Read on for the latest in social media news:
Twitter released details of an upcoming API that has many developers up in arms. The new API will introduce a number of new “Developer Rules of the Road” meant to create a consistent and seamless Twitter experience. Twitter will also be tightening their grip on third-party clients like Echofon, Tweetbot, Ubersocial and TweetDeck by imposing a 100,000 user cap on third-party clients. Third-party clients with a user base over 100,000 will only be able to grow to 200% of their current user base before requiring permission from Twitter to grow any further.
Developers are bemoaning the new restrictions, with many predicting the end of popular third-party clients like Echofon and TweetDeck. For other developers this is no surprise. Twitter has been encouraging developers to stay away from developing traditional Twitter clients for over a year.
Also introduced in the new API are safeguards to make applications safer for users to use. Authentication is now required whenever an application attempts to access the Twitter API. Requiring authentication makes it easier for Twitter to allow the well-intentioned access to the API while keeping the bad guys out.
Since 2009, a user deleting a photo on Facebook often meant a year delay before the photo would be deleted from Facebook servers. What’s the problem with that? Well, a photo that still exists on a Facebook server can be accessed via URL regardless of whether or not you’ve pressed the delete button. That’s changed this week, with Facebook now clearing deleted photos from its servers in up to 30 days.
Surprisingly, this is not an issue that Facebook shares with its competitors. Ars Technica found that deleting a photo from social sites like Flickr, Twitter or Instagram yielded instantaneous deletion from the sites’ servers.
As Facebook stock continues on its downward trend, investors will likely be keeping tabs on Facebook’s ability to respond to users’ privacy concerns. Allegiance to a social site can change in a blink of an eye and building loyalty with users will go a long way in securing Facebook’s dominance in social media.
Fake Social Accounts
Democrats were up in arms this week when Mitt Romney’s Twitter account experienced a mysterious influx of 141,000 followers in one day. Democrats claim that the Romney campaign bought the followers, citing results from a new utility, StatusPeople.com, which scans your Twitter account and determines how many followers are active, inactive, or fake. The Romney campaign denied the allegation and Republicans volleyed back that President Obama’s Twitter account has even more fake followers than Romney’s. StatusPeople.com concluded that of Obama’s 18.6 million followers, 41% are fake.
Fake Twitter accounts have become increasingly common with the creation of services that sell followers to Twitter users. Fake followers can be had for as little as $2 per 1,000 followers. These fake accounts are against Twitter’s terms of service, but Twitter is having a difficult time policing fake accounts.