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Twitter replaces ‘Favorites’ with ‘Likes’

Twitter - Heart Button

Twitter - Heart Button

It was being talked about for quite some time and has now finally happened. #Twitter has officially removed the Favorites button from its web and mobile apps, replacing it with the more universally acclaimed ‘Hearts’ icon. This is something that will be used on #Vine as well, which is a service owned by Twitter.

The change might take some time to reflect all across the board, but for the most part, we can confirm that the heart has officially replaced the favorite button.

The microblogging site has seen a lot of change over the past few years, while retweets and favorites have been integral to Twitter. The platform has seen the addition of content like video and photos over the years and this can be considered a desperate attempt by the makers of Twitter to reconnect with new and young audiences.

What do you make of this new change? Did you prefer favorites over hearts?

Source: Twitter Blog

Via: The Verge

Burning Galaxy S4: What Samsung needs to learn about social media

S4 burned

Samsung has attempted to silence a complaint on YouTube about a Galaxy S4 catching fire while charging. As social media outbursts go, attempting to hide the problem often backfires, with even worse consequences. Was there a better way for Samsung to have handled the issue?

Samsung is the most popular Android smartphone manufacturer, which means a good majority of Android phones out there are made by the South Korean brand. Given this, Samsung needs to protect its image as a reputable device maker. But what’s the best way to handle complaints and warranty claims that spread virally through social media?

YouTube user Ghostlyrich had a bad experience with his Galaxy S4, which caught fire on its charging port while plugged in. Now devices burning up while charging is not exactly unique to this case, as an iPhone user in China actually died of electrocution and burning while trying to use the device whilst charging. However, that particular case involved a third-party charger of questionable quality. Ghostlyrich reportedly used the stock Galaxy S4 charger on a device that’s only a couple months old.

With the device under warranty, Ghostlyrich then tried to get a replacement. After being “jerked around” by Samsung, he posted a video on YouTube to prove his claim. But Samsung, instead of simply replacing the phone, wrote to say a replacement will be given once Ghostlyrich has deleted the video. You can find a copy of the agreement with takedown notice here. It included a clause requiring the device owner to maintain the confidentiality of the settlement and release Samsung of legal liability.

Ghostlyrich has then posted another video discussing the takedown notice, which actually became more viral than the original one (with about four times as many views). Comments on this particular video have been mixed, with some questioning the authenticity of the takedown letter, but with comment posters mostly decrying Samsung’s attempt to hide the issue.

Did Samsung handle the issue correctly?

To my mind, takedown notices like these are likely to be standard issue among customer service departments, especially if the issue were a minor one. Perhaps Samsung is trying to bank on the customer’s need for convenience. If you were in Ghostlyrich’s place, would you have opted to simply get a replacement device sooner, if you would simply have to be quiet about the problem? Samsung likely wanted to protect itself from further concerns and liabilities once it has replaced the defective product.

Perhaps Samsung did not expect the issue to take on a life of its own.

It is, however, bad practice in terms of public relations and social media management. Sweeping the dust under the rug is not exactly going to solve the problem, especially in this day and age when social media users go excited about consumer concerns like these. Social media users love rooting for David (the user) vs. Goliath (the big company). It does not do well for a brand’s goodwill for the public to think they’re more concerned about image than a customer’s happiness.

It would have been better for Samsung to address the issue in a more positive manner, including replacing the device without condition, and promising to study the root cause of the issue — assuming it is proven that the damage is covered by the warranty, of course (i.e., there was no misuse). The brand would have probably been cast in a better light, even. What’s done is done, however. And Samsung might want to be more social media savvy in the future.

Facebook Connect on Zynga is no longer required

Zynga has made signing in with a Facebook account optional in a continuing effort to establish itself as an independent web and mobile gaming platform.

zynga

In the past, it was required for gamers to sign in with a Facebook account to enjoy Zynga’s offerings.

