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This week sees that two-thirds of companies have moved beyond the experimental phase of their social media strategies, while other research says the majority of Britons don't want to engage with brands on social platforms. Also this week Google+ unveils Badges to let brand promote their presence, global brands sign up to virtual anti-bullying march, will Facebook's new Timeline lead to over-sharing, get argumental on Barkles, and you can now schedule Facebook posts.

Two-thirds of companies have moved beyond experimental phase of social media strategies
The State of Social 2011 report shows that 64% of the companies asked are taking social media seriously, focusing on the 'big four' networks, with over half of respondents (52%) saying that their organisations use Facebook for reacting to customer issues and inquiries compared to only 29% last year. The study also found that 50% of companies use Twitter for customer service, compared to only 35% in 2010.

Majority of Brits to not want to engage with brands on social networks
According to research company TNS' Digital Life study, 61% of UK internet users don't want to be bothered by big name brands on Facebook, Twitter and other social networks. This could be bad news for brands as powerhouses like Pepsi, Burberry and Tesco are pushing millions of pounds into their online marketing strategy. The key focus for brands to turn this around is be to create great content that entertain and educate instead of simply pushing out brand messages left, right and centre. Think what works for each social network platform, look at how these very different audiences interact and customise the content for its intended recipients.

Global brands sign up to virtual march against bullying in aid for Charity
As part of Anti-Bullying week in 2012, Beatbullying has created the first global, virtual march for children's rights and big brands like Facebook and Universal Music and celebrities such as Pixie Lott and Twiggy have already signed up. The children's charity is hoping to get more than two million people to march virtual avatars across as many websites as possible over 48 hours in February 2012, which will finish at a virtual representation of the United Nations building in New York.

Twitter users most generous when it comes to charity donations
Social giving is on the rise with platforms like JustGiving making the sponsorship, promotion and donation process quick and easy. A study by the company has found that there's been a dramatic increase in social giving over the past years and that Twitter users are apparently the most generous writes ShinyShiny. Facebook is still king though when it comes to the amount of donations the site receives, which is not so strange considering the size of the network compared to Twitter and other social networks.

Will Facebook's new Timeline ask you for too much information?
With the emergence of social media, one of life's questions is now: To share or not to share? And now that Facebook is introducing its new Timeline "soon", according to its project managers, we will be forced to make even more choices about sharing. The world's biggest social network will be asking you to add 'Life Events' to your profile - or Timeline - which means sharing key life events with your friends. The Events are grouped into five sections: Work and Education, Family and Relationships, Living, Health and Wellness, and Milestones and Experiences. Each category is further divided into several optional life events, such as buying a house or car, moving and... got a piercing or tattoo? Why would people - let alone Facebook - be interested in when I got my piercing... While the idea of a digital scrapbook of my life seems like a nice idea, parts of me is wondering how Facebook will use this data that many people may and may not willingly share?

YouTube to roll out major user interface redesigns?
The Next Web received a tip about some serious user interface redesigns on Google owned YouTube. What looks like to only have been issued to a selected few of its many users, what is most noteworthy is deep integration with Google+ and the shared content. Thus Google is one step closer towards extending the social platform - which it has said is not a social network - more heavily into each of its products. Check out the images on The Next Web to see what the redesign looks like.

Barkles - a new social network for the opinionated
Do you love a good debate? If yes, check out Barkles, a social network that's been created for just that. Simply sign up for an account and start your debate - or join in on an existing one. Easy as that! However you only have up to 200 characters to get your point across, so Barkles' Australian creators have seemingly been inspired by Twitter... Will Barkles be around this time next year: Yes or No?

Google dominates search market in October with a 65.6% share
Just like Facebook dominates the social network market, there is no secret that Google dominates search. New data from ComScore shows that the search giant took the majority of the market in October with a share of almost two thirds.  Yahoo! landed on second while Microsoft with 15.2% and 14.8% share respectively.

