Netflix already does a great job at recommending to its users TV shows, movies, and documentaries based on what you watched in the past and the ratings you give the content you watch. This week the streaming company launched a new way to discover content with a social spin. Subscribers can now link their Facebook account with Netflix to see what their friends are watching. Once the accounts are linked, Netflix users will notice a new “Watched by your friends” row in the streaming site’s main menu as well as a row called “Friends’ Favorites” that features content watched by friends that they have rated with four to five stars. Additionally, friends will be able to see what you watch and rate highly; but if you’ve got a guilty pleasure you don’t want to be shared you can easily click the “Don’t Share This” button in the player. Netflix notes that by default all this social sharing with Facebook friends happens on the Netflix side of things only. If you want your Facebook friends to see what you’re watching on Facebook, you have to dig into Your Account, Social Settings to flip the switch on; there you can also stop sharing altogether if you don’t want to take part in the new social recommendation engine.
Currently the Netflix/Facebook cross-sharing initiative is live in the U.S. Netflix says they will “continue to experiment and improve our social features over the coming months and years.” Click after the break to watch a brief demonstration of this at work across Netflix.com in the browser as well as on the PlayStation 3.
Heads up, Facebookers; there’s a new design update coming to the ubiquitous social networking site. Before it lands in your lap, get a quick overview of what to expect right here, right now.
After overhauling profile pages and search, Facebook’s next task is to revamp the News Feed by reducing clutter and making the site’s main portal even more personal. The site promises “you [will] see all the stories you saw in your News Feed before, but with a fresh new look.” Each story (or post) that your friends share will show up in your News Feed will be highlighted in new ways to make content discovery easier; for example, photos, news articles, maps, and events will appear larger and brighter and more colorful and vibrant. Also new is the addition of several feeds users can choose from. There’s a new drop-down menu in News Feed that allows you to dig deeper into specific content your friends are sharing. For example, the Photos feed filters out everything except for the photos your friends are posting; the Music feed tells you what your friends are listening to and provides you information about the artists you like; and the Following feed will show you the latest news from the Pages you like and the people you follow. Mark Zuckerberg says the enhanced News Feed aims to “give everyone in the world the best personalized newspaper we can.”
The new and improved News Feed is inspired by Facebook’s mobile presence. For example, the left-hand menu that users are used to exposing with a flick from the left-hand side of a tablet or smartphone’s screen will soon be accessible in desktop browsers. Also, users will have the ability to jump right to the top of News Feed whenever new stories trickle in. The main reason for porting over these mobile functions is to unify the overall Facebook experience across all devices. The “same clean look” will soon be present on our phones, tablets, and desktop browsers.
When is “soon” exactly? Facebook isn’t providing a hard date for the switchover, but the new News Feed will slowly roll out over the coming weeks on web and mobile, so says the company. If you’re itching to get your hands on the new design, you can join the feature’s waiting list right here; that site will also give you a visual rundown of it all. Facebook employees discuss the inspiration and vision for the News Feed redesign in a brief video embedded after the break.
On Tuesday Mark Zuckerberg hosted a Facebook event to announce an exciting new feature for his prolific and widespread social network. It’s a new way to search inside Facebook and it’s called Graph Search. Essentially Graph Search gives Facebook users the ability to make specific searches across their network of friends. For example, enter the query ”my friends in New York who like Jay-Z” and a list of your friends with those specific qualifications will be provided to you. Initially Graph Search will focus on four main areas: people, photos, place, and interests. Here are a few more examples of queries you could use: “software engineers who live in San Francisco and like skiing,” “photos of my friends before 1999,” “Indian restaurants liked by my friends from India,” “movies liked by people who like movies I like.” As you can see some of these queries are a mouthful and can be very specific and Facebook is working hard to crunch all the data and develop advanced natural language recognition.
How will the new search be integrated into the site? “Graph Search will appear as a bigger search bar at the top of each page. When you search for something, that search not only determines the set of results you get, but also serves as a title for the page. You can edit the title – and in doing so create your own custom view of the content you and your friends have shared on Facebook.”
According to the social network this new feature is guiding the company back to its roots. “When Facebook first launched, the main way most people used the site was to browse around, learn about people and make new connections. Graph Search takes us back to our roots and allows people to use the graph to make new connections.” How is Graph Search different from a typical web search? Facebook explains: “Web search is designed to take a set of keywords (for example: “hip hop”) and provide the best possible results that match those keywords. With Graph Search you combine phrases (for example: “my friends in New York who like Jay-Z”) to get that set of people, places, photos or other content that’s been shared on Facebook.” Additionally, Graph Search was built “with privacy in mind;” in other words, your privacy choices determine what’s searchable.
