Twitter Experiment Displays Other Users’ Favourites In Your Timeline

Twitter is experimenting with a new feature on the timeline, however users don’t  appear to be best  pleased with it so far. This latest tweak is to do with Favourites, and it essentially treats them in a similar way to retweets, as far as the main timeline is concerned.

Users have now reported seeing tweets in their timeline that users they follow have favourited, or further separated still, popular tweets from accounts that other users follow.

As the example above shows, Peter Kafka is seeing content on his timeline that he didn’t ask for, but is being shown purely on the basis of other users’ actions, while TheNextWeb’s Martin Bryant captured a much more ironic example of Twitter’s latest feature experiment:

The new feature – if implemented across the board – might change the way we use Favourites. Retweets are an intentional act of broadcasting other users’ content to your own followers, whereas Favourites are a way of marking things for your own personal reflection or posterity. When the things you mark for later attention are broadcast to your followers it puts an entirely different spin on things, as people researching topics will often favourite tweets/links to content that are completely against their beliefs or position.

With social networks most changes to the norm are generally met with a certain degree of discontent or mistrust, and this latest experiment from Twitter appears to be no different. While the company is yet to comment on the most recent changes, it did release a statement last year that does provide an overview on how Twitter goes about conducting its product experiments.

Have you experienced any of Twitter’s feature experiments? What are your thoughts on seeing other people’s favourited tweets in your timeline? Leave a comment below with your views.

Likes and Recover Instagram Apps For iOS Now Released!

Anyone who uses Instagram will be painfully aware that it doesn’t have a ‘favourites’ feature that would allow you to easily mark things for future reference. Nor is there a way to save images directly to your phone.

Well in the last few weeks our we’ve been quietly working away on a couple of separate iOS app projects alongside our main SocialSafe app development, and the fruits of these labours are now ready to be enjoyed!

These will be of interest to anyone who uses Instagram on an iOS device, and so we are proud to unveil Likes and Recover for iOS.

Likes and Recover

Likes [App Store Link] allows you to view a stream of all the Instagrams you have liked, and download any them to your iPhone’s Camera Roll with a single tap. Holding down on an image will take you back to the original on Instagram. It’s as simple as that!

Likes - Effortlessly save the Instagrams you’ve liked to your Camera Roll

Unlike Twitter, Instagram doesn’t have a ‘Favourites’ feature that allows you to easily mark things for future reference.  With Likes you can view all of the photos that you personally liked, without having to scroll back through weeks or months worth of other photos.

All you need to do to get started is download Likes to your iPhone/iPod touch, login through Instagram and the app will show you all of the Instagrams you have liked!

Recover  [App Store Link] works in the same way as Likes, but applies to all of your own Instagram photos. So with a single tap you can save any of your photos to your camera roll, or you can press to view that photo – and any comments etc – on Instagram.

Recover - Effortlessly save your Instagram photos to your Camera Roll

By being able to save Instagram photos to your camera roll, you can do things that you simply cannot on Instagram, such as zooming in on photos, or sending the images privately to non-Instagram users via other messaging apps such as WhatsApp, iMessage, WeChat etc.

These apps are both available NOW in the app store, so please download, rate and review them!

Facebook Supported By Google, Microsoft & More In Privacy Case

You may recall back in June that Facebook had been issued with a court order demanding that it hand over the data of some 381 users who were being investigated as part of a fraud trial. The social network lodged an ultimately unsuccessful appeal, and had to release the personal data – including photographs and private messages – to the authorities.

The story has now resurfaced after several large tech firms in the US have argued that the original search warrant was a breach of the US Constitution. In court documents filed in New York, companies including Google, Microsoft, Dropbox and Twitter  have thrown their support behind Facebook, claiming that the original process violated the First Amendment, which protects against persons’ belongings falling subject to “unreasonable searches and seizures”.

The BBC has seen the documents submitted to a New York court, and reports that the following tech firms have declared their support for Facebook:

  • Google
  • Microsoft
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Yelp
  • Dropbox
  • Pinterest
  • Foursquare
  • Kickstarter
  • Meetup
  • Tumblr

Google and Microsoft said that they had “a strong interest in the resolution of the issues in this case”, as they have had to deal with similar issues in the past. This also seems to be a case of the strong looking after the weak, with a lawyer representing some of the medium-sized companies saying that “smaller entities, such as start-ups and other developing companies, may not always have the resources to litigate”.

If the bigger firms are able to establish a precedent that may protect smaller businesses in the future, then that will be of benefit to the tech community as a whole.

Financial Conduct Authority Says Firms Should Keep Offline Records

New guidelines published by the Financial Conduct Authority have specified the importance of keeping a record of social media communications and interactions. Many industries have their own rules and regulations regarding the appropriate use of social media, and what systems companies and operators should have in place in terms of records keeping.

This new release from the FCA details some of the pitfalls of using social media to communicate with customers, and offers advisory remarks based on the different formats and norms of various social networks. On the subject of record keeping, we’d like to reproduce two of the points from the FCA document:

2.23 We remind firms of their obligations to have an adequate system in place to sign off digital media communications. This sign-off should be by a person of appropriate competence and seniority within the organisation.

