Facebook tests mobile profile redesign

Facebook is making it a little easier to stalk people through its mobile applications.
The company announced today that it’s testing a redesign of mobile profiles in the United Kingdom and California. Facebook users involved with the test will gain more control over the information shown to prospective friends, the ability to set temporary profile pictures, and other features restricted to the small test group.
Perhaps the most interesting change is a renewed focus on images. Facebook users trying to learn more about someone they just met — or, let’s be honest, stalk people with whom they’ve lost touch over the years — will be tasked with scrolling through walls of photos after they pass larger versions of the profile and background images.



Users will also be able to choose up to five photos they wish to highlight underneath their biographical information. Profiles used to be dominated by text, given their focus on showing users’ most recent status updates, but now they’re going to place much more emphasis on allowing Facebook users to view each others’ photographs.
“People love seeing photos and mutual friends when viewing the profiles of friends or someone they’ve just met, so those are easier to see now on profile,” Facebook said in its announcement. “Photos and friends are right at the top, making getting to know someone and seeing the world through your friends’ eyes as easy as scrolling.”
Facebook will also give its users the ability to “film a short, looping video clip that will play for anyone who visits your profile.” These are basically animated GIFs that promise to let you “show a part of yourself you couldn’t before” and “add a new dimension to your profile.” I wouldn’t be surprised if Apple’s new Live Photos, which are based on a similar concept, were converted for use as these profile videos.
Many of these changes introduce a customizability that didn’t exist on Facebook before. It’s not quite as noticeable as the custom backgrounds and music playlists that used to be tied to people’s MySpace accounts (let’s all agree not to discuss the bad choices we might have made back in those days) but it’s freer than before.
Facebook explained some of the reasoning behind these changes in its blog post. “People visit Facebook profiles more than four billion times per day,” the company said, “and we’re continually looking for ways to make profiles the best place for people to curate their online identities and connect with others.” The profile, which became an afterthought when the News Feed debuted, could now be relevant again.
It’s not clear when this update will be available to the public — Facebook said only that it’s testing the new features with a small number of users, and it will be “rolling them out to more people soon.” Given how big this change is, it’s hard to blame the company for waiting to roll this out instead of quickly giving it to a billion people.

Prismatic’s Bradford Cross: First we understand media, then the world

Prismatic founder Bradford Cross doesn’t come from a traditional media background — he is a data scientist who specializes in machine learning — but what he is doing with content recommendations says a lot about how the media business is evolving and what the future might look like.

What’s Wrong With Facebook’s New Profiles

Facebook has released a new Facebook Profile. As usual, the changes seem pretty arbitrary, but Facebook appears to have moved in the direction of a profile that blends your professional life and your personal life, and I feel strongly that this is a mistake.

How to Ensure Your LinkedIn Profile Is Effective

Is your LinkedIn profile as effective as it could be? While you can see your “profile completeness” score on your profile page, it doesn’t measure profile effectiveness — how good your profile is at attracting contacts, generating leads and showing off your skills. Use this checklist to ensure your profile is thorough, effective and updated. Read More about How to Ensure Your LinkedIn Profile Is Effective

How to Create a Business-friendly Facebook Profile

Many folks tend to use their Facebook accounts either for personal or business use, not both. However, those of us in a one-person business can find it effective to combine the two, with a little help from Facebook’s privacy features.

To draw the line between personal and business use, I assign a Limited Profile setting to business contacts to control what they can see in my profile, and bear in mind Nancy’s advice about using social media: “What you get from me online is 100 percent me…but you don’t get 100 percent of me.” When I do anything in Facebook, I remember that a prospect or client might see it, even if they shouldn’t have access to it. You just never know what spills over.

Let’s get to work on creating an effective profile for business and personal use. Read More about How to Create a Business-friendly Facebook Profile

London Times Profiles Jobs; Apple Tries To Squelch It

411px-Steve_JobsThe London Times has a rather interesting profile of Steve Jobs on its site. According to MacNN, Apple (s aapl) tried to kill the article. That’s not surprising. Apple always strives to stay “on message” and nothing is more “off message” than any discussion of Jobs’ health. Well, with the possible exception of the oft-rumored iTablet. I could go on for a few thousand words about how this is another shining example of Apple’s much-maligned secrecy, but I’d rather focus on the original profile.

Like most of the faithful, each Tuesday I bow my head in solemn prayer towards the Moscone Center, where I eagerly await the next tidings of joy from Apple. I hope that missive is delivered by Our Leader, Steve Jobs, but, in a pinch Phil Schiller will do. However, there are gaps in my knowledge of all things Jobs, and I thought the Times piece did an excellent job at summing up his overall character, which is precisely why Apple tried to kill it. Read More about London Times Profiles Jobs; Apple Tries To Squelch It

Is Your Personal Blog Working For or Against You?

diaryA big chunk of web working has to do with managing your online presence. That means staying on top of social media trends, managing Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and other profiles, and making sure all these communities are working to your advantage. A well-managed online presence could mean a Digg front-page one day, and a well-placed link another, generating a lot of traffic and interest in whatever service/product you may be selling.

It’s surprising, then that people so often overlook the value of a personal blog in the social media web.

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Profile of an iPhone User: Interesting Statistics About Yourself

As a mobile device, the iPhone crosses several different user groups. From business users to media junkies, a wide range of people use the iPhone in a variety of different ways. The App Store is fueling this variation even further on account of the huge array of different applications available.

A few pieces of research have been conducted that give an interesting glimpse into the profile of iPhone users, and the main activities they choose to perform with their device. This post will summarize a few different results and draw some interesting comparisons between the uses of an iPhone compared to other mobile phones.
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AppCubby: iPhone Apps On The Go

App Cubby is an Application Development shop out of San Marcos, Texas, that jumped into the fray of iPhone programming back in March of this year. Focusing their attentions squarely on the iPhone-toting worker on the run. Their first offering, Trip Cubby, easily handles expensible mileage, and the already announced Cash Cubby will handle full expense reports. They’ve already begun work on a 2.0 version of the former, while juggling the latter along with a new project as well.

Approaching their products from the user’s point of view helps App Cubby to rely on carefully crafted features and clean interfaces to provide maximum functionality and ease of use to anyone interested in their applications. While many developers are pushing the bleeding edge, often using gimmicky features, the Cubby apps are straightforward and seem to be fully thought-out by the time they come to market.

Trip Cubby (iTunes link) captures all of the mileage information you could need in order to be reimbursed for any travel you may incur. While the entry screen may appear to be lengthy at first glance, most fields are optional and up to you to fill out. Better yet, Trip Cubby is kind enough to remember the useful stuff for you (like last odometer setting, date/time, and even frequent trips you take), making entry even quicker the more you use it. The app even allows you to keep track of whether the reimbursement has been reconciled or not. Add a very tweakable search feature, and the ability to email the results in .csv format and you’re talking about a real winner of an iPhone application. Oh, and version 2 is supposed to let you track mileage using the 3G’s built-in GPS. Slick, eh?
Read More about AppCubby: iPhone Apps On The Go