Weekly Digital News Roundup: June 14-18

Weekly Digital News Roundup: June 14-18

Twitter Opens up its Analytics Platform, Lets Everyone Review the Performance of their Tweets for Free

  • According to The Next Web, Twitter has quietly opened up its various analytics tools to the public, giving everyone access to in-depth data about the people and brands who follow them, as well as the performance of their most recent tweets
  • The Timeline activity displays a graph for the user based on the number of mentions, follows and unfollows that they’ve received over the last month. A detailed list underneath shows all of the user’s most recent tweets, including the number of times someone has favorited, retweeted or replied to it. All of the information is shown in a clear and accessible format so that every user, regardless of whether they’re the marketing manager of an international conglomerate or an emerging blogger with just a handful of followers, can analyze and take action based on the data.
  • Most notably, this list also shows the number of times that someone has clicked on the link contained in a tweet – an easy way to gauge referrals from one of the largest and most influential social networks on the Web. Until now, the advertising dashboard for Twitter has been aimed primarily at businesses who want to pay to display their tweets in front of a specific audience. Coupled with the ability to promote the user’s account, it’s an obvious and lucrative way for Twitter to monetize its service.

Why Apple Ditched its Skeuomorphic Design for iOS7

  • Writes The Guardian, are you ready to join the future? That seems to be the subtext of every tech presentation of the 21st century, but for Apple, acknowledged leaders in the field, there has been a nagging feeling that its users were already there, waiting for it to catch up. At its Worldwide Developers Conference presentation of its new iOS7 user interface on Tuesday, Apple finally cottoned on, by cutting ties with the design principle that has so often held it back: skeuomorphism.
  • Look closely, and skeuomorphism is all over Apple and other user interfaces – the little shadows cast by windows, the highlights on virtual buttons designed to make them look shiny, like real buttons. Steve Jobs was allegedly a fan of skeuomorphism, as was iOS creator Scott Forstall; Apple’s design chief Jony Ive wasn’t, and legions of fans sided with him in what became an intense “skeuomorphic v flat” debate.
  • Instead of faux textures, iOS7, which is to be released in the autumn, boasts clean, simple, graphic, unashamedly two-dimensional interfaces that bring to mind a Swiss railway station, say, or a Microsoft Windows phone. But rather than old-school flatness, iOS7 gives you layers of flatness that float on top of one another. Some are translucent, so you can see a blur of what’s underneath. There is also a fancy quasi-holographic effect when you turn on the device, suggesting your screen icons are hovering above the wallpaper.

Facebook Rolls Out Hashtags for ‘Public Conversations’

  • According to the Washington Post, Facebook is looking to become more of a public forum, the company said Wednesday, by introducing hashtags to the site. Following the lead of rival social network Twitter, Facebook is adding the ability to tag your posts with phrases noting that it’s part of a larger conversation.
  • “To date, there has not been a simple way to see the larger view of what’s happening or what people are talking about,” wrote Facebook product manager Greg Lindley in a company blog post. Facebook hashtags, like those on just about every other social site, will be denoted with a “#” sign. Hashtags on Facebook will work in much the same way they do on Twitter. When you see a hashtag in a post, you can click on it and see a feed of other posts from people’s profile and pages that use the same conversation marker.
  • Users can also search for specific hashtags if they’re interested in finding out more information about a certain trending topic and can click on hashtags that originate on other services, such as Facebook’s photo site, Instagram. Posts that have been hashtagged, however, do follow the same sharing and privacy rules as normal posts. So even if you litter your posts with pound signs, no one will see it unless you say they can.
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