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profiles_flotus_new.jpgThis week Twitter announced that over the next few days its profiles will be given a very Facebook-like makeover.

According to a post on the official Twitter blog, our profiles will soon be getting a major redesign, which will include a larger photo, a HUGE Facebook Timeline-esque cover photo and the ability to pick your best tweets to feature.

We think the redesign actually looks great and allows us to see more of the stuff that matters, the problem is it could change the way we use Twitter a little. Twitter is all about sudden thoughts and updates, give people the ability to feature tweets and pin the best ones to their profiles and it all becomes a little slower and more thought out. For those who embrace social media it may well be a welcome change, for those who hate Facebook and everything it stands for, the new makeover might all seem a bit too familiar and painful.

If you're wondering what the new redesign looks like you can keep an eye out on your profile over the next week or so (they're all going to be reverting very soon) or just go and stalk Michelle Obama, here's is all shiny and new: @flotus.

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Today Vine has taken a leaf out of Instagram's book and has added a private messaging feature into its popular video-looping app. But the big question is: will anyone use it?

A post on the Vine blog today by Jason Toff, the app's Product Manager, reveals that Vine users can now send each other private messages, as well as videos, to anyone in their address book - even if they're not using Vine.

If you want to create a Vine message, which the team are abbreviating to VM, like DM, then just select the new "Messages" option in the main menu.

Your VM inbox is then divided up into two sections, Friends (people you know) and Other (people outside of your network). People who don't want an Other inbox (because you just have to look at Facebook to see how creepy they can be) are able to turn it off in their Settings.

It's clear from the reactions on Twitter that the slightly older generation who are used to broadcasting thoughts and ideas via tweets and Facebook updates are a little confused by the move - my 27-year-old self included. However, you only have to chart the sky-rocketing popularity of much more secretive apps, like Snapchat and WhatsApp, to realise that the younger generations want to share their selfies with the world as much as they want to talk to their friends without anyone else seeing.

As much as we love Buzzfeed and its abundance of quizzes, cats, lists and quizzes we love a good parody Twitter account that rips at the fabric of its existence and makes a mockery of everything it stands for even more.

Enter @buzzfeedquizz, a new but absolutely hilarious Twitter account that satirises Buzzfeed's quizzes by solely tweeting the titles of fictional quizzes that are funny because they straddle the line between "absolutely absurd" and "absolutely likely to be featured on Buzzfeed".

Here are some of our favourite nuggets of quiz comedy gold:

For those interested, we got:

"The second year, filled with nothing but rage and torment!!!"
"Lower pay and street harrassment!!!"
"The tenth plague: The death of the first born!!!"

Related: Will you ever get sick of Buzzfeed's quizzes? I got never, I need them to breathe!!Related:

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Twitter and US-based music magazine Billboard have teamed up to launch a new chart, which will rank music based on what's being shared and tweeted about the most (but only by US users).

According to a post on the Twitter blog, the chart will rank the most popular tracks being talked about in real-time and will also rank those that have been popular for longer periods.

Bob Moczydlowsky, Twitter's Head of Music, said:

"We're partnering with Billboard to create a ground-breaking chart to track the conversation around music as it happens. This means when artists share songs and engage with their audience on Twitter, the buzz they create will now be visible to fans, other musicians and industry decision makers in real-time."

We're hoping this latest announcement is just the start of Twitter's new foray into the world of music, because although charting mentions online is an interesting move and could certainly shake up the industry, it's not the cool new music thingie we were hoping Twitter was going to unveil.

We imagine the team will be tracking how the music chart is received in the US before venturing further afield and seeking new partnerships to deliver the stats - it'd be interesting to see how the tastes in other countries differ at the same time, right?

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Remember when Twitter launched a music app and service called #Music? Yeah, we don't either, but it looks like we wrote about it this time last year. Last week Twitter officially removed #Music from the app store, presumably because no one was really using it.

Well now according to Wall Street Journal, Twitter is already considering its next music step, taking the lessons it learned from #Music forward to create something we'll all actually want to use.

So far very few details about Twitter's new music strategy have been revealed, but a rep told WSJ it would be all about incorporating "music conversations and content" into Twitter rather than creating another standalone app.

Twitter has allegedly been in talks with Beats, Vevo and Sony Music Entertainment, so there could be some interesting collaborations on the horizon. More of a music focus certainly makes sense given there are so many artists actively using the platform with huge followings, but without signing deals with many of the labels out there it looks like direct access to tracks aren't on the cards just yet.

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Over the past few weeks everyone's been talking about the rumours that Twitter could soon phase out some of its most popular features, like the hash tag (oh dear) and the @ reply (say it isn't so?). But in a post published yesterday on the Twitter blog, C├ęsar Puerta, a Software Engineer, explained it's Twitter's photos that'll be getting a more immediate revamp.

