Welcome to Episode #14 of Seriously Social News for Friday, 15th March 2013.
There have been real ups and downs this week in the internet world especially huge outcry against Google’s decision to kill Google Reader. We also cover SoundCloud going unlimited, Twitter and LinkedIn making a few cosmetic changes, Vimeo launching an on demand service and Google announces that Google Glasses will allow prescription lenses.
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.
Google Kills Google Reader
Many journalists, reporters, bloggers and other internet users have had very disappointing news this week when Google announced the demise of their news feed reader app, Google Reader. Google made the annoucement in a post entitled “A Second Spring of Cleaning“. Google will close down Google Reader on July 1st this year and is giving its users the opportunity to export their feeds using their Google Takeout service. I’m personally greatly saddened by this news, since Google Reader has been central to the way I keep on top of the latest news- allowing me to subscribe to all the articles from all the websites I trust and respect as well as backing them up to read later and an easy way to share on my social networks.
Despite there being a few petitions on the web asking Google to change their mind, Google’s eyeballs are set straight on Google+ and there is no going back on this as far as I can see. As Gina Dietrich from Spin Sucks writes in a recent blog post, Google employees are “incentivised on whether or not Google+ makes it. Twenty five percent of their bonuses require its success.”
There are alternatives out there which are likely to draw in more customers as a result of Google’s decision to kill Reader. My favourite so far is Feedly. Although it isn’t quite the same as Google Reader and lacks the same functionality and integration with tools such as IFTTT, they are making it really easy for Google Reader users to migrate to their service with a blog post entitled Tips for Google Reader Users Migrating to Feedly. In fact, feedly have been preparing for this moment for a while and have been working on a project called Normandy- which is a feedly clone of the Google Reader API. They say:
When Google Reader shuts down, feedly will seamlessly transition to the Normandy back end. So if you are a Google Reader user and using feedly, you are covered: the transition will be seamless.
What do you think? Are you sad to see Google Reader go?
- Fan Site Demands Google Reader Be Brought Back (Mashable)
- Check Out These Google Reader Alternatives (Mashable)
- Need A Google Reader Alternative? Meet Newsblur (Search Engine Land)
- Why Google is Killing Google Reader: Blame Google+ (The Next Web)
- Google Reader Going Away July 1 – Search Engine Watch (#SEW) (Search Engine Watch)
- Feedly could save Google Reader clients with cloned API (The Verge)
- Google kills retires Reader in new round of ‘spring cleaning’ (The Register)
- 12 Google Reader Alternatives (Marketing Land)
- Hey Google, We Still Love Reader (Mashable)
- RIP: Google Reader Meets Its Inevitable End (Wired)
- The Google Reader Shutdown Is Yet Another Nail In Feedburner’s Coffin (TechCrunch)
- RIP Google Reader (Mashable)
- GoogleReaderpocalypse. For Real This Time (TechCrunch)
- Google Reader Is Shutting Down; Here Are the Best Alternatives (LifeHacker)
- Google, don’t turn off Reader. Signed, The Internet (The Verge)
- Google announces Reader’s imminent demise (Ars Technica)
- Google Is Killing Google Reader (Gizmodo)
- Google Kills Reader (The Next Web)
- Google Will Shut Down RSS Feed Reader (Social Times)
- Google To Close Google Reader On July 1 (Marketing Land)
SoundCloud goes unlimited
On a much more happy note (no pun intended), popular sound sharing social network, SoundCloud has launched new pro plans this week as well as a pro partner service. I’ve been excited about SoundCloud for some time now- these new plans could well be what it takes to push SoundCloud up with the likes of YouTube, Facebook and Google+ as the next social sharing network. SoundCloud can be thought of as a kind of YouTube for audio. It has its own player and sounds can be played on the SoundCloud website, the various mobile apps as well as on any other website which embeds the SoundCloud player. SoundCloud users can discover new sounds as well as comment at various points along the track, like, reshare and follow the sounds’ creators. Although much of the sounds created and shared on SoundCloud are music, there are plenty of examples of media outlets and podcasters using SoundCloud for their podcasts- SoundCloud have been pushing spoken word content with their podcasting beta programme. In fact this podcast you are listening to- Seriously Social News- is using SoundCloud. Up until now, the problem for many wanting to use SoundCloud was the fact that the pro plans were just too expensive and complicated. SoundCloud now have three plans- free, pro and pro unlimited. For 99 Euros per year you can upload as much audio as you like- the only limit is a 30 hours upload limit per week- which is quite generous. The Pro partner service is in beta and will allow brands to have more visual profiles, bigger banner images and a feature called “Moving Sounds” which allows still images to appear behind a track as it plays.