Currently Graph Search is in beta and initially it’s rolling out slowly to users who use Facebook in English. If you want to be one of the first to try it out, you can join a wait list. Facebook sees Graph Search as an ongoing project that will continue to develop and grow and get smarter as more people use it and provide feedback. Also rolling out to Facebook users soon is integrated Bing search. For now, check out some screenshots in the gallery below and click to Facebook to watch Zuckerberg and company discuss the bold new initiative.
This new search functionality aims to tap into the goldmine of personal information people share on Facebook and take social discovery to a new level. Visiting friends and family back east and want to plan a movie marathon? With Graph Search you can quickly find out which of your friends live nearby and figure out their movie preferences in one fell swoop. Finally, an intuitive way to take all of your Likes and interests and places and photos and put it to good use.
Google’s annual Zeitgeist takes “an in-depth look at the “spirit of the times” as seen through the billions of searches on Google over the past year.” At least that’s usually the case. This year, Google studied an aggregation of over 1.2 trillion searches that people typed into Google Search. Using sources like Google Trends and internal data tools the company was able compile lists that distinguish the most popular searched terms organized into topics like Images, Athletes, and TV Shows. The top 10 trending Searches worldwide this year were Whitney Houston, Gangnam Style, Hurricane Sandy, iPad 3, Diablo 3, Kate Middleton, Olympics 2012, Amanda Todd, Michael Clarke Duncan, and BBB12. The top 10 trending Events worldwide were Hurricane Sandy, Kate Middleton Pictures Released, Olympics 2012, SOPA Debate, Costa Concordia crash, Presidential Debate, Stratosphere Jump, Penn State Scandal, Trayvon Martin shooting, and Pussy Riots. The top 10 trending Consumer Electronics were iPad 3, Samsung Galaxy S3, iPad Mini, Nexus 7, Galaxy Note 2, Play Station, iPad 4, Microsoft Surface, Kindle Fire, and Nokia Lumia 920. Head over to Google’s Zeitgesit 2012 page to discover and explore trending topics from 55 countries all around the world. In addition to the 838 lists, Google’s created an interactive map that shows where and when some of the most popular terms spiked around the world. Watch Google’s inspirational look back at 2012 in the Zeitgeist video pasted above.
Jump after the break to find out how Twitter and Facebook are celebrating everything that went down in twenty-twelve. (Click here for more…)
Today Mark Zuckerberg announced that there are more than one billion people using Facebook actively each month. In his own words through a short but sweet blog post:
This morning, there are more than one billion people using Facebook actively each month.
If you’re reading this: thank you for giving me and my little team the honor of serving you.
Helping a billion people connect is amazing, humbling and by far the thing I am most proud of in my life.
I am committed to working every day to make Facebook better for you, and hopefully together one day we will be able to connect the rest of the world too.
Whether or not this incredible factoid will help boost the social network’s failing stock, it’s something to really think about. What this means is that one in seven people all around the world log on to Facebook and actively spend time there for at least a month. Zuckerberg tagged his post with a fact sheet that spits out other impressive bits of info like… there have been over 1.13 “likes” since the site’s launch; 219 billion photos uploaded; 17 billion location-tagged posts; 62.6 million songs have been played 22 billion times; Facebook now has 600M mobile users; the median age of the user is about 22 (close your account, mom!); and the list goes on.
To celebrate the milestone, Facebook teamed with ad agency Wieden & Kennedy to produce a minute-and-a-half “brand video” entitled The Things That Connect Us. In an interview with Ad Age, Facebook’s head of consumer marketing Rebecca Van Dyck shared the inspiration behind it. ”What we’re trying to articulate is that we as humans exist to connect, and we at Facebook to facilitate and enable that process. We make the tools and services that allow people to feel human, get together, open up. Even if it’s a small gesture, or a grand notion–we wanted to express that huge range of connectivity and how we interact with each other.”
