What Facebook knows about you

The fact that Facebook keeps a record of all user data does not come as a surprise. Facebook has admitted to this in its ToS as well as through various media releases. However, the implications of this fact – how much data Facebook has on each of its users and what it knows about them – come through only when one can actually ‘see’ the data for oneself.

An Austrian law student, Max Schrems, asked Facebook to send him all the data it had stored about him – he received a CD with 1222 PDF files. The below video visualizes what Facebook knows about him.

Homegrown Social Media in China

China is home to 500 million internet users, who spend 2.7 hours a day online. The Great Firewall of China blocks several western social media sites, including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and WordPress. This has resulted in the mega-success of several homegrown alternatives. The below infographic by GPlus provides details about user motivations, comparative digital consumption habits and lists the most successful Chinese social media sites.


INFOGRAPHIC: A Social Media Revolution - China's Answer to Social Networking

Image via GPlus

See the original image at INFOGRAPHIC: A Social Media Revolution – China’s Answer to Social Networking | GPlus.com.

Google Music for Artists

The public launch of Google Music for consumers has been accompanied by a truly disruptive move by Google – Google Music for Artists. This offers artists a means to bypass traditional music publishers and go directly to the consumer. Google will take a one time setup fee of $25 and 30% of sales proceeds. Other key features include the ability to set album and track prices, create an artist page on the Android Market, sell music via Youtube, and close integration with Google+. This move hammers the last nails into the coffins of the purveyors of non-digital music distribution models and shrinking platforms like MySpace.

Image via Google

With Google Music you set your own retail prices for albums and tracks. You can quickly make your own promotions, like limited time price reductions, or make some tracks available as album-only purchases. The choices are yours.

You keep 70% of what you take in, paid to you monthly.

Every artist or band has a page within Android Market to help Google Music users find out more about you. The artist page includes your bio, photo, links and the original music you have available for sale.

Our integration with YouTube helps you sell your songs with a buy link in your music videos.

The Case of Orabrush: Building a multi-million dollar company using Youtube

Google’s blog tells the story of how an entrepreneur used Youtube based video ads to market millions of Orabrush – a tongue cleaner. After the failure of a $40,000 traditional ad campaign, the firm spent $500 on making a Youtube video (see the video here or below). After 2 years of increasing success (reflected in sales of over a million Orabrush), they approached Walmart. Again, when a $20,000 TV pitch failed to catch the attention of Walmart execs, the firm spent $28 on targeted FaceBook ads. Today Walmart and CVS carry the product at over 10,500 locations, making Orabrush the “first product to go from no sales online or offline, to nationwide retail distribution just using YouTube. ”

Image via Google

Their first ad is below:

Read more at Official Google Blog: The Orabrush story: How a Utah man used YouTube to build a multi-million dollar business.

Google Music

With the launch of Google Music, the war for digital content is very much on. Amazon and Google present two formidable competitors to Apple’s iTunes hegemony. Key features of Google Music are:

  • Cloud-based auto syncing music library
  • Sharing of purchased music on Google+
  • Exclusive content
  • Free upload of existing music library (to a maximum of 20,000 songs) to the cloud
Music Beta by Google logo

Image via Google

A feature by feature comparison with iTunes and Amazon Music offers insight into the two critical value drivers behind Google Music – deep integration with Google+ (thus leveraging the social aspects of music consumption) and an almost unlimited capacity to transfer existing music libraries (thus reducing lock-in costs and encouraging users of other platforms to shift).

Read more at Official Google Blog: Google Music is open for business.

Motivations for use of social media

A recent survey has found that 66% of American adults use social media. A majority of these (two thirds) use these platforms to keep in touch with family and friends.

Image via Pew Research Center


Read more at Why Americans Use Social Media | Pew Internet & American Life Project.

Linking business cards and LinkedIn profiles

LinkedIn has launched an updated CardMunch iPhone app. The app now allows users to scan a business card, add the details to their iPhone’s address book, enrich the information with data from the person’s LinkedIn profile, and take personalized notes.

For the first time, we’ll be connecting the physical world of business cards with the digital world of LinkedIn profiles, and helping millions of professionals everywhere take the world of contacts and phone numbers into the future of professional networking. We’ve also done a major re-haul of the CardMunch experience with particular focus on how we can make outbound professionals more successful and productive.

Image via LinkedIn

Read more at The LinkedIn Blog » Blog Archive LinkedIn’s New CardMunch iPhone App: Reinventing Business Cards «.


A link to the app is here.

LinkedIn introduces Statistics for Groups

Following on the heels of its launch of its Classmates feature, LinkedIn has introduced a statistics dashboard for LinkedIn Groups. Like Classmates, the Groups dashboard displays key summary information in a graphical form. This information is of three types –

Member Demographics,

In the demographics view, we show you who’s in the group.  You can see information about the seniority level, function/role, location, and industry of the various professionals in the group.

Group Growth,

Here we show how the group has grown over time.

and Group Activity.

In the activity panel we focus on comments and discussions.


This feature again provides a glimpse into the powerful data that LinkedIn can call up. From a user perspective, it provides unique insights into the makeup and functioning of groups – thereby providing information to businesses on how to increase user engagement in affiliated groups through targeted efforts.


Image via LinkedIn


Read more at The LinkedIn Blog » Blog Archive Bringing you insights into LinkedIn Groups with our new statistics dashboard «.

Google+ for things

Google’s social network effort has moved to the next dimension – things. Google+ has introduced Google+ Pages for non-humans (read brands, companies and the like) to socially engage with their customers.

Google Logo officially released on May 2010

Image via Wikipedia

So far Google+ has focused on connecting people with other people. But we want to make sure you can build relationships with all the things you care about—from local businesses to global brands—so today we’re rolling out Google+ Pages worldwide.

Google has augmented Pages with the power of its search engine. Termed Direct Connect, users can prefix a “+” in their search, and they will be taken to the corresponding Google+ Page.

New pages can be created by going to this link.

Read more at Official Google Blog: Google+ Pages: connect with all the things you care about.

Social contacts belong to employers

An English court has ruled that an employee’s business contacts on LinkedIn belong to the employer. This opens up several critical debates on the ownership of electronic social content and electronic social relationships. Do contacts on less ‘professional’ networks, such as FaceBook and Twitter, also belong to employers? How to differentiate between contacts made prior to the employment? There are also implications towards use of social networking sites– perhaps this ruling will lead to a fragmentation of an individual’s social profiles into several ‘temporary’, employer specific profiles and a ‘permanent’ personal profile?

Image via Wikipedia

Now, a court in England has issued an order that requires an employee who resigned to start his own consulting business to turn over all of his LinkedIn contacts to his former employer – along with receipts and contracts proving that none of them became clients of his new firm.

Read more at Who Owns Your LinkedIn Contacts? – Forbes.