The Social War Begins!

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A war is brewing in the social front. Google+ is starting to get the people’s attention after invites have opened up and not shut down. Facebook is unveiling new chat services aimed at keeping people on Facebook longer. Twitter is working to implement it’s own photo sharing service. LinkedIn is making it’s presence more well known. It’s definitely not quiet in the social media world, and we may be getting ready to see a massive outbreak of changes as the social empires prepare to duke it out to keep people away from the others.

As you may have seen, in the past week, Digital Lust has been extensively covering Google+, the new social experience created by the masterminds of Google. After a successful “field testing period,” the media empire began to open up invites, closing them as needed. This time around, however, the site hasn’t shut down the ability to invite your friends, and it’s been about 24 hours since it started. People are going crazy, trying to get their hands on a shiny Google+ invite (which, by the way, I’m still having a giveaway for!). It’s very reminiscent of when Google first launched Gmail back in 2004. And if Google+ even gets close to the popularity of Gmail at its launch, then the other social networks should be concerned. Very, very concerned.

Last week, Facebook announced that they were partnering with Skype to provide an all new video chatting service, directly from the browser, and only on Facebook.com. That all sounds well and good, except, Google+ got there first. Google implemented a video chatting service, Hangouts, right as Google+ started it’s launch, and it works well. Very, very well. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has signed up for a Google+ account, and has a very serious image as his profile picture. Almost as if he fears what Google is hoping to accomplish with G+. Google+ shows up very less cluttered than Facebook. Posts are better organized. You can organize your friends ij a unique way. In a sense, Google+ is everything that Facebook should improve upon.

And then there’s Twitter. 140 characters of fun every time you want to post. Your friends become your “followers,” and you follow your friends. Google+ has a similar way of “following” people…except your posts can be as long as you want. It has it’s own photo streaming service. In a sense, Google+ is everything that Twitter should improve on (is anyone catching what I’m trying to say here?).

I can’t speak much about LinkedIn, as I find it to be extremely boring. But the point being, is that Google is not just in this to be an extra social experience. It’s here to be THE social experience. If Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn don’t want to become the next Myspace, they really need to get to work to make some improvements. My prediction for the first casualty of this new war: LinkedIn, of course. It’s a service that isn’t used as widely as the others, and I feel like some of the features that G+ has implemented could steer people away. And as for Twitter…it should really get to work. It might be next to go to that great social network resting place in the sky.

Digital Lust Daily Feed: July 6, 2011

Interesting news day today–not too many stories to share tonight, but definitely a couple of big ones in the social media world. Lets get right to it:

Facebook Announces Chat Revamp
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced today that beginning today, a new partnership between the social powerhouse and Skype has formed, giving Facebook an all new video chatting service in-browser. Zuckerberg also announced a new group chatting feature, as well as an easier to use chat interface. The changes went into effect today.

Google+ Goes Live For All With a Gmail Account
As long as you are the proud owner of a Gmail account, Google+ is now open for you. Various media are reporting tonight that the site has opened it’s hypothetical doors to everyone. Of course, we’ve been covering the launch of Google+ all week, and even kicked off a new Google+ Giveaway. With this new level of operation of the new social network, however, the contest has become irrelevant, and has been discontinued. Be sure to check out Digital Lust tomorrow for a rundown of the Google+ Android app.

And Speaking of Google+, No Privacy for You!
Google announced today that at the end of this month, any private Google+ pages will be deleted. The purpose of Google+ is to provide users complete access. You should still be able to hide some aspects of your profile, however, and any content that you do not want shown to the public can just be shared with specific people.

Angry Birds Movie in Development for 2014
David Meisel, the former head of Marvel Studios before the company was bought out by The Disney Corporation, will begin developing a new project based on the epic mobile game of the same name. This is pretty significant for the mobile world–this is the first time that a movie will be developed based on a mobile game. Should the project get the green light and proceed with development, it will release in 2014. Hopefully the Angry Birds franchise will have enough lasting power to make it still relevant in 3 years. Perhaps a Alfred Hitchcock style “Birds” plot will be appropriate for this movie?

Sony Announces PSN Pass
Sony has announced that starting this fall, in order to gain online access to new games, a PSN Pass will be required to be input before playing. This appears to be a new security feature that the company is putting into place following the recent hackings that kept the Playstation Network offline for a month. It was mentioned that if you buy the game preowned, you would have to purchase a Pass on the Playstation Store in order to gain access.

iPhone 5 to Launch in Q3, On Sprint too??
Sources indicate that the next iteration of the iPhone, reportedly titled the iPhone 5, will release sometime in Q3 (which is this quarter, by the way). Other rumors indicate that the phone will also launch on Sprint on the same time as Verizon and AT&T. This could get interesting, seeing as how Sprint is now the only major carrier left with an unlimited data plan. Will the AT&T faithful flock away from the network and head towards Sprint for the cheaper plans and unlimited data? Only time will tell…

And that about wraps it up for tonight’s edition of Digital Lust Daily Feed. Tomorrow on Digital Lust, I’ll be going in depth with the Google+ Android App in an all new App Attack. I’ll also be talking about the increasing popularity of net casting, specifically with Twit.TV. We’ll see you tomorrow!

