Social Media Digest: Facebook subscriptions, Social Business Index, Deck.ly Dies

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Welcome back to our weekly instalment of what’s hot in the world of social media. In case you missed what happened over the past week, here’s a run-down of our top eight: Facebook relationships

1. Facebook continues to refine the level of control granted to users over their News Feed. The social network’s newest feature, Subscriptions, functions similarly to the way you can follow people on Twitter, but with a few notable differences. The new subscriptions service adds another layer to Facebook’s relationship hierarchy, which already included Friends and saw Acquaintances introduced just a few days ago. It’s a move that a few voices across the web view as part of an arms race with Google Plus.

2. The Dachis Group is launching its Social Business Index (SBI), which covers over 26,000 brands from over 20,000 companies and over 100 million social accounts worldwide. Currently, Facebook, Google and News Corporation lead the list. The Social Business Index provides free insight to the public on how social a given company is, and how they compare to their industry, their competitors, as well as a best in class break down by company, subsidiary, geography, department and brand.

3. Foursquare looks set to come of age with rumours circulating the platform will soon announce its push notification API. Co-founder Dennis Crowley confirmed the news via Twitter, adding, “If you are building on the 4SQ API this is a big deal.”

4. Taking a page from Google Plus, Facebook is doing what most social-media industry watchers expected: giving members the ability to segregate their friends based on specific circles. Facebook calls it Friend Lists. Facebook has made it possible to create lists for years, but members have complained that it took too long to organize lists and keep them up to date.

5.  Facebook, Twitter and the maker of BlackBerry smartphones have firmly rejected suggestions from MPs that their services should be shut down during riots, arguing that public saftey would be threatened. But they admitted the Government already has powers to order a blackout with which they wiould be forced to comply. The firms were appearing before the Commons Home Affairs Committee, which is investigating the causes and responses to the riots in English cities last month.

6. Facebook has launched a ‘subscribe’ button which will allow people to ‘follow’ the public status updates of others, even if they are not friends with each other, in a similar fashion to Twitter. The new button is the latest in a series of additions to the site which have been launched this week – including a smart lists feature and Facebook’s new free instant messenger mobile app becoming available in the UK. The new button, which has started appearing on every Facebook user’s page next to the ‘message’ and ‘add friend’ tabs, allows people to subscribe to other people’s public updates which will then appear in their news feeds.

7. TweetDeck has updated its applications across all platforms and the death of Deck.ly will come as a result. Deck.ly is a platform that allowed users to automatically tweet things longer than 140 characters. Once done, the tweet would be archived onto the Deck.ly site, and a link would be provided in the tweet to read the longer-form prose.

8.Our latest inforgraphic (right) shows the effect of Facebook on relationships

9. Want to edit your videos with YouTube?  Here’s how: