Social network Stories April 7, 2016

Facebook 2-1

According to a new report from TechCrunch, Facebook is working with developers to build chatbots and Live Chat web plugins for business clients. The tools are said to be officially announced next week at the social network’s F8 conference. Chatbots will allow for businesses to offer automated response systems for responding to inquires from potential customers.

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Social network Stories June 10, 2015

Facebook for Android updated w/ ability to ‘like’ posts offline, toggle post notifications, and more

Facebook for Android has received an update which sees it gain a couple handy new features for keeping up with your wide network of “friends” (sorry, not sorry). Let’s go through them.

The first change is an odd one which lets you “Like” posts, photos, and pages even when you’re offline. These will presumably have to already have been loaded up in the app prior to going offline, and the Like will simply be queued up for delivery to Facebook’s servers once you get back onto a data connection, but it’s an interesting addition nonetheless.

Social network Stories June 1, 2015

 

Google 2015-06-01 11-19-45Cue the “Google+ is dead” jokes, and the following “was Google+ ever alive?” remarks.

Google has today removed the link to users’ Google+ profile from the top its many web properties, most notably its front search page and Gmail web app. Previously, names appeared with a plus in front like “+Stephen” and would link to your Google+ profile. From today, it looks like Google is making the name label no longer a link, and moving the “+Stephen” Google+ link to the app drop-down menu… expand full story

Social network Stories April 3, 2015

Twitter says that Periscope for Android is on the way

A week ago, Twitter released its answer to mobile live video broadcasting, Periscope. Mobile live video broadcasting is definitely the latest trend in social networking, and it was initially introduced by Meerkat. But both Periscope and Meerkat chose to release their apps on iOS first (as is sadly a common theme). Now that the public’s interest is growing, though, the need for an Android version is pressing.

Periscope summed it up in their latest blog post, with a couple of answers to common questions, one of them being “When is Android coming?”. Periscope, as expected, answered “Soon! We’re working on it.” This is great news for the many Android users who find it unfair and illogical that both Meerkat and Periscope hit iOS first, considering Android has a much larger hold of the mobile OS market.

Periscope didn’t give a timeline, but Android users can rest assured that Periscope will be available to them sometime in the near future. You can read more about Periscope on their official website. As of now, there’s no word on Meerkat.

Social network Stories February 18, 2015

Google is working on a new social network community called Tablescape for sharing photos of food, according to a new report from Android Police with additional information from El Androide Libre. The service is somewhat of an extension of Google+, but with heavy optimization for users looking to share and browse photos of food.

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Social network Stories February 4, 2015

Twitter Logo

Google and Twitter have allegedly come to an agreement for tweets to appear in search results, according to a report out of Bloomberg. During the first half of this year, tweets will begin to be visible in Google search results as soon as they are posted. As part of this deal, Bloomberg reports that Twitter is giving Google access to the entire stream of data posted and shared by its 284 million users. Previously, Google had to crawl Twitter’s site for information.

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Social network Stories January 21, 2015

New ‘while you were away’ recaps coming soon to Twitter for Android

Twitter this evening has announced in a blog post that it is rolling out a new “While you were away” recap feature to its mobile apps. Starting today on iOS and “soon” on Twitter.com and Android, a “While you were away” banner will appear in your feed, showing you the top tweets that you missed since you last opened the app.

Social network Stories June 30, 2014

delete-new-orkut

Google today in a blog post announced that it is closing down its first attempt at a social network, Orkut. Google says the network will officially bite the dust on September 30th, though starting today, it is no longer possible to create an account for the service. Leading up until September 30th users will be able to make the transition to Google+ or another social network of their choosing. Users will also have the ability to export their profile data, photos, and posts through Google Takeout. The Orkut app will be removed from the Play Store and App Store today.

