Today, Twitter has rolled out an update that allows users to add a phone number to the account. The idea is simple. Every time a users signs-in there is added code that is asked. That code is sent to users via a text message.
So even if someone manages to guess a password, they would not be able to get the verification code from the users phone.
How to activate Twitter’s two-step authentication feature
Visit your Twitter profile on the browser and sign-in. Now on the right-hand corner you will see a gear shaped symbol.
Hover over it and it shows you the options to look up settings. Under Settings >> Account users can see a new option to titled Account Security.
We can add a phone number and also select the option to turn-on two step verification.
Here is a nice video demo by Twitter to help their users out
With this step Twitter joins Google and Dropbox in offering two-step verification for better security.
GoodReads a popular social network for book readers and authors has been acquired by e-commerce giant Amazon. GoodReads is mainly a website that allows users to list books they have read and add reviews.
GoodReads is mainly a also social network, because users can follow the book reading activities and reviews by their friends. This really took off with Facebook integration which allows people to follow their Facebook friends and also post GoodReads activity on their Facebook timelines.
This was a great acquisition for Amazon as GoodReads would have been for interesting to Google and Apple who are also into selling books. For being a social networking product, I am sure Facebook might have been interested too.
Though GoodRead’s has a user-base of 16 million which might seem insignificant compared to the hundreds of millions of users registered on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter.
But these users are typically people (includes me) who buy books online (print and digital) so it will be great opportunity to sell books to these users. Also more importantly a lot of these users are authors who also keep a close eye on book reviews and ratings of their books. Overall GoodReads will be a gold mine of data for Amazon.
Thankfully according to GoodReads blog, it looks like Amazon will keep the GoodReads branding and features intact and keep it an independent platform for book readers.
Facebook had announced earlier that they were about to redesign the ‘New feed’ on its website. Facebook has announced a new ‘news feed’ experience on web, iPhone/iPad and Android platforms. The new design is touted as a clutter free experience. The focus now is more on having icons and also larger images and clarity of the feed.
I have not yet got this new design activated for my Facebook account but looking at the screenshots, I think Facebook’s feed seem to be liberally inspired by Google+. Especially how Google+ shows up feeds on mobile and tablet platforms.
The iPhone/iPad and Android update will be released over the next few days/week (Facebook can be notoriously quick or slow with changes) but you need to get onto a wait list for the new design.
Google has announced a new feature for app and website developers. It is called Google+ sign-in, which allows users to sign-up/register with apps and websites. This is possibly the first big step towards seeing a lot more of Google+ outside the Google ecosystem. In other words, it will compete with Facebook Connect.
What exactly is Google+ Sign-in about
Google authentication is already a feature that is used by many websites. But a lot of them prefer using Facebook, mainly because it helps the app get social.
With Google+ Sign-in, the app user can share stuff based on their Google+ Circles. This can be done through interactive labels like Check-in, Subscribe, Download and many more.
Google+ also suggests that they are against social spamming. Basically that is taking a swipe at Facebook. Facebook’s friction-less sharing from apps was a unpopular idea.
Google is in much better position to leverage Google+ Sign-in compared to Facebook connect because it has its own mobile platform, search engine, email service, maps and Google Play, a store for apps.
According to GlobalWebIndex, Google+ has overtaken Twitter as the second most active social network. It is being used by about 25% slightly ahead of Twitter. Interestingly, Facebook has a commanding lead with garnering the attention of over 50% users.
Google+ is very closely linked to all products offered by Google. That means when you sign up with Gmail, you have created a Google+ account. The +1 button is also available on Google Play store, where apps often get +1s by Android users.
The small detail that is a little interesting is that YouTube is also ahead of Twitter.
Should Facebook Worry?
Facebook might still be top and will remain at the top for a long time, but the fact that Google+ and YouTube are at #2 and #3 respectively should be worrying. Both are owned by Google and reasonably different in scope.
But the big stake for any social media is the data they collect. For example, with Facebook’s new Search Graph, we can see how Facebook wants to show us more local data and recommendations.
Google has more rounded products to collect this data and more importantly it has its own mobile platform in Android and Google Maps as an addition.
Google+ has not really seen newer and unique features in 2012 but I am sure that will change this year.
I spend some time on social media but most of it is dedicated to Facebook. Twitter is a service which I do not really use a lot. I usually add some articles I like sharing on Buffer App and move on. I like Twitter because the noise on it is always about what is happening currently. But what it lacks is the ability to show us some handy analysis of our activity on it. This is where Twitonomy is pretty good and whats more it is free.
I found that Twitonomy really shows a great deal of insights about how we use Twitter. The first thing that struck me were data on the users I most retweeted. More importantly it showed the number of tweets I had retweeted. This was pretty good data on how I basically interact on Twitter.
Tweet analytics are very basic overview of the number of tweets between a particular timeframe and data related to it. For example it seems like I tweet 5.18 times a day but get a retweet only 12% of the time. That means once in every three days.
The most handy analysis I found on Twitonomy was an analysis of the retweets on my tweets. It shows a table which tweets were Retweeted and by how many users and how many followers each use had. This is I guess important to see what sort of thing that you share is the most viral.
