The Twitter Olympics: Record Breaking Numbers Mixed With a Whole Lot of Fail

This year’s Olympics is putting Twitter to the test. In a partnership with NBC, they’re the most visible social network of the games and it’s led them to some huge highs and some deep, deep lows. And we’re only 3 days in.

It began on Friday, when nearly 10 million people Tweeted about the start of the Olympics. Or 5 million, depending on who you want to believe. The lower number comes from Bluefin. They’re putting together excellent infographics for each day outlining the Twitter numbers and highlighting the highs and lows of the social graph.

The difference in the first day numbers is probably semantics. Bluefin appears to be counting only Opening Ceremony Tweets where Twitter UK is counting all Olympic mentions for the day. (Feel free to correct me if that’s wrong.)

Facebook’s Photo Upgrade is a Welcome Change

Facebook is known for randomly changing things and annoying millions of users in the process. Well, not this time. This time, they got it right.

Facebook has announced a change to the way photos are displayed and it’s large. . . your pictures, I mean. This is what your photo pages will look like going forward:

 

Pretty, huh? This page is extra cool because she’s doing fun things in a cowboy hat, but I bet this new design will make everyone’s pictures look cooler.

Gone are the ugly thumbnails, the even rows and boring layout. With the new photo design, you choose which photos to highlight in the same way you highlight a post. Easy, I assume, because my account hasn’t switched yet, so I can’t test it.

eTailers Ponder: Why Consumers Don’t Buy Toilet Paper Online

I bought toilet paper from Staples.com once. It was one of those gazillion roll packs. It was reasonably priced, with free shipping. It arrived the next day and went straight on to the garage shelf for storage. Easy peasy. But I never did it again. Why? Honestly, I’m not sure.

Mostly, I think it’s a learned behavior. Toilet paper and paper towels come out of the grocery budget so I buy them when I go grocery shopping even though they take up too much room in the cart and are annoying to deal with at checkout and in the car.

Shopping for those items online was easier, but it meant making a special trip to the online store in order to complete the purchase.

Twitter Severs Ties to Instagram: Smart Business or Bad Move?

These past few weeks, Twitter’s been the two-year-old jumping up and down next to mom while she tries to work. They announced targeting for Promoted Tweets, covertly revealed their plans to make a web series and as of tonight, they’re all over the Olympics.

But you know how those toddlers can get into trouble and Twitter has been true to form. On Thursday, the site went dark for more than an hour, the second big outage in under two months. They say it was a server issue and that even their redundant systems failed. I think it’s a conspiracy to test the reaction to a nation left without social media and specific internet services because on the same night, Amazon, IMDB, and Netflix all went down. Coincidence or carefully planned madness?

New Study Says Moms Rule on Facebook, But Dads Rule Everywhere Else

I am now convinced that you can find a study on the internet to prove anything you want to prove. Case in point, this slide from the new Performics Life on Demand study.

Top of the chart is Facebook. More women visit the site than men and 95% of users pop in at least once a day. That makes sense.

Moving on to YouTube, men and parents visit more often than women. I’ll buy that.

Twitter has more men than women. . . .I would have called that a toss up, so okay.

On Pinterest, parents especially DADS are more likely to visit daily. Dads? As in the male members of the species, visiting Pinterest more often than moms. And not by just a little either, 71% vs. 55%.

Google Adds Handwriting Recognition to Search

Google has just released a new feature that falls into the “cooler than it is practical” category of updates. It’s called Handwrite, and it’s the ability to search Google simply by writing on your mobile phone or tablet screen.

When I saw this, my first thought was, ‘wow, we’re moving backwards.’ Think about it. We developed voice recognition to get the hands out of the process. Driving? No problem, just tell Google what you want. Carpel Tunnel? No handwork involved. Easy.

But Google insists that there are times when voice activation and even keyboard use is impractical.

“Say you’re standing on a busy street corner, in a bumpy taxi ride, talking with a friend, or sitting on the couch with your tablet.”

Twitter Goes Hollywood and Gives You a Chance to Relive the Past

Twitter has also been on a “new and improved” rampage over the last few months and it looks like there’s even more in store. Yesterday, I wrote about how Twitter is pushing to become more of a news maker and less of a news aggregator with their Olympic hub site and interactive content.

Now, I see that Twitter is talking to Hollywood producers about producing video content for the blurby network. As crazy as that sounds, we’ve already seen a Twitter account turn into a TV series, so why bring the TV series to Twitter?

This week on Law & Order: Special Tweeting Unit, the team investigates a series of death hoax Tweets in #justinbieberisnotdead