One of the perils of being an athlete on Twitter is that, if you’re involved in a provocative incident like the one that took place Friday night between Eric Nystrom and Taylor Fedun, angry fans have a direct line to you.
After the game, Nystrom defended himself and expressed his guilt over Fedun’s horrific injury. From the Globe Mail:
“I feel awful,” Nystrom said. “He was really hurt and I had obviously no intention of ever, ever doing anything like that. I was just racing for an icing and that’s one of those freak things that happens in those situations and it’s why people always say that rule (should be changed to no-touch icing). If I didn’t think I had a legit chance at the puck I would have never raced in there but I just thought I had a good jump and I could maybe get in there. … I feel terrible. So bad right now.”
But that didn’t prevent the fans from coming after him. And, because Nystrom is on Twitter (@enystrom23), he’s incredibly easy to come after.
However, rather than shy away from their vitriol, the Minnesota Wild forward has been taking the time to respond to many of the tweets.
Nystrom already feels a great deal of guilt, and the majority of these tweets definitely aren’t making him feel better.
After explaining himself in the postgame scrum, Nystrom has continued to do so in a handful of exchanges, such as this one:
It’s a good point that he makes. With a new guy behind the bench in Mike Yeo, many of the depth players that had already proven themselves to Todd Richards have to start from scratch, and beating out an icing call is a good way to do that. In the last game of the preseason, every little bit helps to solidify that roster spot.
Some people have taken issue with Nystrom’s explanation, but he’s stuck to his guns.
Others have just done their part to make Nystrom — who already feels vomit-inducingly bad — worse.
But not all the tweets have been negative. A few have been supportive.
According to Nick Kypreos, Fedun had emergency surgery late last night, which may have included inserting a metal rod into the fractured right leg, so Nystrom wouldn’t have been able to see him. One imagines that probably compounded the guilt.
Check out Nystrom’s Twitter feed for more interactions between the player and the fans.
One month ago Tampa Bay Ray rookie Matt Moore was in the minor leagues looking to make his first big league start.
Fast forward one month and Moore is now the talk of baseball and drawing the respect of his new major league peers on Twitter with his near flawless performance in the opening game of the AL division series as the Tampa Bay Rays defeated defending AL champions Texas Rangers 9-0.
“Can someone please tell Matt Moore it’s the MLB playoffs? He looks like he’s throwing in a High School JV game. Effortless,” tweeted Chris Perez, Cleveland Indians.
The 22-year-old who was making just his second major league start allowed two hits while striking out six Rangers in seven scoreless innings.
“Matt Moore came out of nowhere similar to Henry Rowengartner for the Cubs back in ’93 #RookieoftheYear #greatflick” tweeted Matt Carle , Philadelphia flyers.
In his first two major league starts Moore has pitched 12 scoreless innings, allowed six hits and struck out 17.
“Wow Matt Moore throws some easy cheese. #effortless” Ricky Romero, Toronto Blue Jays.
“Matt Moore you are a stud,” tweeted Jarred Cosart, Houston Astros.
This week in ET’s top stories saw rumors of a divorce between Ashton and Demi, Gene Simmons and Shannon Tweed finally tying the knot, Internet rumors of a wardrobe malfunction from Nancy Grace on Dancing with the Stars, and The Talk‘s Sara Gilbert opened up about the breakup with her longtime partner
Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore are huge fans of social media, especially their twitter accounts, which they use to make announcements about their careers and share messages with their fans. But this week, some of their tweets are fueling new tabloid reports of cheating and marital troubles.
The big headline on the latest issue of Star Magazine reads “Demi Ashton’s $290 Million Divorce” and alleges that Ashton had cheated on Demi. The magazine reports that an eyewitness saw Ashton “Kissing and groping a hot young blonde by an out-of-the-way bathroom at Italian restaurant Madeo in L.A.”
Ashton addressed the rumors on Thursday by tweeting “When you ASSUME to know that which you know nothing of, you make an ASS out of U and ME.”
