Social Media Update

Facebook Places Deals Arrive in the UK

Three months after the initial launch in the US, Facebook Places Deals have finally launched in the UK and Europe (Germany, France, Italy, and Spain). Initial partners include Starbucks, Yo Sushi, Mazda, O2, Argos, Debenhams, Alton Towers and Benetton. If this can bring the ease of Foursquare-style promotions together with the group discount appeal of Groupon, Facebook could well be onto a winner.

Gesture Control

Last week’s Truman Session explored the future of connected TV, and got some of us thinking about the new user interfaces it might require. Microsoft’s Kinect, recently named the fastest-selling consumer electronics device in history, has the potential to be used as an input device, though most current Kinect hacks are more for entertainment than utility, such as this Kinect controlled robot:

Here’s an installation at the Yahoo! headquarters, showing how such technology could be repurposed as a usable interface:

Minority Report is only a matter of time!

Social Media and the Egyptian Crisis

Social networks continue to play a vital role in times of crisis. Despite internet outages and attempts to block Facebook and Twitter access, inventive users have been finding ways to circumvent these problems using proxy servers and third-party apps. Google has launched a Voice-to-Twitter service to help protesters make their voices heard, and the BBC is following the situation live, supplementing its coverage with user-submitted videos, images and tweets. The number of tweets mentioning #Egypt peaked on the 26th of January, with over 250,000 messages.

#Egypt on Twitter

#Egypt on Twitter

To show their support, other Twitter users have been retweeting messages that highlight the themes of censorship and oppression.

Censorship Tweet

Censorship Tweet

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