Tag Archive | "Web Trends"

Twitter is Testing a New Trending TV Feature in Its iOS App

Television is big on Twitter. If you follow enough people, tweets about any popular TV show series or award show is bound to show up in your stream. To take advantage of this, Twitter is reportedly starting to a test out a new trending television feature in users’ timelines — at least in its mobile apps to start.

According to TechCrunch, which first received the tip last night from one user who noticed it on their Twitter timeline, the new feature looks a lot like the existing Twitter cards we already see in Twitter’s mobile apps. By the looks of some of the screenshots that were taken by the user who first noticed it appear in his iOS app, you can actually swipe left and right to browse a selection of promoted shows. Choosing any show will pull up additional information about it, along with related tweets.

  • Tools for participating in Twitter hashtag chats

To make joining in the conversation a bit easier, Twitter apparently inserts the related hashtag for the show automatically when you tap the compose icon to type in a new tweet. Subtle features like this should serve as good encouragement for people to get more involved on Twitter while watching TV, and it’ll most likely open up new doors for Twitter in terms of big advertising opportunities as well.

Keep an eye out on your Twitter mobile app for this one. So far, nobody has reported seeing any of these new trending TV features on the desktop version of their Twitter accounts.

Photo © Getty Images

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TweetDeck Gets a New Tweet Panel

Since TweetDeck last simplified its desktop applications and web browser functionality, TweetDeck power users have had to do all their tweeting from the little pop-over tweet box that appears in the middle of the screen similar to Twitter via web. On Monday, Twitter announced that TweetDeck was getting a brand new tweet panel for easier and faster tweeting.

  • TweetDeck compared to HootSuite

The new tweet panel will display image previews, streamline posting across multiple accounts, support easy direct messaging and even suggest usernames or hashtags automatically as you type them in. Three options appear below the tweet box for easy access to compose an image tweet, a scheduled tweet or a direct message.

If you use the browser-based version of TweetDeck (web or Chrome), you can start seeing the changes roll out any time now. Updates to the browser-based versions will then soon be followed by each TweetDeck app for Windows and Mac.

Photo: Screenshot of TweetDeck

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Study Reveals People Easily Influenced by Already ‘Liked’ or Upvoted Web Content

If you come across an article on the web that you already see has gotten a pretty good amount of shares, likes, tweets, upvotes or positive comments, do you think you’d be likely to follow suit? An MIT study says most people probably would.

Researchers performed an online experiment to see how people would react to an article that already received feedback from an initial reader. Over five months of testing, 100,000 articles were given either a randomized upvote or downvote as the first comment on the page, or a “no vote” for a control.

  • How Internet trolling affects the social web

The articles that had an upvote saw 25 percent more upvotes from additional readers than the control articles did, and upvoted articles were 32 percent more likely to rack up more positive ratings. Downvoted articles on the other hand saw results that were pretty much indistinguishable from the control group articles, and some of them managed to receive upvotes from readers who tried to fix the initial downvote comment.

So, next time you take a look at the number of Facebook likes or positive/negative comments that a particular piece of web content received, think about how those opinions and ratings might influence your respobse. You might find that you’re a lot more likely to agree with a previous reader by looking at how they reacted positively first.

Photo © Getty Images

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Rdio Takes on Pandora with New Personalized Radio Stations

It’s nice to be able to build and customize your own music playlists according to what you like best, because no one knows your music taste quite like you do, but constantly choosing music manually can be pretty time consuming and not so great for music discovery. And that’s exactly why Rdio launched its new “You FM” feature under its current Stations option, which now provides users with a stream of never ending music that has been custom-tailored to their own music history and listening habits.

If you’re a big Rdio user like me, you can find this new feature by looking for the “Stations” link on the left. Clicking it will pull up all sorts of great new playlists according to what you’ve already listened to on Rdio. And not only that, you’ll also gain access to playlists built according to your Rdio friends’ music listening habits as well.

A lot of web savvy music enthusiasts have already jumped on board with a personalized radio streaming service like Pandora or Songza, and they’ve become pretty popular platforms representing a bit of a shifting trend in the way people choose to listen to music. But now that Rdio offers both the ability to listen to complete albums and enjoy personalized suggestions based on your activity, we can get the best of both worlds now in just one place.

  • 10 great music streaming apps

Photo: Screenshot of Rdio desktop app

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Instagram Now Lets You Upload Pre-recorded Videos

Instagram just took a massive leap ahead of the competition in micro/mobile video land. Until now, pretty much all of your short little videos you wanted to share on Instagram, Vine, Cinemagram, Snapchat and the rest of them had to be filmed directly through the app.

On Wednesday, Instagram announced video upload support for both its iOS and Android apps (for Android devices at least running Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0). You can now actually film a video with whichever camera you want, edit it using any computer or software of your choice, transfer it to your mobile device when it’s all done and then upload it to Instagram.

  • What are the risks of taking Snapchat screenshots?

You can bet that brands and marketers will probably take big advantage of this. A couple other little tweaks to the app also include the addition of custom square-cropping for videos and automatic straightening for iOS.

Instagram 4.1 is available now from the App Store and Google Play.

