Archive for November, 2010

Boy Meets Girl: How Facebook Functions in Modern Romance

November 20, 2010 3 comments

There’s no denying that Facebook has had an impact on the way the younger set flirt, fall in love and break up. Now, Seventeen magazine has released a study that depicts just what kind of repercussions the social networking site has had on modern courtship.

“Teens are incredibly social, and Facebook plays a huge role in their love lives,” says Ann Shoket, editor-in-chief of Seventeen magazine.

According to the study — which polled 10,000 guys and girls ages 16 to 21 — Facebook plays an important part in how amorous teens make a connection. Within one week of meeting a new person, 79% of people click “friend,” and after adding a new friend; 60% of people stalk their crush’s profile once a day (40% check in on their would-be soulmate several times a day). Moreover, contrary to beliefs that social networking is erroding interpersonal communication, 72% of those surveyed said that talking to someone online brings you closer to them IRL.

As we have already seen in other studies, Facebook also plays a role in how we fall out of love. Mashable writer Samuel Axon wrote a detailed feature about how Facebook has changed dating for the worse, Facebook dating app AreYouInterested released a study in which 21% of respondents said they would break up with someone via changing their statuses, and, most recently, infographic wizard David McCandless came out with a chart that shows popular breakup periods by way of status updates.

Seventeen, for its part, reports that 10% of people have been dumped over Facebook, and the same number would just change their relationship status to “single” to cut a lover loose. The report also depicts the anguish the site can cause after a breakup, citing that 27% of people change their connection to their exes after a breakup via blocking (get Ex-Blocker for that extra push), hiding him or her on the News Feed or unfriending. Surprisingly, 73% of people keep their exes in the friends list. I’d like to see some stats on how many of those 73% stalk said ex after the breakup.

A couple of other interesting tidbits from the study:

  • Girls are more judgmental: 43% of girls would decide not to date someone based on their Facebook profile, compared to 33% of guys.
  • Guys are more likely to keep relationship statuses under wraps: 17% of guys don’t share their status, compared to 12% of girls.
  • Girls think it’s exciting to change their relationship status: 50% of girls get a kick out of the status change — one-third of guys agree; 24% of guys find it unnecessary, compared to 17% of girls.
  • What do you think? Has Facebook affected your love life?


Twitter Helps You Find More Friends With New “People” Tab

Twitter is testing a new People tab, positioned next to the Home, Profile and Messages tabs on the home page.

The new feature suggests friends for you, lets you browse Twitter users through interests, or find new Twitter buddies through other services such as Gmail, Yahoo, LinkedIn, Hotmail and Messenger.

It also shows the accounts you’ve recently followed and viewed, with the ability to quickly browse accounts that are similar to those you’ve followed.

One of the main problems Twitter users are facing is a meaningful way to find new people to follow. There’s a large number of third-party tools and services out there that let you discover new friends, but until now, Twitter itself wasn’t really helpful with this regard. Now, it has finally consolidated all of its friend-finding features under one tab, which will definitely be helpful, especially to new users.

Interestingly enough, it seems that Twitter is currently testing several slightly different versions of the feature. For example, on my account the new tab is called “Find People” instead of just “People.” See the difference in the screenshots below.

HootSuite Releases iPad App for Social Media Management

HootSuite for iPad has arrived. With the release, the startup, which makes social media dashboards for web and mobile, has ported its business-targeted product for social media management across multiple services to the Apple device.

HootSuite for iPad includes support for multiple Twitter, Facebook (profiles and Pages) and Foursquare accounts, message scheduling, Twitter search, geo-location and click statistics. The application also offers a quick import option for existing HootSuite users looking to sync accounts.

The design of the application mirrors the column approach of other HootSuite products, and includes a stationary left-hand sidebar with a list of all streams being tracked.

HootSuite for iPad looks to be the perfect companion application for existing business users of the service who wish to manage their presence on a larger mobile screen. The multipurpose nature of the application might also help attract new users.

Just like the startup’s other mobile applications, HootSuite for iPad is free with usage limitations governed by the company’s previously introduced freemium business model.

The Hottest Stories in Social Media This Week

November 20, 2010 9 comments

Welcome to this week’s edition of “What’s Hot in Social Media,” a series in which we revisit the week’s most popular stories concerning social networks.

We’re keeping our eye on three interesting developments this Thursday.

Facebook Unveils New Messaging System

Facebook has launched what it calls the “Modern Messaging System,” a product that integrates e-mail, IM and texting in a unified inbox. Users can send e-mails from an address and text their friends from the same interface.

The revamped Facebook Messages will be rolled out to the social network’s 500+ million users over the next few months. In the meantime, we’ve put together a quick screenshot walkthrough here.

