Facebook for Work, God View and Detekt | This Week in Social Media

Facebook for WorkProfessional Facebook?

It looks like Facebook may be looking to dethrone LinkedIn as the main social network used by business professionals. A new tool from Facebook called “Facebook at Work” will, essentially, work as a social network and allow employees to work together in groups, messaging and a news feed. This is similar to what LinkedIn, Google and Microsoft already have available.

Facebook says nearly 8,000 of its employees are already using the new tool and, at this time, it does not appear that ads will come into play with this more workplace-based tool. There are few details being confirmed at this time about Facebook at Work, but we’ll let you know if anything develops.

God View

In a surprising report this week, Buzzfeed claims it learned that a tool called “God View” used by Uber executives allows them to track both vehicles and customers. While not available at a basic consumer level, Buzzfeed claims the tool is widely used on a corporate level.

Strangely, the Buzzfeed reporter says upon arriving at a meeting with one of Uber’s top executives she was told he had been waiting for her and pointed how he was tracking her ride to their meeting. While it makes sense for some accountability for an app like Uber, tracking without permission by using a tool called “God View” is raising some red flags in the online community.

Taking back privacy

Speaking of tracking…In lieu of recent revelations of surveillance and cyberespionage programs, a new tool is allowing you to fight back against surveillance malware. Detekt, scans a computer for the types of programs that have been used to target journalists and political activists. The app was released by a coalition of human rights organizations with the goal of informing people when they’ve been hacked and are being monitored.

Don’t think of it as a clean bill of health if you use it to scan your machine and it comes back empty handed – Detekt does not promise to be 100% effective and is merely a good starting point in the battle for privacy. It’s worth noting that Detekt will only detect some surveillance malware; not remove it. If you find something on your machine the best course of action is to seek expert help.

News Feed Challenge, YouTube Music Key and Beaumont Health’s Awards | This Week in Social Media

Facebook update lets people quiet brands in their News Feed

As if it wasn’t already a challenge for brands to reach fans, Facebook’s new feature that increases people’s control over their News Feed may make it even tougher for brands’ content to make it to their fans.

People will be able to see whose posts are showing up most often in their News Feed each week and decide if they want to see fewer posts from those friends or brands they follow.  The update will incentivize brands to post “better” and more relevant content if it wants to stay in good graces with their fans.  Brands are rightfully concerned that the organic reach of their posts is going to take another hit with the rollout of Facebook’s latest change.

No more YouTube ads?YouTube’s new paid music service

YouTube will soon be introducing a new free and paid listening experience that includes millions of audio-only tracks. The free listening service will feature artists’ full albums in a specific Music tab on YouTube’s website and app. The paid service, called YouTube Music Key, will allow users to nix the ads, listen to songs with the app while using other apps, and download videos to view offline. Look out Spotify and Beats Music, YouTube Music Key is the newest competitor for paying customers eager for unlimited music.

Fluency Media’s client wins three awards

Fluency Media’s client, Beaumont Health, received three MarCom awards. Beaumont earned a platinum award for its Beaumont Blog, a gold award for the Average Joe Runs a Marathon program, and a gold award for its Beaumont Children’s Hospital “Keep Your Head Up” music video. MarCom Awards is a creative competition for individuals or companies involved in the concept, writing and design of print, visual, audio and web materials and programs. Congratulations!

Facebook Voter Prompt, Twitter Tweaks and Nintendo Health | This Week in Social Media

Mobile VotingFacebook encourages mid-term voting

The U.S. mid-term elections are typically met with low voter turnout. Facebook attempted to help mend that on Tuesday by encouraging users to vote with a prompt, reminding them that it was election day at the top of their newsfeed when the site was opened on mobile or desktop. From there, you could find out where polling places were and say that you had voted for a nifty badge that would appear on your profile and friends’ newsfeeds.

While it may be easy to dismiss this as a gimmick, a study of the same prompt’s use in the 2010 election cycle estimates it encouraged about 340,000 extra voters to head to the polls.

Similarly, the social network now also appears to be taking aim at Ebola, with a new prompt encouraging users to donate and help stop the deadly virus.

Shall we begin calling it Tweetbook?

In yet another change that critics are comparing to being more Facebookesque, Twitter moved the text bar that allows users to send out a tweet to the center of the page, which now makes it very similar to where you enter your status in Facebook.

Many users were quick to cry foul and claim that Twitter was beginning to lose sight of why some prefer it to Facebook, as Facebook has also begun taking steps to resemble Twitter.

Doctor (Mario) is in the house

New details of Nintendo’s QOL (Quality of Life) program are emerging, one of which includes a bedside device to help monitor and track your sleep. The device would analyze your sleep patterns and provide suggestions on how to get a more restful sleep.

