Friday Social Round Up: Tweeting Plants and Status Updates from the Grave.
Listen with Facebook
Facebook has just launched a new social music feature that lets you listen to music along with your Facebook friends. If your friend is listening to a song via Spotify you can click the ‘Listen with’ button and listen along with them! Facebook have also made this a truly social experience by adding in the option to chat while listening to the same track.
“Being able to click on someone’s music and play it is a great experience, but knowing that you helped a friend discover something new… is awesome,” said Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg when the ‘Listen with’ feature was announced at the f8 conference in September last year.
There are, of course, some new privacy settings to go along with this feature. Facebook help pages details how you can “control privacy settings in music apps when you install the app or on your App Settings page after you’ve installed the app. You can also remove songs you listened to from your timeline on your private activity log.” The latter will ensure that your secret guilty pleasure of listening to the odd S Club 7 track remains secret.
We can’t wait for the inevitable ‘Watch with’ feature to allow friends to use Facebook as a sort of group movie night experience
If you are one of the many house plant serial killers out there, good news: there is now a wireless kit available that lets your house plants use Twitter to demand you feed them. The Botanicall is a kit allows you to give your plant the power to tweet or send you a text message on your phone when it is in need of watering.
The device uses an Arduino microcontroller, an Ethernet module and two probes that you insert into the soil to monitor moisture level. This Twitter-enabled solution may help save the lives of millions of innocent plants.
Status update from the grave
Ever wanted to leave one last brilliant Facebook status update in the event of your death? Now you can! A new Facebook app, If I Die, lets you leave a final pre-written goodbye when you pop your clogs.
The app lets you record your goodbyes either by text or video message then asks you to appoint friends as the executers of that app in the event of your death. Once you have gone, they can post your update to your profile along with your final message/s to your friends. You can also send out your last wishes, post messages, share a joke, reveal a long-kept secret or even take the opportunity to tell people what you really think of them years after you’re gone!
Currently, three of your trustees all have to click the “Yes, they are really gone” button before the app's makers will publish your last updates, although you can appoint more than three people as the guardians of your social self.
It might be a little morbid to start recording farewell messages, but Wilook, the Israel-based company behind the app, built the app because nobody really knows when death will come. “We all have things to say and don’t necessarily have the audience with the patience to hear us,” says Eran Alfonta, the app’s co-founder and CEO. “Actually we all want to leave something behind, we all want to leave a stamp behind us.”
The app has attracted several thousand followers, and we think this number is going to increase.
Facebook to hit 1 billion user mark in August
Facebook is set to pass the massive milestone of one billion users in August according to Gregory Lyons, a senior analyst at digital marketing firm iCrossing. This estimation was made based on the site’s recent growth. Facebook claimed 800 million users in September, so it’s not surprising that one in seven of us are now within its reach.
Using linear regression from 2008 until the end of last year, Lyons created the above chart. He also acknowledges that Facebook’s growth in the US and UK has slowed or even stopped, but expects India and Brazil, among other nations, to pick up the slack. “Both are large countries with millions of potential users who have yet to sign up to Facebook,” he writes. “With only 3% of India’s population on Facebook and 16% of Brazil’s (compared to 49% of America’s population or 47% of the UK’s population) countries such as these will clearly contribute heavily to Facebook’s continued growth.”
To put Facebook’s size in perspective, Twitter claims to have about 100 million active users, LinkedIn 130 million members and Google+ around 49 million total visits in December, according to Experian Hitwise. Hitwise also predicts that Google+ will have 400 million users by the end of this year.