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social networking

Facebook could be readying the launch of a Snapchat competitor

Facebook - Snapchat

Facebook has been trying to acquire photo and video sharing app Snapchat for quite some time now. But since talks broke down for the possible purchase, reports are suggesting that Facebook could be looking to launch its own Snapchat competitor in the coming days. It is being said that this new app is codenamed ‘Slingshot‘ internally.

Slingshot will reportedly mirror Snapchat in terms of functionality and will be an independent app like Messenger rather than a feature built into Facebook. It is believed that CEO Mark Zuckerberg is directly overseeing this project and there’s every possibility that the project might be ditched if it doesn’t live up to the expectations. But if everything goes according to plan, the app could be launched as early as this month, according to the Financial Times.

We’re still waiting for further information on this app, so we’ll reserve judgment until there’s more to go with. But it seems very likely that Facebook would pull off such a move given its inability to close the proposed $3 billion deal with the makers of Snapchat.

Source: Financial Times

Via: Droid-Life

Social integration: Google’s challenge for 2014


Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt admits the need for better efforts in social networking, and says Google will not make the mistake of missing out again. Will we see better Google+ integration in Google products this year?

Human beings are such social animals. Case in point: social networks are counted as among today’s most popular online destinations, both on desktop and mobile platforms. Take for instance the rise of Facebook not only as a social networking website, but also a platform for sharing content, as well as instant messaging.

Research by PEW Internet has determined that 73 percent of online adults in the US access social networking services on both desktop and mobile devices. Facebook dominates this set, with about 71 percent usage. In terms of numbers, Facebook has at least 1 billion active users. Google+ has about 300 million, while Twitter has at least 200 million.

In a recent year-end statement, Google’s executive chairman Eric Schmidt says mobile is a clear winner for 2014, but he admits Google still has a long way to go in the social networking realm. “The biggest mistake that I made was not anticipating the rise of the social networking phenomenon,” he said, adding that it was not a mistake Google was going to commit again.

Mobile and social: a good mix

Schmidt’s opinion on social media does make sense. Google+ is not exactly a popular social network among the masses. Its usage figure is perhaps propped up by the fact that signing up for Google services would also activate Google+. In fact, YouTube users are required to sign in to Google+ in order to participate in the comment threads (something met with criticism, especially for users who want to remain anonymous).

However, Google+ is lauded for the quality of its content and participants. A study this December determined that IT managers and decision makers are most active on Google+. Additionally, Google+ has been lauded for its rich capabilities, not only as a social network, but as a platform for communications and sharing that enjoys deep integration into the various Google services.

Facebook has actually attempted to improve its capabilities as an integrated part of the mobile experience. In early 2013, it launched Facebook Home, a replacement for the Android Home Screen. While the effort was welcomed with optimism, it did not take on as well as expected. Facebook was able to redeem itself, however, when it refined its standalone Messenger application with a better interface and easier contact discovery through the phone book.

Google does have better potential in reaching a bigger mobile audience, especially with the prevalence of Android as a mobile platform. What’s left for Google to do is improve on integrating the social experience with more aspects of Android, and this goes beyond smartphones and tablets. How about wearable devices, like smart watches and connected glasses? Social networking on desktop computers can only go so far. But if a person can interface augmented reality glasses (like Google Glass) or connected smart watches (like Samsung Galaxy Gear) with one’s social network, then it could make social networking all the more seamless. The Galaxy Gear already integrates Twitter, Facebook and Gmail, for example.

It does not necessarily have to be social networking in the sense that users need to share photos, links and updates. Google already runs Google+ as an integrated part of its services (like app recommendations and authorship on Google Search), and the social network can exist on a different level. Google+ can be a service that a user won’t have to interact with actively in order to work. It can be a social network that you wear on your watch or that can feed you information in augmented reality through glasses. We can become better connected without necessarily having to spend half our day watching our Facebook News Feeds.

So if social networking is one of Google’s challenges for 2014, then it may already have won half the battle, by owning the platform that runs 80 percent of the smartphones out there and potentially a big chunk of wearable tech and household tech, too. Personally, I’m still an avid fan of Facebook, but I believe Google can pull off a social networking coup with Google+ yet.

