the 3 cast

Archie is Awesome! – The 3 Cast #119

Archie is Awesome, even if Vince doesn’t know it. This week we talked about Nintendo’s failure, Social Media brevity, and the end of the Modern Warfare series.

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Hosts: Matthew Weber, Vincent Hui, Ricky Williams

Topics: Nintendo, Social Media Failures, and the end of Modern Warfare.

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Google+

Google+ Has Nearly 360 Million Users

If you were trying to get a buzz on what social media platform is most popular, it’s likely that you would guess that Facebook is clearly number one, with Twitter gaining ground from the second spot. In fact, you’d likely claim that Google+ was a complete failure. It turns out that Google+ is currently the social media platform in second place, with 359 million active users.

It’s a wonder that Google is able to boast such high numbers. It’s likely that a large chunk of users are just Android phone owners who use occasional features such as the +1 link on many apps and web pages. Google has been working on integrating all of their services such as Google Maps, YouTube, Gmail, and Google+ for the past couple of years, which was all a part of the original vision for Google+. It was supposed to offer connectivity to nearly every web service that we use, but Facebook has become so integrated with other sites that nobody really looks for Google+ integration other than Google themselves.

Speaking of Facebook, they have now passed 700 million active users.

Another benefit of Google+ has been the Google Hangout feature. That is likely where most of the buzz for Google+ has come from over the past year, as that feature has begun to get more and more popular. Twitter is getting a lot of media buzz and is generally more active per user, but it only has 297 active users.

One major benefit with Google+ is that it is the best of the social media tools to find complete strangers who share similar interests. Where Facebook is great at connecting you with people that you know, and Twitter is heavily influenced by connections to celebrities, Google+ connects the world wide web with each other in a way that the other platforms fail to do.

It has been nearly two years since Google+ launched. Despite many claims that there is no value to the service, it still has managed to stay ahead of Twitter for the second largest social media platform on the web. They still have a lot to do before they catch Facebook though.

Source: Business Insider

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Social Media

Should Businesses Allow Access to Social Media at Work?

I’m sure we’ve all had that job where it seems like the day never ends. In a world of increased connectivity, work can oftentimes be the one place where we’re no longer connected to the world around us. Many business owners want to keep it that way. They don’t want distractions coming in and slowing down productivity. Lately though, many employees have started to lash back and demand access to social media while on the job.

In the business world, it’s all about the bottom line. If they can find a way to increase productivity while keeping costs low, they will find a way to make it happen. In some fields, allowing employees access to social media can damage the image of their customer service. Some job markets, such as in construction, require that an employees attention be solely on the job at hand.

What about those desk jobs that so many people have though? I work as a technology technician on a college campus, and I get quite a bit of downtime in between tasks. I’m allowed to surf the web and check Facebook, but many people who have similar jobs aren’t granted that privilege.

In fact, recent studies show that employees are most productive if they’re allowed social media breaks. Compared to employees who were allowed to take breaks but weren’t granted internet access, those who had access to internet for their breaks have been found to be 16% more productive.

It has become time that we get past this idea that Facebook is toxic for the work environment. There should be no reason why social media should be banned during breaks. In fact, even Wal-Mart employees are told not to use social media while they’re at work, even during breaks. This old school way of thinking needs to change. As our society has embraced social media, so too should our work culture.

Using our own technology at work has its benefits, and allowing that access to the outside world will help workers be in a better mood. If this is a free and easy way to raise productivity, then we should let our employers know the facts. Let’s bring social media with us to work!

Source: BusinessNewsDaily

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whatsapp

WhatsApp Is Now Bigger Than Twitter

In 2009, WhatsApp was introduced to the world. Based in Silicon Valley, WhatsApp is a cross-platform messaging service that saves people from carrier SMS text messaging charges which have been on the rise lately.

This app now has more than 200 million active users. The company CEO, Jan Koum, was speaking earlier this week at the Dive into Mobile Conference and has mentioned that they are currently processing 20 billion messages everyday of which 12 billion are outbound and 8 million are inbound. He also announced that “WhatsApp is now bigger than Twitter”. Jan Koum did not share any specific figures though.

This almost-free messaging app is available for iPhone, Blackberry, Android and Nokia. Nokia even put a dedicated key on its recently released Nokia Asha 210. WhatsApp is seen as an internet based threat to messaging than as a competitor to social networks like Facebook and Twitter even though some features overlap.

Koum has announced that WhatsApp will not be following Facebook and Twitter in carrying advertisement within the app. They intend to keep the subscription model of 1$ per year for the foreseeable future. Koum also denied rumors that the company is in talks with Google to sell WhatsApp. “Our goal is to build a sustainable, independent company. We want to build a business,” he said at the Dive into Mobile Conference. He also rejected another rumor that WhatsApp is turning into a broader platform that includes games by saying that mobile and messaging are the only things that they do.

