Twitter isn't known for regularly pushing new features, but August has been a productive month: new username and activity tabs, the HTML5 version of twitter.com for iPad and galleries for images you've tweeted [ see above ], plus a broad rollout of the t.co shortened URL.
That's enough to beat Google for this edition even though Google+ added games like Angry Birds, debuted verified accounts and improved its integration with YouTube [ see our first social media wars story ].
Facebook, our winner from the late July edition of social media wars, fell to third place despite launching its marketing API and Facebok Messenger for the iPad and iPhone. Why? It lost too many points for things like being voted the worst API and for Zuckerberg picking on Chill's use of the autopost feature.
As for social media in the news, Prime Minister David Cameron considered banning people from using social networking sites because of riots earliers this month. However, London residents are using Twitter and Facebook to organize cleanups and help reclaim the city's streets.
The ranking for the past three weeks:
1. Twitter: 12.5 points
2. Google+: 11.5 points
3. Facebook: 8 points
If you disagree with our assessment or think we missed something, tell us in the comments below.
Twitter: 12.5 points
+1 for adding a @username tab and an activity tab [ see above ]. The @username tab lets users see which tweets were added to favorites, latest retweets, mentions and new followers. The activity tab highlights latest favorites, retweets and follows from the people @username is following.
+1 for rolling out user galleries to organize all images tweeted -- from various services -- since Jan. 1, 2010 into one page.
+1 for rolling out an HTML5-based version of Twitter for the iPad.
+1 for launching Twitter in Dutch and Indonesian – the first two languages fully translated by community volunteers using its Translation Center – making the service available in 11 languages.
+1 for teaming up with The Weather Channel to provide real-time tweets about the weather on The Weather Channel website and mobile apps (admit it, you've tweeted about the weather).
+1 for announcing that Storm, which can stream data and update databases in real time among other things, will be open-source. Twitter is set to release Storm at Strange Loop on Sept. 19.
+1.5 for acquiring Bagcheck, where people talk about and share lists of the stuff they use and why, and bringing co-founder Sam Pullara -- former chief technologist at Yahoo -- on board. The acquisition might enhance the way Twitter users discuss their favorite products, allowing them and their followers to have a clear view of the object in discussion.
+0.5 for the NYPD forming a social media unit specifically designed to monitor Facebook and Twitter for potential criminal activity [ FB also gets +.5 ].
+0.5 for the @RiotCleanup Twitter page, which has more than 80K followers, to organize a mass cleanup in the U.K.
+1 for allowing users to upload and share images 3MB or smaller with followers (better late than never) but depending on the browser, it might only show up as a link.
+1 for receiving/confirming the massive (reportedly $400M) investment led by those Russians at DST Global.
+1 for integrating the t.co URL shortener across Twitter, automatically converting every 20-character-plus link and making tweeted URLs trackable and safe. We almost took off a half-point for taking so long -- these plans were first announced in June 2010 (!).
+1 for offering Bootstrap, a front-end toolkit for web application developers.
Google Plus: 11.5 points
+1 for adding verification badges a la Twitter so users know they are following the real person [ see above ]. Focused on celebs, public figures and those with large followings (like Robert Scoble) for now.
+2 for improving YouTube integration: incorporating live YouTube streams into Google+ Hangouts and allowing users to launch Hangouts directly from a YouTube video (under the share button).
+1 for updating the Google+ iPhone app to include iPad and iPod touch support (still no separate iPad app though, hello?).
+2 for adding games like Angry Birds and Diamond Dash to the site and for putting Facebook on the defensive with this brilliant move.
+0.5 for hiring tech blogger and startup adviser Louis Gray as product marketing manager.
+1 for making it easier to invite friends to Google+. Users can post the link to a friend’s Facebook page or another similar service, no need to know their email address.
+1 for changing the name policy so that potential violators have a four-day grace period to comply. The name battle is far from over, however.
-1 for continuing to dance around the pseudonym issue and the reported toll it's taking on the Google+ team.
+1 for integrating Google Books so users can share favorite books with followers and their circles.
+1 for integrating Google+ public posts into Google search results (seems obvious, we're surprised this didn't happen sooner).
+1 for adding the ability to collapse and expand comments in the stream (another obvious one).
+1 for implementing infinite scrolling in photos. Instead of clicking through several page numbers, Google+ loads photos into the webpage as the user scrolls down.
Facebook: 8 points
+0.5 for London residents using Facebook to organize clean-ups. The “Post riot clean-up: let’s help London page” has close to 20K likes.
+1 for jumping to third place among video sites in the U.S. in July from sixth place in June. Facebook is now ahead of Microsoft, Yahoo and Viacom.
+1 for rolling out Mobile Social Reporting and Mobile Password Reset on m.facebook.com to help users report and resolve issues with posts, profiles or other content on the site.
+1 for launching the free Facebook Messenger for use on iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad, and increasing its mobile presence.
+1.5 for grouping status updates by topic. Posts on the same topic are grouped into a single news feed story so users can see trending topics among friends, and Pages representing those topics can gain more fans.
+1 for improving the chat list by adding a “More Online Friends” section. Users can once again see all of their online friends – not just their closest and recently interacted with friends – in the buddy list.
+1 for creating a way to merge duplicate pages into one official page, giving page administrators a way to publish share content with users who liked either an accidentally created page or an unofficial page.
+0.5 for the NYPD using the service to track criminals.
+1 for launching the Marketing API to enable developers to make tools and services that create, buy and manage Facebook ad campaigns.
-0.5 for winning “Worst API” in a survey of more than 100 developers. Problems include bugs, poor documentation and other issues. Yes, Twitter and Google were on the list and yes, Facebook is hugely popular with developers, but Facebook's talented devs can do better.
+1 for launching groups within the Developer app, enabling developers to more easily manage administrators, developers, insights users and testers in an app.
+1 for launching Insights for Credits so app creators can see how much users spend, etc.
-1 for hacker group Anonymous vowing to destroy the service on Nov. 5.
-1 for Mark Zuckerberg hating on Chill for incorporating an autopost to Facebook feature on sign-up. Chill, a video version of Turntable.fm, got rid of this feature to appease Zuckerberg and to prove it has no hidden intentions.
-1 for trying to block some users from seeing Google+ invite links in their news stream.
+1 for enabling advertisers to target potential customers by zip code – especially helpful for small and local businesses that want customers within walking distance.
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