Buffer, buffer everywhere!
We've said it before – we love Buffer, and this week they have completely delivered on our adoration. They have released an update to their Chrome extension, and it does pretty much everything. It integrates tightly with Facebook, adding buffer buttons on status updates, image sharing (allowing you to cross-post the actual image to Twitter or LinkedIn) and status sharing. On Twitter, it works its magic not only on the site itself, but also on the tweet button, found on blog posts. So, when you tweet a random blog post, there will be a buffer button next to the tweet button. It doesn't stop there. On top of all that, the extension adds buttons to Google Reader, Hacker News and Reddit. Now, thát, dear readers, is how you make sure your service becomes ubiquitous.
When to post, and where
Speaking of scheduling your tweets and statuses: Bit.ly has just released a beautiful set of graphs, showing, for Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr, when the best times are to share, according to likelihood of being shared. There's a nice little self-referential thought in all of this: as a scheduling service like buffer gains more traction, one has to wonder how much its usage will amplify this behaviour? Not a bad thing, just an interesting thought …
Facebook Staying Nimble
The sheer volume of news emitting from Facebook these days is hard to keep up with, and we're not even talking IPO yet (18th of May, some say). We'll start with the most controversial one: Facebook is experimenting with a feature called Highlight, through which users can increase the amount of friends that will see a specific status update, by paying a small amount of money. This sees them starting to milk their "purely social" users directly, for the first time. It could backfire. On the other hand, this post on Social Media Explorer, points out that Facebook is not the be all and end all that brands are making it out to be. It is actually a place where users go, primarily to interact with other users, not with brands. In the light of this thought, it might make sense for Facebook to find a way to capitalise more on peer-to-peer social, and less on brand-to-peer social. Another alarming bit of news for Facebook, is the fact that the frictionless sharing idea seems to be failing, very fast.
A very interesting bit of news from the social giant, is the announcement of App Center, an Application Repository for Facebook Apps. If they do this right, it could help a great deal towards clearing up the incrompehensible mess that is the public understanding of the term "Facebook App". Another exciting development is a set of enhancements to the Ads API, which brings insights into specific types of user behaviour after the click, such as content sharing, in-app purchasing, check-ins, and a whole lot more. This will hopefully help diffuse the insane focus brands put on the "like". Because, to be honest, "liking" is not really liking.
Going first class with your Klout score at the airport
Cathay Pacific Airways have caught onto Klout.com, in what is probably the most visible Klout Campaign to date. Integrating with Klout Perks, Cathay Pacific allows users with a Klout score of 40 or higher into their first-class lounge at San Francisco International Airport. First class Netizens indeed!
Changing the world with a single Tweet
Well, if your name is Barack Obama, that is, and your salutation is "President". Barack Obama this week voiced his unequivocal support for same-sex marriage with a simple, concise tweet. The tweet ended up, at the time of writing, to be retweeted almost 60 thousand times! We know this, because of this cool page created by @BaconSeason, tracking the exact amount of retweets of Obama's monumental tweet.
Twitter's not sitting still either
Twitter has just finalised a deal to buy Restengine, a personalised email marketing service. This echoes nicely with their recent acquisition of Summify, which both point to one thing – getting inactive users interested in Twitter again. This is a great course of action for them, since the Twitter learning curve is quite steep, and many first time users are quickly put off by the effort it requires to fine tune their timelines to a useful stream of knowledge. Putting the "social" back into social, Twitter is also fighting the good fight for free speech online, doing their best to squash a court order where a judge ruled that "Twitter users don't own their tweets". More big social networks should be involved in this – not only for their users' sake, but also for their own survival.
Posted by Gerrie Smits