86 posts categorized "Twitter"

First Look: Facebook Launches Live Video For All To Take On Twitter's Periscope

Hey Twitter... your Periscope is in for some serious trouble! On January 28, 2016, Facebook started expanding their "Live Video" to all iOS users in the USA - and it's definitely a strong offering! Naturally, I had to take Facebook Live Video out for a spin:

Experimenting with Facebook Live Video...

Posted by Dan York on Thursday, January 28, 2016

It was extremely easy to use. All I had to do was go into the iOS Facebook app, press the button to start writing a status update, and then tap on the new "Facebook Live Video" icon:

Facebook live video start

After that you get a screen where you can see somewhat of a view of what you are going to show in the camera - and the ability to switch between the front and back cameras:

Facebook live video go live

Hit the "Continue" button, enter in a quick text description... and then hit "Go Live" to begin. That's it!

During the time of the live video, you can move the camera around, switch between front and back cameras, zoom in, adjust white balance... and everything else you'd expect to be able to do.

You also get comments coming in from people that you see on the bottom half of your screen. As you saw if you watched the video above, I could then respond to those comments during the live video stream.

When it's all done and you hit the stop recording button, you then get some stats and nicely have the option to save the video to your camera roll:

Facebook live video done

All in all it was a very simple and easy to use experience.

UPDATE - 1 Feb 2016: It seems that Facebook Live video streams ARE LIMITED TO 30 MINUTES for regular users. I just hit that limit while doing a live stream. Given that the Facebook Best Practices document mentions public figures streaming for over an hour, I'm guessing that "verified" accounts and Pages must have a higher time limit. (I wrote another blog post with screen shots.)

Initial Thoughts About Using Facebook Live Video

Here were some of my initial thoughts about using Facebook Live Video:

1. VIDEOS ARE SQUARE - Facebook nicely gets away from the portrait/vertical vs landscape/horizontal debate by simply making the live video stream square. It doesn't matter which way you hold the camera... or indeed if you switch the position of the camera. It just works.

2. COMMENTS DURING THE LIVE STREAM APPEAR AS COMMENTS TO THE VIDEO IN FACEBOOK - The comments people post during your live stream are nicely captured as comments to the video inside of Facebook. They are all right there for you to see - and for anyone else to see later. I like this!

3. COMMENTS DO NOT APPEAR DURING A REPLAY - My friend Tobias pointed out a down side with the comments... you don't see them in the video (as you do in Periscope) during the replay of the video. This means that comments that are made at a precise moment in the video no longer have the connection with the video. If someone is reacting to what you say by commenting "I totally agree", then I see it during the live stream and can react to that comment during the live stream. However, afterward there is now a comment to the video that says "I totally agree" ... that has lost all connection to its context.

4. LIVE VIDEOS APPEAR RIGHT IN YOUR FEED - When a live video stream is over, the video appears right in your regular Facebook feed... you don't have to do anything special, nor does anyone have to do anything special to find them. (In contrast to, say, YouTube where a live stream does go to your YouTube channel... but it's listed separately from your regular Uploads.)

5. YOU CAN SAVE THE VIDEO TO YOUR iPHONE CAMERA ROLL - When the live stream is over, you also have the option to save the video to your iPhone/iPad camera roll, so you can have a local copy that you can use in other ways.

6. FACEBOOK NOTIFIES PEOPLE YOU ARE LIVE - Similar to Periscope and Meerkat on Facebook, the people following you on Facebook get a notification in their NewsFeed that you are live. However, fans/followers can also subscribe separately to your live videos and get specific notifications whenever you go live.

Facebook live notifications

7. YOU CAN EMBED THE VIDEOS OUTSIDE OF FACEBOOK - If you use a web content management system (CMS) that supports OEmbed, such as WordPress, you can simply copy the URL of your Facebook video and paste it into your editor window... and WordPress will automagically embed the video for you. If you use a system that doesn't support OEmbed (such as TypePad, where this blog is still hosted), you can still get the embed code - you just have to work harder. When you display the video in Facebook in a web browser in the "theater" (lightbox) mode, you go to "Options" at the bottom of the window and choose "Embed Video". In some of the other views of the video there is an "Embed Video" link down below the video on the right side. Either way you wind up with the embed code you can post into your web site editor. One note: the live video needs to have a privacy setting of "Public" in order for the Embed Video link to appear.

8. YOU NEED TO REALIZE THE iPHONE HAS TWO MICROPHONES - If you listen to my first live video above, you can notice the drop in the audio level when I switch from the front-facing camera to the rear-facing camera. I honestly didn't realize the iPhone 5s had two different microphones. It makes total sense, but I just didn't realize it. The result was the difference in audio levels, something I'm now aware of and can compensate for.

