Social networking phenomenon Twitter has an estimated 175 million registered users. As the platform continues to be leveraged by the masses to express whatever is they are feeling at the time -- in 140 characters or less of course -- those who hold the tweeting reins are expanding into unchartered territory. In fact, just today the social media site revealed it has acquired BlueFin Labs, a company known for its social TV capabilities.
The total amount of this deal has yet to be released to the public however the strategic move is being touted as Twitter's most sufficient company expansion in history.
The more important question remains in regards to why the networking mega site has decided to get its wings wet in the social TV space. There are many factors that led to this decision including the increasing popularity of social media and TV, in essence people are now watching their favorite televisions and then talking about them in real-time via these websites. For a recent example, we can just look at Super Bowl that took place this past weekend. When the power went out in the New Orleans stadium, people sounded off via their personal pages on Twitter, Faceook and GetGlue with nearly 30.6 million tweets related directly to the extremely poorly timed blackout being posted.
Further, Twitter has been highlighted as the new TV Guide by Ad Age, joining hands with Nielsen late last year in order to create social TV rankings for the first time ever. Once developed from the ground up, these key ratings will become the go to metric that will show how many times a program is chatted about via Twitter.
However, it has not been all rainbows and lollipops as of late for the platform, with news breaking earlier this week that 250,000 of its users were hacked by cyber terrorists. Gaining access to user names, e-mail addresses, session tokens and encrypted/salted versions of passwords, Twitter responded immediately and took the steps needed to reset the passwords of individuals whose confidential information had been stolen.
Image via Shutterstock
According to Bob Lord, Twitter information security director, "This attack was not the work of amateurs, and we do not believe it was an isolated incident. The attackers were extremely sophisticated, and we believe other companies and organizations have also been recently similarly attacked."
Only last month, another widely popular site known as Skype was targeted by hackers who sent text messages to phone numbers asking to be added to the person’s contact list where they planned to then go to work and view their private information without permission.
To keep yourself protected while still being able to enjoy some social media “me time,” Candid Wueest, senior security researcher at Symantec, recommends never clicking on unknown links, don’t share personal information, be sure to use virtually uncrackable passwords, remain on the lookout for fake friends, and continuously update your antivirus software.
Edited by Rich Steeves