Facebook: Will You Add The Send Button?


Not content with dominating the like button wars and invading our comment sections, Facebook is launching a new feature that could make sharing posts and webpages by email obsolete.

The Send button drives traffic by letting users send a link and a short message to the people that would be most interested. They don’t need to leave the web page they’re on or fill out a long, annoying form. Compared to the alternatives, the Send button has fewer required steps, and it removes the need to look up email addresses by auto-suggesting friends and Groups. (Facebook Developer Blog)

Facebook is also planning on integrating their real time metrics system within the Send button, which will make the feature much more attractive than traditional email sharing options.

It may also help the social giant to convince more blogs and web masters to rely upon Facebook stats (which report in real time), instead of rivals like Google Analytics.

Currently users have to manually install the Send button upon their sites until a geek free solution can be devised, although if anyone knows of an easier way of installing the code (without placing it within the footer), feel free to comment below.

Google Video: It’s Time We Said Farewell


For the few users who actually still use Google Video, you’ll be disheartened to hear that Google is terminating the service and giving less than 2 months to download any videos from the site.

Later this month, hosted video content on Google Video will no longer be available for playback. Google Video stopped taking uploads in May 2009 and now we’re removing the remaining hosted content. We’ve always maintained that the strength of Google Video is its ability to let people search videos from across the web, regardless of where those videos are hosted. And this move will enable us to focus on developing these technologies further to the benefit of searchers worldwide. (Google Video Team)

Google is recommending users switch to YouTube, which has more bells and whistles although the service only limits videos to 15 minutes instead of over an hour (which made Google Video popular in spite of YouTube’s growth).

Although Google Video will live on as a search service, the technology behind the service will live on thanks to Blogger (not to mention premium Google Docs users as well).

Did you use Google Video? If so, will you miss it?

New Twitter For Blackberry Sheds Beta, Goes Public


RIM has rolled out the latest update for the Twitter for Blackberry app (which they were beta testing for several months) to the masses, which should bring it closer to its iOS and Android cousins.

Although the new app includes a few extra features such as push notifications, mentions and auto-completion of hash tags (a feature long overdue).

However Twitter for Blackberry’s newest feature will help bring Twitter’s unofficial app into the 21st century.

[Y]ou can pinpoint your location in a neighborhood and include it your Tweets. […]

Viewing someone else’s location – if they have enabled this feature – is really easy too! All you need to do is select the location icon that appears in the bottom right corner of their tweet and a map view will open, allowing you to see where they were when they submitted that Tweet. (Official Blackberry Blog)

Adding location will help RIM remain competitive against rivals like UberSocial (formally known as UberTwitter), who embraced tweet location months (if not years) ago.

Unfortunately the latest update does not yet support video uploading (through third party services like TwitPic, Posterous or yFrog), although hopefully RIM will consider adding that feature when they roll out the next update.

Need A Kidney? Just Ask Facebook

Facebook LogoWhile social networks are known for reuniting lost family members and organizing protests against dictators, it looks like they may also help those seeking an organ to skip the waiting lists.

After suffering a stroke as well as being told by doctors that he could expect a kidney within a few years at best, Jeff Kurze’s wife became desperate to find a donor for her husband and decided to turn to her Facebook friends for help. [Read more…]

Twitter Drops QuickBar, Laments It’s Loss


Users loathing Twitter’s QuickBar (which occasionally featured Promoted Trends) will be glad to hear that Twitter will be removing the feature via an upcoming iOS update today.

While iPhone and iPad users will no longer be bothered by the feature, apparently Twitter had future plans for Quickbar that they never had the chance to test out.

The QuickBar was originally conceived to help users discover what’s happening in the broader world beyond people they already follow. The bar was also seen as a potential means of in-app notifications for new @mentions, DMs, and other important activity. […]

Rather than continue to make changes to the QuickBar as it exists, we removed the bar from the update appearing in the App Store today. (Official Twitter Blog)

Although I personally wasn’t bothered by the QuickBar (since the app is free), it’s good to see the company listening and responding to the demands of users.

While the QuickBar was useful for trend spotting, most users probably want to focus on what is happening in their tweet stream than what’s the hot topic of the day.