Twitter Adopts a New Line
It’s not exactly the most momentous announcement, but Twitter tweeted this week that you can now do line breaks on twitter.com. For all your grammar and typography fanatics out there, what are you waiting for? You can now craft your tweets with new lines and paragraphs. Technically you have always been able to have line breaks on Twitter but it has only outputted correctly on mobile and desktop apps. From this week twiter.com formats tweets with line breaks in all their paragraphical glory.
app.net gets 2-factor authentication
There have been so many security breaches in recent months- EverNote, Twitter, Microsoft and more. Passwords these days can be guessed or stolen far quicker than before- particularly since many people still use one password across all their apps and websites. One way to guard against this, as we have previously mentioned, is 2-factor authentication. It is unfortunate that it sounds complicated- but it is actually quite simple- as well as entering your password, you also need to enter a number that you are given from a device such as an app on your mobile phone or the type of device that your bank may have given you. It’s highly likely that Twitter are working on 2 factor authentication and Evernote are doing the same after both have had security attacks recently. Niche social network, app.net is the latest to add 2-factor authentication as well as special passwords for apps that use its service. Hopefully the web will start being more of a safe place to play.
- Added security for your App.net account (app.net blog)
- App.net Adds Two-Factor Authentication, App-Specific Passwords (The Next Web)
LinkedIn are starting to roll out a new interface to users- mainly to do with the menu bar at the top of the screen. The menu looks less cluttered and to the right of the LinkedIn logo are 4 links to home, profile, network and career. There is then a search box followed by the usual messages and notification icons followed by add new contact icon and then account settings in the form of a drop down menu. There is no news on how quickly this new interface is being rolled out to users- I’ve not got it myself yet, but looking forwards to having a play.
- LinkedIn Has Done It Again – Another New Interface! (Linked Into Business)
- LinkedIn Introduces Newly Redesigned Navigation Bar Interface (LinkedIn Makeover)
LinkedIns New UI 2013 by Viveka von Rosen
Popular video sharing social network, Vimeo, have launched a new service for their Pro users which allow them to sell their work and retain 90% of the profits. Called Vimeo On Demand, the new service allows you to, in Vimeo’s words, “distribute your work the way you want, with all the power of Vimeo’s HD player, easy-to-use tools, and wildly passionate audience.”. The fact that Vimeo are only taking 10% of the profits is meeting with a lot of approval from Vimeo fans and it could be a way- a great way for businesses, media outlets and movie creators to distribute their content on the cheap.
- Vimeo on Demand: Sell your work, your way (Vimeo Blog)
- Vimeo PRO Creators Can Now Sell On Demand Content, Retain 90% Of Profits – SocialTimes (Social Times)
- Vimeo introduces pay-per-view on-demand in search of monetisation (The Guardian)
- Vimeo On Demand lets content creators sell their videos direct (The Vimeo)
And finally, Google’s digital glass project, Google Glass has made some more developments this week with the announcement that their camera mounted heads up display glasses will eventually work with prescription lenses. That’s great news for geeks round the world because quite obviously a lot of people wanting to use Google Glasses will already be wearing glasses. If you’ve not come across Google Glass before and have no idea what I am talking about then its best to check out the Google Glass page at google.com/glass. The glasses have a front facing camera which can take photos and videos from your point of view as well as providing a display directly to you via a heads up display. The glasses respond to voice commands, so if you want to take a photo all you need to do is say “take a picture”. It will also give you directions via GPS and give you information via the web on news, traffic and more. It sounds far fetched, but it’s coming- be ready!
How It Feels [through Glass]