat with is online and then start an IM conversation right from within.


Foursquare Reaches 10,000,000

This week foursquare reached its 10,000,000th user. This is a massive achievement for the company that already has over half a million brands and companies, and over 10,000 developers taking advantage of its API. The company is also thought to be planning another round of funding as its value is now believed to have exceeded the $1 billion mark.


Klout Comes to Facebook

Klout have announced that they're partnering with Involver to allow brands to provide customized experiences to their Facebook fans based on Klout Scores. Besides the number of fans, brands know surprisingly little about who those people are, their potential reach, and have little ability to message them individually. Now, with this partnership, brands can choose to give different offers, promotions, or messaging to fans based on their Klout.


Google Photosharing?

Recent reports seem to indicate that Google is aiming to launch a new photo sharing platform called “Photovine”. The reports surfaced from The San Francisco Chronicle that Google secured the trademark “Photovine”. The clever move is predicted to be a small part of a wider strategy to offset the positive growth of the expanding territory belonging to Facebook.



JK Rowling shocked and thrilled her fans in equal measure today, with the revelation that her new venture Pottermore was set to feature a wealth of new and previously unpublished material about the world of Harry Potter. Although the author made clear that she had "no plans to write another novel", the fresh Potter material – to be unveiled later this year - already stretches to 18,000 words about the novels' characters, places and objects, with more to come.

You can read more on the Guardian.


This week it is all about ads and partnerships. Can Twitter or LinkedIn Ads improve on the Facebook model? What would be your ultimate social partnership? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below...


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Friday, 17 June 2011

This Week In Social:

Facebook Secret Project's Unveiled, Google Monitoring, LinkedIn Has Klout, Facebook's Washington Insider, and Tumblr > WordPress


Facebook's Secret Photo Sharing App 

TechCrunch have revealed something massive - documents and images outlining what appears to be a new Facebook iPhone app built around photo sharing. With apps like Instagram and Colour exploding onto the mobile scene, it is clear that Facebook is keen to focus on mobile photos going forward.


Project Spartan

TechCrunch have also unveiled another Facebook secret project codenamed Project Spartan. They believe it is the codename for a new platform Facebook is on the verge of launching. It's entirely HTML5-based and the aim is to reach some 100 million users in a key place: mobile. More specifically, the initial target is mobile Safari.


Me, Myself & I

Google have released a new tool to help make it easier to monitor your identity on the web and to provide easy access to resources describing ways to control what information is on the web. This tool, Me on the Web, appears as a section of the Google Dashboard right beneath the Account details.


Measure Your LinkedIn Klout


Klout have this week launched a scoring system for LinkedIn. Once you add LinkedIn to Klout, you'll notice a LinkedIn logo will appear on your profile and your influence on the network will be added to your score. The system measures in a very similar way to its existing Twitter and Facebook metrics.


Facebook Hire Former Clinton Press Secretary

The Telegraph reports that Joe Lockhart, a former press secretary for President Bill Clinton, is joining Facebook to oversee the company's international and corporate communications efforts. Mr Lockhart is set to join Facebook next month as Vice President of Global Communications, and represents the company's latest move to enlist Washington insiders.


Tumblr > WordPress


According to their respective websites, 4-year-old microblogging platform Tumblr now hosts more blogs than 8-year-old In January, Tumblr had more than 7 million individual blogs. Whilst there's still not much in it, what is clear is that Tumblr is on the up.

You can read more on Mashable.


Lots of exciting developments surrounding Facebook this week. What do you make of their plans? Will you be using Google to monitor your identity? Or are you more interested in your Klout? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below... 


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Friday, 10 June 2011

This Week In Social:

Twitter Link Shortening, Facebook Facial Recognition, Apple and Twitter Partner, AddThis Measures Social Sharing, World's Most Exclusive Website and A Birthday Party Meltdown

Twitter Link Shortening

It has been announced by Twitter that there will now be automatic link shortening on Simply just paste a link of any length into the Tweet box and after you've composed your message hit the "Tweet" button and Twitter will shorten your link so that it only takes up 19 characters.

Twitter has also added content from Amazon, FourSquare, Meetup and more. 

You can read more on the Social Times.


Facebook Facial Recognition

Facebook has been rolling out a facial recognition feature that makes it easier to tag friends in snaps, and it has introduced this feature as a default setting. It basically means that when you try to tag groups of your friends in an album, Facebook will use its facial recognition technology to group similar faces together and automatically suggest the friend you should tag them with.


iOS 5: TweetEverywhere

Twitter and Apple have announced a partnership to make Twitter even easier: Twitter is built right into iOS 5, coming soon to iPhone, iPad and iPod touch devices worldwide. This means you will be able to sign into your Twitter account once and then tweet with a single tap from Twitter-enabled apps, including Apple's apps-Camera, Photos, Safari, Contacts, YouTube, and Maps.


