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

  • Most Users Don't Trust Their Data to the Cloud
  • Facebook Users Again Revolt at New Home Pages
  • Google Social Search Goes Live
  • Facebook Encourages You to "Reconnect" With Your Friends


Most Users Don't Trust Their Data To The Cloud

When it comes to their personal and confidential data, Americans don't trust cloud-based storage, citing security concerns amongst their fears. Security consulting firm Unisys recently asked respondents if they were concerned about their confidential data being stored on third-party site's servers, and 64% said they don't want their data housed by these organizations.

Additionally, respondents cited misuse of personal information and credit card theft amongst their security concerns.

These concerns are obviously warranted as cloud computing is a new concept. The idea of having personally identifiable information housed somewhere on the 'net is alarming, no matter how many safeguards are taken. With credit card breaches in the news recently, Americans are looking at information security with added emphasis.

Do you trust web merchants to keep your credit card data on file? Have you been affected by data breaches?

Facebook Users Again Revolt To New Home Pages

Last March, Facebook caused angst amongst their users by retouching users' homepages with a new layout and news view. After much protest and user discontent, users accepted the new changes and became used to the new layout. Last week, Facebook did it again, modifying the news feed feature that allows you to catch up on your Facebook contacts' activities such as photos, status updates and the like.

Now, users can switch between a "real-time feed" that shows updates as they happen and a "news feed" that recaps stories based on factors such as how many friends have commented or liked an item. With the new changes, there are two places you have to look to stay fully up-to-date with your Facebook social circle.

As a result, a "Change Facebook Back To Normal" group has popped up with more than 1 million members added to its ranks. Also, instructions have surfaced on how to adjust your setting so the "old" news feed can be restored.

As before, Facebook is open to feedback and may make adjustments. However, considering that some users entire social life is powered by Facebook, most users are likely going to be forced again to get used to the new changes and adjust appropriately.

Google Social Search Goes Live

As revealed by ReadWriteWeb, Google's Social Search how now gone live in Google Labs. How does Social Search differ from a regular Google search? The new offering utilizes your social network profiles and displays links and status updates from your own social network. The premise of Social Search lies upon the assumption that the most valuable links will likely come from those who you already have a relationship with online.

Google Social Search assembles your 'social circle" by looking at your Gmail Contact list, Google Reader subscription lists, and your social networking profiles specified in your Google Profile. By utilizing your Google Profile, the Social Search service has the capability to tap into sites such as Flickr, FriendFeed, YouTube, Digg and others.

This new service is Google's attempt to claim back some attention in the search game. With new services such as Twitter, Facebook and others, Google has become the less relevant to people who want search results centered around their social circle. This active filtering by friends and peers is seen as the next 'big thing' in the search world.

Facebook Encourages You to "Reconnect" With Your Friends

In addition to the altered home page, there was another small change that might have escaped you in the 'new' Facebook. In the upper-right hand corner, Facebook is inviting you to "Reconnect" with your less-active friends on the popular social networking site by writing on their wall or sending a picture.

We've long had the ability to have Facebook suggest new friends to us, but this new strategy is aimed squarely at reconnecting once-active users on Facebook and trying to pull them back into the service. It has been noted on the Social Media Minute that popular sites such as Twitter and Facebook are having trouble keeping users hooked on social networking services. This strategy from Facebook makes a strong effort to avoid Facebook abandonment by loyal and already established users.