Here are all of the posts tagged ‘Foursquare’.

We Are Social’s Monday Mashup #46

by Jordan Stone in News Google+

Social media research task force formed
Big news last week from the Council of American Survey Research Organizations, who established a task force to “address the many ethical and methodological issues developing in the wake of social media research’s emergence”. CASRO cites the “unique and complex issues” associated with social media research regarding privacy, disclosure, and the proper handling of data as the driving force for the move. As you’d expect, we see this as an essential step for the industry and we’ll be following developments closely.

Corporate Blogging Goes Mainstream

 
Now, you’ve surely seen this headline many times before. But a recent report by eMarketer estimates that:

34% of US companies will use a blog for marketing purposes this year, a proportion that will continue to grow to 43% by 2012.

The study points to a variety of blogging benefits, such as “communications, lead generation, customer service and brand marketing” driving this trend.

Twitter as stock market predictor
Studies have previously found a link between buzz on Twitter and a movie’s success or failure at the box office, but new research from Indiana University is believed to be the first to study Twitter and Wall Street:

Researchers at a US university found they were able to predict the rise and fall of the Dow Jones Industrial Average with near 90 percent accuracy several days in advance by analyzing messages on Twitter.

Researchers measured the ‘collective public mood’ by looking at more than 9.8 million “tweets” from 2.7 million users of the micro-blogging service during 10 months in 2008.

It’s a pretty amazing finding, and one that I imagine will have some social media specialists out there trying to replicate so as to reap the rewards on the stock market. And with an average 90 million Tweets now being sent per day, I wish them well.

We’ll however be trying to emulate the work of Economist-turned-advertising executive Jason Harper, who has developed a “Velocity and Acceleration” model to predict sales results, based on online conversations.

Foursquare Hits 4 Million Users AND outer space
Location-based mobile game Foursquare has passed four million users, according to co-founder and CEO Dennis Crowley. The service hit the 3 million mark a mere 50 days ago, in August 2010. According to GigaOm, this rapid growth can be explained by Foursquare beginning to “see a network effect — the more people sign-up, the faster it grows.”

Bets on when it will hit 5 million?

Meanwhile, one user is worth noting: Doug Wheelock (Astro_Wheels). He’s a Space Station Commander at the International Space Station, and the first to checkin on Foursquare from space. He was also the first person to unlock a new NASA Explorer foursquare badge. Eat your heart out Neil Armstrong.

The checkin is a part of a larger tie up between Fourtsquare and NASA:

Earthbound users will be able to earn the badge when Wheelock returns to earth in late November by following NASA and checking in at their recommended locations. The locations eligible for the badge are all related to the history of spaceflight, like the US Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, AL or the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex.

Foursquare tips have been left at each location, making this a pretty cool partnership and a ‘great way for NASA to connect with a younger generation’.

Journalism on Twitter – two different takes
A well-publicised Twitter gaff by a Washington Post staffer last week prompted an internal memo to be sent telling all journalists “not to answer critics from Post-branded Twitter accounts or to use their personal accounts to ‘speak on behalf of the Post’.”

The memo was sent after a controversial guest article was published in the wake of a number of suicides by US teenagers who were bullied for being gay. The article, which argued that homosexuality is a mental health issue, was met with complaints via Twitter and blogs. A post staffer tried to defend the publishing of the article, which only fueled more controversy.  The tweet was later described by the Post as “misguided both in describing our rationale for publishing the piece and as a matter of practice.”

But, while the Post is trying to discourage the use of branded Post accounts to answer critics, The Guardian is taking a slightly different position to social media with their new guidelines.

The Guardian encourages their staff members to participate in conversations about the Guardian’s content, to present facts and embrace reader’s additional knowledge.

Which? launches first online community
Independent consumer rights group Which? has launched its first online consumer rights community, called Which? Conversation aimed at promoting debate around “technology, travel and transport, home and energy and money.” Which? Writers and guest bloggers will be contributing to the community, and the group intends to use it to keep their ‘finger on the pulse of the issues that really matter to consumers’.

Customers Asked to Share Handy Uses for Vaseline
Just in time for Vaseline Petroleum Jelly’s 140th birthday, the company launched new packaging as part of a wider social media campaign to ask customers about the many ways they use the product “other than its original intended purpose.”

The promotion is being conducted on a dedicated Vaseline Facebook page and on Twitter, and the 140 best use cases will be compiled into a video montage by the brand to share with others. I’m not sure I’d want to be the moderator for that competition.