The first big change is tagging. You can now upload a photo to Twitter and tag up to ten users in that photo without it affecting your character count. So add a photo, tag up to ten little faces and still have 140 characters to play around with after.

The other new feature is that you can now add up to four photos and upload them all to a single tweet. They're displayed in a little grid, which allows you to click one, view it, and then scroll through the rest. Users on all platforms will see these multiple photo tweets today, but only those with iOS devices will be able to upload them for the time being.

Puerta explains that the move to integrate more photo features into Twitter is to make it "more social" and with more photos than ever before and tagging options akin to those on Facebook and Instagram, it certainly looks like the micro-blogging platform is bolstering its efforts to tear us away from its competitors.

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You may not be bothered about Twitter enough to track who unfollows you or how often the links you tweet are clicked, but we're pretty sure many of you will be curious to know who your first ever follower was and luckily First Follower is here to dish the dirt on your first fan. The question is are you still Twitter buddies or has your social media relationship fallen by the wayside since you first joined?

The Tories are currently in the midst of a particularly LOL-worthy PR fail after MP Grant Shapps tweeted a condescending ad aimed at "hardworking people". Yes, it's real and some have said proves yet again that we can  rely on the Tories to march along blissfully unaware of how out of touch with us poor, drunk, debt-ridden simple folk they really are.

Unsurprisingly, Twitter's reaction was fierce, instantaneous and absolutely hilarious, spawning the #ToryBingo hash tag.

The tweets and memes that followed have been hilarious and here are just a few of our favourites. If you want to make your own then visit torybingo.com and feel free to add it in the comments below.

There were jokes about what poor people eat...

...and how they're forced to live.

Then the tables turned and digs started pouring in that questioned the hobbies of the rich...

...and even their favourite Sunday pastimes.

It's unconfirmed, but people may have also started making fun of the way Tories speak.

A poor person must have read a book at some point to draw this harrowing comparison.

This pretty much sums up the views of the nation....

...and this sums up the views of the Tories.

The Labour leader of Camden Council, Sarah Hayward, was recently asked about her Twitter use by a fellow councillor.

Here is her brilliant response.

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You can read all about her views on Arsenal, the X factor and more at Sarah_Hayward

As for the questioner Paul Braithwaite, he is a Lib Dem with a Twitter account at @AQcouncillor

You won't be surprised to find that he has only tweeted about five times in the last month.

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Twitter has gone all technical on us to prove just how HUGE Ellen DeGeneres' selfie tweet from the Oscars really was.

According to a blog post by Michael Fleischman, Twitter's Head of Media Science, from Sunday at 5 p.m. ET until Monday at 5 a.m. ET, tweets about the Oscars were viewed more than 3.3 billion times across the globe. That's 19.1 million Tweets about the Oscars during that time sent by more than 5 million people. HUGE, right?

And Ellen's now super famous tweet? Well it's definitely the most retweeted in history (and by history we obviously mean since Twitter was set up in 2006) now topping 3 million. That means it was seen by an audience of more than 8.1 million people across Twitter.com and Twitter's mobile and desktop apps. However, it's also been embedded on 13,711 web pages, so if we're counting those views of the tweets too, then according to Fleischman that's a combined impressions figure of 32.8 million for Ellen's tweet.

cinema-image-left.jpgTweets and Vines can sure be entertaining. But are they entertaining enough to be plastered all over cinemas before big budget movies begin? Although we're not too sure, Twitter certainly feels its content is worthy of the silver screen.

This week the micro-blogging platform confirmed a deal with in-cinema ad firm National CineMedia (also NCM) to develop a one minute long feature each week focusing on trending movie and entertainment-related content.

Variety reports that the tweet-filled segments will begin in summer of this year and the audience will be encouraged to get their smartphones out and interact even more - possibly nabbing their content a spot the week after.

The big question mark now is how this Vine and Twitter content will be used to keep audiences engaged and which brands will be willing to sponsor it.

Image via Flickr.com.

mangal2.jpgSo you have started your restaurant, the decor is finished, the menus printed and the chef is sharpening his kitchen knives. What you need next is a genius social media strategy that will have punters queueing round the corner to get in. So maybe you should start by cribbing from this Facebook site and this Twitter feed.

There are thousands of restaurants online that post boring old pics of their food, along with updates of changes to the menu etc. With the Twitter feed from the superb Stoke Newington/Dalston kebaberie Mangal 2 and the Worthing Wimpy you get a completely difefrent approach which in both instances is utterly addictive.

The Mangal 2 Twitter account is just superb - a total breath of fresh air. Branded Twitter accounts are supposed to be inclusive, friendly and informative, this one is edgy, rude and often hilarious. Their deadly rivalry with Mangal 1 restaurant is just one of many reasons the Twitter feed has become a cult with nearly 9000 followers.

