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WTF of the week: Princeton researchers say Facebook will lose 80% of its users by 2017

By on January 22, 2014 at 4:04 PM.

WTF of the week: Princeton researchers say Facebook will lose 80% of its users by 2017

We’re used to zany Wall Street analysts making wacky predictions about the tech world, such as the amazing prediction made by Money Map Press analyst Keith Fitz-Gerald last month about a merger between Microsoft and Apple. It’s a little bit rarer to see WTF-worthy tech predictions coming out of established universities that nominally have reputations to uphold as respectable learning institutions. Nonetheless, The Guardian reports that some researchers from Princeton are projecting that Facebook will lose a whopping 80% of its user base over the next three years alone. More →

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Facebook Declining Teen Usage

Facebook’s ‘teen problem’ may not be as bad as you thought

By on January 21, 2014 at 4:24 PM.

Facebook’s ‘teen problem’ may not be as bad as you thought

While Facebook may have a “teen problem,” it may not be as bad as a report from iStrategy last week suggested. According to a report from GlobalWebIndex, Facebook’s usage among teens dropped 2% from Q2 to Q4 in 2013. That is not nearly as nearly as sharp a drop as the 25.3% drop among high schoolers from 2011 to 2014 that was reported in iStrategy’s report. More →

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Facebook Mobile Apps Collection

Facebook still wants to take over mobile with standalone apps

By on January 16, 2014 at 7:20 PM.

Facebook still wants to take over mobile with standalone apps

Even though it failed to take over home screens on Android with the Facebook Home experiment, Facebook is still very much interested in the mobile ecosystem, where it plans to launch several standalone applications this year, The Verge has learned. The company issued major updates for its Messenger app on iOS and Android recently, and Instagram, still a popular photo service, has received its own update not long ago. But Facebook is not done when it comes to mobile apps. More →

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Facebook Paper News Reader

Facebook really wants to know what news you like to read

By on January 15, 2014 at 7:30 PM.

Facebook really wants to know what news you like to read

Facebook will reportedly launch a Flipboard-like news reading feature later this month either as a standalone application for mobile devices or as a “web experience” optimized for mobile devices, people familiar with the matter have told Re/code. Apparently known as “Paper,” and part of a bigger “Project Reader,” the news reader app would offer users quick access to various publications including the New York Times, the Washington Post, and others, as well as status updates from friends, “all in a visually stunning ‘paper-like’ format.” More →

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NSA Proof Twitter Alternative

New Twitter for paranoids uses Bitcoin and BitTorrent to hide from NSA

By on January 14, 2014 at 5:30 PM.

New Twitter for paranoids uses Bitcoin and BitTorrent to hide from NSA

Fearful of the NSA after all of the Snowden leaks, an engineer in Brazil is creating a secure and decentralized Twitter alternative that uses two tools beloved by digital renegades: Bitcoin and BitTorrent. More →

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Gmail Google+ Settings Controversy

Surprise! You won’t be able to email Larry Page through his Google+ page

By on January 13, 2014 at 4:40 PM.

Surprise! You won’t be able to email Larry Page through his Google+ page

Google’s most recent tactic for pushing Google+ on its user base has drawn plenty of criticism and apparently even Google realizes how potentially annoying it could be for users who get lots of unwanted emails from strangers. The Verge notices that “high-profile” Google+ users have their default Gmail settings set to block any emails that are sent through their Google+ profiles. This is different from the default Gmail settings for the majority of users that allow anyone who views your Google+ profile to send a message to your Gmail account even if you’ve never met them before. The list of “high-profile” users presumably includes Google CEO Larry Page, who has more than 4 million followers in his circles. More →

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Opinions
Google+ Promotion Criticism

Dear Google: Please stop trying to make me use your terrible social network

By on January 10, 2014 at 3:27 PM.

