Tech Round Up: Google Stories Abound, and More

A lot is going on this week with our daily technology tools, and some of it is not going over well.

Google Reader has been updated with some changes, has been reviewed poorly, leading one to even call it an “epic tech fail.” The “like” button has been banished, and replacing it with the +1, a Google Plus option, is not everyone’s cup of tea. People like having a choice on how to share an article.

And Google’s not done yet. It also revamped the Gmail program, boosting the inbox search capabilities and the density of the layout, so users can see more emails per page on a smartphone or tablet.

Insiders speculated these Google announcements were to be followed by an even bigger launch: a Gmail app for the Apple iPhone. That would be useful if it worked!

Users, especially those in tech, have criticised Google for making Gmail difficult to access and use on the iPhone. And even though the 4S was a disappointment to some, the iPhone is not going away, with an estimated 100 million in sales by the end of this year. So getting this up and running for (ahem) passionate Apple fans ought to be a priority.

Not to be upstaged by Google news, San Francisco-based Twitter has launched Twitter Stories, a marketing initiative that highlights impressive things users have accomplished via tweet, such as Portland, Oregon’s Aaron Duran, who “Saved his mom’s bookstore with a tweet.” Twitter has the street credibility to back up this campaign. Revolutions, protests, and uprisings around the world are practically played out tweet by tweet.

Twitter has also introduced “Top News” and “Top People” with search results. Interesting.

Speaking of stories, where is Lord Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook Stories marketing plan? While Facebook Stories can be charming, such as high school sweethearts who meet up on Facebook and get married (I know a couple who did this, and the male half PROPOSED IN A STATUS UPDATE), Facebook lacks the immediacy and media credibility that has become Twitter’s advantage.

We are not done with the plethora of updates. For those of you using PitchEngine to get news out to the media, it has also undergone some updates, which allow users to add links, logos, set publish dates and organize images. No public outcry over that. Yet. The week isn’t over.