The ad is embedded after the break. (Click here for more…)
Mark Zuckerberg announced his social network’s redesigned profile page dubbed Timeline back in September at F8, Facebook’s developer conference. Just shy of three months later and Timeline is out of beta and now available worldwide for Facebook users to see and interact with. The new look is fully detailed at this previous post, and there are a few new things you should know about concerning the rollout of Timeline. Facebook is giving users a 7-day review period once Timeline is activated on an account. This means that you’ll have seven days to review everything that appears on your timeline before anyone else can see it. During this time you can feature and hide stories from your past and get your profile page looking just the way you want it before all your friends view it. Once your Timeline is ready, you can terminate the review period and publish your profile page manually; or you can simply let the week pass and it’ll automatically publish. Timeline is currently rolling out to all Facebook users. If you haven’t received the update yet and want it now, head over to Facebook’s “Introducing Timeline” site and click the Get Timeline button. The redesign is also available to view at m.facebook.com and on the Facebook app for Android. There is no ETA for when the update will reach iOS devices.
Update: That was quick. Facebook just rolled out a new version of the Facebook app for iOS devices (v4.1) and it brings the Timeline experience to iPhones and iPod touches. Timeline support for iPads is still listed as “coming soon.” Note that you will only see Timelines on your mobile device(s) if the feature has already been enabled on the desktop browser-based Facebook. The update also brings access to subscribers and subscriptions and performance improvements.
They say good things come to those who wait. After sitting through two iterations of Apple’s tablet, Facebook for iPad has arrived. On Monday Facebook dropped a dedicated app to access to the social network in the App Store. The house that Zuck built is calling it a “hands-on Facebook” that takes advantage of the tablet’s large, hi-res display. Organizing and flipping through photo albums is easier than before, as is chatting, playing games, and navigating around. Facebook also went ahead and updated its iPhone/iPod touch version to make its aesthetic match that of its bigger brother. The iPhone version of the app features the same left-hand navigation pane for a more streamlined experience and search is more comprehensive. Download the new Facebook app for iOS devices today, gratis.
[Via Facebook Blog]
Facebook redesigns profile pages with Timeline, partners with app developers to make things more social
Hot off the heels of updating the News Feed and adding the Ticker, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg announced more changes coming to the social network at today’s F8 developer conference.
Your profile page is about to undergo an extreme makeover. The page is becoming wider to offer up more content at a glance and it will house three distinct sections: Cover, Stories, and Apps. Your Cover is dominated by an enlarged image, something that is separate from your profile picture and better expresses who you are. Your Cover can be personalized at any time and with any image you uploaded to Facebook. This section of the profile also shows off your About info (where you live, where you went to school, your job, your relationship status, etc.) and it also gives your friends a quick glance at your total number of friends, photos, likes, etc. Directly below that section is your Stories; this is an enhanced version of your Wall and it’s defined by an integrated Timeline. The Timeline makes it easier to highlight and go back to older posts. Up until the introduction of this new interface, the only way to see go back and see post from the past is to scroll all the way down to the bottom of your profile page and click “Older posts.” Users are forced to keep clicking that link to dig into the past. With Timeline, the past is easier to rediscover with the ability to highlight past memories that you don’t want people to forget happened so fast. All the content you ever posted on Facebook can be scrubbed through by date (month, year). And the Timeline is totally customizable; you can go back to a particular date and add events and pictures that you might have forgotten to post at the time they occurred. You can mark (or “star”) your favorite stories and these will expand to widescreen so your friends can see them more clearly. You can also remove the stories you want to hide. In addition to your Stories, the Timeline section of your profile page will also highlight apps.
Facebook has offered apps in the past, but never like this. Zuckerberg and company have teamed with more than a handful of third-party developers to make apps more social on Facebook. Here’s an example: You’re an avid user of the new music streaming service Spotify and you’ve connected your Facebook account to your Spotify account. Since you’ve been using Spotify when it launched earlier this summer in the US, you’ve been listening to tunes and sharing what kind of music you listen to with your friends over Facebook. Today Facebook is bringing the listening and sharing experience to a whole new level. When you tell Spotify to share your listening habits to your Facebook friends, not only will they see what you are listening to but they’ll also be able to play the song directly within Facebook (granted your friends also signed up for Spotify). This will make music discovery simpler and definitely more social. And the world of social apps only begins with music. Facebook also partnered with major developers like Netflix, CNN, Kobo, and Foodily to make sharing what movies you’re watching, news and books you’re reading, and recipes you’re cooking a whole lot more engaging. The social apps you use regularly will show up in your friends’ News Feeds and Tickers and of course inside your profile page on your Timeline alongside the rest of your Stories.
