Welcome to Episode #12 of Seriously Social News for Friday, 1st March 2013.
We get a bit more technical in this week’s Seriously Social News, but I do my best to translate the techno-babble! We cover PayPal Here coming to the UK and Europe– a way of accepting credit and debits card using your smartphone. We also cover the social network app.net going freemium, more security issues at Facebook, Yahoo bans working from home, Office 365 for business is here and Google launch a new way of signing in to websites without a username or password.
Seriously Social News is a short weekly round up on all that is new in the world of social media, the internet and technology. With so much happening in the world of social media and technology, it’s difficult to keep up with the latest news that affects you.
PayPal Here launches in Europe this Summer
It has traditionally been a fairly expensive and complicated process for small businesses to accept credit and debit cards at their premises. In the UK you need to set up a merchant bank account and rent a credit card machine. As well as a monthly fee, credit card companies generally take a fee of between 2% and 4% per transaction. There have been a few companies that have tried to set up new systems to make this job a little easier and less expensive. One of those is a company called Square set up by Twitter founder, Jack Dorsey. This allows your iPhone or Android phone to take credit card payments with a free mobile card reader. Unfortunately Square is only available in the US and Canada. Part of the reason for this is due to Europe using a slightly different system. PayPal launched a similar service in the US last year called PayPal Here and the good news is that it is being launched in the Summer in Europe. Although the card reader PayPal are offering won’t be free, the good news as well as it being available to both iPhone and Android users, is that there will be no monthly fee. This will mean, small businesses will be able to accept debit and credit cards for PayPal’s usual fee of around 3.5%+20p per transaction. If you are a small business owner, are you tempted by this? As always let me know in the show notes.
App.net goes Freemium
Paid social network, app.net announced it was going freemium this week. If you haven’t come across app.net before, then do have a read of the article I wrote last year on the new social network. Almost all social networks are free because they use your information to use for advertising. CEO Dalton Caldwell set up app.net to be more developer friendly after being frustrated by, in his view, the likes of Facebook and Twitter not supporting developers. When it was launched, app.net cost $50 per year to sign up as a standard user and $100 as a developer. This was later reduced to $36 per year as a user. A new free membership tier has been introduced with limited features. Free users can only follow 40 users and can only sign up by firstly being invited by a paid member. Free members also get 500Mb of file storage whilst paid members get 10Gb. It is fair to say that app.net is niche social network but in my experience it has an exciting and vibrant community with more engagement. It’s too early to say what the future will be like for app.net and whether businesses and brands should sign up. I’d love to know what you think, so do let me know!
- App.net Adds Free Accounts (Marketing Land)
- Twitter-Challenger App.net Inches Toward the Mainstream With Free Beta (Social Times)
- App.net adopts freemium model, now offering invite-only free accounts (The Verge)
- As of today, App.net is a freemium service (app.net blog)
- Move Over Twitter, Well Hello app.net (iag.me)
Office 365 for Business Launches
Online cloud based Office system, Microsoft Office 365 have just announced business based subscriptions. If you get confused after looking at the various options available, you’re not the only one. However I’ve tried my best to get my head round them for this podcast. There are 6 subscriptions which either include standalone applications or not. Office 365 incorporates the web ve rsions of their Office suite, hosted email and spam filtering and online storage. The basic hosted email exchange online subscription only allows the viewing of attachments. The Small Business subscription costs £3.90 per month and includes the web version of Office. Small Business Premium costs £10.10 per month and also includes full standalone applications of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, Access, Publisher, and Lync. All the small business subscriptions allow up to 25 users in their plans, so if you need more users, you’ll need to opt for a medium business or enterprise plan which can support from up to 300 users and beyond. One advantage for businesses in opting for Office 365 is that you will always have the latest version and have access to your files via the online storage.
- Office 365 For Business Is Here. Good Luck Figuring Out What It’ll Cost You (Read Write)
- Office 365 updated with trio of new business plans (PC Pro)
Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer Bans Working from Home
Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer has caused a lot of controversy in effectively banning home working from June. Marissa Mayer joined Google back in 1999 and became CEO of Yahoo in July last year. Yahoo, despite being the King of the Internet in the 1990s has been on a downwards spiral in recent years and there was general consensus across many in the industry that Marissa Mayer could well be the person to change their fortunes. There hasn’t been a huge shake up since her arrival apart from more updates from the photo sharing app, Flickr and a redesigned Yahoo home page, but a letter from Yahoo’s human resources department has caused quite a stir and a backlash. Part of the memo states “To become the absolute best place to work, communication and collaboration will be important, so we need to be working side-by-side. That is why it is critical that we are all present in our offices.”. Some, such as Anne-Marie Slaughter from The Atlantic have stated that such a decision may be one of the only ways to reverse Yahoo’s decline and that Marissa Mayer’s job is to be CEO– not a mum. However there has been widespread alarm at the decision with high profile criticisms from the likes of Richard Branson. Marketer and blogger, Gini Dietrich puts it down to bad communication and lack of empathy. Do you work from home? What do you think? Do let us know!
- Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer Demands Telecommuters Report To The Office (Huffington Post)
- Richard Branson Criticizes Yahoo, Marissa Mayer Over Work-From-Home Ban (Huffington Post)
- Yahoo! Letter: Was Their Communications Team Consulted? (Spin Sucks)
- Marissa Mayer’s Job Is to Be CEO—Not to Make Life Easier for Working Moms (The Atlantic)
Facebook Privacy Flaw
Not great news this week for Facebook security, when a security hacker, Nir Goldshlager, discovered a flaw in Facebook’s OAuth system which gave access to every single Facebook profile. On his blog, he stated that he “found a way in to get full permissions (read inbox, outbox, manage pages, manage ads, read private photos, videos, etc.) over the victim account even without any installed apps on the victim account…”. You’ll be glad to know that Facebook have since fixed the problem, but perhaps it is another reminder to be careful what data you put on your social networks.
- A Facebook Privacy Flaw Gave a Hacker Access to Every Single Account (Gizmodo)
- Security Flaw Gives Hacker Full Access to Facebook Profiles (Mashable)
- Hacker finds Facebook flaw that exposed private information (The Daily Dot)
- How I Hacked Facebook OAuth To Get Full Permission On Any Facebook Account (Without App “Allow” Interaction) (Nir Goldshlager Blog)
Google+ Sign in
And finally, Google have launched a new way of signing in to 3rd party applications in a similar way to what you can currently do with Facebook. Google have slowly been beefing up their social network, Google+ to help it compete with the rich data that Facebook stores on over 1 billion people. Both Twitter and Facebook have sign in tools that allow you to sign into certain websites without using a username or password. Google are hailing this new system as more secure, but there is some varied opinion as to whether or not this is the case.
- Google Sign In (Google+ Developers)
- Google+ Sign In Now Available For Third Party Applications (SEO Round Table)
- Google’s New Sign-in Service: Should You Be Using It? (Simply Zesty)
- Introducing Google+ sign-in