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Social network Stories April 3, 2014

Vine adds private video messaging, profile theming in latest update

Vine has just released its ‘biggest update yet’ to the Play Store, bringing one-on-one video messaging to the service for the first time. Analogous with Twitter DM’s, Vine’s VM’s work in the same way — hosting private conversations outside of the main stream. As you might expect, conversations can include short video clips as well as text messages.

Social network Stories March 27, 2014

Popular iOS app Timehop has finally made its way to Android today. Timehop is an app that allows you to see what you were posting on a variety of social networks exactly one, two, three, and four years ago. The app requires that you log in with your Facebook account, but can connect to Twitter, Instagram, and Foursquare to see what you were posting.

Timehop helps you celebrate the best moments of the past. What were you doing a year ago today? Two years? Three years?Timehop brings together your old photos and posts from your iPhone, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Foursquare and replays your past a day at a time. You’ll quickly fall in love with checking your daily Timehop. Give it a try today!

You can only view your posts from one, two, three, or four years ago, not anyone else’s, which is somewhat disappointing. But Timehop says the point of the app is to be somewhat of a time capsule for your social networks. If you want to bask in your social network awkwardness, the app is available on the Play Store now.

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Social network Stories December 20, 2013

Screen Shot 2013-12-20 at 1.48.45 PM

The Google+ AutoAwesome feature is one of the best features the search engine giant added to its “don’t call it a social” social network this year. Now, to make for a fitting end to 2013 Google is creating your very own “Year In Review.”

Google’s Vic Gundotra highlights that the creation of the video is dependent “on a lot of factors (the quality of your pictures, if our algorithms believe we can auto create a high quality movie for you, etc).” The videos will be rolling out to everyone over the next week but don’t be too upset if Google+ doesn’t believe it can’t create a video for you.

Google’s Lead Product Manager at Google Photos, Anil Sabharwal shared his very own video of 2013 and it’s quite cheerful:

#AutoAwesome storytelling

This time of year we reconnect with loved ones, and we reflect on the moments that really matter. Photos and videos help preserve these moments, and when you save them to Google+,#AutoAwesome can bring your story to life in meaningful, magical ways. #AutoAwesome can, for example:

– Transform a game of dress-up into a delightful animation (http://goo.gl/aJzYUj), or – Create a highlight reel for a recent family wedding (http://goo.gl/Th3wE0), or – Display an entire cliff diving sequence in a single image (http://goo.gl/b6weQ6), or – Add falling snow to your favorite winter photograph (http://goo.gl/9gdPrC)

In all cases these gifted items appear in your account automatically, so as long as you’re backing things up to Google+, you’ll get notified whenever an awesome (and private) version is ready to share.

Of course: many people have been saving and sharing their photos and videos on Google+ all year long. And for those select users we’ve got one more holiday gift: an #AutoAwesome year in review(I’ve attached mine as an example). You’ll get notified in the next week or so if you have one of these movies waiting for you.

Most importantly we want to say thank you. It’s your support and enthusiasm that make Google+ so special. And we’ll keep working to help you tell your story. #googleplusupdate #year2013

Social network Stories November 22, 2013

Screen Shot 2013-11-22 at 12.40.04 PM

A brand new Facebook test build is making its way into the wild and with it comes a flatter redesign. The boys at Android Police have a brief look at the redesign and its pretty easy at first glance to recognize that a lot has changed.

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Social network Stories September 25, 2013

Google Search adds related Google+ content for hashtag queries

Google is rolling out a new hashtag experience in Google Search today that will see search results for queries with hashtags display related Google+ posts and content from other social networks:

– When you search on Google for a hashtag, say [#AmericasCup] or [#WaterfallWednesday], a set of relevant Google+ posts may appear to the right of regular results.

– You’ll only be able to see posts that have been shared publicly or shared with you.

– If you click on any of these posts you’ll go to Google+, where you’ll see the full set of relevant posts.

– You’ll also see links to search for these hashtags on other social sites.

The new feature will only be available to English users in the US and Canada initially and will go live on Google.com and Google.ca sometime today.

