After the Associated Press' Twitter account was hacked into on Tuesday and the accounts of CBS News programs "60 Minutes" and "48 Hours" were hacked over the weekend, it's been made clear that Twitter needs to boost security. But, it may be doing just that. According to Wired's Mat Honan, the social-networking site has reportedly been working on creating a two-factor authentication for user password verification. Honan writes that the company is currently carrying out internal testing before rolling out the new security control.
Now the Facebook can really start to replace your phone. Today Facebook rolled out its free VoIP voice calling feature to US users of Home and its Android Messenger app. That means even less reason to open your standard “phone” app, and more data for Facebook about who you care about the most. Now all iOS and Android users in the US can Facedial their friends.
Facebook continues to pull back the curtain on some of the technical details behind its search products, this time with a new look at the Social Graph. The social network's latest reveal is about LinkBench, a new database benchmark for the Social Graph, which is being released this week on GitHub. Touted as a tool for developers who need to benchmark and fine-tune database systems, LinkBench was designed to replicate the data model, graph structure, and request mix of Facebook's MySQL social graph workload.
Facebook announced that advertisers would be able to pitch members directly from the News Feed with less holistic messages that direct people outside of the social network's walled garden. The launch, which Facebook is calling a "small alpha test," brings Facebook Exchange-targeted (FBX) ads, which are special ad units served to members based on their online browsing behavior, to the desktop version of News Feed for the first time.
Facebook originally started testing a new free (minus and data usage fees you incur from your carrier) calling feature for users of its Facebook Messenger app for iPhone in Canada early this year, and now the service is available to U.S. users as well. The free call button app now shows up in the app for U.S. users, in any conversation where both parties are using the Facebook Messenger app.
Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg announced Graph Search at a press event yesterday at the company's Menlo Park headquarters, billing it as a new way find people, photos, places and interests that are most relevant to Facebook users. Graph Search is the social network's newest way for users to make sense of its massive base of 1 billion users, 240 billion photos, and 1 trillion connections. The tool is meant to provide people the answers to their questions about people, photos, places, and interests. Zuckerberg said Graph Search is launching to a small number of people and is available only on the desktop and in English for the time being.
Microsoft's Skype division rolled out a new version of Skype for Windows (version 6.1). The updated version is for PCs running 32- and 64-bit versions of Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7. (This is not an update for Skype for Windows 8, but since users can run Skype in the Desktop on Windows 8, they can run this update that way if they want.) The 6.1 update allows users to call and chat with contacts directly from Microsoft Outlook; search and add contacts more easily; and manage accounts from a new profile page, according to officials.
Facebook’s next messaging move is all about voice. Yesterday it released an update for its standalone Messenger for iOS and Android apps that lets users send up to one-minute voice messages. It’s also testing open source VoIP calling between Canadian iOS Messenger users that runs over a user’s existing data plan. Both power hands-free communication between friends, which helps drivers and reduces mobile typing.
Yesterday version 3.0 of Skype for Android was released. As long-standing Skype enthusiasts know, the company committed to making the Skype experience the best it can be, wherever you are and with whatever device you're using. With so many now using tablets to make video and voice calls with Skype, this latest version is optimized to scale to your tablet's bigger screen, so you can experience Skype on a larger display wherever you go.
Acquired by Microsoft in October 2011, Skype has been hard at work for several months integrating the communication software with the latest version of Windows. Yesterday the company announced that Skype for Windows 8 will be available Friday and on new Windows 8 devices; you can download it from the Windows store. Skype has received a complete makeover, with features that take advantage of both the Windows 8 Start menu and the use of a touch screen.