Samsung is planning to enter the social network market early next year by introducing a Facebook competitor, The Korea Times reported. The service, which the company hopes will eventually compete with Facebook, will be available on a variety of Internet-enabled devices. “The eventual goal is to expand our social media service across different devices from different companies across different mobile platforms. That includes cameras, televisions and blue-ray players,” a Samsung official reportedly said. The social networking service is known internally as “Samsung Facebook,” The Korea Times claims, and the company plans to integrate it with Amazon’s cloud computing platform. The final product is slated to launch in the first quarter of 2013. “By the end of the year, we will have a polished and finished version of Family Story that will be offered first to Samsung device users for free. The new service will become available in the first quarter of next year at the earliest,” the official said. More →
Apple is reportedly preparing an upgrade to its iCloud service that includes new photo-sharing features, according The Wall Street Journal. The publication cites multiple anonymous sources who claim the Cupertino-based company will announce the new features at its Worldwide Developer Conference beginning on June 11th. Users can currently store and sync photos using iCloud, however the upgrades will allow users to share and comment on each other’s photos as well. The iPhone-maker is also said to be working on a new feature that will allow iCloud users to sync their personal videos to the cloud, and the update will reportedly also let users access “Notes” and “Reminders” through the iCloud web portal. Apple has not refreshed iCloud since it launched last October, and the service is currently home to more than 125 million users. More →
Social networking giant Facebook is reportedly set to make its initial public offering on May 18th, a day later than earlier reports had claimed. Company co-founder and chief executive officer Mark Zuckerberg, chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg and chief financial officer David Ebersman will take part in a roadshow beginning on Monday that will see the company host a number of meetings to pitch its stock to investors, The Wall Street Journal reports. An offering will then be made on May 18th, the report claims. Facebook’s IPO could raise a much as $10 billion and value the company at as much as $100 billion, making it the largest Internet IPO in history. Google’s 2004 offering currently holds the record at $1.9 billion. Facebook will be listed on the NASDAQ under ticker symbol FB. More →
Facebook’s $1 billion acquisition of Instagram has had a great impact on the photo-sharing app’s popularity. Despite public outcry with some users looking to delete their accounts, Instagram continues to add users by the millions. The media coverage has benefited the company greatly and on Tuesday evening, Instagram became the N0. 1 free app in Apple’s App Store for the first time ever. The company recently revealed that it had surpassed 30 million users on the iPhone, and combined with the success of the Android version and Facebook’s user base, it won’t be long until the photo-sharing app surpasses 50 million users and beyond. More →
After being greeted with mixed reactions, millions of users have warmed up to Facebook’s new layout, dubbed Timeline. The new face of Facebook places all of a user’s interactions with the social network on the profile page in reverse chronological order, giving friends a single destination with infinite scrolling on which they can observe all status updates, photos, wall posts and more. While Facebook tried its best to make the transition an easy one, the company said in January that the slow march to making Timeline a requirement was underway. As of Friday, Timeline is no longer an option and those users who have not already made the switch will be forced to do so.
UPDATE: A Facebook spokesperson contacted BGR to clarify that only Pages are being updated today. Timeline for profile pages are still being rolled out and there is no concrete date for when the mandatory changeover will take place.
