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Social

  • Facebook brings facial recognition to photos

    Facebook has announced that it will add facial recognition functionality to let users automatically identify friends in photos. A "tag suggestion" feature created to identify people in uploaded pictures should be rolled out to all US users in the next few weeks, Facebook engineer Justin Mitchell said late on Wednesday in a blog post. There was no word on when the new feature would roll out to the rest of the world. "Now if you upload pictures from your cousin's wedding, we'll group together pictures of the bride and suggest her name," Mitchell said. Mitchell writes that the social network has also...

  • The global village explained, by a Facebook intern [Visualisation]

    Facebook intern Paul Butler was interested in seeing how political borders affect friendships around the globe. So he created a map of the world by sampling data from the social network's 500-million user base. The map, highlighted above, displays friendships as lights on a deep blue background. The eastern half of the United States and Europe shine the brightest, while sparsely populated or economically poor parts of China, Russia and central Africa, where Facebook has little presence, are mainly dark. The bright spots in Africa are not surprisingly the economic and internet hubs of the continent: South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria...

  • 4 ways to successfully integrate email and social media

    Many months ago, amidst all the talk of social media dominance in 2010, were whispers of "the death of email marketing". Fortunately though, this overly dramatic statement was laid to waste and instead, the integration of email and social media is on the rise, with favourable results. MarketingWeek recently reported that nearly half of advertising professionals integrate either Facebook or Twitter or both into their email campaigns. In a survey completed in June 2010 by Email and Online Marketers, stats showed that 21% of those surveyed reported "significantly better" results after integrating the two mediums. Many did not think it...

  • Facebook creating ‘second internet’ in challenge to Google

    Facebook is challenging Google's supremacy on the Internet with a radically different approach to how people live, work, play and search online. While Google delivers search results selected by algorithms that take into account a user's Web history, Facebook boasts a richer level of personalisation based on one's own "likes" and the recommendations of Facebook friends. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg refers to it as the "social graph". "I think what we've found is that when you can use products with your friends and your family and the people you care about they tend to be more engaging," Zuckerberg said in an interview...

  • Privacy on social networks: Do people really care?

    The issue of privacy online has and always will be contentious. Since the explosion of the internet in the 90’s, our lives are increasingly spending online. With the arrival of social networking, this trend has increased exponentially. Privacy has and always will be a necessity for people, but when you're online, where do you draw the line? Facebook's explosion onto the social networking scene has not been all smooth sailing. The social network has been a regular target for criticism as users have gradually seen their privacy eroded. As the years have progressed, the company has changed its policies in...

  • The most-watched global YouTube clips of 2010

    More than 13-million hours of video -- approximately 1 500 years -- were uploaded to YouTube in 2010 and more than 700-billion videos were viewed on the site. The top clips of this year worldwide include a quirky television interview "Bed Intruder Song!" by Antoine Dodson, a parody of popstar Ke$ha’s “Tik Tok”, and a school pupil's rendition of Lady Gaga's “Paparazzi”. The full list of the top 10, worldwide, below: 1. Bed Intruder...

  • Twitter’s great divide: A clash of product and business

    The audience at Le Web in Paris was stunned last week when Jason Goldman, the beloved VP of Product at Twitter for the last four years, announced he is leaving the company. He tweeted afterward: “Thanks so much everyone at Twitter for the best job I could ever imagine. It's been amazing and I think the future will be even brighter.” Goldman’s departure, hot on the heels of former CEO Evan Williams’ resignation, has revealed a growing schism between the product side and business side of the organisation. Twitter’s business folks (led by new CEO Dick Costolo) have begun edging out...

  • Five of SA’s best social media moments of 2010

    It’s been a year of highlights for South African social media, and for the first time our online trends have made a real impact on the world at large. Here are my top five picks for the funniest, most popular and most bizarre viral messages of 2010. 5. Cell C wants you to tell Trevor At number five, we have Cell C’s sometimes controversial, always intriguing marketing campaign. The mobile operator co-opted comedian Trevor Noah to become its customer experience officer (glibly named the CEO), and after a rocky start amid allegations of faking their viral campaign, it has captured...

  • The global Facebook Page admin fail and the SA connection

    The bug that caused worldwide havoc on Facebook Pages this week was resolved quickly after it was apparently discovered and reported by a bunch of quick-witted South African Page administrators early on Thursday morning. A recently-updated privacy setting had caused a bug that prevented or limited administrators of their respective Facebook Pages from responding to comments from fans. Facebook acknowledged the problem and quickly fixed the error: "We are currently working on a fix that is keeping some Page admins from commenting on their Wall content. Thanks to those who helped us identify this issue." The local Page administrators claim...

  • What the Zuck? Facebook Page admin bombshell causes havoc

    We all know how much of an outcry there is every time the Facebook developers get it into their developer heads that the platform needs a change. Usually I’m rather *meh* about any of the new features, I quietly adopt them, get used to them and move on until the next time a change comes round. This time, I’m sitting in my office flabbergasted, after getting a call from my team telling...

  • Eight ways you should be using Twitter hashtags

    So you've used a hashtag or two in your time, but have you explored their full potential? Since people started using hashtags on Twitter to organise tweets, their has proliferated with almost every second tweet being marked with at least one hashtag. While they’re often exploited by spammers who link their sites to tweets riddled with all the current trending hashtags, they’re also really useful in streamlining information in an ocean of tweets. Here are eight of the most effective ways to use a hashtag. 1. Broad categorisation. The most obvious use of hashtags is to categorise tweets into a searchable...

  • A hardcore gamer makes peace with Farmville

    Here’s an interesting fact for you: 53% of all Facebook users play social games like FarmVille and Mafia Wars. Is that a surprise to you? Probably not. If you aren’t already chipping away at your workplace productivity trying to grow beets and raise sheep, then it’s a pretty fair bet you know someone who is. Social gaming is a global phenomenon. There are in the region of 550-million people on Facebook, so even if we round it off to a clean 50%, that is at least 270-million people dedicating hours of their time to social gaming. That is a huge...

  • Five key points about Facebook’s new profile design

    As with life, the only constant you can expect from Facebook is change. Starting from yesterday, the global social network will be rolling out a new design for its most important building block - the personal profile page. It’s a mark of the influence of the site that founder Mark Zuckerberg unveiled the new design on 60 Minutes, still one of the USA’s most respected current affairs shows. Then again, when you have an audience of nearly 600 million people, CBS’s 12-million strong audience probably doesn’t seem all that daunting. So what should we expect from the design? 1. First things first Your...

  • Race row erupts on Facebook over singer’s comments

    Afrikaans singer and celebrity Steve Hofmeyr has "sparked a racial storm" on his sizeable Facebook Page, reports the Times today. The singer's anger and outrage over recent farm murders of a white couple and their three-year old child spilled over onto Facebook to his 89 000 fans this weekend. This is not the first time that Hofmeyr has lashed out using Facebook as a channel -- and his status updates continue to walk a fine line between justifiable anger and hate speech. Hofmeyer's use of Facebook raises interesting questions around freedom of expression. On the one hand, a Facebook...

  • Facebook rolls out new, improved profile pages

    The official Facebook Twitter account has tweeted news about improvements to user profiles pages on the social network, making it "easier for you to tell your story and learn about your friends". "We're really excited about the new profile. We're rolling it out gradually and plan to get it to everyone by early next year," said Facebook on their official blog. Users can either wait a while for Facebook to make the changes across its entire platform or upgrade themselves to the new profile page layout and features immediately here: www.facebook.com/about/profile. Some of the Profile changes include: A new introduction: A...