How men and women are sharing differently online [infographic]
We all know that men and women do things differently in most areas of life - it's what makes things fun (or really annoying depending on what it is). But how do the two sexes share memories online? NYC based company Proust.com - a private network to share your life story with those who matter (that's your friends and family in case you were wondering) by answering questions - did a survey of its users and is turns out men and women tend to take different paths as they stroll down memory lane. Check out their infographic for the complete results but to summarise: women are six times more likely to share details of what happened at parties compared to men, women are eight times more likely to share their favourite love songs. That said, ten times more men consider themselves nerdy and share stories about being picked on in school or about their first ever computer. And when are men and women equal in sharing stories? When it comes to weddings and careers. Are you surprised by the findings?

Buffer for Facebook enables users to schedule their posts
Twitter users have been able to schedule their updates for a long time - with good and bad results - using various third-party services. One of these, Buffer, has now debuted its Facebook scheduling service saying it had been its "top requested feature." We can hear community managers and marketers breathe a sigh of relief, as they can now schedule updates at the right time and well-spaced out over the day without having to remember to log on to Facebook and post.

Google+ unveils Badges to let brands promote their presence
Only days after Google opened Google+ Pages up to brands and businesses they revealed Google+ Badges, a widget that lets brands promote their presence on the network. Much like Facebook's Like plugin, the easily embeddable widget will allow users to either +1 a webpage or add that page to their Circles. It will also show which other Google+ users have +1ed that page. According to Mashable the Google+ Badge has a few other tricks too: "The Google+ badge also contains a snippet of code that connects your website to your Google+ page," the company said in an email to developers. "In addition to helping us better index your Google+ page, this snippet will help you show more personal recommendations around the web by linking your +1's on sites, your Google+ page, search and display ads."

Brands that include photos and call to action in social network posts see higher engagement rates
Getting followers to engage with their content and posts on social networks is like the Holy Grail for brands, but it can be hard to determine which type of post is more efficient. A study of 16 brands and more than 1,500 brand posts over two months this year, has found that Facebook posts with photos saw an engagement rate of 0.37%, which was higher than posts  with videos (0.31%), text only (0.27%) and links (0.15%). Interesting as these findings are, brands need to decide which strategy work best for them and their audience and as with everything this is a constant work in motion so brands need to regularly evaluate their content and tailor it to what that their fans prefer and want.

Virgin Atlantic launches tweetbot flight checker service
If you're flying with Virgin Atlantic anytime soon it might be worth following @VAAInfo on Twitter as you can send an enquiry about your flight status and receive information about your flight "within seconds".

This week sees Google+ launch its long awaited brand and business pages, rumour has it Instagram may be adding video sharing, how Tweet life and Klout scores are connected, romantic relationships in a social media world, Drinkify and Burberry continues its digital content endeavours.

Google+ launches brand and business pages
After waiting for what seems like forever (in digital time) Google has finally unveiled its Google+ Pages for brands and businesses, and they're... not so different from the personal ones. Having got over the initial disappointment, we've had a play around and checked out some of the brands, like Burberry, that have already extended social initiatives to include Google+. With the launch Google hopes that brands will now share the vast amount of content they are churning out to create a richer experience for its users, and in turn making people use the service on a more regular basis. Google has also introduced an official Google+ Pages guide.

Key points of Google+ Pages
You can +1 a Page to show support or add them to your Circles
No Google+ Page can follow you until you follow them
Google+ Pages will unfollow you automatically if you unfollow them
You can find Google+ Pages in Google+ Search

Burberry attempts 'mass customisation' as it truly establishes itself as a media-content company
Social media forward brand, Burberry is making its first attempt to let people design and purchase their own, personalised version of the company's iconic trench coat. With prices expected to start at $1,800 to $8,800, Burberry Bespoke will see almost 12 million combination, ensuring unique designs are obtainable. If you can't afford the real thing, you can still create a design and share it on Twitter and Facebook.

Instagram to introduce video sharing?
We love Instagram (so much that we've run an Instagram photo competition with our sister company) and apparently the photo sharing iPhone app is now looking to introduce video sharing according to The Next Web. As these rumours excite us iPhone users, it seems like Android users will have to wait a while still to take part in the photo and possibly soon video sharing fun as there is no news on an Android app.

