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New Apple tech may out ‘stalkers’ on social networks

Apple Social Network Stalkers

There are some areas where Apple (AAPL) thrives and some areas where it continues to struggle, and social networks definitely fall into the latter category. Apple’s failed Ping service is the biggest piece of evidence that the company isn’t quite sure what users want from a social network, so the company now relies on deeper Twitter, Facebook (FB) and Yelp integration for most of the social aspects of iOS. Apple is still toying with its own social features behind closed doors that may enhance various third-party social services though, and a new patent reveals some interesting functionality that Apple is developing.

In a patent awarded Tuesday that was uncovered by AppleInsider, Apple describes various features that could appear in future devices to augment third-party social networks. The patent describes an “apparatus and method for efficiently managing data in a social networking service,” and could “provide an efficient and highly-scalable friend service database.”

Among the more interesting features described in the filing is the system’s ability to track “stalkers” and “spammers.” The system monitors messages and requests posted by users and designates certain high-volume friends as spammers. Once a predetermined threshold is reached, the system will designate users as stalkers and additional messages will be ignored.

Zach Epstein

Zach Epstein has been the Executive Editor at BGR for more than 10 years. He manages BGR’s editorial team and ensures that best practices are adhered to. He also oversees the Ecommerce team and directs the daily flow of all content.

Zach first joined BGR in 2007 as a Staff Writer covering business, technology, and entertainment. His work has been quoted by countless top news organizations, and he was recently named one of the world's top 10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes. Prior to BGR, Zach worked as an executive in marketing and business development with two private telcos.