Data collection, monitoring, storage, and mining are simply part of our online lives. If you connect to a site, it is going to collect some information about you. If nothing else it will collect the session information (IP address, time on site, pages read etc.), but will not use that for anything more than understanding traffic. Other sites will collect and maintain more information than that and in extreme cases you will get much more collected than that. However, no one seems to know what use this data is being put to and if there is any benefit to the collection at all.
Social Media can be a great thing if used properly. However, lately people tend to use it for… well let’s call it ranting. I cannot count the number of rants and tantrums I have seen on Twitter, Facebook and even Google+. It seems that some people feel that social media sites are their own personal forums to share every thought they have no matter how positive or negative it is. When you point this out to the ranters, you are likely to be told that it is their page and you do not have to read it. Well… that is the problem, you never really know just who might be reading your rant and what they might do about it.
Twitter has a keen sense of the word irony now. Almost immediately after grabbing the highest score by the Online Trust Alliance for security and privacy they managed to get hit with a very bad XSS (Cross Site Scripting) bug that impacted their TweetDeck side of the house. To make matters worse the XSS flaw was not some 0-day exploit that hackers used, it was a fairly old one that allowed the hackers to fill the feeds of TweetDeck users with malicious scripts.
Although most things related to the Twitter are public, the company has enabled its users to exchange direct messages that concern only them and whose content is not visible to others.
After Twitter released its annual financial results for the 2013. from which we could observe a slower increase in the number of users, discussion began on possible reasons for this negative trend . In the latest study, the research house eMarketer presented the growth projections of the number of users of the social network for the next five years. They predict that the negative trend will continue, so in 2014 the number of active users will increase by only 11.6%, and by the 2018 this will decrease even further to 6.4%.
In accordance with earlier forecasts, Twitter ended last business year with a loss of 645 million US dollars, despite revenue growth of 110%. Total annual income of 665 million was not nearly enough to cover the huge costs of the accumulated investment of the company in the sales force, research and marketing.
Twitter is currently working with a start-up company Stripe which is dealing with digital payment for goods and services, and are very close to it to enable users to purchase directly through their social networks. People familiar with the collaboration say that credit card payments in the future could be confirmed very easily, with tweeting. With the same move, Twitter could enable companies to offer products and services, and in that way open another channel for generating revenue.
At the end of August, Facebook started testing display of the currently most popular topics that are being discussed in the social network. The so-called "trending" section is located in the top right corner of the screen and displays to the user the most commonly mentioned phrases and words, with brief accompanying explanations.
Facebook has bought San Francisco startup, SportStream. SportStream created a service that is able analyze the content related to a sport or sports that appears on social networks.