Mark Steines sat down with rocker Gene Simmons of KISS to talk about his decision to finally settle down with and marry his longtime girlfriend Shannon Tweed. “It is time for me to grow up. I’m 62. I’ve been doing a lot of wacky stuff for an awfully long time…and there’s nobody I’ve ever said I love you to. I even find it difficult to say ‘I love you’ to my mother. But I love Shannon with all my heart and all my soul, and always will.”
Dancing with the Stars was the source of a bit of controversy on Monday night when rumors started to swirl on the internet that the expert camera operators of the show were unable to avoid a wardrobe malfunction from contestant Nancy Grace.
Backstage, Nancy denied the rumors to ET’s Mark Steines. She went on to say that the judges’ shocked reaction to her dance was in reference to her excessive “upper movement” during her “top heavy” performance.
In an episode of The Talk which aired this week, co-host Sara Gilbert opened up about her breakup with longtime partner Allison Adler. ”I feel like I don’t know if marriage is all it’s cracked up to be,” Sara admitted. “I’ve never been married, but I was in a long relationship … It was such a special time in my life, but then you see people in their 70s and you wonder, how do they do it?”
Tech titans Facebook and Apple have a contentious relationship that is frequently put to the test. But a Facebook for TouchPad application was very nearly the last straw, Mashable has learned from multiple sources.
Facebook and Apple, united by a common interest in beating Google, will finally put their differences aside to launch the long-overdue Facebook for iPad app Tuesday.
We also expect announcements on a new Facebook for iPhone application, a Facebook HTML5 mobile app platform, and perhaps even Facebook integration in iOS 5.
This all marks a significant leap forward in the sometimes hostile Facebook and Apple relationship. It began well when Apple first set up an Apple Students group on Facebook in 2006 — “a monster success” for both companies, according to a source who spoke with Mashable on the condition of anonymity.
But the companies would butt heads many times in the following years.
How Ping Went Wrong
The most publicized confrontation involved Ping, Apple’s attempt at an iTunes social network. Ping first launched with Facebook integration in September 2010, but Facebook quickly pulled Apple’s access to its APIs. This alerted the media to a growing rift between the companies.
A source familiar with the chain of the events attributes the Ping debacle to a disagreement over iOS 4. Apple had fully integrated Facebook into the iPhone and iPad’s operating system, and was ready to launch the mobile-social fusion when API negotiations broke down. Apple, lacking confidence in Facebook’s ability to build a great application, asked to build its own Facebook for iPhone app. Facebook responded with a firm no. Negotiations came to halt.
Meanwhile, Apple was working away on Ping — and due to the stalled iOS 4 talks, decided to keep Facebook mostly out of the loop. Facebook, surprised by Ping’s launch, turned off Apple’s access to its APIs. The rest was history.
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Roughly three months ago, Steve Jobs — then the Apple CEO — paid a visit to Facebook to discuss a Facebook for iPad application with CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
Zuckerberg promised Jobs that the social network would release its first ever tablet application for iPad. Jobs, however, learned during his visit that HP was about to release a native webOS Facebook application for the TouchPad.
Indeed, back on February 9, 2011 — the date HP revealed its almost defunct TouchPad tablet — HP SVP of Applications and Services Steven McArthur did tout the fact that the company had been working closely with Facebook.
The Facebook application that HP finally launched in July, however, appears to be an unofficial build that disappointed users.
So what happened to the rich Facebook for TouchPad application that HP promised?
HP Plays the Cuckold
When Jobs learned of the webOS Facebook app during his summer visit to Facebook, he was livid. Zuckerberg vowed to get the app pulled. But Jon Rubinstein, the former CEO of Palm and then the GM of HP’s webOS division, refused to halt the release of the app. Facebook responded by restricting HP’s access to its APIs — just as it had done with Apple’s Ping, a year earlier.
Was Facebook playing both sides? Absolutely, says a source close to HP. Facebook was made aware of the application and device integrations. The company knew what was coming, changed its tune right before release — and only did so to appease Apple.
For its part, HP was furious. It had hoped the Facebook application would help differentiate the TouchPad from other tablets on the market. Another source says that HP may have considered legal action. In any case, the TouchPad was discontinued shortly after.
