Snapchat’s selfie Lenses and Twitter’s Moments were just the beginning of new updates sprinkled on the popular social networks. Let’s discuss the new features and changes making their way to your mobile devices, in brief.
The app that does away with your fleeting snaps has added additional functionality to shooting its equally fading video recordings. After shooting a video, swipe through the handy filters and you’ll notice three new ones. Instead of switching up the physical appearance of the videos, they actually play around with speed. A filter marked with a snail aptly slows down your recording. Another marked by a rabbit speeds it up, and a third one plays your clip in reverse. Snapchat calls these fun new filters Speed Modifiers, and they are baked into the app’s latest update. Also included in the refreshed app is 3D Touch support; so, if you own an iPhone 6s or 6s Plus, you can now force touch the app to pull up quick action shortcuts to chat with friends and add some more.
Twitter, on the other hand, has pushed polls out to everyone. Now you can create your very own poll to receive near-instant feedback from your followers about a topic you’e concerned about. Creating and tweeting out a poll is simple as pie. Update the app and when you go to compose a tweet, you’ll notice a new pie chart icon next to the location and camera icons. Click it to compose a poll, and you’ll have 166 characters to ask a question and 20 characters each for two choices your followers can choose from when responding to the poll.
Elsewhere, and most recently, Twitter is switching up its vernacular when it comes to Favorites. To the point, Favorites are now Likes, and the symbol has been changed from a star to a heart. Many users are confused about the sudden, erm, change of heart, and in a blog post the company does its best to support the facelift:
We are changing our star icon for favorites to a heart and we’ll be calling them likes. We want to make Twitter easier and more rewarding to use, and we know that at times the star could be confusing, especially to newcomers. You might like a lot of things, but not everything can be your favorite.
The heart, in contrast, is a universal symbol that resonates across languages, cultures, and time zones. The heart is more expressive, enabling you to convey a range of emotions and easily connect with people. And in our tests, we found that people loved it.
Love it or hate it, Likes and hearts are the new Favorites and stars and you better get used to it as they’re rolling out Twitter’s mobile apps and desktop web portal today.
Twitter’s added a new section to its mobile and desktop portals called Moments. This particular social network works best when its users spread breaking news in an instant across the world. Twitter’s latest hub, Moments, provides a streamlined way to access such breaking news, whether or not you follow the accounts commenting on world affairs. For example, let’s say it’s awards season and the Oscars are airing live and you’re interested in knowing the night’s winners and the big, ahem, moments from the show. You’re away from a TV and the majority of your friends and other accounts you follows typically don’t post entertainment-related tweets. Moments relives you of this quagmire; simply click the new tab to view an interactive and visually appealing hub home to trending moments happening right now. If the Oscars are on, you’ll see related tweets, GIFs, Vines, and more, regardless of who you follow on the regular. You can even opt to follow a Moment–related tweets from relevant accounts will show up on your timeline. When the Moment ends (when related tweets start to die down), Twitter will automatically unfollow the Moments and you’re timeline will return back to normal.
Visually speaking, Moments is essentially an interactive version of the Trending Topics list that’s hidden inside Search on mobile. In the new hub you can quickly glance at topics people are raving and/or ranting about, with images and video to help contextualize it all. In addition to following Moments, you can also favorite and retweet sub-tweets inside Moments. Categories include Today, News, Sports, Entertainment, and Fun.
Moments are curated by Twitter as well as content partners including Bleacher Report, Buzzfeed, Entertainment Weekly, Fox News, Getty Images, Mashable, MLB, NASA, New York Times, Vogue, and the Washington Post. Even more partners are promised in the future.
iPhone and Android users can explore Moments on their mobile devices today, and desktop users in the US also have access to it as well. If you’re outside the US, the Moments hub is still out of reach (for now), but you can still access them whenever you see a Moment shared in your timeline.
