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

  • Advice to Follow To Get Re-Tweeted
  • Do You Tweet From the Loo, From The Car?
  • Using Your Facebook Data In New and Intrusive Ways
  • Facebook Turns a Profit

Advice to Follow To Get Re-Tweeted

For those not on Twitter nor familiar with it, re-tweeting is the process of taking a tweet, or message, of someone else's, and sending it on to your followers on Twitter. The concept is much like forwarding on an email from one party to multiple other parties. On Twitter, being re-tweeted is a little feather in your cap because it means someone liked your content enough to share it with their twitter network.

So, what techniques can one employ to help his/her content be propagated over and over again on the popular micro-messaging service? Fast Company recently examined this question and posted some observations about the re-tweeting process.

First off, sharing links will make your tweets more likely to be re-tweeted. Fast Company found that links are three times more likely to get re-tweeted than normal tweets. This makes sense, as some use Twitter as a tool for finding out what their friends find interesting on-line, a link will point to content that is worth your time. A related observation, it seems URLs shortened with the service are re-tweeted more frequently than those utilizing

Looking further down the list, it appears that Fridays and late afternoons are good times to be re-tweeted. A possible reason: perhaps people on Twitter at work at those parts of the day are not in meetings and are idly surfing Twitter, passing along information. If you're busily looking at Twitter on the way to a meeting, it's less possible to read, evaluate and re-tweet someone else's content.

Do You Tweet From the Loo, From The Car?

It may sound like a Dr. Seuss lyric, but where do you send out messages to social media sites from? A recent study from Crowd Science shows some surprising results from those who use Twitter, Facebook and similar sites.

For example, 11% of Twitter-using respondents said they interact with social media sites while driving. Also, 40% of those asked said they access Twitter from their mobile device and 17% of Twitter users said they've tweeted while on the toilet. 

Twitter users don't like to talk as much either, Crowd Science observed. Amongst Twitter users, 41% they'd rather interact with their friends via social media than telephone.

How do you utilize social media sites? Do you stick to your computer or are you a mobile user also?

Using Your Facebook Data In New and Intrusive Ways

On Facebook, users can choose their own level of privacy. Users can display their religion, marital status, age and other profile data. We used to think we were in control of our profiles, but a new MIT research project shows this bubble is about to be burst.

By merely looking at your list of friends on Facebook, some researchers at MIT have come up with an algorithm for predicting whether someone is homosexual. This new program and associated analysis, which was reported in the Boston Globe, is said to be surprisingly accurate with identifying homosexual men, based on their Facebook friend list.

This news is alarming to privacy advocates. Many Facebook users are very careful with the information they put on the site and this research from MIT will make potential Facebook users even more paranoid about what conclusions can be drawn from seemingly meaningless data.

If sexual orientation can be deduced from your Friends list -- how can your status updates and other information be intertwined to reveal facts you don't want others to know about? Think about that the next time you post your status message or embarrassing photos.

Facebook Turns a Profit

Last week, Facebook announced that the company's rapidly growing user base has helped them achieve an enormous feat: their cash flow coming in is now covering all operating costs. Bottom line: Facebook is finally profitable.

Also in Facebook news, the service now has 300 million users worldwide. The 300 million mark was achieved less than six months after they announced their 200 millionth user, indicating some major growth in last half year.

Facebook is becoming a treasure trove for potential advertisers. Facebook's traffic patterns indicate that its users check in to the social networking site daily and sometimes multiple times throughout the day. Also, the company has announced that more than two-thirds of their user base is out of college and that 65 million active users log on to the service via their mobile device.

Combine these statistics with the rich user profile data the company has, and one can see why Facebook is a marketer's dream. In the meantime, lets hope the service isn't ruined by creepy and intrusive ads.