Social Networking

Making Twitter more accurate: Seriously Rapid Source Review fact checks social media

by ItsOpen

Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...

Image via CrunchBase

When Whitney Houston died recently, how did you hear about it? Chances are, you found out through Facebook or Twitter. Word of mouth on social media sites moves much faster than news providers can keep up with, particularly as the latter have to take the time to authenticate the story.

A new tool hopes to help journalist authenticate content much faster, using Twitter. Seriously Rapid Source Review filters through Twitter to give reliable sources with reports, images and videos. Each tweeter will be assessed and given a credibility score based on context clues, with an approximate 89% precision score.

While it’s still in the development stages, there’s clearly a lot of potential here for newspapers, news sites and 24-hour channels like Sky News and BBC News.

You can see more about this tool in the video below.

Source: Mashable

Facebook Classic for Chrome: users rebel against the new layout and Timeline

by ItsOpen

Every time Facebook launches a new feature, layout or look, a group of users voice a negative opinion about it. Inevitable really, not everyone likes change. The level of anger is quite surprisingly though, considering it’s a free service that people don’t have to use. But it does go to prove how ingrained the social network is in our day-to-day lives.

This time, users have complained about the news ticker on the right, Top Stories section at the top and profiles being replaced by Timelines. The move to the new layout was announced months ago, and Facebook has taken longer to implement it across the board than it usually does – possibly because the team were aware of a slight backlash.

Not all the users who are discontented with the new look are adopting the all talk no action option. A group of users have got together to create a Chrome extension that promises to take Facebook users back to the good old days before news tickers and the Facebook feed order.

Facebook Classic is free to use and easy to install. You can find it in the .

Why brands can’t dismiss the impact Twitter has on PR

Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...

Image via CrunchBase

Up until Twitter became mainstream, brands didn’t have to worry too much about a mass backlash – unless it made it to the papers. Now, more and more brands are slipping up when it comes to underestimating the amount of power the Twitter community has.

Already this year, a number of brands have slipped up.


H&M followed in the footsteps of others, like Paperchase, who have been accused of using designs from up and coming artists without their permission. This time designer Tori LaConsay has pointed out some striking similarities between her work and the designs on several of their home accessories.

Initially, H&M released the following statement:

“We employ an independent team of over 100 designers. We can assure you that this design has not been influenced by your work and that no copyright has been infringed.”

But after a Twitter campaign, complete with hashtag, and promotion by Regretsy, the high street store has apologised on their Facebook page to those that ‘think we have copied”.

LA Fitness

Next up to feel the wrath of the Twitter community was LA Fitness. This time, it concerned a couple who were unable to continue their 24-month gym contract as she was pregnant, he had been made redundant, and they both had to move 12 miles away without a car to commute.

LA Fitness apparently refused to let them out of the contract. It was only after several hours of pressure from Twitter users that they gave in and allowed the couple to close their contract. Sadly, this was too late for LA Fitness, whose reputation has taken a serious beating.


McDonald’s attempted a Twitter campaign this week to encourage users to tweet positive messages about the brand, using the hashtag #McDStories

Sadly for them, the stories ended up being a little more like this:

#McDStories Take a McDonalds fry, let it sit for 6 months. It will not deteriorate or spoil like a normal potato. It will remain how it was

Once the hashtag was out there, McDonald’s lost all control of it. Bit of a hard lesson, and one they probably could have learnt before – it’s hardly the first time this has happened.

Claire’s Accessories vs. Tatty Devine

It’s not the first time we’ve seen a small brand highlight a very similar product that a bigger brand has released a similar version of. But Claire’s Accessories’ biggest failing was their social media approach during the crisis. The company deleted any negative post on their Facebook wall and barely mentioned the claims by Tatty Devine on their  Facebook or  Twitter pages. Sometimes, no news can be as damaging as bad news.

So, despite brands being on Twitter for a couple of years now, it’s clear some still don’t realise just how much say a Twitter community has.

Timelines for Facebook Pages are on the way

We’ve heard a lot about the new Timeline on Facebook, with it provoking a Marmite reaction from users. But with it rolled out among most users, the next step is inevitable – Timeline for Facebook pages. In fact, Facebook has now confirmed the rumours, and Timeline for Pages will be rolled out this month.

Many brands are concerned about the changes. Particularly as many use third-party apps like PageMod

o, Involver and Twitter to add extra content and tabs to their page. However, Facebook has a policy of notifiying its users about breaking changes, so these third parties should have time to adjust their format.

It’s also worth remembering that those third parties have adjusted well to previous changes. Facebook is unlikely to make things difficult for brands, and instead will build upon the current success of their pages.

It’ll be interesting to see how brands will use Timelines. Will we see even more creative uses of the featured picture? It certainly gives more flexibility for brands to showcase more of their product images. It may also encourage brands to share more than just a status, which could look a little dull in the new Timeline layout. To take advantage of the new format, it would be great to see a mixture of videos, images and links.