Kiss and Make Up?
So Facebook and HP may be on the outs, but Facebook and Apple appear to have patched up their differences.
Not only are the pair finally aligned on the Facebook for iPad application, but they’ve been working together closely on Facebook’s HTML 5 mobile app platform.
This is the closest Apple and Facebook have been to creating something meaningful together, one source says. They’re partnering because they share a common enemy: Google.
Still, there are no guarantees. Both companies are said to be scrambling to work out the final details prior to the iPhone 5 launch event on Oct. 4.
We’ve reached out to Apple, Facebook and HP for on-the-record comment.
Mashable’s Editor at Large Ben Parr and Entertainment Editor Christina Warren contributed to the reporting of this story.
Article source: http://mashable.com/2011/09/30/apple-facebook-hp/
Illustration: John Spooner.
One morning this week, Facebook told me a friend had used a dating application the night before, one called Are You Interested? It told not just me, but all those it recognises as his friends.
His nocturnal love-seeking business was announced automatically, without Facebook checking that spreading that fact was OK with him, and without checking it was true.
It wasn’t. He was not using it, but deleting an app he found irritating. Facebook’s new automatic settings are not concerned with niceties such as intention; he ”used” it, and the news was spread anyway.
The world’s dominant social network has prompted privacy worries since soon after its inception in 2004, but a week ago it deepened them. It is now much easier for people to tell others what they are doing online – and more difficult for them not to.
The consequences for its 800 million users – more than the populations of the European Union and the US combined – are only beginning to be understood, as is having so much information held about so many people by one company. And one with a cavalier history on privacy.
Its 27-year-old computer nerd founder, Mark Zuckerberg, believes sharing information is now a social norm. He also believes each person can have only one identity online – be it to friends, your boss or the random person you added in the pub. You must use your real name to register.
Existing privacy concerns were compounded after Zuckerberg addressed his company’s annual love-in for developers, f8, last week. Some experts now say it cannot be trusted to safeguard its users’ interests from its own commercial ones. Especially not while it battles with Google for internet superpower supremacy.
Facebook’s new type of applications do away with the tiresome requirement to think, however briefly, about what to share with their friends – or all the world. Facebook can share it all for you automatically.
Listen to a music app, and every song will appear in the ”tickers” of your friends, rolling feeds of what others are doing. Go for a run using Nike+, an electronic distance calculator, your effort is logged for all to critique. Watch a movie, its title is broadcast to all you know (at least outside the US). Read an article on the Facebook apps of The Guardian or The Washington Post, and the headline appears as an item in your friends’ news feeds. Re-read an article about 9/11 conspiracy theories, they will know. Your secret thirst for trashy gossip will be a secret no longer. The leanings suggested by your political reading will be harder to keep to yourself.
Facebook assumes the briefest click on an item is endorsement enough for sharing, making social networking much easier, or much harder to control, depending on your point of view. According to Zuckerberg, this ”frictionless sharing” leads to ”real-time serendipity”. Others say he is giving friction a bad name.
Friction allows a brief pause to consider the dull-but-important question: do I really want the world to know this for all time?
What may be merely the evolution of social norms to the Facebook founder is ”silent total surveillance” to one critic and ”seriously scaring” to another.
This week, the Australian tech blogger Nik Cubrilovic revealed that Facebook cookies – packets of data sent by a website to track user behaviour – keep sending information to Facebook even after you log out of it. That prompted global scorn, questions from the Privacy Commissioner, and writer Marieke Hardy to tweet: ”Do you not sometimes just want to say ‘Zuckerberg! ENOUGH!’ and give the precocious little twit a clip around the ear?” In the US, associations including the Electronic Privacy Information Centre and the American Civil Liberties Union yesterday asked regulators to see if Facebook’s recent changes violate consumer protections.
It may be the second most visited website in Australia and the one on which people spend more time than any other, but it is reticent about public comment. Its Australian subsidiary has its registered office in the plush Renzo Piano-designed RBS tower in central Sydney, but advertises that fact nowhere but on company records. And good luck finding a phone number for it.