The move follows several other developments, starting from March last year when the company announced the Zynga Platform, which would support third-party games and allow for more social gaming. The beta release of such platform included a host of features, such as Live Chat, Player Profile, Social Stream, zFriends, as well as the ability to find new games.

In September, Zynga began offering third-party games, including Sports Casino by RocketPlay, Fashion Designer by 50 Cubes, Mini Putt Park by Majesco Entertainment, and Rubber Tacos by Sava Transmedia.

By making Facebook Connect optional, Zynga is able to have more control over the gaming experience.

This is in line with the revised agreement between the two social media companies last year, which stipulated that one, Zynga is permitted to not use ad units and credits from Facebook. Furthermore, Zynga’s right to advertise third-party games using information provided by Facebook was also made subject to certain restrictions.

According to TechCrunch, Zynga has gained several insights since launching its new gaming platform.

For one, it discovered that gamers generally like competition from other players, and approve of being challenged. This is encouraged by the social stream that is available on Zynga’s gaming platform.

Through the stream, the platform shows the other players, as well as allows gamers to share and ask for assistance in a game.

Zynga also noted that it is more optimal for monetization to integrate ads beween the data in the social stream instead of placing one below everything.

Beyond creating adjustments in the gamers’ experience, Zynga is also undertaking changes within its own company. The social gaming giant had discontinued several games, including Mafia Wars Shakedown, Montopia, Forestville, Word Scramble Challenge, Petville, Mafia Wars 2, Fishville, Vampire Wars, and Treasure Isle, among others. It has also laid off some employees in a bid to reduce expenditures.

via techcrunch

Digg prepares Google Reader alternative

Google’s announcement to shut down Google Reader on July 1, 2013 sent many loyal fans of the  RSS reader panicking. On the flipside, however, it opened a door of opportunity for other companies to provide replacements for the Google product.

digg

One such company which has announced that it will release a Google Reader alternative is Digg. Digg is more popularly known as a social news website that lets people share web content online as well as vote such content up or down. Google’s announcement, however, prompted the company to break the news about a service that they had been intending to launch sometime around the second half of 2013. Google’s move, shares Digg’s Andrew McLaughlin, convinced them that they should immediately begin their work on the reader.

McLaughlin also revealed that the Digg team had been avid users of Google Reader, but they do recognize the opinion of some people that RSS, in its current form, is possibly outdated.

The reader that Digg is developing will be based on the philosophy that their team had espoused ever since 2010, when they began developing News.me. McLaughlin maintains that since that time, they had been committed to developing products that allow readers to discover interesting web content. The new Digg reader will thus take this philosophy into account, and provide users with some features that are similar to what Google Reader had. However, Digg will take Google’s initiative a step further by incorporating content from social media websites like Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, Reddit, and Hacker News.

To create the Digg reader, the company is presently asking for opinions from those who are interested in the project. These opinions will help identify the needs of the users and guide the creation of one of the successors of Google Reader.

Many of those who posted comments to the article indicated that they want the Digg reader to be simple and clean, much like the Google Reader as it appears today. Some also suggested apps to go with the web version of the Digg reader, as well.

In the statement, McLaughlin also clarified that despite the fact that they are developing a new service, the present Digg will remain.

via digg

White House Opens Pinterest Account, Hosts Holiday Social

The White House is now on Pinterest, adding another social networking website to its growing list. Already, it has an account on Facebook, MySpace, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, Youtube, Vimeo, Flickr, iTunes, Foursquare, Socrata, SlideShare, Storify, Digg, and Github. On Pinterest, the White House has the account name WhiteHouse44.

White House reportedly decided to join Pinterest after the website was recognized as among the most popular social media platforms in the United States this year. The company has experienced a growth of over 1,000% in the US, a 4,225% growth in terms of mobile web users and 1,698%  in terms of mobile app users, as per Nielsen’s Social Media Report for the year.