If you’re someone who doesn’t like to follow celebrities or sports figures but still enjoys being “in the know” across interests like entertainment and sports, Moments is the destination to get your fix, right now.
This week, two of the most prolific social networks received some exciting updates. Let’s start with the little blue bird, and then we’ll talk about the playful yellow ghost.
Twitter is updating one feature and tacking on a completely new one. Direct Messages is getting a beefed up with the added ability to host group conversations. Private DMs can now entertain up to 20 people in one threaded conversation. You can start conversations with any of your followers and they don’t all need to follow one another in order to join and participate in the chat. When you’re added to a group chat, you’ll receive a notification about it.
I’ve been waiting for this next new feature for quite some time. Twitter is finally unleashing an official way to post video to its service. The update lets you capture, edit, and share videos that can last up to 30 seconds in length. iPhone users can upload videos from the camera roll as well (coming soon to Android). It’s a simple feature, but it has been desperately missing for ages. Twitter is confident its users will discover unique ways to interact with their followers using video–30 seconds is a helluva lot longer than Vine’s constrained 6. Video, along with group DMs, are rolling out to all users “in the coming weeks.”
Now, jump after the break to learn all about the latest addition to Snapchat’s growing story. (Click here for more…)
As we close out the year, let’s journey back in time and explore the high points and the lows that made up the last 365 days. Google, Twitter, and Facebook gather our searches and publicly shared posts to make it super simple to do just that with dedicated portals, trending lists, and flashy videos. Let’s start with Google, as is tradition.
For 2014, Google is foregoing its “Zeitgeist” terminology for something simpler. The search giant is calling its retrospective portal “A Year in Search.” That’s got a nice ring to it. First, there’s the hopeful and inspirational video embedded above that summarizes the major events and discoveries that unfolded all around the world this year. And then there’s the Top Charts that show what we all searched for most across a myriad of categories including People, Cars, Beer, and Memes. Of course, it’s the top trending Searches of 2014 you’re likely most interested in knowing right off the bat and they are: Robin Williams, World Cup, Ebola, Maylaysia Airlines, Flappy Bird, ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, ISIS, Ferguson, Frozen, and Ukraine.
For Twitter and Facebook’s stamp on history, jump after the break. (Click here for more…)
Twitter is rolling out a new design layout for web profiles. The most prominent visual changes are larger profile photos and customized headers that mimic Facebook’s profile and cover photos. Dig a bit deeper and you’ll see that the update allows users to pin a tweet to the top of their feed; this locked-at-the-top tweet serves as an extension to a user’s bio and provides followers and potential followers alike another window into seeing what you’re all about. You may also notice magnified tweets that appear larger in your feed; these are called your “Best Tweets” and they appear larger because they’ve received the most engagement such as being Favorited or Retweeted a lot. Also, when you check out other people’s profiles you can filter between all Tweets, Tweets with photos/video, or Tweets and replies–a new way to quickly search a person’s feed by content type.
The new profile layout is slowly rolling out to all users “in the coming weeks.” If you’re new to Twitter and sign up today you’ll automatically see it. For everyone else, you can preview the new layout today by flocking over to certain celeb accounts such as @ChanningTatum and @KerryWashington.
Google’s year-end Zeitgeist, or “spirit of the times,” continues to impress with its far-reaching grasp on what we searched for and talked about over the course of the year that was 2013. The search giant calls it their “most global Zeitgeist to date” as it includes over 1,000 top 10 lists spanning 72 countries. Their “Here’s to 2013” retrospective video highlights the people, places, and moments that captured the world’s attention throughout the year. Of all the lists the one you’re most likely to want to see first is the top 10 global searches of 2013. Falling in line with years past, the list includes celebrity/world leader deaths, hot technology, and a viral video to boot.:
- Nelson Mandela
- Paul Walker
- iPhone 5s
- Cory Monteith
- Harlem Shake
- Boston Marathon
- Royal Baby
- Samsung Galaxy s4
- PlayStation 4
- North Korea
Head over to the Zeitgeist homepage to explore the myriad trending lists. There, for the first time, you’ll also find an interactive Trends Globe that allows you to play around with a 3D global map showcasing the top search trends of the year by day in cities around the world. Like I said, impressive stuff here.