Photo © Instagram

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Twitter Adds Extra Security to Its iOS and Android Apps

The latest update for both of Twitter’s iOS and Android apps comes with improvements to login verification. Users will now be able to switch on the new application-based authentication system for added security, and approve login requests from with the Twitter app.

You can go ahead and turn on this feature by first making sure you have the latest version of the app for iOS or for Android before accessing the Me tab and opening your Settings. Android users will need to tap their own name to see the Security option. Tap Security, turn on Login verification, and then be sure to keep the backup code you’re given in a secure place where you can access it again. Once this is done, you’re Twitter app will start triggering approval requests any time you sign into to Twitter.com with your account.

The update comes as an additional security feature after first rolling out its initial SMS-based authentication system a couple months ago. You can get the full scoop on the new security feature, along with information on the slick new updates to photo galleries, lists and search by visiting the official Twitter blog.

Photo © Getty Images

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Facebook Explains How Its News Feed Algorithm Works

The Facebook News Feed has evolved a lot since it first became a real feature back in 2006, and now, Facebook has planned to reveal how it continuously tweaks its algorithm to show you the most relevant posts in your own personal News Feed.

Called “News Feed FYI blog posts,” the first that was published today aims to educate users about how older stories will now be ranked depending on whether or not you already saw them or it. So if you never previously scrolled down far enough to see a good story, Facebook will keep that in mind and display it at the top the next time you check Facebook if it’s still getting a lot of likes and comments.

  • Facebook vs. Google+

The News Feed already shows you posts depending on which of your friends or Pages you interact with the most, how popular or how much activity a story is receiving, how much you’ve interacted with a story before and of course which stories are being hidden or reported by your friends or yourself. Keep an eye out on the Facebook for Business News section for more updates on how the News Feed continues to change.

Photo © Getty Images

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YouTube Now Tells You Which Lost Browser Tab is Playing Video

Most people have experienced the hysteric search for whichever random web browser tab is playing audio among 20 other tabs you already have open. It’s one of the most frustrating things ever, and I often end up going through all of them too quickly without ever finding it, freaking out and then resorting to just closing the whole window. (First world problems.)

Lucky for us, YouTube introduced a little feature that can help us out. Although you won’t be able to tell you if audio from a specific website advertisement is playing, you’ll be able to quickly identify whichever YouTube video might be playing in any tab you have open.

  • 10 hilarious YouTube videos

Just look for YouTube’s red and white play button icon in your browser tabs, and find the one that has an extra little black play icon before the YouTube title. That’s the sign that tells you which tab is playing the video. Other tabs you have open with YouTube videos without the extra black play button in the title are not currently playing. Simple enough, right?

That’s it. It’s a small feature, but it could be very useful for those who open up a lot of YouTube videos in your browser.

Photo: Screenshot of YouTube browser tabs

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Tumblr Reportedly Losing Web Traffic as More Users Move to Mobile App

Nearly everyone on the Internet knew it was a pretty big deal that Yahoo acquired Tumblr back in May. The two companies said that the primary goal was to work together on growing the super hip and youth-driven blogging platform that it was always destined to be, but a number of reports on web traffic data suggests that the complete opposite is actually happening. Is Tumblr really shrinking?

According to data taken from web analytics site Quantcast, the numbers show that Tumblr had less web traffic over the past year than it did in 2011. Through 2012, Tumblr was drawing in about 15 billion monthly pageviews before peaking at around 16 billion at the start of 2013. Monthly pageviews have dropped by by just less than 5 billion as of last month.

That doesn’t sound so great for Tumblr or for Yahoo, but there’s reason to believe that something else is happening. Quantcast doesn’t factor in mobile app traffic data, and there’s no doubt that Tumblr has major activity coming from smartphones and tablets. Tumblr’s mobile apps keep getting better and better as more updates are released, and considering the young demographic that the platform thrives on, there’s a good chance that most of those kids are accessing it more from a mobile device and less from the traditional web.

In other words, Tumblr is doing just fine. Tumblr use on the Internet may be dropping, but the Tumblr iOS and Android apps are probably responsible for a good chunk of extra growth that we can’t see from the Quantcast measurements.

Photo © Tumblr

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Pinterest Now Notifies You When Product Prices Are Reduced

Pinterest has done wonders for the world of ecommerce, and if you use the social pinboard site to shop for things online, you can now take advantage of the new price drop alert feature was just recently added.

You don’t have to change the way you’re browsing or pinning things to get an alert for when something you like goes on sale. Pinterest will automatically notify you by email when a product pin’s price has been reduced. Just keep pinning, and Pinterest will take care of the rest.

The new price alert feature is being rolled out slowly, so keep your eyes peeled on your inbox. Pinterest also said that it will try to group notifications together in single emails to reduce clutter and avoid spamming its users.

Considering how valuable Pinterest has become as a tool for retailers to get their products in front of customers’ eyeballs, the new price drop feature could give most Pinterest-friendly businesses more of a reason to consider dropping prices on product pins more frequently. Not only that — but it also gives the rest of us another reason to use Pinterest to shop online.

Photo © Getty Images

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