According to the White House’s official blog, the new Pinterest account will be used to “share pins and boards that range from inspiring images and quotes to infographics that help explain key issues to details about the life inside the White House.”

Furthermore, it is said to be another way to make the White House more accessible to Americans. According to First Lady Michelle Obama, the White House is “the “People’s House…It’s a place that is steeped in history, but it’s also a place where everyone should feel welcome. And that’s why my husband and I have made it our mission to open up the house to as many people as we can.”

To mark the presence of the White House on Pinterest, its followers are invited for a Holiday Social at the White House on December 17th.

The attendees of the event will meet the White House staff that is in charge of decorating the place for the holidays, as well as take part in a craft-making session. They will be encouraged to share what they encounter, including the decorations, and the outcome of the craft project, with other Pinterest users.

via digiphile

Richard Branson Becomes First Influencer to Have 1 Million Followers on LinkedIn

English business magnate and Virgin Group chairman Richard Branson put his name on the social media record book after becoming the “LinkedIn Influencer” to draw more than 1 million followers.

The 62-year-old Branson did not only top the list of the influential persons on LikedIn, but he dominated it by giving as twice as the actual number of followers of his trailer, newly re-elect U.S President Barrack Obama.

“Our data shows that [Branson is] popular with everyone from entrepreneurs to HR workers and in industries ranging from tech to construction,” LinkedIn Executive Editor Daniel Roth said in a blog post Friday. “The only continent where he doesn’t have a single follower is Antarctica.”

LinkedIn introduced the Influencer program last October to give a very select group of people a way to write long-form content on the site and share it with 187 million member of the social networking website devoted for people in professional occupations.

Roth said the program had already recorded 6 million total following relationships and 1,400 article posted within just a six-week span.

In an interview at a Business Inside conference earlier this week, LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner outlined the goal of the company as a venue for publishers and other professionals to further enhance their visibility. Weiner added LinkeIn offers information that can’t be easily found on other sites.

Branson have been posting several articles related to entrepreneurship and keys to enjoying a balanced life since the start of the program. The businessman’s write-ups entitled five tips for starting a successful business have been LinkedIn’s biggest hit, generating 500,000 page views. Meanwhile, his short article entitled ‘Happiness is the best measure of success’ has received 3,500 comments.

“Colleagues should take care of each other, have fun, celebrate success, learn by failure, look for reasons to praise not to criticise, communicate freely, and respect each other,” Branson wrote.

SXSW: Mashable Being Sold For $200 Million To CNN?

Last night’s Mashable party at South By Southwest was as usual, off the chain, libations were flowing, people were dancing it was the place to be seen. We heard that Danny DeVito, Justin Long and Ryan Gosling may or may not have been there. We didn’t see Long nor Gosling and we thought we’d recognize DeVito but Mashable’s SXSW parties are usually high caliber celeb events and last night was no different.

What we didn’t realize as press last night was that we may be celebrating the last of the Mashable throw downs at SXSW. There are hot and heavy rumors that Time Warner via their CNN outlet is in high level talks to purchase Mashable for $200 million dollars.

The deal makes sense at Mashable would provide a nice balance/mix for the newscentric CNN. CNN does have a great presence too in the CNN cafe which hosts parties, rock shows and more throughout the entire SXSW festival. It’s just not as raw as the Mashable parties.

We’ll keep our eyes on this one.

Women Are From Pinterest, Men Are From Google+?

It’s been no secret, and the data supports it, that Pinterest is becoming the social network for women. With all of the craft, cooking, fashion, and make up pins that resonate the new social media platform daily, it’s no wonder that the data confirms this.

With all that in mind, new data has been released today that says Google+ skews male. In fact two thirds (or 75%) of the 90m Google+ members are male. The research, published today by website-monitoring.com suggests why this is the case.

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Is Facebook A Haven For People With Low Self Esteem?

Last year two studies revealed what some researchers are calling Facebook Depression. Unlike other depressions Facebook Depression is on set from people who are already feeling a hint of depression and seeing the happy posts, pics and videos from friends, families and even complete strangers trigger an even darker depression for some users.