9. LIVE VIDEOS ARE TREATED JUST LIKE ANY OTHER POSTS FOR PRIVACY SETTINGS - Just to build off of #4 above, a live video is just another post, so you can do things such as change the privacy from "Friends" to "Public" or vice versa.

10. LIVE VIDEOS ARE AVAILABLE TO FACEBOOK PAGES - If you have a Facebook Page, you can also stream live video. You have to have a "verified" Pages, but if you do, you can use Facebook Live.

After my initial test, I tried it out a bit more with zooming, adjusting white balance, etc., and was again quite impressed.

Are Periscope and Meerkat in Trouble?

In a word... YES.

First Meerkat and then Periscope made it drop-dead easy to stream live video and alert all your followers... but they're based on Twitter. As I noted recently, Facebook has an insanely huge number of users ... and so this brings that live video capability directly inside Facebook's shiny walled garden.

Keep in mind, of course, that this IS the end goal for Facebook - to keep you nice and happy sharing live video inside their pretty walled garden.

Just as Twitter wants you to use Periscope to stay inside their walls... and Google would like you to stream live video with YouTube to stay inside Google's walls. (As would Livestream.com and other sites offering live streaming.)

The game is to keep the eyeballs for the ads... and to keep growing the massive directories of ACTIVE users.

Regardless of motivation, Facebook Live Video is a strong new contender in the live streaming space. Right now it's only available on iOS in the United States but their announcement says it will be offered in more countries soon adn will coming to Android phones soon, too.

Note, too, that Facebook provides some tips/best practices for using Facebook Live that give some further insight into the product's capabilities.

I don't know that I'll be using Facebook Live Video all that often during my regular work weeks, but when I'm at events, conferences, etc., I could see this being a great way to add live streaming into the flow of content that I'm creating.

What do you think? Will you use Facebook Live? Or will you stick with Periscope, Meerkat, YouTube or some other streaming service?


P.S. Here is another example shot with the rear-facing camera on the iPhone 5s and experimenting with zooming and white balance:

Listening to the Apple Hill String Quartet at Brewbakers In Keene, NH

Posted by Dan York on Thursday, January 28, 2016

Anyone Else Having TweetDeck Not Show Search Results?

Anyone having trouble with TweetDeck not showing results for some columns? Today 5 of my 12 columns are failing to load with this error:

No recent Tweets.
New Tweets will appear here.

You can see part of what I'm seeing here:

TweetDeck NorecentTweets

They are all columns that are configured to show search results for certain terms. They've been working wonderfully until last night when I opened up TweetDeck on a home computer (an iMac) after being away for a week. I've tried:

  • Closing and restarting the application (multiple times).
  • Changing the search query to trigger a reload of the column.

Nothing works... and I know there are new tweets to show for some terms, in part because I can see them in other working columns... and in part because I have sent out tweets using the search terms.

TweetDeck's Twitter account shows some issues with logging in, but that works fine for me. Tweetdeck is working fine for sending tweets, sending direct messages and for some of my searches... but just not for others.

I've tweeted TweetDeck asking about this, but not heard anything yet, so I'm just curious if others are experiencing anything like this.

Anyone?

P.S. And yes, I know there are now many other tools... but I've been a TweetDeck user since its very early days and have my searches and systems that, until today, have worked wonderfully for me.


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Critical Need To Update Tweetdeck (If You Haven't Already)

Tweetdeck logoIf you are a user of Tweetdeck, as I am, and you somehow missed the security warnings from last week, you need to update Tweetdeck!

There is a critical security vulnerability that allows an attacker to remotely execute code on your system. Granted, "all" it can go is send out tweets from your account, follow users or do other tasks that your Twitter account can do, i.e. it can't access your local hard drive or system. Still, though, having tweets go out from your account(s) via Tweetdeck could be harmful in any number of ways.

More information is available in these articles:

It seems to be the stereotypical case where a programmer didn't check to see if the text that is about to be displayed contains only allowed HTML code. This is the kind of error that has been found in any number of web applications over the years.

The net is that you need to update Tweetdeck to the latest version through whatever means you use to update your computer.

If you are a regular user of Tweetdeck you should have seen an update notice come up last week - and hopefully you did so! If you only occasionally use Tweetdeck, you may want to go in now and make sure you update to the latest version.


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11 Hours Left To Claim Your App.Net Username...

App netYesterday, App.Net hit its funding goal of $500,000 USD and at the time I write this it has cruised over $745,000 with 11-ish hours left to go!

