A rough draft on connecting the planet's population
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is ambitious, if nothing else. Whether you're into the social networking scene or not, you have to credit the whiz kid for building the world's largest social playground with over a billion active users around the globe. That's impressive, but it pales in comparison to what he wants to do next. The social star now wants to connect every person in the world to the Internet, and he has a plan to get it done.
Some still contend that Google+ is a ghost town, a social playground largely devoid of active participants. Others, like Google's Senior Vice President Vic Gundotra, see Google+ as "the fastest-growing network thingy ever." Backing up his claim with numbers, Gundotra claims Google+ is home to 500 million people overall and 235 million active users who are +1ing apps, hanging out in Gmail, and connecting with friends in search. Some 135 million are active in just the stream, Vundotra says.
We get it, nearly everyone's on Facebook these days, some of whom reveal a little too much about themselves. You should be careful what you post. Why? Because employers check Facebook profiles of prospective job hires; that's old news. Alternately, go nuts with what you post and be selective in the people you allow to view your profile. But what happens when an employer asks for your username and password during a job interview?
For a period of time yesterday, Facebook's value topped $102 billion when 150,000 of the company's Class B common stock traded at $44 each in a private auction hosted by SharesPost. As of this morning, Facebook shares are trading at $42 each in the private market, valuing the social networking site at a slightly less obscene $97.9 billion.
Google+ grew to over 90 million members in short order, and for the most part, it did it without the benefit of teenagers flocking from Facebook (not counting the ones who slipped through the cracks and were previously able to open an account). A change in policy now allows teens age 13 and over to join Google's social networking service, but will they find it fun enough to stick around?
Twitter on Thursday introduced a new version of the microblogging service, one that's built around a simplified design intended to make it easier to follow content you care about, connect with others, and discover something new. Those are Twitter's official intentions, anyway. Unofficially, Twitter is reinventing itself as somewhat of a more traditional social network (think Facebook, Google Plus, and MySpace), even if it won't admit it.
What makes you, well, you? That’s the kind of question that can keep big-brained philosophers pondering for decades. We’re no Nietzsches here at Maximum PC, so we’ll just report on the facts, thank you very much – and the facts says Facebook thinks part of you actually belongs to them. Well, kind of. Facebook refused to turn over a complete log of the personal data the social network had collected about an activist group’s founder over the years, because apparently, the company considers some of your personal data – such as “Like” history – to be their “trade secrets or intellectual property.”
Facebook has given its users plenty to rage about the over years, from bungled privacy settings to a constant repainting of the social network's canvas. But one thing you can't fault Facebook for is charging subscription fees. Contrary to rumors, Mark Zuckerberg isn't planning to roll out tiered subscription plans, no matter how many people on your Friends list post otherwise.
Even though Google used an invitation system to control access to its new Google+ social network, the thing took off like gangbusters. It was the fastest network to ever reach 25 million visitors in its first month, and Facebook has been rolling out feature after feature that look suspiciously similar to offerings on the Goog’s service. If you couldn’t score an invite and have been wondering what all the hub-bub was about, today’s your day; Google+ is now open to all comers.
Before today, if your annoying Uncle Ronnie acted like a moron on Google+ -- flooding your stream with tons of pointless posts and tagging you in every message, let’s say – the only way to stop the madness was to block him entirely. And as we all know, nothing makes for an awkward Thanksgiving faster than blocking Uncle Ronnie on G+. Someone at Google must be related to Uncle Ronnie, too! Today, a kinder, gentler "Ignore" button rolled out on Google’s social network.