So here is their take on the game and album of the week

And what they think of kids

And it doesn't get more welcoming than this

And a warm welcome for North London's most celebrated new Turkish/German arrival

I know from personal experience that the food is as good as the Twitter account too.

As for Worthing Wimpy this is genius example of a Facebook page run by a team who posts in a wonderfully clever and imaginative way. A million miles away from Mangal2 no matter what you think of Wimpy (a UK version of Burger King but with a side of more traditional British fare) you'll want to hang out with the cool, welcoming and fun people who put it together. Guess the beer/burger contests, gratuitous use of Bangles videos, gentle mickey taking of the staff - it is really rather sweet.

It won 'Wimpy of the year' this year and if the food and service is anywhere near as good as the Facebook pages the guys certainly earned it.

Here's a quick post - btw spelling isn't their strongest point, but that only makes them even more loveable.

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How Twitter can help you fall in love (aah)

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Barry-White-Cant-Get-Enough.jpgWant to find yourself a partner. Well then get tweeting - that the implicaitons of a survey undertake by electronics retailer PIXmania.co.uk into how people are using social media to give Cupid's arrow a bit of a nudge.

The survey, which questioned 2,500 16 -45 year olds, concluded that it takes on average 224 Tweets, 163 text messages, 70 Facebook messages, 37 emails and 30 phone calls, for a couple to fall head over heels.

Significantly tweeting topped the table ahead of texting in second place as the number one method of seduction for the nation's sweethearts, with old school phone calls nowhere in sight.

Another golden rule of wooing has also been chucked out of the window. The researchers found that the traditional three days wait for couples to contact each other after a first date has been jettisoned and now the average time is just four hours before couples chat again on social media.

All this tech has speeded up the amount of time it takes for people to fall in love. When questioned couples aged 55 and over said that on average their courting process took more than two and a half months (78 days) whereas for those under the age of 25 it takes just under one month (24 days) for them to refer to each other as boyfriend and girlfriend.

Commenting on the findings, Ghadi Hobeika, Marketing Director of PIXmania.co.uk , said: "With the Nation obsessed with constantly communicating with one another, modern technology is putting the speed into speed dating and encouraging more contact between budding lovers. The days of penning a simple love letter to woo your new beau are over. From flirting on Facebook to teasing on Twitter modern day lovers are increasingly embracing technology to help snare their catch."

The survey also found that more than a third (34%) of couples admitted to sexting each other with raunchy pictures and over half (52%) of those questioned said they feel less inhibited when using technology to chat up a date.

If you are going to finish though, a phone call is still the favoured method - quite rightly so IMO. Only 13% revealed they had called it a day using social media.

Prince-on-twitter.jpgNow here's one person you wouldn't expect to see on Twitter, yep Prince the squiggled one of yore who has in the past railed against the web even telling the Daily Mirror back in 2010 that he thought the Internet was over. He has also apparently intended to file lawsuits against eBay, YouTube and the Pirate Bay for the misuse of his music.

Anyhow, it seems like the genius 80s popster has gone all social for he has launched a Twitter account at @3rdeyegirl, which appear to be his latest nom de plume as his new single, Groovy Potential, appears on the 3rd Eye Girl YouTube account.

His tweets have been just as baffling too.

He started off with a vintage image of himself and the words "hi im prince". A few hours later he included a photograph of a salad accompanied by the words "DID EYE ADD 2 MUCH PEPPER?"

He seems to be generous with his retweets too. So if you want Prince to share your thoughts with the rest of the globe now is the time.

At the time of writing he has around 32,000 followers.

manutdtwitter.jpgThey might have topped the Premiership last season, but when it comes to digital and social media Man United are clearly Conference level.

Expect that to start to change though as this morning the Reds finally made their debut on some hot new platform called, coughs Twitter. Yep head to @manutd and you can get all the latest updates from the Manc club.

The first uplifting tweet is this

At the time of writing, a few minutes after its launch the club had over 3000 followers (60,000 by the time I had finished spellchecking!). Expect that to be closer to three million by the end of the day.

So that's Twitter sorted them, how about YouTube?

Update - Almost 100,000 followers in an hour! Three tweets!

Here's an interesting innovation that comes from Sky in Brazil but you can bet that it will happen here soon.

The company has developed a new service for subscribers that enables people to make timed recording on its service using Twitter.

The Sky customer registers their Twitter username on the Sky site, it is then linked to their subscriber number and they can record programmes by re-tweeting @skybrasil including the hashtag #SKYREC.

Sky then works to connects the Twitter name with the customer's box at home and automatically records the programme.

Sounds like a useful way of programing the box and you can bet it won't be long before some one launches it here.

Incidentally although Sky Brasil was set up partly by BSkyB it is is now owned largely by US company DirecTV.

