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

  • Photos On Facebook, Stay on Facebook
  • Measuring the Buzz Of A Tweet
  • Which Countries Are Most Social?
  • Social Networking A Main News Discovery Method

Photos On Facebook, Stay on Facebook

Facebook has been in the press in recent months with issues regarding privacy concerns. Now, a major tech publication has pointed out another issue that is very alarming. That is, when you delete a photo from Facebook, there's an assumption that it actually disappears from Facebook's servers, correct? This isn't the case, as Ars Technica has discovered.

The author of the article reportedly "deleted" a photo months ago and found the photo on Facebook's content delivery network 16 months later. Facebook has responded to the author saying that they've removed the picture for those who used to be able to see it. However, as the author learned, the picture remains cached on Facebook's CDN for an extreme amount of time.

The lesson learned is to not upload any photos to Facebook that you don't want anyone to be able to see. Even though you may delete the photo -- anyone with the direct link can access the photo for an undetermined amount of time. The old saying goes: once it's on the Internet, a photo is ALWAYS on the Internet.

Measuring the Buzz Of A Tweet

When someone is new to Twitter, there are few new terms they instantly learn such as an @ reply (when someone responds to you publicly on Twitter and a re-tweet, which is when someone reposts your tweet to their Twitter followers, much like forwarding an email. How much response does your average Tweet get? This is what research firm Sysomos looked into during a recent study.

In the 1.2 billion tweets examined by Sysomos, a surprising 29% of tweets produced a reaction in the form of a retweet or reply. Extending this a bit further, 6% of all tweets are actually re-tweets. Also, more than 90% of all retweets are bound to occur in the first hour after the tweet is originally published.

Additionally, most replies, 97% of them, occur in the first hour. So the saying that Twitter is a realtime medium is very true. According to the data, if your tweet is published at an off time your response rate will be very low.

Which Countries Are Most Social?

According to a recent study of how international users utilize social networks, Malaysians are online social butterflies. That is, Malaysians have an average of 233 friends on social networks, according to a TNS study. Japanese are the 'least social' online, with a mere 29 friends each.

In order to gauge online social engagement, TNS surveyed 50,000 Internet users in 46 countries around the world. In the study, it's also pointed out that only 18% of Japanese access social networks on computers. While one would assume the Japanese are accessing social nets on their smartphones, this is untrue as well as only 15% of phone users are engaged in this manner. The Chinese love their online friends as 52% of Chinese internet users engage in social networking with an average 68 friends each.

The full report is available on TNS' website with colorful visualizations that bring the data to life. What are your impressions on international usage? Do you have friends in certain countries that always seem to be online?

Social Networking A Main News Discovery Method

How do mainstream Internet users find news online? CNN was curious about this too, so they surveyed their international readership to find out. In their results, the news organization discovered that 43% of online news sharing occurs via social media sites including Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and YouTube. Other strong methods include email at 30%, SMS at 15% and instant messenger.

As with sites such as Digg, a small number of users are super-sharers, accounting for a huge amount of all news shared online. In fact, just 27% of frequent sharers generate distribution of 87% of all news stories. What drives us to share news stories? Folks from North America and Europe forward on news stories that they find interesting, whereas those in the Asia-Pacific region share stories that reinforce their beliefs and identities.

An amazing quality of social networking is the ability for people to connect around topics that interest them and's study reenforces that this habit is occurring. The regional differences with the intent behind the sharing is interesting. What drives you to share news stories?