Social media news: Google, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, and more

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Here is a quick roundup of some of the latest happenings in the social media world.

Google

Google and in London recently partnered to launch a new online art experiment called "“.

Conceived by Chris Milk and Aaron Koblin, This Exquisite Forest is based on the famous [image], a technique invented by Surrealists in the 20th century. Internet users create “seeds” (or short animations) or build on existing ones. The goal? Growing these seeds into tree-like collections of branching narratives.

To provide inspiration, seven artists from Tate’s collection (Bill Woodrow, Dryden Goodwin, Julian Opie, Mark Titchner, Miroslaw Balka, Olafur Eliasson and Raqib Shaw) have already created their own animations.

“This Exquisite Forest uses several of Google Chrome’s advanced HTML5 and JavaScript features to produce a unique content creation and exploration experience,” Aaron Koblin on the Google Blog. "For example, the Web Audio API makes it possible for contributors to generate music to accompany their submissions. The project also runs on Google App Engine and Google Cloud Storage."</p>

<p>An accompanying installation will open on July 23 in the Level 3 gallery of Tate Modern. Trees seeded by Tate artists and public contributions will be on display as large-scale projections.</p>

<p><strong>Hootsuite</strong></p>

<p>Fans of social media management interface Hootsuite can officially rejoice. Google+ Pages Publishing support is .

Hootsuite also added more functionality to the Hootlet, its bookmarking tool, . </p>

<p>The Hootlet now allows users to schedule their messages to maximize impact and reach with AutoSchedule. They can also select and share specific text and images found on websites with Custom Content Sharing (Chrome-only feature). Here is how the latter works:</p>

<ul><li>Sharing text: Highlight the text you want to use. Right-click and select “Share current page via HootSuite Hootlet using selected text”. The quote is then pasted into Hootlet’s Compose Box with a shortened link to the website.</li>

<li>Sharing images: Right-click an image and select “Share image via HootSuite Hootlet.” The image will then be uploaded to Ow.ly. The text “[image]” and the link to the uploaded image will then appear into Hootlet’s Compose Box.</li>

</ul><p><strong>LinkedIn</strong></p>

<p>Linked introduced the latest version of its Homepage .

The landing page, which has been completely redesigned, offers a more visual and easier scanning and navigating experience, with the most relevant updates and articles showing at the top of the feed.

“This is just the beginning of many more exciting, new features we plan to bring to the Homepage to offer more customization and functionality this year,” [image] Product Manager Caroline Gaffney on the LinkedIn Blog. “We look forward to making the LinkedIn Homepage your go-to destination to discover and discuss what matters to you, your industry and your professional network around the world.”

Paper.li

Content curation platform Paper.li launched its new premium service for publishers [image].

Paper.li Pro is a paying upgrade that allows users to take their papers to the next level with several features: extended branding (custom banner or company’s logo with hyperlink), custom advertising and increased editorial control.

Paper.li Pro costs $9 per month, per paper.

For more information about the new upgrade, click here.

Twitter

Twitter introduced new navigation features in TweetDeck, its desktop application, on Tuesday.

  • Columns can now be browsed seamlessly via the bottom scrollbar or the arrows at the top of the page.
  • The “Columns” tab allows you to see your entire list of columns and re-arrange their order. Hover over the “drag” icon, click and drag the column to its new position, then drop.
  • Every Tweet features a menu icon (“…”) that allows you to implement several actions without having to leave your main column view: create links, block and report Tweeps for spam, add an account to a list, delete your own Tweet, etc.

Twitter also released a new version of its Twitter for Blackberry app earlier this week. This update includes support of right-to-left languages (e.g. Arabic and Hebrew), expanded Tweets, and full-resolution images and RIM maps for geolocated Tweets.

WordPress

WordPress.com added five new widgets to its list on Tuesday. Here they are below:

  • Blogs I Follow allows users to display the blogs they follow via the WordPress.com Reader — either as a grid of images or a series of links.
  • Posts I Like shows visitors the latest posts that a blogger has liked as an image grid or a series of links. The widget will update automatically.
  • My Community lets users highlight all the activity happening on their blogs (comments, likes and/or new followers).
  • Gravatar Profile automatically pulls in and displays a user’s Gravatar profile information (photo, bio, verified services, and custom links).
  • The Top Posts and Pages widget now offers greater functionality. Users can choose to measure top posts views or by likes, and display the list as text, text with images or a visual grid of larger images.

YouTube

YouTube added Face Blurring to its list of features on Wednesday. As the name indicates, this new tool allows users to masks faces within videos.

Here is how the feature works:

  • Choose the video you want to edit
  • Click the “Enhancements” tab, which is located between “Edit” and “Annotations”.
  • Click “Additional Features” under the video and then the “Apply” button below “Blur All Faces”.
  • Check the “Quick Preview” screen on the right and then save your video.
  • You will then be given the option to delete the original video.

Note that Face Blurring cannot be reverted. When you “Save As”, a new copy of your video will be created, in which all faces are permanently blurred.

“This is emerging technology, which means it sometimes has difficulty detecting faces depending on the angle, lighting, obstructions and video quality,” says Amanda Conway, YouTube policy associate, on the YouTube Blog. “It’s possible that certain faces or frames will not be blurred. If you are not satisfied with the accuracy of the blurring as you see it in the preview, you may wish to keep your video private.”

YouTube also announced on Friday that users could now link to much more than YouTube videos, channels or search results, and Kickstarter / Indiegogo in their videos via Annotations. The linking ability has been extended to Change.org, Donorschoose.org, RocketHub and Causes.

Finally, members of the YouTube Nonprofit Program will soon be able to learn more about YouTube thanks to the YouTube for Good team’s upcoming series of online trainings via Google+ Hangouts on Air. The first class starts on July 31, 2012 at 9 a.m. (PT). For more information, click here.

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Cendrine Marrouat may be contacted for potential interviews, reviews and general enquiries at [email protected] Website: www.cendrinemarrouat.com

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