free invisible hit counter

This site uses cookies. You can read how we use them in our privacy policy.

delete-button-image.jpgAs much as we all love that satisfying feeling when we unfriend that annoying/offensive/disgusting person from our Facebook friend list I'm sure we've all realised we've been the victim of a culling at some point too. Why me? WHY ME? We ask ourselves. Well, unless you did something particular offensive or stalkerish to the person in question, according to new research it's because you've had a severe case of over-sharing.

The study, carried out by, polled more than 1,700 Facebook users and asked them a lot about their behaviour on the social network and what makes them delete you from their online lives.

It seems over-sharing by updating your status too often and sharing too much personal information is what 46% of those polled said was the most annoying thing about their friends. So maybe calm down the updates to just a few a day and don't tell everyone about your gory dating stories or health problems.

It's not just over-sharing that seems to get our blood boiling, 31% of those asked said they can't stand it when friends share far too many photos and 19% get a little bit angry when they see others "liking" everything in sight.

It seems instead of unfriending, 48% of those polled tend to silence unwanted noise from their irritating friends by hiding what they say from their news feed. In fact the average person has hidden over 9 friends this way. Hmm, we'd say it's more like 90. However, this isn't because we're all lovely and don't want to offend people by erasing any evidence that they've ever existed, but 68% said it's so we can still stalk their profiles and photos at a later date. Awh.

Finally, the study found that 13% of us get so angry about Facebook that we consider deleting our account on a regular basis. We DARE YOU to actually go through with it though instead of just whining about it all the time...

[Image via stesciuba's Flickr]

overblog-social-media.jpgThis week a new blogging platform has launched and as well as allowing you to create posts and update your mum on the inane things going on in your life, it also lets you collect together all of your online activity into one place. But do we really need that kind of neat and tidy approach to social media?

Overblog is a platform that aims to bring together everything you do online, so you can stream all of your check-ins, status updates, Instagram snaps and other properties to one place.

It says it's not just a blog, but as you sign up it asks you what you want to call your blog, umm. So you can show everyone posts from your Overblog (which is the blog bit of the blog that isn't a blog), and then content from Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Instagram and YouTube too.

It's a great idea in theory and certainly looks good on paper. Hmm, are there any more ways for us to suggest that this might not work so well in the wild?

Frédéric Montagnon, co-founder of Overblog, explained the thinking behind the platform:

"With the development of platforms dedicated to particular content types (Instagram and Flickr for photos, YouTube and DailyMotion for video, Pinterest for images, Foursquare for geo-localisation, Twitter for micro-messages, etc), users have a fragmented online presence, which poses a visibility problem for those who wish to develop and influence an audience."

He's hit the nail on the head right there. Overblog is great for those who want to develop an online audience, but in many ways it's a bit unnecessary for the rest of us. After all, even the biggest social media whores like to keep some things separate. Montagon uses the term "fragmented" like it's a bad thing, when really that's the way many of us like it, different audiences and interactions between Facebook and Instagram, between Twitter and Foursquare. As intelligent human beings, we like compartmentalising things and engaging with different networks in different ways.

However, with three million registered users to date in the US it must be doing something right. From what we can tell it would probably make quite a decent blogging platform, it's got plenty of themes that are all fully customisable, access to analytics, multiple users, free and hosted accounts, the list goes on. Maybe the team need to stop talking about "aggregating", "streaming" and "bringing together your social media properties" and just focus on making the blogging platform to rule all blogging platforms instead?

Watch this space, Overblog could well be the "next big thing" online, or just prove far too tidy and convenient for our messy heads and social lives.


It's not often that sleazy British tabloids and tech publications all over the globe are interested in the same stories, but today the worlds of social media and crazy UK regulations have collided as a nine year old girl who blogs about food has been banned from blogging about food.

UPDATE: So it seems all of that hullabaloo this morning was over nothing, as the ban has been lifted and a big bod at Argyll and Bute Council said he didn't see why there was a ban in the first place. Hmmm, interesting Martha. Can you say MEDIA TRAINING? We're joking. We like her. Honest.