And there’s more – all entrants will automatically be entered in to a sweepstake having the chance to win a limited edition jar of Vaseline, covered in Swarovski crystals. Which answers the call from millions of male consumers for a jar of Vaseline they can finally leave in plain sight…

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We Are Social’s Tuesday Tweakup #4

by Tom Harvey in News

Google launches Realtime search page
Google launched their new Realtime Search homepage to add to the real-time search features already in place in the main Google search. The homepage allows people to search on particular terms geographically, to review conversations as they happened by altering timescales and to set up alerts for real-time conversation. They have also produced a video to show you how to get the most out of Realtime:

Social media across the generations
Older users have been noted as ‘especially enthusiastic’ about embracing new social networking tools over the last year, with social networking use amongst those over 50 in the US nearly doubling from 22% in April 2009 to 42% in May 2010. Uptake in those over 65 grew by 100% from 13% to 26% in the same period. At the other end of the spectrum, ‘tweeny bloggers’ are growing in number quickly as more take to their computers to write. The Independent reports that while only 2% of 8-11 year olds in the UK have a blog, almost 20% would like to start one, and that the trend is likely to continue with tweeny blogs becoming more and more popular.

Facebook’s growth (or lack of)
With the 500 million marker being passed a little while ago, there’s stats suggesting that Facebook could be close to reaching saturation here in the UK. Despite this, there’s plenty of growth elsewhere, with stats showing that Facebook is now the top social network in India and Arabic taking a clear lead as the fastest growing language on Facebook.

Organic Facebook page fan growth slows down
Robin wrote a great post on Facebook Places last week tying in lots of the best information on what it is and how it works. Well since then, Inside Facebook has noticed that the algorithm, which determines what users see in their news feed, must have changed to boost impressions of Facebook Places. It appears that pages have been given less weight in people’s news feeds and places are getting more, thus leading to a significant decrease in the amount of new likes per day which is shown in their graphs.

Foursquare fights for its place in the social space
With Facebook Places having launched in the US, and being just around the corner here, there’s speculation about the future of Foursquare. But fear not Foursquare fans (and brands) because, as well as reaching nearly 3 million users, there’s a heap of new bits and bobs coming soon. So keep your eyes peeled for potential improvements such as the integration of Facebook Places, a mobile-friendly site, photos, how close you are to being mayor, points 2.0, rewarding more than the mayor, better friend communication and a recommendation engine. In addition to offering more to it’s users, Dennis Crowley has said that Foursquare is in the process of building a self-serve tool for creating brand profiles – thus putting an end to the lengthy process of applying to Foursquare and having them manually created.

Nutella migrates fans from unofficial pages
Nutella have recently combined multiple fan-run Facebook pages from around the world into one official global page. Originally these pages were owned by extreme fans of the brand and were kept updated regularly, but since they’ve migrated fans from other pages into theirs there’s been barely any activity (in fact they’ve posted a message saying they’re on vacation for a while). Let’s hope their fans are prepared to wait…

Facebook ‘likes’ help with determining popularity of clothing…
Urban Outfitters has begun arranging the clothes on its website by the number of Facebook ‘likes’ each item has been given by its 312,000 Facebook fans. Visitors to the US website can choose to sort clothese by their Facebook popularity when they arrive on the page.

…or lack of clothing in Playboy’s case
Meanwhile, Playboy have started their search for a Miss Social, the girl most Playboy Facebook fans would like to see undressed in the next issue. Social Media Influence reports (with one of the best opening lines we’ve seen of late) however that the contest has not driven as much interest as may have been expected with such a hook.

Cat bin lady
When a security video was uploaded to YouTube of a Coventry woman throwing a cat into a wheelie bin, there was a huge public outcry which quickly manifest itself into death threats from individuals on several Facebook pages. Mary Bale was outed by 4chan members (b-tards) in a matter of hours and she was placed under police protection soon after her details appeared online. Interestingly, one of the pages which has attracted over 45,000 ‘likes’ has now dissipated the public anger by focusing on raising funds for the Coventry RSPCA.

Climate Camp get ridiculed for their middle-class demographic
We’ve all seen how social networks can be used to lobby people together to campaign for a particular cause, for example when Greenpeace boycotted Nestlé and their use of Palm oil in KitKats. But what about when it all backfires? Well last week Climate Camp tried using Twitter to publicise their protests at the Royal Bank of Scotland corporate HQ but it all went wrong when Twitter turned against them. It appears that they’ve cut down on using the #ClimateCamp hastag since it was swamped with ridiculing tweets such as this and this.