Jump after the break to see how Twitter and Facebook are celebrating the big two-oh-one-three. (Click here for more…)
Twitter is expanding its horizons with a new app called #music. It’s a simple service, really, with a snazzy user interface that helps you discover new artists, see what’s popular, and preview and share tunes. The app is organized into five sections: Popular (new music trending on Twitter), Emerging (Hidden talent found in the Tweets), Suggested (Artists you might like), #NowPlaying (Tweeted by people you follow), and Me (a section that lists the artists you follow). Essentially the service scans your Twitter activity (people you follow, specific artists you follow and interact with, etc.) to aid in the discovery of new music you might like. The main portal is the Popular section and the UI displays interactive images of artists that you can tap on. You can preview tracks, share them, and download them via iTunes. Additionally, the artist squares give users quick access to a musician’s Twitter page where you can find out what artists that musician is following. In addition to iTunes for track previewing, #music is tied to Spotify and rdio; if you subscribe to those streaming services, you can link your account to enable the app to play full tracks.
Currently Twitter’s #music app is available in Apple’s App Store free of charge; if you have an Android device you’re out of luck for the time being. However, you can test drive the new service in a desktop browser at music.twitter.com if you live in the US, Canada, the UK, Ireland, Australia or New Zealand; the desktop layout mirrors its mobile counterpart. In time, the service will expand to more devices and countries.
So watcha waiting for? Go get your discovery on. #getlucky
On Thursday, March 21 Twitter reached its seventh year in existence. To celebrate the occasion the company released a short video highlighting some of the most memorable moments shared across the world via the social platform. Did you know that Twitter currently has well over 200 million active users creating over 400 million Tweets each day? And it’s only getting more popular by the second. From company founder Jack Dorsey’s first tweet to the explosion of tweets made by people from all around the planet, Twitter has proven to be a resourceful and entertaining destination for breaking news, laughs, and everything in between.
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…)
At last, Twitter is making it possible to go back in time and explore every single tweet you’ve ever tweeted into the Twitterverse. Starting today, the company is rolling out a new feature that allows you to download an HTML file containing your Twitter archive that contains all your tweets (including retweets) you blasted out since you signed up for the service. The archive loads in your browser and features an interface you are used to by now. A history of your tweets is organized by month, or you can use the search bar to find tweets with certain words, phrases, hashtags, or @usernames.
To access your archive, login to your Twitter account and go to Settings, Account, and scroll to the bottom where you’ll find a new option to “Request your archive.” Click the button and check your email for instructions on how to download and view your archive. According to the company this new feature is rolling out “slowly, starting today with a small percentage of users whose language is set to English.” So if you don’t see it at this very moment, be patient. For everyone else, the ability to download your archive will come “over the coming weeks and months.”
Now go on, memories await.
Twitter is imitating its competition–namely Instagram, duh!–by giving its users the ability to place a variety of filters on top of photos. At launch a total of eight filters, “ranging from black & white to vintage,” are available to play around with. You can see how each filter affects a single image at once, or you can swipe through each one full-size. In addition to filters, the latest update to the app also brings auto-enhance and cropping for photographers looking to tweak their images on the go. Download Twitter in the App Store and Google Play today.
In related news, the character-limiting social networking company is introducing a new way to further personalize your profile page. Since Twitter’s inception users have been able to upload a profile picture and a background image for desktop tweeters to see. Now there’s a third option thrown into the mix: header photos. Now you can choose an image to display on your profile page that exists above your timeline and behind your profile picture. If you choose not to upload one, a static grey rectangle will house your profile picture, name, handle, about info, location, and website. To add a header photo, go to Settings, Profile. Once put in place, like your profile picture it will be viewable on mobile devices as well as the desktop interface. This was initially introduced in September, but as of December 12 it has rolled out to all users. So have at it!
