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Vine app: porn flubs, ads, creative uses multiply

Twitter’s Vine app continues to have a rough time, but as the creative uses multiply, the novel tool is proving to be not only fun but useful, and soon to be a marketing staple in any business’ arsenal.

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Vine app launch continues to be rocky

Twitter’s first standalone product, the Vine app launched last Thursday to some substantial technical glitches that allowed users to sign into accounts that weren’t theirs, followed by criticism that it only launched in iTunes, ignoring Android users, and of course, the talk of the town is the rampant porn on the app.

The sticking point for many users is the challenge that most social networks have: porn. Some are calling the problem “rampant,” and analysts are questioning the shelf life of the app in light of a pornographic video being featured as an “Editor’s Pick” this morning on the Vine app, whic a Twitter spokesperson has said was a “human error,” issuing an apology for the error.

Apple has removed the app from their “Featured” section due to the unresolved porn issues, and some speculate that despite offering flagging mechanisms for users, the app could already be in trouble in light of the “500px” app removed completely from the App Store last week as it was too easy to search it for inappropriate materials.

WE still think Vine is the best thing since sliced bread

Twitter’s Vine app has had a rough first few days, but bad user behavior and technical glitches aside, some pretty creative uses are emerging and while some are calling them “ads” as they feature branded content or visual depictions behind the scenes of companies, we would call it simply “social media.”

There is something novel, something fun, something interesting that Vine has because (a) it auto-plays the looped animated gif, (b) it defaults to mute, thank goodness, and (c) it hits the sweet spot in between photo sharing and video sharing, so despite criticism, it’s looking good to us!

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See nothing but Vine app updates in real time

Over the weekend, several websites launched to show people what was happening on Vine in real time, each with a unique perspective, but none of which are filtered, so inappropriate updates are included.

  1. VineRoulette – VineRoulette describes itself as a “full-screen visualization of short videos posted around the world with Vine.” What we LIKE about the site is that you can hover over different videos and play which ones you want instead of waiting to load one at a time, and what we DON’T LIKE about it is that it is extremely resource heavy and really slowed down our computers, but it would be fun for parties or conferences.
  2. VinesMap – VinesMap prompts you to “see where Vines are being posted in real-time on a map,” which is pretty novel. We LIKE that you can see where clusters of activity are, but what we DON’T LIKE is that it is not automatically muted (neither is VineRoulette), which is annoying.
  3. vinepeekour favorite, Vinepeek “shows you newly posted Vines in realtime,” warning that the stream is unmoderated. It offers one video at a time, and what we LIKE is that it is the easiest to navigate and actually get to the tweet of the three, making it the most accessible, and what we DON’T LIKE is that there’s no back button, so if you miss something you wanted to click on, you’re out of luck.

Vine is going to be a hit

We predict that like Twitter, Vine will be a hit. It will be used, abused, and ignored as novelty by some, but it will certainly be fun for personal use, but great for business use to do instructional videos, behind-the-scenes shots, product shots, and more in an effort to humanize any brand. We forecast that when the Android app is released, Vine will become a mainstream staple.

13 creative uses for the Vine app:

Marti Trewe reports on business and technology news, chasing his passion for helping entrepreneurs and small businesses to stay well informed in the fast paced 140-character world. Marti rarely sleeps and thrives on reader news tips, especially about startups and big moves in leadership.

Social Media

Can Twitter ever secure data privacy, like even once?

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Twitter releases private information affecting already hurting businesses, should this even be a surprise anymore? They have a history of privacy breaches.

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Dear Twitter,

I don’t know if you’ve seen the news within the past two years, but Facebook’s been under continuous scrutiny for privacy malpractices that affected millions of its users, so unless your goal is to be the next social network to infringe upon our first amendment right to privacy, I suggest you GET IT TOGETHER!

Over the weekend, users, specifically businesses, realized their billing information was being stored in their browsers cache. This is devastating news for business owners who rely on Twitter to promote their product, or stay in touch with their customers, who over the recent months have already faced monumental challenges. It is hard as a business owner to not feel this is an intentional overreach of privacy.

In an age where we have actual robots to vacuum our floors, and 3D printing, I speak for the people when I say this is unacceptable.

This isn’t the first time Twitter has been caught privacy breaching. A little over a year ago, Twitter announced that they were fixing a bug, many weren’t even aware of, that released phone numbers, location, and other personal data. AND GET THIS, even those who selected the option to keep their information private were affected, so what the hell is the point of asking us our preference in the first place?!!!

What about the time that Twitter accounts could be highjacked by ISIS and used to spread propaganda? All because Twitter didn’t require an email confirmation for account access. Or what about when Twitter stored your passwords in plaintext instead of something easily more secure. Flaws like these show a distinct ability of Twitter to just half ass things; to make it work, but not think about how to keep the users safe.

Like I said in the beginning, get it together Twitter.

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Social Media

Facebook’s Forecast wants ‘qualified’ predictions, but no one’s asking why

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Facebook is asking a bunch of so-called experts to chime in on what the future holds, but can we trust them with the information we’re giving them?

