Google+ Redesign | Apple’s eBook Lawsuit | Spotify’s Web Button

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Google+ Gets a Redesign (Google Blog)
We’re introducing a more functional and flexible version of Google+. We think you’ll find it easier to use and nicer to look at, but most importantly, it accelerates our efforts to create a simpler, more beautiful Google. SocialTimes This update proves that Facebook really does have something to fear as Google has improved the user experience in a lot of innovative ways that may leave Facebookers envious. TechCrunch It’s interesting that Google+ has now changed its design, after its first efforts received such praise. BGR The new interface focuses on customization, Google’s Hangout video chatting service and features that will make it easier to discover new conversations and profile pages. Lifehacker The improvements are rolling out over the next few days.

U.S. Files Antitrust Lawsuit Against Apple, Hachette (Bloomberg)
The U.S. sued Apple Inc., Hachette SA, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin and Simon & Schuster in New York district court, claiming the publishers colluded to fix eBook prices. Wired / Epicenter According to the suit, filed in the Southern District of New York, the five publishers “feared that lower retail prices for eBooks might lead eventually to lower wholesale prices for eBooks, lower prices for print books or other consequences the publishers hoped to avoid.” eBookNewser According to the report, Simon & Schuster, Hachette Book Group and HarperCollins have settled their suits. But Apple and Macmillan refused to settle and will go to court to defend their position.

Facebook Officially Launches Groups For Schools (AllFacebook)
The capability underwent testing last year with a few schools but Facebook is now rolling it out more broadly, a spokesperson said via email. Mashable Aside from creating school-based online communities, the pages mainly serve as hubs for campus-related groups. From them, students can browse, search for and create these groups. Facebook makes recommendations on which ones to join based on classes and activities.

Spotify Moves Beyond Facebook With a Play Button for the Rest of the Web (AllThingsD)
Not everyone is on Facebook (really!), and Spotify would like many more users. This should help: Spotify is rolling out a feature that will let the rest of the Web integrate the service, via a “play button” widget, onto their pages. paidContent That will mean a new wave of streams for Spotify to serve and to pay royalties for – but it also means extra ears will be exposed to Spotify’s advertising, and an additional pool of free listeners to convert to premium.

Now at 45m Members, LinkedIn Rival Viadeo Lands $32m to Spur Growth in Europe, Emerging Countries (The Next Web)
For most people, online social networking in a purely professional context is almost synonymous to “using LinkedIn,” but that doesn’t mean it’s the only business social network in town. Many countries have local networking sites for professionals, and a handful of companies are trying to compete with LinkedIn on a global level, including XING and Viadeo.

Did We Just Witness The First Twitter Commercial? (AllTwitter)
Using ASCII characters and Twitter’s own 140-character restriction, Smart Argentina (@SmartArg) has produced a fun and quirky “commercial” purely in tweet form. Adweek Use the “J” key to scroll forward and “K” to shift into reverse, and watch an animated Smart car tool down a bustling city street and cleverly park between two other vehicles.

How Twitter Accidentally Fostered the Universal Presence (The Verge)
Every day, recognition of the @name format grows among web-connected individuals, and that growth continues seemingly unbounded. It’s unclear whether Twitter recognizes the power that it has the ability to wield with this. Of course, the company is just as focused on its core business — 140-character broadcasts — as ever, but it’d behoove Dick Costolo and his team to take a hard look at the potential they’ve fostered.