Posts Tagged social

HootSuite reaches 5 million members,1.3 billion messages


The social media management tool, HootSuite yesterday posted that they have reached 5 million members. Actually, on October 12, 2012, HootSuite reached 5 million users. The company updated it’s users by posting a blog post on their official blog. The first million took nearly two years, and the fifth million took just five months.

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Google starts new feature to remind friends’ b’day

NEW YORK: Google has started a new feature on to remind its users about the birthday of any of their Google+ friends.

The reminders will appear on Google.com instead of Google’s social networking site Google+.

In a Google+ blogpost, Google’s Irene Chung said “starting today (August 28), you’ll see a reminder on Google.com when someone in your circles has a birthday! From there it’s easy to share a fun message, photo, or video with the birthday gal or guy.”

Chung said at first birthday reminders would only be seen for people searching in English on Google.com.

“We’ll be rolling this feature out gradually over the next few days,” Chung said.

The feature can be seen on top right corner of the Google.com. The birthday notification comes with a “Say happy birthday” link where users can leave a message for their friends.

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Konami is No. 2 social games publisher behind Zynga

Konami has recently received a massive bump to its financial report from its social gaming division: In the first nine months of fiscal 2012, Konami reported its year-on-year gain was driven by social gaming, which generated $348 million in revenue, up $127 million from 2011. Without context, these numbers can seem impressive, but meaningless.

Fortunately, Careen Yapp provided a background for Konami’s finances during an “ask these publishers anything” panel at Gamescom: Last year estimates put Konami as the second-most-prolific social games publisher behind Zynga.

Zynga, the market giant, posted $1.14 billion in revenue for 2011 from social gaming, with $1.07 billion of that in microtransactions alone. This actually translated to a net loss of $404.3 million for Zynga, and its stock continues to remain far below original estimates, along with public perception of the company.

Being No. 2 to Zynga and being in a position to create products other than social games isn’t such a bad spot for Konami to be in.

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Kids could someday get on Facebook, without lying

NEW YORK — Though Facebook bans children under 13, millions of them have profiles on the site by lying about their age.

The company is now testing ways to allow those kids to participate without needing to lie. This would likely be under parental supervision, such as by connecting children’s accounts to their parents’ accounts.

Like many other online services, Facebook prohibits kids under 13 because federal law requires companies to obtain parental consent if they want to collect information about those children.

Such information collection is central to Facebook. Every photo or status update a kid posts on Facebook could count as information collection. Many companies consider the parental-consent requirement too burdensome, so they simply ban all children under 13 instead.

But that ban is difficult to enforce. In many cases, parents themselves help children skirt it by setting up profiles for them and lying about their ages. There are an estimated 7.5 million kids under 13 on Facebook, out of more than 900 million users worldwide.

In a statement, Facebook noted that many recent reports have highlighted “just how difficult it is to enforce age restrictions on the Internet, especially when parents want their children to access online content and services.”

“We are in continuous dialogue with stakeholders, regulators and other policymakers about how best to help parents keep their kids safe in an evolving online environment,” the company said.

Few details are available on the nature of Facebook’s tests, which The Wall Street Journal reported on in Monday’s editions. Relaxing the ban on younger children could be a long way off, or never get implemented, as happens with many features that Facebook tests.

The report comes just two weeks after Facebook began trading stock as a public company. Its stock price has fallen in part because of concerns about its ability to keep increasing revenue and make money from its growing mobile audience.

To James Steyer, the CEO of the nonprofit Common Sense Media, Facebook’s discussions on permitting young kids to join is about expanding its audience — and profits.

“With the growing concerns and pressure around Facebook’s business model, the company appears to be doing whatever it takes to identify new revenue streams and short-term corporate profits to impress spooked shareholders,” Steyer said in a statement.

But Stephen Balkan, the CEO of another kids-and-technology nonprofit, the Family Online Safety Institute, disagrees.

Balkan, who sits on Facebook’s Safety Advisory Board in an unpaid position, said the company has been discussing the issue for more than a year. That’s months before Facebook made regulatory filings in February for its initial public offering of stock, which took place in mid-May.

“It has nothing to do with the IPO,” he said.

Balkan offered some ideas about what Facebook could look like for kids. For one, the default setting to their account could be set to “friends only” so that strangers can’t see their posts. Teenagers who are 13 to 17 currently have their accounts set to “friends of friends” by default, so the under-13 restriction would be a step beyond that.

In addition, parents could have final say on whom their kids become friends with on Facebook. And Facebook could even keep advertising off kids’ accounts, he added.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if we see some movement from Facebook this before the end of the year,” Balkan said. “By the way I think it would be a good thing if they do it right, rather than this untenable situation of just kicking off under-13s when they discover them.”

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Microsoft service makes research a social affair

SAN FRANCISCO: An “experimental” project by Microsoft to mix online social networking and academic research was open to the public on Monday.

The Redmond, Washington-based software colossus invited anyone to join its Internet community at so.cl, which was pronounced “social.”

“So.cl is an experimental research project, developed by Microsoft’s FUSE Labs, focused on exploring the possibilities of social search for the purpose of learning,” a frequently-asked-questions page at the website said.

“So.cl combines social networking and search to help people find and share interesting web pages in the way students do when they work together.”

The online community had previously only welcomed students studying information and design at select US universities.

As of Monday, those interested in getting involved with the social network were invited to send messages to socl@microsoft.com.

“We expect students to continue using products such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other existing social networks, as well as Bing, Google and other search tools,” the facts page at the website said.

“We hope to encourage students to re-imagine how our everyday communication and learning tools can be improved, by researching, learning and sharing in their everyday lives.”

However, so.cl hints at having greater aspirations with banners displaying messages inviting people to “discover like minded people,” express themselves, and have fun.

The opening of the so.cl gates came ahead of a day of Nasdaq trading in which Facebook’s freshly-issued shares plunged nearly 11 per cent.

The stock closed at $34.03, down 10.99 per cent for the day and well below the $38 initial public offering price, which made Facebook the second largest US IPO of all time when it went public on Friday.

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