Social network Stories August 30, 2013

Twitter launches Android beta tester program

Following an app update earlier this week to the Twitter mobile apps that introduced a somewhat controversial conversation view in the app’s timeline, Twitter is now making a beta of its app available for those interested in testing out the latest beta. It’s likely not a direct response to the backlash Twitter received with the latest update, but at least those interested in testing out the latest new features and UI changes will have the ability to give feedback prior to the public release of future updates. It’s worth noting that the beta will replace your current Twitter app, rather than installing a separate beta version like some Google’s beta apps, but you can return to the public build at any time.

Facebook and Google do it with a lot of their apps, and now you can download the Twitter for Android Experiment by joining this Google group and signing up to become a tester here.

(via Android Police)

Social network Stories June 6, 2013

Facebook-Home-iconFacebook is today rolling out updates to its Android apps today that add a few notable features including a new favorites tray for Facebook Home users.

After getting some complaints from users about being able to quickly access apps via the app launcher when using Facebook Home, Facebook is including in today’s update a new dock that lets users quickly launch a selection of their most often used apps. The feature will let users customize the”app launcher by dragging the apps you use most to a new favorites tray.” It also told us folders and widget support is on the way.

Other improvements in the update today for the Facebook for Android app include the ability to change select who sees the content you share, support for sending multiple photos in a message, and other memory/stability enhancements.   expand full story

Social network Stories June 3, 2013

Twitter announced today on its blog (via The Verge) that its video capturing and sharing app Vine is launching today for Android.

Vine was acquired by Twitter before it debuted publicly and was only available on iOS prior to today’s announcement. Twitter also announced today that it has topped 13 million users of its video app, something we imagine will jump astronomically now that it is available on a plethora of new smartphones.

Much like when Vine launched on iPhone, it doesn’t support front-facing cameras just yet but we expect Twitter will add more features based on the rate at which it has updated the iOS variant. However, as Erica Ogg reports, Vine for Android does one-up its iPhone companion with its ability to zoom.

Vine for Android should be available soon from the Google Play Store. expand full story

Social network Stories August 23, 2012

Facebook for Android update adds batch uploading, photos and emoji to messages

Facebook for Android just updated to version 1.9.8.

The latest version notably includes a new uploader for selecting and uploading multiple images, while another tweak adds the ability to enter photos and emoji characters in messages. Moreover, users can now create an event with various options like inputting location details.

Changelog:

  • Easily create events
  • Share photos faster with a new upload flow
  • Add photos and emoji to messages

Grab the new Facebook for Android at the Google Play Store.

Social network Stories August 2, 2012

Oh, Web drama.

Third-party developers often cry about the lack of an open write API from Google+. The absence notably means no tools, products, or services can add data to Google’s social network. Well, a few companies, such as Hootsuite, currently have permission to publish, but many more can only read.

With that said, entrepreneur Dalton Caldwell wants to launch ad-less social platform App.net to replace all the bogged-down, ad-supported social networks of the Internet. He even posted an open letter to Mark Zuckerberg yesterday about Facebook’s “bad-faith negotiations” with App.net and “the very real risk of 3rd party development on an ad-supported platform.”

Google Vice President of Engineering Vic Gundotra noticed Caldwell’s contentious blog post late last night, so he promptly explained in a status update why a public, read-and-write Google+ API is missing in action. His answer is simple: “I’m not interested in screwing over developers.”

Yeah…and this is his full status update:

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Social network Stories August 1, 2012

GoogleMobile: ‘We’re closing up shop’, all Android now

Google is making Android the cornerstone of its social media presence.

Google Mobile will discontinue tweets through the @GoogleMobile Twitter handle, as the account was primarily for other mobile platform news, so Google can give more attention to the Android operating system.

The search giant now recommends the @Android Twitter handle as the go-to center for all-things Android in 140 characters or less. Visit the Google directory for a complete list of Google-based profiles on Twitter.