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We Are Social’s Monday Mashup #33

by Jordan Stone in News Google+

Social Media Dominates Asia Pacific Internet Usage
Nielsen announced its Asia Pacific Social Media Report and found the region has undergone an unprecedented level of growth in the past year. Notably, social media is seen as having a noticeable impact on consumer purchasing decisions:

In Asia Pacific, online product reviews are the third most trusted source of information when making purchase decisions, behind family and friends. This is particularly so for purchases of consumer electronics, cosmetics and cars – products where consumers are most likely to base their purchase decisions on online product reviews.

The report looks at Internet usage across Korean, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, India, Singapore and China.

Foursquare in talks with Google, MS and Yahoo! about search partnerships
The Telegraph reports that Foursquare is in talks with the three major search engines which could allow people to look up the most popular bar or restaurant in their area in real-time. Dennis Crowley, Foursquare’s co-founder, has said:

Our data generates hugely interesting trends which would enrich search… Twitter helped the world and the search engines know what people are talking about. Foursquare would allow people to search for the types of place people are going to – and where is trending

It’s worth noting that Twitter’s first commercial deals were with Google, Yahoo!, and Microsoft, licensing its real-time feed of information.

Say Hello to the New MySpace Profiles
After reports of falling traffic figures, it looks as though MySpace is trying to change its fortunes by completely redesigning its user profiles. MySpace confirmed that it was demoing a new look and feel to the site, which includes:

  • An improved UI and navigation menu
  • A Facebook like newsfeed with a user’s recent activity
  • Social network integration with other sites like Facebook or Twitter

Facebook will announce 500 million users; announces 150 million on mobile
In anticipation of hitting the half billion user mark, Facebook is planning to mark the occasion with a new consumer marketing initiative called ‘Facebook stories’ in which they hope to celebrate the impact of the social network on their users’ lives.

The announcement is expected any day now, and will sit alongside other large milestones announced last week, such as hitting 141 million unique visitors in the US (comScore). There are also an estimated 150 global mobile users, according to Facebook’s Head of Mobile Products Eric Tseng, who also indicated last week that we can expect to see Facebook’s “Like” buttons in mobile applications soon.

The New York Times notes that with this impressive growth, comes some grim challenges at the social network grapples with how to handle deaths in the system as older users die:

Now, people over 65 are adopting Facebook at a faster pace than any other age group, with 6.5 million signing up in May alone… People over 65, of course, also have the country’s highest mortality rate, so the problem is only going to get worse.

That said, big steps have been made to improve the ease with which ‘ghosts in its machine’ are identified, and profiles can be “memorialised” such that grieving friends can still post messages on those pages as a tribute.

Apple deleting mentions of Consumer Reports’ iPhone 4 piece on forums
Since the iPhone 4’s release last month, Apple has been going through a bit of a rough time with widespread reports of an antenna design flaw that was causing the mobile signal to degrade and calls to be dropped.

Consumer Reports last week released independent findings that confirmed there was a design flaw with the iPhone 4 which caused problems with its reception. This news spread quickly online, but Apple made the questionable decision of  “deleting threads about the Consumer Reports article from its support forums”, which deepened the crisis further.

Old Spice social media campaign
Last week Old Spice / Wieden+Kennedy turned a lot of heads with its innovative use of social media for its ‘The Man Your Man Could Smell Like’ campaign. We’ve twice written about the campaign so it needs little summary here – head over to our previous posts to learn more.

Starbucks is the first brand to reach 10 million Facebook fans
Following on the heels of Lady Gaga becoming the first ‘person’ to gather 10 million fans, Starbucks has now become the first brand to collect 10 million fans for its Facebook page. According to Inside Facebook:

The company’s audience of 10 million people around the world has been hard won with marketing, promotions and advertising. Over the years Starbucks has given away free ice cream on Facebook, been recognized by Facebook [for fan page innovation] and was also the most popular brand [on the social network].

Ben & Jerry’s drops email in favour of social media
Ice cream brand Ben & Jerry’s is looking to abandon its current email marketing activity in favour of using social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, to engage with customers on an ongoing basis. The decision was based on the feedback they received from customers who would prefer being contacted via social media.  Ben & Jerry’s still plans to send one email update to customers each year, and the company has received “mainly positive feedback on the decision” thus far.