In case you haven't heard the news Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, has launched a video recording app that is set to take on the Twitter owned Vine. Yes Vine remember that? The six second video app? In case you've forgotten here is a classic Vine to jog your memory.

However it looks like Instagram has monitored Vine very carefully and learned some key lessons, and its offering is way superior.

In terms of ease of use there isn't a huge amount to chose between them, but in other key areas Instagram massively scores over its rival.

1 You get longer to shoot - With Vine you have to cram the video into six seconds, Instagram gives you fifteen. I have always thought that six was too short, 15 feels about right.

2 Instagram is better in low light conditions - Vine frankly is very poor when the lights are low. At least with Instagram it adjusts focus and exposure to optimise the picture no matter where you are shooting it.

3 Instagram has those famous filters - Yep you get 13 of the filters that you know and love which you can use to add a little retro quality to your video.

4 It also has a post shooting image stabilisation option to reduce the camera shake on your vid.

5 Instagram is available for Android users from day one - With Vine it felt like a bit of an afterthought

It isn't just us who prefers the newbie

"Vine is like fast food, while Instagram video is more like eating in a nicer restaurant," said Ovum analyst Jan Dawson.

However I am sure it won't be long before Vine has more advanced features to rival Instagram. But by then will it be too late?

EDF-twitter-feed-replying-to-people-confusing-them-with-the-EDL-1905962.jpgYou have to feel just a little bit sorry for the person running EDF Energy's Twitter account this morning. It sounds like they have been besieged by tweets angry about the behaviour of the protest group the EDL - English Defence League.

So EDL and EDF Energy - that's quite a significant mistake to make. For the record the EDF account is @edfenergy while the EDL is @Official_EDL. So now you know.

It isn't of course the first time that tweeters have got a bit confused. Here are some more examples.

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1 @RVP - For a few days earlier in the year Indian IT consultant Ravi Visvesvaraya Sharada Prasad became one of the most popular men on Twitter. That's because his name @RVP was construed by people who hadn't quite done their research to be the Twitter name of that treacherous harlot/Premiership winning striker (delete as appropriate) Robin Van Persie. The best gag of the whole episode came from one tweeter who mimiced the United cry for RVP by saying of the Indian IT guy - 'he consultants when he wants.'

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2 @theashes 22 year old American Ashley Kerekes got ever so slightly annoyed when during the 2010/2011 England Vs Australia cricket series fans kept tweeting about The Ashes @theashes rather than #theashes. Still don't feel too sorry for her as she got a nice trip to Australia to learn all about the game.

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3 @chrishoy - The England cyclist got a shed load of abuse from, bizarrely enough Spurs fans in late 2011, when they mixed him up with the referee Chris Foy.

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4 @JohnRobinson is a social media type who specialises in media journalism. He has never made a rap record, but tweeters have on occasion told him how great it as doing it.

A month or so ago I wondered out loud whether people were still using Vine, that Twitter backed animated GIF/mini video type thing that was all the rage earlier in the year..

Well it seem that Vine has been listening to what its user have been saying and has now introduced a few very worthwhile tweaks.

In a post on the blog here the company announced a few minor amends and one very cool new feature.

As for the minor stuff you can now mention people in your videos so that when the video is posted they will receive a notification in Activity. There have also been some tweaks to the search system that Vine says makes it work more efficiently.

The big change though is the introduction of Selfies.You can now create Vines using your front-facing camera. To do this you need to tap the button in the bottom left corner to try the front-facing camera when you start to create a post. You can switch back and forth between the regular and front-facing camera as many times as you want.

Here's an example of how it works. Looks a lot of fun.

So are you still using Vine?

Btw this is still the best Vine ever - genius

Social media buttons. Everyone loves them and we all use them. They can express how you feel without you having to exert any energy at all in 1, thinking 2, actually writing something sensible.

But there really ought to be more of them. Here are five that should be launched asap, but almost certainly won't be as the social media powers that be are scared we might not use them in a dignified manner.

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1 Facebook - So What - Ideal for when you see the eighteenth Buzzfeed post of the day in your stream or when a friend overdoses on the cutesy dogs pics.

2 Twitter - Like - When you want to tell someone that you like their tweet, but don't want to retweet it, and no that isn't what the favourite button on Twitter is for.

3 LinkedIn - Non-recommendation button
- When you worked with the person they were a complete arse - and you guess that they probably still are.

4 Facebook - Dislike button - for when something not good happens to your friends they get ill or lose their job etc

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5 Facebook - WTF - Very different from the So What button this is for expressing complete surprise at a situation. AKA the Golly Gosh button.

6 Facebook - WAATP - Nothing to do with the excellent football site, this is actually for expressing surprise about semi-naked pics of your friend on their recent holiday.

7 LinkedIn - Kerching - For when those too good to be true business offers start cluttering up your news feed

Any others?

WTF pic credit


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