Social Media moves so fast, it’s hard to keep up. Here’s the week’s top stories in scan-friendly format.

This Week:

  • Google Launches “Latitude” Geolocator
  • Facebook Opens Status API
  • Fake Dalai Lama Burns Twitter’s Servers
  • YouTube Copyright Madness as Teen is Banned
  • FriendFeed Search Enables Easy Business Intel

Google Launches Latitude Geolocator

For once Google has arrived at the party after Yahoo!, the party in question being geolocation. Its new Latitude service will pick up your location either via GPS-enabled handset or laptop (accurate), or via your WiFi connection (accurate-ish). When you sign up, which you probably won’t until you’re allowed to lie about your location, you can track the movements of your friends through your Gmail interface and avail of location-aware services like local-oriented search. Get the lowdown at the Google Latitude homepage , and read more about Google Latitude implementations at PC World . Yahoo! launched a similar service called FireEagle last August

Facebook Platform Opens Status API

Facebook updated Facebook Platform last Friday, the most notable change coming in accessing member Statuses. This has been a relatively messy affair until now, but Nick O’Neill at AllFacebook reports that now we can “Get ready for streaming Facebook status tools galore”, and that the move could be “…the first step towards Facebook killing Twitter”. Memorize the quote, so we can go back to him in a year or so and rub his face in it.
Other Platform updates announced include “new APIs for you to post links, create notes, or upload videos for the current user.”.

YouTube Copyright Madness as Teen is Banned

A teenager found herself on the wrong side of the YouTube censors last week because she had the temerity to post a video of herself playing the piano and singing a 75-year-old song.

Juliet Weybret’s rendition of ‘Winter Wonderland’ was removed from the site due to copyright infringement, prompting a storm of indignation from the Electronic Frontier Foundation and from the unrepentant pirate herself.

YouTube uses automatic filtering techniques to find copyrighted material, and the EFF isn’t happy about it, arguing that such filters will always catch some genuine users who have really done nothing wrong and should not have their videos removed. It has issued a plea to other YouTube users who feel their videos have been removed unfairly to contact them, with a view to taking the matter to the lawyers.

FriendFeed Rolls Out New Search

Social network aggregator FriendFeed has considerably enhanced its search capabilities, including an ‘Advanced Search’ feature which enables you to drill into some very useful, highly targeted information. Kirkpatrick at ReadWriteWeb picked out some great examples of how you can use the new search features to do online brand monitoring, dig up stories on particular topics from particular platforms (ie coming from Digg or Twitter or wherever), and do a whole lot more

It makes us think that the future of FriendFeed probably lies in its API. The data it collects on your particular network’s Social activity will ultimately prove more valuable as an engine for other Web services than as a standalone resource. Hopeless social media junkies might use FriendFeed as a primary resource, but those guys won’t pay the bills. Roll up FriendFeed’s data into other services though, and you’ve got something that Joe Facebook can use. Get the overview of the FriendFeed API here.

Fake Dalai Lama Burns Twitter Servers

Twitter thought it had gotten a kind of Divine endorsement this week when the Dalai Lama apparently signed up. The account, named @OHHDL (The Office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama), turned out to be a hoax, but after 16,000 sign-ups in a weekend, the real deal is apparently considering using the platform to spread His benevolent message.

Twitter is already full of famous people, though few which run their own religions (@williamshatner being an obvious exception). If there’s any celebrity you want to annoy or harass in 140 chars or less, you might find their handle here.