theEweekly Wrap: Boutiques, Twitter, and AOL’s child safety service
|Next step for Facebook||It didn’t seem possible, but Facebook has become even more omnipotent this week. Monday’s announcement of the @facebook.com messaging service, although categorically ‘not email’, was still called a ‘Gmail Killer‘ by many analysts. Next, Mashable reported that a special announcement would be made soon concerning MySpace and Facebook platform development.
In other news, Facebook announced that Facebook Credits, the virtual currency used for apps and games, would be available in the UK before Christmas. Facebook Credits will be sold as gift cards in outlets of Tesco and Game, and might be used on third-party sites thanks to Facebook Connect.
|Net nanny||Parents can now monitor their children’s online behaviour with AOL UK service SafeSocial. For £6.99 a month, SafeSocial will produce a report card of the child’s social media interactions. Danger signs such as references to suicide, drugs or bullying will be picked up on, as will any new contacts from outside the child’s usual social groups.
Another feature is the opportunity to view – and edit – any photos of your offspring, and send alerts when the child befriends anyone whose date of birth indicates they are an adult. However, by removing the need to befriend or follow, and requiring the child’s consent to produce reports, SafeSocial is a more sensible option than most.
|Tweet dreams||Twitter is now in talks with Facebook over interoperation, although integrating the two social networks is still not on the cards. Even so, at the Web 2.0 conference in September, former CEO Evan Williams admitted the site had “a lot of money in the bank”. Speculation abounds as to how this was achieved.
Promoted Tweets, once thought to be launching in 2011, are already visible in most UK trending topics lists. The much-anticipated official Twitter Analytics also began to roll out this week, although we know a few tricks of the trade to help you keep up to date with what’s happening on Twitter.
|Window shopping||Wednesday saw the launch of a new Google service known as Boutiques. This website combines social media and shopping, in an e-commerce stroke of genius. Users can complete quizzes and pick favourite celebrity outfits, which the site collates to create a personalised style; garments and shops are then suggested, with one click redirecting the user to an online shop. This is all backed up with rich media and available on iPad and iPhone too.
Celebrity bloggers also contribute to the site, including style icons Carey Mulligan, Kelly Osbourne, and Nicole Richie. Following these blogs, with status updates like a Twitter profile, allows access to the celebrity’s recommendations and fashion tips. Currently only available for US shops and customers, the UK version – and a male shop – will be rolling out soon; at least we hope so!