To go along with Google’s honed eye for its mobile OS, the folks in Mountain View also launched +Android on Google+. It further closed the Google Mobile blog to focus on the Official Android blog. Both resources serve as a comprehensive hub for the latest messages from the Android team.

In related news, Google closed its official Google Mac blog in June.

“Our Mac and iOS support has now become so mainstream that we realized we just don’t need to keep Mac news on its own blog, so we won’t be posting here any longer,” explained Google.

Google encourages readers to find information about Google Chrome for OS X, Google Earth, and other iOS apps and products at its other individual blogs—like the Chrome Blog and the Lat Long Blog.

Social network Stories May 31, 2012

And war has begun: Facebook slammed Google’s Chrome browser today with the above unsupported web browser message [cache], which recommended Opera, among others, as a better alternative for viewing the social network.

FavBrowser first discovered the change and noted Facebook’s rumored plans to acquire Opera. This is noteworthy, because Google+ is Facebook’s direct competitor. The infant Google service is tackling Facebook head-on with its executives consistently criticizing Facebook, like when CEO Larry Page accused Facebook of holding users hostage last week. Only now it appears the back-talking has turned into actions, because Facebook no longer recommends Chrome to its nearly 1 billion active users.

According to StatCounter, Chrome passed Internet Explorer during the week of May 14 to May 20 to become the most popular browser in the world. Microsoft’s Internet Explorer still has a commanding lead in the United States, but growth for Chrome is steadily increasing in regions like South America, India, and Europe. The browser also surpassed Internet Explorer, although for just a day, in March. These statistics indicate that Chrome is too large for Facebook to ignore.

Meanwhile, Google’s CEO Larry Page said in a statement to investors in April that the company’s own social network Google+ now has more than 100 million active users, which is up from 90 million total users in January. To him, the network is an integral product that will help Google bring the next generation of search to life. Despite these bold goals, Facebook still reins king in the social network market with its nearly 10 times larger userbase.

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Social network Stories May 16, 2012

Google launched its Schemer social networking mobile app today as a free iPhone app in the App Store. It originally launched as an invite-only service in December, and then it released on Google Play in April. The service is a social network “all about the schemes” that allows you to post your plans for future activities, meet with friends, and get activities, or “schemes” recommended to you.

The app is completely separate from Google+, but it does utilize your Google+ account to “show you what people in your circles are scheming about.” There is always a possibility we will see more integration between the two services, or Schemer becoming a feature of Google+ after the service picks up steam.

You can download the free Schemer iPhone app from the App Store now.

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Social network Stories April 9, 2012

Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg just announced that the social network has acquired photo-sharing app “Instagram” for $1 billion. Instagram’s CEO Kevin Systrom also made a statement through the company’s blog and confirmed it will “be working with Facebook to evolve Instagram and build the network.” Instagram’s Android app just launched last week to nearly 2,000 signups a minute and a million downloads in 24 hours.

Zuckerberg’s full announcement is below, and Facebook’s official press release is here:

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Social network Stories April 4, 2012

The announcement was made— naturally— by Twitter:

Google still lists Stricker as Director of Global Communications & Public Affairs, where he reported to Senior Vice President Communications Rachel Whetstone:

Gabriel Stricker is Director of Global Communications & Public Affairs at Google Inc. where he heads Search communications – addressing everything from web search and other search properties (such as Maps, Earth, News and Books) to issues pertaining to partnerships, content, and the use of intellectual property. Gabriel received his undergraduate degree from the University of California at Berkeley and his master’s degree in International Affairs from Columbia University. He is the author of the bestselling book on guerrilla marketing entitled, Mao In the Boardroom, published by St. Martin’s Press.

At Twitter, he is now called Vice President of Communications.

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Social network Stories January 20, 2012

Facebook held at least two meetings with Vevo —the most recent one occurring within the last couple of weeks— to discuss moving the music video service from YouTube to the social network’s platform.

