Social Media Newsfeed: Facebook Graph Search | Twitter Oscars Index

By Tim Sohn 

 Click here to receive the Morning Social Media Newsfeed via email.

Facebook Fires Back at Yelp, Google with Graph Search (AllFacebook)
Ever since Facebook co-Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg discussed the topic of search at TechCrunch Disrupt in September, industry experts have been wondering what the social network would do. The answer is Facebook’s graph search — a tool that combines Web searching with the connections that users have on the site. Inside Facebook Rather than indexing the Web, Facebook has focused on making it easier to navigate and discover content within the social network. And instead of using keywords, users will combine phrases, such as “photos of me in 2006,” “my friends in San Francisco who like The Lord of the Rings” or “restaurants in New York liked by people who like Top Chef.” AllFacebook The graph search engine Facebook announced Tuesday can be a valuable source for valuable sources for journalists, and for photos, as well, journalist program manager Vadim Lavrusik wrote in a note on the Facebook + Journalists page. The new search enables journalists to do richer searches when trying to find experts for stories. For example, say you’re doing a story on a specific company, and you’re looking to interview someone who works at the company’s New York office, you could do this by searching for, “People who work at ACME Inc. in New York,” to find potential employees to reach out to. AppNewser In addition, you could find out how many of your friends are excited about Dan Brown‘s new book. The graph search will only be available in English at the launch and is currently in beta testing mode. SocialTimes Facebook indicated that it increasingly sees Google as a competitor and won’t sit idly by while Google pushes into social networking. As Google continues to leverage — now antitrust worry-free — its dominance in search and other Web utilities to force users to sign up for its social network Google+, Facebook is now using its dominance in social networking to siphon off some of Google’s search traffic with graph search.

Twitter Unveils ‘Twitter Oscars Index’ to Track Oscars Buzz (LostRemote)
Twitter is partnering with Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences on the “Twitter Oscars Index,” which will be tracking talk of nominees on the social service leading up to and during the live telecast. Twitter’s head of TV, Fred Graver, explained the tracker in a post on Twitter’s media site: “Awards season also brings out the armchair film critic in many of us, as we rattle off our personal picks and pans, and predict who will take home that coveted award at the end of February. The Twitter Oscars Index offers a way to measure those discussions that happen on Twitter, and provide insight for all those closely following the exciting Oscar races.” SocialTimes In related news, Twitter’s partnership with Nielsen to provide social TV ratings has been undervalued in the media and the tech industry, according to a Greencrest Capital presentation supporting its recent claims that Twitter is heading toward a 2014 public stock offering. The partnership with ratings giant Nielsen, announced in mid-December, will gauge the reach of online and mobile conversations about television shows based on Twitter data.

OkCupid Launches CrazyBlindDate App to Help You Get a Date Tonight (SocialTimes)
Tired of all the searching and back-and-forth messaging that goes along with online dating? OkCupid is cutting out all the work that goes along with meeting that special someone online with the launch of CrazyBlindDate, a new app for Android and iOS that will help you get a hot date (or maybe an insane date) tonight, in a few taps.

Teju Cole Mixes Classic Lit & Drones on Twitter (GalleyCat)
Novelist Teju Cole published “Seven short stories about drones” on Twitter, mixing in violent unmanned aerial vehicle imagery with classic first lines from literature. Web artist Josh Begley collected the short stories in a Storify post.

Q&A: How the Sundance Film Festival Uses Social Media (SocialTimes)
The Sundance Film Festival launches this week in Park City, Utah, so what better time to interview the Sundance Institute’s social media manager, Royale Ziegler, about the role social media plays in helping independent filmmakers extend the reach of their films? According to Ziegler, the Festival will live stream events from its site and post content through its YouTube channel, which currently has more than 7.5 million views.

NRA Chooses Worst Possible Time to Release ‘Target Practice’ App for Kids (PRNewser)
Hunting, like public relations, is all about timing. So it’s utterly inconceivable that the NRA has decided that now, as the country is still bereaved, shocked and confused about a spate of unfathomable mass shootings from Colorado to Connecticut, is a good time to release its Target Practice app, which is tailored for gun enthusiasts ages 4 and up.

The Real Dunder Mifflin is Crowdsourcing its First Super Bowl Ad (SocialTimes)
This year, Dunder Mifflin is going live with its first Super Bowl advertisement — but they need your help. Mashable reports that Dunder Mifflin paper has partnered with crowdsourcing platform Tongal to solicit pitches and videos for the company’s Super Bowl spot.

Don’t Use Twitter Photos Without Permission or You Might Get Sued (AllTwitter)
Have you ever taken a screenshot of a photo you saw on Twitter and reposted it somewhere as part of a blog post? Well, you better think twice before doing that again because a judge just ruled that two news agencies should’ve asked permission before using an image tweeted by a photojournalist.

Amid Fallout Over Open Internet Activist’s Death, Poll Shows Most Americans Favor Mild Punishments for Illegal Downloads (SocialTimes)
The suicide of 26-year-old Reddit co-founder and open Internet activist Aaron Swartz late last week has reignited the debate over what should be publicly available online and how illegal distribution can be fairly prosecuted just as a new poll shows that just over 10 percent of Americans believe jail time is a reasonable punishment for those who download copyrighted material online. When it comes to downloading music and video files, the most common targets of illegal digital distribution, about half of all Americans have done so, according to the poll conducted by the American Assembly policy group at Columbia University.