Orwellian law demands passwords if school officials request them
A law that came into effect on January 1 in Illinois is riling up parents of students in the state. Public Act 098-0801, ostensibly passed to cut down on school-age bullying, mandates that school authorities may demand a student -- or a parent -- surrender social media account information, including passwords, if school officials believe that there has been a violation of school rules or procedures. The law applies even to accounts or postings not on school grounds, and made at any time or place. Furthermore, failure to comply will trigger a criminal charge for the student, the parents, or both.
Walls off Candy Crush, friend feeds to create social network for job collaboration
Social media giant Facebook has launched on a new service for the web, iOS and Android called "Facebook at Work" that is intended to give office communications a familiar interface. Offering a (literally) gray take on the usual Facebook interface, the service creates a variation of the popular social service that is limited to co-workers only, and intended for office communications, messaging, file sharing, and other forms of collaboration. The service is currently still testing with partners, but is available as an app on the iOS App Store.
Facebook Groups is the fifth app to come out of Creative Labs in 2014
Facebook announced that yet another standalone application is available for one aspect for its social media platform. Facebook Groups takes the act of socializing in groups through the social media service, and crams it into a mobile experience that is said to be easier to manage and navigate. The app is available now on Android and iOS devices.
Xim allows photos to be shared people on contact lists, photo streams expire
A new photo application for mobile devices was made available from Microsoft today, one that focuses on sharing the experience of photos without having to passing a phone around or accidentally sharing too much on social media. Xim sets itself apart from other photo-sharing services and applications, as it doesn't require all users to have an account or the app installed.
Google comfortable with progress according to new Google+ department head
With Vic Gundotra leaving Google earlier in the year, many thought that Google+ would die because of his departure. However, it appears that Google is satisfied with the progress that its social media software has made. New Head of Social Media David Besbris, who was a vice president of engineering, says that he thinks Google is in social media for the long haul.
Items collected can only be limited to school, pupil safety, parents must be notified
While California Governor Jerry Brown's signing of a bill banning single-use plastic bags across the state made its way to headlines this week, another bill signed the day prior made headway on how social media, schools and information collection interact. Brown signed Assembly Bill 1442 on September 29, limiting the amount of information schools can collect on student activity on social media.
Social media company evolves to include more commerce models, give exclusive offers
Twitter appears to be diving deeper in to the pool of commerce as the social media company announced today that it was beginning a new test of a "buy" button. A previous version of the button appeared in small-batch testing that appeared in June and in a mock-up dating back to January, but it's only now being officially announced by Twitter.
User behavior away from site, sharing now determine if feed articles are click-bait
In a blog post from Facebook today, the social media company said that it's trying to improve the News Feed by reducing "click-baiting headlines." The company stated that it wants to help users find posts and links that are interesting, while removing stories that are generally considered spam by people that don't want them to turn up in their feeds.
Social media usage examined in government-funded research
The US military has been analyzing the use and influence of social networks and social media, according to a report. Research funded by DARPA under the Social Media in Strategic Communication (SMISC) program was conducted with the ultimate aim of developing tools to help "counter misinformation or deception campaigns with truthful information."
Russian lawmakers now require social media to retain user data for six months
Russian President Vladimir Putin appeared before the press earlier today, and in his pre-prepared remarks, he called the Internet "a CIA project," and slammed the country's largest search engine Yandex. He also noted that the Russia parliament has recently signed into law a requirement for all social media websites operating in Russia to maintain servers in Russia, as well as retain all data about users for at least six months.
LeBron James reveals phone issue in Samsung Twitter mistake
Despite Samsung recently enjoying success with marketing on Twitter as part of the Oscars, the company has suffered a social media misstep. Brand ambassador and Basketball star LeBron James posted a message claiming his phone, a Galaxy Note, "just erased everything it had in it and rebooted," and though Apple Insider notes the tweet was subsequently deleted, it was not removed before a contingent of the star's near-12 million followers retweeted the message. The Twitter account has since claimed data has been restored on the device, but did not detail if there was any intervention by Samsung.
SurveyMonkey releases new app for survey tools on iOS
Online survey tool provider SurveyMonkey has launched an app for mobile creation and monitoring of surveys. Currently only available for iOS devices, the app features an intuitive user interface that facilitates the writing and designing of surveys and polls, as well as the sending of completed surveys to anyone via the Web, email or social media. Users can keep track of survey responses as they are received, and SurveryMonkey's analytics tool can organize, compare and filter data results. SurveyMonkey is a free download through iTunes, with Pro subscription options available ($24 monthly, $200 annual) that allow users to personalize the app with one's company logo, have access to more templates, and more.
Twitter updating look of website to match its iOS and Android apps
Social media service Twitter has initiated rolling out an update to its website, with the aim to mirror the aesthetic approach to that of its app versions to iOS and Android. Users will be able to personalize their profile more than previously, with the settings menu including an option to add accent colors. The navigation bar is a different color and style than before, and some icons have been redesigned.
Company studies Twitter tweets to determine trends, ad effectiveness, more
Apple has confirmed to the Wall Street Journal that it has purchased social media analysis firm Topsy Labs for over $200 million, though the final price was not disclosed. The company declined to elaborate on why it acquired Topsy, which is mainly known for its analysis of Twitter's output of both tweets and user data -- but its ability to target ads to iTunes Radio and mobile users, find "influencers" or use Twitter's data on music tastes to help shape iTunes Radio stations are all among the possibilities.
New policy follows Netflix CEO investigation
The Securities and Exchange Commission has revised its reporting requirements, enabling companies to use social media to announce information that could be of interest to investors. The Commission cites its investigation into a Facebook post by Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, which noted viewership metrics and drove up the company's stock value, as the driving force behind its reconsideration and clarification of the current Regulation FD reporting requirements.
CNN set to close largest tech news acquisition
A rumor has circulated as SXSW that CNN is getting ready to acquire Mashable for $200 million. Reuters blogger Felix Salmon has posted a quick report saying that he had been told by ‘a little birdy’ that CNN is on the verge of purchasing the social media blog. According to Salmon, a source tells him that the announcement is expected on Tuesday.
Lets users listen offline, see friends' playlists
Former filesharing service Kazaa has released an app for the iPhone, iPad and iPod. The app allows subscribers to listen to an unlimited amount of music for a monthly fee. It can download songs and save playlists for offline listening. The Kazaa app also provides a social media function that shows subscribers what songs their friends are listening to or recommend.
Only group leaders can invite members to join
Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter offer users a way to talk to a larger, worldwide community -- but sometimes, a more private group chat would be better. That's the idea behind Glassboard, a new iOS app that allows users to create and invite others to participate in a private chat that is not searchable or discoverable to other users or outsiders. Only the group initiator can invite others to join. The chats can share location, pictures, videos and texts with only people known to them, according to the company.
Social media lets friends rate movies, video
Warner Brothers' social movie portal Flixter Collections entered public beta yesterday. The free service integrates with Amazon, Apple iTunes, Hulu and Netflix accounts and can be used to launch each of those services. Flixter can be configured to share media from a local hard drive. The site also connects users with movies still in theaters, with links to movie reviews, trailers and online ticketing.