It has been in beta testing for a while, but now Facebook’s new “Questions” feature is gradually being rolled out to users: “You can ask about anything that interests you, from relationships to parenting to politics to restaurant recommendations. After you ask your question, be sure to tag it with topics so we can find the right people to answer it… We’ll also show you questions we think you can answer on your Facebook homepage. If you know the answer, click the question to post a detailed response.”
With this move, Facebook takes on Google, Yahoo! Answers and LinkedIn: aiming to become the ultimate source for trusted peer to peer advice. It’s ambitious, but like the recently introduced “Community Pages”, don’t expect it to work perfectly any time soon: much will depend on user uptake.
Twitter’s T.co URL Shortener
Twitter has finally launched its own URL shortener. Ostensibly, the main purpose of t.co is to protect users from malicious links, but the obvious advantage for Twitter will be the tracking data it can collect on those link-clicks, helping to refine their method of determining which tweets are popular or authoritative. Users will still be able to choose their preferred shortener for metrics and stats (so bit.ly don’t need to worry too much at present), but this is a welcome measure of standardisation. It’s all a bit complicated, but the upshot is that Twitter is combatting the risk of phishing attacks, whilst also acquiring usage data that will help it become an unparalleled news source.
Okay, so this is over a year old, but it’s a timely reminder of just how powerful YouTube can be when used in an innovative way. While Boone Oakley attracted attention just for daring to dispense with a traditional website, games like Bboy Joker hint at the potential for truly interactive video experiences.
Samsung Sponsors Last FM Festival Finder
I love Last FM and I love festivals: as of today I also feel more positively disposed towards Samsung, as they are sponsoring Last FM’s fantastically useful personalized festival guide. The tool takes your musical taste and cross-references your listening habits with the line-ups of this year’s summer festivals, essentially telling you which will be best value for you as an individual. That’s one hell of a branded utility.