Free Facebook: A smart way for carriers to promote data usage

Facebook logo

A big chunk of mobile usage today involves instant messaging or chat, as well as social networking. On average, users spend 65 percent of their social networking on mobile devices, according to ComScore. Facebook itself says that 78 percent of its users access the social network on mobile devices.

This makes sense. After all, social networking inherently involves sharing personal updates and checking on feeds at one’s convenience. You don’t carry around a laptop everywhere you go, do you? Even tablets are not as portable as smartphones. This is one reason why Facebook is working with carriers around the world to provide cheap, if not free, access to the social network. This started with emerging markets, as part of Facebook’s initiative. For instance, in certain countries in Asia and Africa, carriers are offering zero-rate access to Facebook services from both smartphones and data-enabled feature phones.

In the US, this seems to be the trend also. Take for instance T-Mobile’s MVNO (mobile virtual network operator) GoSmart, which will offer free access to Facebook from the Facebook app, Facebook Messenger and Facebook mobile site. “Facebook is the most important online communication tool we’ve seen come around,” said Gavin Dillon, T-Mobile’s vice president of partner brands.

Facebook itself is constantly optimizing its app for mobile usage and has implemented code that enables the free access when a user is on these networks (another example is Globe Telecom in the Philippines). With free access, users can actually chat using Facebook Messenger without spending a dime on data charges. Prepaid users can even access Facebook without mobile credits.

It’s free, but is there a catch?

The catch here, of course, is that the free data applies only from within Facebook, which includes content and other elements like photos and videos. Step out of Facebook’s bounds, and you will need to consume data from your regular allocation. Here is where mobile providers can expect to attract users in using more data. Of course, depending on market, smartphone users are likely to be subscribed to a data plan anyway, but this does not apply to everyone.

On GoSmart, plans start at $25 monthly for unlimited talk, plus $5 for unlimited texting, and then another $35 monthly for low-speed data access (3G requires an additional $10 on top of the data plan). This is reasonable enough for light usage, especially considering the no-contract requirement. GoSmart is not alone in offering no-contract prepaid plans for smartphones, however. You can take your pick from other prepaid providers, although the free Facebook offer is currently available on GoSmart.

The Facebook app will actually warn users if clicking links will require data access outside of Facebook, as this will incur charges outside of the free zone. Here’s where mobile carriers can potentially encourage users to access more content from their smartphones, tablets and mobile devices. Go outside of Facebook’s walled garden, and you will need to be subscribed to a data plan. And here’s the rub: most smartphones will consume data in the background anyway, for both push notifications and pull-based updates.

Watch out for data leakage

Here’s where Android has an advantage over iOS, actually. Android users have better, more granular, control over data access than iOS, which means that there is less data leakage, translating to lower costs outside of the free Facebook usage (unless Apple has finally found a way to plug data leakage issues in iCloud, push notification services and other possible sources). Either way, it’s a win-win situation for the user, carrier and Facebook. Users get to enjoy free access to the social network, including even free instant messaging. Networks get to encourage data usage (even if this might eat into SMS revenues because of the free Facebook messaging). Facebook gets to encourage users to use the mobile apps more actively.

This seems to be the trend nowadays: free stuff can encourage bigger consumption or usage, which can then encourage the purchase of premium items or services. It looks like Facebook has found a good strategy for mobile.

Will Twitter be the next big thing in mobile chat?

twitter logo chat

Instant messaging seems to be the killer app for smartphone developers these days. With hundreds of millions of users, apps like LINE, WhatsApp, WeChat and Viber and the like are making a killing. These have actually gone beyond simple instant messaging. Rather, these companies have built whole content ecosystems around their chat apps: gaming, stickers, social networking, photo sharing, filters. Name it, they probably have it.

Chat apps have great potential

It therefore comes as no surprise how apps like LINE are earning tens of millions of dollars monthly from premium sticker sales alone. It helps that its main target audience — Asia Pacific countries — is quite gaga for stickers, those cartoon packs you can use to send cute or interesting images to friends. But extend this to other potential sources of revenue, and you can easily monetize a big network.

Even Facebook has recognized the potential of an IM network. Its earlier launch of Messenger did not do so well to capitalize on being a standalone messaging app. But the latest release of Messenger for iOS and Android brings the app to a whole new level of usability, with mobile number syncing and the ability to reach other Messenger users through mobile number lookup. Facebook has also partnered with certain carriers around the world to offer cheap or free Messenger access, especially in emerging markets.