K2 Skis redirects entire company website to Facebook
K2 Skis has made the bold decision to redirect the company’s entire website to its Facebook Fan Page in an effort to boost its fan base. By becoming a Fan of their page, users will be able to see next year’s line up.  All Facebook notes that this is the first time they’ve “ever seen a company shut down their corporate site as part of a promotion,” but it doesn’t appear to be driving significant numbers just yet.

BT uses social media to decide ending for TV ad campaign
BT has taken to Facebook in order to have the public decide the ending to their long-running ‘Adam and Jane’ TV ad campaign. Fans of the “Please don’t let Adam and Jane off the BT home hub advert break up…” Facebook group were given a sneak peak of the ad before it aired this weekend, and asked to vote on the ending which will be aired in late August.

The Human Avatar

The internet is a dark dark place. And Josh is their plaything

This just about sums up The Human Avatar campaign for EA’s new game All Points Bulletin (APB).  To tie in with the customisation available in the new game, APB decided to take a real person and over the course of several weeks transform them into a real-life avatar that will be released in the game – all to be decided by votes via their website. After selecting the candidate Josh, users then voted on his haircut (cyber punk), piercing (septum) and tattoo (back wings).

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We Are Social’s Monday Mashup #32

by Jordan Stone in News Google+

Visits to MySpace UK have halved in 6 months say sources
UK visits to MySpace have dropped from a from a peak of just under 10 million at the start of the year to around 5m as of the end of June 2010, according to a TechCrunch Europe source.

MySpace maintains the figures “aren’t accurate,” however independent measurement service comScore shows a similar decline in MySpace UK’s traffic over the past 12 months. Interestingly, Facebook is the third biggest referrer of traffic to the site.

Orkut about to fall to Facebook in India
Google-owned social network Orkut’s fortunes in India may soon be changing, as Facebook narrows the gap with the country’s most popular social network:

In May, 2010, Facebook attracted 18 million unique visitors in India, compared to Orkut’s 19.7 million (comScore). In the past year, Facebook grew 177 percent from 6.5 million Indian visitors, compared to 35 percent growth for Orkut.

By contrast, Orkut remains dominant in Brazil, “with 29 million visitors a months versus only 8 million for Facebook”. ‘Western’ social networks can sometimes run into challenges in gaining a toehold against local competitors (e.g. Facebook vs. China’s RenRen, 51 and Kaixin001), but Facebook’s growing popularity in India and Twitter’s rapid adoption in Japan suggest that this is not always the case.

Foursquare launches location layers – this is Big
Two Foursquare ‘location layer’ campaigns announced last week from the Independent Film Channel and Huffington Post signal big moves for the location-based service. The campaigns allow users to ‘opt-in’ to get news/tips/content pushed to them whenever they check in near an annotated location.

The development is culmination of several other experiments by Foursquare with partners, such as the Canadian newspaper chain Metro’s review integration in January, and the Wall Street Journal’s location-based news in April.

Social media boosts Domino’s Pizza’s UK online sales by 61.4%
NMA reports that online sales for the Domino’s have increased by 61.4% in the first half of 2010, in part down to innovative social media marketing over the past year:

Our main Facebook site has in excess of 36,000 fans and there are numerous fans of individual store sites too. In addition, we have led the way with social media initiatives such as affiliate marketing, our superfans programme and the development of a link up with Foursquare, the location-based social media site.

BMI integrates live Twitter feed onsite for city destination pages
BMI destination landing pages for cities around the world now incorporate ‘the uncontrolled madness’ of Twitter, thorough a feed dedicated to Tweets about the city in question. The Feeds are moderated for “swearing, competitors and racial slurs,” and feature alongside travel-related content like maps, tips and things to do. BMI wants to demonstrate their belief in transparency by moderating the feed as little as possible, and note they rely on an automatic filter list to automate most of it, and manually monitor sensitive destinations.

UK Government to use Facebook for ideas on cuts

The UK Government is teaming up with Facebook in the hopes of using the social network to harness ‘civic spirit’ in the country, and allow people to submit ideas for where public money might be saved.  The UK is the second largest country on Facebook, with over 26 million UK users. Users will be able to get involved:

…via a ‘Spending Challenge Channel’ on its Democracy UK page. There will also be microsites specially tailored to focus on key issues open for discussion and debate among the voting public.