Tweets by users with high Klout scores last up to 67 times longer
We're on the fence with Klout and what it has to say about your influence, but apparently a fleeting tweet may last up to 67 times longer if it was tweeted by a user with a high Klout score compared to other users. The results are presented in this infographic and interestingly tweets from users with a Klout score less than 40 actually have an identical half-life to those with a score between 70 to 75, which compares well with other studies on the half-life of sharing writes Mashable.

Romance and social media
Personally, romantic relationships and social media intrigues me as it is always interesting to see how people flirt, communicate and possibly break-up for everyone connected to them to see. Lab42 have taken the pulse on today's relationship seekers as well as established loves and conducted a survey this October, asking 500 social network users over 18 some fairly personal questions about meeting people, cheating, communication and more.

If you're looking for love, only 11% said 'physical attractiveness' was the most important trait their significant other should possess (no need to panic too much about your avatar then...), with 23% opting for 'other' (political views, religion, career oriented, financially stability and taste in music). Other findings show that an astonishing 75% believed there is ONE true soulmate for every person, and Facebook appears to be the preferred way to find out more about someone you're interested in with 57% of the singles asked saying they would Facebook friend someone after meeting them.

Drinkify will tell you what to drink while listening to your favourite music
We're all for things that can make our lives easier, and to have the hassle of deciding which drink to have when listening to Little Dragon, Casiokids or even Metallica can be such a pain - not really as the answer must surely Gin at all times! New site Drinkify aims to make your music experience a bit different, teaming up your musical taste to the best beverage along with a recipe on how to prepare it.  Not sure about the blood and cough syrup mixture for Cradle of Filth though...

Disney and YouTube signs video content deal
According to The New York Times, Disney and YouTube are set to announce a content deal worth between $10 to $15 million, which will see YouTube invest millions on an original video series produced by Disney and distributed exclusively through a brand new co-branded channel on YouTube and Disney.com.

US Starbucks launches augmented reality app for Christmas season
Avid coffee fans will know that when the red cups hit Starbucks Christmas is just around the corner (I love the eggnog latte, but I'll let the discussion about the quality of the coffee take place elsewhere), and this holiday season Starbucks is launching its first augmented reality app - Starbucks Cup Magic - that will let customers animate their coffee cups with their smartphones. Unfortunately for us European dwellers, the app will only be available in the US, but check out this video on how it works.

Adidas launches the world's first social football boots
Football clubs are becoming more aware of the importance of social media, and the likes of Manchester City and Manchester United are both breaking new ground in the social and digital sphere. So it was only a matter of time before brands that cater for one of the most popular sports in the world got on the bandwagon big time. Adidas has now revealed a new design that could change the playing field completely. With an on-board computer that stores data, the new boots measure speed, distance travelled and top speed. As soon as the game has stopped, the data is transmitted wirelessly to your phone, tablet or computer ready to be analysed. With top players having their own football boots sponsorships it will be interesting to see how this will impact clubs who will no doubt be eager to discover in more detail how their players are performing.

Glamour gains 50,000 'Likes' by marrying Facebook and 2D barcodes
The September issue of Glamour magazine got over 50,000 Facebook Likes for advertisers by including 2D barcodes in the adverts. The codes could be found throughout the magazine and was put there to see if codes invoking Facebook would spur more readers to action. Results show a high level of interaction, proving that readers do enjoy a more interactive magazine experience.

This week sees that the number of visits to online video sites in the UK has increased by 36% since September 2010, four new social media magazines launch, the optimum length of a Facebook post, watch Florence + the Machine new album launch gig online for £3.99, Google makes changes to Reader and are brands 'over-reliant' on Facebook?

Visits to online video sites has increased by 36% in UK since 2010
New stats from Experian Hitwise show that visits to online video sites grew by over a third in the UK over the past year, with over 785 million visits to sites like YouTube in September.  From 2010 to 2011 traffic increased by 36%, truly demonstrating the increasing popularity of online video. If anything this shows the importance of incorporating video into brand campaigns.