Martha Payne (known as VEG online) set up a food blog called NeverSeconds back in April to document her school dinners. She took photos of them, rated how healthy they were and commented on how they tasted. Scrolling back through Martha's photos it's clear some of the dinners were a little unhealthy and looked kinda gross, but I'm pretty sure my nine year old self would have given an organ for a diet that didn't consist of 4,557,789 potato croquettes and a jam roly poly EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.

Due to support from her dad and Jamie Oliver (remember when this man was reduced to tears by school food?) the blog became a big hit, she clocked up more than two million visitors and Martha's goal to share her eating habits with the world became a reality. Well this week it all came crashing down as her local council has told she can't take any photos of her gross dinners anymore. AWH.

She wrote a pretty sad goodbye post today:

"I only write my blog not newspapers and I am sad I am no longer allowed to take photos. I will miss sharing and rating my school dinners and I'll miss seeing the dinners you send me too. I don't think I will be able to finish raising enough money for a kitchen for Mary's Meals either."

It seems that after the media started paying attention to Martha's efforts the dinner ladies (and... laddies?) at her school began to get a little worried. Argyll and Bute Council released an official statement about the decision and said:

"The council has directly avoided any criticism of anyone involved in the 'never seconds' blog for obvious reasons despite a strongly-held view that the information presented in it misrepresented the options and choices available to pupils.

"However this escalation means we had to act to protect staff from the distress and harm it was causing.

"In particular, the photographic images uploaded appear to only represent a fraction of the choices available to pupils, so a decision has been made by the council to stop photos being taken in the school canteen."

Martha had been using the blog to raise money for the Mary's Meals charity, which helps disadvantaged kids all over the world. Although the fact she can no longer blog about her dinners is a big shame, we hope the media attention has raised even more money for Mary's Meals and that little Martha will get a job as a top food journo in the not so distant future.

[Via The Verge]

Some people choose to avoid the inane ramblings of celebrities online like the plague, whereas others seem to have made it their sole purpose in life to get re-tweeted by Katy Perry.

If you fall into the second camp you'll probably already be stalking/following your favourite celebrities on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and any other place they tend to hang out online, but do you know what they're up to on Pinterest?

Here are five celebrities that we think you should be following, for useful tips, great photos or just pure comedy value. Be sure to look out for part 2 next week.

N.B. It's important to remember that it's pretty much impossible to tell whether these are the actual celebrities they claim to be given there's no approved account system like there is on Twitter.

sweden-sonja.jpgAhh Sweden, it's just full of hot women, blonde people and Vikings, right? Well no, they're all stereotypes and part of the reason the Swedish tourist board has its own Twitter account, so you can find out what the nation and its people are REALLY like (many of them are hot and blonde though, FYI).

However, the @Sweden Twitter account isn't controlled by some PR person or government official. For the past seven months it's been passed around various Swedish citizens who can do with it what they please. It sounds like a nice idea, right? The Swedish government can just let Swedes talk about how awesome it is to be Swedish/live in Sweden/visit Sweden. Thomas Brühl, CEO of VisitSweden, told Mashable:

"No one owns the brand of Sweden more than its people. With this initiative we let them show their Sweden to the world."

Awh. Sweet. But in practice it's just a huge car crash waiting to happen and even a toddler could have told you that. The most recent Swede to man the fort (Sonja) has made a few social media fails, which have involved tweeting about Nazi Germany, what it means to be Jewish and how to tell whether someone is Jewish or not. None of the tweets have been super offensive, they're all just a little bit weird and the kind of questions your gran might ask after she's had a bit too much wine.

Some users think the @Sweden social media experiment is great and shows that the country respects freedom of speech, some think the person in charge this week is awesome and challenging conventions, but we can't help but think if you're discussing the motivations of the Nazis in a 140 character tweet then you're doing something wrong.

