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Latest News

Twitter's Increased Sticky-ness, Facebook's New Profile

Social media moves so fast, it's hard to keep up. Here are the week's top stories in scan-friendly format:

  • Twitter Adds New Content Providers
  • Beware Shortened Links on Twitter, Facebook
  • Tumblr Explains Downtime
  • Facebook Unveils new Profile Page Layout

Twitter Adds New Content Providers

One aspect of the brand new Twitter layout that was rolled out just over a month ago was to keep folks on as long as possible. To this end, when a link is passed on to a video or picture link, the old experience involved launching a new window to see the link.

Twitter has changed that by adding new functionality. Now, when a link is embedded in a tweet, the link is displayed all within the Twitter feed. The company recently added new partners, as a result, picture links to Instagram, songs from Rdio, slide presentations from Slideshare and video clips from will all be displayed inline on's site.

Twitter's intent is to make the experience fluid for users, as well as keep their eyeballs on's site for as long as possible. The new functionality will help with site sticky-ness and pageviews, metrics that could accelerate advertising rates for Twitter.

Beware Shortened Links on Twitter, Facebook

Besides having interesting correspondence and swapping cat photos, Twitter and Facebook users like to share links. Whether it's an image, interesting article or some other resource, links are commonly shared in the social networking space. 

However, an exploit is coming to light that Twitter users need to know about. There are currently two URLs that are shortened using Google's shortening service (known as By clicking on the link in a seemingly harmless tweet, users are subjecting themselves to malware.

Shortened links can be harmful because when clicking the link, you can't see where the destination site is without a bit of work that only technical people know how to conduct. The best defense for any type of virus or malware is an up-to-date security package running on your computer.

Tumblr Quickly Explains Downtime

Tumblr, as many of us know, is a veteran in the social networking landscape, providing easy to use and lightweight blogs that are extremely popular amongst users. Over the weekend however, Tumblr was down for an extended period of time — resulting in a lot of buzz amongst Tumblr users on sites such as Twitter and Facebook.

On Monday, Tumblr explained the outage as an unfortunate consequence during a planned outage that resulted in the loss of a critical database server. The site is now back up and running and users haven't had any issues since.

Tumblr generates a substantial 500 million page views each month. The company has grown it's engineering staff and has promised to increase capacity. Social networking users are used to downtime, as services such as Twitter and Facebook have regular service interruptions. Unlike Twitter however — who rarely publicly admits when downtime occurs — Tumblr's response was timely and well-explained.

Facebook Unveils new Profile Page Layout

Over the weekend, Facebook released a new layout to users' profile pages. The change is meant to present data in a new way and make the profile pages more useful to all Facebook users. User comments suggest however, that the public reception has been luke warm.

The profile changes start with basic information such as where users are from, where they went to school and where they work. Recent photos of the Facebook users are also presented front and center, a move that is meant to show your recent happenings and events in photos. Users can highlight key friends to place in the left hand side bar and lets users list work projects, religion or political affiliations in a new way.

The new profile page layout is meant to provide a more insightful snapshot of a users' life and allows them to customize the information shown. What do you think? Do you like the new Facebook layout? Please sound off in our comments below.


7 Tips for Succeeding as a Social Media Strategist


This post originally appeared on the American Express OPEN Forum, where Mashable regularly contributes articles about leveraging socialmedia and technology in small business.

The role of social media is expanding rapidly and many organizations of all types are trying to stay afloat amidst the changes. Meanwhile, a small group of innovators pulls the industry onward.

In the past few years, the social media marketing role has become increasingly present, leading the way to more strategic social media programs. Enter the social media strategist.

Jeremiah Owyang, an industry analyst at Altimeter Group, a digital strategy consulting firm, recently spoke at the Word of Mouth Marketing Association Summit about the career path of the corporate social strategist, touching on current responsibilities and challenges, as well as the future of the role. His presentation was based on months of research funded by Altimeter, in which 140 enterprise-class social strategists across various industries were interviewed. Other online sources, such as LinkedInLinkedIn and blogs, were consulted to gather job descriptions, profile work histories and catalog the ebb and flow of new hires in the social media space.