These were just three of my favorite stats analysis I shared above. There are several more like analysis on your followers, on lists and much more.
Additionally you can also have Twitonomy get you data on other Twitter users. But I did not find it all that useful for normal users like me. But it is something social media experts might be interested in.
Do try out Twitonomy and drop in your comments and views.
While I have never been a big fan of Facebook, I love following some really interesting groups on it. It is the one feature I have always complained about missing on Google+. Not any longer, Google+ has not started rolling out “Communities” feature today. The new Google+ Communities feature should show up over the next 24 hours on your account.
While some might say that Google+ Communities is yet another borrowed idea from Facebook, but it really is very different.
How are Google+ Communities different from Facebook Groups
The big difference is that on Google+ Communities, the discussions can be separated under different categories. Nothing like that exists on Facebook Groups. Actually it resembles the old school forum style discussion groups. Google Groups itself is created on similar lines, so maybe they are leaving room for more integration in the future.
The privacy model is very similar to Facebook groups. It allows Private communities, public communities where all posts are public and finally hidden communities which are not indexed publicly.
Hangouts can also be held between community members. This is going to be a big deal for DIY (Do it yourself) communities. Unfortunately on Facebook groups, only text chatting works.
Facebook has a very irritating feature that allows users to add their friends without permission to a group. I was not able to check if Google+ had omitted this one as Google+ Communities is not available on my account as yet.
Google+ Communities Video
Google+ is a place were we search for things based on interest, while on Facebook it is a lot more about searching for people we know. This could really give Google+ a lot of great traction as communities are perfect for finding like minded people instead of just people you know.
Has your Google+ account got the Communities feature? Do drop in your first impressions in your comments.
Facebook will soon be rolling out a an external advertising network according to GigaOm. Facebook primary source of revenues are Ads it displays on its own website. The Ads seen on Facebook by users are considered to be not as effective as say Google’s AdSense or AdWords.
Another issue for Facebook is that it is being accessed on mobile phones more than the PC browsers. Mobile phone users do not even see many of these Ads, except the odd sponsored story.
Facebook has recently updated and changed its privacy and governance policies. It has confirmed that it shares data on users with advertisers to show personalized ads on Facebook.com. This sharing of data will also be enabled to serve ads on external websites.
Google itself is mainly a search engine and hence seeing ads is necessarily a call to action. Being a search engine, it has a better system in place to predict what people are looking for than Facebook.
How could it impact your Privacy?
The impact on privacy would not be huge as Facebook plugins on external sites already show personalized data. For example the Facebook box on our blog, will display a list of your common friends who have “Liked” our page. But if Facebook allows personal public data like your updates, photos you have shared on external website as part of advertisements, it could make people very uncomfortable.
Just a thumb rule about using Facebook regarding privacy. Do not share anything on it that you want to keep secret or out of public domain.
It will be interesting to see how Facebook plays this out. Do drop in your comments.
A social network is a bit like a virtual party. People interact and discuss things mainly around current events. That is why Live sporting events like the Olympics are followed very actively on social media websites.
Today, when the US President Barack Obama got re-elected, he (probably his campaign team) showed exactly why Facebook and Twitter are social media champions and why Google+ is more or less a dead place.
On winning the elections Obama’s official account on Twitter shared the photo below. It quickly became the most retweeted Tweet in the history of micro-blogging platform.
On Facebook too, Obama’s official account shared the same photo and it too broke the record for being the most “Liked” photo on the website’s history.
In other words, the photo got an incredible 2.8 million Likes and over 600,000 retweets. Moving over to Obama’s official Google+ profile, it shows the latest update is over a day old. The iconic photo is missing and no one has even bothered to update it with today’s election news.
This clearly shows that when its about reaching out to people, Google+ simply resembles a empty room instead of a happening party. As someone who really likes Google+ for its privacy options, Hangouts feature and its beautiful design, I find it very disappointing to see so little activity on it even after more than a year after its launch. Even though Hangouts is popular, I float the idea of a hangout with friends first on Facebook. If I did so on Google+, I am sure no one would really notice it at all to respond.
What are your thoughts on Google+? Do let us know through your comments.
I am sure most people reading this post have a profile on some sort of social media websites. LinkedIn is very popular with professionals but how about leveraging other social profiles like Facebook, Twitter and Google+ in your job hunt.
I recently came across a interesting website called Switch Idea. The website mainly acts as a platform for professionals and freelancers to get jobs. Job seekers are notified via their social networks.
How Switch Idea works
For job seekers just fill in some details about yourself and associate your social media profiles like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ with Switch Idea.
Users can also add their Resume onto the sites. All this information is available on a publicly shared VCard (Virtual business card).
You can register as a employer too and create new job posts. Users are notified via their social media accounts.
Employers can then award the job to the ones who have responded.
As the website is pretty new I am not sure how good this is for professional placements but I think it might be good idea to get a profile on it anyways. Also this seems like a great platform for freelancers and employers who are looking for freelancers.
Try out Switch Idea and let me know what you think about it in your comments.