[Via Mashable]

linkedin_icon-4.jpgDespite all of the commotion about leaked passwords, hackers and the end of the world last week, LinkedIn has reassured its userbase that no accounts were breached. Hackers are believed to have got their hands on some 6.5 million passwords in what was the biggest security attack the business-focussed network has ever experienced to date.

LinkedIn has claimed that it took quick action to disable all of the affected passwords and quickly notified the users in order to prevent any further damage being done.

LinkedIn director Vincente Silveira said on the company blog:

"Thus far, we have no reports of member accounts being breached as a result of the stolen passwords.

"As soon as we learned of the theft, we launched an investigation to confirm that the passwords were LinkedIn member passwords.

"Once confirmed, we immediately began to address the risk to our members.

"We have built a world-class security team here at LinkedIn including experts such as Ganesh Krishnan, formerly vice president and chief information security officer at Yahoo!, who joined us in 2010. This team reports directly to LinkedIn's senior vice president of operations, David Henke.

"Under this team's leadership, one of our major initiatives was the transition from a password database system that hashed passwords, i.e. provided one layer of encoding, to a system that both hashed and salted the passwords, i.e. provided an extra layer of protection that is a widely recognized best practice within the industry."

There's been no official word yet about who carried out the attack, but it's cear LinkedIn is taking the whole incident very seriously indeed as it's enlisted the help of the FBI to catch the perpetrators.

[Via Tech Digest]


Facebook announced that it would be launching a shiny new app store last month and it's now here for us all (well most of us, a few of you might have to wait a little longer) to play with.

The app store, known officially as the Facebook App Center, is a comprehensive directory of all kinds of apps (not just Facebook ones) and you can access it from your desktop or mobile too.

The experience you get within the App Center is very similar to what you'd expect from the iTunes store or Google Play. It's all rather simple and intuitive, there's a list of categories down the left hand side, you can preview apps, flick through screenshots, read a blurb, check out other people's ratings and then download those you like the look of.

The App Center is available in the Facebook iOS and Android apps and can obviously be accessed from the main site too. If you're on your mobile you can download apps straight to your device and even if you're accessing the site from your desktop you can get them sent there too.

Go take a browse around now:

blue-troll.jpgLast month we shared the interesting story of Nicola Brookes, a 45 year old from Brighton who wrote some lovely stuff about X Factor contestant Frankie Cocozza in a Facebook group back in 2011. She then faced A LOT of online abuse from trolls who weren't so keen on the fluffy-haired teenager. She had users swearing at her and sending her death threats, which is awful but hardly a unique incident online. However, the thing that made Brookes REALLY upset was when some of these trolls set up a fake account in her name and began sending explicit messages to young girls. Too far trolls, TOO FAR.

Well back in May Brookes began taking steps to force Facebook to hand over the IP addresses of those who set up the fake account and despite the fact there's never been a case quite like this here in the UK before, it seems her efforts have proved to be successful. According to Digital Trends, after seeking advice from law firm Bains Cohen, Brookes has been granted a High Court order for Facebook to provide her with the IP addresses she's been fighting for.

A Facebook spokesperson told the BBC:

"There is no place for harassment on Facebook, but unfortunately a small minority of malicious individuals exist online, just as they do offline.

"We respect our legal obligations and work with law enforcement to ensure that such people are brought to justice."

Despite the fact Facebook will be handing over the IP addresses and basic subscriber details of those responsible for the abuse, it could take Brookes much longer to actually identify them and go on to take further legal action. Chances are she'll have to obtain another court order to get the Internet Service Providers to reveal who the IP addresses are connected to and even then her search might be in vain.

Unfortunately it seems that Brookes is STILL facing a lot of abuse on a daily basis. According toDigital Trends this morning, Brookes' Facebook page Trolls & Me has received a lot of spam from a user pretending to be a law firm. Oh come on, give the woman a break.

Anyone who's spent a considerable amount of time online will probably have been at the receiving end of nasty abuse, but this case seems exceptional, especially with the fake account and suggestive messages that are being sent to kids.

Of course our privacy needs to be respected online, but at the same time trolls can't expect to hide behind their screens and get away with the kind of illegal behaviour that wouldn't be tolerated for a second in the real world.