If Twitter ever decides to resurrect the QuickBar in the future, they may want to make it optional (or at least opt out), that way users can turn off the feature if it begins to irritate them.

Did you like the QuickBar? Or are you glad Twitter is removing it from their official iOS app?

At Twitter, Jack Is Back!


The man who founded Twitter (or at the very least helped give the social network its name) has decided to take a more active role in the social network despite being CEO of another popular start up.

Today I’m thrilled to get back to work at @Twitter leading product as Executive Chairman. And yes: leading @Square forevermore as CEO. #200% (via @Jack)

Jack Dorsey was Twitter’s first CEO before being forced to trade places with co-founder Evan Williams (who was Chairman of the Board at the time).

After the tweet swap, Dorsey launched Square, which has become a hit among small business owners (to the dismay of Dorsey’s numerous rivals).

Dorsey’s return (or rather active participation) should help Twitter gain some much needed momentum, especially with their rival Facebook attempting insert itself as the center of the Internet.

Although Twitter has a long ways to go before they can attain their goal of becoming the “pulse of the planet,” Jack’s active participation may help the company achieve that dream in the semi-distant future.

YouTube Begging Users To Embrace Google Accounts

Begging is probably not the best word to describe the scenario (demanding would be better), but either way YouTube is once again pleading for users to embrace Google accounts or face the consequences.

Although YouTube wrote up a nice post comparing those refusing to upgrade to people carrying “brick phones” from the 1990’s, Google is apparently tired of speaking softly and is preparing to resort to more drastic measures.

Now, we’re gradually asking all remaining users still using the older YouTube account system (pre-May 2009) to link a Google Account to their YouTube username. This is required in order to continue using your YouTube username. […]

Choosing not to link won’t delete your YouTube videos – you just won’t be able to sign into your YouTube username until you link your YouTube Account to a Google Account. (YouTube Help)

Note: Emphasis theirs.

It’s still unclear how many YouTube fans have yet to embrace Google accounts, although it must be a significant amount for the social video giant to resort to hassling fans logging in.

For those of you using YouTube as your primary way to consume online video, have you upgraded your account? If not, why?

Facebook: Blackberry Fans Can Now Chat With iPhone Lovers


RIM has released the latest beta for Blackberry for Facebook which not only sports a cleaner user interface, but also gives fans a feature that iPhone lovers have enjoyed using for many months.

You can now check to see which of your Facebook friends are online and start a Chat conversation from within the Facebook application or within the unified mailbox on your BlackBerry smartphone.

On Facebook for BlackBerry smartphones, as long as your status is set to online, you still receive notifications even if you are not using the Facebook app. (Official Blackberry Blog)

RIM also has included a plethora of updates for the app including the ability to actually view critical information (relationship status, contact info, etc.) as well as a new UI for the Blackberry Facebook wall.

However the addition of Facebook chat will give Blackberry fans yet another reason to stay with RIM instead of defecting towards the iPhone (not to mention an Android device as well).

Unfortunately there doesn’t yet seem to be a way to upload video from the app, although the company may add that feature to the masses in a future update.

Users will need to sign up for the Blackberry Beta Zone in order to test out the latest features upon the Facebook Blackberry app.

Twitter: Did You Activate Secure Logging Today?

Taking a cue from Facebook, Twitter has finally rolled out the ability for users to log into their accounts through a public hot spot without fear of it being hijacked by a hacker.

Today, we’re taking an important step to make it easier to manage the security of your Twitter experience – we are adding a user setting that lets you always use HTTPS when accessing Twitter.com. Using HTTPS for your favorite Internet services is particularly important when using them over unsecured WiFi connections. (Official Twitter Blog)

Unless you want to be the latest victim of someone using Firesheep, then it is highly recommended that you switch over to secure logging as soon as possible.

You can activate the security feature by clicking on your username (in the top right hand corner), then selecting “Settings” and then scrolling down to the section that says “HTTPS only.”

Twitter oddly prompts you to re-enter your password to confirm this setting, although once initiated you will be able to simply log into twitter without manually adding HTTPS every time.

Twitter has updated their iOS app for secure logging, although the official Android and Windows Phone 7 apps have apparently not received this feature (so you might want to use a third party app that has until official ones receive an update).