Dear Google: Please stop trying to make me use your terrible social network

OK, Google, I rely on your for a lot of things. Not only are you my default search engine but you’re also my primary email account (Gmail), my web browser (Chrome), my mobile operating system (Android) and even my primary music streaming service (Google Play All Access). I think it’s fair to say that I am a customer and on the whole I’ve been more-or-less happy with you. But there’s one thing that you’re doing that is driving me crazy: You keep trying to get me to use a social networking website that I have absolutely, positively no desire to ever use or even deal with. More →

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Twitter Shark Tracking Australia

Twitter is now literally a life-saving technology

By on January 3, 2014 at 11:45 PM.

Twitter is now literally a life-saving technology

If Twitter had been around in the 1970s, would Jaws have even been a threat? NPR reports that government researchers in Australia have started equipping sharks with electronic transmitters that post updates on their locations to Twitter whenever they get close to a public beach. Chris Peck, operations manager of Surf Life Saving Western Australia, explains that the goal of the project is to give beach goers real-time information so they can alert others to flee the waters before any sharks even get close to them. More →

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Employee Facebook Profile Screening

Why you should never hire anyone based on their Facebook profile

By on January 3, 2014 at 5:05 PM.

Why you should never hire anyone based on their Facebook profile

The person you’re thinking of hiring has posted a bunch of pictures of themselves drunkenly vomiting on their cat on their Facebook page — does this mean they’re a bad fit for your company? The answer, according to research flagged by Forbes‘ Kashmir Hill, is “maybe not.” The new study, conducted by researchers at Florida State UniversityOld Dominion University, Clemson University, and Accenture, found that there is no correlation between how prospective employers rated someone’s Facebook profile and how well that person actually performed at their job. More →

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Facebook Class Action Suit Messages Privacy

Facebook sued for invading users’ privacy

By on January 3, 2014 at 11:55 AM.

Facebook sued for invading users’ privacy

Two Facebook users this week filed a class action complaint against the social network, Ars Technica reports, alleging that the messaging system inside Facebook is not as private as it’s advertised to be, and that the company actively mines for data from personal messages and generates likes based on the content exchanged between users. Facebook described its messaging system as “unprecedented,” when it comes to privacy controls, but the filing alleges that the company is actually accessing data gathered from chats without the user consent. More →

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How To Remove Facebook Activity Data

Here’s how to quickly erase everything you’ve ever done on Facebook

By on January 2, 2014 at 11:00 AM.

Here’s how to quickly erase everything you’ve ever done on Facebook

Facebook doesn’t have a simple way of deleting specific data from one’s timeline including old posts, comments and likes that a person would like to have removed from his or her profile, Slate’s Jennifer Golbeck has learned. While the social network lets you easily save a copy of all your activity — and lets you close your account for that matter — it doesn’t have a tool that can help with removing only certain past actions that may not be relevant to you and your Facebook friends. More →

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“We no longer have to seek news, we have to seek refuge from it.”
— Darren Murph
Opinions
Twitter Analysis

2013: The year Twitter became too big to actually follow

2013: The year Twitter became too big to actually follow

By on December 24, 2013 at 11:00 AM.

Do me a solid, will you? Imagine the sweet, succulent release in finally letting go of something that’s been dragging you down, and then take a moment to ponder the agony of having no choice but to admit defeat and move on from something good sans finality. I get the feeling that a lot of Twitter users are now finding themselves in one of those two camps. For me, 2013 has become the year that the white flag was waived over Twitter.

A service that once acted as a curation engine for all of the noise that eventually hits the web has now found itself in dire need of curation, and as the stream crests, I’ve found myself disillusioned with the prospect altogether. Twitter has long since attempted to mimic Facebook’s crème de la crème News Feed approach with its Discover tab, but most would agree that said attempt has failed.

When your only hope of ever keeping up with Twitter is to simply unfollow people, brands, and services that you truly do care about… one has to question the usefulness of the infrastructure itself. More →

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