Twitter, in its latest release for iOS and Android has made a big change with respect to how it presents direct messaging. Instead of the DM button being buried deep under the “Me” tab, it now has its dedicated tab  on both Android and iOS apps. No more digging deep when sending private messages.

It’s a step in the right direction. Post IPO, Twitter is certainly trying to attract more regular users, but the challenge is in keeping users active. Microblogging is certainly a great way to keep track of trending news and to share the occasional update. But a private chat service is stickier, in my opinion. Once you have a network of friends already chatting on a platform, they are likely to use your app several times every single day.

Twitter is not alone in mixing microblogging updates with chat. Imo, which is a cross-platform and cross-device chat app (meaning it works across different protocols like Google Talk, Facebook chat and Yahoo Messenger), also offers a “Broadcast” feature. Both LINE and WeChat offer timelines and home pages for both users and chat groups. The big difference, of course, is that these are primarily chat apps, with the social aspect coming as secondary features.

A standalone messenger app could add value

Perhaps Twitter should go beyond simply highlighting its DM service through the new “Messages” tab. It could launch a standalone messaging app that focuses sole on the DM functionality of Twitter — something like Facebook has done with Messenger. And like Facebook, Twitter would be launching with an advantage here. It already has at least 230 million active users.

As it stands, Twitter cannot afford to sit on its laurels. A growth slowdown could be problematic for its value, especially now that it’s a publicly-traded company. Meanwhile, launching a standalone chat app — or perhaps even acquiring an existing one, as Twitter was once rumored to have plans for MessageMe — might be the best way to jumpstart user count and engagement once more.

Have you updated Twitter yet? Check out Twitter on Google Play.

BBM launches social integration, but are you chatting with anyone yet?


BlackBerry has launched an update to its BlackBerry Messenger for Android and iOS. The latest update includes support for the iPad and iPod Touch, plus additional features for both platforms. Perhaps the biggest update to this release would be social integration — BBM now lets users share their PINs on their social media accounts straight from within BBM. Previously, users would have to manually share these as screengrabs. BBM even launched this initiative along with its #BBMme hashtag, making it easier to discover other BBM users on social media.

Beyond simple social sharing, integration into social networks also means easier discovery for BBM users. When you share your PIN on Facebook, for instance, you can easily see who among your friends are also sharing their PINs, and you can  invite them from within BBM’s Facebook application.

A few weeks after launch, BlackBerry claims that BBM already has an install base of more than 20 million across iOS and Android platforms. This brings the total user base to about 80 million, including the 60 million or so BlackBerry users who are already chatting on BBM. While there had been an initial hype over the cross-platform launch of the chat client, the bigger hurdle now is how to grow the network beyond its existing fan base of loyal BlackBerry users and curious iPhone or Android smartphone users.

Here is where BBM is both at an advantage and disadvantage. BBM has been lauded for its security and privacy features, having originated as an enterprise application. Unlike other chat platforms that espouse openness and accessibility, it is not as easy to add a friend on BBM as it is on, say, WhatsApp, Viber or LINE. While most popular messaging apps would automatically add friends based on their mobile numbers, BBM would require you to share your PIN. And whenever you invite someone as a friend, that person would have to manually approve your request before you can start direct messaging on the platform. The same goes with group chatting.

You even have the option of quietly ignoring a request or politely declining with a response saying so. This underscores how much the platform values privacy. However, it does not bode well for growth. Automatically adding friends based on their phone numbers is a good way to jumpstart growth and to initiate engagement among users. Viber, for one, would automatically notify you once someone from your phonebook installs the app and gets into the network. But on BBM, this is not the case.

Are you on BBM with your friends yet?

Again, here lies the importance of social integration. Because users are already starting to share their PINs on BBM, and because the Facebook app itself would give recommendations of friends already on the network, it’s now easier to find friends already on the chat network.

But this begs the question: even if it’s now easier to invite someone into BBM, aren’t you already chatting with that friend on another cross-platform app? How about Facebook Messenger itself? Or perhaps another chat app? What would encourage you to move over your existing conversations to a platform that’s not as active as the others?

Then there’s also another big limiting factor: a BBM account only works on one particular device. This means you cannot easily jump from your smartphone to your web browser, to your tablet, and then another smartphone, unlike with Facebook Messenger or Google Hangouts. Sure, you can move your BlackBerry account to another device — along with your PIN, in the case of iOS and Android — but it is not without some friction.