How consumers interact with brands on social media [infographic]
A pan-European study has found that one third of Facebook and Twitter users in the UK follow brands, which apparently is more than twice the percentage of other markets on the continent, writes Wall Blog. Other stats include:
- Twitter has the highest sharing rate of branded messages and content (18%)
- Consumers want brands active in social media channels to be 'informative', 'entertaining' and 'interactive'

Social media magazines hit the shelves
At a time when most magazines and newspapers are gravitating towards tablet apps, digital editions it is interesting to learn that GSG World Media is publishing four new monthly magazines dedicated to Twitter, Facebook, Google and LinkedIn. The freshly pressed magazines are 'aimed at helping business owners harness the power of the social sphere' and come at $7.95 each.  But if you'd rather keep things digital, they are also available for free via a digital subscription. Is this the way forward: Offer print editions at premium prices and give the content away for free digitally? Not the best business model is it...

Does size matter when it comes to Facebook updates?
Apparently so. Publishing platform Vitrue has looked at over 11,000 posts made by the 150 largest Pages on Facebook to see if there is an optimum length on Facebook posts when it comes to engagement. Taking the Likes and comments and dividing them by the number of fans they ended up with an engagement rate as a percentage. The result: the longer the post gets, the more the engagement rate decreases... So what is the optimum number of characters? Well the study didn't say but ensure to keep Facebook posts as concise as possible while still fully communicating what you want.

Watch Florence + the Machine new album launch gig online
The gig is long sold out, but courtesy of theguardian and LoveLive fans of Florence + the Machine can see the album launch performance at Hackney Empire tonight, 25th October, online. Just request your access code, pay £3.99 and you're there (almost). Definitely cheaper that going to the gig, but the atmosphere won't be the same...

Are brands over-reliant on Facebook?
With brands investing millions into developing excellent Facebook pages, could they be at risk of trading in their privacy? A leading analyst at Constellation Research Group - quoted in Marketing Magazine - thinks so and has now warned brands that they are 'over-reliant on Facebook and it will come back and bite them'. An interesting notion, but we'd like to think brands are using Facebook in a way that doesn't put privacy or customer data at risk. However with Facebook's many 'privacy issues' over the past years, it's worth thinking twice about how your brand's customer data is stored. Are brand owned platforms the future?

Google makes changes to Reader
Google is definitely working on cleaning up its social/digital footprint. Not long after announcing Google Buzz is to become extinct, they've now revealed that they will be making changes to Google Reader. The service will get a brand new design and be brought closer to Google+. In a few weeks you'll no longer be able to friend, follow or share linked blogs inside of Reader. This will now be integrated into Google+ so if you're an avid user of Reader you best start working on your Circles now!

LinkedIn launches new tool to help you stay in touch with old school friends
First and foremost a place to keep your professional connections organised, LinkedIn is launching a new tool called 'Classmates' which aims to help you stay in touch with fellow graduates and alumni. Personally I welcome this as I sometimes feel that my Facebook is crowded with people whose holiday photos I don't necessarily want to see, but who I keep on there because I once went to school with them and it would be a shame to loose contact completely. What do you think?

43% of Londoners use social media to find jobs [infographic]
A nifty infographic by LondonLovesJobs shows how Londoners search for a job and how social media is changing this. No surprise that people are using social media in the hunt for the next step on the career ladder, but the research also shows that employers have yet to fully tap into this trend - as are the recruitment teams! Other stats worth nothing:
- 25% of Londoners look for a job on LinkedIn
- Only 14% of job sites and companies advertise or promote openings via social media
- More men than women search for jobs via social media channels - 30% of men use LinkedIn to find a job compared to 18% of women

More mums use Facebook and other social networks than average internet users
New figures by eMarketer show that an estimated 23 million US mums are on Facebook this year, using the site at least once a month, representing well over two-thirds of all online mothers in the country.  This means that more mothers use Facebook and other social networks each month compared to average internet users. Luckily my mum is not on Facebook - have yet to convert her to Skype - but I do have a few aunts and friends that have offspring of their own.

Toyota launches Facebook game ahead of Tokyo Motor Show sports car debut
Japanese car manufacturer Toyota has launched a Facebook game to promote the production model sports car that it plans to debut at the Tokyo Motor Show in December. Dubbed the Social Network Racer the game is now live and will run through 31 December, allowing racers across the globe to 'test-drive' the new car and compete for a super prize: a free trip to Japan. Start your engines!