While its public relations company actively offers interviews about its commercial innovations, the head of Facebook Australia, Paul Borrud, was said to be unavailable for interview this week. The other two directors – Cipora Herman, whose Facebook page says she is a Stanford graduate who likes Justin Bieber, and Ted Ullyot, the company’s US general counsel – were not available either. Nor was anyone from Facebook in the US.
The PR firm was happy to supply generic statements about the service, including one saying it never used cookies for tracking – the ones that worked after logging out were ”primarily for safety and security protections”: stopping spammers, the under-age and dangers from shared computers.
Critics filled the gap. Dave Winer, a visiting scholar at New York University’s Journalism Institute and a blogging pioneer, acknowledges that any time Facebook changes anything, users get angry. ”This time, however, they’re doing something that I think is really scary, and virus-like. The kind of behaviour deserves a bad name, like phishing, or spam, or cyber-stalking,” he wrote on his blog.
David Vaile, executive director of the Cyberspace Law and Policy Centre at the University of NSW, said Zuckerberg was good at choosing words to support a story. ”Frictionless suggests that friction is bad,” he said. ”But friction is the step of choice: do I want that everywhere, or no I do not?” Given its history of reluctance to deal with the conflict between its interests and yours, he believes it is not to be trusted. ”The only time Facebook would be safe is if it reset its default [privacy] settings,” he said. ”I would suggest considering other options.”
Facebook says privacy and the trust of its users are important to it. ”We don’t share information we receive about you with others,” it says, with three large exceptions: when it has your permission, gives you notice of its intentions or passes on your information without identifying you.
With your consent, Facebook collects data each time you look at someone’s profile, send a message or click on an ad; post a photo, it knows what time, date and place it was taken; mobile phones tell it where you are. It does not share your name with advertisers, but receives data from those whose sites you visit.
Its recent social media challenger is Google+, now estimated by its self-appointed unofficial statistician, Paul Allen, to have more than 50 million users this week – up from 10 million in July. Using the incidence of unusual surnames in the population to estimate the size of Google+, he thinks it is growing by 2 million a day. ”Given this momentum, it is hard for me to imagine a scenario where Google+ doesn’t end up with hundreds of millions of users.”
It deepens the fight between Facebook and Google. ”I think we are witnessing the most exciting battle in tech history as two well-funded, fast-growing, highly profitably, genius-led Silicon Valley companies are competing from very different starting points to affect how we find information, how we connect with people, how we view the world, and how we spend our time.”
In the meantime, however, while Facebook’s revenue – expected to be $US4.2 billion ($A4.29 billion) this year – might be a fraction of Google’s $US29 billion last year, and reliant on people spending increasing amounts of time within its online borders, its record demonstrates an uncanny ability to get people to do just that.
Facebook has copped criticism before, and many users doubt more than a few would leave a free service that keeps you in touch with all your friends at once from your desk, mobile or at home.
Twitter user iamspectacular spoke for many when she said: ”I swear, if Facebook changes their layout one more time, I’m going to post a status update about it then use their site as much as always.”
This week Pandora users in Michigan filed a class-action lawsuit against the oldest music discovery service, which announced Facebook integration in April 2010, for publicizing their stations and listening habits online as well as sharing such information on Facebook without their consent. The plaintiffs, led by attorney Peter Deacon, claim Pandora is violating Michigan’s Video Rental Privacy Act by publishing this information for anyone online to see. This 1988 law states that merchants selling or renting out music, books, and videos, cannot disclose these purchases to anyone other than the consumer; it’s similar to a federal law that Netflix is trying to change. Furthermore, plaintiffs claim Pandora integrated their accounts with Facebook without telling them, violating Michigan’s Consumer Act. Pandora announced the Facebook integration in April 2010 at Facebook’s F8 developers’ conference. The plaintiffs are asking for $5,000 each in relief for the first violation, and another $5,000 for those whose accounts were merged with Facebook. The Pandora lawsuit was filed on September 20 of this year, coincidentally just as Facebook was announcing similar integration deals with rival music services like Spotify, , Rdio, and Slacker. Spotify, however, this week added a “private listening” mode that lets users keep their listening habits private from Facebook friends. This week Netflix urged users to appeal to Congress to modernize a 1988 federal law preventing it from sharing viewer habits with Facebook users. This week at F8, Netflix announced Facebook integration in Canada and Latin America only. Earlier this month Pandora launched a major redesign, eliminating the listening caps that the site had previously installed, and adding a new social music feed. For more from Sara, follow her on Twitter @sarapyin. For the top stories in tech, follow us on Twitter at @PCMag.
