Facebook's latest attempt to emulate Twitter

Is Facebook scared of Twitter? Definitely. It’s why they tried to buy them back in November last year and it’s why they’re now looking at implementing an Everyone button in order to try and compete with the microblogging service.

Currently when Facebook users update their status or post messages they are published to only those people who have been selected to receive updates in the user’s privacy settings. Facebook are planning to change this so as everytime a message is posted or a user’s status is updated the user will have the option of selecting who their content will be available to.

Facebook are hoping that if enough people click the everyone option, then they could build a real-time news stream a la Twitter.

Knowing how sensitive Facebook users can be, expect numerous protest groups to be set up in the near future.

(via Tech Crunch)

Facebook updating homepage yet again


After the disastrous launch and eventual user acceptance of Facebook’s news feed and profile pages last year, you would have thought that the company wouldn’t mess with the site too much more for a while. But no – it doesn’t want users getting too comfortable, so next Wednesday there’ll be a new homepage.

It looks like Twitter. There’s no two ways about it. With the status box massive and front-and-centre, there’s a definite homage going on. The feed below is now real-time too, so you can see stories appear as they happen. That feature’s been around for a while but previously it wasn’t the default option.

But one feature that Facebook’s adding to the mix is filters. If you’ve got friend groups set up then you can choose to view the updates from just one group or another. That could definitely prove useful for power users, or those with very distinct friendship circles. You can also view feeds from your friends in specific Facebook groups that you’re a member of, which is quite nifty.

This is a definite improvement to the site, and should help it compete against the attention draw from Twitter, especially as Facebook’s biggest asset is that almost everyone you know is on it – something not true of its media-darling competitor.

It’s a bit of a blatant copy and should probably have been rolled into the previous update, but I suspect that many mainstream users will hardly notice the change and as a result, there won’t be the mass user revolts that have characterized previous changes to the world’s favourite social network.

(via Business Insider)

Keep your eye on the destruction of the planet with the Real-Time Global Disaster Alert Map

How are you feeling? Feeling good? Happy? Good, well go look at something else.

Feeling terribly depressed? Just watched ‘Zeitgeist the Movie‘ and think the world is going to hell in a teacup? Well, excellent. Join me, and read on…

The world is a big place, and no matter how often you read the papers or watch the news, you have no idea exactly how big the scale of the problems that exist at anyone time around the planet really is. Earthquakes, Volcanoes, Biological Hazards, Chemical accidents.. all these things are happening somewhere on the globe right now and unless you have access to the Thunderbirds mission control computer on Tracy Island, then you’re completely ignorant of them all.

Well, you were. Not anymore. Because EDIS, a non-profit emergency services organisation in Hungary, has provided us with a free-to-use online map compiling all of the world’s reported disasters in continually refreshing real-time. The perfect thing to look at and fret over.