I, for one, am one of the millions of curious users who have jumped on the BBM bandwagon even ahead of its official launch  on Android and iOS. I used to be a BlackBerry user, and BBM was one of the things I missed, apart from the physical keyboard. When BBM officially launched across platforms, I tried setting up BBM groups in place of existing ones that I have with both family, friends and colleagues. In my experience, however, user uptake is not as good. Sure, I had friends. Yes, we established groups. But we ended up gravitating toward other messaging platforms. Again, there is friction.

Still, there is promise in BBM. Once BlackBerry launches its Channels, voice and video, and other features previously exclusive to BlackBerry devices, then perhaps users will become better engaged. For now, sure it’s easier to find friends on BBM. But the question is whether there is an incentive to actually use the platform for chatting when most of your friends are talking elsewhere.

BBM is a free download on Google Play. BBM this writer at 7BCF9AD0.

Google Buzz to finally close down on July 17

Google is officially closing down Buzz on July 17th, a considerable amount of time after it announced its future shutdown back in October 2011.


Users of the social network, however, will still be able to read what they posted in the past, thanks to Google’s decision to move the data generated on Buzz to Google Drive.

Google explains that the data will exist as private and public types of files. The private type collects all the posts made by the user, whether public or private, and will be available solely to that user. The public type, on the other hand, groups the posts that the user shared with the public. Being public, it will be searchable from Google’s search engine, available to people who have a direct link to the posts, and may be linked to one’s Google Profile. These, however, are only the default settings, and may be changed by users after Google finishes transferring the data from Buzz to Drive. Users are also given the choice to do as they please with the data once they have been moved to Drive. Like other files on Drive, such data may be downloaded or removed.

Google advises those who would want to keep their past comments from being made public by their contacts on Buzz to remove such content. Meanwhile, those who do not want the Buzz data to be transferred to Drive may simply delete their Google Buzz account. Saving the data to Drive, however, will not lessen the amount of Google’s allotted space for a particular user.

The shutdown of Google Buzz is just one of the Mountain View company’s efforts to unite its social networking services under Google+. Already, the company had closed down other services such as iGoogle so that it can focus its efforts on Google+.

Apart from this, it is worth noting that Buzz was not a popular Google service, especially when it became involved in lawsuits regarding what were perceived to be violations in privacy back in 2010. Buzz was unsuccessful, as well, in competing against the social networking giants Twitter and Facebook.

via techradar

Twitter Co-Founder Shares His Inspiration In Creating The Massive Social Networking Site

The founder of Twitter reveals his inspiration in 60 Minutes. [Photo Source: CNET]
Twitter users should thank its co-founder Jack Dorsey’s speech impediment since it somehow led him to the creation of the microblogging social networking site. This was revealed through an interview with Dorsey on CBS TV’s “60 Minutes”.

Dorsey, who grew up in St. Louis, listened to the police scanner a lot. He was very curious about the short bursts of communication used by law enforcement and emergency workers for dispatches. He said that he remembered how law enforcers shared what they were doing, where they were and even what they needed. This, he said, has later paved the way for the establishment of the social networking site.

His speech impediment has left him unable to communicate well with others. His being a computer programmer (or a nerd, some would say) even pushed him farther away from children who love to play outside. He spent his time in front of his computer and the police scanner that even before he was a teenager, Dorsey can already create programs and can hack into websites.

In fact, his job in a dispatch company in New York was largely influenced by his ability to hack into the security hole of the company’s website. A week after sending an email to improve the security walls of the website, the company hired him. It was a dream come true for Dorsey.

Later, he co-founded Twitter and watched it become the massive microblogging site that it is now. In the interview, Dorsey said that he never imagined that the site will be used by millions of people who will send about one billion tweets every three days. Today, the site is being used by big companies, celebrities, marketers and many others to promote movies, products and services.

Tweets were used to revolutionize the Arab region during the series of events known as the Arab Spring. It was also used by politicians for their campaigns and even Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI utilized it to bid farewell to the 1.2 billion Catholics all over the world.

And although Dorsey was shortly kicked out of the company he helped established, a change in management paved the way for him to be back with Twitter. Today, Dorsey is also in the midst of a start-up company called Square, which will enable individuals/merchants to accept credit card payments even without a transaction device.

