Here are some cool things we read about this past week:
Google+ Users Get An Automatic Year-In-Review Video
Users who actively uploaded photos and videos throughout 2013 are being rewarded with a short (1 minute) slideshow that pulls from their photo and video gallery on Google+. The videos are being created through the company’s new Auto Awesome feature.
4.6 Million Snapchat Usernames and Phone Numbers Leaked
More than 4.5mm Snapchat usernames and phone numbers were leaked online Tuesday after anonymous hackers posted the information on a website called SnapchatDB.info. The hackers claim to that their motivation was to raise public awareness around privacy issues and put public pressure on Snapchat to fix what’s broken. In other happier Snapchat news, the platform updated filters and added message replays which allow users to replay one snap every 24 hours.
YouTube is Going 4k
YouTube announced this week that it will roll out a new way to watch 4K high-definition streaming at CES in Las Vegas next week that allows users to watch better quality videos faster than ever before. The new level of streaming is enabled by a Google-created codec called VP9. YouTube will be showing off its new 4K streaming at the LG, Panasonic, and Sony booths in hopes of helping tech users see a new alternative to video streaming capabilities.
Twitter Advertising Share Climbs 52% in 2013
Twitter is gaining shares in advertising as the number of marketers using sponsored tweets increased to 52% last year. Pinterest’s new sponsored pins gained a 29% share while sponsored blogs declined to 51%. According to a report released by IZEA, quality of content, shares and click through rates are the most important measures of success for social influence by marketers. Interest in display advertising is on a steady decline.
Facebook Sued for Scanning Private Messages
Two Facebook users have sued the social network for allegedly scanning “private” messages to share information with advertises and marketers – for a profit. If such searching is in fact taking place, it would violate the Electronics Communications Privacy Act. Facebook denies any wrong doing. Google, Yahoo and LinkedIn have all been accused of similar privacy violations over the past year.
Global Social Media
Instagram Gets Blocked, The Unblocked in Iran
For approximately 12-hours, Instagram became the latest apparent victim of Iran’s internet censorship system commonly known as the “Filternet.” The blocking of Instagram was reported last Sunday. The government, which has promised more Internet freedom under the leadership of President Hassan Rouhani, quietly unblocked the service a few hours later and denied any wrongdoing. Many suspect the government was “testing the waters” to see what sites they can easily cut off from public use if and when the time comes.
Twitter Connected Sharks Alert Swimmers to Potential Attacks
Western Australia is known for the number of shark attacks it receives each year, which is why the Department of Fisheries has introduced a new system that gives people more of a warning if and when sharks are near. Instead of relying on helicopter spotters and public sightings, the sharks will actually announce their own presence with a Tweet. Known as the Shark Monitoring Network, the system uses buoyed monitoring devices to pick up the signal from acoustic tags that scientists have attached to individual sharks. When a tagged shark swims within range of one of the monitors, its species, size and location is automatically recorded. That information is then transmitted via satellite to a computer which posts the information on the Surf Life Saving Western Australia (@SLSWA) Twitter account.