The direct competition to Facebook has begun with the official opening of Google’s social networking site, Google+, after three months as an invite-only service. The service features video “hangouts,” where as many as 10 people can converse simultaneously. It could have some business utility for quick video conference calls, as well. Google said that the chats will be compatible with Android smartphones and iOS support is “coming soon.”
A viable alternative may be welcome now more than ever as Facebook announced that it has to address another major privacy breach. This time, an Australian blogger revealed that Facebook keeps its browser cookies active after a user has logged out of the social network. Facebook has pledged to fix the problem within 24 hours.
In fact, privacy watchdogs are urging the Federal Trade Commission to look into new features introduced last week by Facebook that, they say, push users to share more than they may feel comfortable with, reports the Los Angeles Times. Do you rely on Facebook to connect with your clients? Are you careful to make sure you understand all the new Facebook features so you calibrate your privacy settings properly? With numerous changes in the works it is especially important to carefully manage this important communications tool.
Politics and social media are colliding like never before this week as Twitter announced it will sell “promoted Tweets” to political candidates. The move is an attempt to get some of the $6 billion in political ad spending that is expected before the 2012 elections.
And finally, it is always good to be reminded that social media can get you into trouble on the job, so it is important to exercise discretion. USA Today reports on a BMW salesman who was fired after Tweeting about overcooked hotdogs served at his dealership’s promotion, and a Wal-Mart employee who was suspended for a day after complaining on Facebook about management “tyranny.” A good rule of thumb is – do not post it if you wouldn’t want your boss seeing it.
Have a good week!