Personal sharing network Path closing in on 1 million users
I tried Path - the mobile app that lets you share images and the personal things with friends - when it first launched a while ago. To be honest, I never used it again. But good news for the company as it is apparently closing in on 1 million users.  Path enables you to share the most personal things with a limited number of your nearest and dearest  (50 last time I checked), such as first dates, deaths or injury that perhaps might not be sharable on other social networks like Twitter and Facebook. Do you use Path?

This week sees Google kill off Buzz to focus on Google+ as it reaches 40 million users, a new study finds that brands see social media as long-term investment, Starbucks UK to offer coffee and iTunes downloads, how social media impacts brand marketing, Prime Minister David Cameron checks-in on Foursquare, and take a virtual dog for a walk to raise money for charity.

Google kills off Buzz as Google+ hits 40 million users
In a press release from the company, CEO Larry Page has said that Google+ now has accumulated an impressive 40 million users adding that "people are flocking into Google+ at an incredible rate and we are just getting started!" Do you still remember to use it? This comes at the same time as the company is removing the last remainders of Google Buzz to focus on its more "successful" social endeavour.

Brands see social media as long-term investment
A new study from ISBA finds that 100% of the 50 brands interviewed are using social media in one way or another with 78% of those asked saying it was a 'long-term commitment'.

With 50% revealing they have already hired dedicated in-house staff, the study also highlighted a growing trend of social media steering groups within companies that involve people from all aspects of the business to ensure coherence throughout for social media strategy.

Starbucks UK launches free iTunes download on Mondays
Just a week after it launched free WiFi across 650 of its UK outlets, coffee chain Starbucks has partnered with Apple to offer 'Pick of the Week' iTunes music or book downloads to every customer each Monday. 700 stores will now offer download code cards with purchases so you can now get your hazelnut mocha with a song - or book! First up is James Morrison and the ebook Limitless by Alan Glynn. Future downloads will include tracks from the likes of Coldplay, Tony Bennett, Norah Jones and the Kooks, as well as The Damned UTD by David Pierce writes TechDigest. We like!

eBay makes online shopping more social as it integrates with Facebook
No doubt about it, Facebook is changing the way we live and shop. The latest to tie up with the social network is ecommerce giant eBay which will be integrating Facebook's Open Graph into its open commerce platform to create a more 'social shopping experience'. In other words, those selling on eBay will be able to share their products more easily with Facebook's 800 million plus users by adding "want" and "own" into the shopping experience.

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron joins Foursquare
That's right, if you want to follow David Cameron and the places he's visiting you can now do so as the Prime Minister has joined Foursquare, setting up a number10gov account. Wonder if we'll see Cameron check in to the local take-away at 4am on a Sunday morning... You can also follow the account for facts about 10 Downing Street, including some about the resident cat Larry.

How social media impacts brand marketing
Nielsen has just published a new report that shows the value of social media and the important role it plays in purchasing decisions. According to a blog post, "60% of consumers researching products thought multiple online sources learned about a specific brand or retailer thought social networking sites".

Tablet owners consume more news and media
According to a new study tablet owners consume a greater variety and volume of news on their devices with 78% of respondents saying they read more news stories and follow a greater variety of news topics, writes Mashable.  When it comes to overall news experience more than three-fourths said tablets make it more enjoyable, and more than a third said they spend more time each day with media because of the tablet. The same study also found that two in three tablet owners also use their devices often while doing other things like spending time with their friends or watching TV.

Christiano Ronaldo signs up to Chinese microblogging service
Portuguese football star Christiano Ronaldo has become the latest high profile western figure to start microblogging in China. Twitter as you might know is blocked in China, which offers two similar microblogging - weibo - services, so it doesn't mean that Ronaldo is planning a move to the Chinese football league, but simply that he wants to "keep in touch" with his fans in the country. Mind you, as The Next Web reports, the service Ronaldo has joined, Tencent, is known for paying high profile Chinese celebrities to join so could money be the motivation for the former Manchester United player?

Audi launches world first interactive YouTube driving video
There have been a few cool interactive videos on YouTube over the past years, and now car brand Audi has decided to get in on the action. In what it claims is a world first, the new interactive YouTube video features the new Audi A6 which you can steer via your keyboard. Nice idea.

