It’s the end of the week and the start of a bank holiday weekend – woo hoo! Before you hotfoot it out of the office, make sure you have an informative end to your week by checking out what we thought the top stories were in digital over the past five days.
Sally Barr, Social Media Manager
Big news from earlier this week was that Facebook had overhauled its privacy features, including phasing out the ‘Check in’ feature on mobiles. The main online news outlets speedily covered the story and some took quite different angles.
BetaBeat described it as: “While some folks might attribute the rumbling feeling that hit New York this afternoon to a 5.9 earthquake in Virginia, Betabeat now knows better. It was the tectonic reverberations of defeat, as Facebook quietly phased out the Places feature on its mobile app which everyone was screaming for months would kill Foursquare.”
The Next Web described it as: “Facebook’s updated privacy controls take it beyond Google+’s Circles”
They were referring to the fact that Facebook has always had the same functionality (friend lists) as Google+’s Circles, however not many people knew they were there. It is now being moved to the forefront, with the lock button under the sharing widget getting a more prominent look. The button will now spell out exactly which groups or individuals can see each post you make to the website. You will also now be able to change the visibility settings of individual posts after they have been published.
“The tagging feature is also getting a significant overhaul, with the main change being an opt-in preference in your privacy settings that will enable you to approve any posts or media you have been tagged in before the tag is made public, allowing you to have tighter control over what content on Facebook you are associated with. This is especially helpful given that Facebook will now be allowing you to tag even people you aren’t friends with in posts and photos.”
I’m enjoying Facebook getting nervous about Google+ and introducing new features. A bit of competition is never a bad thing!
Ally Manock, Head of Connect (Social Media, Online Media & SEO)
Within the next six months we will see Google launch its Smart TV concept within the UK. It is co-developed by Google, Intel, Sony and Logitech, which officially launched in the US last May.
The service is Google’s attempt to take its advertising ‘offline’ and into users’ homes, transforming the humble TV into a Web-enabled video player, meaning you can watch shows from the major stations as well as access YouTube, the Web and various other apps. You will apparently be able to:
seamlessly switch between ‘TV’ and ‘Internet’ modes with a single click
This sounds all shiny and new, but I have Virgin’s new TiVo box…and Google TV sounds just like that. So, really it isn’t anything new at all. The differences will come in the usability and the interface. Virgin TiVo has many plus points (such as learning what you like watching and automatically recording shows it thinks you might like), however the interface is clunky and slow. If Google TV takes what TiVo currently has and improves on it, then they will be onto a good thing and I might be tempted.
George Hurrell, Digital Designer
Adobe has recently released a new product called ‘Muse’ (beta name). It has been released for free public trial and you can download it free here.
It has been hailed as:
‘designer friendly website creation software’
If you can use Adobe Indesign you can use Adobe Muse. You can import your Photoshop files directly and the software will create all the necessary code required to turn your beautifully designed pages into a valid, working website. Many designers are keen to give this a go, I’ve not had a chance to try it yet but after getting tired of Dreamweaver years ago and deciding my brain just didn’t like coding (after all I’m a designer and so just colour in all day anyway!). It’s not something I’ve been ‘waiting’ for. But now it’s here, it could certainly be a bridge between design and the more techie side of actually creating a working website.
So while it may not be likely to convert web developers and experienced users of CSS and HTML, it does have powerful features that I think could be a great tool for graphic designers making their first steps into web design.
There’s a more in-depth review here
Sukhjit Kaur, Online Visibility Executive
Ticketmaster have come together with Facebook and created a new feature. It allows you to see which of your Facebook friends are going to a concert you are booking tickets for, and where they will be sitting.
When you go to book tickets for an event, you can now choose the seats yourself, instead of having to rely on TicketMaster by selecting the “Best Available” option. You can then select the seats you want from an interactive map, connect to Facebook, and it then shows you a list of people from your Facebook friends who are also attending that event.
Ticketmaster puts small Facebook flags on certain seats, and once you click on them it tells you which of your Facebook friends are in those seats. I particularly like this feature as I go to a lot concerts and use Ticketmaster to purchase tickets. My friends will always say to me “oh we didn’t know you were going to that concert, we would have come with you!” or sometimes you get to the venue, and you end up doing the ‘standing up, while on the phone to a friend, who is also at the venue, trying to see each other and wave’ when everyone else is sat down before the concert starts!
You can also tag friends you have bought tickets for (they can choose whether or not if they want it published to Facebook). It’s a good way to get seats next to your friends and avoid sitting anywhere near the people you don’t really like! Seat maps for events may remain after the event takes place so you can reconnect with people you met there; great if you meet people you really got on with.
Gaby Ferry, Senior Online Insight & Visibility Manager
The media has been awash this week with the news that Apple’s visionary co-founder Steve Jobs has resigned in his role as CEO of the company. Here’s his resignation letter. So the man responsible for the iPod, iPhone and iPad has now officially said “iQuit” to be replaced in his role by Tim Cook. What has followed has been a drop in Apple’s share price, much speculation about the future of the world’s most valuable company, and as ever eloquent commentary from Apple fan Stephen Fry:
“I don’t think there is a human being on the planet who has been as influential in the last 30 years in the way culture developed [and] has proved quite so conclusively that passion and taste and belief are more important than a hard business head”
In a slightly less irreverent tone NMAtv have immortalised Jobs’ legacy in animation form. See Jobs experience spiritual enlightenment, give birth to the Mac and battle Bill Gates. Enjoy.
Image via: http://micgadget.com/