For example, Square can detect users if they are already in a mall or coffee shop, so that the customer won’t have to take out his/her credit card to make the payment. His details will be saved in the application, and the cashier can bill him/her directly. A transaction slip will be emailed to the buyer as a confirmation of payment. Dorsey hopes to bring Square to Europe and Asia in the next months based on the report.

Dorsey’s dream, however, goes beyond developing technologies. Even after the success of Twitter and Square, he said that his dream is to be the mayor of New York City. But being a politician requires from a person the ability to interact well with his constituents—a trait, Dorsey said, that he would be more comfortable doing on the social networking site.

Source: CNET

Facebook building a cold storage for forgotten material


If rumors are true, which almost always is the case, Facebook is building a 16,000 square foot data center in Prineville, Oregon to provide storage for older, less looked at Facebook content. The company is looking at reducing energy costs by separating popular views from the less viewed material. Popular text that includes statuses, wall content, messages, chats and photographs and videos will be stored in a fast running facility while the remaining content that is hardly viewed by users will be stored in a slow data center in the new storage center in Oregon.

This facility like the others in Prineville is capable of storing Exabyte of data, equivalent of 250 DVDs of storage. In a bid to do its bit for the environment, storage centers that are less frequently accessed will go to sleep mode when no requests come their way and popular content is stored on servers that are always up and running. The energy savings come with not having to cool down these servers. With machines on all day, they heat up required to be cooled to keep them running smoothly. With cold storage, these servers that are rarely accessed will not heat up and energy is saved by avoiding cooling. Only the active servers will require to be cooled.

Facebook is also considering constructing a new center near Sweden, south of the Arctic Circle to save energy and equipment required for cooling that is naturally available with freezing temperatures of the Swedish land.

The company is looking to expand its infrastructure for both cost savings and energy efficiency.


Twitter has shortened tweet character count by 2


In a move that has annoyed most tweeters, Twitter has reduced the number of characters that a user can tweet as commentary about a posted link by 2. Tweeters are allowed a maximum commentary of 140 words. Previously when they shared a link, the number of characters remaining was 120 which are now reduced to 118. If a secure https link is shared, the character count goes down to 117 from the previous 119.

Twitter claims that this is part of a strategy to protect the service from malware attack from suspicious websites that will aim to bring the service down with viruses and track links being shared. To enforce security, twitter wraps the posted URL in a link. This happens automatically, even when members use URL shortening services like This new policy by Twitter has also resulted in restricting third party applications to prevent competition to tweedcheck to create its own image filters and prevent other social networks from using twitter links to make new contacts.

In what is viewed as a threat to freedom of speech and expression, Twitter is trying to gain more control over its members by monitoring content posted by its members to boost its business. Many developers feel that character count reduction is unnecessary and redundant in the view of many users using URL shorteners and other wrapping services to safeguard their content. Also cutting down the number of external applications has left many members discontent.

The social network seems to be getting rough as it pursues profits and business.


Facebook Trying Out “Extreme” Price Points for the Proposed Pay-To-Message Feature


Facebook which started off a social network to keep in touch with your buddies, has transformed into a billion dollar industry. The company seems so hell bent on making money, that it recently proposed the introduction of video ads on the site, starting from 2013. And today, we’ve stumbled across another new money making venture which might not be as successful as the folks at Facebook think. Well, we all know the founder of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg and also a lot about his popularity on the social network. He has over 16 million followers on his Facebook page, which means there is obviously going to be a lot of fan mail, suggestions etc. But according to Mashable, Facebook could be looking to monetize this too, as the social network apparently is thinking of giving users an option to pay $100 so that their messages don’t end up in the spam folder (known as the “other” folder) but instead grab Mark’s attention.

Don’t be surprised if you don’t find this feature on your Facebook account as it is believed that the feature is only being tested out. This means that while it might appear to one of your friends, it wouldn’t necessarily appear to you. But it’s no secret now that the plan is real and that Facebook actually wants to bring this feature if positive results are reported. We really don’t see people taking a liking to this new feature, but even if they don’t there’s really not much of a choice. Everybody knows that Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t personally read all the messages sent by fans and users as it is humanly impossible to do that. So maybe Facebook wants to prioritize and filter important mails from, well, the barrage of spam messages. It must be noted that Facebook wants this feature to be implemented to all and not just Mark Zuckerberg. The company said – “We are testing some extreme price points to see what works to filter spam“. Perhaps $100 is a little too extreme, and something like a $10 or $20 would have sufficed.

