Facebook Privacy Concerns on the Rise?


Consumer Reports released a recent study revealing the public’s ever-increasing concern for privacy on social networks.  The results of the study fall into the categories of “oversharing, underuse of privacy controls, Facebook’s over-collection of data, and cyberbullying and harassment.”  Some of these issues however, remain the faults of the users of social networking sites like Facebook.  For example, the report suggested that a potential burglar could find “tip-off” information on a user’s page as to whether or not he or she would be home that day, as many users tend to post their daily schedules as status updates.  However, Facebook has a privacy setting that allows only one’s “friends” to see his or her status updates, but apparently 10-15% of Facebook users have this setting set to “public.”  Then of course, this idea that “Facebook causes burglaries” is only an inkling, as the study was unable to prove whether or not this actually happens…

Furthermore, it appears 10% of usersStudy Says Facebook Privacy Concerns Are on the Rise - Is It Accurate? [STUDY] still are not aware of or have not bothered to change their privacy settings… yet that means that 90% of of Facebook users do actually pay the slightest bit of attention to a site that they pour such massive amounts of personal information into… well at least it’s a large majority.

Yes though, Facebook does collect massive amounts of information about its users through behavioral tracking, using cookies to store our activity both on and sometimes even off of the social network.

It does remain true that social networking sites have the ability to greatly limit our privacy, or perhaps they have altered its definition… but for the most part, it is up to the users of these sites to protect themselves.  C’mon people “downward-pointing arrow in top right of homepage, privacy settings”… (if you care) it’s not that difficult.

Thankfully tech blogger Jeff Jarvis has a better perspective on this issue, marking the Consumer Report’s study as “fear-mongering”.

Study Says Facebook Privacy Concerns Are on the Rise - Is It Accurate? [STUDY]

Don’t be this guy => 


Facebook’s IPO set for May 18th.


The long awaited IPO that was announced early this past February by CEO Mark Zuckerberg has now been set to be released in about two and a half weeks.  On May 7th, the Social Network will begin its IPO roadshow in order to reach out to potential investors.  Zuckerberg will likely only be present at some of the events along the roadshow, but COO Sheryl Sandberg  and CFO David Ebersman will fill in everything else.

The IPO is expected to be valued at $100 billion, which should give Zuckerberg the official title as one of the richest men in the world.  So, would you like to own part of Facebook?  Just set aside a quick 50 bucks and you’re good to go.

For more, check out Mashable.com.

Facebook Now Has 901M Users.


Facebook announced earlier today that it has reached 901 million active monthly users.  The site projected to reach the 1 billion mark by the end of 2012, and with the ever increasing numbers, this should be no tough feat.

Facebook Now Has 901M UsersTwitter currently follows Facebook as the largest social network in the world with user numbers reaching over 500 million.  However, only 140 million of these users are reported as active.

Read more at Mashable.com.


Facebook takes another step up in the race to digital dominance of our lives


In its quest to become the “platform of our lives” Facebook further expanded its realm of digital control today through acquiring Instagram in a $1 billion deal.

Facebook acquires Instagram in class="alignright"  billion deal – USATODAY.com

Currently the latest obsession in iphone apps, Instagram is a tool where people can take pictures instantly using different filters to make them look like they were taken in the 60s or with a Polaroid.

In the words of Mark Zuckerberg, the acquisition of Instagram “is an important milestone for Facebook, because it’s the first time [Facebook] has ever acquired a product and company with so many users.”

It is not likely that Facebook will ever make up the ridiculous amount of money that they have put into the Instagram deal, but analysts are viewing the move as “defensive.”  Not only this decision to knock Instagram our of the ring defensive to other photo sharing sites and applications, since Facebook’s only principle photo sharing, but the move is yet another rise against the other major technological leaders (namely Google, Apple, and Microsoft) to become the “go to” tool for all of our everyday activities.

Although Instagram is not likely to go through many changes under its new owner, photos taken will now be tied with the Facebook name.  So hmm… new book title, “The Facebookization of Everything?”  @sivavaid

Now there’s an idea.

Check out USATODAY.COM for more info on Facebook’s deal and The Washington Post for another take on the story.

New Project “Ghana Decides” Uses Social Media to Promote Voter Registration


In lieu of the upcoming general elections this December in Ghana, a new project called “Ghana Decides” was launched on March 24th with the aim of “[fostering] a better informed electorate for free, fair and safe 2012 Elections using online social media tools.”  The project is being conducted by GhanaBlogging, which is a site for people who blog about the country both inside and outside of it.

The African nation is investing $45 million to impose a new system of voting which involves the use of citizens’ fingerprints to ascertain identity.  Social media is being used to promote voter registration by tweeting about people who have already registered by using hashtags like #iRegistered and #GhanaDecides.  Additionally, videos have been posted to youtube portraying citizens going through the registration process.  Voter registration is currently in action and will continue until May 5th.

For more information on Ghana’s new voter registration system, visit mashable.com.

New “pinterest” site for guys


Four days ago, feeling unwelcome on the latest trending site in social networking Pinterest (which has an 80% female user rate) two recently engaged men, Brandon Harris and Michael Byrne launched a new Pinterest-like site for guys.  The site is called Dart It Up and has many features to strongly attract male users.  First off, the site’s motto is “share and save cool sh*t,” whereas Pinterest boasts a more clean and proper reputation.    The new site functions the same way as its feminine predecessor, and has many boards where users can “dart” things that interest them.  Instead of boards like “hair and beauty” and “holidays,” the site features things like “mancave”.  Again, like Pinterest, Dart It Up has icons where users can “like” posts and “redart” things that they are interested in as well.

A creative addition to this new social networking site however, is its “challenge boards” where users can dart things relating to a particular topic like “Life or Death: things a man can’t live without” and whoever gets the most “likes” or “repins” gets put into the “hall of fame.”  The addition of competition invites male appeal.

New features like links to Facebook and Twitter are on the way, as well as an app where users can “dart” on the go.

Only time will tell what success the future holds for this new social networking site, but considering the popularity of Pinterest and the male-attracting features Dart It Up offers, I foresee reasonable fortune.

Check it out for yourself!! http://dartitup.com/


No mom, it’s “tweeting, not twittering”…


Today, March 21st marks the 6th birthday of the first ever tweet on Twitter, which was sent out into the world by the social networking site’s founder Jack Dorsey.  The tweet simply read “just setting up my twttr,” no tags or hashtags.  The site has come a long way since it’s birth six years ago, totaling about 175 million registered users.  The hashtags made popular by the site have wiggled their way into many aspects of celebrity culture, Facebook posts, and even into many peoples’ everyday language.

On a side note, despite the site’s immersion into our world, somehow some adult users still haven’t caught on to all of the social networking site’s lingo… I definitely had to correct my mother the other day, an elected government official who definitely releases more tweets than I do myself, when she said she was “twittering a lot yesterday!”  Great mom, but not quite.

However, regardless of whether you know whether to refer to what one does on the site as “twittering or tweeting,” today marks the celebration of an important date in our digital and sharing history.  So Happy Birthday Twitter!

More on this story at Mashable.com.