Chinese Woman Sentenced to Labor Camp Over Tweet

Cheng Jianping, the fiancee of human rights activist Hua Chunhui, has been sentenced to a year of “re-education” at Shibali River women’s labor camp after posting a message to Twitter (Twitter) during anti-Japanese demonstrations last month.

Social Web Responds Positively to Royal Engagement

The UK’s Prince William and Kate Middleton officially announced their engagement this week. Although we expected many would-be princesses would take to Twitter and their blogs to mourn their dashed hopes, response was mostly positive on both platforms; 43% of users on Twitter and 32% of bloggers reacted positively to the news. Most conveyed a neutral reaction.

Those who discussed the engagement tended to be female (61%) and live in the UK. Most of the buzz on Twitter was generated by users from London (greater London alone accounted for 10% of all tweets), followed by Manchester, Glasgow (Scotland), Cardiff (Wales) and New York City.

Magazine That Plagarized Blogger’s Article to Fold [REPORT]

It looks like Cooks Source, the New England magazine that was bullied by the web after plagiarizing a blogger’s article without permission, compensation, nor later, an apology, has been shamed into shutting down.

Yesterday morning, an unsigned apology of sorts, seemingly authored by editor Judith Griggs, was posted to the website along with the news that the public fallout from the plagiarism “is probably the final straw for Cooks Source.”

“We have never been a great money-maker even with all the good we do for businesses,” the note reads. “Having a black mark won’t help…and now, our black mark will become our shroud. Winters are bleak in Western New England, and as such they are bleak for Cooks Source as well. This will end us. In the end if we did keep going, I would (very gladly) hire someone else to serve as editor and just continue my work with the towns.”

The note goes on to thank Cook Source’s readers, advertisers, writers and other affiliates, and address the plagiarized blogger: “To one writer in particular, Monica Gaudio, I wish you had given me a chance,” the note concludes.

The note — and the rest of Cook Source’s website has since been taken down. now redirects to It’s unclear whether the site has been taken down because of traffic overload or because Cooks Source has, in fact, shuttered — or if the site is down for another reason entirely.

How do you feel about the announcement? Was the web’s public shaming of Cooks Source and its editor justified, given the outcome?

Image courtesy of Flickr

Facebook Bug Deactivates Many Accounts, Throws Messaging Future Into Doubt

On Monday, we voiced our concerns about the security implications of Facebook’s newly announced messaging service. Today, those concerns take new shape as a Facebook bug has erroneously deactivated a number of accounts on the social networking site.

According to Read Write Web, Facebook has confirmed that a bug that went live today was designed to find and disable accounts that seem fake. The social networking site is apparently working to fix the issue and to get those accounts up and running.

Boy Genius Report says all complaints made via Twitter about deactivation seem to be coming from women, who have been told that their profiles are “inauthentic,” and have been asked to scan and upload ID in order to get their accounts back in action. According to BGR, this is the message users are receiving:

“Please upload a government-issued ID to this report and make sure that your full name, date of birth, and photo are clear. You should also black out any personal information that is not needed to verify your identity (e.g., social security number).

If you do not have access to a scanner, a digital image of your photo ID will be accepted as well. Rest assured that we will permanently delete your ID from our servers once we have used it to verify the authenticity of your account.”

We’ve reached out to Facebook to ask whether this is an official message or not. In the meantime, we suggest holding off on the scan-and-send if you’ve been affected by the bug. All Facebook says that this is indeed a way Facebook confirms accounts, but we still advise you to be careful with your personal information.

In the wake of this bug, we’re apt to look askance at Facebook’s new messaging system, which asks users to group all forms of communication into one platform. If the site wants to truly become a destination for messaging, bugs like this (and past, more egregious bugs) have to be mitigated.

Image courtesy of iStockphoto

Twitter Launches Push Notifications for @mentions

Twitter launches push notifications for @mentions

Twitter has announced that it is launching push notifications for @mentions, allowing you to keep in touch with the important Tweets when you can’t constantly check your screen.

The official Twitter apps will now allow you to receive a notification when any account that follows you mentions your Twitter handle.

“When you’re out and about, your phone probably isn’t always in front of you,” blogged Twitter’s Leland Rechis

“It might be in your pocket or purse or on a table – perhaps with the screen off. We want to make sure you see important Tweets even when you’re not looking at Twitter at the moment.


“To help with that, today we’re launching push notifications for @mentions,” he added.”You’ll know who is talking to or about you on Twitter, and you’ll be able to continue the conversation in real-time,”

“Notifications for @mentions will initially be available on SMS and on the latest version of Twitter for iPhone, which you can download today from the App Store.”

Twitter has also added push notifications for Messages to Twitter for iPhone and the company is “working hard to introduce this feature to Twitter for Android and Twitter for Windows Phone soon”.

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