No, this isn’t a feature for a new game. Nintendo’s last-generation console, the Wii, allowed more casual gamers to pick up a controller to a system that included numerous games designed to get people up and moving from their couches. It’s this spirit that Nintendo’s President may be attempting to continue with the new venture.Dr. Mario

Google Nanoparticles, Taco Bell #Onlyintheapp and UberKitten! | This Week in Social Media

Google X labsThe doctor is in – your bloodstream?

Google is reportedly looking into technology that would scan the body for illness – just by taking a pill. The technology would work by using nanoparticles to travel through the bloodstream and scan for malignant cells and report the findings back to a sensor attached to a wearable device. Google believes that the nanoparticles could be laced with a tracking antibody that would remain in the blood and allow for continued monitoring over a period of time.

The technology is still in the experimental stage and comes from Google’s X lab, which looks at technology that could be used to improve quality of life. This is the same lab that is looking into contact lenses that can measure glucose in someone’s tears.

Taco Bell says “adios” to social

In what is being called both risky and intriguing, Taco Bell this week removed (more likely, just hid) its social media channels AND website  in favor of a new mobile app. Visiting the website will provide visitors with a message telling them that everything is #onlyintheapp. Stores will soon have a separate pickup lane for those who ordered online. While mobile apps for restaurants and chains isn’t entirely new, Taco Bell IS the first to do dark on social. While some critics have pointed out that this removed the two-way conversation that social media provides, only time will tell if the move is successful.

Kitten delivery provides amusement and delight for a good cause

To celebrate National Cat Day on Thursday, ride-sharing company Uber, the ASPCA and Cheezburger brought back the UberKitten program to promote adoptions. Kitty fans in several major cities were able to order a kitten through the Uber app and have it delivered to their office for some supervised play time. Upon arrival, the kittens were available to play for about 15 minutes while people learned more about where the kitten was housed and how they could adopt. Proceeds went to animal shelters and, as you might imagine, demand was quite high.
UberKittens

Health Kit Delays & Mobile Health Apps Usage| Healthcare in the News

Apple postpones HealthKit app and others

A bug in Apple’s HealthKit and fitness tracking platform delayed the release of this and other applications with the release of iOS 8. HealthKit, for those unfamiliar, gathers and aggregates data from other health and fitness applications and allows it to be visible to doctors. Regulated medical devices, like glucose monitors, can also be paired with the app.

Once up and running, hospitals will be able to use the data for a variety of purposes, such as monitoring diabetic children or tracking blood pressure in heart disease patients. Apple expects to have HealthKit and the other apps it delayed up and running by the end of the month.

Who Uses Mobile Health Apps?

Mobile healthcare and medical app downloads are expected to hit 44 million by the end of 2012, rising to 142 million by 2016, but the percentage of Americans downloading these apps have remained steady — about 10%. That despite the fact that the number of apps has increased from 2,993 in 2010 to 13,619 in April of 2012. The problem? Ubiquitous content and the end of the honeymoon. The majority of apps focus on diet and fitness, but there are hundreds of BMI and calorie counter apps on the market. Besides a lot of overlap, even the apps that get downloaded quickly lose favor with most users. Sure, they use the app a few times during the honeymoon phase, tracking calories and medication, but just 5% remain with an app after one month, dropping to nearly 0% after six months. The fix is a useful and unique app that’s easy to use and applicable to a wide audience. Simple, right? Healthworks Collective

Video Chat with a Doc & Robots vs. Ebola? | Healthcare in the News

GoogleDoctorThe doctor will see you now

The future is now. Google is testing a Talk to a Doctor feature within medical search results. It allows people to directly speak with a verified doctor through chat.

For now, the service is free while Google experiments and analyzes the effectiveness of the function, but it’s likely to cost something if and when it becomes widely available. While Google is not the only one experimenting with this type of feature, if implemented, it would easily be the largest. Not only would this open up a new form of revenue for Google, but it would allow doctors to avoid patients from self-diagnosing themselves based upon information they find online.

Robots vs. Ebola?

The U.S. government is reportedly looking at the use of robots to help combat the threat of Ebola in Africa. A simulcast workshop next month by Texas A & M University’s Center for Robot-Assisted Search and Rescue (CRASARwill look at the feasibility of using robots in the battle against Ebola. There are already some fascinating ways robots could help battle the virus. Some of those include the safe transport and disposal of infected bodies, automated material handling to reduce staff at risk, detection of infection and sterilization.

Fluency Raises Money for Beaumont Children’s Hospital

Extra LifeFluency Media has been proud to call Beaumont Health a client for the last three years, working with outstanding people throughout the hospital system. This October, we decided to help raise money for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and Beaumont Children’s Hospital through Extra Life, a worldwide 24-hour gaming marathon.

Fluency’s Extra Life team solicited donations from family and friends, raising $1,725 (which ranks Fluency 413 out of the 5,962 total teams participating). The team kicked off the festivities in the Fluency Media offices on Friday (Oct. 24) with members gaming separately and in teams throughout the 24-hours to support Beaumont Children’s Hospital and CMN.