In sum, Facebook wants your profile page to evolve into “the story of your life.” It will become the place where you and your friends can see what you’re all about and discover your life accomplishments as they happen. And with social apps, you and your friends will have greater access to sharing and engaging in conversation around similar interests you may never have known existed. Users tend to lambast Facebook for messing around with the interface on a regular basis, but it’s tough (at least for me) to deny the sheer amount of potential social apps have for the future of online interaction and discovery. And with Timeline, you won’t have to worry about your most exciting and interesting posts getting lost in the past. Of course, it’s tough to say how effective all of this is going to be without having played around with it. Facebook says social apps are rolling out today and the new profile design is going out to developers now and will slowly trickle out to all users soon. For now click here to view a sample “New Profile” and start getting used to the future of social networking.
Logged into Facebook recently? What was your reaction to the new look? Are you joining the bandwagon and hating on Zuckerberg and company for changing the ways things operate on the world’s most prolific social network yet again? Or maybe you are taking a liking to the new features just tacked onto the site. Whatever your feeling, it’s time you got used to these transformations in appearance and functionality. It’s not like you’re jumping ship and joining Google+ anytime soon (or are you?). Take my hand and let’s tour all of the “improvements” and additions Facebook integrated into the site almost overnight.
The News Feed is no longer split up into two separate sections. Top Stories and Most Recent are now combined into one flowing, constantly updating list. Here’s how Facebook describes it: “All your news will be in a single stream with the most interesting stories featured at the top. If you haven’t visited Facebook for a while, the first things you’ll see are top photos and statuses posted while you’ve been away. They’re marked with an easy-to-spot blue corner. If you check Facebook more frequently, you’ll see the most recent stories first. Photos will also be bigger and easier to enjoy while you’re scrolling through.” Facebook considers “the most interesting stories” to be the status updates, photos, and links that are commented on most. When you see posts that interest you, there’s now an option to mark it as a “Top Story” and this is done by clicking blue corner. Tap it again and Facebook will say “We’ll try not to put more stories like this at the top of your News Feed.” In other words, you can teach Facebook what stories interest you from which friends and hide the ones that you don’t care to see. In sum, the updated News Feed will provide you with friends’ posts depending upon how frequently you visit the site.
The Subscribe Button
The new Subscribe button allows you to tweak exactly what you see in your News Feed. Facebook says you can use it to: “1. Choose what you see from people in News Feed; 2. Hear from people, even if you’re not friends; and 3. Let people hear from you, even if you’re not friends.” In your News Feed, you already see what your friends are posting; with the Subscribe button you can choose how much you see from them–”all updates,” “most updates,” and “important updates only.” Things can be broken down even further. You can decide what types of updates you see; for example, “you could see just photos from one friend, no stories about games from another, and nothing at all from someone else.” Simply hover your mouse over a story in your News Feed and a transparent arrow appears; click it to enter a drop down menu with Subscription settings. You can also subscribe to people you aren’t friends with, like musicians and political figures. If they have a Subscribe button on their profile page, click it and you will receive their public posts in your News Feed. If you want to add a Subscribe button to your profile and allow anyone to view your public posts, click here to activate it.
Facebook has ripped a page from Google+’s playbook to improve the way users organize their friends. Much like Google+, Facebook has made it easier to add and place friends into specific categories, such as School and Work. “Smart lists” are created by Facebook and automatically group your friends together based on location, school, family, etc. For example, “if you list Boston College as a school you’ve attended and your friends John and Sarah do too, then you would instantly have a smart list called “Boston College” with John and Sarah on it.” Facebook has also created Close friends and Acquaintances lists; you can manage these lists yourself and place the appropriate people in them. The Restricted list is for your parents or bosses, people that you want to hide most of your content from; they will only see your Public posts. In fact, you can create as many lists as you like, edit them, and name them whatever you like. Very reminiscent of Circles, eh? Once a list is created, it will appear on the left-hand side of the webpage. When you click a list, your News Feed will show you top and recent stories only from the people in that list. Also, when you go to share a post you now have the option to share content specifically to one or more lists and only the people in them will see it. Facebook is making it easy to get your lists started. From now on when you go to add a new friend or accept a friend request, you will be prompted to add that person to a list (just like Google+ when it forces you to add a new friend to a Circle).
