Facebook & MySpace – Latest Developments

TNI Bureau: Last year, Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook, talked about social graph as the next big thing in the social networking space. In the second week of January, 2013, he announced introduction of Graph Search as the latest offering for 1 billion plus users of the social networking giant. Graph Search is an innovative feature which allows a Facebook member to know their friends’ preferences before making decisions on restaurants, vacations, career choices and other services.

Unlike web search offered by Google, Facebook Graph Search helps you to dig information within Facebook’s network. One can search anything from his or friends’ activities on the site. For example, one can find people who have liked a particular movie or a particular novel using graph search. This service finds multiple usages depending on user’s needs and priorities.

The current version of Graph Search is a beta version. The search is limited to people, their likes, places, interests and photos. However, this has again started a debate on data privacy and possible fallouts of this service. For example, a totalitarian government could use this service to find dissidents or people with a different view. Facebook has allowed users to reset their privacy settings to control sharing of data.

However, there has not been any significant effort on the company’s front to educate users about potential threats of public data. According to Justin Brookman, a privacy expert at the center of Democracy and Technology, “People are confused about their settings. Facebook has changed them so many times. If you haven’t locked down your privacy settings before, you should do it now.”

MySpace, which was purchased by Specific Media LLC and Justin Timberlake for $35 million in 2011, was re-launched in the second week of January. This time, the old failed social networking site has a new focus – music and helping artists and fans connecting with each other. New MySpace is about discovering new people, artists, music and other creative content. The new user interface allows artist presentations, content hosting and sharing features in a much cleaner and friendlier way. Fans can follow artists they like and stay updated of the fresh content. There has been sincere effort from MySpace team to reposition the social-networking site as a music-centric networking platform.

Unfortunately, the launch of MySpace 2.0 has become marred with piracy allegations. According to Indie music rights licensor, Merlin, the new MySpace hosts some unlicensed music by labels represented by them. MySpace has refuted these allegations saying that the music content in question was uploaded by its users.

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