Pet food brand launches virtual dog walk charity drive
First there was Burberry with its tweetwalk, now dog food brand Pedigree has launched a virtual dog walk to raise awareness of Pedigree's annual dog-adoption drive. Running for a week (started 17 October) the campaign encourages uses to take Ripley, the virtual dog, for a walk around the web. Every time a user interacts with Ripley, Pedigree will donate £1 to the adoption drive until it reaches its £100,000 target. No excuses now as you can walk the dog while still sitting at your desk - we've done it!

YouTube enables artists to sell merchandise and tickets through their channels
First there was f-commerce and now there is YouTube-commerce. The online video hosting site is rolling out a digital merchandise store over the coming weeks, which will allow artists to sell merchandise, tickets as well as digital downloads from their YouTube channels. Having teamed up with Topspin (merchandise, tickets and experiences), Songkick for concerts and Amazon and iTunes for music downloads it shows how the service is adapting to changes in the market.

UK Apple owners are the most satisfied with their device
Blackberry's owners might be the most loyal, but comScore data show that Apple owners most satisfied with their device among all mobile subscribers in the UK. HTC followed on second with RIM on a third. We wonder how the numbers will change following the recent Blackberry outage...

The lifespan of Facebook posts - How often should you post?
New data by Facebook analytics company PageLever shows that the average Facebook post has a lifespan of 22 hours and 51 minutes. Now everyone wants their posts to be seen by fans, so based on this what is the best 'Facebook post strategy'? To maximise possible exposure it would be advisable to post a new update when the other 'disappears' to always have a live post out there for your fans to like and comment on.

For pages with large fan bases All Facebook points out the shortest post lifespan was 11 to 13 hours with the longest clocking in at 50 hours (over a weekend). Now the data was collected from only 20 posts - but from pages with over 2 million followers - so can't be said to be extremely accurate but it is interesting nonetheless.

Twitter gains control of the word 'Tweet'
After a lengthy legal battle with Twittad, Twitter has managed to get the trademark for the word 'Tweet'.

This week sees the launch of the iPhone4S, but no iPhone5, Apple's "visionary" Steve Jobs dies, Burberry is UK's most successful brand on Facebook, more bands and brands use Instagram, Facebook Pages reveals translation tool and much more.

New Facebook metric means brands cannot rest on their 'Likes' laurels
As part of its recent changes Facebook has introduced a new metric 'People Talking About' which is designed to help brands get closer to users. With 'Likes' no longer being the only - and perhaps not most accurate - way to measure user engagement and such, Mashable (via Big Spaceship) has discovered that the introduction of this new metric changes the top ten list of the most popular Facebook brands based on engagement. Coca-cola has been bumped of the top spot if you look at talked about, giving space to Starbucks to claim number one. Interestingly Victoria's Secret jumped from 10th (Likes) to 3rd (Talked About).

Björk releases 'Biophillia' album online first and offers highlights on iPad
We've already seen how the iPad lends itself to fashion and creatives alike who are looking to push boundaries for technology, so it comes as no surprise that musicians are joining in. To promote her newest album 'Biophillia' - which she has released online first - Icelandic artist Björk has released an iPad app where you can hear her use the iPad as a musical instrument. You can also have a go by downloading her app!

Burberry is UK's most successful brand on Facebook
According to research by online analytics company Socialbakers the British fashion house - which was the first one with a tweetwalk during London Fashion Week -has the highest number of fans in the UK followed by Skittles and ASOS, writes NewMediaAge. Meanwhile car manufacturer Volkswagen has seen the greatest growth in percentages from January to September with an astonishing growth of 1833% (from 2,446 to 47,277).

The Vaccines crowdsources fan photos through Instagram for new music video
More and more brands are using Instagram successfully to interact with people online, and now indie rockers The Vaccines have used the iPhone photo-sharing app to make their new video. "Wetsuit" is made almost entirely of crowdsourced images by fans which have been submitted through Instagram using the tag #vaccinesvideo. The band received nearly 3,000 photos from fans who were keen to get their seconds of fame.

