Can you believe that it’s almost the end of January? We can’t. It’s been a busy few weeks, but it doesn’t mean social media news falls behind. Here are a few interesting pieces:

  • More Facebook privacy changes?! When we thought they couldn’t change even more, Facebook didn’t fail us. Last Friday, the social media giant announced that third-party applications will have access to mobile numbers and addresses, if listed on their profile. However, on Tuesday, after many furious user comments, Facebook announced that the privacy concern will be temporarily disabled so that users can make more sound decision about sharing personal information.
  • After the Ted Williams craze, everyone seems to be jumping on the viral video wagon. Heineken has launched a short film, titled, “The Entrance,” featuring a handsome young man making an impressive entrance to a party. So far, the video has garnered more than 3 million views. Also launched today, is the Verizon YouTube commercial featuring the long-awaited iPhone 4 and the anticipation of its release.
  • Love those silly cat memes that pop up all over fan blogs and forums? Well Internet publisher known for popular memes like LOLcats and FAILS, The Cheezburger Network has scored a $30 million Series A funding. Over 16.5 million people visit the website and share tons of pictures and videos a month. The funding will mainly go to job hires in the engineering field. Imagine putting “The Cheezburger Network” on your resume. Immediate extra points.
  • What did you do when you were in 8th grade? Fourteen year old Robert Nay created a physics mobile game that has taken the number one spot for most downloaded game app away from the popular game, Angry Birds.
  • Here at BERKMAN, we use Google a lot. And if we were still in grade school, we’d participate in the fourth annual Doodle 4 Google contest. Open to K-12 students in the U.S., students submit their Google doodle and the winner receives a $15,000 scholarship and a $25,000 tech grant for their school. This year’s theme is: “What I’d like to do someday…” What would you draw?
  • Want to fully maximize the potential of your smartphone? Starbucks just announced that they will be accepting mobile payments nationwide. Using the Starbucks Card Mobile app, iPhone and Blackberry users can use their device as tender, making a plastic credit card completely defunct. Environmentally friendly? Perhaps.
  • Us tech-savvy people sometimes forget that the rest of the world DOESN’T own a smartphone. Facebook took note and worked with app developers, Snaptu, to create a Facebook for Feature Phones App. This gives an user-friendly alternative to the Facebook mobile site.
  • And lastly, there’s another Twitter virus on the loose. The Twitter worm posts links on Twitter user accounts that lead to a fake antivirus site. The worm uses Google’s URL shortener Rule of thumb in the social media world: don’t click suspicious links!

Hope everyone has a great weekend! Here in San Diego, it’s been warm and almost summer-like. Perhaps we should all step away from our computers and enjoy the sun that we completely take for granted. But who are we kidding, we’re attached to our iPads and Android phones.