As I mentioned in my report into FIR podcast episode 660 back in July, App.Net is an interesting experiment into seeing if a real-time social communication platform can be created without advertising and instead through soliciting paid members.

One note... App.Net is NOT just another "Twitter clone". Here are two good perspectives on why App.Net is different:

In my report into today's FIR 664 episode, I spoke about what this successful funding means... and about the ecosystem of applications that is already developing around the App.Net alpha.

This is excellent to see... and definite congratulations are due to Dalton Caldwell and the whole crew!

IMPORTANT NOTE: App.Net may or may not take off wildly (obviously those of us backing it hope it does!)... but if it does and you would like to use the same username you use on Twitter, you only have until midnight US Pacific TONIGHT to back the project and claim your username. As Dalton Caldwell writes:

Please note that once the backing period is over, users will no longer be able to “claim” their Twitter usernames. From that moment forward usernames will be awarded on a first-come first-served basis. We implemented “claiming” as a fringe benefit for our backers, not as a go-forward plan. I want to make sure that latecomers are not surprised and disappointed to see that they can no longer get their preferred username.

If you'd like to claim your username, you can go to https://join.app.net/ and sign up as a backer... yes, it will cost you $50 for a year... and yes, the project may or may not turn out to go anywhere... so you have to make your own decision as to whether or not it's worth the investment.

For me, I gladly backed the project because I see it as potentially offering more competition into the space... and I was a huge fan of the original idea of Twitter as an API-centric social communications platform. I've been disappointed with the change in Twitter's focus, and I'd like to see where App.Net goes.

What do you think? Will you back App.Net? (Have you already?)


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Twitter Can Help You Escape Kidnappers (in South Africa)

Fascinating story at Ars Techica: "Twitter helps free kidnapped South African from trunk of his car." A man in South Africa was stuffed into the trunk of his own car when thieves stole it, but they neglected to take his mobile phone from him... and so he texted his girlfriend... who then turned to Twitter!

Twitter and kidnappingIt's actually quite a good example of how Twitter can be used by a variety of different people to help deal with a situation happening right now. We've seen this kind of response using Twitter with disasters and natural events... nice to see the Twitter network effect also helping in the case of an individual.

And very good to hear that the gent in question made it out safely.

The full story is worth a read...


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Storify Rolls Out New iPad App That Makes It Super Easy To Curate Twitter, Facebook

StorifylogoWhile I've not yet personally used Storify to a great degree, I've been watching what friends have been doing with it and been intrigued by the possibilities. Beyond the "collecting a twitter stream into a story" usage that people commonly discuss - and that is incredibly useful, I've been watching what, for instance, Shel Holtz has been doing to curate websites into ongoing collections. For example, his "Every company is a media company" or his "collection of social media policies".

I may, though, start using Storify a bit more now that they've rolled out an iPad application. Given that the Storify app is free in the iOS App Store, I downloaded it and started playing with it this morning. It's a wonderful example of how the touch interface of a tablet can be such a joy to work with. It's so very simple and natural to drag and drop tweets, photos, etc. to create new stories. Definitely something I'm going to look at using more when I have stories or topics I want to curate into a larger "story" for publishing out to the web.

If you have an iPad, you can download the Storify app and try it out yourself... and if you don't, you can watch the video that shows how it works:

Very cool to see how application designers are continuing to evolve our user interfaces... looking forward to seeing how this all continues...


The Snarky Tweet That Derailed Yesterday's SOPA Hearing

Yesterday during the marathon US House Judiciary Committee hearings on the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) (which is an insanely bad idea), there came a point where the entire hearings ground to a halt...
... because of a tweet!

I had just tuned back in to the hearing and it took me a bit to figure out the kerfuffle (via Twitter, naturally), but Iowa Congressman Steve King was bored listening to Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee and tweeted that sentiment:

Twitter steveking

As Declan McCullagh recounts over on CNET once Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee learned of the tweet she termed it "offensive" in the open conversation of the hearing... and the hearing then went into the type of parliamentary rathole that can occur in such places as the U.S. Congress.

While people can debate whether this was this was offensive and disrespectful of Rep. King or whether it is all being overblown, the more interesting aspect to me was the intersection between Twitter and hearings such as this one.

Any of us who are used to speaking publicly in 2011 are very well aware that there is inevitably a "Twitter backchannel" going on, for better or worse.

And the SOPA hearings were no different... the #SOPA hashtag had way too much traffic yesterday for any sane person to handle... and representatives who were in the hearings were participating in that stream, too. Rep. Zoe Lofgren had a couple of tweets go out during the hearings - and Rep. Darrell Issa had a constant stream going, although in his case he has made it clear that his staff is tweeting during the actual hearing.