Jump after the break to view two cartoony clips that explore Twitters new announcements.
2011 has been one helluva year. One question that should be lingering on your mind: what did people search for and tweet most about in 2011? Answers come straight from the source. This week Google pushed out their Zeitgeist 2011, an interactive look at the most popular and the fastest rising terms in many categories across many countries around the world. The results are in and the #1 fastest-rising global query in 2011 is… Rebecca Black! That’s right, the YouTube star famous for the annoying but admittedly catchy song “Friday” is at the top of the chart. Rounding out the top five is Google’s very own social network Google+, the late Jackass star Ryan Dunn, defendant Casey Anthony, and the video game Battlefield 3. The second half of the top ten includes three Apple-related items (iPhone 5, Steve Jobs, and iPad 2), singer Adele, and Japan’s Fukushima plant. At the Zeitgeist website you can view top ten lists from a myriad of countries.
Twitter followed suit and released their own Year in Review portal. Things are broken down by the year’s top stories and hot topics. It should come as no surprise that Charlie Sheen was the most talked about actor (the #2 worldwide hashtag was #tigerblood) and four of the ten tech trends are Apple-related. In another section Twitter calculated how many tweets per second occurred during major events over the course of the year. The MTV Video Music Awards saw 8,868 tweets per second; Steve Jobs’ resignation 7,064; and the raid on Osama bin Laden 5,106.
All in all, it can easily be said that 2011 has been a year of change. Google does a good job highlighting our impact on the world on a global scale in the video embedded above.
On Thursday Twitter announced that it’s rolling out another new look for its homepage. This time around, the desktop and mobile experiences are getting simpler and streamlined. (New) New Twitter is organized into four sections: Home, Connect, Discover, and Me. Let’s take a brief tour…
Home is home to your personal collection of tweets. The desktop version is organized into two columns. To the left there’s your personal info including your name, profile picture, your number of tweets, who you’re following, and your followers; there’s also a link to your profile page and a way to quickly compose and send out a tweet. Underneath that you’ll find follower suggestions and the trending topics list. To the right there’s the familiar list of incoming tweets from the people you follow. The new interface allows tweets that are attached with images and videos to expand so you can easily explore embedded media. Replying, retweeting, and favoriting tweets are all just one hover and click away.
Connect acts as a hub very much like the Activity Feed of the old Twitter. It’s the place where you’ll see who has followed or mentioned you, retweeted or favorited one of your tweets. Tweets are organized by Interactions and Mentions. A search bar sits at the top and you can use it to find and discover people by entering their @username or full name.
Discover highlights trending topics and stories that are being talked about on the social network. This section is organized like this: Stories, Activity, Who to follow, Find friends, and Browse categories. Stories that are shown to you are based on recent popularity as well as your connections, location and language. Activity shows everything your connections do related to the accounts that they follow. See who else your connections follow, their lists and what Tweets they favorite, retweet or reply to most. In Discover the search bar at the top allows you to enter a hashtag or keyword to further explore a topic of your choice.
Me servers as your profile page and it can be fully customized from here. A gallery of your recently tweeted photos and videos are stored here, as are your Direct Messages.
The new Twitter design is the network’s most simplistic to date, and best of all it transfers over to the mobile space too. Whether you’re accessing Twitter from a desktop or your cell phone the experience will be nearly identical. How do you enable the new look? Easy! Download and login to the latest versions of Twitter on your iPhone or Android device and then you should be able to access the new desktop version. Twitter says they’re working on rolling it out to all users “over the next few weeks.”