[Via Digital Trends]


This week Twitter has made a huge deal about the fact it's got a new logo, which looks suspiciously, scrap that PRETTY MUCH IDENTICAL, to the original but with a neat new haircut.

In a post on Twitter's blog yesterday, the brand's Creative Director, Doug Bowman, explained that the bird has been simplified and weirdly followed with "Twitter is the bird, the bird is Twitter", which sounds rather profound, right?

Bowman (who should really have been a poet or leader of a cult) goes on to explain the thinking behind the new bird. Prepare to be blown away my friends:

"Our new bird grows out of love for ornithology, design within creative constraints, and simple geometry. This bird is crafted purely from three sets of overlapping circles -- similar to how your networks, interests and ideas connect and intersect with peers and friends. Whether soaring high above the earth to take in a broad view, or flocking with other birds to achieve a common purpose, a bird in flight is the ultimate representation of freedom, hope and limitless possibility."

However, it's not all about sweetness and light, flying through the internet and ornithology, because the Twitter Brand and Trademarks page has been beefed up a lot now the new bird has come soaring into our lives.

It all gets a little agressive to be honest and we feel like we're being told off just for imagining the Twitter bird a different colour or, god forbid, with legs that we've drawn on terribly in Photoshop. To sum up, here's our interpretation of the guidelines:

"The first rule of the new Twitter logo, is you can't really do anything to the new Twitter logo.

"The second rule of the new Twitter logo is you DEFINITELY can't add a smiley face to the new Twitter logo."

[Via The Inquirer]

linkedin-tweet.jpgAhh Linkedin, it may have helped that one guy you know get a job that one time, but mostly we can all agree it's a breeding ground for slimy recruiters and pointless networking groups. Well now it's become even more irritating as an estimated 6.5 million of our passwords have been leaked online, according to The Independent.

Reports are suggesting that a Russian hacker published a list of the passwords online and asked others to help crack them. Linkedin has responded to the allegations with a number of tweets stating that the breach hasn't been confirmed, but the team's looking into the problems right away.

It might be wise to go and change your password if you use Linkedin regularly, but many of us might welcome someone hacking our employment history to make it look like there was some rhyme or reason to all of those stupid decisions.

[Via The Independent Via The Next Web]

jux-home.jpgJux seems to add a cool new feature to its blogging platform a few times a month and last week it got an interesting new release, you can now have a different Jux for different purposes.

Bear with us on this one...

The Jux team have explained to us:

1. "Jux" is presented as another posting option. Add an article, photo, slideshow ... or a Jux.

2. Your new Jux has all the flexibility of your first. Start by adding content. Give it a title and description. Customize the look (beginning from the style of your last Jux as a smart default). You can even repost into specific Juxes.

3. Once you have more than one Jux, your home page morphs into an overview of all your Juxes. Think of this as your world, your oeuvre, your memories. Or hide the linkages and treat each Jux as an independent work.

So basically you can just create a separate blog (or should we say Jux) and have it linked to your current account. Of course you can create multiple Wordpress blogs or Tumblr blogs with ease as well, but Jux's latest release means they don't all have to be separate. You can technically have as many Juxes (we assume that's the plural of Jux?) as you like, they can exist as one entity and you can see all the posts together at once or have them separate, whichever you choose.

The idea behind the new feature is that most people want different spaces online for different purposes, which is a pretty fair assumption. It's certainly a significant move for Jux, as it can now compete with other blogging platforms even more than it already does because you don't need to sign in as someone different to have a different blog, meaning you're less likely to venture elsewhere.

Whether the new feature becomes super popular or just a "so what?" addition, it's good to see the Jux team continue to do things a little differently to the rest and have the user's experience at the core of every new decision and addition that's made.

Related: The battle of the blogs: Jux vs. Tumblr

Last month we collected together some of our favourite branded Facebook timelines and there were some great examples from the likes of Spotify, The New York Times and Arsenal FC.

