Searching social. At long last, tweets will appear in Google search results as soon as they’re sent, as the result of a deal that the two Internet giants recently struck. As part of its efforts to increase user growth and attract more eyeballs to its social media platform, Twitter is finally giving Google immediate access to the content produced by its 284 million users. Previously, Google had to crawl through Twitter’s data, allowing Google to include in search results only a relatively small percentage of tweets. The announcement of the deal, which Mashable suggests should cause “trigger-happy users” to “think twice now before they tweet,” was followed by a 1.3% rise in Twitter’s share price to $41.26. And this week Twitter shares rose as high as $52 each amid speculation that Google or some other company is trying to buy the social media giant.
Don’t worry, be app-y. Feeling blue? There’s an app for that. At least there will be, come this fall. A man named Robert Morris developed a prototype for the world’s first social network for people suffering from depression while he was a psychology PhD candidate at MIT, where he felt like everyone—except him—was a “brilliant coder.” Crowdsourcing answers to his computer programming conundrums on Stack Overflow inspired Morris to create a similar online resource for people struggling with mental health issues. On Koko, the iPhone app that Morris is developing for release in the autumn, users will be able to post their negative feelings (e.g., depression and anxiety) and the problems to which they attribute those feelings (e.g., a job loss). The poster’s Koko social network will then presumably respond to the post by pointing out the bright side of the situation or errors in the poster’s thinking. Fast Company reports that the Koko community will be “coached at every turn to pin their answers down so that they fall within the guidelines of cognitive therapy techniques that are proven to work,” but it remains to be seen how such coaching will work in practice.
Meer-terial girl. In what The Guardian has dubbed “a sign of the music industry’s keen interest in the popularity of social apps,” Madonna has decided to premier her Ghosttown video on the fledgling video broadcasting app Meerkat, which currently has only around 1,000 subscribers. Launched in February, Meerkat is an iPhone app that makes livestreaming easier than ever by allowing users to link their live videos to their Twitter accounts, thereby giving a Twitter user the ability to live stream a video he’s shooting on his phone. (Twitter’s own Periscope app performs essentially the same function). Since the pop star likely won’t be live streaming the video, exactly how she’ll use Meerkat for its premier is unclear. Meerkat is the fourth social media platform that Madonna has used to promote material on her current album, Rebel Heart; she’s already run campaigns for it on Grindr, Instagram, and Snapchat.