Welcome once again to our weekly round-up of what’s going on in the world of social media. Don’t forget to get in touch and let us know what your favourite stories have been, too!
1. Facebook has obtained money transmitter licenses in at least 15 US states, according to analysis by American Banker. While Facebook said during filing for its IPO that it had applied for licenses and planned to apply for more, it wasn’t made clear that Facebook already held the 15. Phew!
Is Facebook set to be a payment-handling contender, competing with Amazon, PayPal and Google? Last year the company generated $557 million, 15 percent of its revenue, from payments such as Facebook Credits. Users can buy credits so that they can purchase goods (to improve your Farmville farm, for example) or to buy digital media. It’s not yet clear whether Facebook is just erring on the side of caution when it comes to the law in obtaining the licenses or whether it plans to develop Facebook Credits into a money transfer service. Would you want to send that tenner you owe your mate via privacy problem-laden Facebook instead of PayPal?
2. In Twitter news, the microblogging site is rolling out its self-serve ad platform to 10,000 small businesses in a bid to broaden its revenue streams. Part of a partnership with American Express, AmEx cardmembers and merchants will be able to register to use the platform on a first-come, first-served basis and will be given $100 in advertising credits to put toward bidding on promoted accounts and tweets. Twitter CEO Dick Costolo noted that opening the self-serve platform, which lets advertisers make electronic payments instead of being invoiced by the sales team, is a key development for Twitter in what could be a banner year.
While it’s great that Twitter is opening up its vast platform to more businesses, we’re wondering how users might feel about the increase of promoted messages in and around their feed? Time will tell; the AmEx roll-out begins in March.
3. Back to Facebook. Quick poll: what do you find more offensive, nudity or violence? The Guardian has reported on a document leak that reveals Facebook’s content policies including everything from breastfeeding to hunting to bodily fluids.
All-in-all, it seems that Facebook’s attitude to ‘offensive content’ is that gore is okay (ish) but nipples are a no-go. You might remember the uproar that occurred when Facebook removed breastfeeding images from its site – it turns out that the company’s official stance is that breastfeeding images must be banned if nipples are visible (male nipples are okay) but ‘crushed heads and limbs’ or ‘deep flesh wounds’ are allowed as long as no insides are showing. Facebook says that it is constantly reviewing its content policies – for the time being, we’d rather not see any crushed limbs or wounds, please!
4. Here’s a little bit of Friday fun for you – new app InstaMatch turns your Instagram photos into a modern version of the classic memory game. The game uses similar, but not identical, photos of objects such as clouds, cities and trees – making it a little bit harder than its traditional counterpart. There are three levels of difficulty and players can use the built-in themes (such as nature, etc), play using their own photos or use hashtags (#dog) to choose their own. InstaMatch lets two players compete on iPhone and four on iPad – clever and fun!
5. And finally, the 5 is near. While the iPhone 5 isn’t expected to be unveiled anytime soon, Italian designer Federico Ciccarese has drawn-up these mock-ups that have been featured on Mashable. The design features a blasted aluminium back similar to what’s used on the MacBook Pro, MacBook Air and iMac and the headphone jack has been moved to the side to accommodate the stylish curved back with thinner head and tail. We think this looks really swish – especially the glowing logo. Very nice.