One of the most widely used photo sharing services connected to Twitter, Twitpic, has added a new feature today. Users will now have the ability to tag people in an image before sharing. Twitpic will allow the addition of name as well as Twitter username. When tagging anyone in a pic, Twitpic offers the option to send an @reply to the user being tagged.
This is a feature Facebook has had for some time. The often tight integration of Twitter with this service could provide added benefit similar to that of Facebook. With Twitpics 10 million users and new geolocation service, we're excited to see how people utilize this new function.
Does this sound useful to you, or just another Twitter tie-in you'll never use?
Someone at Sony is a serious cat lover, and we know this because they've gone and assembled a team tasked with building a lifelogging device for felines. It's basically a collar with a camera, acceleration sensor, GPS, and a few other goodies designed to record what your cat Peaches is doing and where she's doing it.
Ready for the kicker? Sony's cat collar can be used with Twitter to automatically posts comments based on what's going on. Using Bluetooth, data is first whisked over to your PC, where the software then logs into your cat's Twitter account (Peaches does have a Twitter account, right?) and posts an update.
Shown off in prototype form, the current version only uses fixed phrases, of which there are 11 so far. You might see an update that says "Meals taste better after a walk," for example, or "This tastes good" when your cat is eating.
More than a few Twitter users on Monday awoke to find that they had no followers when logging into the popular micro-blogging service, though it wasn't anything they said/wrote. Instead, Twitter temporarily reset all follower/following counts to zero in order to stomp out a bug that allowed users to force others to follow them.
"We identified and resolved a bug that permitted a user to "force" other users to follow them. We're now working to rollback all abuse of the bug that took place," the company said.
Before Twitter squashed the bug, all a user had to do was type "accept [username]" to force that person to follow them, including celebrity accounts. It no longer works, of course, and what about those follower/following counts? According to Twitter, everything was back to normal by 11AM Pacific on Monday.
An official Twitter app showed up on the Blackberry platform just a few weeks ago, followed quickly by the acquisition of Tweetie for iPhone. Now Twitter is stamping it's seal of approval on an official Android app. The bad news is that it's only compatible with phones running on Android 2.1. So right now, that means the Nexus One, Moto Droid, Droid Incredible, and a few European only phones.
Upon opening the app, it easy to see why that is. The background is animated and it appears to use some system design themes (like the pop-up contact bar) that are seen in Android 2.1. The speed seems acceptable, especially for a first release. There are also both large and small widgets in the 1.0 version. Most apps don't have this feature out of the gate. There is also baked in Bit.ly support. Presumably, that will be replaced when twitter rolls out its own URL shortener.
Twitter worked directly with Google to design this app, and the code will be open-sourced in the near future. As a possible result of this close interaction, the app is capable of syncing your Twitter contacts right to the phone, if you wanted that for some reason. It's a bummer that older phones are getting left behind right now. Hopefully those people can get a system update at some point, seeing as this will continue to happen. Twitter could also refresh the app for older phones. If you have a compatible Android phone, let us know what you think about the app. It can be found in the Android Market.
Facebook is fond of saying that Twitter is "in the rear-view mirror", and according to some new survey numbers from Edison Research/Arbitron Internet & Multimedia Study, it might be true. The study shows the massive growth in awareness of Twitter over the last few years, but indicates that very few people actually use it.
In 2008, only 5% of Americans had ever heard of Twitter. By 2010, that number was 87%. Facebook's current awareness is at 88%. The stark difference is in usage numbers. A whopping 41% of Americans have a Facebook page, while only 7% use Twitter. By its very nature, Twitter is more of an ordeal to use. You have to interact with people to get any value out of it. With Facebook, many people just set up their page, and play Farmville.
This illustrates Twitter's adoption problem. Many people might hit a profile page on Twitter to see what someone is saying, but they aren't necessarily going to sign up and start tweeting themselves. The authors of the report suggest Twitter may beable to overcome this by reemphasizing SMS status updates. As the mobile app has become the hot way to use twitter, SMS has fallen by the wayside despite being important in Twitter's early days. How do you think Twitter can get past this problem?
Amazon is preparing to rollout the 2.5 update for their successful Kindle ereader. Some of the new features seem like nice feature additions. The update has added the ability to password protect the devices lock screen. There is also enhanced support for PDF viewing that includes the ability to pan and zoom on the documents. Amazon is including the ability to organize the Kindle Library in "Collections" as well. That should definitely help cut down on the clutter. User's will also have the option of two new larger fonts.
Those are just the useful additions. Amazon is adding a new feature called "Popular Highlights" with a social slant. The service will let you share passages of a book on Twitter or Facebook. The idea is that you'd be able to see what bits of a book others find interesting as you're reading it. Seems like an interesting, if possibly distracting idea. Just be responsible people, and don't share the ending.
The update is set to come out via an over the air update later in May. Some lucky Kindle owners have gotten it early, however. Any Kindle users out there that are looking forward to this update?
In a blog post on Friday, Twitter announced it had acquired Cloudhopper, a small SMS technology company and the second acquisition by the microblogging service so far this month.
"Over the last eight months we have been working with a startup called Cloudhopper to become one of the highest volume SMS programs in the world—Twitter processes close to a billion SMS tweets per month and that number is growing around the world from Indonesia to Australia, the UK, the US, and beyond," Twitter said.
Twitter will use the Seattle-based Cloudhopper acquisition to help connect directly to mobile carrier networks around the world. The microblogging service will also retain Cloudhopper's two-man development team, Twitter said.
Another week's gone by, and it's time for another episode of the No BS Podcast. This time the crew (featuring Nathan, Gordon, Andy and a first-ever appearance by new EIC George Jones) discusses the Library of Congress' newfound interest in Twitter, the HTC incredible, and the crazy new case from Lian Li. Gordon discusses the relative merits of tip jars and arson.
Do you have a tech question? A comment? A tale of technological triumph? Just need to get something off your chest? A secret to share? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call our 24-hour No BS Podcast hotline at 877.404.1337 x1337--operators are standing by.
Google launched Buzz just a few months ago, but it's already looking grim for the Twitter competitor. Media analytics firm PostRank conducted a survey of Buzz content and found that fully 90% of the content comes from automated (or bot) accounts. That works out to 63% of Buzz content coming direct from a linked Twitter account, and 27% is from an automated RSS feed.
So why is it that Buzz isn't catching on? It seemed to make sense on the surface. Gmail has a large user base and many people kept their contacts there. The early security issues most likely scared some users off. Add to that the still cumbersome commenting system, and inbox cluttering capacity, and many people probably turned it off. The only bright spot is that almost 11% of content on Buzz is unique to it. However, we suspect much of that could be made up of comments.
Do you still use Buzz? If not, let us know why. Security concerns? Or do you just not need another social networking tool?
Concerned about your carbon footprint? Spend more time tweeting and less time Googling. Quirky as it may seem, Raffi Krikorian, a developer for Twitter's Platform Team, has crunched some numbers and found that using Twitter is better for the environment than using Google.
According to Krikorian, each tweet sent consumes about 90 joules, or 0.02 grams of CO2. On a larger scale, there are some 50 million tweets sent on any given day, which works out to about a metric ton of CO2.
A single Google search, on the other hand, consumes about 1 kilojoule and emits 0.2 grams of CO2. So what does it all mean? That "we can do better," apparently.
See all of what Krikorian had to say on the matter in this video (NSFW - language) and skip to the 3m15sec mark.