A proposed amendment to FCC legislation that would have prevented current or potential employers from seeking access to employee Facebook accounts was shot down by the House of Representatives on Wednesday. The amendment was put forth by Democratic Congressman Ed Perlmutter, and it was defeated 236 to 184 with only one republican voting in favor of the change. “Nothing in this Act or any amendment made by this Act shall be construed to limit or restrict the ability of the Federal Communications Commission to adopt a rule or to amend an existing rule to protect online privacy, including requirements in such rule that prohibit licensees or regulated entities from mandating that job applicants or employees disclose confidential passwords to social networking web sites,” the proposed amendment read. Other legislation is currently being considered on federal and state levels that would prevent companies from demanding usernames and passwords in order to access employee social network accounts. More →
It isn’t uncommon for companies to scan through the Internet looking for information on potential hires. Young job seekers, however, have found ways to avoid having prying eyes find private data by applying a wide-range of privacy settings to their Facebook accounts. Now, the Associated Press reported on Tuesday that numerous employers are asking potential hires to hand over login credentials to their email accounts, social networking websites and other online services. The ACLU immediately blasted the practice, calling it “an invasion of privacy” and insisting that “people are entitled to their private lives.” Sen. Richard Blumenthal echoed these concerns and is now drafting a bill to make such actions illegal. Read on for more. More →
Exactly six years ago Wednesday, Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey published the first post on his new service Twttr. “Just setting up my twttr,” Dorsey wrote in his brief note. No one knew at the time, but his tweet was the first of trillions of messages that would be posted to the social networking service over the coming six years. Twitter has seen more than 532 million accounts registered in its six years, and the service is used around the world by people in all walks of life. While some still view Twitter as a wasteland packed with irrelevant minutiae, the service is also used by tens of millions of people and organizations as a means of communication and promotion. Twitter has even played an integral role for groups looking to organize in protest against oppressive regimes. Twitter announced on its blog Wednesday that the service is now home to more than 140 million active users who post an average of 340 million tweets per day. As of about a year ago, four months after Twitter celebrated its fifth birthday, the company confirmed that it was delivering an average of 350 million tweets each day.
Angry Birds for Facebook has launched one day ahead of schedule according to NewsCore. The wildly popular game has been in development for more than a year and was supposed to make its debut Tuesday. Instead, the hotly anticipated title launched late on Monday. The Facebook variant features the same game play as the original mobile app along with added social components, new power-ups and exclusive new levels. The game itself is free to play, with a 20-use power up costing $1. Angry Birds has been downloaded more than 500 million times and is reportedly played by 130 million individuals on a daily basis. More →
Yesterday it was revealed that the popular social networking app Path was uploading entire iPhone address books to the company’s server. The data uploaded included full names, phone numbers and email addresses, and the app uploaded all this data without ever asking for permission. Dave Morin, Path’s co-founder and CEO, admitted fault on Wednesday through the company’s website and announced an update to allow users to either opt in or out of the contact collection feature. “We believe you should have control when it comes to sharing your personal information. We also believe that actions speak louder than words,” Morin said. “So, as a clear signal of our commitment to your privacy, we’ve deleted the entire collection of user uploaded contact information from our servers. Your trust matters to us and we want you to feel completely in control of your information on Path.” The company maintains that when data is transmitted to its servers, it is always sent securely through an encrypted connection and protected by industry-standard firewalls. More →
A recent study showed that social networks like Twitter and Facebook are potentially more addictive than cigarettes or alcohol, and now we may have an idea why. A group of scientists from MIT in Massachusetts, IULM University in Milan and two other laboratories in Italy found that people showed physical and psychophysiological responses while using Facebook similar to those exhibited by people while playing a musical instrument or engaging in other creative activities. Beyond wanting to use Facebook for obvious reasons such as keeping up with friends and sharing photos, people may actually be seeking out the chemical responses they experience while browsing social networks. Read on for more. More →
Path, the popular social network that competes with the likes of Instagram, may be uploading your iPhone’s entire address book up to its servers. Arun Thampi from mclov.in noticed the Path app’s steal data dump while trying to create a Mac OS X application for the social network during a hackathon. “Upon inspecting closer, I noticed that my entire address book (including full names, emails and phone numbers) was being sent as a plist to Path,” Thampi said, noting that Path didn’t ever ask for permission to do so. It’s unclear why Path is uploading the iPhone’s entire address book, but Thampi noticed that the social network performs the action during an API call with basic HTTP authentication. It remains unclear if Path’s Android application is also guilty of uploading personal information. Thampi has instructions on how to catch Path in the action on his blog.
UPDATE: A response from Path’s CEO follows after the break. More →
A new study suggests that social networking services such as Facebook and Twitter are more difficult to resist than cigarettes or alcohol. A team from the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business recently conducted an experiment involving 205 people in Wurtzburg, Germany to analyze the addictive properties of social media and other vices. Participants in the week-long study were polled via BlackBerry smartphones seven times per day and asked to report when they experienced a desire within the past 30 minutes, and whether or not the succumbed to that desire. They were also asked to gauge each desire on a scale from mild to “irresistible.” More →