Social media moves so fast, it's hard to keep up. Here are the week's top stories in scan-friendly format:
- Facebook Brings Users In, Keeps Them Hooked
- Google+ Goes Public, Users Flock In
- Quora Revamps Site, Adds New Features
- Facebook Tracks Deep Usage History
Facebook Brings Users In, Keeps Them Hooked
According to new figures released by Citigroup, Facebook has jumped a milestone that the service has been inching toward for the last few years. People are spending more time on Facebook than on Google, with more than 41.4 billion minutes being spent conferring and talking to colleagues and friends on the social service.
These figures are interesting on two fronts. First, with Facebook's new features launched last week, including Spotify integration and social news reading, users will be spending even more time in Facebook as the service accommodates more types of Internet use inside Facebook.com. Also, with Google+ now open to the public, can Google fight back and achieve more time on its social service?
Facebook is indeed a sticky service as it encompasses the social and professional lives of your colleagues, friends and family. Raw search, as provided by Google, is less important nowadays in some contexts. Do you search less these days, opting to spend more time inside Facebook or another social service?
Google+ Goes Public, Users Flock In
Google+, the latest social networking utility from the search giant, went public last week, as reported here in the Social Media Minute. Now that anyone can get on the service without an invitation, Google+ has seen dramatic growth in just the last week, according to Ancestry.com co-founder Paul Allen, who's been tracking statistics on the service.
In the two days following Google+ going public, the service has witnessed a 30% jump in users. And in those two days, the growth rate is now as high as it was when the service was launched in late June. As of September 9, Allen's model gave a user population of 28.7 million. As of last Thursday, the number had swelled to 43.4 million users, meaning the service has picked up an amazing amount of users in a short time.
Services such as Twitter and Facebook aren't looking into the numbers too glaringly right now, but it should be noted that Google+ is the fastest-growing social network of the type that we've seen so far. Are you a new or established Google+ user? What is your experience thus far?
Quora Revamps Site, Adds New Features
Quora is a question-and-answer site that builds community around the exchange of, well, questions posed and answers given. The site has instituted a new version and now adds threaded comments, comment voting, editing and images. With the changes recently brought about, Quora is much more useful and usable.
Now, comments can be threaded, meaning answers to questions are layered in a tabbed way, making them easier to read. Also, answers can be voted upon, raising the most useful answers to the top. In another usability move, Quora now allows images to be embedded in comments and makes it possible for comments to be edited after a submission.
Quora is a popular site largely in the tech-geek world, but has yet to break out into general awareness among Internet users. The platform has promise, as Q-and-A is a general topic among everyone online.
Facebook Tracks Deep Usage History
European law grants citizens a right to know about the personal data kept about them by companies and must grant that personal data upon request. In Austria, there's a group called Europe v. Facebook that has posted reports compiled from Facebook that shows how the social network tracks your usage and stores this data.
For example, Facebook tracks every time a person "pokes" you, what computers you've logged in from and a list of other Facebookers who have logged into Facebook from that computer. Additionally, Facebook tracks every invitation you've been sent on the service and how you responded to that invitation and also, every person you've de-friended and when. Lastly, users' messages and entire chat histories are kept on file, which is pretty alarming.
If you're curious what data Facebook has on you, follow the instructions in the Forbes article. Is this information and the fact that it's being held alarming to you? This will certainly raise eyebrows in the privacy community and may make Facebook users more aware of the information they divulge on the service.