Flipboard on Thursday rolled out version 1.5 of their popular social news reading application for iPad and with that new release comes improved navigation, integration with LinkedIn and the ability to better share and find news.
Users of Flipboard can now explore as many feeds as they would like (instead of the former 21 feeds limit), while conducting cross-network searches on any subject the user chooses without using “complex” setup processes.
One very cool bit of integration is the ability to pull up a publications Twitter feed, explore what they have posted and then jump into those articles back in the flipboard app by clicking on Twitter URLs via the account: read more
Hotels have been on a social media roll, showing off their ability to understand the relatively new medium and apply it to their customers. Earlier in the week Ritz-Carlton announced a partnership with Foursquare and now Radisson Edwardian hotels have announced their own partnership with Foursquare and Facebook.
The promotion, which runs through July 31st allows Radisson Edwardian hotel guests to check out two hours late. Currently checkout is 11am which means you can stay until 1pm. Guests who would normally check out at that time would have to pay half a day’s rate, approximately $50.
The program is running at locations in the UK and users can take advantage of the offer by simply checking into Foursquare or Facebook at the time of registration at the hotel.
Facebook has become an integral part of our lives, many users obsess about their wall posts, photo updates and social gaming such as Farmville and Empires & Allies and while Facebook had done a decent job offering a mobile application that users can download, there has never been a phone with more dedicated to the social network than the newly released HTC ChaCha.
The ChaCha (pictured above), features a dedicated Facebook button on the bottom right side of the device, the button, when pressed, brings Facebook users to their accounts via a baked in Facebook application, ensuring an quick user experience at break neck speeds.
According to HTC:
HTC ChaCha has a Facebook button that lets you share just about anything with just one touch. Take a photo – straight to Facebook. Make a video – straight to Facebook. Show whatever, whenever, at the touch of a button.
The company has also announced a Facebook chat widget from HTC which means:
You can group all your friends together, and see when anyone is online. Start a live instant chat, and juggle between as many private conversations as you want.
The phone itself isn’t much of a wonder to behold, in fact I would classify it as a “low-end” Android handset which features a rather small (by today’s standards) 2.6-inch touchscreen display, a full QWERTY keyboard which Blackberry and heavy text users will appreciate and a rather slow 800 MHz CPU. The Smartphone also features a 5-megapixel camera on the backside and a VGA front-side camera for video chatting read more
When everyone jumped on the Google+ bandwagon over the last 24 hours, just before realizing that Google+ is a rather boring network without all your nephews and their three cousins absent from the select Club by Yourself, one of the first things users liked were Google Circles. As Paul Farol correctly pointed out in his First Look at Google+, Facebook already has a similar feature and it’s called Facebook Lists.
Facebook Circles, a hack to create Facebook Lists in the same style as Google+ Circles
The main issue with Facebook Lists is that they are horrible to create and maintain, except for OC list users like me. There’s no hiding the truth, it is a burden to create and manage list (Bonus: the same applies to Twitter). With the smooth Circles UI of Google+ the game seems to change though and it didn’t take long before the same functionality came to Facebook. Albeit via a ‘hack’, or a third party application. read more
The first wave of Google + (www.plus.google.com) invites will be going out soon and in the next few hours, we’ll probably see more posts with loaded with praises or criticisms. The first few weeks of reviews won’t probably do much to prove or disprove the idea that the search giant’s social initiative will actually eat up Facebook as it inches towards its rumored 2012 IPO.
In 2005 many analysts saw News Corps’ $580 million buyout of social network MySpace as a huge success when the company more than doubled their monthly traffic numberx from 20 million to 70 million users during the first year of acquisition and now just six years later the company has announced the sale of the one-time media darling for $35 million.
The social network was picked up on Wednesday by Specific Media with Specific CEO Tim Vanderhook noting:
“Myspace is a recognized leader that has pioneered the social media space. The company has transformed the ways in which audiences discover, consume and engage with content online.”
After being purchased by News Corp. the site underwent a major site redesign as they continued to bleed up to 1 million users per month from the company’s highest levels witnessed in December 2008. While new features were added to the network and more emphasis was placed on artists and musicians the company failed to gain the mass appeal they once held.
For their part Specific Media, a digital media company has promised to continue in Myspace’s current direction.
We’ve seen a lot of clever hacks on the Foursquare system, however none of them have come even close to a new game called World Of Fourcraft. The game uses the company’s check-in capabilities and Google map APIs to transform New York City into one big game of Risk the popular battle board game that pits users against one another for world domination or in this case city domination.
When a user checks in at different areas around the city they are basically placing their plastic men in that areas board game. The system then figures out which “teams” players have checked into that area the most in order to determine who owns the area.
By placing players on teams (there are currently approximately 100 players) the game essentially allows for multiple “plastic pieces” to be placed in each area based upon check-in. read more
Social media game developer Zynga has become a behemoth of the online market. With titles that include FarmVille, CityVille, Words With Friends, Hanging with Friends and even a Lady Gaga inspired GagaVille the company currently attracts more than 214 million active monthly users (AMU’s).
With those types of numbers it shouldn’t surprise anyone today to learn that the company has officially filed for an Initial Public Offering (IPO) to the tune of $2 billion.
If the company is able to attract the full value they seek, which myself and numerous other analysts believe they will it would value the company at $20 billion.
The IPO could be an important barometer for IPOs in the social media space, since going public LinkedIn has watched their stock value decline from initial highs, while Chinese social site Renren which became the first social media network to go public has lost half of their value since May.
One advantage Zynga has over other social networks is their ability to grow from outside of one network, they could just as easily adapt their games for their own social gaming platform as place them on Facebook or even offer them through Twitter should that day arrive. The company also has a rabid fan base who install new games the moment they become available, while promoting those games to all of their friends through constant social network updates and requests to join in the fun, a fact that makes the company one of the first to fully take advantage of the viral nature found in social gaming. read more
StumbleUpon on Tuesday launched a new “Widget Creator” which allows bloggers to showcase their favorite content from the company’s website.
Deemed The Widget Creator the program allows website owners to place content in a special box on their own sites. Users can choose to showcase content from certain sites that they choose or they can opt to setup certain topics such as entertainment, technology, music, etc. Other content that users stumble can also be included in the process.
Webmasters can even choose to use the “Favorites” from their StumbleUpon account to create the content that will be displayed in the widget.
The program also allows the header title to be changed by users, for example the widget shown above uses “StumbleUpon on StumbleUpon (A Real, Live Widget!)” however it can easily be changed to anything the user chooses.
The program, much like the Facebook Like button and Twitter’s tweet button is simple to use, just fill out the required information and a line of code is generated that can then be placed within your websites template. read more
Biz Stone, co founder of Twitter, has decided to step away from the micro-blogging giant. Word is that internal turbulence was at the root of his departure. It seems like yet another twist in the growing plot that one article on Fortune says includes ”secret board meetings, executive power struggles, a plethora of coaches and consultants, and disgruntled founders.”