In the top right corner of the webpage, directly integrated into the sidebar is a new feature called Ticker. In essence, it shows you all of your friends’ Facebook actions in real time. “Now when a friend comments, asks a question or shares something like a check in, you’ll be able to join the conversation right away. Click on anything in ticker to see the full story and chime in – without losing your place.” It’s a miniaturized version of the News Feed, and Facebook thinks it makes it easier and faster to see what your friends are up to and initiate conversations around their posts.
Facebook’s been cooking up a dedicated messaging app and today they’ve released it for iPhone and Android users. It serves as “an extension of Facebook messages” and it aims to “give you a faster way to message friends and small groups.” In a nutshell, it transplants the Messages section of the traditional Facebook app into one of its own so that the user has less jumping around to do when he or she wants to send and read messages. The app culls together your Facebook friends and your cell phone contacts so that they’re available to pluck from without hassle. For example, when you type John Smith his name will come up and you’ll be able to select how you want to reach him. If he’s a close friend and you have his cell phone number saved in your device and you’re friends with him on the social network you can choose which way you want to contact him: Facebook notifications or texts. It’s all done right inside the app and messages are delivered instantly. The app also makes group messaging a snap; simply type two or more names in to To field and your message will be sent to everyone at once. You can attach and share pictures and location data as well. Since the Messenger app is an extension of Facebook messages, all of the conversations you have inside it will transfer instantaneously to the proper Facebook app and web experience.
After playing around with the app, it’s plain to see that Facebook is trying its darnedest to prepare for the impending Messaging War that will be fought between it and Apple (iMessage), Google (Huddle), and BlackBerry (BBM). Download the free Messenger today: iPhone / Android.
Today Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced a new feature for the ubiquitous social network that now reaches 750 million people around the world: video chat. Facebook engineers have been working with popular VoIP client Skype over the last few months to integrate video chat into Facebook’s chat service. Facebook says that the new feature will gradually roll out to everyone in over 70 different languages over the next few weeks. Itching to try it out today? Keep reading.
Setting up and initiating video chat is simple, really. Head over to this Facebook page and click Get Started. You will be prompted to download and install the Facebook Video Chat Plugin. Once that’s complete, you’re all set. There are two ways to initiate a video chat: go to a friend’s profile page and click the Call button (it’s located at the top right in between Message and Poke) or open up a chat window and click the new video camera icon. When you ring a friend they will be alerted to answer or ignore it. If you ring a friend who doesn’t have the plugin installed yet, they will be notified that you’re attempting a video call and will be provided the link to install the plugin. (But remember, in a few weeks time the update will be applied automatically.) The call window, which exists in its own window, shows you a large image of the friend you’re talking to and a tiny window of yourself sits in the top left corner. Since it’s its own window you are free to move it around and resize it, though note that you can only make it larger and enter full-screen mode; attempting to make it smaller is futile. After a playing around with it briefly, I am happy to report that video quality is crisp, bright, and clear, though these factors do depend on your Internet connection. One more thing: when you call a friend and he or she isn’t there to answer (or ignore) it you can leave a video message for them to view later.
Zuckerberg and Skype CEO Tony Bates were also on hand to announce Facebook services getting baked into the Skype desktop client. With Skype version 5.3 (beta for Windows only) you can log into your Facebook account in Skype and view your newsfeed, update your status, and initiate video calls right from within Skype. In so many words, the new collaborative initiative goes both ways. Other updates announced include… Once the video chat plugin is installed you should notice the new chat design in the bottom right hand corner. The sidebar now lists the people you message most, making it “easier to find your friends and start a conversation.” Also, “the sidebar adjusts with the size of your browser window, and it automatically appears when the window is wide enough.” Last is Group Chat. Launching a multi-person chat session is easy; after you begin a conversation with a friend, click the new Add Friends to Chat icon to, um, add more people to the conversation.
For those of you closely following the tech industry, it is interesting to note the sides that are being taken here. Last week Google announced their Facebook rival Google+, a currently invite-only social service that boasts Hangouts–a place where up to ten people can participate in video chat. On the heels of this announcement Zuckerberg came out and announced a partnership with Google rival Microsoft (the creator of search site Bing and recent buyer of Skype) to bring video chat functionality to Facebook. To paint a clearer picture, this is Google versus Facebook and Microsoft. It’s going to be very interesting to watch how all this plays out. But as things stand now, Facebook has the advantage thanks to its absurdly massive user base. Google, your move.
This is totally what we’re all thinking right before we comment on a Facebook post. Right, right?