Now we're back with even more that make the most of the new layout and have a cool cover photo, a detailed history of brand and some interesting apps added in along the way.

Related: 15 Cool Facebook brand timelines: Burberry, Spotify and Arsenal


Ever since visual curation network Pinterest was launched back in 2010 (yeah it really WAS that long ago), we've seen a number of similar sites crop up, whether they're blatant rip-offs, all about porn or offer something a little more niche.

A similar site that seems to be going from strength to strength at the moment is The Fancy, a network we've written about a few times in the past, which allows users to 'like' or 'fancy' things that they can then go on to easily buy. The content is much more, well, fancy and the site became instantly more cool and fashionable when it collaborated with Oscar de la Renta's OscarPRGirl last week.

Well this week The Fancy has revealed that it's reached a whopping one million users already and reportedly makes an average of $50,000 each week from users snapping up the products they fancy.

Now in order to continue this huge growth, the platform has introduced a few new features into its mobile app offering, most notably the ability to buy products. Up until now users could only collect images they fancied, but from this week you can get your hands on them with one-click purchasing directly from your iPhone or iPad.

The company is clearly taking advantage of the growing mobile retail market, seems to have its money-making model spot on and has a number of impressive backers under its belt to make sure everything continues to run smoothly, so we can't wait to see how to develops its offering throughout 2012.

The app is available from the iTunes app store for free.

Related: Top 10 Tumblr themes that look like Pinterest for awesome photo blogs / Oscar de la Renta gets Fancy with Pinterest rival


Facebook has lost its most recent legal battle to shut down Faceporn, so will the social network accept the fact other sites will capitalise on its success until the end of time or continue its offensive to get rid of them all?

Another day and another Facebook legal battle is in full swing as the social network continues its mission to eradicate the words face and book from the internet.

The most recent case involves Faceporn, which is unsurprisingly a Norwegian porn site. Facebook filed a case back in 2010 against the adult network and requested full ownership of the domain name.

However, Facebook has so far been unsuccessful because according to Venture Beat, the Judge said that Facebook "has failed to show that defendants, both residents of Norway, purposefully directed their conduct at California."

We've seen cases like this many times before, Facebook doesn't take too kindly to sites that sound a bit like it AT ALL, such as Teachbook and Lamebook.

There's no doubt a lot of the companies in question have been created to capitalise on Facebook's success, but at the same time the social network can't expect to own the words face and book forever, can it?

[Via Venture Beat]


After "live-pinning" a bridal fashion show last month, fashion house Oscar de la Renta is now turning its attention to Pinterest rival The Fancy to showcase bits and pieces of its latest collection.

It's no secret that we admire Oscar de la Renta's online presence, from its Facebook timeline to a tonne of other online assets run by Erika Berman (or Oscar PR Girl), the brand's director of communications, just take a quick peak at her Tumblr, Instagram and Pinterest accounts and swoon.

Well now the brand is branching out to The Fancy (or just Fancy, we're not sure), the visual inspiration network that's a lot like a high-end Pinterest, but much more focused on e-commerce.

Oscar PR Girl, who often acts as the face of the brand online, has begun collecting a range of products using The Fancy and just like her Instagram photos there's a mix of content, it's not just a blatant Oscar de la Renta promotional tool.

In the past we wondered whether ODLR's efforts on Pinterest were a bit of a gimmick, especially when the team live-pinned a bridal show last month. However, it's clear the brand is keen to experiment and the new experiences, platforms and ways for fans to consume content keep us guessing every time and most importantly, talking about the innovative brand more and more.

[Via Mashable]


New video platform Mixin has launched today, with more than 20,000 users already under its belt and a unique offering that allows you to merge videos, comments and memes all in one place.

Popular video sharing platforms like YouTube and Vimeo have become more and more advanced over the years, but it's safe to say that comments often feel a little detached from the video content, as they sit at the bottom of the page in a long list. This is the problem Mixin aims to solve. The Cailfornia-based company has been set up to allow users to add personal comments and images to online videos, which they can then share to their social networks.

