Facebook introduces ‘Say Thanks’ videos
Following the success of ‘Look Back’, which created auto-generated videos covering key moments in a user’s timeline, Facebook is now helping us to say “thank you” to our nearest and dearest.
To create a ‘Say Thanks’ video go to www.facebook.com/thanks and select who you want to acknowledge. Underneath you’ll see a range of options, including the ability to personalise your video with photos and text. Once complete, simply click ‘share’ and the 52 second video will be sent to your timeline and the timeline of the recipient.
Released just in time for Thanksgiving, this latest video feature has received mixed reviews. However, despite critics complaining that their newsfeeds have been flooded with ‘cheesy’ and ‘impersonal’ videos, there’s no doubt that ‘Say Thanks’ is set to be a huge success. Indeed, with ‘Look Back’ generating more than 200 million videos, and no limit to the amount of friends a user can thank, don’t expect to escape the latest Facebook craze anytime soon!
Twitter allows users to share public tweets via DMs
Last week, Twitter introduced a new feature allowing users to share public tweets through its private direct messaging system.
For desktop users, tweets can be shared by selecting ‘…’ underneath a tweet and then clicking “Share via Direct Message”. Mobile users need to press and hold the desired tweet for the offer to share to appear.
The function has been designed to enable the transition from public to private conversations.
Snapchat monetises ‘Our Story’
Snapchat began monetising its ‘Our Story’ feature last weekend at The American Music Awards (AMA). ‘Our Story’, which uses a collection of public images and videos from users at major public events was developed earlier this year.
The AMA ‘Our Story’ combined user-generated shots from the crowd and red carpet with Samsung photos and videos from behind the scenes. Snapchat has confirmed it was paid by Samsung for the promotion.
Google launches ad-free internet browsing at a price
Google is currently testing a new scheme that allows users to pay a small monthly subscription fee (ranging from between $1 – $3 per site) in return for ad-free browsing.
Google ‘Contributor’ will see participating websites receive a portion of this fee, with subscribers seeing “thank you” messages instead of Google served ads.
So far a number of sites have signed up to the experiment including Urban Dictionary, The Onion, Science Daily, WikiHow, Mashable and Imgur.
If successful, Contributor could represent a fundamental shift in the way the web is funded, reducing the clout of advertising companies and the reliance on personal data.
Flickr to allow professional photographers to profit
Image and video hosting site Flickr is to allow professional photographers to sell their prints through its platform.
Flickr, which is owned by Yahoo, has seen a number of revenue raising developments introduced of late following challenges from up and coming photo sharing sites.
In recent months, Flickr has added a photo book and a canvass printing service for personal photographs. However, this is the first time that it has allowed professional photographers to sell their prints directly.
Initially, a select group of some 50 million images will be for sale from invitation only artists. Photographers will receive 51% of any purchases made with the rest going to Yahoo.
Introducing ‘Facebook Groups’
Last week, Facebook introduced yet another standalone app. Designed to make it easier for users to engage with their groups, ‘Facebook Groups’ aims to provide a faster, more user-friendly group experience.
With 700 million users in groups in October this year, according to Facebook the app is targeted at those already actively engaged in multiple groups. However, in addition to helping users manage their existing groups, the app also features a ‘discovery’ tab, which suggests new groups to join based on a user’s friends, location and interests.
Yik Yak receives $62 million in investment
Controversial messaging app Yik Yak has received $62 million of investment.
Acting as a local bulletin board, Yik Yak users can posts messages (anonymously or otherwise) within a set geographical area, such as a school campus. With some users using the platform to bully their classmates, Yik Yak’s founders are reportedly keen to address the issue, and are looking at ways to restrict its use.
With its latest funding round drawing a valuation of between $300 – $400 million, it seems that despite worries over its cyber-bullying potential, Yik Yak’s popularity among high school students is of real interest to investors.
Google taken to High Court
A UK businessman who took Google to the High Court in an attempt to prevent anonymous online abuse about him appearing in its search results has settled out of court.
Having been falsely called a murderer, a Ku Klux Klan supporter and a paedophile in over 3,600 websites, the man hoped to force Google to help him protect his image following the malicious online campaign.
As per its existing procedures, Google had asked the man to provide a list of all the links he wants removed; a process he argued was both time-consuming and ineffective. Instead, he sought a legal order to force Google to prevent the offending posts being processed in the first place.
If successful, the case was likely to have widespread ramifications relating to the publication of abusive and false material in our online social world.
The settlement was reported to include “significant efforts on Google’s part to remove the abusive material from Google-hosted websites and from its search results”.
Without a firm ruling however, it is unclear if this case will help those on the receiving end of online abuse.