Owyang presented seven key tips for building a successful social media program and focused on how social media strategists can facilitate those successes. Read his tips below and add your thoughts in the comments.

Read More


Google Still Polishing Chrome OS

NEW YORK: Facebook has moved a step closer toward trademarking the word "face" - at least in certain contexts.

The company's 2005 application with the US Patent and Trademark Office has received a "notice of allowance," which means Facebook now has six months to show that it uses the trademark and pay a US$100 (RM320) fee, said Cynthia Lynch, administrator for trademark policy and procedure at the agency.

Or, it can file for an extension for up to 36 months. Once that's done, the trademark can be approved or rejected.

Even if it's approved, Facebook wouldn't have a trademark on "face" in every instance, only in online chat rooms and electronic bulletin boards for the "transmission of messages among computer users in the field of general interest and concerning social and entertainment subject matter," according to the Patent and Trademark Office's database entry on the application.

It oddly exempts uses "primarily featuring or relating to motoring or to cars."

So another company could well use "face" in a different context - think Delta Air Lines and Delta Faucets, Lynch said.

Facebook sought to trademark the word in December 2005. Since then, no one has filed an opposition to the proposed trademark, Lynch said. Aaron Greenspan, a former Harvard student who owns a mobile payment system called FaceCash, asked for more time to oppose the application, but never filed any objection within the extended time period.

Greenspan is among the lesser-known Harvard students of Mark Zuckerberg's era to claim a role in inventing Facebook. His company, Think Computer, filed petitions in 2008 and 2009 to cancel Facebook's registration of the term "Facebook," which was approved by the trademark office a couple of years earlier. As part of a settlement with Facebook, Greenspan agreed last year to cancel its petitions.

Facebook, which is based in Palo Alto, California, is also trying to rein in use of the other half of its name. In August, it filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against, an online community for teachers.

The "face" trademark notice was reported earlier by several blogs, including Inside Facebook. - AP



Face Off

Last winter, Google made a run at Facebook and fell flat, fast. Google Buzz, the social network it tried to build around its popular Gmail service, failed to live up to its name: it drew only a small fraction of Gmail's more than 100 million users, and it prompted a privacy scare and a lawsuit.

But Google didn't give up. Instead, the company is trying again, on a much bigger scale. It has spent hundreds of millions of dollars buying Web companies and luring talent in hopes of stopping, or at least slowing, Facebook's dominance in online social networking. (The project has been dubbed "Google Me," according to people in Silicon Valley who claim inside knowledge.)

Why would Google--the Web's most profitable public company, an organization that has had no difficulty increasing its commissions from online advertising--have it in for Facebook?

It's this simple: Facebook, from the start, has locked Google's Web-crawling robots away from its exclusive club of 500 million members. Just try to search for yourself or anyone else who you know is on Facebook. Google probably won't deliver more than a skimpy profile page whose goal seems to be to get you intrigued enough to sign up for Facebook yourself.

Facebook lets members reconfigure their accounts to open their photos and personal information to Google, but it prevents search engines from indexing individual status updates, the site's core content.


Tribune Media Services


Socialise And Sell Online

There is now a new social networking site called that allows users to post ads.

It combines the best of both worlds - users can network with their buddies and also sell their stuff, said Saleem Berbar, its chief ­executive officer.

The portal is targeted at the growing market of local Internet savvy users between the age of 20 and 50.

"Time is the essence and convenience is the key for these users," he said.

Like most sites, the user can post up to three photos for their product. Plus, they can provide a link to a YouTube video of their product.

Users can also chat in realtime with the ­seller to enquire more information on the item.

In the future, the portal plans to introduce SMS alerts, said Berbar.



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