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These days, trolls don’t necessarily lurk beneath bridges in order to ensnare unsuspecting travelers. Instead, they hide out in the comment sections on social media posts, ready to incite wrath and stir up controversy with their incendiary remarks. Because Facebook knows how quickly reasonable discourse can quickly devolve thanks in part to these online trolls, they’ve made a move to establish intelligent discussions through their new “Forecast” app.

The premise of Forecast is fairly straightforward. Facebook has invited an assortment of so-called experts (whether they work in the medical field or academia, or some other field) to cast their vote on predictions about the future. Not only will they share their vote, though, they’ll also pitch in their own two cents about these predictions, sparking what is expected to be insightful and reasonable conversation about the topics.

However, while the premise is exciting (smart people! not basement dwellers! talking about serious stuff!), there’s more than a small amount of risk associated with Forecast. For starters, what exactly is Facebook planning on doing with all of this information that is being volunteered on their app? And secondly, are they going to take precautions to help prevent the spread of misinformation when these results are eventually published?

The fact is, Facebook is notorious for propagating and spreading misinformation. Now, I’m not blaming Facebook itself for this issue. Rather, the sheer volume of its user base inevitably leads to flame wars and dishonesty. You can’t spell “Fake News” with at least a couple of the same letters used in Facebook. Or something like that. The problem arises when people see the results of these polls, recognize that the information is being presented by these hand-picked experts, and then immediately takes them at face value.

It’s not so much that most people are simple minded or unable to think for themselves; rather, they’re primed to believe that the admittedly educated guesses from these experts are somehow better, smarter, than what would be presented to them by the average layperson. The bias is inherent in the selection process of who is and isn’t allowed to vote. By excluding everyday folks like you and me (I certainly wasn’t given an invite!), undue prestige may be attributed to these projections.

At the moment, many of these projections are silly bits of fluff. One question asks, “Will Tiger King on Netflix get a spinoff season?” Another one wonders, “Will Mulan debut on Disney+ at the same time as or instead of a theatrical release?” But other questions? Well, they’re a little more serious than that. And speculating on serious issues (such as COVID-19, or the presidential election) can lead to the spread of serious — and potentially dangerous — misinformation.

Facebook has implemented very strict guidelines about what types of questions are allowed and which ones are forbidden. That, at least, is a step in the right direction. It’s no secret that expectation can actually lead to the predicted outcomes, directly influencing actions and behaviors. While it’s too early to tell if Forecast will ever gain that much power, it undoubtedly puts us in a position of wondering if and when intervention may be necessary.

But I’ll be honest with you: I don’t exactly trust Facebook’s ability to put this cultivated information to good use. Sometimes a troll doesn’t have to be overtly provocative in order to be effective, and it wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to see someone in a position of power exploit the results of these polls to influence the public. It’ll be interesting to see if Forecast is still around in the next few years, but alas, there’s no option for me to submit my vote on that to find out.

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Social Media

Well established Pinterest has a new competitor, Google Keen

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Google is constantly playing catch up, their new target is Pinterest. They have a new photo sharing social media app called Google Keen.

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Google Keen

It looks like Pinterest might finally have some competition: Google Keen. Notice the heavy emphasis on the word “might”.

It’s not hard to see why Google might feel a tad encroached upon by Pinterest, a photo-sharing and search-based platform; while Pinterest’s impact is relatively small in terms of taking traffic from the G-people themselves, any competition is unwelcome in Google’s eyes–perhaps justifying their move toward creating their own version of Pinterest.

Google Keen isn’t a direct ripoff–after all, they changed the name–but the general principle is the same: Users can create a “keen” for a specific visual topic, thus allowing them to search for, and add images of that topic. Google was quick to cite “bread” as a possible topic, which, according to Social Media Today, is a direct nod to recent Pinterest trends.

Subtlety never was Google’s strongest suit, and that seems to be a theme they’re reiterating here. Perhaps that’s why the Google Graveyard, a site we’ve addressed in the past, is full of tools that didn’t live up to their original inspiration (one of the latest additions being the half-baked Google Hangouts). Google Keen shows promise, but one can’t help but remember how Google’s Circles feature fared in Facebook’s shadow.

Keen is available for web and Android platforms, which answers one question while raising a few more. For example, while it makes sense that Google would brand Keen for their own smartphone audience, iPhone Google usage is notably high, and the Pinterest crowd loves a clean aesthetic (that’s another point in the Apple camp). As such, it might be in Google’s best Pinterests–I mean, interests–to implement an iPhone presence for the app as well.

It is worth noting that Google has taken deliberate inspiration from Pinterest in a lot of ways. So Keen may be a way for them to tout their adopted features and familiarize users with them so that, in the long run, they are able to begin migrating traffic back to their own platform from Pinterest. In a time in which any competition may open the door to disaster down the road, this is a move that, despite skepticism, makes sense.

After all, the Google Graveyard is operating at capacity, yet the tech behemoth continues to chug away. Who knows where their newest “innovation” may take them?

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