AOL has begun integrating its popular instant messaging service with two other social networking moguls: Facebook and Twitter. In July, they released a beta version of the AIM Client that connected the services to the application. With the updated beta version you were able to view friends’ status updates from Facebook and tweets from Twitter.
In a more recent update to the beta client, AIM now also gives you the power to update your Facebook status, as well as tweet from your Twitter account, all from within the AIM client. The updated “Lifestream” section of the application also features integration into other popular networking tools such as Flickr and YouTube.
A seemingly smart move by AOL, they’ve moved past their competitors, Yahoo Messenger and Live Messenger, by providing these additional, and in some cases, exclusive features.
You can argue that some people have an unhealthy addiction to Twitter, but anyone who offers to do it for 24 hours straight is either pulling a publicity stunt, or needs serious help. In the case of screenwriter and director Kevin Smith, it luckily appears to be the former in promotion of his new book “Shootin’ the Sh*t With Kevin Smith”. Anyone who wants to catch the blow by blow should tune into @ThatKevinSmith on Monday September 7th, and hopefully you’ll give the poor guy somebody to talk to.
According to the press release issued by his agent “This is not news at all. In fact, it’s kinda stupid. But I wanna see if I can do it. I’ve been training for this my whole life, simply by being a lazy fat-ass who’d rather stare at a screen than better himself with a brisk constitutional. Someone asked what my training regiment is gonna be, and I told them I’ve already stockpiled lots of Count Chocula.”
Is this funny? Desperate? Pointless? Let us know what you think.
uSocial is currently offering all the friends/fans packages at introductory prices. While 1,000 Facebook friends or fans can be bought for $177.30, the price for 5,000 friends is $654.30. The current cost of adding 10,000 fans is $1167.30. Although many doubt the worth of buying friends, uSocial founder Leon Hill claims his company delivers targeted friends. "We are getting, basically, targeted friends and fans who are saying, 'Yes, I want information on this,” he told the Associated Press in a phone interview.
Thanks to the inherent irresponsibility that comes with singing up for any social network, the IRS has been tracking down tax evaders thanks to people’s Facebook, MySpace and Twitter habits.
Mining through posted information such as relocation announcements, professional profiles and financial gains, agents with the IRS have been able to collect all sorts of bucks from would-be tax dodgers. One Nebraska agent was able to collect $2,000 from a disc jockey after he advertised on MySpace that he’d be working at a big public party. “These new supplements are often far more efficient than the older ones, such as reading the local newspaper or making inquiries at barbershops and church meetings,” said Jim Eads, director of the Federation of Tax Administrators. Another agent was able to collect $30,000 of unpaid taxes after a Google search lead him directly to his target.
So, if you’re the type of person that likes to boast about income that hasn’t been reported on Twitter, think twice. The IRS could be, and probably is, watching.
If you're concerned about privacy, it might not be enough to hide your profile or limit who can view your personal information, a new report suggests. That's because social networking sites are sharing your personal info with tracking sites, according to the report.
"When you sign up with a social networking site, you are assigned a unique identifier," says Craig Wills, professor of computer science at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI). "We found that when social networking sites pass information to tracking sites about your activities, they often include this unique identifier. So now a tracking site not only has a profile of your web browsing activities, it can link that profile to the personal information you post on the social networking site."
The study specifically points out Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter -- three of the most popular social networking sites on the planet -- as being guilty of leaking information. Using your unique identifier, a tracking site could then learn all kinds of things about you, including your name, address, email addy, gender, date of birth, what school you attend, where you work, and tons more.
But is it much ado about nothing? Only the tracking sites know for sure, and Wills admits that researchers have no idea what these sites do with the info, if anything at all.
Facebook late last week announced plans to roll out tighter integration between the social networking site and Twitter. More specifically, you will soon (if not already) be able to publish Facebook updates to your Twitter accounts automatically, however this will only link Facebook Pages to Twitter and not your individual profile.
