Google Plus' big killer feature from the start has been that it lets users organize their friends and acquaintances into Circles to control what is shared, and with whom. But creating all these curated groups seemed a little like a half baked feature seeing as you couldn’t let anyone else in on that perfectly organized group. Well, now you can. Google is rolling out the ability to share circles on Google+.
Enraged Facebook users are still griping about the recent round of changes to the social network's News Feed and Ticker, which is par for the course when Mark Zuckerberg tweaks the layout. Based on the user response, however, you have to wonder what users will think when Facebook's "Timeline" profiles go live.
As part of the Facebook F8 conference, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings took a break from sawing his company in two in order to announce Netflix integration on the massive social network. Users will be able to share their Instant Streaming picks with friends automatically, but there’s just one problem. US users won’t be getting access to the feature due to a law from the 1980s.
With all that's been going on with Netflix lately, some people think Reed Hastings has lost his marbles. Others think the CEO lost his soul and/or question if he ever had one to begin with. That's because there's a lot of anger out there over Netflix's recent price hike followed by the semi-sudden separation of its DVD-by-mail rental business into Qwikster, a completely new company that frees Netflix to concentrate solely on streaming. As a result, Netflix is losing customers and investor support, but the company head hasn't lost his sense of humor.
The brand recognition Netflix is going for with its Qwikster spin-off probably isn't one of a pot-smoking Elmo, yet up until this morning, that's the image people would have seen if they tried to follow Qwikster on Twitter. That's the sort of thing you risk by not doing your due diligence, and in this case, Netflix failed to check the social networking scene before settling on the name Qwikster, which is the Twitter handle of someone who likes to blaze, play soccer, and rage about his ex-girlfriend.
One of the missing pieces of Google+ for many users has been third-party tools, and those can't happen without official APIs. Today, Google has finally taken the first steps toward full developer API access. The public data API allows access to all the publicly available data on Google’s social network. It’s a welcome move from a developer’s point of view, but there are many features not included in this release.
You can now follow people you don't personally know on Facebook, just like on Google+ and Twitter. All you have to do is mash the Subscribe button in the upper-right corner of someone's profile. You're then given the same granular control over subscription feeds as you are with your friends, allowing you to filter how much information gets piped to your news feed.
Trolling on the Internet isn't just obnoxious, it's apparently illegal too, at least in the U.K. Don't believe it? Go and have a chat with Sean Duffy, a 25-year-old who received an 18-week sentence for insensitive remarks he left on social networking sites about a teenage girl who jumped in front of a train.
It's starting to become clear why Mark Zuckerberg joined Google+ and it's not because he's grown tired of his own social network. He wants to know the competition, as in Keep your friends close and your enemies closer, and maybe learn a thing or three in the process. Zuckerberg seems to have learned that Google+'s social Circles rock and Facebook's friend lists could use a bit of work, so Mr. Zuckerberg and company went to work improving things.
Common sense dictates that if you log into a social network and start complaining about your place of employment, you risk receiving a pink slip from the powers that be. That's exactly what happened to five employees who ended up fired from Hispanics United of Buffalo who ended up suing their company, and won.