WhatsApp currently charges a one time download fee of $1 for its iOS users. Koum has said that later this year the iPhone users will be migrated to the annual subscription plan like it is on other platforms. Being available for all mobile platforms makes WhatsApp an awesome replacement for standard text messaging and also has the ability to share photos, videos, audio notes and more. It also helps keep in touch with select friends with its group feature. In a very fragmented space, with a dozen apps competing for market share, WhatsApp seems to be doing very well!

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breakingnews

The Controversial Role of Twitter Breaking News

As I was about ready to go to bed on April 18th, I decided to turn to CNN to see if the mainstream media updated any additional photos of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects that had come out earlier in the day. Right as I was about to turn off the news network there was a brief scroll of an M.I.T. police officer being involved in a shootout. CNN wasn’t really covering the shooting so I decided to take to Social Media to see if there was a rare chance that the MIT shooting and the Boston Marathon bombing were somehow related. What played out over the next 12 hours was surreal and showed the ups and downs that can occur with Twitter breaking news.

User Reports
Within half an hour of the MIT shooting, a Twitter user posted an aerial picture of the crime scene as taken from his upstairs  apartment or classroom window. The medics were still working on the downed officer by the time this picture had been viewed by thousands of people. Soon broadcastify and TuneIn links to the Boston Police Department scanner were popping up in the Twitter breaking news feed and users could follow the action in real time as cops tried to comprehend what was going on.

It wasn’t long until reports of a carjacking surfaced, then words of a gunfight and explosions that rang out in Watertown, MA. Panicked cops called for bigger guns to combat the assault rifle fire they were taking and ordered their fellow officers to retreat as the suspects had bombs. The #Watertown hashtag was updating literally every second but yet not MSNBC, CNN, Fox News, or any other media outlets had even broke to coverage of the event. It wasn’t long until a YouTube video of the gunfire exchange was uploaded.

shootout
A Twitter user snapped this photo of one of the suspects as he was fleeing the police.

Mainstream Media Checks In
Twitter had already broke the news that the MIT shooting suspects were also involved in the Boston Marathon bombing. The power of the Internet was evident in that anonymous sleuths had made the correlation that one of the fugitives was a Brown University student who had been missing for months. The names were even reported over the BPD scanner, unfortunately as we’d find out hours later, this information was false. There were also false reports initially of the descriptions of the assailants. One of the problems with anonymous Twitter breaking news is that nobody fact-checks a Tweet and by the time it’s passed on to thousands of other people it’s accepted as a fact.

Twitter Breaking News Helps the Suspect
As the surreal manhunt continued, eventually authorities took down the online police scanner feeds. It was rumored that the suspect who was still on the lam was actually staying ahead of officers by following their moves online! Therein lies another problem of real-time Twitter breaking news, it puts law enforcement officials in jeopardy.

empty-boston-001
TwitPics of the locked down, deserted Boston Streets littered the Twitter feed and Instagram

The speed and ground zero reporting of Twitter breaking news is one of its biggest assets. Unfortunately in the quest for up to date information we tend to rely on false reports. If anything, Social Media reporting may prove to be a Kickstarter for the main street media to pick up their game.

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twitter-logo-solid3

Twitter Music – Spotify’s Competitor

In many ways, Spotify is a social network. Not only can you create playlist and share them with both your friends and the world, but there is integration with Facebook and Twitter. You can share songs that you are listening to on both Facebook and Twitter, and on Facebook, people can listen with you in real time to the music you are listening to. Spotify has become a great and popular way for people to discover new music.

Some of you may remember Twitter Video, which was a complete disaster due to the high amount of pornographic content that began to be shared on it (go figure, it’s the internet). There is news that Twitter may be partnering with some TV media companies, so it’s obvious that Twitter still for whatever reason has interest in that form of media.

music_#NowPlayingTwitter has announced the launch of Twitter #music, which appears to currently only be available for iOS, but there is a web version as well at music.twitter.com. According to Twitter’s blog post, songs on the #music service, songs are currently picked from iTunes, Spotify, or Rdio. By default music previews will come from iTunes in the form of a preview, but if you have a Spotify or Rdio account you can log in to hear full versions of the songs.

There is also a now playing section (shown to the left) that consists of “songs that have been twitters by the artists and people you follow on Twitter”. You can also navigate to the twitter profile of the artists you are listening to, all from the App.

Will it Be a Success?