"If you manage a Facebook Page, you now will be able to decide whether to share updates with their Twitter followers, and you also will be able to control what type of updates to share: status updates, links, photos, notes, events or all of them. If you have multiple Pages, you will have the option to link each of those Pages to different Twitter accounts. This new feature will soon be available at http://www.facebook.com/twitter," Facebook wrote in a blog.
According to Facebook, there are a number of celebrities and organizations on Facebook already using this feature, including Dane Cook, LIVESTRONG, The World Wildlife Fund, and the NBA, WNBA, and D-League.
It seems as though everyone uses Twitter these days, but outside of venture capital, the microblogging service isn't raking in the big bucks. So how does Twitter plan to pull in an income going forward? One way is by offering commercial accounts to businesses.
According to Twitter co-founder Biz Stone, the company is in the beginning phase of rolling out commercial accounts with premium services like detailed analytics. The next phase may involve building business-oriented application programming interfaces (APIs), giving the site a commercial layer.
"Twitter will still be free for everybody and we'll still tell them to go crazy with it," Stone said in an interview. "But we've identified a selection of things that businesses say are helping to make them more profit."
The challenge for Twitter is in separating who uses the microbrogging service for personal use and who's using it professionally, and then charge them for it. That's where the idea of integrating features that people are willing to pay for comes in.
Stone also said he wouldn't rule out the idea of acquisitions for the two-year old company, saying it's "definitely possible."
Last month, Twitter co-founder Isaac "Biz" Stone jotted down in a blog post his intention of trademarking the term "Tweet," which at the time probably seemed like a slam dunk request. Instead, the request is turning out to be no easy layup as the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has preliminarily denied the patent app.
Whether or not the decision is fair, we'll leave that up to you decide, but here's the deal Three other companies -- TweetMarks, Cotweet, and Tweetphoto -- already have pending applications for trademarks that contain "tweet" in their names. This was enough to make the Patent Office gunshy in granting Twitter's request, at least for now, even though Stone expressed in his blog his company's willingness to let developers use the term.
"We have applied to trademark Tweet because it is clearly attached to Twitter from a brand perspective but we have no intention of 'going after' the wonderful applications and services that use the word in their name when associated with Twitter," Stone wrote on the same day the patent application was filed. "In fact, we encourage the use of the word Tweet. however, if we come across a confusing or damaging project, the recourse to act responsibly to protect both users and our brand is important."
Should Twitter be granted the trademark? Hit the jump and sound off!
I suppose it's not enough for a popular online service to face the reaper, come back from the brink of extinction, and turn open-source. No, there has to be some kind of controversy surrounding the whole affair--can't just fade quietly into the open-licensed light nowadays.
Such is the situation offered up by the death and resurrection of tr.im, a popular online URL shortening service whose recent entrance into the open-source community has been met with a touch of scandal. Perhaps scandal is the wrong word, though. Scathing might be better, given the tone of some of tr.im's blogging and actions as of late.
It's easy to talk about open-source as if it's some large, altruistic community that wants to do nothing but share-and-share alike. Everybody's friendly. Everybody's happy. Just a ton of developers churning out free code for everyone to use, distribute, and polish into a scintillating hunk of software that's going to revolutionize the world! Or, at the very least, stick it to Microsoft.
This is an idyllic fantasy. In the real world, businesses and developers don't always play nicely. You've already read about the back-and-forth bombing wars between the PortableApps and LiberKey developers. You can now add tr.im to the list... but who exactly are they fighting?
Click the jump to spawn onto the open-source battlefield!
Twitter has made recent moves to get rid of web promotion company uSocial by claiming that their means of advertising count as spam.
uSocial’s CEO Leon Hill claims that the accusations from Twitter are false. “The definition of spam is using electronic messaging to send unsolicited communication and as we don’t use Twitter for this, the claims are false.” He believes that the claims are because of their service, which allows users to buy followers on the popular microblogging site.
“The people at Twitter who are sending these claims are just flailing around trying to look for any excuse they can, though it’s going to take much more than this if they want us to pack up shop,” stated Hill. “We’re not going away that easily.”
So what do you think? Are the folks at uSocial trying to make a buck in a spammy way, or should the folks at Twitter back off? Make your voice heard in the comments.