Facebook Announces New Chat Services

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Today, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced some new changes to the popular social networking site, thanks to a new partnership with Skype. In the new partnership, Facebook will provide it’s users with a new video chat service, powered by Skype. Also announced were a new interface to make chatting even easier, as well as a much-anticipated group chat feature. Let’s take a look at exactly what went down with today’s announcement:

1:15pm: Zuckerberg talking about where social networking is 5 years ago compared to today.

1:19pm: Talking about the next 5 years and where social networking is going.

1:20pm: The next five years is not just about active users. It’s about the value, time spent on the network, and how it affects the economy.

1:23pm: Now he’s talking about exponential growth and something about paper going to the moon?? Also mentioned 750 million users on Facebook.

1:26pm: Now talking about the growth of Sharing on Social Network.

1:27pm: 4 billion things shared every day on Facebook.

1:28pm: Group chat announced for Facebook. New design for chat coming, as well as video calling.

1:29pm: Zuckerberg talking about the new design. “Buddy list” style way to chat online is coming.

1:30pm: Announcement of partnership with Skype for video chatting.

1:36pm:
Group chat being demo’d.

1:37pm: Group chat rolling out today. Now discussing new sidebar for chat. Video calling will also roll out today.

1:38pm: New call button to begin showing up on profiles for video calling.

1:38pm: Video calling being demo’d. Video calling already launched to “millions of users.”

1:39pm: Small download required to activate video chat. Downloads within browser and launches in under 30 seconds.

And there you have it. The rumors were true. It wasn’t the iPad app that I was hoping for, but hopefully we will see that coming very soon! The new chat features will launch today on Facebook’s website.

Digital Lust Daily Feed: July 1st, 2011

I hope you’re enjoying our grand opening day celebrations! It’s now time to take a look at the top stories dominating the tech world today:

Google in Talks to buy Hulu?
Various media are reporting today that Google is in preliminary talks with Hulu in an effort to add them to the unstoppable Internet empire’s already sterling portfolio of services. Hulu, the top online distributor of television shows on the Internet, has prepared itself for sale by working with creators of the content that is shown on it’s website. The media is also reporting that Yahoo is a potential buyer for the company. Who will win the war? Only time will tell!

Facebook to Launch Video Chat Service?
Facebook sent out an invitation to the media today inviting them to an announcement that they will be making next week. Popular tech site TechCrunch has reported that the social media giant will announce a video chatting service, similar to the Google+ Hangouts feature on Google+. Furthermore, TechCrunch is reporting that the video chat service will be created in a partnership with Skype. If not a video chat service that will be announced, another possibility is the long-awaited iPad app.

Twitter hits 200,000,000 tweets per day!
Lots of milestones hit this week. Twitter announced that their popular microblogging service has surpassed 200 million tweets per day. This is up from 65 million tweets per day around a year ago. It makes you wonder, though–how many of these tweets are considered spam? To put this into perspective: Digital Lust’s new Twitter account was just launched today and has already turned away a few prosti-twits from following it.

Windows Phone Marketplace hits 25,000 apps
Windows Phone 7 launched late last year, and already has hit 25,000 apps. Of course, this is nowhere near the amount of apps that are present on the Android Market or the Apple App Store. Windows Phone 7 is quickly gaining steam, however, and it will certainly be interesting to see how it is performing this time next year.

App Store hits 100,000 iPad apps
It seems that all of the major mobile corporations with the exception of RIM have great milestones to celebrate this week. The Apple App Store hit 100,000 iPad-optimized apps today, which is a number several times greater than other tablet app providers. Now if only Hanging with Friends HD would hurry up and come out…

Android hits 500,000 activations per day!
Finally in milestones, perhaps even the most impressive: Android has achieved over 500,000 activations per day worldwide. This is significant, folks. At this rate, Android is poised to take over all other mobile operating systems in a very short amount of time. It will certainly be interesting to see how long this growth continues before slowing down, and also what other developers will do to try and steal some of that growth away from Google.

Google+ Invites Invade eBay
Google+ launched this week for a very limited beta. Shortly after the beta began, Google opened up invites for it’s users to begin handing out to their friends. These invites were unlimited, and it became insanely popular very quickly–even to the point where they had to shut down invites to alleviate traffic issues that they began having on the new service. On eBay, various Google+ users are posting new auctions for invites, with prices ranging right around $75. Is it worth it? Probably not. But seriously, if someone wants to toss a Google+ invite my way, I’ll totally understand.

Playstation Network Welcome Back Package Ends This Sunday
After the Playstation Network relaunched late last month after being hacked and shut down for 4 weeks, Sony released a comprehensive Welcome Back package that included 2 free games (inFamous and Dead Nation, FTW!), a 30 day free subscription to Playstation Plus, movie rentals, and other free content. This Sunday, the plug will be pulled on the package, so if you haven’t already, make sure to go and get your free stuff!

And that about does it for today’s installment of Digital Lust Daily. Be sure to check back every weekday for a quick summation of all of the latest news in the digital world.