Teenagers are social creatures; it is known. That’s why Microsoft is experimenting with Kinect to bring interactive and socially-inclined advertisements to Xbox 360. Such ads that take advantage of gestures and speech captured by Kinect are being called “natural user interface ads,” or NUads for short. Imagine you spy an ad for Coke that piques your interest. Say aloud “Xbox, tweet” and the console will automagically send out a short message and link to the ad to all your Twitter followers. New scenario: You see a spot for Adidas that’s advertising a promotional event and want to learn more about it. Simply say “Xbox, more” and instantly you’ll receive an email with more information about the sponsored event. Here’s another: You see an ad for NBC’s The Voice and you can’t miss tomorrow night’s new episode. Speak “Xbox, schedule” and the console will send a reminder to your Windows Phone and you’ll be alerted before the episode begins. Watch the video embedded above to see all these voice commands and gestures in action. Others include “Xbox, near me” and voting for your preferences by waving your hand.
Ads suck in general. But new innovation like this might just inject a spark of excitement into the viewing experience. Social interactivity is all the rage these days; add these elements to advertisements and perhaps the act of watching them will be less painful.
Hello Twitterverse! Today I have some exciting news to share with you. Twitter has teamed with Photobucket to introduce an integrated photo-sharing service for all users. The company will be releasing a feature that allows you to easily upload a photo and attach it to your Tweet directly within Twitter.com. Additionally you’ll be able to easily do this from all of the official Twitter mobile apps, too. If you don’t own a smartphone the company’s working with mobile carriers to figure out a way to send photos via text message. And here’s the best part. Twitter is rolling out “a completely new version of Twitter search” the brings tagged photos and videos into the mix. For example, if you upload, attach, and tweet a picture from a shuttle launch and include the hashtag #launch, you will be brought to all of the most buzzed-about tweets, pictures, and videos relevant to that specific hashtag. Relevant and expansive photo and video clouds are just a click away. In addition, the revamped search engine promises to deliver more relevant Tweets when you search for something or click on a trending topic.
So when can you expect to see all these new features hitting the social network? The improved search engine is being rolled out today, the Twitter.com photo upload service will make its way to users over the next several weeks, and the mobile apps will see an upgrade that’ll bring these enhancements “soon.” Jump after the break to see the new search+photo services in action.
This week Microsoft hosted a Windows Phone 7 themed press event at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. There they spent time refreshing people’s minds about what differentiates Windows Phone 7 from the rest of the competition; namely they went over the mobile operating system’s smart design, hubs, and glance-and-go live tiles–all of which you should already know about. A chunk of the event, however, also spent time previewing the future of WP7. Multitasking, Internet Explorer 9, broader Skydrive connectivity, and Twitter integration are all coming to the OS later this year; get all the details presented in easy to swallow bullet-point form below.
- Multitasking: At launch Microsoft decided not to allow multitasking support for third party apps due to battery life concerns. But now that’s changed because the company has figured out a way to make multitasking work without significantly draining the battery. At the event Microsoft demoed switching in and out of a game. Say you’re playing a game and want to make a phone call. To jump out of gameplay and initiate a call, simply tap the Home button, select the appropriate hub and make the call. After the call is complete, tap the Back button and you’ll instantly be returned to your game. You’ll find that the game automatically paused itself, so you can to resume the session without missing any in-game action. Microsoft also figured out an intuitive way to view open apps at once and quickly switch between them. Press and hold the Back button to bring up a new tasking switching view that displays your open apps in a card-like fashion (think WebOS). You can swipe left and right to see your open apps and tap one to instantly return to it right where you left off. Microsoft highlighted multitasking with third party music apps, too. Music can now play in the background (yippe!). Microsoft demoed Slacker; now you can play a radio station inside Slacker, initiate the task switching view, jump into another app like Email, and the music will continue to play in the background. In addition, music apps are tied to WP7 audio controls, meaning that you can control a third party app’s volume and playback options (play/pause/forward/back) using WP7’s built-in audio controls that are accessible on the home screen when you press the hardware volume buttons.
