Facebook admitted this week that back in January 2012 it conducted a psychology experiment that involved manipulating user feeds to see what people would post or share. The experiment was to see whether more negative or positive content in a news feed would have an impact on that user's future posts. Leo says it's probably legal since they are a private company and we've given them permission to toy with our feeds. But how does it make everyone feel to know that Facebook manipulates users for their own ends?
Cheryl wants to know how to use social media to reach the most people. Leo says that most social media is set up that most won't hear her unless they follow her. So she'll have to build an audience. She can't expect to be heard by the masses automatically -- she'll have to generate interest. Leo says that a blog or a podcast are good options so she can own a place on the net and get her message out. Then she can use social media as an offshoot of that.
Whenever Netflix has been having buffering issues, they have been checking with other customers of the same internet service provider to verify that they also are having problems. If they are, Netflix has been displaying a message that puts the blame on that internet service provider for being too congested. Verizon sent Netflix a cease and desist letter to get them to stop doing this, though.
Bill wants to know about the Oculus Rift. Leo says that it's a virtual reality tool that Facebook just bought for over $3 Billion. Leo has one. It is basically designed to immerse people into a more realistic gaming experience. When Facebook bought it, many of those who backed it on Kickstarter were quite upset. Notch, the creator of Minecraft, cancelled the Occulus version just because of that. So Leo says the jury is out on whether it was a good thing for Oculus. But the creators made a lot of money.
Violet Blue from ZDnet put out a very strongly worded opinion piece blaming Google's Sergey Brin about the woes of the world. She says that in 2011, Brin was telling all of us that Google+ was the future of Google. But just earlier this week, Brin confessed that his involvement in anything tangentially related to social media was a mistake to begin with. She goes on about how Google sees the users as a "little more than webs of flesh spun over packages of salable data."
Sam wants to know if he has to be on all social media sites or just a select few, and what are the best sites to be on? Leo says he'll want to go where his customers are, but at the very least, he should have a brochure website to drive his customers to. Leo also has different feeds for his content, for his show, and his links. But that takes some juggling.
Facebook recently introduced a location sharing feature in its mobile app where it tells your friends where you are at all times, and allows you to see your friend's location. It also will notify you if you're near one of your Facebook friends.
Facebook ‘Nearby Friends’ Will Track Your Location History To Target You With Ads (TechCrunch)…
Daniel has so many social media outlets for his business, and it's becoming a full-time job managing all of it. Leo says that if he has a business, he should at least have a web page, and a presence on Facebook and Twitter. Pinterest is good for selling goods. Google Plus is good, but it's not widespread at all. Twitter is great for communicating with customers, though. LinkedIn is good for finding employees. But at the end of the day, it's best to just keep it simple. YouTube is great for video, but he's better off driving people to his own webpage.
A few days after Facebook spent $19 billion on the smartphone app WhatsApp, a possible denial of service attack (DDoS) threw it off line for several hours. Leo says that the cost of WhatsApp is "stupid money" that Facebook has, and they can spend on dumb acquisitions and not suffer for it. Meanwhile, former Clinton Secretary of Labor Robert Reich said the deal is "everything that is wrong with our economy." Leo says that Reich really doesn't understand technology or the Internet.
In one of the largest tech acquisitions of all time, Facebook bought WhatsApp for $16 Billion. $4 Billion in cash now, $3 Billion later and $12 Billion in Facebook stock. Leo says that's more than HP paid for Ross Perot's EDS and makes it one of the most valued tech companies in America...for an app! WhatsApp has 450 million international users, but it isn't really that popular in the US -- yet. It focuses on mobile phone numbers. So there's a reason why it was so attractive.