YouGov says the tablet war will be between the iPad and the Amazon Kindle Fire
Research by the polling company on people's perceptions about tablet PCs shows that the iPad is the most-wanted tablet (no surprise there) and that the only serious rival to Apple's device is likely to be the Kindle Fire. While no date has been given, the launch of the latter on the UK market could see the tablet war heat up as Amazon is likely to sell the Kindle Fire at a much lower cost than Apple's iPad, not to mention that the online retailer can match that of iTunes content offering.

Ted Baker integrates Instagram in autumn/winter social campaign
High street fashion retailer Ted Baker has launched a social media campaign to push its autumn/winter collection and is encouraging UK shoppers to try on their latest collection and pose in deer masks. Photos of the shoppers will be taken by fashion bloggers using the popular Instagram iPhone app and uploaded to the Ted Baker Facebook page. We're sure that people would do it just for the fun of posing in deer masks but to be on the safe side the image with the most likes will win £500 worth of Ted Baker vouchers.

YouTube launches film rentals in UK
Great news for film lovers in the UK as they can now rent more than a thousand feature films by going to youtube.com/movies. The video giant announced this via its official blog and marks a major shift in the online video rental market as well as a big move for YouTube.

Apple unveils the iPhone fi... four S? What happened to the iPhone5?
Yes that's right the most anticipated phone the iPhone5 never happened and instead Apple proudly unveiled the iPhone 4S. The Guardian was even so excited about the 5th version of the popular smartphone that it announced it... You can read more about the updated fourth version here, but the biggest update is Siri a new voice recognition app. We tested it in the office this week and while it is pretty cool we expect it can become pretty annoying when people around you start dictating text messages/emails/tweets/Facebook updates for everyone to hear...

YouGov says the tablet war will be between the iPad and the Amazon Kindle Fire
Research by the polling company on people's perceptions about tablet PCs shows that the iPad is the most-wanted tablet (no surprise there) and that the only serious rival to Apple's device is likely to be the Kindle Fire. While no date has been given, the launch of the latter on the UK market could see the tablet war heat up as Amazon is likely to sell the Kindle Fire at a much lower cost than Apple's iPad, not to mention that the online retailer can match that of iTunes content offering.

Spotify adds 2 million users after Facebook integration
After becoming buddies with Facebook, Spotify now forces new users to sign up with Facebook so if you want to stream music you now need to be Facebooker. Despite people expressing their dislike, this controversial twist doesn't appear to have had any negative impact to the service which has seen Spotify's  user base grow from 3.4 million users BF (that's Before Facebook) to 5 million AF (After Facebook)

No sprechen Italiano? Facebook introduces instant online language translation tool
Facebook is as we all know a country in its own right without boarders but unfortunately with language barriers if you've got loads of international friends, which is particularly the case of Facebook Pages. With one single click you can now easily understand the whole thread by translating the content- and for those with the knowledge you can also help translate to make the service more accurate. This will be a great feature when it's introduced on personal profile pages too as it can be annoying to not understand what multi-lingual friends are talking about.

Facebook is the size of the internet in 2004
With more than 800 million users the largest social network now has as many users as the WHOLE internet had in 2004, which is also the year Facebook debuted writes digital analyst and marketing executive Brian Solis. Based on data released by Pingdom, Facebook now is apparently larger than the population of Europe - with Russia included - representing 28% of the current internet population.

Gumtree launches social media-based daily deals
We've seen the rise in popularity of daily deals sites like Groupon and LivingSocial over the last years, and now online classifieds website Gumtree.com has followed suit. Using social media Gumtree will ask consumers to suggest the offers they'd like to see as well as trialling deals with a group of volunteer bloggers who will write reviews of their experiences.

Heinz sells personalised cans of soup through Facebook
Dubbed the Get Well Soup, Heinz are allowing Facebook fans to personalise cans of their favourite soup to send to friends and family. An innovative idea now that the autumn colds are increasing as well as the Arctic conditions that might be sweeping across the UK in a few weeks.

Apple co-founder Steve Jobs dies, aged 56
After a long battle against pancreatic cancer, Steve Jobs passed away this week at the age of 56. Apple said Jobs has been "source of countless innovations that enrich and improve all of our lives", with US President Barack Obama leading the long line of tribute saying the world had "lost a visionary".

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