April Foolin', Facebook Home, And The SEC | This Week In Social Media

SEC Announcement: Tweet Away, Corporations

The Security and Exchange Commission has announced that businesses can use social networks like Twitter and Facebook to reveal company information to the public. The announcement follows an incident where Netflix CEO Reed Hastings wrote a Facebook post on his personal page that touted his company hitting one billion hours of streaming for the first time, causing the stock price to rise and violating disclosure rules. And with the announcement, Bloomberg, one of the world’s largest providers of financial information, started incorporating tweets into its terminals.  For traders, this means more information faster and from ordained non-traditional channels. For businesses, it means a more captive audience on social ready and willing to digest more information than just a quarterly earnings release. Tweet away, titans of industry.

Facebook Phone Becomes Facebook Home

Mark Zuckerberg finally dispelled rumors of a Facebook phone at a press event Thursday when he announced the launch of Facebook Home, a “family of apps” that will function as a home screen for Android phones. The most notable Home feature is Chat Heads, which draws from the look of Apple’s iMessage and allows users to message friends from within any app. Rumors about a Facebook phone have been circulating since 2008, when Facebook partnered with a mobile service in the UK to integrate Facebook into the OS of one of their smartphones. Most recent speculation centered on the possibility of Facebook partnering with HTC to build an exclusive Facebook phone. Home will come preloaded on the HTC First smartphone, but by creating an app rather than an OS, Facebook Home will likely reach a much larger number of users. Android users will be able to download Home from Google Play.

Never Fool With Bacon

On the first of April, the Internet abides by just one rule: believe nothing. YouTube “revealed” Monday that the video sharing site “finally has enough videos to choose a winner,” suggesting the site was no more than a front for an elaborate (and lengthy) contest. Netflix offered users awfully specific categories like “Canadian Made-for-TV Movies” and “Movies Featuring An Epic Nicolas Cage Meltdown.” Twttr bnnd vwls. Google Maps launched “Treasure Mode.” Even the U.S. Army got in on the joke—announcing a plan to militarize cats (you always knew cats were up to something). But by far the best April Fools’ joke of 2013 (and the only one I fell for) was… drumroll, please… Scope Bacon. In a hilarious and well-produced YouTube advertisement that first hit the web on March 26 (a touch unfair, Scope, no?), the company announced its newest product: a mouthwash that tastes like bacon. But not everyone was keen on the joke. “That’s not funny. I really wanted a sample,” says Thomas. “You were warned there would be consequences,” says Paul. “I just unliked your page,” says Steve. “Never fool with bacon.”