2.24 Firms should also keep adequate records of any significant communications. As well as helping to protect consumers, these records enable the firm to deal effectively with any subsequent claims or complaints. Firms should not rely on digital media channels to maintain records, as they will not have control over this: social media in particular may
refresh content from time to time, with the consequent deletion of older material.

The important point to pick up on here is that firms “should not rely on digital media channels to maintain records, as they will not have control over this”. When you don’t hold the data yourself, you can never be 100% certain that nothing will happen to it, or that the ones holding the data won’t change the accessibility or ease of use.

Only by owning your own copy of the content you post  – and any subsequent interactions  – can you be fully in control of your data. SocialSafe is one such application that allows social media users to download, store, search and do more with their own copy of all the things they have said on their social networks.

Even if there are no legally binding regulations that apply to your business or industry, the FCA’s document is well worth taking a look at as it contains plenty of useful advice that can be heeded by any business, or indeed any individual. Click here to view the Financial Conduct Authority’s Guidance Consultation for Social Media and Customer Communications.

Class Action Lawsuit Against Facebook Gathers Momentum In Europe

Facebook is facing another class action lawsuit over user privacy, originating in Europe. Earlier this year a case was brought against Facebook claiming that the social network had been reviewing users’ private messages “for purposes unrelated to the facilitation of message transmission”. This time the class action is being spearheaded by the Austrian law student Max Schrems, and more than 17,000 people have now signed up to join.

The group – headed by Schrems – claim that Facebook has been engaging in following “unlawful acts”:

  • Data use policy which is invalid under EU law
  • The absence of effective consent to many types of data use
  • Support of the NSA’s ‘PRISM’ surveillance programme
  • Tracking of Internet users on external websites (e.g. through ‘Like buttons’)
  • Monitoring and analysis of users through ‘big data’ systems
  • Unlawful introduction of ‘Graph Search’
  • Unauthorised passing on of user data to external applications

If you’ve not actually heard of Max Schrems before, you may well be familiar with the Europe vs Facebook group that he heads up. He is also the sole named claimant in this case, meaning that anyone else participating in the action will be free from the risks of having to pay any associated costs. Schrems is seeking to claim damages of €500 per user for the alleged data violations by Facebook, and with tens of thousands of users joining the class action, the bill levied at Facebook would be well into the millions if successful.

More details on this legal movement and the Europe vs Facebook group can be found on the FB Claim website set up by Schrems.

We’d just like to take this opportunity to reiterate that while SocialSafe is an application that allows you to download your personal data from Facebook – and other social networks – we never see nor store this data ourselves. Everything you choose to back up with SocialSafe is entirely yours and 100% private – we never hold your data and you can always access it.

Why Are You Seeing So Many Random Videos In Your Facebook News Feed?

Have you noticed an increase in the number of videos that you’re seeing in your Facebook News Feed lately? Well there’s an explanation for that based on your own behaviour and those pesky ol’ Facebook algorithms that seem to polarise audiences.

You should be aware of Facebook’s auto-play function, introduced last year, that starts playing videos (admittedly silently) regardless of whether or not you’ve clicked on them. The algorithm detects when you pause your scrolling to watch them, and will then deliver even more videos. This was confirmed in June by Facebook’s Product Manager, Brett Welch:

People who tend to watch more videos in their News Feed should expect to see more videos near the top of their Feed. Conversely, people who tend to skip over videos without watching them should expect to see fewer videos.

However, these subtle tweaks to the News Feed algorithm that determine the frequency and type of content that is served up in your News Feed can be subject to abuse and exploitation.

Mashable’s Annie Colbert describes the situation as a “sneaky viral video spam problem“. Her article looks at the example of a handful of pages with nothing in common sharing the same irrelevant viral video content (without the appropriate rights to license the footage, incidentally), purely to get their pages into more and more people’s News Feeds by virtue of the fact that the video itself has proven to be popular elsewhere.

So what can we do to avoid seeing ‘spam’ videos appearing in our News Feeds? Well, short of not watching any videos in an attempt to adjust Facebook’s algorithmic  measure of us, it seems as though we’ll just have to be patient while Facebook works on ironing out these creases.

How To Challenge Your Friends To An Instagram Popularity Contest

We all appreciate it when our friends ‘like’ our content on social networks. Whether it’s a status update we’ve posted or a photo, it’s always nice to get that social seal of approval on something you’ve created. However, what can be just as much fun is getting more likes than your friends when you post things!

Instagram users have been known for their competitive nature when it comes to how many likes or comments their photos get once posted to the photo sharing network. Well, with SocialSafe you can take this battle with your friends to the next level, by not only seeing which of your own photos is the most popular, but also by seeing which is the most popular photo for each Instagram filter.

View your most popular content

Once you’ve backed up your Instagram account with SocialSafe, you can use the general Insights to see which of your photos has the most likes and comments, and with the specific Instagram Insights you can learn more about your use of individual filters and how popular they are with your followers:

most instagram likes

Most popular image for each Instagram filter

With SocialSafe it’s easy to see which photo has the most likes and comments, and once you know how many your most popular image has, you can challenge your friends to see how many interactions their most popular image has! You can even set your own date ranges, so you could see what your most popular photos were each month, and then compare that information with your friends to see who gained the most likes for each time period!