Have a quick browse of the videos on Mixin's home page and you'll see how the comments work. They appear in a list at the side of each video, but they're assigned to a specific time so pop up when you reach that point, a little like Soundcloud, but more distracting.

The social element is key to Mixin, it's not just about scrawling comments on videos, but sharing them directly to Facebook. This way you can see the videos that have just been created by your friends or look at those from the wider community if you want to. This makes much more sense, as comments popping up from people you don't really know can be a little irritating, but if you have shared connections and mutual interests it'll presumably be a much more valuable experience. Probably.

According to Venture Beat, Mixin has been gathering users quietly and will be opening to the wider public and unveiling its white label offering to other sites today. The first external sites to start using Mixin's technology include AnyClip and Viumbe, who will be integrating the system into their own video players.

Jon Goldman, the Chief Executive at Mixin, said:

"Most online video is all about searching and algorithms with some minor social features tacked on.

"Mixin's technology starts with social interaction as the foundation so that videos serve as a way to connect friends and increase sharing. The customization, commenting and posting to Facebook allows users to add their personal stamp and humor to the videos they love.

"Now we are able to add this functionality to partners which means any content owner looking to add to video engagement and sharing can use our 'next generation' commenting as a solution."

We can see how merging comments with video content makes watching all kinds of clips into a much more social and arguably enjoyable experience. However, we'd rather just see the things our friends have written, as watching a video with the angry, offensive comments we're so used to seeing on YouTube wouldn't be a pleasant experience AT ALL.

[Via Venture Beat]


There are a few great services out there if you're looking to create a simple splash page with links to all of your social media profiles and other important bits and pieces, but now Pictually is a simple solution for artists, designers and photographers who want to show off their work at the same time too.

Services like and allow users to create a simple splash page containing a big image, links to social media profiles, projects and other websites, as well as a few lines about who they are. Pictually is a similar concept, but users are able to showcase their work in a gallery too, making it ideal for creatives, designers, photographers and anyone else who wants to present their creations without the need for a separate, more complicated website.

To get started you enter in your profile information, like a bio and profile photo, then you add links to all of your social networks and other online assets. You can then go on to add a huge image to be displayed in the background, as well as a series of other images for your gallery tab. Pictually stresses that it isn't meant to be the ultimate portfolio tool, but just a place to bring everything together:

"Extremely user-friendly, beautiful, and most of all free, Pictually's goal isn't to provide you with a high-profile online portfolio or replace your other presences on the web, but merely to join them together and still be able to show what you do with concrete examples."

We imagine many of those in the creative industries will already have some kind of online profile and may prefer the freedom of creating their own website instead of being constrained by Pictually's layout and fonts. However, if you're looking for a simple solution before you build something for yourself, or just don't want the hassle of creating something right now, then Pictually is a perfect solution.

[Via The Next Web]

Thumbnail image for 1403mark-zuckerbergthumb.jpgMany of us may still be discussing Facebook's recent IPO, but Zuckerberg and the team have been busy applying for a number of rather interesting patents over the past few weeks, according to the US patent office.

The internet has been full of chatter about Facebook, its IPO last week, whether the valuation was worthy and most importantly that Zuckerberg and his girl Priscilla Chan have finally tied the knot. However, none of this has stopped the team over at Facebook HQ from applying for a number of new patents that aim to simplify the way we communicate with one another.

The top four patents, that have recently been published by the US patent office, include Multi Mode Message Reply Interface, Adding Contextual Information to Messages, Organizing Messages Into Conversation Threads and Messaging System with Multiple Messaging Channels. If all are approved these patents combined would allow Facebook to collect together messages from different devices and platforms and put them all together in one place:

"A first message is received via a first electronic message channel (e.g., email). A second message is received via a second electronic message channel (e.g., web-chat) that is different than the first electronic message channel. Both messages are associated with the same set of users of the messaging system."