- Internet Explorer 9: The next version of IE is coming to WP7. IE 9 will bring hardware and graphics acceleration to the platform, taking advantage of those speedy mobile processors that are making their way into smartphones. Microsoft pressed the point that the core browsing engine in IE9 that ships on PCs is the same core browsing engine that will ship on phones. This is good for developers because if their site performs well on the PC, they know it will work well on Windows Phone. HTML5 content was distinctly prominent in the demo with no mention of Adobe’s initiative, so don’t expect Flash support to come with this update.
- Skydrive connectivity: Skydrive is to WP7 as iDisk is to iPhone. Get it? Skydrive is essentialy Microsoft’s version of Dropbox which allows users to view, edit, and share documents in the cloud on their devices. Skydrive will live inside the Office hub (so there’s no separate app download required) and it brings support for Office documents in the cloud. If you’re already logged into your Windows Live account, there’s no need to login in to access the cloud drive at any time.
- Twitter integration: Since launch Microsoft has incorporated Facebook status updates and pictures in the People and Pictures hubs, respectively. With the new update they are welcoming another social network into the fray. Twitter integration is coming to the People hub where it will co-exist with Facebook in a similar manner to it; your contact’s tweets will appear alongside their status updates.
That’s the bulk of new WP7 features demoed at the MWC event. However, there are three other points to make. (1) At the event Microsoft briefly previewed a futuristic demo that ties together WP7 with Xbox’s controller-less motion accessory Kinect. The prerecorded demo featured the Kinect game Rally Ball and it showed one person standing up flailing their arms at the oncoming storm of rubber balls and two others using their WP7 devices to wirelessly control the amount and location of the balls on their respective device’s screens. In essence this is a preview of real-time cross-platform gaming between phones and game consoles, and it’s a neat trick to say the least. Look after the break to see it in action. (2) Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer invited Nokia’s Stephen Elop to discuss the newly formed partnership between the two tech companies. Elop pretty much reiterated everything he previously mentioned at his own event, but some choice quotes stuck out here. He said, “Microsoft and Nokia together represent a natural partnership. People are getting it.” The world is shifting from “a battle of devices to a war of ecosystems” and that with Microsoft they can become a competitive force in this transforming environment. Nokia will “accelerate the adoption of the Windows Phone platform” by “bring[ing] iconic hardware [and] incredible industrial design [to] a leading operating system.” (3) Coming in early March is copy-and-paste functionality (along with CDMA radio support (hello Verizon and Sprint devices), and other performance improvements)!
Go on, hop after the break to find videos demonstrating multitasking, IE 9, and the Kinect companionship.
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.
This week Twitter introduced a neat new feature for mobile users: push notifications for @mentions. Whenever you are mentioned in the Twittersphere you can make it so that you receive a text message or push notification from the Twitter app so that you’re instantly notified about it. The push notification part only works with the latest version of Twitter for iPhone, for now. Twitter is also bringing push notifications for Messages to Twitter for iPhone, a feature that Blackberry users have already been privy to. To enable these new notifications, tweak your settings at twitter.com/devices. Twitter says they’re working on bringing these new slate of features to Android and Windows Phone 7 users soon.
Social network explosion! Apple has partnered with Twitter to bring Twitter integration to Ping, the “social network for music” built into iTunes 10. After linking your Twitter account to your Ping account inside iTunes, all of your Ping activity (whenever you Post, Like, Review, or tell your friends why you purchased a song or album) will show up in a tweet be seen by all your followers. And if you opted to preview the new Twitter redesign, Ping’d tweets will come complete with playable song previews and links to purchase and download music from iTunes. If you see a tweet that’s got Ping data in it (either a tweet sent within Ping or a tweet with an iTunes link attached), you can now click a new music button and this will superimpose the tweeted song or album on the right side details pane, allowing you to see album art, preview, and listen to songs. So watcha waiting for? Connect up and let the good times roll.
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.