Keeping up with all the news, updates, and feature announcements on some of the top social networks can be challenging. And the last few weeks have been particularly full of social network news. Here’s a rundown of some of the new Twitter and Facebook updates to keep you in the loop:
- Apple iOS 5 Integration – At a recent press conference, Apple announced that it will deeply integrate Twitter into the upcoming iOS 5, which will launch this fall, making it easier for users to share photos, videos, and links on Twitter with just one click. And, app developers will have the ability to add simple, one-click integration into apps to make them more social. Experts say this could boost Twitter’s exposure and help grow its user base.
- Link Shortening – There are a variety of link shortening services that help make it easier to share content with links in Twitter’s 140 character space limit. Twitter announced that it will begin automatically shortening long links to its http://t.co format, creating a 19-character link automatically for users posting via Twitter.com. The company noted that third-party link shortening services (such as http://bit.ly) will still work on Twitter.com. A long awaited feature, this can cut down on the time it takes to share links on the site. Additionally, links shortened within the Twitter web app will display a shortened version of the original link, helping users detect the authenticity of links and avoid security issues.
- Photo Sharing – Twitter also announced that it is rolling out native photo sharing. Sites like Twitpic and Yfrog have been offsite, third-party tools to help you post images and share short links to them. Now, photos and videos can be connected directly to tweets, rather than just linked through them. Users won’t have to leave Twitter.com to post or view the images or videos posted through the site. Since the feature is powered by Photobucket, Twitter users will be able to do more advanced features like editing images if they have a Photobucket account. In addition, popular images and videos shared directly via Twitter will be featured on the homepage, which provides an interesting new avenue to expand awareness using Twitter.
- Tag Suggestions and Facial Recognition – In a somewhat controversial update, Facebook launched tag suggestions using a powerful facial recognition software that will recognize friends in photos you upload and recommend that you tag them. The controversial part is that Facebook turned on the new feature as a default. This means that if you don’t want Facebook to recommend your face be tagged in other people’s photos that you appear in, you have to change your privacy settings. You can adjust the settings for this feature by going to Account > Privacy Settings > Sharing on Facebook > Customize Settings > Suggest Photos of Me to Friends > Edit Settings. Luckily, Facebook will notify you if friends tag you in a photo, so you can remove yourself from any images you don’t want associated with your Facebook profile.
- Facebook Testing Real-Time Updates – Though still in the testing phase, Facebook is reported to be developing a real-time feature called “Happening Now,” which shows what your Facebook friends are doing as they do it, such as liking or commenting on content on Facebook, in your main news feed.
- New Contest Guidelines – Recently, Facebook updated its guidelines for running contests, promotions, and sweepstakes through Facebook. Among the many changes, users are now required to run Facebook contests via an app. In addition, the guidelines clarify that users cannot use Facebook features (like comments or messages) to enter or vote in a contest or to notify winners. Here’s a handy rundown we put together of some of the Facebook contest changes you need to know.
- Approaching 700 Million Users – Facebook reached 687 million global users in May, increasing its total reach worldwide.
- Social Search with Bing – Facebook also recently announced an integration with Bing that will enable users to harness their personal social graph when they search the Internet. Bing’s social search, which users can opt to enable, features algorithm updates, social search results, integrated social messages, and more. We put together an overview of some of the features of Bing’s new social search to get you up to speed.
These are just some of the new features, updates, and announcements from some of the hottest social media sites. What do you think about Twitter’s new features? Are you using tag suggestions on Facebook? Let us know what you think about these stories by leaving us a comment!
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