In the last two years we’ve seen a number of music and movie services integrate with Facebookwhich lets your Facebook friends see what you streambut several companies are now facing user and legal backlash.
This week Pandora users in Michigan filed a class-action lawsuit against the oldest music discovery service, which announced Facebook integration in April 2010, for publicizing their stations and listening habits online as well as sharing such information on Facebook without their consent.
The plaintiffs, led by attorney Peter Deacon, claim Pandora is violating Michigan’s Video Rental Privacy Act by publishing this information for anyone online to see. This 1988 law states that merchants selling or renting out music, books, and videos, cannot disclose these purchases to anyone other than the consumer; it’s similar to a federal law that Netflix is trying to change.
Furthermore, plaintiffs claim Pandora integrated their accounts with Facebook without telling them, violating Michigan’s Consumer Act. Pandora announced the Facebook integration in April 2010 at Facebook’s F8 developers’ conference.
The plaintiffs are asking for $5,000 each in relief for the first violation, and another $5,000 for those whose accounts were merged with Facebook.
The Pandora lawsuit was filed on September 20 of this year, coincidentally just as Facebook was announcing similar integration deals with rival music services like Spotify, , Rdio, and Slacker. Spotify, however, this week added a “private listening” mode that lets users keep their listening habits private from Facebook friends.
This week Netflix urged users to appeal to Congress to modernize a 1988 federal law preventing it from sharing viewer habits with Facebook users. This week at F8, Netflix announced Facebook integration in Canada and Latin America only.
Earlier this month Pandora launched a major redesign, eliminating the listening caps that the site had previously installed, and adding a new social music feed.
For more from Sara, follow her on Twitter @sarapyin.
For the top stories in tech, follow us on Twitter at @PCMag.
Article source: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2393981,00.asp
• Elton Alexander (4-0)
Ohio State 24, Michigan State 21: Buckeyes get another win.
• Bill Livingston (3-1)
Michigan State 21, Ohio State 13: Although struggling Notre Dame beat Sparty, too many injuries along with the suspensions doom OSU.
• Doug Lesmerises (3-1)
Michigan State 30, Ohio State 17: Figure both QBs to make a bad throw or three, but if MSU can also keep Miller in the pocket, could be tough for OSU.
@CPCramo: Sparty can’t help but be Sparty, and OSU wins 34-13.
@AJBorland: MSU is a mere 5-6 on the road in Kirk Cousins-started regular season games. . . . Bucks win 27-20 and have more than 200 yds rushing.
@apre44: Start of crucial stretch for the Bucks, who could realistically be 0-4 in B1G play if they can’t win this one. OSU 23 MSU 17.
@ESP34: Ohio State dominates the battle of the trenches on their way to a 31-27 victory.
@NeverDieWarner: OSU shuts down a MSU offense that made Notre Dame look like the ’85 Bears. Offense moves the ball just enough for the W. 17-13.
@Falb7: Buckeyes secure win with late Christian Bryant interception. Buckeyes run for over 200 yards between Hall Hyde. OSU 24, MSU 23.
@JohnE_Nagy: Teams desperate for a quick Big 10 start. MSU has too much experience at QB, RB, WR. Close game to Sparty 24-20.
@markymarc_70: 3 keys — Senior QB vs Frosh QB, Dantonio vs Fick and OSU LBs vs MSU TE/receivers — Bucks lose all 3. 24-16 Sparty.
@OSUEvan: MSU 24, OSU 16. OSU is playing MSU exactly 7 days too soon.
How you voted
Which team will win and by how much?