Now it’s obvious that Twitter is trying to expand their social network beyond the 140 character messages in the most minimalist way possible, and I like that. Twitter is attempting to launch new services without completely changing their original service to make room for the new services, and the integration appears to be seamless. As to whether or not this music service can be a success or not, I would have to say it’s really a 50/50 chance and depends on whether or not people want to use it. I have occasionally found myself using the Spotify integration on Facebook where I can listen to what my friends are listening to, but it’s not often. Then again, I’m not that much of a music junkie either.

The service may just be another Spotify, but it has something that Spotify doesn’t as far as social integration, and that’s a dedicated app. Spotify is really missing a dedicated app that can take all the music recommendations your friends post on Facebook and put them into one place, so with that in mind I could really see some success out of Twitter music. Hopefully they come out with an Android version as well, we will just have to wait, hope, and see.

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Vine

How Will Vine Change Twitter?

Vine is Twitter’s new social video sharing service, for those of you who don’t know. Basically Vine is an iPhone app that allows users to take six seconds worth of video and share it on social networks. The posts integrate with the Twitter cards on Twitter.com, so people can view Vine posts on there or through the Vine iPhone app.

The question is how will Vine change the way Twitter works and/or change the way people use Twitter? Twitter is supposed to be a simple service. 140 characters of text, that is the way it started out. Now you have images from hundreds of sources and now video clips. Is Twitter becoming too noisy?

It depends on how you use Twitter

If you use Twitter to get your news, Vine will probably just get in the way. You will want to make lists of people who just tweet about the news you care about. If, on the other hand, you use Twitter to keep up with friends and close followers, Vine is another way for you to do that.

The problem for Twitter is that they can’t make their product too complex or it just becomes another Facebook. With Facebook you can do everything, post videos, photos, text and whatever. The whole point behind Twitter is its simplicity. If they get too complex, the differences between the two social networks will begin to blur.

Vine style video is the future of the Internet

No matter what you think of Vine, you can’t deny that video is everywhere these days. More and more social sites are being built around the concept of sharing quick videos. Websites are using videos to increase user interaction and engagement.

Video is changing the web from a text-based entity to a video based activity. Basically the web is becoming YouTube. Is this a good thing? Video has its advantages and disadvantages. People like watching video (think of why TV was so much more popular than radio), so more video is always good. On the other hand, videos take longer to complete than an article or post. You can read a tweet in a second, but a video you have to wait to load, press play, and watch. It just takes longer.

Twitter has changed already

Twitter used to be about engagement. You would be on there to discuss things, promote content (both yours and other’s), and to talk to people about the news of the day. Now it is only about sharing. Sure there was always the element of people sharing what they had for lunch, but now it seems everyone just posts their things, pays attention to a few selected followers and that’s it. No more discovering what someone from across the globe has to say about a particular issue or event. While that part is still possible, people are not using Twitter in that way anymore.

Are you using Twitter in a new way? What do you think of Vine? Talk back in the comments below!

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twitter for windows 8 profile view

Twitter for Windows 8 Available Now

twitter for windows 8 snap featureTwitter has been rapidly growing since it was just an in-house communication tool but it’s relationships with third-party products and even “official” apps has been a little rocky as of late – see the rise and fall of Tweetdeck (both the standalone software and the IOS app) if you don’t believe me. So when Twitter for Windows 8 was announced it was with cautious excitement that we approached. Thankfully, it looks like the software is here to stay and it incorporates some features that integrate it more fluidly into the OS than has ever been possible. Windows guys will tell you it harnesses the power of the new operating system – I think Twitter just took clues from previous third-party integration attempts and ran with them.

Twitter for Windows 8 Features You’ll Love

The first thing you’ll notice is that the Twitter for Windows 8 software utilizes an integrated “Share” charm. This is easily accessible no matter what else you’re doing and allows you (with one click) to share your links, photos, and hate-filled rants flawlessly. There’s no more booting up a third-party application like Tweetdeck or having to log in to Twitter official. Just point, click, and post.

The next feature is also a handy one. It’ the Twitter for Windows 8 “Snap” feature. This allows you to easily condense you entire Twitter stream to a narrow column at the edge of the viewable screen. This sounds ridiculous at first but the more you use it, the more handy it becomes. For instance, you can easily have Twitter up and running yet still be working, watching videos, or just running rampant on the Internet. You don’t have to swap between windows or lose continuity.

The last feature is a bit of a bummer that, honestly, could have done with a little more tinkering. It’s the Twitter for Windows 8 “Discover” icon. The little pound sign (#) allows you to easily spot new info posted by your followers and followees as well as trends that are – well – trending. It sounds cool but you’re only able to use it sparingly and it doesn’t have the same built-in feel as the rest of this new software’s features.

Even with that flaw (and a minor one it is) Twitter for Windows 8 is probably the best Twitter software since Tweetdeck (or Seesmic if you’re on of “those” people).

