Marketing

Why Google Plans to Shut Down Reader

4 min read
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This week's need-to-know social-media news.

Google Reader, the popular service that lets users subscribe to and receive a digest of content from their favorite websites, blogs and other publishers, is shutting down. While many agree the service's sharing tools made it ahead of its time when it launched in 2005, the rise of sophisticated social networks and the decline in popularity of RSS has led Google to pull the plug on Reader. The service will go dark permanently on July 1.

In response, social news website Digg has announced that it is building a reader to replace Google's. Apparently the Digg team had already been planning to build a reader this year, but has decided to move it to the top of their priority list following Google's announcement. Digg is soliciting input from the crowd as to what features they would like the new reader to have. "Don't get us wrong: we don't expect this to be a trivial undertaking. But we're confident we can cook up a worthy successor," Digg announced in a blog post. -- CNET and Digg Blog

Facebook reveals a new timeline with cleaner layout.
Facebook is rolling out a new timeline for users, and not only does it have a more streamlined look, but it's also customizable. In the new layout, the lefthand column contains a user's photos, app activity, personal information and friends. The hierarchy of content in this column can be rearranged according to the user's wishes. "We're trying to honor the content, and just step out of the way and let the content speak for itself," a Facebook representative told AllFacebook about the redesign. "With the improvements to timeline, it definitely now has a cleaner layout." -- AllFacebook

Twitter plans to launch a music discovery app.
Last week we reported that YouTube is creating a service to compete with Spotify, Pandora and others in the streaming music arena. Now comes the news that Twitter plans to launch a standalone music discovery app of its own called Twitter Music. It could be out as soon as this month. You'll be able to find popular songs, get personalized recommendations, discover music through people you follow on Twitter, stream songs and even follow your favorite artists on Twitter directly from the Twitter Music interface. -- CNET

Facebook: your next recruiting tool?
According to a new study released by Facebook, your best shot at landing a job lies with your close friends. After going through internal Facebook data pertaining to nearly 250,000 users, as well as a smaller number of survey responses, the researchers found that users who chatted mostly with close friends and family had a 33.2 percent probability of landing a new job, while users who chatted with acquaintances instead -- so-called "weak ties" -- had only a 6.5 percent chance of doing the same. Given this, it may be a good idea for companies to encourage employees to promote job openings on their social feeds to attract new talent. -- The Daily Beast

Drug dealer snitches on himself with YouTube amateur rap video.
In Alabama, an alleged drug dealer with outstanding warrants was apprehended by police this week thanks to a YouTube video he made that showed him using and selling illegal substances. When will criminals learn not to incriminate themselves via the internet? "I'm not saying what he did would retire the 'Stupid' trophy, but he is definitely in the conversation," says Randy Christian, chief deputy of the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department. -- AL.com

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