In this case of Rep. King, though, it was a more snarky message about another committee member... made on a public stage. Which, of course, got back to people within the room.

I'm sure this won't be the last time... we're in this brave new world where comments and opinions people might have kept private in the past are now made in public forums. Interesting times ahead, for sure...


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5 Years of Using Twitter - Some Thoughts on That Anniversary...

Twitter

It was five years ago today that I started using Twitter as what would come to be known as "@danyork". October 24, 2006. I remember the date purely because "10/24" in the US way of writing dates is an über-geeky number (1 Kilobyte or 210). Yes, I remember things like this.

My recollection is that Chris Brogan sent out invites to a whole bunch of us bright-shiny-object-chasers and we all joined this new service called Twitter. This was before Chris became the rock star that he is today[1] and in a much simpler time when all of us who were exploring this new world of "social media" were reading each other's blogs, listening to each other's podcasts, commenting on each other's content and generally interacting in a community of people seeking to understand where we could take all these technologies and tools. Anyway, Chris invited a bunch of us... my Mac Twitter client tells me Chris was Twitter user #10,202, I was #10,312, Doug Haslam was #10,396 and Jim Long (newmediajim) was #10,496. (Just some of the names I remember from that time.) It was a playground where all of us were trying to figure it all out.

The explosion was to come shortly thereafter.

After all these years, though, I still stand by what I wrote in some posts way back in 2007 and 2008:

A friend asked me on Twitter today: "Is Twitter really worth it, or a distraction?"

I still say that I find value in Twitter pretty much every day.

It has become part and parcel of my daily routine and how I interact with people on the Internet. It has become how I distribute info about content I write. It's how I learn of new things to pay attention to.

I still follow my general policy I laid out back in 2008 about whether or not I follow someone... and I'm still finding new and interesting people that I follow pretty regularly.

I do not though read the main feed very diligently... I may dip in from time to time... but most of my focused reading comes from various searches that I run on keywords of interest. I also use FlipBoard now and then on my iPad to browse when I just want to see what's going on.

It's been fascinating as the boundaries of our lives continue to blur to see who we use Twitter and all of these tools.

We're all collectively engaged in a grand experiment in openness. And brevity. What becomes of it none of us know.

All I can say is that I'm very much looking forward to seeing where Twitter and all of these services go over the next five years!

P.S. And yes, Twitter remains my daily practice with "brevity". Certainly a challenge for a writer like me ;-)


[1] And I mean this in a good way. Chris is a great guy and I'm glad we got to become friends over the years. His path has taken him to some pretty great heights and it's been great to see!


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WordTwit Pro Gives You Excellent Controls for Auto-Tweeting of Posts

I've long been a fan of the WordTwit plugin from BraveNewCode and used it on both Voxeo's blogs as well as my own to auto-tweet out new blog posts. Given that I write 99% of my blog posts offline (using MarsEdit) and send them to the blog site for posting, the fact that I couldn't configure the resulting auto-tweet in WordTwit was never really a big deal to me. Some of my Voxeo colleagues who used the WordPress editor, though, really wanted to be able to modify the auto-tweet.

Primarily they wanted to add hashtags, although sometimes they wanted to change the tweet to be different from the title of the post.

The BraveNewCode folks came out with WordTwit Pro back in June and with my chaotic summer I'd never really taken a look at it... but now that I have I admit to being quite impressed! This video gives a great tour:

I admit that what I personally find most interesting is the ability to automatically schedule multiple tweets. I know from my own reading of my Twitter stream that there is no way I can even remotely keep up with the stream... and so I only see things that happen to come by at any given time. I've often thought about auto-tweeting a blog post... and then tweeting it again maybe 8 or 12 hours later when a different group of people may be monitoring Twitter. This plugin now helps automate that.

I haven't installed it yet on my own site... but I'm definitely thinking of doing so...


Fascinating Chart of Growth of Google+ Relative to Facebook and Twitter

Fascinating chart on the growth of Google+ relative to Facebook and Twitter, courtesy of Leon Håland:

Growthofgoogleplus 1

Now, of course, being the newcomer Google+ benefits from already having Facebook and Twitter out there to spread the news about Google+ ... and to spread the links to Google+ material.

Google also has the massive directory of users of Google services... from Gmail to Google Docs and everything in between.

So on one level it's no surprise to see the phenomenal growth... still, it's quite impressive by any measure.

P.S. And of course I am on Google+...


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