Thanks to everyone who supported Team Fluency and Beaumont’s Children’s!

Facebook Rooms, Apple Pay and Robots Battling Ebola? | This Week in Social Media

Facebook RoomsWhat’s old is new again

Remember the early days of the internet when chat rooms that connected people with specific interests were big? Facebook wants to bring that back with its new Rooms app for iOS. A Room allows you to access a feed of photos, videos and text like you might normally see on your Facebook page – but all tied to a specific topic you find interesting. Want to talk about that big move trailer you’ve been gushing over? Go to a room. Love windsurfing? Chat about it in a Room with others. A big departure from Facebook, however, is the use of a pseudonym to allow you to chat (or troll) anonymously. Android and desktop versions are currently in development.

Advancing the mobile wallet

Apple launched Apple Pay on Monday, allowing iPhone 6 users to use their devices to forego their wallets to purchase items. The function uses the fingerprint scanner on a phone to connect to your preferred financial service to pay and approve transactions. While all three major credit card companies are currently working with Apple Pay, several banks and retailers have yet to join, leading several users frustrated that the service was unavailable to them. However, that isn’t the worst thing that has happened. Some people have complained of being charged twice when they made their purchases, though that glitch has been observed with a fix on the way.

Robots vs. Ebola?

The U.S. government is reportedly looking at the use of robots to help combat the threat of Ebola in Africa. A simulcast workshop next month by Texas A & M University’s Center for Robot-Assisted Search and Rescue (CRASARwill look at the feasibility of using robots in the battle against Ebola. There are already some fascinating ways robots could help battle the virus. Some of those include the safe transport and disposal of infected bodies, automated material handling to reduce staff at risk, detection of infection and sterilization.

Safety Check, Google Doctor and REALLY Fast WiFi | This Week in Social Media

Facebook safety checkIn case of emergency…

A fascinating new feature from Facebook announced this week may help users stay in contact with loved ones in times of crisis. The new tool, called Safety Check, is designed to quickly update your status in case of emergency.

Facebook uses information like your last check-in and Nearby-Friends tracking feature (if it is turned on) to determine if you’re near a disaster. It will then prompt users and ask users if they are both safe and near the disaster. This could be incredibly helpful in letting concerned loved ones and friends know if you’re alright during an emergency.

The doctor will see you now

The future is now. Google is testing a Talk to a Doctor feature within medical search results. It allows people to directly speak with a verified doctor through chat.

For now, the service is free while Google experiments and analyzes the effectiveness of the function, but it’s likely to cost something if and when it becomes widely available. While Google is not the only one experimenting with this type of feature, if implemented, it would easily be the largest. Not only would this open up a new form of revenue for Google, but it would allow doctors to avoid patients from self-diagnosing themselves based upon information they find online.

WiFi game changer?

If Samsung has its way, internet speeds will get much faster. The South Korean company has developed 60 GHz WiFi technology that would be FIVE TIMES faster than anything currently available. This would mean a 1G movie could be transferred between devices in as little as three seconds. It would also mean uncompressed high-definition videos could be streamed from mobile devices to a TV in real time.

This isn’t some far-off technology you may need to wait years for, either. Samsung believes it could start to commercialize the new tech as early as next year!

 

Facebook Spam Money, Ebola vs. Apps, Teens Flee Facebook | This Week in Social Media

Facebook and SpamBusting spammers is good money

Just HOW good is the money? Facebook claims to have collected more than $2 BILLION in legal fines against spammers. In the past, the company has written about its efforts to create a spam-free environment for its users. While this is a great sentiment, it seems the altruistic notion isn’t without its benefits.

Facebook busts spammers several ways, one of which includes targeting those with fake Likes and limiting Likes per account. If there are too many Likes being sent out, Facebook will take the time to verify the legitimacy of those engagements. Spammers beware.

Combating Ebola with apps

There are different ways counties are combating and working to prevent the spread of the Ebola virus. However, Nigerians are employing an Android app to cut down the time it takes to track and measure symptoms of the virus. The app gradually helped reduce the reporting time it took to report symptoms to make it work in real-time. This allowed health workers to identify where symptoms where popping up and if they were indeed caused by the dreaded illness.

Nigerian officials are now confident the outbreak in their country has been contained (and may be eliminated by October 20th) through the use of the app and an aggressive educational campaign to help people keep themselves safe. Other countries, including the U.S., are also showing interest in the app as new cases of the disease appear around the world.

Facebook is, like, soo 2010…

First they were leaving, then they were coming back, but now it appears teenagers are leaving Facebook for other social networks, like Twitter and Instagram. That’s according to a new report showing less than half of the teens surveyed reported using Facebook. While most surveys should be taken with a grain of salt, this one spoke with more than 7,200 teens from across the country of various genders and household incomes. The survey provides a variety of other data, including the way they prefer to consume music, movies and videos.