It would be great to see a designated section for the shared content of their fans.

Source: Adage

Five reasons why Pinterest is taking the world by storm

English: Red Pinterest logo

Image via Wikipedia

How many times over the last few weeks have you heard someone raving about Pinterest? It’s the social pin boarding site that’s taking the social media world by storm.

In fact, it’s featured in pretty much every social media prediction post from the past month.

But why is it so popular? After all, it’s not the first sharing/bookmarking/pin boarding site out there. Tumblr, Posterous, Stumbleupon, Wists, ThisNext, IHeartIt and Polyvore all do variations on this theme.

Well, here are five reasons why Pinterest is so popular.

Its simplicity is its advantage

You can’t customise your personal page, it’s not full of ugly flashing graphics and the browsing pages are thumbnails rather than full-sized images.

But this is all to its advantage. It’s clean, clear and incredibly easy to navigate.

Oh, and because they don’t have endless categories, it’s really simple to find lots of content you’ll like in one place. With more and more competition in the social media market, being simple to use is a huge edge.

It appeals to the 20-30 market

Tumblr is becoming increasingly noisy, filled with images of emo teenagers, flashy graphics of Harry Potter and Twilight and song lyrics. Stumbleupon tends to be loved by the techies looking to pass a lunch hour.

For the moment, Pinterest is a breath of fresh air. It appeals to the market which has money to spend and which loves looking at products. .

It’s invitation only – and I suspect that’s keeping out some of the more spammy users. Whether this will change when it’s out of beta remains to be seen.

The Foodies, Fashionistas and Crafters have landed

You know you’re onto something good when the big three have arrived.

The Foodies have been incredibly busy filling up Pinterest with recipes and tasty images, while the Fashionistas are sourcing the hottest new fashion trends. The Crafters share their latest finds, patterns and get a little bit giddy about craft organisation layouts.

It’s fast

Using Pinterest is fast to use, whether on the apps or directly on the website. It’s quick to browse your favourite categories, super-quick to repin something, and easy to share something using the toolbar extensions or bookmarking button. You only have to give a couple of words as a description too.

It’s heaven for businesses

There’s nothing more flattering than seeing your product featured on Pinterest, and if the right person repins it you could see a huge amount of interest.

Additionally, it’s proving to be excellent for bloggers. Pin an image from your blog, whether it’s a product, photograph, plate of food or fashion look, and if it’s popular you could see plenty of repins – and people clicking through to find out more.

For the moment, it’s proving to be one of the most visually interesting ways to spend your lunchtime on the internet. Hopefully the quality will stay high as more and more people join.

Time for a social media spring clean?

How often do you go to register to a new site, and see Facebook and Twitter as options for signing in? It’s an easy option, saves you time inputting all your details and can also help you find other Facebook and Twitter people in your network on the site.

Handy, but just how many sites do you give permission to? Depending on the site, you can be giving them access to a LOT of your personal information.

Considering the security issues Facebook often faces, this may not be a good thing.

If you’re not sure who you’ve given access too, you might want to visit Visit the site then click on the icons for your favourite social media sites. As a cautious user, I didn’t expect to see too many sites with permission on my Facebook account. In fact, 50+ can access my details! I suspect many of those are from when I’ve used an application within Facebook. Scary.

I only checked Twitter a couple of weeks ago, so I wasn’t expecting to see many on there. But I was still surprised to see so many new ones. I’ve signed up to quite a few sites in the last few weeks, but I’ll be a lot more careful now.

Overall, I’m shocked by how much personal information I’m giving away. While businesses are unlikely to use it as often, it’s still worth having a spring clean of your accounts.

It is somewhat ironic, though, that you have to sign in to see which sites have your details..

Cabbie uses Twitter to increase and retain business

We love to hear about unusual and interesting ways that businesses, and in particular small businesses, are using social media to improve. So we’re rather charmed with a recent story about Chicago taxi driver Rashid Temuri. Rashid uses a mix of Twitter (@ChicagoCabbie), Google Latitude and Find My Friends to attract new customers. He claims that 95% of his repeat business is through his Twitter account.

To maximise his business, Rashid uses the social networks to let people know his whereabouts, receive discounts and book him. An example of one of his tweets is:

“Good morning #Chicago!! It’s a wet wet day here. 41°. Take $5 OFF the meter from now till 2PM to any airport from anywhere. :-) #ORD #MDW”

Interestingly, Rashid didn’t actually start out using social media as a marketing tool. He explains:

“I started Twitter thinking I’ll talk to people about taxi industry of Chicago. I feel there is a gap between taxi drivers and customers and there are lots of misunderstandings. They both are in such a defensive mode. They both feel like they have to protect themselves from the other and it’s just so wrong. I joined Twitter to eliminate the gap between a taxi customer and taxi driver.”