Facebook gave profile pages a new look, and an employee from the Stinson Design agency quickly figured out how to create the coolest profile, period. I believe it was French artist Alexandre Oudin who figured out how to visually express himself in this manner first, and the Stinson man ramped it up with the embedded YouTube video. Look after the break to see Oudin’s profile page. (Click here for more…)
An intern at Facebook named Paul Butler was interested in what he calls “the locality of friendship”; he wanted a visualization that would show which cities had a lot of friendships between them. He sampled about ten million pairs of friends, combing that data “with each user’s current city and summed the number of friends between each pair of cities. Then [he] merged the data with the longitude and latitude of each city.” The image above is the result, and this was his initial reaction:
The blob had turned into a surprisingly detailed map of the world. Not only were continents visible, certain international borders were apparent as well. What really struck me, though, was knowing that the lines didn’t represent coasts or rivers or political borders, but real human relationships.
Pretty incredible, huh? Just by combining data points between friend connections on Facebook he was able to recreate a unique map of the world (though Russia and China are almost totally absent). The white areas on the “map” represent cities and towns, while the blue streaks highlight the relationships between them. If you’re interested in learning more about how this was constructed, head over to Butler’s blog post; there you’ll also find a super hi-res version of the visualization. FYI, it makes for a visually splendid desktop background.
The man behind the social network has been crowned TIME’s Person of the Year “for connecting more than half a billion people and mapping the social relations among them, for creating a new system of exchanging information and for changing how we live our lives.” Click here to read the 10-page cover article. Zuck beat out the trapped Chilean Miners, Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, Afghanistan’s president Hamid Karzai, and The Tea Party.
The zine also named the top ten albums and songs of the year. Here’s what they had to say about the #1 album, Kanye West’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy: “Kanye West can seem like an attention-hungry young child who constantly tugs on his mother’s pant leg, saying, “Watch this! Watch this!” But once Kanye got our attention, instead of a simple somersault, he delivered the musical equivalent of a one-handed back handspring.” Cee Lo Green’s “F**k You” is Time’s #1 song. Look after the break to see the full listing of TIME’s top ten albums and songs.
Other TIME Top 10 things worth noting: in the Top 10 TV Series category they included Parks and Rec, Party Down, and Boardwalk Empire; in the Top 10 TV episodes they included Community‘s “Modern Warfare”, Lost‘s “The End”, and Fringe‘s “Peter” (!). Really digging the selection here. The Social Network and Toy Story 3 are listed in the Top 10 Movies category, Angry Birds is a top video game, and Merton on Chatroulette, Bed Intruder, and Double Rainbow are favorite viral videos. Again, look after the break to see the full listings from all of these categories to see if your favorites made the cut. Or you can opt to head over to TIME to view many other Top 10 categories ranging from popular toys to scientific discoveries.
Another day, another Facebook revamp–am I right? Though most people love to share their gripes about Facebook’s incessant need to change the way it looks, this particular change to our profile pages is actually (and I can’t believe I’m saying this) a good one. Read on to find out why.
When you receive the profile page update and head over to your page, the first change you’ll notice is up top where your name is located. Tabs are gone (they’ve been moved to the left-side pane, but more on that later) and under your name now you’ll find “a quick summary of who you are”, as Facebook so eloquently describes it. What looks like a jumble of words at first is actually a list of key information pertaining to you. For example, if you provide info. like your relationship status, where you go to school and what you’re studying, where you live, where you’re originally from, where you work, what languages you speak, and your birthday–all of this will be listed under your name and viewable by friends. Directly beneath this “about me” section is a collection of recently tagged photos featuring you. Keep in mind these highlighted photos are static; you cannot change the order of them. All you can do is tap a small “x” to hide a particular recent photo and it will be replace by the next most recent tagged photo. Pretty cool way to “show what you’ve been up to lately”, I guess. (Click here for more…)
Check out these “social network sneakers” designed by Gerry Mckay for Adidas. These are purely conceptual sneaker designs for now. If people start demanding these be produced for consumption, Adidas can give the go ahead to make it happen. Though various blogs are hatin’ on the very idea of a sneaker based on a social networking website, I happen to find the designs extremely attractive.
