Twitter has taken the wraps off of a new system for quoting tweets that makes it a little easier to add your own comment to others’ tweets. With the current quoting system, the contents of a tweet are literally “quoted” and posted to your followers. For longer tweets that hit that 140 character limit, that doesn’t really leave you much room to say anything.
The new system for quoting actually links the original tweet to your tweet, and you’ll get 116 characters to talk about it. It may not be the full 140 characters, but it’s way better than only having enough room for a few words.
This system is currently rolling out to the web version of Twitter, but you can expect it to hit the Android client soon.
Come comment on this article: Twitter introduces new tweet quoting system, rolling out to Android apps soon
The app hooks into your Facebook and Twitter accounts, then sees which stories and content are being tweeted and shared the most over a 24-hour span. Whichever stories are the most popular get dished up on your main feed in the app, from which you can share/tweet/link the stories again, thus completing the bloated cycle of viral news stories on social media. Seriously, though, if you have tons of Facebook friends and follow huge amounts of Twitter accounts, this is a great way to simplify things.
Nuzzel has a few other features, too, such as being able to simplify web pages and remove the bloat formatting you may not want to see, and it’ll give you easy ways to check out features feeds that may be sharing popular stories that aren’t floating around in your current social circles. It can also notify you whenever many of your friends are all talking about the same thing, whether it’s a tweet or new page. Definitely a useful tool for social media power users.
The app is free to download, so even if you’re on the fence about it, it can’t hurt to take it for a test drive.
Come comment on this article: Nuzzel for Android keeps up with the most popular stories from your social circles
Snapchat announced yesterday on their Tumblr blog a new service called Discover.
The way the blog post describes it is that a user would be able to view a gallery of posts selected every 24 hours. This galleries would contain snaps that editors and artists deem worthy.
Team Snapchat makes it very clear that this is NOT a social media service. They claim that social media is marked by showing the user what is popular based on likes and reshares.
Discover will be different in that it will display photos like a curated gallery. Here is a quick preview:
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! And if you look at the lyrics to the Andy Williams classic, it can easily be adjusted for the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas (and despite impending sleep deprivation, we’ll still do our very best to “be of good cheer.“) We’re perched up in a gorgeous trailer (with plants!) and broadcasting live from our delightful stage right in the heart of the Las Vegas Convention Center.
Engadget is sharing the news on nearly every social media platform out there, so pick your poison: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Vine, Google+, Tumblr, Pinterest, RebelMouse and App.net. But for the most important updates, @Engadget on Twitter is your best bet and we’re also going to pop additional content onto @EngadgetEvents including our stage happenings and other miscellany as we run around.
In addition to the official channels, you can keep up with our team on Twitter. Use this list or individually follow the folks below for an unfiltered look at CES through our eyes. If you’d like to see all the conversation surrounding #CES2015, check out our Tagboard!
Aaron Souppouris – Senior Editor (@engadget)
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Twitter has been working on implementing a new feature for the social network that displays the most popular Tweets at the top of a user’s feed so they don’t miss anything important while they weren’t checking Twitter. The point is to drive up user engagement on the site, similar to how Facebook implements its Timeline feature. The feature is aptly called “While You Were Away” and it looks like it’s starting a slow roll out to some users.
The recapping feature is one of the first moves Twitter is making in 2015 to keep users on the site and posting. The tricky part will be finding the right balance between displaying tweets in the app that people actually want to see, and not just junk that takes up space at the top of a Twitter feed.
If you use the official Twitter app, keep an eye on it to see if the feature is live for you yet. If not, you can probably expect to see it by the end of the month.
source: Tech Crunch
Come comment on this article: Twitter’s “While You Were Away” feature going live for some users
India’s previously criticized Facebook for not censoring material that was critical of its government, so let’s agree that the country has something of a strained relationship with social media. Now, however, the south-west state of Karnataka has announced that even clicking ‘like’ on a post could land you in jail for 90 days before you even get to see a magistrate. Because India has no blasphemy laws, any material that could offend someone’s religious beliefs is prosecuted as hate speech, and that includes uploading, forwarding, sharing, liking and retweeting something. We hate to be cynical, but we can’t imagine it’ll be long before the first dissenting voice gets thrown in jail to protect the feelings of the
government general population
When Yahoo bought Tumblr for more than a billion dollars, a lot of us wondered how it would ever turn a profit. After all, people sharing cat GIFs and monochrome erotica didn’t seem like a very effective business model. According to Mashable, however, the social network is going to earn its keep by helping big brands like Coca Cola and Nike understand how they’re perceived. That’s because Tumblr is hooking up with analytics firm Ditto, which will scour your pictures looking for sneakers and soft drinks in the frame. It’ll then pass this data on to the companies involved for a fee, helping them to ensure the teenagers are all praising the right sort of soda at the next box social, or something.
