Social Media Newsfeed: Facebook Announcement This Week | Google’s Project Loon

By Tim Sohn 

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Facebook product announcementFacebook to Debut ‘New Product’ June 20 (AllFacebook)
Facebook alerted journalists by mail — snail mail, not email — that it will debut a new product this Thursday (June 20) at its headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif. Joanna Stern of ABC News reported on the event and scanned the invitation she received, saying that it arrived in a “clean white envelope sent via snail mail.” Inside Facebook The invitation reads: “A small team has been working on a big idea. Join us for coffee and to learn about a new product.” As Mark Zuckerberg, the company’s co-Founder and CEO, previously explained, there are three pillars of Facebook: timeline, News Feed and Graph Search. GigaOM In related news, the social network announced late Friday that it has reached an agreement with national security authorities that allows it to provide more information to the public about the government’s requests for user data. The company will now be able to include information on all U.S. national security-related requests in its disclosure, including those made under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. AllThingsD According to a post on the company’s website, government agencies requested information on somewhere between 18,000 and 19,000 Facebook accounts. In the post, Facebook general counsel Ted Ullyot said that the company had received a total of between 9,000 and 10,000 requests from government agencies, meaning that about two accounts were involved for each request received. USA Today Google did not release its own numbers, saying late Friday that it was waiting to be able to reveal more specific and meaningful information. “We have always believed that it’s important to differentiate between different types of government requests,” Google said in a statement. “We already publish criminal requests separately from national security letters. Lumping the two categories together would be a step back for users. Our request to the government is clear: to be able to publish aggregate numbers of national security requests, including FISA disclosures, separately.”

Google X Announces Project Loon: Balloon-Powered Internet for Rural, Remote and Underserved Areas (TechCrunch)
Google X, the secretive lab behind projects like Google Glass and Google’s self-driving cars, announced its latest project Friday: balloon-powered Internet access for those areas of the Earth where regular terrestrial Internet isn’t a good option. Last week, Google started testing these balloons, which are meant to provide Internet access comparable to 3G networks while sailing the stratospheric winds, in New Zealand.

An Inside Look at Social TV in Sweden (LostRemote)
Like.TV is a second-screen platform gaining traction in Sweden and Norway. We interviewed Jacob Leander-Olsson, a product manager at MTG Digital Media, the digital arm of the MTG broadcast and entertainment company that runs Like.TV about social TV in the region.

Salesforce and Omnicom Media Group Announce Strategic Partnership (SocialTimes)
Omnicom Media Group announced Friday that Salesforce Marketing Cloud will power its social marketing and advertising services across its entire global agency network, including 5,000 clients in more than 100 countries. “What the Omnicom group is doing is they’re standardizing the marketing cloud for all things digital when it comes to social publishing, social listening, and social analytics,” explained Vivek Kundra, executive vice president of emerging markets at Salesforce.

Saudi Arabia May Block WhatsApp Within Weeks (CNET)
Saudi Arabia plans to block WhatsApp in coming weeks if the makers of the mobile chat app don’t comply with local regulations. The warning comes after the Communications and Information Technology Commission blocked popular voice and messaging app Viber last week.

Study: The More Often You Tweet, the Bigger Narcissist You are] (AllTwitter)
A new study conducted by University of Michigan researchers Elliot Panek, Yioryos Nardis and Sara Konrath found that social media reflects and amplifies the culture’s growing levels of narcissism. In the words of the researchers, “Facebook is a mirror and Twitter is a megaphone.”

Pandora, Zillow and Brightcove are Back on the NASDAQ’s Internet Index (The Next Web)
The Internet Index now enjoys the presence of the following companies: Brightcove,, NQ Mobile, Pandora Media,, SciQuest, Xoom Corporation, YY and Zillow. You have to love the idea that a company with “.com” in its name was for a short-term docked status as an Internet company.

Microsoft Launches Office Mobile iPhone App (SocialTimes)
Microsoft has unveiled an iPhone app that lets you open, create and edit Word, Excel and PowerPoint files on the go. But here’s the catch: You have to be a subscriber to its productivity suite, Office 365.

Celebs Dish on Twitter Tactics at Cannes Ads Festival (USA Today)
Be open and authentic, for better or worse: That was the takeaway from three well-known personalities during a free-flowing discussion Sunday about celebrities and social media on the kickoff day of the world’s biggest advertising festival. Lifestyle expert Martha Stewart, singer and former Spice Girl Melanie Brown and comedian and TV host Nick Cannon spoke of expressing themselves openly on social platforms during a seminar at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.