LeBron James is happy, so is Instagram. During the NBA Finals, Instagram users were uploading videos to its new video service at a rate of 40 hours a second. (Photo : Reuters)
It's been a pretty exciting week for social media, Facebook in particular. A day after adding 15-second videos to its Instagram photo sharing service, Facebook admitted that a bug in its system accidentally exposed 6 million users' personal information. Meanwhile, Google Plus might be adding Google Mine, a service to share your stuff.
Facebook: Instagram Video
On Thursday, June 20, Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg handed the microphone to Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom to announce what many had suspected: Instagram was going to get a video service. Ever since Vine debuted its six-second video creation and sharing service, over the Twitter network, the app has grown in popularity. Instagram wanted to challenge that, so they created a 15-second video feature for their popular photo sharing app.
Instagram said that it didn't want to completely reinvent its app, and promised beauty and simplicity for the video feature. You can take and edit videos, just like Vine, and share them over Instagram's social streaming pages. One thing Instagram added that Vine didn't have was filters, which Instagram is known for with its photo app. Another feature, called "Cinema," promises to make it easy to remove the shakiness of smartphone videos after you've shot them, making your 15-second video look more like a film.
Reactions to Instagram's offering have been mixed, but in the first 24 hours of the video being available on Instagram, some of the network's 130 million active users uploaded 5 million videos. At its peak, during the last game of the NBA Finals, Instagram users were uploading 40 hours of video per minute, according to CNET.
Bug in the System
After that seeming victory for Facebook, on Friday, the social media giant admitted a small defeat. On its security blog, Facebook admitted that a bug in their software made the private email addresses and/or phone numbers of 6 million of their users accessible to other Facebook users who downloaded their account histories to their own computers, according to the Huffington Post.
The bug was found through Facebook's "white hat" hacker program, which allows hackers unaffiliated with the website to find bugs and pays them for telling Facebook about them. The bug, according to Facebook's security blog, "may have allowed some of a person's contact information (email or phone number) to be accessed by people who either had some contact information about that person or some connection to them."
Facebook explained that the bug happened because, "when people upload their contact lists or address books to Facebook, we try to match that data with the contact information of other people on Facebook in order to generate friend recommendations." Some of that friend-association information was inadvertently stored on friends' profiles, as part of their Facebook account. "As a result, if a person went to download an archive of their Facebook account through our Download Your Information (DYI) tool, they may have been provided with additional email addresses or telephone numbers for their contacts or people with whom they have some connection," said Facebook. So not a huge problem (not compared to other recent possible breaches of users' private information) but nonetheless, something Facebook had to fix and fess up to.
Google Plus: Joining the Share Economy?
According to the Google fanatics over at unofficial Google blog, Google Operating System, Google is planning on launching a new service called Google Mine. Integrated with the Mountain View giant's social network, Google+, Mine will purportedly help Plus users share belongings with friends and family in their Google+ circles. The blog posted a screenshot of a supposedly leaked "internal only" account alert from Google, which says the following:
"Google Mine lets you share your belongings with your friends and keep up to date with what your friends are sharing. It enables you to control which of your Google+ Circles you share an item with. It also lets you rate and review the items, upload photos of them and share updates on the Google+ Stream where your friends get to see and comment on them."
With Google Mine you'll purportedly be able to catalog your belongings, track where they are, send requests to borrow others' belongings, make wish lists, find takers for things you're giving away, and follow what things friends share. This could be Google's entry into the so-called "share economy," spelling possible trouble for companies like Craigslist or even eBay.
It would be a strange match for such a giant of technology to enter into the peer-to-peer sharing economy, which has usually been the domain of small start-ups. Other "share" services include Airbnb, where individuals rent rooms from each other, Couchsurfing, which a is the free version of that Airbnb, Lyft, where private individuals offer rides to other users for donations, and RelayRides, where users borrow each other's cars.
Of course, this is just a rumor, so we'll have to wait until Google announces anything official to know if Google Mine is a real thing.