social networking

An illustration by Toby Leigh depicting online communication©Toby Leigh

The little black book has had its share of technological transformations: from Outlook or Gmail organising our contacts to Facebook and LinkedIn, our personal networks have been digitised many times over. Yet the importance of meeting someone in person and striking up a rapport is unchanged. Dating services aside, few online social networks have succeeded in brokering new face-to-face connections offline.

That’s starting to change.

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Was Facebook’s IPO a flop? Following the social networking company’s rollercoaster week of trading, that was the question at the heart of much of the debate with tech commentators. Read more

Mark Zuckerberg in New YorkShopping on Facebook for apps will soon be easier with the App Center, a new application storefront for users to buy and discover content. The social networking company announced the App Center this week following an amendment to its S-1 filing that claimed it does not “currently directly generate any meaningful revenue from the use of Facebook mobile products, and our ability to do so successfully is unproven”. The timing of the App Center news did not go unnoticed by commentators who noted Facebook’s push to conquer mobile. Read more

These are busy times for Facebook. At the start of the week, the social networking company introduced a new feature for members to show their organ donation status. But the big news came on Thursday, as the social networking company announced that it would set a price range for its stock of $28 to $35 a share when it debuts on Wall Street later this month. It also released an IPO roadshow videoRead more

Maija Palmer

Facebook has taken the unusual step of making public the names and personal details of five men it believes to be behind the Koobface computer worm that attacked hundreds of thousands of computers through the social network’s profiles.

The alleged gang appear to be living in St Petersburg and were tracked by Facebook and a team of researchers over three years. Read more

Jive Software’s successful debut on the Nasdaq on Tuesday reflects investor enthusiasm for social media companies, though it is unclear how eager businesses are to bring a Facebook-style network to the workplace. Read more

It’s been a busy week for Facebook. After releasing a new look to users earlier in the week, Mark Zuckerberg announced at f8 that there are many more changes to come.

From timelines to tickers, and taking in on-site music-listening and movie-watching, it seemed that everyone had something to say about the latest updates coming to the social networking site. Read more

In the world of social networking, it was out with the old and in with the new last week. Google unveiled its latest crack at the market, while News Corp said goodbye to MySpace. Read more

Tim Bradshaw

Well, that was fast. Just 48 hours after the FT flagged a loophole that “resharing” on Google+ could in a couple of clicks make a “limited” post visible to anyone, Google has announced a fix will be in place early next week. Read more

Joseph Menn

One of the best-known networks of compromised personal computers, assembled largely through deceptive web links sent from Facebook accounts, earns its proprietors about $2m a year.

That’s one of the conclusions in a study released Friday by Information Warfare Monitor researcher Nart Villeneuve, who won access to archives of the software that the Russian criminals used to control the program known as Koobface, which is an anagram of Facebook. Read more

Joseph Menn

Yahoo executives on Thursday outlined plans to improve its mail, news and other main services in the next few months, pledging faster load times, better integration with Facebook and Twitter, and deeper personalisation.

Chief product officer Blake Irving, who has been on the job since April, didn’t signal any bold new direction during the presentation at the company’s Sunnyvale headquarters. Instead, he argued that the company has been on the right track all along and just needs to move faster. Read more

Joseph Menn

Some very nice Yahoo executives came by the FT bureau in San Francisco this afternoon to remind us that they have a search strategy and that they are still planning to integrate Facebook and Twitter activity so that Yahoo users can see what their friends and relations are doing without leaving the land of purple.

In the next couple of weeks, they said, Yahoo will start showing you when people in your Yahoo address book comment on Yahoo News stories (some 60,000 did that on a single Mississippi prom-related piece a while back), rate a song or movie, or otherwise interact with bits of Yahoo content. Read more

Maija Palmer

spying

Privacy activists have had a busy few weeks. First there was Google’s announcement that it would start using behavioural targeting for its display advertising, which had them up in arms. The following week Google launched Street View, the controversial 3D mapping feature, in the UK, again drawing protest. The latest concern is over revelations that the UKgovernment is thinking of monitoring social networking sites like Facebook, MySpace and Bebo as part of its anti-terrorism measures.

 

There is already an EU directive on monitoring emails and internet usage, requiring internet service providers to store traffic data for 12 months. Since the July 2005 the UK government has been keen to broaden the scope of the ways it can monitor for terrorists. This latest proposal is to extend this to social networking sites, which have become hugely popular after the proposals were first formulated.

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Facebook’s users are bound to be excited by news that the social network is planning to roll out its own chat service in the coming weeks; Facebook developers, perhaps not so much.

There are dozens of developers offering chat applications designed to run on the Facebook platform. Facebook’s decision to get into the chat business for itself means those developers will now have to grapple with an 800 lb gorilla in the room, sucking up all the air Read more