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Friday Round-Up: YouTube on TV, Square makes an appointment and more




cowboy_clipart_lassoIt’s round-up time! Let’s see what the internet has been up to this week.

YouTube Updates the TV App

If you use a streaming or gaming device to watch YouTube videos on TV, you’re in for a treat. YouTube is rolling out an app update that will make it easier to find new videos from your favorite channels or watch all the vids in a playlist. They’ve also updated the search function so it’s actually useable.

This means more people will be watching more YouTube videos on the big screen. If you’re turning out high quality content, this is great news. If you’re not. . . why not? YouTube is a moneymaker. Get on it.

Make an Appointment with Square

Earlier this week, Amazon released their version of Square’s point-of-sale card reader while Square branched out into a new area – appointments. Square Appointments is an online calendar app that allows your customers to book online any time of the day or night. You can embed the widget on your website or in an email and get notified by email when a booking occurs. Beats stopping to answer the phone in the middle of that dye job.

Zofari screenZofari Seals a Deal with Yahoo

Yahoo just acquired travel app Zofari: the fastest way to find places you’ll love. You tell the app which bars, hotels, and restaurants you love and the app suggests new places you should visit. Zofari is all about discovery and love so they should be more careful about the screengrabs they use to advertise their app.

He Liked Not Too Wisely but Too Well

My favorite article of the week is all about a Facebook experiment. Mat Honan of Wired spent two days liking everything he saw in his news feed just to see what would happen. As we all know, Facebook doesn’t serve up everything from everyone and every page you follow. Instead, it curates your news feed based on your actions. That’s the theory, anyway.

Mat put it to the test and then wrote about his results in an article appropriately titled “I Liked Everything I Saw on Facebook for Two Days. Here’s What It Did to Me“.

Two things became clear right away. If you like something, Facebook will offer you related options and it’s a never ending loop from which you might never return. Second, he realized that “sometimes likeing is counterintuitive.” For example, when his friend posted a picture of her little girl’s bruised face after a collision with concrete. Ouch.

Did his news feed change? You bet it did and quickly.

By the end of day one, I noticed that on mobile, my feed was almost completely devoid of human content. I was only presented with the chance to like stories from various websites, and various other ads. Yet on the desktop—while it’s still mostly branded content—I continue to see things from my friends. On that little bitty screen, where real-estate is so valuable, Facebook’s robots decided that the way to keep my attention is by hiding the people and only showing me the stuff that other machines have pumped out. Weird.

I won’t spoil the rest of it for you. Go read the article. It’s a fascinating look at how Facebook controls the way we see the world.

That’s it for me. Have a great weekend and I’ll see you back here Monday.