Ohio State wins by 1-6 points: 33 percent
Ohio State wins by 7-10: 19 percent
Ohio State wins by 11-14: 7 percent
Ohio State wins by 15 or more: 4 percent
Michigan State wins by 1-6: 14 percent
Michigan State wins by 7-10: 13 percent
Michigan State wins by 11-14: 6 percent
Michigan State wins by 15 or more: 3 percent
Votes as of Friday afternoon: 1,855
More about Saturday’s game
WASHINGTON: Hate mornings, especially on Mondays? You may be surprised to know that much of the world doesn’t share that grumpy feeling.
Twitter shows people are more cheerful in the morning, get gloomier as the day wears on and rebound in the evening, with a peak right before bedtime. They’re also happier from December to late June, when days gradually lengthen in the Northern Hemisphere.
Using the micro-blogging site Twitter as a gauge of global sentiment, social scientists studied 509 million tweets from 2.4 million users in 84 countries between February 2008 and January 2010, according to research reported on Thursday in the journal Science.
Bad news, even if it happens to a complete stranger, brings Twitter users down, research by scientists from Cornell University suggests.
Twitter, the five-year-old site that lets users communicate 140-character posts, offers an unprecedented chance to study human behavior and social networks, the scientists said.
Those brief posts get down to the nitty-gritty, showing that Twitter users prefer bacon to sausage and Cheerios to Frosted Flakes, Cornell sociologist and co-author Michael Macy said in a telephone interview on Friday.
“Twitter offers an unprecedented opportunity for social and behavioral scientists to study social behavior and interaction in real time with high temporal granularity — hour by hour, day by day, over the course of the year — and to do this at population scale with millions of people all over the world,” Macy said.
Don’t blame work
It may seem intuitive that most people’s moods go downhill through the day, but Macy said previous studies have been inconclusive, possibly because they relied on unrepresentative samples, often college students.
The daily mood swing was the same on weekends as during the week, Macy said, “which suggests that it’s not caused by work, because on the weekend most people are not working.”
Going forward, Macy said his group will focus more on behavior and not just on feeling, and will “decompose” the mood into more specific emotions such as anxiety or depression, and even home in on such issues as references to body image.
To get a picture of the global mood, the scientists searched tweets for about 1,000 words that reliably indicate positive emotions — “agree,” “fantastic,” “super” — and negative ones, such as “afraid,” “mad,” and “panic.”
The researchers considered up to 400 tweets from each person, and excluded those with fewer than 25 tweets.
The scientists noted a recent survey of US Twitter users found they are 51 percent white, 24 percent African American and 17 percent Hispanic. People with college and advanced degrees and with higher household incomes show up in higher numbers. The researchers said this still makes their study more representative than earlier ones on college students.
In another study cited in Science, researchers at the University of Vermont created a timeline to track the last year in tweets, ending in early September 2011, showing the world’s average happiness slid from last October.
The death of Osama bin Laden was the apparent low point, followed closely by the earthquake in Japan, the London riots in August, the 10th anniversary of the September 11 attacks and the death of Amy Winehouse.
Emotional highs, as tracked on Twitter, were the Christmas and New Year holidays, followed by Valentines Day, Thanksgiving and Easter. The wedding of Britain’s Prince William to Kate Middleton was a bright spot, comparable to Easter and Father’s Day.
NEW YORK — Pop stars are lining up to make their debut in Facebook games from online game maker Zynga.
First came Dr. Dre and Lady Gaga. Next week, an avatar of singer Enrique Iglesias will join CityVille, Zynga’s most popular title.
Starting Tuesday, CityVille players on Facebook will be able to interact with Iglesias’s character when he visits their cities. Starting Tuesday, they’ll get to collect items the singer is known for and watch previews of his newest music video.
Zynga declined to give financial terms of the deal or say whether it plans more celebrity integrations, citing the fact that it is in a typical “quiet period” before its planned initial public offering. The San Francisco-based company filed registration papers in July for an IPO, and it’s expected to make its public debut this fall.
Iglesias said his team approached Zynga with the idea for a game integration and was involved from the beginning on the design and deciding what characters could do. They can collect virtual hats, boots, bling and a speed boat — representing the time Iglesias lived in Miami and owned one.