Of course they’ll need to be using SocialSafe in order to see which Instagram photo is the most popular, but the application is free to use, so simply download SocialSafe and compare the number of likes with your friends!

Apple co-Founder Threatens To Leave Facebook Over Data Ownership Concerns

A lengthy article about the Facebook Terms of Service – and how it more or less gives the social network carte blanche to do what it likes with all of your data – has caught the eye of Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, who is not best pleased that he doesn’t appear to own his own profile picture.

The article in question is from the US edition of the Huffington Post, and breaks down a lot of the salient points of Facebook’s Data Use Policy and Terms of Service, which the overwhelming majority of us will have accepted without reading. It also goes on to elaborate on how our Facebook information is combined with some of our general internet browsing data to come up with ‘inferred’ information about you from evidence and reasoning rather than from explicit statements.

But it’s more the question of data ownership that was ruffling Wozniak’s feathers, to the point where the Apple co-founder is considering leaving Facebook. Sharing the Huffington Post article on Facebook, he included the following message:

“Not right. My profile picture is owned by Facebook, not by myself, etc. I may not be here much longer.”

steve wozniack huffington post facebook pictures

Data ownership and the issues of privacy when our personal information is posted online is becoming an increasingly sensitive subject for individuals and privacy groups alike. Here at SocialSafe we firmly believe that the individual should be the single biggest owner of their personal data, which is why we have been helping users of social networks take control of their data.

The SocialSafe application allows users to download their own copy of the information they post to social networks (updates, tweets, photos, messages, posts and more) to their own machines. Once this information is stored in the users own private, local library they can they do more with it, such as search across multiple networks, create collections, export to PDF and see their most popular content.

Looking forward, we are working on expanding SocialSafe to support personal data from all sorts of sources. To start taking back control of your personal data now, download SocialSafe for free and back up the content from your social networks.

How To View Instagrams From Your Desktop

One feature within SocialSafe that you might not be aware of, is to do with photos. You can jump to the original image on the social network it was posted to with just one click.

When viewing any of the photos backed up in your SocialSafe library, you should be used to clicking on the thumbnail to see the larger view of the photo, as well as any comments, tags and likes. One thing you may not have noticed is the ‘View original’ button (highlighted in red) just beneath the large view of each photo:

view instagram photos on your pc or mac

Clicking on ‘View original’ will open up a browser window (or tab) and take you to the social network where the original image was posted. This short video shows you how this feature works with Instagram photos, but the same principle applies for any photos backed up in your SocialSafe library:

One way you might want to utilise this functionality is by combining it with the Flashback feature. When you’re shown your most popular photo from today’s date in previous years, you might want to remind your friends of it. By clicking on ‘View original’ you can jump straight to that image on whichever network it was posted on, and you could then comment on it again, or reshare it so that your friends or those who are tagged in it get a reminder of the great memories you’ve created together.

There are many other reasons why being able to jump back to the original photos online could be useful, and we’re sure you’ll find your own! This is just one of the ways we try to enhance your experience of using SocialSafe and enjoying your content, and we’ve got plenty more to come!

Which Social Media Records Did The #WorldCup Final Break?

Given the amount of people who actively use social media, and the amount of people to whom football is more or less a religion, it should be of little surprise to hear that Sunday’s World Cup Final broke Facebook and Twitter records.

Germany’s extra time victory over Argentina managed to elicit 280m interactions on Facebook (posts, comments or likes) from fans and observers across the globe. That figure eclipsed the record for the most Facebook interactions for an event, which had been set at 245m by the 2013 Super Bowl.

A new record was also set for the most tweets-per-minute, which peaked on Sunday at 618,725 and comfortably broke the record set earlier in the week when the hosts Brazil were annihilated 7-1 by eventual world champions Germany (580,106 tweets-per-minute). However the Germany vs. Brazil game still retains the record for the most tweets in a game, (36.6m), with only 32.1m tweets being posted during the World Cup final.

They were two very different games, with the record-setting Germany vs. Brazil game descending into the viral sharing of memes before half an hour had even been played, while the Germany vs. Argentina final was a much more tense affair during which people may have been less inclined to aver their gaze from the match to a second screen.

Another interesting fact came from Facebook, with the social network revealing that the top five countries participating in the global interactions were the USA, Brazil, ArgentinaGermany and Indonesia. It’s a little surprising that the two countries battling it out in the World Cup final were not the top two countries in terms of Facebook activity, although as stated, it’s reasonable to assume that both the Argentinians and the Germans would be glued to the match itself, rather than posting to social networks.

Were you active on social media during the football World Cup? What were your favourite moments from Brazil 2014? There many memorable tweets, posts and viral memes doing the rounds, and it must be said that social media really did provide a supplementary layer and subplot to what was already a fantastic global occasion.

If you have a particular favourite social media moment from Brazil 2014 then please link to it in the comments section below.