Social Media Minute: Facebook Forcing New Profiles, Formspring Springs

4 minute read
Jason Harris avatar

Social media moves so fast, it's hard to keep up. Here are the week's top stories in scan-friendly format:

  • Facebook Rolling New Profile Out Universally
  • Formspring Announces New Funding, New Capabilities
  • Twitter-ers Break Tweet Record on New Year's
  • Social In Your Pocket: Mobile Broadband Subscribers Top 1 Billion

Facebook Rolling New Profile Out Universally

Last month, Facebook ensiled new profiles for it's users.The new changes were meant to provide a quick snapshot of the Facebook-ers life, showing new items such as education, current city, 'featured friends' and recent pictures.The new profile layout has had a mixed reception, with some Facebook users not wanting to switch to the 'improved' layout.

Now, it appears the option to opt-out is going away.Facebook announced this change recently on their blog, saying there will not be an option to continue on with the old layout.

For more information regarding the new profile, see Facebook's information page.On this site, you can take a quick tour and familiarize yourself before the change is pushed on you, if you haven't already chosen the new profile page.

Formspring Announces New Funding, New Capabilities

Formspring, a leading site that facilitates question and answer types of conversations, made some significant announcements recently.First of all, the company closed a US$ 11.5 million round of fresh funding from RedPoint Ventures.

Secondly, the company is revealing a new button to help facilitate conversation on websites.The "Respond" button will let publishers ask questions on their website and visitors can respond -- all on Formspring.The button is similar to the Tweet, Facebook and Digg buttons we've seen for years, but this version is centric to Formspring.The responses can broadcast back into sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

Formspring is a popular site that has garnered 20 million users, so publishers have incentive to use the Formspring button.However, how many social sites do users need to be presented with?Formspring will need to differentiate itself to help motivate users to use the service.

Twitter-ers Break Tweet Record on New Year's

Twitter has a metric called TPS which measures instantly the amount of activity on the popular social network.The acronym stands for tweets per second and this record was recently broken on January 1.In Japan, Twitter registered 6,939 TPS consisting of Twitter users wishing "Akemashite omedetou gozaimasu" which means Happy New Year!

Learning Opportunities

As outlined on Twitter's blog, New Year is a very festive day in Japan, where the entire population shuts down and connects with friends and family to celebrate.The Japanese people make it a point to call all in their social circle and wish them a happy new year.

In this last episode, the TPS record doubled the old one of 3.283 which was set during Japan's victory over Denmark last summer during the world cup.How did you communicate on New Year's Day?Was Twitter or Facebook on your radar, or did you use good old fashioned calling or text messaging?

Social In Your Pocket: Mobile Broadband Subscribers Top 1 Billion

It seems everyone is getting a smartphone these days.Between your social circle or even your Mom and Dad, you've likely seen Android handsets and iPhones popping up everywhere.The numbers agree -- mobile equipment maker Ericsson recently reported that the mobile broadband subscriber base recently topped 500 million in 2010.Furthermore, the number is forecast to double to 1 billion in 2011.

The growth of the mobile web is key to social networking, as Twitter and Facebook both attribute much of their company's growth to mobile usage.As a matter of practice, when users adopt smartphones, they tend to check and update status messages, upload photos to various social services and use phones in mobile shopping.

The Ericsson metrics are no surprise to anyone watching the mobile industry, but the billion number is extremely relevant to social web marketers and platform providers.