The death of Twitter’s QuickBar

Twitter introduced the QuickBar in early March this year. In less than a month, Twitter announced the removal of QuickBar in the upcoming update of Twitter app today.

Quick Bar displays Promoted Tweets and trending topics. According to Twitter:

The QuickBar was originally conceived to help users discover what’s happening in the broader world beyond people they already follow. The bar was also seen as a potential means of in-app notifications for new mentions, DMs, and other important activity.

Continue Reading

I wonder what’s up with Plurk (yeah, that microblogging site with a timeline)

Plurk logo

Remember Plurk? During the heyday of the Fail Whale on Twitter, the microblogging service offered a much needed alternative. Plurk was founded in 2008 by Alvin Woon (Malaysian) and Amir Salihefendic (Danish) in Toronto, Canada. When it was launched, its timeline-style display of updates captured much attention. However, with the rapid ascendancy of Twitter in the past several years, Plurk seems to recede from the media limelight. Of course, some may still remember the fiasco back in 2009, where Plurk accused Microsoft China of “blatant theft of code, design, and UI elements.”

Plurk is still popular in Asia (especially East Asia). According to co-founder Woon, Plurk is now one of the high-traffic social networks in Asia. It has over 6 million registered users and the majority of them are from Asia – – Taiwan, Philippines, Indonesia, Hong Kong and Japan. Plurk, which runs predominantly on a Python, JavaScript and MySQL stack, has over 400,000 active users daily and 200,000 concurrent users at any give time of a day). These users generated millions of plurks each day.

Continue Reading

The Illustrated Brief History (sort-of) of Social Networking

This is a fun set of illustrations of the evolution of social networking. It is commissioned by PeopleBrowsr, in celebration of the Advertising Research Foundation’s 75th anniversary. Not comprehensive, but somewhat, informative. From 1930 to 2011, highlights include:

  • 1930: The Notificator.
  • January 1978: Computer Bulletin Board System.
  • 1989: World Wide Web invented.
  • 1989: Online gaming service Quantum Link changed name to America Online.
  • 2003: The launch of Friendster, MySpace, LinkedIn.
  • 2004: “The Facebook” was launched.
  • 2006: Twitter launched.
  • 2008: Burger King viral video.
  • 2010: First tweet from space.
Continue Reading

Promoted Tweets gain visibility on new Twitter for iPhone app

Twitter for iPhone app

Twitter introduces Quick Bar in the latest version 3.3 of Twitter for iPhone app. The Quick Bar displays trending topics (and other updates), including Promoted Tweets. User can slide left or right to see the top 5 trending topics. These trends are based on your location. Local Trends feature is currently available in Argentina, Singapore, India, Indonesia, United States, Turkey, and 14 other countries. If you are in any of these countries, local trends will be shown. Or else, you will see the Worldwide trends.

Continue Reading

Yes 4G broadband launch marred by phantom menace (including latest YTL explanations)

yes-logo

Barely a week ago, YTL launched its Yes 4G mobile broadband service in Malaysia. Yes, it has been a wobbly start. First, their early subscribers were informed the range of 018 numbers may not be able to make or receive calls from numbers on other networks due to not being able to interconnect with these other networks. Then, they faced serious issues with their website which was not up and running properly for more than 15 hours after its launch. These teething problems had resulted in a backlash from Yes early subscribers who were frustrated by their inability to access Yes’ website.

GreyReview has obtained some explanations (published below, in verbatim) from YTL Communications, via its PR agency, on issues surrounding the Yes launch:

Attack on Yes.my

The threat was detected an hour after the launch. We started noticing that a large number of requests sent to www.yes.my could not be made by human users due to the nature of IP addresses and their sheer volume.

Continue Reading

YTL Yes 4G broadband pricing leaked on Twitter

yes-logo

Looks like the rates for Yes, the new 4G broadband service, powered by YTL Communications have been leaked (intentionally?) on Twitter by @albnok. His tweet on Wednesday evening claiming “the cat is out of the bag” is accompanied by what appears to be an official bunting which would probably go public on Yes’ official launch, which is scheduled to be 6pm on Friday, 19th November 2010.

More like a teaser, the picture reveals that for 9 sen, Yes offers 3mb of data, 1 minute usage and 1 sms on a pay-as-you-use basis, which is actually quite reasonable as it translates to only 3 sen per mb of data. By comparison, TuneTalk offers 5 sen per mb and that is on EDGE.

Continue Reading

How Facebook can turn you into mindless drones?

jaron lanier

I had a chat with a friend of mine the other day. He seemed down so I asked him if everything was OK, to which he replied that his week had gotten off to a bad start and it was making him depressed. Treading carefully, I asked if he would like to share. His answer shocked me.

“My friend defriended me on Facebook”, he replied.

He elaborated further, saying that this friend, whom he had known since high school and whom he had been contact with on and off throughout the years (as opposed to regular contact) had one day decided to reduce his Facebook contacts to only those he often stayed in touch with, and since he only met up or talked with this guy once in a blue moon, he ended up in the dreaded “Defriended” list. And he wasn’t the only one. A few other school buddies also didn’t make the cut and were equally depressed.

I thought this was utterly ridiculous but sensing that his sadness was genuine, didn’t make a fuss about it. But seriously, getting depressed because you were removed from someone’s contact list on an online app?

Continue Reading

How Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare are joining the World Cup fiesta

Today is World Cup 2010 kick-off. And today’s most popular social networks – Facebook, Twitter, Facebook – are joining the fiesta. I’ve listed here, in order of interestingness:

1. Twitter

The microblogging social network launches a dedicated World Cup 2010 page to make it easier for people to follow #WorldCup conversations on Twitter. You can Live Tweets about each match. It also features Top Tweets, which are “algorithmically selects and retweets some of the most interesting tweets about the World Cup.”

Continue Reading