From what we can tell this would be a handy feature, but the further down the patent application you read, the more interesting it gets. It seems Facebook intends to use what it knows about your social ties to determine which conversations are the most relevant:

"Social network information is indicative of social relationships between the users of a conversation thread and allows the conversation threads to be organized by their social relevancy."

Granted Facebook already uses this kind of data to sort out what you see in your News Feed, but it seems it'll become much more important to understand these social ties when it comes to messaging.

[Via New Scientist]


After what seems like a lifetime of speculation, Facebook will FINALLY begin trading tomorrow morning at $38 (that's £24) per share, in what is set to be the biggest IPO from a web company in history.

Friday's listing will see $16 billion (£10bn) raised for Facebook's NASDAQ index. It'll also put a pretty penny in founder Mark Zuckerberg's pocket, who will be selling 30 million shares for an expected $1.1bn (£700m). At that price, the 503.6 million shares and options Zuckerberg owns are valued at $19.1 billion, making him wealthier than Google Inc co- founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. He'll also be the 29th richest man on the planet.

The $38 shares will be available to the public, which will see the entire company valued at a staggering $104 billion (£66bn) overall, with $81 (£51bn) market capitalisation.

Previously, Google held the largest web IPO, landing on the stock market in 2004 and raising $1.67bn (£1.05bn).

Comparisons are being made to Amazon's initial début price, also thought to have been way overpriced at the time but paying dividends for shrewd, risk-taking investors who bought in at the time.

[Via Tech Digest]

twitter-dnt-screenshot.jpgYesterday it was revealed that Twitter will be honouring requests from users who no longer want their data tracked and recorded, unlike the big boys Facebook and Google.

This week Twitter announced (shockingly in a tweet) that it's signed up to the Do Not Track initiative, which basically means users have the chance to opt out of having their data tracked, recorded or shared with third parties.

Twitter's decision to implement DNT features comes at the same time that it'll be rolling out a new personalised suggestions service. On the Twitter Blog Othman Laraki, Director of Growth and International, explains that the users Twitter recommends at the moment aren't always ideal and often focus on the most popular (and often boring) celebrities, rather than users that have the same interests as you. He wrote about the experiments for the coming months:

"The first experiment will show new users a list of accounts that we recommend you follow, alongside a timeline filled with Tweets from those accounts. If you're part of the experiment, you'll see a Twitter experience that's relevant to you right when you sign up."

That all sounds useful, but the reason Twitter has jumped on board with the DNT initiative at the same time, is that for these tailored suggestions to work, Twitter and third party websites need to be keeping a close eye on what users get up to:

"These tailored suggestions are based on accounts followed by other Twitter users and visits to websites in the Twitter ecosystem. We receive visit information when sites have integrated Twitter buttons or widgets, similar to what many other web companies -- including LinkedIn, Facebook and YouTube -- do when they're integrated into websites. By recognizing which accounts are frequently followed by people who visit popular sites, we can recommend those accounts to others who have visited those sites within the last ten days."

Laraki then goes on to explain that Twitter wants users to have control over the data that's collected about them, so if you'd rather not have information about you tracked you can go ahead and change your DNT settings. But don't expect to have personalised recommendations and new "who to follow" features if you do. You can't have the best of both worlds.

What is Do Not Track?

Do Not Track (or DNT) is a privacy setting that anyone can change in their browsers.

It comes from an initiative that was born over in the US and has been endorsed by the FTC, here's a basic rundown from the Twitter Help Center about what it does:

"[It's] a simple way for users to inform integrated web services which offer content across the Internet (such as buttons, widgets, and other embedded features) that they do not want certain information about their webpage visits collected across websites when they have not interacted with that service's content on the page."

You'll be able to change your DNT settings in recent versions of Firefox, Internet Explorer and Safari, which means these browsers tell the websites you visit that you don't want to be tracked.

If you're a Chrome user you can't change your DNT settings as easily (although Google allegedly promises an update in the coming months), but there's an extension you can try too.

Visit the Twitter Help Center for a more detailed how-to about DNT settings.

Visit for more information about the initiative.

©2014 Shiny Digital Privacy Policy