We Are Social’s Monday Mashup #13


After a couple weeks out of blogging action, I’m back to provide a Monday Mashup with the help of Melina Hägglund. Let’s get to it.

Facebook’s 6th Birtday: 400 million users, new design and webmail rumours
On Thursday Facebook celebrated their 6th birthday and chose the occasion to also announce that they hit 400 million active users – more than doubling their number of users in less than a year.

On the same day, they also decided to announce that they were rolling out some new navigation updates to help users find what they are looking for by making it easier to see notifications, requests and messages. The chat feature was also made more prominent and now shows users a list of online friends in the left-hand menu. For full details and screen shots, visit the official Facebook blog.

Meanwhile, Techcrunch carried rumours of Facebook’s plans to launch a fully featured webmail product in the near future.

‘Project Titan’ will see Facebook move away from its old messaging system to email providing full POP/IMAP support, meaning users can access the account other than through Facebook itself. The email address name would be your vanity URL – e.g. [email protected].

OMG: brains can’t handle all our Facebook friends
While Facebook was busy with new designs and birthday parties, Robin Dunbar, professor of Evolutionary Anthropology at Oxford University has been busy studying how many meaningful friendships a person can actually maintain. According to his original 1990 study, Dunbar’s theory suggested the size of our neocortex limits us to social circles of around 150 friends.

He has since updated his research to determine whether social networks like Facebook have changed this or not. Preliminary results suggest it has not. While social networking sites allow us to maintain more relationships, the number of meaningful friendships is the same as it has been throughout history – about 150.

Engadget turns comments off for a bit
The world’s most popular gadget blog and second most authoritative blog according to Technorati has shut off their comments for a little while. Engadget had this to say about the decision:

What is normally a charged — but fun — environment for our users and editors has become mean, ugly, pointless, and frankly threatening in some situations… and that’s just not acceptable.

The move was designed to quell the daily abuse from trolls, and after everyone ‘cools off’ Engadget plan on switching commenting back on. This temporary move, according to Mashable, opens a wider debate that has been showing up in one form or another for the last few years:

Should blogs have comments? Should these comments be moderated? When has a comment gone too far? … it’s once again time to rethink these issues.

We’d like to hear what you think.

Tory election hopefuls told their online comments must be approved first
Last week it emerged that Tory candidate will need to submit updates to be vetted before being posted online in an attempt to cut the number of gaffes in the run-up to the General Election. In an e-mail to candidates, they were told ‘electronic publications such as websites, blogs and Twitter have to be approved before they are posted’.  The move received criticism from Labour Twitter Czar Kerry McCarthy who suggested any attempts to control social media comments would simply “destroy the spirit of it… You may put your foot in it from time to time but if you try to control it, it just becomes sterile.”

Vodafone UK Twitter feed abused
And finally, it was a tough close to the week for Vodafone when an offensive Tweet from an employee somehow found its way onto the official @vodafoneUK feed. The offending tweet was quickly deleted, but the damage was done as users captured and share screenshots far and wide. Though social media policies were in place, the rules were breached in a highly public manner leaving Vodafone apologising profusely.