This Week in Social: Facebook Chat Announcements, BackType Acquired By Twitter, 2 Million HootSuite Users

By Rob McNair

Facebook Chat Announcements, BackType Acquired by Twitter, 2 Million HootSuite Users, Timberlake The New Cowell?, Eminem Sends Fans to Hell & An Elaborate Recruitment Drive


Facebooks Big Announcement


Over the last year, the Facebook messages team has been working to make it easier to have one on one conversations with your friends. In November, Facebook launched the new messages, which brings together your chats, texts, emails and messages all in one place. On Wednesday they announced they are introducing video calling and other improvements to chat. The new chat design includes a sidebar that lists the people you message most. Now it’s easier to find your friends and start a conversation. The sidebar adjusts with the size of your browser window, and it automatically appears when the window is wide enough.


Facebook Group Chat


The group chat announcement comes as an add-on to Facebook’s already existing chat function. When you’re chatting with a friend on your Facebook page, a button allows you to add other friends to the chat. Finally, the company redesigned the chat window, so your Friends list can now vary in size relative to your browser window. A list of friends who are online will appear, as well as those who are offline that you message with the most.

You can read more on Wired.


Twitter Acquire BackType


This week it was announced that BackType has been acquired by Twitter! BackType will be bringing their team and technology to Twitter’s platform team, where their focus will be on developing tools for Twitter’s publisher partners. BackType’s aim has always been to help their customers understand the value of engagement on Twitter and other social platforms. They also created BackTweets to help publishers understand the reach of their tweets and content, who they are reaching, and how Tweets convert to web traffic, sales and other KPIs.


HootSuite Hits 2 Million




HootSuite, the social media dashboard and analytics tool, has reached a new milestone: 2 million users. Invoke Media released HootSuite in December 2008 and it is widely used by individuals as well as organizations, governments and businesses. The White House, SXSW, Zappos and Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia all use HootSuite, according to the company. HootSuite hit the 1 million-user milestone in November 2010. Consumers and businesses have shared some 500 million messages to date.


MySpace Talent Show


Timberlake reportedly is mulling turning the faltering social network site into a platform to find new talent, possibly through some kind of competition show. While details are scarce, the idea has the potential to become a key part of the future of entertainment – and sounds like a natural step for Timberlake. Between his music career, his well-received role in “The Social Network,” his knack for comedy as seen on “Saturday Night Live” and his Web dealings, Timberlake has become kind of an Internet-era Kevin Bacon, with few degrees of separation between him and the various tentacles of entertainment media.

You can read more on NBC.


Eminem Sends Facebook Users to Hell


Rapper Eminem recently released an EP titled Hell: The Sequel with his side project, Bad Meets Evil, a hip-hip duo including Royce Da 5’9. To celebrate, Eminem is launching a violent Facebook game. The aim of the game (developed by Grab) is pretty simple: Become so evil that you go to hell. Users choose an avatar while tracks from the EP play. Then they gain points (by watching music videos and interviews or spending Facebook Credits) in order to buy weapons. Players use the weapons to kill friends. Get enough points and kills, and you get to go to hell.

You can read more on Mashable.


Owen Hargreaves YouTube Fitness

Owen Hargreaves has launched a bid to prove his fitness – by posting daily exercise videos on YouTube. The 30-year-old midfielder is currently without a club after being released by Manchester United in May. Hargreaves was plagued by injuries during his four years at Old Trafford, making only 39 appearances after signing from Bayern Munich for £17m. Looks like he could do with some proper shorts though.

You can read more on BBC.


Some really cool announcements by Facebook this week. Have you tried the video chat feature? Can Justin Timberlake make a success of MySpace? Will we see social media used more often by job seekers? Lets us know your thoughts in the comments section below…


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This post was written by Rob McNair

Rob has experience advising some of the worlds most iconic brands. He thrives on helping improving social media knowledge within organisations with the ultimate goal of making theirs brands more social, transparent and accountable.