“I thought the fans would get a kick out of it,” he said.
CityVille, which is available on Facebook and the fledgling Google Plus, lets players build up and run virtual cities complete with farms, buildings and all sorts of infrastructure one would find in a real city. The game is free to play; Zynga makes money by charging for virtual items players use to decorate their cities and to get ahead in the game. The Iglesias tie-in will be available only on the Facebook version of the game.
“It’s the first time Zynga has had such an entertainer being an integral part of the game,” said Scott Koenigsberg, director of business strategy for CityVille at Zynga.
Iglesias said he has played CityVille — once. He has an addictive personality and, since being inseparable from Nintendo’s Mario Bros. as a child, has stayed away from video games, he said.
Article source: http://thechronicleherald.ca/ArtsLife/1266135.html
Inside Spotify, staff say their big U.S. delay left them “constipated”. Now that its American passage has been unblocked, Spotify is free to unload itself on to consumers. But, with its new Facebook partnership, the music service has excreted a big shower of poo on their heads.
This week, I got a panicked call from my girlfriend: “How do I unlink my Spotify and Facebook accounts?,” she asked, urgently. “I don’t want it sharing everything I listen to!”
She is one of many. Day by day in the week since Facebook announced its new share-everything apps, user irritation has grown, culminating in a lawsuit against Pandora (NYSE: P) for the same concept. This week, I have seen some users cancel both their Spotify subscription and Facebook account – surely not the intended synergy either service conceived by linking up. Spotify took pains to say it was “listening”, and introduced a “Private Listening” feature – a sticking plaster with which to opt out.
From here on in, the discontent, which is not wholesale, could very well ebb away and be remembered as merely the latest in a series of temporary freak-outs that have accompanied every Facebook feature change to date, including the introduction of the News Feed itself.
But, this time, Facebook and its new BFF, Spotify, seem to have significantly misjudged their consumers’ response to their more granular actions being shared. And this week that has earned Spotify its first significant PR dent in what has been a stellar run.
Long before Facebook’s Timeline and new media apps were conceived, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek had already imagined a world in which users would share links to his service’s songs. “Music is the most social object there is,” Ek had said.
Mark Zuckerberg, whose zeal for electronic sharing now borders on the religious, was just the man to execute that vision. “All your stories, all your life,” he told the F8 audience. “No activity is too big or too small to share.”
But many users this week – even some amongst the super-connected pro-social sharing club – have drawn a line in the sand as Facebook and its new media partners have enabled this more detailed sharing. So it is now possible to wonder whether the share-everything mantra expected of users by web developers is really as inevitable as Silicon Valley thinks.
For a start, music, to me, is intensely personal, not necessarily social. I like the music I like; it defines and entertains me, and I like talking about some music with friends with the same tastes. But I don’t necessarily feel the need to shout to everyone about everything I listen to, nor every news article I read or every accomplishment within games I play.
The implications are legion – a boss might wonder if her employee is really off sick if he is playing music, for example. Yes, users are always in control of settings – but, in that time-honoured way, Facebook’s privacy settings are rarely clear, and the new apps allow developers to set sharing to on by default.
How could Facebook and Spotify have over-estimated their consumers’ inclinations? Why has the social sharing dogma taken so strong a hold? Out of its 800 million users, Facebook could have soft tested the features in at least a few thousand accounts to gauge reaction. Instead, Spotify is patching the situation retroactively. From “frictionless sharing” to “private listening”, and little in between.
With its new features, Facebook is essentially trying to create the ultimate lifestream – not a new concept; many thousands of people. But, even on a technological level, the execution is not superb. For example, if I want to play a song I see, through Facebook’s Ticker, a friend is playing through Rdio, I must also have Rdio (I don’t). If my friends want to play songs I am playing through Spotify, they must also have Spotify (many of them don’t).
But each service is only available in certain territories and, for some people, neither may be their music app of choice. A better execution would have been to allow users to play the song in their favourite music service.
It feels at this point that the companies are live-testing major new features, seat of the pants, in the public gaze.