If the idea is to reduce spam, well then Facebook can be assured there will be none of that with this “extreme” price point. Facebook was believed to be experimenting with something known as the pay to message plan which would require users to pay a one-time fee of $1 to send messages to certain people, so this is a clear evolution of that idea. This is still far from being officially implemented, so we have to treat this as a test project for now. Regardless, it seems a little too extreme (pun intended) to be charging people to send messages. Even if it’s a celebrity, I guess this beats the whole purpose of celebrities being connected and in touch with their fans. But from one angle we have to wonder whether pay-to-message does hold weight especially for popular Facebook pages like the one mentioned in this article. Let’s see how things progress in the days ahead.

Via: Mashable

Facebook Will Introduce Auto-Play Video Ads in 2013


We all love using Facebook, well most of us do anyways. And since there are almost a billion people using the social networking service today, Facebook is a pretty rich company. And that’s because of ads. Ad revenue makes up for a huge chunk of Facebook’s income and the company has been known to be tinkering with ads in many ways to increase visibility/reach. But now, the company is believed to be all set to introduce a new form of advertisement on the portal with video ads. Having limited to just banners, Facebook ads weren’t that much of an annoyance to the users as people quickly got used to it. But full motion video ads could see a lot of critics right from day one. The company has decided to introduce this new add-on from 2013. Undoubtedly, the folks at Facebook Inc seem to have been pretty pumped about this new form of ad revenue and were believed to be pretty convincing with their bids to potential advertisers.

The annoying part however is that these videos will apparently start playing automatically with audio of course, so it’s kind of like those annoying YouTube video ads right before the video starts playing. It is being said that Facebook will want to enable this on both web and mobile versions of Facebook (including apps, yes) so there’s no way to avoid this, apparently. Facebook however has also kept some things in mind so as to not make it all that bad for the users. The advertisers apparently will only be allowed to show the same video ad to the user three times a day. That could be a cap on a single advertiser and since there are going to be plenty of them we can’t help but wonder if this new annoyance will make people use Facebook less (hypothetically speaking). It is also unclear as to what kind of audiences the advertisers will target or if it will be location based. Since Facebook has a large number of users all over the globe, we’re guessing video ads will be country specific. Either ways, it seems unavoidable if implemented and it’s only up to Facebook now to not make this a hindrance on its loyal users.

As for the advertisers’, there’s no word on how much Facebook will charge per video ad. And these ads apparently will only be 15 seconds in length compared to the standard 30 second commercials. Obviously this will not be cheap for the advertisers, but considering the kind of impact video ads have on its audiences, the advertisers shouldn’t mind much. With this new venture, Facebook could rake in millions of dollars from plenty of advertisers. There’s no better way to make quick money for Facebook. We could see its shares take a jump too. As of now, the idea hasn’t been announced by the company. So we wouldn’t get ahead of ourselves until the official announcement comes.

How do you feel about video ads on Facebook?

Via: The Register 

Wow 98.3% Of Online Americans Use Social Networks

Android, Android Tablets, Social Networking, Social Networking Stats, Thedroidguy
Android, Android Tablets, Social Networking, Social Networking Stats, Thedroidguy
souce: Comscore

Comscore just released a 69 page study called “It’s a Social World: Top 10 Need To Knows About Social Networking and Where it’s Heading.”

This startling report showed the trends of many countries across the globe and the impact that people are having on social networking.

The United States is one of the most active countries when it comes to social networking. According to ComScore there are a 188.5 million American’s over the age of 15 online. Of those 188.5 million Americans, 185.2 million of them are using social networking sites. That accounts for 98.3% of active online Americans.

The study goes on to say that American’s spend about 16.8% of their online time using social networks, which accounts for 6.9 hours.

source: Comscore

Google Social Networking Take 3 The Google + Project

Google has announced the Google+ project. The Google + project aims at fixing awkward and broken online sharing between humans.  In other words it’s Google’s third attempt at social networking.  Their first attempt, a MySpace project called Orkut is only still around because it’s widely popular in Brazil.  Their second attempt, Google Buzz, never really gained mass appeal.

Much much much more after the break

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. 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.

more after the break