January 19, 2013
What was hot on the web this week? Get up to speed on the latest trends, news and services with some of our favourite new stories.
Facebook Graph Search Facebook is finally getting serious about search. The company announced a new experience that it’s called Facebook Graph Search. The new search algorithm relies heavily on ‘likes’ and other forms of engagement to decide which unique results to display to each user. For now, Graph Search will only include people, places, photos and interests. Search results will be personalized, although Facebook says the more general queries will populate the same results for most people. Facebook has also promised to honor users’ privacy settings by omitting in search results anything a user has marked private or invisible to the general public. Read more here.
Twitter features A nifty new Twitter feature shows you when you’ve typed hyperlinked text (such as an @handle or a URL) as well as when you’ve gone over the character limit by highlighting the extra text in red (see above screenshot). A funky part of this new feature that we’ve noticed is that the hyperlinked text changes to the color that you’ve selected for hyperlinks in your profile settings, so the color is personalized for everyone. Right now this feature is only available on the web interface, so it won’t work on mobile apps. The new feature is especially helpful for Twitter newbies, as it lets them know when they’re about to tweet at someone specifically or where they’re exceeding the character limit. Read more here.
Uptime monitoring company Royal Pingdom has assembled a massive list of stats and figures from Internet behavior in 2012. Although we’ve seen some of these numbers as they’ve happened, such as Facebook passing 1 billion users in October and Twitter passing 200 million in December, it’s pretty neat to see them all laid out in one place. Highlights include 2.2 billion email users worldwide (425 million of which are using Gmail), 634 million websites, and 246 million domain name registrations. There were 2.4 billion Internet users worldwide performing 1.2 trillion Google searches in 2012. In terms of social media, 175 million tweets were sent daily and Google’s +1 button was used 5 billion times per day. Read more here.
Wired revealed that Google VP of Security Eric Grosse and engineer Mayank Upadhyay have outlined several ways to rethink the traditional password, and suggested using an electronic ring or a customized USB rather than a password to login to websites. Their ideas come in response to the problem of password security and the fact that the traditional password doesn’t provide the level of protection that Internet users need. While these are just the beginnings of much-needed alternatives to the traditional password, they highlight the ever-increasing risk our personal data faces on the World Wide Web today.