Filed under: Internet
Social media’s reputation for usurping the political classes means that it terrifies
most some world leaders. That’s probably the reasoning behind China’s decision to pass a law mandating that users of internet-based communication services like IMs and social media must use their real name, or else. According to the state-run Xinhua News, users will now sign up to a service like WeChat, but won’t gain access until they pass a background check. A spokesperson for the State Internet Information Office (SIIO) claims that “a few people” are using online chat services to spread dissent, slanders, rumors, terrorism, violence and pornography, which they claim is harming the overall health of China’s leaders online population.
Meanwhile, those who already have an online presence will find their access limited until they submit to this same real-name vetting process. In addition, users will now be required to follow the “seven bottom lines” when using social media, a list of rules that include respecting the national interests, maintaining public order and upholding the socialist system. Should someone be found breaking these rules, the offending material will be deleted, their account will be closed and, presumably, they’ll be dragged off for
interrogation a friendly chat. Naturally, the authorities believe that the new rules will protect citizens’ rights to freedom of speech, which the SIIO defines as enjoying “the convenience of such services.” They must be using a different dictionary.
[Image credit: Wikimedia Commons]
This week, we reviewed Google’s Android Wear platform, examined a few practical steps toward ditching social media, watched a sniper hit his target without looking and took a look at the phenomenon of social media activism. Read on for Engadget’s news highlights from the last seven days. Oh, and be sure to subscribe to our Flipboard magazine!
Ever thought of dumping social media for a more private life? In this week’s installment of How to Disappear, Dan Cooper discusses some practical first steps toward going completely off the grid. Disclaimer: it’s incredibly difficult. You can find part one here.
Thanks to Google’s unifying Android Wear platform, the smartwatch market is poised to explode. But does this wearable OS have the right combination of user experience and functionality to win the hearts of the masses? Read on as Brad Molen breaks down everything you need to know about Android Wear.
ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley is reporting that Microsoft’s next operating system (Windows 9) will ship as a three-in-one of sorts (desktop, tablet and mobile). Codenamed “Threshold,” the OS will recognize the hardware it’s running on and morph to the occasion.
After reaching over 105,000 backers this week, Reading Rainbow dethroned the original Pebble smartwatch as the most popular Kickstarter project ever. At its close on July 2nd, the endeavor had raised over five times its goal of $1 million.
What do the “OccupyWallStreet” and “CancelColbert” hashtags have in common? They’re both examples of what’s been termed “social media activism.” Read on as Ben Gilbert dissects this modern form of protest and what it means to you.
Smiles are contagious. So are depressing Facebook posts, apparently. In 2012, Zuckerberg and Co. manipulated its users’ happiness (gasp) by secretly bombarding their news feeds with waves of positive and negative stories.
NVIDIA’s next Shield console might not be a “console” at all. According to a listing from the Global Certification Forum, the gaming company mistakenly leaked information about an upcoming “Shield Tablet,” including some specs.
More than a few gaming consoles have spawned in the last 40 years, most of which you’ve probably never heard of. This week, a museum in southern Japan is opening its doors in celebration of 56 those historic (or infamous) consoles.
What’s scarier than a regular ole’ sniper? One who doesn’t have to see the target. Armed with a futuristic targeting system and Smith Optics I/O Recon Goggles, this sharpshooter nails a target 500 yards away… while looking in another direction.
If you’re already an athlete or active jogger, Garmin’s new Forerunner 15 might be the fitness accessory you’ve been looking for. At $170 ($200 with the heart rate monitor), this somewhat bulky device combines the functionality of a sports watch with fitness tracking basics.
