Social media moves so fast, it's hard to keep up. Here are the week's top stories in scan-friendly format:
- Facebook Launches Mobile Site, Free of Data Charges
- MySpace To Encourage Android and iPhone Devs to Integrate
- Twitter Changes Trending Topics Algorithm
- Google Wave Now Open To All
Facebook Launches Mobile Site, Free of Data Charges
Facebook has done a great job of making inroads into emerging markets such as southeast Asia and other geographies. Now, trying to appeal to mobile users in more than 45 countries, Facebook has unveiled a new mobile site that will work without the need for data plans. Facebook inked an agreement with carriers in each of these countries to allow mobile customers 'free' access to 0.facebook.com.
Along with m.facebook.com and apps for platforms such as Blackberry, iPhone and Android, Facebook is driving mobile access to the already popular social network. 0.facebook.com represents a new era for mobile customers who typically have to pay harsh tariffs to access mobile internet sites.
Do you use Facebook on your mobile? If so -- for what purpose? Do you upload mobile photos and interact, or mainly just read the status messages of your friends? With more and more folks going mobile, social networking will continue to grow on the new platforms. And with this agreement announced by Facebook, emerging markets won't be left out, as with the traditional desktop computing industry.
MySpace To Encourage Android and iPhone Devs to Integrate
As a part of today's kickoff of the Google i/o conference, MySpace talked about a new effort to boost their profile in mobile social networking. MySpace announced the availability of a new software developer kit that will enable Android developers to integrate MySpace, including allowing users to log into MySpace without leaving an application.
MySpace recently said that 30% of their daily traffic comes from mobile devices and projects this figure to jump to around 50%.
What utility might this SDK provide? In addition to log in capabilities, users will be able to access status updates, update their mood, friends list, and photo and video upload functionality. If integrated into a gaming app, it will be possible to post your score to MySpace along with a clever status update to taunt your friends.
Twitter Changes Trending Topics Algorithm
Twitter has long had Trending Topics, which are supposed to be the terms that are hot topics at the present time on Twitter. However, trending topics have long been ineffective because of spammers learning how to take advantage of them and the constant presence of "Justin Bieber" as a topic. Is Justin *that* popular of a topic on Twitter? No, and the new algorithm should fix this.
Details on the new algorithm aren't being released, and Twitter has admitted that it's a "work in progress". The new trending topics have shifted from the most discussed items and will now show news that is "most breaking" and "immediately popular".
Trends is a very useful utility that Twitter needs to invest more into. One idea that seems to make sense is local trends. That is, what are the trending topics in a certain geography such as Seattle, Washington? As Twitter matures and evolves, trending topics will hopefully take new precedence going forward.
Google Wave Now Open To All
As of today, Google has made its Wave product open to everyone. Previously, Wave was only available to a certain class of Beta users. Now, simply visit wave.google.com and you can sign in. What is Google Wave good for? Users can utilize Wave to have an ongoing conversation during conferences. Additionally, business users utilize Wave to build documents and track conversations. Think of Wave as email taken to the next level.
In their blog post announcing public availability, Google says that if you once tried Wave and didn't like it, try it once again. They've improved the user experience including email notifications when Waves change, quick navigation to unread portions of a wave, and easily removing unintended users from a Wave.
Give Wave a spin and let us know what you think. Is it a fad that will go away or is it truly a new communication tool to enable work on the web?