However, sources told CNET that the talks are “very preliminary,” and they mentioned there is one year remaining on Vevo’s contract with Google’s YouTube.

Vevo launched in 2009 and offers music videos from Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment and EMI Music. YouTube helped launch the startup, and subsequently Vevo’s videos appear on the partner’s service, with Google and Vevo sharing advertising revenue.

Vevo features the most extensive catalog of premium music content on the Internet, and it is available in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom through its website, mobile apps, or by way of connected televisions. The service currently powers music videos on artist profiles across Facebook, and its content is syndicates to numerous online websites, including AOL, BET, CBS Interactive Music Group, Fuse.tv and Univision. Moreover, through YouTube, Vevo is accessible in over 200 countries.

Facebook is allegedly interested in an arrangement similar to the one Vevo has in place with YouTube now, which would allow the social network to stream Vevo’s music videos with the two companies sharing profits from advertising revenue…

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Social network Stories January 13, 2012

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission is expanding its antitrust probe of Google to include the inspection of social network service Google+, according to Bloomberg.

The publication sourced two people “familiar with the situation,” and cited “competition issues raised by Google+” as the primary aspect of the FTC’s investigation into whether the globally popular search engine gives preference to its own services. The FTC is also inquiring whether such practices violate antitrust laws, according to Bloomberg, who could not identify its sources due to the investigation’s nonpublic status.

The Mountain View, Calif.-based company rolled out “Search, Plus Your World” to its search engine Jan. 10 and dubbed the revision a “personal results” feature that displays Google+ photographs, news and comments when user’s conduct Web searches. The Electronic Privacy Information Center promptly called upon the FTC on Jan. 12 to investigate the recent search changes in a letter posted on its website…

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Social network Stories October 11, 2011

In attempt to grow their young social network, Google has taken out a full page ad in the traditional print version of the New York Times promoting Google+ Hangouts. Search Engine Land posted the photo above, where Google talks about the Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu hosting a Hangout last week in their ad. Google strikes out parts to explain how they came to the rescue when the Dalai Lama wasn’t granted a visa to visit South Africa.

Google’s decision to take out a full ad was definitely smart. Yesterday numbers were published by an analyst showing how much of Google+’s traffic is beginning to decline, but maybe spreading the social network to a different set of people will help. That ad is great and all, but why didn’t Google use some images to catch the eye?

Social network Stories August 17, 2011

Google’s photo-sharing social network Photovine (previously invitation-only) is fresh out of beta, open to all users, and ready to install to your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch as an iOS app.

Photovine is a fun way to learn more about your friends, meet new people, and share your world like never before. It all starts with what we call a photovine: a group of photos around a single, shared caption. Start a new vine with a photo and caption of your own or add your photo/take on someone else’s vine.

Many are comparing the service to Instagram, or a photo-centric version of Twitter. Some are also pointing out it looks quite similar to Piictu. Essentially, users upload photos that can then be grouped thematically to create what is known as a “vine”. While you can follow other users and receive their content directly in a personal feed, all images appear to be shared publicly either through your profile or the vine in which the image is included. You then also have the option of sharing individual photos or vines directly to Twitter or Facebook (no Google+ support?).

The application is the work of the Slide team, a social-media start up acquired by Google last year. Its not clear yet how much of a focus Photovine will be for Google, but the Slide team has released a number of apps recently and seem to be getting support from Google to carry on with their projects. As of yet the service only has an iPhone app, but presumably there’s Android support on the way and some type of integration with Google+. expand full story

Social network Stories August 6, 2011

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The floodgates are officially opening this weekend as Google is giving everyone 150 invites to Google Plus.  Pop them into your Twitter and Facebook streams to get your friends signed up.

Here’s an invite link for our readers not yet signed up (looks like ours are going pretty fast! expand full story

Social network Stories August 2, 2011

A new extension called Start Google Plus brings functionality of Twitter and Facebook to Google+. The extension not only allows you to post to all three social networks, but puts Twitter and Facebook into your Google+ stream too.

