Facebook has recently released a series of updates to its standalone Facebook Messenger application for both the iOS and Android operating systems. One of the most notable new feature in the updates is a notification that informs a user if a friend has viewed a message the user sent and at what time it was viewed. The same feature will also appear in the group chat function. This is particularly helpful in this application since friends usually set up meetings and get togethers while chatting on Facebook. This way, everyone will know a message was read by all of the friends in the chat. [Read more…]
Despite being bitter enemies, it looks like the search engine giant and the social networking king may have to form a temporary alliance in order to squash a California bill that can hinder both their businesses.
Web giants Facebook, Google, Twitter and Skype have banded together to oppose an online social networkingÂ privacy bill in California that would require usersâ€™ permission to display personal information such as home addresses and phone numbers. […]
The bill would also allow parents to request any personal identifying information about their children under the age of 18 be removed within 48 hours of asking. Violations of the bill would result in fines of up to $10,000 for each violation.Â (Washington Post)
While the bill seems like a great idea in theory, it would probably not help parents govern the digital lives of their kids (who would respond by simply lying about their age in order to avoid having their posts removed).
Even though I can not speak from personal experience, many of my friends who are parents with kids on Facebook, Google, etc. already have the ability to remove their children’s content due to the fact that they know their kids password (which they use as a prerequisite in order to use the internet).
Although the California government has good intentions, they should let the parents be parents in the lives of their kids, instead of trying to force companies to bend over backwards whenÂ simplerÂ solutions are available.
Image via Sluggin.com
Instead of mimickingÂ Google’s insta-search (which would probably be a huge engineering challenge in of itself), Microsoft has decided to “out Google” Google by leverage the one asset the search giant has been unable to obtain.
A few months ago, we announced an excitingÂ partnership with Facebook to make search more social. As part of that work, we introducedÂ Liked Results, which promotes links your friends have publicly liked or shared via Facebook. Today we are extending Liked Results to annotate any of the URLs returned by our algorithmic search resultsÂ to all users in the US.
If your friends have publicly liked or shared any of the algorithmic search results shown on Bing, we will now surface them right below the result.Â (Bing! Community Blog)
Combined with the partnership with Twitter, Bing! is as close to a social search engine as we will probably see in the next few years (provided Facebook doesn’t launch their own competing engine).
Unfortunately once again this is only available for American users, although hopefully the company will consider expanding this feature to the rest of the planet as Facebook’s user base extends beyond the shores of the US.
While their rival Google can rely upon its superior resources (not to mention tapping into Twitter as well), the search giant’s lack of a decent social graph could prove to be a major hurdle down the road as users rely more upon social friends than sophisticated machines to filter their search queries.
(hat tip: Mashable)
With Facebook unveiling their new social inbox, it looks like Google’s ancient nemesis is partnering with the social king in order to help make its online office suite a little bit more relevant.
Facebook’s new messaging platform integrates the Office Web Apps to enable Facebook users to view Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents with just one click. As you know, Office helps you create stunning documents that bring your ideas to life. Now you can easily share those ideas with your friends and family on Facebook.Â I’m really excited about being able to make it even easier for people to use Office to access and share information across different devices, networks and platforms. With the Office Web Apps on Facebook, you have even more ways to express yourself with Office and easily share your thoughts with people that are important to you.
So go ahead! Create a personalized invitation to your dinner party next Saturday with Word or share that killer PowerPoint presentation you delivered for your school project. Let your ideas run free and inspire you to create something unique and share it on Facebook using Office. (The Microsoft Office Blog)
Although Microsoft’s Office web app has a long ways to go before it will convince users to ditch Google Docs en mass, the partnership with Facebook could help users unfamiliar with office web apps choose Microsoft over Google.
Microsoft Office live is also currently offering users 25 GB’s of free storage in an attempt to woe current users away from Google docs (the latter who offers users 1 GB of storage, with 20 GB available for $5/year).
The Facebook integration thus far isn’t very intuitive (which doesn’t exactly surprise me).
However if Microsoft can find a way to make it easier to share as well as allow users to edit documents from within Facebook, Office live could easily challenge Google Docs, as well as help both companies take down a common foe.
Previously Facebook was able to access user data from various Google services (like orkut) without having to provide Google with access to their social graph, although as of right now that apparently ends today.
Google is committed to making it easy for users to get their data into and out of Google products. That is why we have a data liberation engineering team dedicated to building import and export tools for users. We are not alone. Many other sites allow users to import and export their information, including contacts, quickly and easily. But sites that do not, such as Facebook, leave users in a data dead end.
So we have decided to change our approach slightly to reflect the fact that users often arenâ€™t aware that once they have imported their contacts into sites like Facebook they are effectively trapped. Google users will still be free to export their contacts from our products to their computers in an open, machine-readable formatâ€“and once they have done that they can then import those contacts into any service they choose. However, we will no longer allow websites to automate the import of usersâ€™ Google Contacts (via our API) unless they allow similar export to other sites. (via TechCrunch)
While it’s doubtful that Facebook will relent regarding its policy regarding contacts, Google’s attempt to force Facebook to give up data will ultimately fail unless other companies make similar policies or the government gets involved (both scenarios highly unlikely).
Unfortunately while the two tech titans battle it out, users (once again) will end up experiencing the fall out from this war, who could turn on both companies for not finding a way to work with each other.
Ironically the only victor in this war is Bing!, who needs Facebook to maintain hostilities with the search engine giant in order to remain relevant in the search wars against the Google Goliath (the latter who hasÂ consistentlyÂ outÂ maneuvered Microsoft).
(Image via Slate)