The move follows the previous week’s launch of the Your Freedom website which was aimed at allowing users to submit suggestions for legislation they would like to see repealed or modified.

Facebook unveils child safety ‘panic button’ (which is just an app)
Facebook has announced that it will incorporate a ‘panic button’ to the social networking site, aimed at children and teenagers to allow them to easily report abuse to the UK Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (Ceop).

Facebook had previously resisted adding a panic button, and its launch follows ‘months of negotiations’ between Facebook and CEOP. But as Techcrunch reports:

while a few media outlets are reporting today that it has launched [a panic button], the reality is somewhat different. What Facebook is launching is a tailor-made marketing application and campaign for a government body which till now had no presence at all on the social network. That’s quite a different thing altogether.

Bebo had previously announced adding a panic button last November (not that it did them much good).

‘One third of young women check Facebook when they first wake up’
A recent study polled the habits of 1,605 adults using social media between May and June 2010, and uncovered some interesting online habits from both men and women on Facebook. Chief among them:

  • One third of women aged 18 to 34 check Facebook when they first wake up
  • 21% of women aged between 18 to 34 check Facebook in the middle of the night
  • 50% are happy being Facebook ‘friends’ with complete strangers

Facebook’s OpenGraph, Three Months Later
Three month’s after the announcement of OpenGraph at the Facebook F8 conference, fbLike has compiled a list of six OpenGraph use cases including CNN, Yelp, IMDB, Fandango, Levis and themselves.

In particular, the simplicity of the ‘like’ button comes into it own for Yelp, IMDB, Levis and Fandago, which allows for easy recommendations to be shared directly across a users’ new feed.

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We Are Social’s Monday Mashup #30

by Jordan Stone in News Google+

Social media helps drive purchases by 10x
Recent research reveals that customers visiting an online store via social media are 10x more like to by something than other users: “whereas 7% of all visitors to an online store make a purchase, a significantly higher 71% of visitors initiated via social media will click their way to the transaction section.” The study showed that while many online stores are good at attracting visitors, a small amount will be converted to customers. But “reassurance from a positive review” and “social media marketing” can be highly effective in closing sales.

Sorrell questions commercialisation of social web
WPP boss Sir Martin Sorrell likened social media to letter writing at one of the closing sessions of the 57th Cannes Lions Advertising Festival, and said that it could be “polluted” by attempts to monetise it. On the same panel, Keith Weed, the global chief marketing officer of Unilever, likened social media instead to the modern day equivalent of a pub or bar chat, and that social networking sites “will and they must” find ways to monetise their offerings.

…companies like ours can develop with companies like Facebook or Microsoft. So I think ‘yes’, they will monetise. How they do it, I think [Sorrell is], right they have to be clever.

Facebook commits to UK support
King Mark Zuckerberg was in London last week at the first official London Facebook Developers’ Garage event, and he committed to increasing support for UK brands and content providers. Zuckerberg also “stressed the importance of the UK to the company, and highlighted personalisation and its virtual currency Facebook Credits as key themes for the year ahead.”

Statistics update reveals that more than one million websites are using Facebook’s platform
Facebook has updated their official Statistics page, and announced in the process that more than one million websites have integrated with its developer platform, up from about 80,000 websites.

This difference is due, in a large part, to Facebook’s launch of the Like Box and other social plugins in late April; the company said this week that more than 300,000 sites have already implemented the plugins, and the number appear to still be climbing.

Elsewhere, it was reported in a study by Experian Simmons that half of US web users visit Facebook each month.

Twitter makes it easier to find friends and colleagues, Facebook ‘blocks’ Twitter friend finder
Last week Twitter announced that it was making it easier to find friends on Facebook and connections on LinkedIn, by improving their Find Friends section and tweaking their LinkedIn and Facebook applications.

The Tweets application by LinkedIn allows users to see which of your LinkedIn connections are on Twitter and follow the ones you choose right from the app. Meanwhile the Facebook app was meant to show which of your Facebook friends are on Twitter, but this was blocked by Facebook disallowing people to see which of their friends on the social network also have Twitter accounts.

A whole new way of experiencing LinkedIn Groups

LinkedIn groups received their first major overhaul since August 2008, which is one of many that are expected in the coming months. In addition to improving the look and feel and ease of use of groups, LinkedIn has also:

  • Made it easier to receive email updates from select group members
  • Made it possible to vote up or down content and discussions
  • Introduced a way to highlight the most active members/contributors to a group

We expect that these changes could go a long way to changing the way that users interact in groups for the better.

