Google just released a massive redesign for its Google+ social network, the majority of which you can check out in the walkthrough video above. Our thoughts? Lots of whitespace, but we'll play with it for a bit before final judgment.
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Mark Zuckerburg just announced that Facebook has agreed to acquire the super-popular Instagram for a cool $1 billion. Facebook has been hard at work recently to improve its own built-in photo sharing and viewing experience, while Instagram recently released an Android client that was downloaded a million times on its day of release. Now, Facebook gets the Instagram team in-house, while acknowledging that it should be run independently and maintain all of its social sharing features. Get a look at the full announcement after the break.
Google+, the slow to start but quickly growing social media site is now allowing any user 13 and older to create a Google+ account and join their ranks in this social networking system. Now teens can stay connected with friends and family even easier thanks to this new policy.
Along with the policy change that allows teens to join in on the fun come new safety features to keep kids protected. Before posting a public update, for example, minors will get a warning displayed on-screen. By default, only the people that appear in the teens' circles will be able to contact them, and if an unknown person joins a hangout that a teen happens to be in, the teen will be removed, notified of the changed, and asked if they'd like to re-join the video chat.
You can find and circle Gear Live on Google+.
You know how they say that you shouldn't put all your business out there on the Internet, especially nothing that you wouldn't want to fall into the wrong hands? TakeThisLollipop grabs onto this concept and takes it to the next spooky level by connecting to your Facebook account and creating a short movie based on you. We won't ruin it, but it's definitely a cool trick, and we enjoyed viewing the results when we did it.
It seemed like a no-brainer for Facebook to drop an iPad app back when the original iPad launched in early 2010, but it's taken the company a year-and-a-half to finally get things in order. The wait is now over, and today you can download the official Facebook iPad app. Within the app you can browse photos at full screen, watch videos (with AirPlay integration!), and access things like the news feed, messages, Groups, chat, and more.
If you aren't seeing it in the App Store yet, it should be live shortly.
Facebook is good for discovering the latest news about your friends and family, but what about music? As part of its f8 developer conference yesterday, the site teamed up with a number of online music entities to bring music discovery to Facebook.
Music companies like Spotify, Rdio, Rhapsody, and Slacker will be offering their own apps, which will allow you to share what you're listening to with friends on Facebook. Their music choices will also show up on your news feed, and you can listen to the songs right inside Facebook.
"You'll now start seeing new music posts and play buttons all over your newsfeeds. Hit a play button and the music starts. Right there," Spotify said in a blog post. "Spotify fires up to give you a new soundtrack to your social life. Check out your new Music Dashboard and your real-time ticker to discover the music that's trending with your friends."
Facebook head Mark Zuckerberg is set to take the stage in just about 15 minutes to kick off Facebook's f8 Developers Conference. You can watch the event unfold live, right here--just hit the play button up top.
We're expecting a bunch of new hotness to be revealed, including the new Facebook music initiative, and a major expansion and re-thinking of the Like button. Also expect new features around news publications, video, and Facebook games as well. It'll be a full morning
Facebook's "Read, Watch, Listen" theme of its f8 developer event, happening tomorrow, apparently now involves altering the "Like" button to specific actions.
In other words, "read," "watch" and "listen" will be applied to the "Like" button. The result? Buttons that will allow you to indicated that you have "Read" books or articles, "Listened," to music, or "Watched" videos or other content.
So far, multiple reports have confirmed the "Read, Watch, Listen" theme, including TechCrunch, AllThingsD, and others. One industry source has also confirmed the theme to us, although the source said he wasn't sure if that was going to be an official motto, or just the substance of the talk.
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Google's new Google+ social network, currently in a "field trial," can't quite avoid the stereotype that the company's products sacrifice usability for new features. Put simply, Google+ is a social network for geeks.
Unfortunately, Google can't help exposing numerous options to share, hide, protect, and discover photos, friends, videos, posts, and all of the other minutiae that make up today's online social interactions.
Underneath, however, there are some rather elegant features, including a lovely "Circles" interface to add friends, and a "Hangout" group video chat feature that holds promise.
But users used to Facebook's minimalist interface may find Google+ jarring. And, sad to say, Google's "field trial" suffered from overcapacity, an issue which may or may not have rippled into our evaluation on Tuesday afternoon. I and other staffers experienced numerous annoyances, which resulted from either poor design decisions, alpha glitches, or the overcapacity issue - I don't know which. Read on for our full hands-on with Google+.