Google+ now finally open to the public “might” make me change my perception. Google+ (plus) launched early July on an invite only basis, which seems to have heavily skewed towards a geeky male US-based audience. At the moment, Google+ really has nothing to offer in the social end … yes, the way you organize friends is better (IMO) than Facebook, and … … … well, that’s it … You might have heard me claim that it will compete against iCloud in the quest to conquer your hard data (photos, videos, music, files) - but that’s another post on its own.
The first Google+ infographic was released an the numbers pretty much confirm it: 26 million users, 100% of which work in software engineering, web development, advertising, or related careers. Should be interesting to watch it shift (or not) now that Google+ is open to the public.
Perhaps one of the best features of Facebook Places was not released with the initial launch … Looking back at the Facebook Places official video , the most compelling selling point is that Facebook helps you digitalize your memories. The fact that you can geo-tag and timestamp photos, videos, and comments, allows you to live back any memories, knowing what you saw, how you felt, who you were with …
Anyways, starting today, you can immediately tell people about that favorite spot with Facebook Places. You can share where you are and the friends you’re with in real time from your mobile device.
Checking In with Friends
Ever gone to a show, only to find out afterward that your friends were there too? With Places, you can discover moments when you and your friends are at the same place at the same time.
You have the option to share your location by “checking in” to that place and letting friends know where you are. You can easily see if any of your friends have also chosen to check in nearby.
To get started, you’ll need the most recent version of the Facebook application for iPhone. You also can access Places from touch.facebook.com if your mobile browser supports HTML 5 and geolocation.
Go to Places on the iPhone application or touch.facebook.com site and then tap the “Check In” button. You’ll see a list of places near you. Choose the place that matches where you are. If it’s not on the list, search for it or add it. After checking in, your check-in will create a story in your friends’ News Feeds and show up in the Recent Activity section on the page for that place.
Places is only available in the United States right now. But we expect to make it available to more countries and on additional mobile platforms soon.
Twitter just launched their official Tweet this button – about time … it comes in three versions (110×20, 55×20, 55×63) with five different settings for customization. You can set the URL obviously, the Tweet text default, via @SapientNitro or some user, related, and count box position.
You can see it server directly from Twitter here
I spoke to Omar L. Gallaga from austin360 blog right before my SXSW panel
about emerging trends, including mobile, augmented reality, and social media, and he posted this interview on their blog; wanted to share a few PoV’s that I provided …
American-Statesman: As smartphones have gotten more popular, we’ve been hearing more and more about augmented reality. Can you explain to us what it actually is and how it’s being used?
Augmented Reality (AR) is the ability of combining digital and real-world aspects to provide a greater or enhanced experience. Traditionally, it’s layering a digital overlay on top of a video stream, think NFL first-down marker, or NASCAR car information. It is not new, but due to the recent penetration of web and mobile it has been getting greater buzz. It was originally coined in 1992, used in PCs in 1999, by Sony PS3 in 2007, but it wasn’t until 2009 when adopted by Flash and made available for the masses that it began to gain momentum.
NFL and NASCAR are basic examples of mainstream media using AR, but the true reach is when it’s more personal: enhance computer or phone video streams with digital layers triggered by either some market or symbol in the video, or GPS and compass information, or any data source that can be translated into personalized visualization that adds and provides value to the user. Traditional uses range from recognizing trading cards, to real-size mailing boxes, to visualizing how would your new TV look in your living room.
As smartphones have gotten more popular, mobile augmented reality still has not, but they’re setting the base bricks and platform to allow greater penetration in the future. Location awareness, compass, maps, user generated content, all contribute to greater and richer data sources that will allow for great digital and real world mashups. The best mobile apps right now are TwittARound, Layar, Nearest Tube, TAT Augmented ID, SREngine, and Wikitude AR Travel Guide.