Foursquare hits 1.7 million users, and the threat from spammers looms
Foursquare announced that it had passed the 1.7 million user mark, after having added 100,000 in a mere 10 days. At that rate, the location-based service should hit 2 million users before August.

But with growing popularity, comes a greater threat from spammers. The Next Web notes that while spam is still a minor problem, it is becoming more prevalent as people ‘innovate’ by changing their profile name to a company name in order to raise awareness atop local leaderboards, or by leaving advertising messages as ‘tips’.

Foursquare, Starbucks need better blend of offers
When Starbucks and Foursquare announced their joint loyalty program last month in the US, it generated quite a bit of positive publicity. The offer, $1 discount on Frappuccinos to the mayors of individual Starbucks stores, has since come under criticism from Forrester analyst Augie Ray who laid out five reasons that it has become both ‘noisy and bothersome’, and potentially damaging in the long term.  Fair play to Starbucks for being amongst the first to implement a nationwide Foursquare promotion, but there are certainly some lessons to be learned with respect to offering better targeted and easier to redeem Foursquare offers.

Virgin America Offers Free Flights to Twitter Influencers
Virgin America has partnered with Klout, an analytics service that tracks users’ influence on Twitter, to offer free flights (plus tax) to influencers in Toronto:

The offer includes free round-trip airfare (Wi-Fi included) between Toronto and San Francisco (SFO) or Los Angeles (LAX) between June 23 and August 23. Those who received invitations for the offer — whether or not they decide to accept the flight that comes with it — were also invited to Virgin America’s Toronto Launch Event on June 29.

Interestingly, ‘influencers’ who have been offered the free flight aren’t require to blog or Tweet about the experience, though Klout has requested that users who do accept the offer and chose to write something,  disclose the promotion. Handing out free flights to those with Twitter ‘influence’ is not without its critics however, and some question the validity of ranking people based on an algorithm alone.

JD Sports campaign turns 900,000 visitors into 180,000 sign-ups
A recent campaign for the JD Sports-owned fashion label Bank managed to generate 900,000 unique users and 180,000 sign ups for a competition to become the face of Bank and model the Autumn/Winter 2010 range.

It used Facebook Open Graph – only two clicks to connect with a site and then sending info that they’d signed up or voted for someone into the user’s Facebook profile, which meant that their friends (on average 150 people) also saw it.

LOFT ansers the Facebook call for ‘real women’
Meanwhile, LOFT, a US fashion retailer, received interaction of an entirely different nature on its Facebook Fan Page. The company  posted images to Facebook of a tall, blonde model wearing the brand’s new silk cargo pants, and received a number of complaints that the trousers were not universally flatterig unless you’re a “stick like model”. LOFT quickly responded to calls for ‘real women in photos’ the next day by posting pictures of its own staff – ranged from size 2 to 12, and from 5′3″ to 5′10″ – posing in the cargo pants. In so doing they managed to turn things around, address the negative sentiment head-one and show that they were indeed ‘listening’ to their customers.

Digg redesign takes the fight to Twitter, Facebook
Digg has also recently announced a redesign, and “aims to directly challenge Twitter and Facebook by redefining the way Diggers share, view, and submit content.” Chief among the changes, are the ability to follow friends, publishers, and “taste-makers”; as well as  view content shared/promoted by their friends.

The idea seems to be that Digg will become much more of a true social networking site, but still based around links and news so as to cut out miscellaneous status updates so common to Twitter and Facebook. Additionally, it will now be easier to submit stories to the site, as well as become easier for Top News to spread amongst friends.

Meanwhile, a rumour has been spreading, in part by Digg founder Kevin Rose, that Google is readying ‘Google Me’, a social service intended to go head-to-head with Facebook.

FourWhere now combines Gowalla, Yelp and Foursquare
FourWhere, free service developed by Toronto-based social media monitoring and analytics company Sysomos, now integrates information from the three leading location-based servicesGowalla, Yelp and Foursquare.

If you’re not familiar with Fourwhere, it integrates data from Foursquare, Gowalla and Yelp, and displays it using Google Maps API in order to provided users with “ an easy way to discover places and comments for thousands of restaurants, bars, cafes, stores, tourist attractions and other venues.”

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