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Check out our 2013 Holiday Gift Guide, win some awesome gadgets!
Our 2013 Holiday Gift Guide is in full swing - we are adding our recommendations daily, aimed at men, women, teens, families, techies, and more. If you need help figuring out what to get the people in your life, head on over to our Guide for some ideas. We’ll even be giving away some of the items featured this year!
Facebook has announced a greatly revamped News Feed that hopes to beautify all the content that you consume on the social network. The new News Feed separates the different categories of content, making it easier to get to, say, just photo updates, or music updates, or groups, for example. Mark Zuckerberg says the new design is akin to a "personalized newspaper." The thought behind the changes are that people are sharing more and more multimedia--images, videos, links with previews…so why not take advantage of the screen space and optimize it?
App.net has decided to remove the cost of entry for some users, as it now allows those with paid accounts to invite up to three people to the service for free. If you're unfamiliar with App.net, it's a Twitter-like service that is free of advertising, instead allowing members to pay a $36 annual fee to be a part of it. Members own the data they put into it and don't need to give up any rights, and that includes the 10 GB cloud storage that tied to the App.net File API. Free users will have some limitation, though. For one, you'll only be able to follow a maximum of 40 other users, and instead of the aforementioned 10 GB of cloud storage, you get 500 MB instead. Lastly, paid accounts are allowed to upload files up to 100 MB in size, while free accounts have a 10 MB size restriction.
If you want to get in on App.net and don't feel like paying, hit up your paid user brethren and beg for an invite.
Read More | App.net
Facebook is now compliant with the Online Interest-Based Advertising Accountability Program, and has to show the AdChoice icon in behaviorally targeted Facebook Exchange (FBX) ads. This allows users to know when an ad is marketed to them on their browser behavior. The catch, however, is that the icon is only displayed when a user interacts with it by scrolling of the gray "X" over the ad.
Facebook will change the "Report this Ad" text with "Learn About Facebook Ads," and users can choose to opt out of specific ad networks. As Engadget notes, however, whether this legally complies with the Federal Commission guidelines for "clear and prominent notice" is unsure, as the ads only reveal itself as targeted once a user interacts with it.
AdChoice implementation will start at the end of March.
Nielsen and Twitter are joining forces to create Nielsen Twitter TV Rating. Twitter, as we all know, is a social media platform that sees more than a billion tweets every 2.5 days on an inexhaustible list of topics. Nielsen specializes in information, particularly what consumers watch and buy. With Nielsen Twitter TV Rating, the two companies hope to find a standardized way of measuring the conversations happening around TV shows.
The ratings will be commercially available Fall 2013, and, according to Twitter's blog, will function as "one common benchmark from which to measure the engagement of their programming." The new rating system will set in place measures to quantify the people discussing the TV shows, as well as the people who were exposed to the conversation. The goal will be to provide "the precise size of the audience and effect of social TV to TV programming."
This is not the two companies first pairing, as both came together earlier this year to measure the impact of brand advertising campaigns using Twitter surveys.
Read More | Twitter Blog
Google just released a massive redesign for its Google+ social network, the majority of which you can check out in the walkthrough video above. Our thoughts? Lots of whitespace, but we'll play with it for a bit before final judgment.
This morning during the Facebook f8 keynote, Mark Zuckerberg introduced Timeline, a new way to express who you are on Facebook. It's a reverse chronological timeline of the most important pieces of content that you've shared on Facebook, which you have control over curating. Facebook apps will be able to add to your Timeline as well, and it's been built to look great on both desktops and mobile devices. Expect the feature to be rolled out sometime within the next few weeks, but you can get a peek at the goodness in the video above.
Read More | Facebook Timeline
Sohaib Athar, the man who accidentally livetweeted the raid on Osama bin Laden has been hacked, he confirmed via Twitter.
Athar, who goes by the Twitter handle @ReallyVirtual, said early this morning that his blog, which was linked via his Twitter page, had been infected with malware. Websense, for its part, said in a blog post that the poorly detected malware used a "blackhole exploit kit" to serve the malware. Not surprisingly, Websense said that its customers were protected.
"Anyone going to this page would also load content from the malicious URL above, and the Blackhole Exploit Kit would then try to use several exploits to automatically install malware on the PC," the firm wrote. "The malware that the drive-by-download attempts to install is a fake system tool named 'WindowsRecovery' that claims to have found problems on the victim's computer."
The malware then would have hidden all the files and folders in the user's hard drive and desktop - then offer to restore them for a price, which a Websense graphic indicated was $79.50.
It wasn't clear from Athar's account whether he had successfully removed the malware from his blog or taken it down.
During an earnings call, News Corp. COO Chase Carey indicated that "now is the right time" to place MySpace "under a new owner". The news is not a big surprise, as things have been going downhill for the social network. Its owner, News Corp., has attempted to revive the property last Autumn with a site redesign, and while the site is still popular with some niche crowds, there's no question that Facebook took its place long ago. Still, Carey stays positive on the outlook of MySpace, saying “the new MySpace has been very well received by the market and we have some very encouraging metrics, but the plan to allow MySpace to reach its full potential may be best achieved under a new owner.” Of course, it's still unknown whether anyone would be interested in buying it.
Vokle is comprised of a small team of technology and communication enthusiasts in California, and they've built an incredibly powerful platform for video conferencing. With just a few clicks you can become the host of your own video talk show, and start taking questions from a live audience.
You can post your show in one of several categories on Vokle, including topics like: entertainment, arts & lifestyle, technology, business, learning, and offbeat. It's is easy to use, social media friendly, entertaining, and very interactive.
Vokle has built its platform with a heavy focus on social media integration, and you can sign into the website using your Facebook or Twitter account. I found the embed feature to be one of the coolest I've seen in any video sharing service. You can embed a single line of code on any webpage, giving fans and followers multiple access portals to your show when it goes live.
Read More | Vokle
Many companies feel managing a Facebook fan page is a task that requires a lot of resources and time. This is why you can find hundreds of self-proclaimed Facebook Gurus and experts all around the globe, usually charging a lot of money to help you come up with strategies leading to a successful Facebook fan page. Hey--it really isn't as hard as it looks!
Soap Creative, who has created and managed pages for Unilever, Activision, 20th Century Fox and others, is sharing some of their best practices and strategies they have used. These are strategies have been field tested and have returned with great results. Live, learn, and get to Facebooking!
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