Mckay’s idea is to merge the classic Adidas Superstar sneaker (which celebrated 35 years in 2006) with Twitter and Facebook branding. The Twitter Superstar features the recognizable light blue color scheme and Twitter ‘bird’ logo as a “visual element.” The Facebook Superstar is inspired by Facebook’s dark blue on white color scheme and it features the Facebook type logo at the heel of the shoe and on the tongue beneath the Adidas logo. On the inside wall of the shoe two Facebook slogans read: Facebook is a social utility that connects you with the people around you” & “Making the world open and connected”.
Take a closer look at the Superstar sneaker designs in the gallery below. Sure, socially-inclined sneakers sound lame but these designs are simple, smart, and definitely appealing.
You’ve certainly used the direct messaging service from Facebook before, and coming soon is a relaunch that will make it smarter and more intuitive. Get ready to experience “the next generation of Messages.”
When it releases, the new version version of Messages will bring together Messages, Facebook Chat, IM clients, SMS, and email. You will be able to send and receive messages over the computer or a mobile phone. A conversation thread within Messages can be carried on in real time across these various devices and chat services. It’s as easy as selecting a friend’s name, typing a message, and hitting (or tapping) enter to send. Speaking of email, Facebook is giving every user the option to create an unique @facebook.com email address. Boom; your FB friends collection just became your new address book. ”To be clear, Messages is not email,” states Facebook. In fact, the many staples of email (such as subject lines, cc, bcc) will not be present. The developer team “modeled [the new Messages] more closely to chat and reduced the number of things you need to do to send a message.” Note that creating an @facebook.com email address is not required to use the new Messages portal; it is there as an alternative option to send and receive messages (it adds to Chat, IM, and SMS service support). Next up is the Social Inbox. Facebook says, “It seems wrong that an email message from your best friend gets sandwiched between a bill and a bank statement.” True, I guess. Think of Social Inbox as a beefier, smarter version of Gmail’s Priority Inbox. Your Messages inbox will scan your friends list and prioritize your messages based on that information. Messages from friends and their friends will show up front and center, while all other messages (such as those from strangers or junk mail) will end up in folder labeled Other. And conversations can be easily moved from Other to Inbox (if, for example, a stranger turns out to be a friend or relative you hadn’t friended yet). Facebook promises you’ll have much control over who can and cannot send you messages via email in account settings.
Here’s an interesting look at the future from Facebook’s perspective: “Relatively soon, we’ll probably all stop using arbitrary ten digit numbers and bizarre sequences of characters to contact each other. We will just select friends by name and be able to share with them instantly. We aren’t there yet, but the changes today are a small first step.”
And that’s about it. The new Messages and email address offers will begin to roll out to users “over the next few months”, so hang tight!
Sick and tired of the same old desktop browsing experience? Are you constantly logging into your Facebook and Twitter accounts and checking up on your latest RSS feeds? If you answered “yes” to one or both of these questions you might want to give RockMelt a spin. RockMelt, backed up Netscape founder Marc Andreeseen, is a modern browser with a social twist. First off, it’s fast. It’s built on Chromium, the open source project behind Google’s Chrome browser; so if you’re used to Chrome browsing speeds, you know what to expect. Here’s the social aspect. To use RockMelt you must sign into it with your Facebook account; that’s right–it’s the very first web browser you sign into. But there’s an upswing to this; you can access your browser information, including social integration, RSS feeds, and more, on any computer that has RockMelt installed. Social integration, right. So you log into the browser using your Facebook account. The left side of the browser populates a list of your Facebook friends and you can chat with them, send and receive messages, and view status updates. The right side of the browser stores your Twitter followers and their updated tweets, along with a running list of website icons representing individual RSS feeds so you can keep tabs on your most frequently visited sites. RockMelt boasts “push notifications” meaning that it will keep track of and alert you to updates from Facebook, Twitter, and RSS feeds. The browser also promotes URL sharing among your connected social networks; there’s a built-in URL shortener that’ll push your favorite sites and posts to friends. Search is faster, too. Worried about privacy? Don’t be. RockMelt developers promise that login information and settings are encrypted before they are sent over to RockMelt servers for cloud storage.
Want to get in on the RockMelt craze? The browser is currently in beta (so expect numerous bugs pop up) and the developers are enabling the Internet at large to participate in an early access hands on with it, so along as you’re willing to fork over your Facebook username and password (remember, that’s required to use the browser). Hop over to the RockMelt homepage to “connect for an invitation.” It runs on Windows and Mac. Look after the break for a video demonstration to learn more about RockMelt. For beta software it runs pretty well, and if you’re a heavy Facebook/Twitter user you’ll surely appreciate the social integration aspect.