Info and Image Source: The Next Web

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tweetdeck-5

TweetDeck App Shutdown by Twitter

When Twitter first acquired TweetDeck back in 2011, users of the service were thrilled that they would finally have the backing of the original company behind one of their favorite ways to tweet and twit from their Android and iOS devices. It featured a slick UI that enabled users to schedule their tweets, organize their feeds in a unique way that was unavailable in other apps, and allowed them to manage and monitor as many accounts as they wanted all from the same window. For its time it was revolutionary, but all good things must come to an end and so today, Twitter announced they would officially be discontinuing support for the app on Google Play and in the App Store come May 1st.

Fans of the service will still be able to access it through mobile web browsers and have an identical experience when logging in over the desktop versions on Mac, Windows, or Chrome, but as far as being able to press a button and have it all working and available on your phone or tablet you’ll now have to set a browser bookmark to get it linked on a speed dial basis.

tweet deck
TweetDeck has been the preferred app for years now.

In a statement, Twitter reiterated that they had seen the same pattern as many other major web destinations in how people were choosing to access their content.

“Over the past few years, we’ve seen a steady trend toward people using TweetDeck on their computers and Twitter on their mobile devices,” according to the blog post. “This trend coincides with an increased investment in Twitter for iPhone and Twitter for Android — adding photo filters and other editing capabilities, revamping user profiles and enhancing search. That said, we know this applies to most of our users — not all of them. And for those of you who are inconvenienced by this shift, our sincere apologies.”

With many apps starting to fall behind in terms of efficiency, usability, and functionality to their mobile web-based cousins, it’s no surprise that several companies have been bolstering their browser development departments while leaving the app programmers out to dry. They also stated they would be removing Facebook connectivity, although details on the reasons for doing so have yet to be elaborated upon.

 

Read more| TechCrunch

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post tweets to facebook

Automating Social Media – Should Tweets Go to Facebook?

Social Media isn’t something that really gets talked about here very often on T3KD. I had an experience today that I thought would make a great blog post. If you didn’t already know, Twitter allows you to have your tweets that you send out (not including replies) to also be posted as statuses on Facebook. A lot of people I know use this feature, but should you send tweets to Facebook?

Social Media Automation

Ever heard of the term Social Media Automation? If you are active in Social Media and have been for a while, and especially if you do any sort of marketing, you have probably heard of and done this before. Social Media Automation is as simple as having your blog send out a tweet every time you update it, or having some blog posts share at random times of the day via Buffer or HootSuite. However, this can get even more extensive. Thanks to an IFTTT script, my Twitter account automatically follows someone and ads them to a special list any time they share one of my blog posts and include me in a reply. That’s another form of Social Media automation, it just isn’t one that would be seen by all of our followers.

Why Would You Send Tweets to Facebook in the First Place?

When I originally set up my Twitter account to send my tweets to Facebook, I was mostly posting photos on Facebook from time to time. I wanted an easy way to bump up my activity level on Facebook. Since I was pretty active on Twitter at the time, having my Tweets go to Facebook seemed like a great idea, and it worked for a while.

A Word From a Friend

Should Tweets Go to Facebook?Now go to present time, and most of what I tweet lately has been blog posts, which means all that is showing up (for the most part) on my Facebook profile is blog posts. This is fine for Twitter where the stream of tweets is constantly moving, but on Facebook that’s just not the case, and by having all those blog post tweets go to Facebook as well, I have annoyed some friends and even lost one. No doubt that engagement is also way down as well.

So… to answer the question of whether or not your tweets should go to Facebook. I truly believe that you should keep your Social Networks genuine and not intertwine what you’re posting, but I realize that from a marketing standpoint this might not always make sense. Keep in mind however, that Facebook is a lot more photo friendly than Twitter, so you could actually use this to your advantage somewhat.

If you have a Facebook account and you want to keep it going but you don’t update that often, if you tweet a lot it does make sense to have your Tweets go to your Facebook account as well, and it would be perfectly fine. However, if you have certain friends that you know are friends on Facebook but aren’t following you on Twitter, you really need to keep this in mind. Remember that you won’t be able to put something on Twitter that you don’t want to be seen by your Facebook friends as well. Also keep in mind though that this only applies to original tweets. Mentions and Direct Messages will never be sent to Facebook.

If you are sending your tweets to Facebook and seeing little to no engagement, maybe try posting directly to Facebook. If most of the stuff you tweet is blog posts like me, you would be better off leaving the featured turned off. Each social network (in my opinion) has it’s own individual use and own type of content that belongs on it.

What do you think? Should Tweets Go to Facebook automatically? Talk back in the comments below!

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