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Privacy Groups Ask Facebook to Abort Proposed Changes to Privacy Policy (SocialTimes)
Online privacy groups Electronic Privacy Information Center and Center for Digital Democracy have written a letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg asking him to abandon proposed changes to the social network’s privacy policies. Users would no longer have the opportunity to vote on proposed changes and privacy practices for Facebook and Instagram would be combined. AllFacebook Facebook has announced that users who have access to Gifts can now give the sound of music — through iTunes. Users can give a particular song or album or let their friend decide. VentureBeat Facebook shared data about the social networking activities of its U.S. members on Black Friday. The official information tells us nothing about the online or offline purchasing behaviors of Facebook’s massive audience, while third-party calculations make it seem like the social network played a non-existent role in driving traffic or sales. AllThingsD Facebook’s holiday presents are showing up early. Shares of the social giant’s stock jumped by more than 8 percent on Monday on news of multiple analyst upgrades. San Jose Mercury News But the reports also cautioned that Facebook is not out of the woods. Both firms warned that the Menlo Park, Calif., company still needs to demonstrate that advertising on the social network is effective over the long term.

Tumblr Hits Quantcast’s List of Top 10 U.S. Networks (TechCrunch)
Tumblr has announced that it has broken into the top 10 networks in the United States, according to third-party measurement firm Quantcast. According to a post from Tumblr CEO David Karp, the site now reaches a worldwide audience of 170 million people. PC Magazine With more than 61.3 million monthly U.S. visitors, Tumblr is now the ninth most popular website in the country. Karp added that the achievement is “a credit to all of your brilliant creative efforts. You guys have earned an audience bigger than the biggest TV networks, and you continue to make some of the most thought provoking, insightful, inspiring, funny, diverse and compelling content being created today.” The Verge It’s nonetheless a big jump from the 120 million monthly users (again, according to Quantcast) that it hit back in January of this year. It’s worth noting, however, that while Quantcast has a number of major partners (including Tumblr) who include the Quantcast site traffic coding on all of their webpages, the vast majority of its traffic data are projections and estimates.

How We Read, Not What We Read, May Be Contributing to Our Information Overload (Nieman Journalism Lab)
An interesting new study out of the University of Texas looks at the factors that contribute to the concept of information overload, and found that, for some people, the platform on which news is being consumed can make all the difference between whether you feel overwhelmed. On the central question of whether they feel overloaded with the amount of news available, 27 percent said “not at all”; everyone else reported some degree of overloaded.

Twitter Generated Zero Percent of Black Friday Sales (Mashable)
An IBM study found that shoppers referred from social networks like Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube generated only 0.34 percent of online sales on Black Friday — a decrease of more than 35 percent from the year before. Twitter literally contributed nothing to the revenue.

The Top Internet Retailers on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+ [Infographic] (AllTwitter)
Facebook and Twitter are numero uno among Internet retailers, commanding a 97 percent and 96 percent presence respectively. YouTube maintains its third place, being used by 90 percent of respondents, while still wet-behind-the-ears Pinterest has leap-frogged Google+.

Rutgers Mashes Up Instagram and Google Street View (BetaBeat)
Rutgers’ Social Media Information Lab has just launched a new project dubbed The Beat, with pairs geotagged in Instagram photos with the location taken on Google Street View. The app is a stark reminder of just how much personal information we offer up to the Internet.

Twitter Expected to Open Australian Office as Executives Fly into the Country (The Next Web)
To test the waters in Australia, Twitter executives are traveling there to meet the country’s media organizations, sporting bodies and top users of the social network, StartupSmart reported. This comes amid suggestions that the company will open an office in the country soon.

Study Finds Rise in Texting Even as Revenue Drops (The New York Times/Bits Blog)
The Pew Research Center published a study over the weekend that showed that the number of cellphone owners who text on their phones has grown to 80 percent from 58 percent in 2007. Instead of sending traditional text messages, cellphone owners are shifting toward Internet-based messaging services, like Apple’s iMessage, Facebook messaging and WhatsApp.

Violentacrez’s Short, Sad Reddit Reappearance (The Daily Dot)
If you’re wondering what happened to Michael Brutsch, who won unwanted notoriety last October after Gawker’s Adrian Chen exposed him as the real-life persona behind redditor Violentacrez, “the biggest troll on the Web” — well, he’s still alive and still has Internet access. Beyond that, only he knows for sure.

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