Another cool feature Start Google Plus offers is the ability to import your Facebook photos. SGP is available on Chrome and Firefox. Check out a few photos of the extension after the break. (via Lifehacker)

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Social network Stories July 22, 2011

We have already seen snippets of code revealing Games is headed to Google+, but this morning it has been confirmed. SlashGear reports on the Google+ help page there is talk about a Games stream, where users can find updates from shared games. Google+ Games will have a sharing aspect, and the Games stream will sum up what your friends have shared from within those games.There is no word on when this will be available. expand full story

Social network Stories July 8, 2011

A new extension Google+Facebook adds your Facebook newsfeed right into Google+. As you can see in the screenshot above, a Facebook icon is placed right next to the home icon at the top of the page. While it doesn’t give you all the functionality of Facebook, it’s a nice tool to have to update your status and check out the latest news from your friends that haven’t moved to Google+.

Google+Facebook was developed using the Crossrider framework, a framework that is used to build an extension across all three popular browsers: Chrome, Firefox, and Internet Explorer. While we wish the extension was up on the Chrome Web Store, for those of us who use Chrome, it sadly isn’t. For now we’ll have to hit up the download that is available on Crossrider. Check out Crossrider’s demonstration of Google+Facebook after the break.

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Social network Stories June 30, 2011

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At this point, it seems pretty obvious that Google means business with the Google Plus platform. Besides all of the other areas Plus has engulfed, it looks like Google is heading into the gaming realm.  The following code snippet was found in the web page code

“have sent you invites and more from Google+ Games”

So now Google is taking on Microsoft’s Xbox and Apple’s Gamecenter. Perhaps Google might want to lower the barrier to entry.. expand full story

Social network Stories June 28, 2011

Our invites came in and we’re up and running.  Here’s the initial reactions:

The first annoying thing is that Google hasn’t allowed Apps for Domains in yet.  They are “working on it”.  If you are like me and have your life in a Google Domain account this is a major pain.  I’m going to have to reconnect to everyone and they are going to have to put me in their circles all over again.  Bad start.

Once signed in, the interface is very “Facebook feeling” Google has found a lot of people who know me or are in my contacts so adding them to circles is easy.  Unfortunately my gmail.com account has a lot of people from school (when I used it last) and not a lot of the people I deal with on a day to day basis.

Friends seem to be coming in from way back in history – very Facebook like.

It will be interesting to see how Google keeps people coming in and more importantly coming back.

Because I can’t stay logged into this and my normal Apps Google account at the same time, it won’t get used very much.  I imagine there are a lot of power users in this exact same boat.  I wonder what Google’s plan for this is.  I’m hoping there is going to be a merge button at some point in the future.

Overall, I have to say that the product feels very good…like if all of my Facebook Friends came in, I’d probably leave Facebook immediately.  But how do I use both at the same time?

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Social network Stories June 18, 2011

The folks at Fusible have been doing some sleuthing on the possibility of Google putting together a social network based on photos.  They found that Google has trademarked the name Photovine with the following under the following areas:

Goods and Services IC 009. US 021 023 026 036 038. G & S: Computer software IC 038. US 100 101 104. G & S: Communication services, namely, transmission of visual images and data by telecommunications networks, wireless communication networks, the Internet, information services networks and data networks

IC 042. US 100 101. G & S: Non-downloadable computer software

IC 045. US 100 101. G & S: On-line social networking services

Additionally, a company who uses MarkMonitor to anonymously register domain names has bought photovine.com from a private holder.  Google is one of the companies that uses MarkMonitor.

Clearly that spells out a photo-sharing social network.

So, are Picasa/Picnik online services about to get more social under a new brand name?  All signs point to ‘yes’.

(Google Weddings, a mashup of similar Google services pictured above) expand full story

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