AddThis Launches New Way To Measure Social Sharing

AddThis has launched a new way for publishers to track the sharing that happens in its simplest form -- copying and pasting a URL from the address bar and then sharing it out to a social network, email or IM. For AddThis, which is owned by Clearspring, that could represent a huge new trove of data that the company can provide to web publishers. 

You can read more on Yahoo.


World's Most Exclusive Website

Unless you have a verified Twitter account there's no way for you to get into The World's Most Exclusive Website. Mashable editor Ben Parr managed to access the site as you can see in the slideshow but couldn't make it to the final room which you need 5 million followers to access (someone let Lady Gaga know!). Without a verified account you are re-directed to the Olive Garden, a clever marketing ploy perhaps?


Birthday Party Meltdown

More than 1,500 people turned up for a 16th birthday party after a girl accidentally posted an invite to millions on her Facebook wall. Around 100 police officers, some on horses, were needed to control the crowd and there were 11 arrests – plus two fires breaking out. Some of the revellers even brought birthday presents and homemade cake.

You can read more on the Mirror.


Lots of cool developments for Twitter fans this week. which are you most excited about? Is Facebook facial recognition a blessing or a curse, or does it depend on how your night out went? Do you have any chance of getting in to the World's Most Exclusive Website? (I wonder if we have any secret celebrity readers?). Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below...


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Friday, 3 June 2011

This Week In Social:

Twitter Photo & Video Sharing, Google +1, Twitter Follow and LinkedIn Apply Buttons Unveiled, Amazon Goes Live With Groupon Killer, Shaq Tweets Retirement, Laptop Thief Caught Red Handed and Malaysian Writes Twitter Lines


Twitter Unveils Photo & Video Sharing

Millions of people share photos on Twitter every day. Over the next several weeks, Twitter will be releasing a feature to upload a photo and attach it to your Tweet right from And of course, you'll soon be able to easily do this from all of their official mobile apps.

Twitter also announced that they are starting to roll out a completely new version of Twitter search. Not only will it deliver more relevant Tweets when you search for something or click on a trending topic, but it will also show you related photos and videos, on the results page. 


Get Your Google +1 Buttons

Google have this week announced that it is taking its +1 feature beyond just search results. The +1 feature allows you to recommend content to your friends and contacts directly from Google search results and ads. But from today you will begin seeing the feature appearing not just on search results but also on web pages. 

You can read more on the MCA blog.


Twitter Follow Button

When you follow interesting accounts on Twitter, it’s easy to stay connected with what’s most meaningful to you. Now Twitter have launched the Follow Button, a new way to discover and instantly follow Twitter accounts directly from the websites you visit everyday.


LinkedIn To Launch Job Application Button

LinkedIn is preparing to launch a plug-in for employers’ websites called “Apply With LinkedIn” that will allow job candidates to apply for available positions using their LinkedIn profiles as resumes. The feature indicates LinkedIn’s increasing focus on making money by facilitating employee recruitment and hiring.

You can read more on GigaOm.


Amazon's Secret Groupon Killer is Live

Amazon quietly rolled out a daily deals service in Boise, Idaho called Amazon Local, but thankfully TheNextWeb caught on. At first, it looks like a straight daily deals site by Amazon in the mould of Groupon: the deal today is 50% off ice cream and shakes at a local store. But it's not. The deal actually comes from LivingSocial.

You can read more on the Business Insider.


Shaq Announces Retirement on Twitter

Basketball star Shaquille O’Neal has announced his retirement from the NBA via Twitter and a short video he linked to from the microblogging site on Wednesday. In the video, which was posted to startup Tout, O’Neal says, “I want to thank you very much, that’s why I’m telling you first I’m about to retire.”

You can read more on Mashable.


Laptop Thief Nabbed


Oh, the power of the Internet. Earlier this week Joshua Kaufman put up a Tumblr featuring pictures of the man who stole his laptop taken with security app, Hidden? Well, it seems the cops have now nabbed the thief.


Malaysian to Tweet Apology


A Malaysian social activist will apologise 100 times on Twitter in an unusual settlement with a magazine publisher in a defamation case. The penalty has sparked debate among internet users about the pitfalls of social media in Malaysia, where authorities have warned people to be more cautious about what they write on blogs, Facebook and Twitter.

You can read more on the Guardian.

In a week of buttons, the big question is, would you rather have a Google +1, a Twitter follow, a LinkedIn apply or a chocolate button? Will you be using Twitter's own photo & video sharing service? Could Tweets spell the end for writing lines in school? Let us know your thoughts...


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