Political instability in Egypt and the potential fall of the 30-year old rule of president Mubarak emphasized the importance of social media, the quickest means of communication that enabled civilians to organize themselves and carry out protests against tyranny. The regime did not have a strategic plan of action, at first tried to ban social media websites and afterwards moved to completely cut off access to Internet and telecommunications. Twitter proved to be the most reliable means of gathering information and updates on the situation in Egypt for international correspondents and news channels.
YouTube found itself unable to cope with over 6,000 results on Egypt protests and asked Storyful, a curation startup to go through all footage featuring news casts, fake footage, and videos of solidarity protests. Speaking of curation services, Gnip announced the launch of Power Track that gives businesses access to tweets that matches 100% to the filtering criteria. This management tool for the personal cloud created by Gnip will stay around in the next period due to increase in importance of data management.
Facebook too informed on its future implementation of a comment system, a tool designed to identify users that make inappropriate comments under fake identities. Yet, critics view Facebook’s plan firstly as invading privacy as all comments will come from users with real identities and secondly as hindering the right to free speech.
Social sharing of opinions, activities, or videos has become an accelerating trend and no privacy issues cannot stop it. This section of the social media is drawing million of dollars at the moment and the figures are expected to rise.
To name just an example, Instagram received the other days funding worth of $7 million. The founders of the company admit not having even come up with a business plan to create and develop what is about to become the most popular photo-archive service that gathered over 1.75 million members in four months.