Friday Round-Up: Twitter transparency, Flickr wants to sell your photos and more

information requestsWe’ll round out the week with a round-up of short new bits you might find interesting or helpful, starting with. .

Twitter: Information Please

Twitter just released their fifth Transparency Report and the big news is that requests for information, content removal and copyright violations are on the rise. And we’re not just talking about a little bump. In the first half of 2014, Twitter saw a 46% increase in requests for account information. Those requests came from 54 countries and include 8 countries that haven’t requested information before.

Content removal requests are up 14%. Copyright takedown requests are up 38%.

Pinterest sets Icebergs’ users adrift after acquiring new talent

IcebergsWonderful news, loyal members! We’ve been acquired by Pinterest who only wants us for our talent, not our product, so we’re shutting down the site you’ve grown to love. Isn’t that terrific!

Ah Icebergs, I hardly knew you. Actually, I didn’t know you at all. But I hear that you were a wonderful collaborative portfolio site for creatives. Guess I’ll never know because as of September 1 the site, the app and everything that goes with it will disappear for ever.

Listen. . . that sound you hear is the sound of “hundreds of thousands” of Icebergs users banging on the door to download their life story which they thought was safely stored on the web. Co-founders César Isern and Albert Pereta have assured us that they’re making it easy for users to export their data but the site’s been down since the story broke.

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Journalists abusing Google’s “Right to Be Forgotten” Process?

Google is struggling with the European “right to be forgotten” process.

Journalist abuseBlah, blah, blah.

It’s learning as it goes.

Blah, blah, blah.

Has approved 53% of removal requests.

Blah, blah, blahdidy blah.

Claims journalists are trying to abuse the system.

Blah, bl….wait, what?

Yep, buried among Google’s continuing gripes about trying to implement the controversial European ruling is this:

Google said it had rejected a number of requests made by journalists, who wanted links to articles at publications where they no longer worked to be taken down, according to the company’s statement.

You don’t say.

Why in the world would they want to do that? Unless, they’re just trying to get their former employer’s content kicked out of Google. You know, so that their new boss benefits from less competition.

Small Business mobile is on the rise while check-in apps fall behind

Constant Contact Mobile MadnessIt took some time but small businesses are finally seeing the power in going mobile. A new infographic from Constant Contact shows that over three-quarters (77%) of small businesses are now using mobile technology, an 11% jump from 2013.

One of the biggest areas of growth is the mobile optimized website. Last year, only 34% of SMBs were mobile ready. This year, it’s 60%. And additional 32% say they’ll have their site optimized within the next six months.

It’s a huge mind-set change and you can see it in these two numbers.

  • In 2013, 28% of small business owners said they had no plans to optimize their website for mobile.
  • In 2014, only 8% said no to mobile optimization.

Facebook launches Internet.org app, bringing vital data to the world

internet-org-app11I’m US-centric. I admit it. I try to think globally. I try to remember that there are millions of people in the world who don’t have what I have but it’s easy to forget. When the car breaks down I forget that there are people who don’t have a car or access to any means of transportation beyond their own two feet. People with kids who can’t get them to a doctor. People with crops that are failing because they don’t have the technology they need to fix what’s wrong.

But today, I’m taking off my “the sarcasm is strong with this one” shirt and putting on my “whoohoo!” shirt in honor of Facebook’s new Internet.org app. Yes, I’m applauding Facebook.

86% of buyers will pay more for a better customer experience [infographic]

Is your business customer centric?

That’s just a buzzwordy way of asking: do you care about providing amazing customer service?

This infographic from Vision Critical should convince you of the benefits–and provide some tips to help you get there.

customer-centric-infographic

F-commerce takes another hit; Facebook shuts down Gifts

FB GiftsIt seemed like a good idea. Facebook already reminds you when a friend is having a birthday, so why not give users the ability to send a gift with a click! It’s so intuitive, I almost did it when I saw the birthday reminder in my sidebar. (Happy Birthday, Chrissy!) Almost – but I didn’t because I started thinking about the process. How would I pay for it. How would she get the code? What if she doesn’t log-on to Facebook? Why don’t I just buy an Amazon gift certificate from Amazon and send it via email?

The Facebook route is actually easier but it feels less secure. I know, I just went on a rant about how online is more secure than offline but it’s all about perception.