Is Google Plus's Problem One of Design?

Nick Bilton, at The New York Times' Bits blog:

We skitter around the world with our smartphone cameras, taking pictures of leaves and sugar cubes and sunsets, then applying filters and making even the mundane look beautiful. Clearly, design is becoming increasingly more relevant to people. Google Plus doesn’t seem to understand that. Google’s iPhone app, for example, looks like a sketch that was never finished. And if you think the iPhone isn’t important for a good social network, just ask Instagram, an iPhone-only photo app that has more than 27 million users. That’s a quarter of Google Plus’s users, and Instagram didn’t need the Google homepage to get there.

The State of Twitter Spam

A Running CountAs many people have noticed, over the past year Twitter spam problem has become increasingly bad. [I decided today]( that I am going to start a running count on Twitter of each and every spam Tweet I get. Starting today.

There seems to be two types of spam tweets: replies and cold tweets.


With this type of Twitter spam, you only get spammed after you've recently tweeted. Send a tweet with many popular marketing-friendly words, such as iPad, iPhone, Apple, Mac, Loan, Money, Job, Bookstore, Cash, Gold, etc and you'll probably get a spam reply back trying to get you to click a link to some type of marketing related spam. This has gotten progressively worse in the past year. I feel this is the most harmful type of Twitter spam because it causes me to self-censor my tweets when talking about certain subjects to avoid getting spammed. I hate that. Twitter really needs to fix this.

Cold Tweets

More recently, within the past 6 months, I've started to get 2-5 of these a day. These "cold tweets" as I've taken to calling them is just an @reply with a link in it. I've never clicked on any of these so I don't really know what is on the other side of any of these links. This type of spam is annoying, but I get these whether I'm actively tweeting or not. My count so far (starting today): 1. What's yours? Tweet it. Yes, I know by my tweeting a number for each spam I receive is spamming, but I want to be active in complaining about this with the goal that if enough people complain, maybe Twitter will take a more active role in fixing the problem. I apologize in advance for the semi-spammy tweets from me counting upwards. Update: @joshtheoak, @macphotog and I discussed and came up with a normalized hashtag for these spam count tweets: #tootsagainstspam

The AppStorm Guide to Google+

Matthew Guay, writing at App Storm:

While Facebook and Twitter have tweaked their design and added new features over time, Google+ includes a beautiful design and an incredible amount of features from day 1. With extra touches such as the Huddles video chat and an option to download your Google+ data, it’s easily a step beyond what we’ve come to expect from social networks. That said, the birrage of features can be overwhelming, and Twitter’s 140 character simplicity seemed refreshing after spending a morning in Google+. Look for a guest appearance by yours truly.

Apple's Social Networking Choices

When Ping was first released last year, very briefly, it was possible to connect your Facebook account to your Ping account to share your Ping activities or find new friends on Ping. This feature was pulled at the eleventh hour due to breakdown in negotiations between Facebook and Apple. Ping launched without support of a major social network to piggyback off of for friend recommendations. Sometime over the past year, and I'm not sure when as I only noticed it recently - which goes to show how often I use Ping, Twitter was added to Ping. Under your Ping account, it is now possible to connect Ping to Twitter to have it share your Ping purchases & likes. Clearly this would not have happened if Apple & Twitter had not formed some sort of relationship and began working together. This brings us to yesterday's announcements where Apple revealed that Twitter will now be deeply integrated into iOS 5. Twitter now sits on the main settings menu alongside items like Mail, Phone and Safari. On the details screen of the Twitter menu, users can log into their Twitter account directly or, if they don't have it, click a button and install Twitter's official Twitter client. That is huge. Apple clearly has doubled down on Twitter. They've integrated Twitter on various send menu's throughout iOS such as in the Camera app or Maps app. Notice they didn't even mention Facebook once during the whole keynote. To me, this sounds a lot like what happened when the original iPhone came out. Apple knew they needed a carrier to launch the iPhone on. They approached Verizon. Negotiations fell through. They turned and found AT&T more receptive and went with their second choice. Apple approached Facebook. Negotiations fell through. They turned to the second biggest social network and found Twitter more receptive and went with their second choice. The only part of the story we don't know yet is, will Facebook come crawling back to Apple in 3 years asking for equal treatment that Twitter got? Maybe. Maybe not. I'm not sure this is as an important issue as being able to carry a handset on your mobile network, but the whole situation just seemed oddly coincidental to me. I think if someone with proper sources could ever discover the details behind all of this, it would make for a good story.

Twitter Reveals Photo Sharing Feature

Jack Dorsey, writing on the Twitter Blog:

Millions of people share photos on Twitter every day. We’re going to make that easier than ever. Over the next several weeks, we’ll be releasing a feature to upload a photo and attach it to your Tweet right from And of course, you’ll soon be able to easily do this from all of our official mobile apps. A special thanks to our partner Photobucket for hosting these photos behind the scenes. Services like yFrog and Twitpic are in trouble. Other services like MLKSHK who provide more value that just a dump for photos might be okay though.

Twitter's New Photo-Sharing Service To Get iOS 5 Integration

MG Siegler writing for Techcrunch:

We’ve heard from multiple sources that Twitter is likely to have a big-time partner for such a service: Apple. Specifically, we’re hearing that Apple’s new iOS 5 will come with an option to share images to Twitter baked into the OS. This would be similar to the way you can currently share videos on YouTube with one click in iOS. Obviously, a user would have to enable this feature by logging in with their Twitter credentials in iOS. There would then be a “Send to Twitter” option for pictures stored on your device. John Gruber, on Daring Fireball: So close to the bigger story, but yet so far. Imagine what else the system could provide if your Twitter account was a system-level service. Perhaps this whole OAuth/XAuth issue is about to become null & void for 3rd party client developers?