A new study called “They Are Happier and Having Better Lives Than I am” has been released by Utah Valley University, of 425 students found that people who use Facebook often tend to have a negative worldview. The study, which controlled race, religious beliefs and gender, found that those who used Facebook more agreed that life was unfair, and others had better lives than they did.

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The Only Way It Could Be Worse Is If They Put The Angry Birds In The Farmville Movie

Alec Sokolow and Joel Cohen, the screenwriters who brought Buzz Light Year, Woody, Jessie, and Mr. Potato Head together in the original Toy Story are contemplating doing something really, um, well, dumb.  Sokolow and Cohen revealed in a recent interview that they are considering putting Zynga’s smash hit social media game, Farmville on the big screen.

Of course we’ve seen the likes of Pokemon, Resident Evil, Tomb Raider, Mortal Kombat, Mario Brothers, Double Dragon and more, come to the big screen, but this is different. I’m not sure that a Sim City movie would have worked and I’m not sure that Farmville would either.

 

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FaceBook Releasing Stand Alone Messenger App

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Facebook announced via their blog page earlier in the day, that they are releasing a stand alone messenger app for Android. 

The new FaceBook Messenger App is supposed to release for Android and iPhone simultaneously.  The app will feature the ability to send and receive all FaceBook  messages. This includes FaceBook email, FaceBook messages (old school) and even FaceBook chat.

The FaceBook Messenger apps uses both notifications and sms so you never miss that important message again. It also keeps track of your message within the app and in your FaceBook account. This way you can keep all of your chats.

Group messaging is also found in the FaceBook Messenger App. The app is now available in the Android Market.

Source & Photo: Androidguys

Shocker: Blackberry Users Have The Most Klout

Klout has just published a blog post about which types of smartphones the people with the most Klout have.  The original blog post pitted Android and iPhone against each other.

Klouts data revealed that smartphone owners as a whole had, on an average, more Klout than average social media users.  However in the original post iPhone beat out Android 42.0-40.6.  After an outcry from Blackberry users Klout refigured the data and found that Blackberry actually beat out both iPhone and Android. Blackberry scored 43.6

source: Klout

Justin Timberlake Plans To Get MySpace NSync

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Although MySpace was beginning their rise to popularity sometime back when boy band NSync was still popular, apparently the band’s front man turned actor Justin Timberlake didn’t get the memo, that in 2011 it just wasn’t that way.

Justin Timberlake, fresh off the heels of playing Napster founder/ Facebook President, Sean Parker in the award winning film The Social Network, is somehow part of the group that purchased MySpace today for $35 Million.

It was announced earlier in the day that a little known advertising firm called Specific Media from Fox. The deal is expected to close today.  Fox purchased MySpace in 2005 for $580 Million Dollars.

Shortly after the sale announcement Timberlake issued a statement that he was now one of the owners and would help spearhead a revamping of MySpace designed to help artists become even more interactive with their fans.

“There’s a need for a place where fans can go to interact with their favorite entertainers, listen to music, watch videos, share and discover cool stuff and just connect. MySpace has the potential to be that place,” Timberlake said in a statement.

None of the things Timberlake described in his statement are truly innovative.  Possibly his star power will breathe new life into the site however most former MySpace users long ago left for greener pastures with Facebook and Twitter

Win MegaMillions Tonight, Buy MySpace Have Money Left Over

Tonight’s Mega Millions drawing is worth $88 million dollars.  It turns out if you were to win the Mega Millions drawing you could buy an entire social network, Myspace and still live comfortably if Myspace continued to lose money after your win.

Allthingsd.com is reporting this morning that two fairly unknown companies have surfaced as possible buyers for Fox’s struggling social network.  The two companies are Specific Media and Golden Gate Capital. Have you ever heard of them? Neither have we and we stay pretty up to date on most things tech.

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