Filed under: Misc
Protests in the Middle East, known as “The Arab Spring,” echoed around the world. On Friday, December 17, 2010, a fruit vendor named Mohamed Bouazizi covered himself in flammable liquid and lit a match. His body was quickly engulfed in flames and, despite attempts to save his life, Bouazizi died on January 4th, 2011. He was 26 years old. Like how Buddhist monk Thích Quảng Đức’s self-immolation in Saigon nearly 50 years earlier represented the frustration of many Vietnamese, Bouazizi’s action became symbolic of a much larger frustration in Tunisian society.
What happened next, however was a product of modern times: Word spread of Bouazizi’s action through social networks, with Facebook specifically becoming a flashpoint for protest organizations across the country. By the time Tunisia’s former leader, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, resigned and fled the country in mid-January 2011, over a fifth of Tunisia’s population was on Facebook.
WHAT IS IT?
The term “social media activism” is ambiguous. That’s intentional, as its application varies depending on what it’s connected with. Both Occupy Wall Street and “#CancelColbert” fall under the umbrella of “social media activism,” so the term needs to be ambiguous by its nature. With those two examples, you already kinda know what it is, right? Social media activism can be as simple as a trending topic (“#CancelColbert”) for interested parties to engage in a bigger conversation, and as complex as Occupy Wall Street’s multiplatform, multimedia initiative. As the name implies, there’s no standard social network used for social media activism; YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Sina Weibo and myriad others are employed as need be.
In the case of Tunisia, Facebook was the social service of choice, with hackers, protesters and everyday Tunisians using the service collaboratively. It served as a message board for sharing images, video and stories, in addition to creating a public forum for communication.
In response to the Santa Barbara shootings by Elliot Rodger, activists and general newsreaders alike used the “YesAllWomen” hashtag on Twitter. The hashtag is still in use over a month later, where it’s become an ongoing conversation about women’s rights versus how women are treated in reality.
WHY SHOULD I CARE?
Beyond the whole “you’re a participating member of human society” thing, social media activism is a fascinating modern version of protest and communication. Because of the internet, social media platforms and the ubiquity of mobile phones with cameras, activism and protest are now truly global events. Not interested in participating? That’s fair!
The other side of the coin is that, sometimes, these movements affect your life whether you like it or not. If you were in Egypt in early 2011, whether you were part of the conversation or not didn’t matter: The president was overthrown.
WHAT’S THE ARGUMENT?
While not an “argument” per se, some say that media coverage focuses on the medium — social media — over the message, and it ends up diluting the protest. Author Malcolm Gladwell argues as much in The New Yorker: “People protested and brought down governments before Facebook was invented. They did it before the internet came along. Barely anyone in East Germany in the 1980s had a phone – and they ended up with hundreds of thousands of people in central Leipzig and brought down a regime.” Gladwell’s also questioned the efficacy of social media in organizing physical protest; it’s easy for people to participate online, but far more difficult to turn those words into action (so the argument goes).
Back in May, a tweet from The Colbert Report‘s official Twitter account made a grave error: publishing a punch line from Colbert’s show that night without including the joke’s setup. In lampooning Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder, Colbert made the following punch line in reference to a (fake) video that proposed Colbert was caught making racist remarks about Asians. The tweet, since deleted, said this:
In response, writer/activist Suey Park created the “#CancelColbert” hashtag. It became a rallying cry for some Asian Americans to speak about their experiences with racism in America. Except that some Asian Americans — notably Deadspin‘s Tommy Craggs and Kyle Wagner — found Park’s use of “hashtag activism” only served to misdirect the original conversation away from Snyder. It’s not the first, but it’s certainly the most prominent example of social media activism that many believe to be a misuse.
WANT EVEN MORE?
We sure hope you do, because there’s quite a bit on the subject that’s worth reading. The MIT Technology Review has a great piece from John Pollock digging in on the hackers behind Tunisia’s uprising. Al Jazeera America wrote about “#CancelColbert” and whether social media activism is effective; The New Yorker spoke with Park and discussed her background. The New York Times has a thorough background on Bouazizi and similar actions.
And finally, Jehane Noujaim‘s excellent 2013 documentary The Square both demonstrates the use of social media activism in a real-life revolution setting, and grippingly details the movement in Tahrir Square. It’s on Netflix, even! Don’t miss it!
[Image credit: AP Photo/John Minchillo (Zuccotti Park), The White House (Michelle Obama), Ferdinand Delacroix, Comedy Central, Twitter (@ColbertReport), AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo (Facebook/Twitter)]