Rashid is even tech-savvy enough to offer free wi-fi in his cab (and accepts credit card payments for those that don’t carry cash). It really is no wonder people are happy to use him time and time again.

This isn’t the first time we’ve heard about a taxi company using social media to get the competitive edge. @tweetalondoncab lets you book a taxi in London by sending a simple DM to the account. They’ll then reply straight away with a booking confirmation. Handy if you’re in a busy or loud place and don’t have time to nip out and make a call.


Would you hire a taxi through Twitter?

Five social media predications for 2012

It’s the first month of the year! So, we’ve put our thinking caps on to predict what we’ll see in 2012 in the world of social media.

Goodbye QR Codes, hello augmented reality apps

QR Codes have only just got into the swing of things in 2011, so I do feel a twinge of guilt about dismissing them. But while QR Codes have been quietly working away, augmented reality apps have jumped right in there with stunning graphics and moving visuals based on current logos and campaigns, including some interesting 3D designs.

Potentially, this is the best way for companies to connect their offline activities with their online actions. Just imagine opening a magazine, scanning an advert and watching their latest video on your screen, before being taken to the website.

The main barrier at the moment is that the design element can be costly, which is why QR codes may still have a little more time left.

Google + to sink….or swim in a different direction

The trouble is, it’s difficult for any business to launch a product in an already busy market, but when you’re as big and bold as Google, everyone is watching.

Twitter and Facebook started out small, which meant they had the freedom to try new things, make mistakes and move onto a new strategy without being in the spotlight. Google doesn’t have that luxury. Every mistake they make is analysed by millions. The only way they may be able to continue in 2012 is if they find their niche and maximise on it.

Even more Facebook integration

With Facebook pages looking more and more like mini websites, we wouldn’t be surprised to see more pages offering online stores, special content and alternative services on their Facebook page. We’ve already seen , where they often have sales specifically for Facebook fans, in order to reward their loyalty.

Quality, not quantity

In the last year, there’s been a definite shift from quantity to quality. Bloggers used to write post after post, but recent changes to Google’s search settings means that posts under 150 words will hold a much lower SEO score. Bloggers are now concentrating on longer, better quality posts on a less frequent basis.

It’s not just blogging either. With the sheer number of Twitter and Facebook users, we’ve seen a rise in services like Klout (which measures a user’s influence). Now it’s not just about how many tweets you share, but how many of your tweets are clicked on and retweeted.

The rise of the micro-blog

Tumblr, Pinterest, Instagram and Posterous are all blogging platforms that are on the rise, thanks to the speedy nature of posting and sharing. More and more companies are turning to these platforms to get information out there without committing to writing long posts. They might not be quite as SEO-friendly as a full blog post, but they’re great for giving followers and fans a quick fix. While these platforms shouldn’t replace a full blog, they act as a good side service.

What are you expecting to see in 2012?

How much does Facebook know about you?

We’re all well aware that Facebook pushes the boundaries somewhat when it comes to privacy and security. In fact, it doesn’t seem like a month has gone by this year without a Facebook privacy data piece hitting the headlines.

But this video shows just how much data is held on each person (mobile users in particular may be unaware how much information Facebook has on their location). According to the video, messages and statuses are kept on file, long after they’ve been deleted. When Facebook provided Max, the man in the video, with his personal data he was shocked to get a CD back with 1222 PDFs. Max has since asked for further information, but Facebook has declined due to ‘confidential business matter.’

In fairness, it’s hardly big news that Facebook know a lot about us. We share so much personal information on Facebook, that sometimes it’s easy to forget that there’s a company behind it.


Why the new Private Messaging service for Facebook pages is both good and bad

Eagle-eyed Facebook users may have noticed that certain Facebook pages now have a private message function, where fans can send a page a private message.

Now this, like all new Facebook services, has pros and cons.


  • Pages can directly message someone regarding a dispute or when delicate information is involved.
  • It could cut down on page spam/abuse, if pages are allowed to respond directly to certain individuals.
  • It could add a personal touch, allowing page users to personally thank certain individuals- therefore further improving the brand/fan relationship.
  • Twitter already has a similar system, and it works well there.
  • Facebook admins will no longer need to use personal profiles to send messages.


  • It could actually increase spam and abuse, with fans able to send anything by private message.
  • Equally, it could lead to controversy if an inexperienced Facebook page manager responds to a private message in the wrong way.
  • Currently, private message conversations can only be initiated by a page fan, and a page admin can then respond. This limits conversation options, and means fans hold all the power when it comes to starting a private conversation. However, reports suggest it is possible to privately message some fans when they comment on a wall post.
  • Facebook admins may choose to only respond to negative wall comments privately. Dealing with constructive criticism publicly, in the right way, can actually be great PR for a brand, so to not do so could be bad for a page.


What do you think? Are you a fan of the Facebook page private messaging function, or against it?