Five things worth sharing from the last week (or so), brought to you by a different member of the Browser Media team every Friday.

This week’s My Five is by Alex.

1. Oversharers Heaven

Facebook has recently announced the launch of a new app, available to users in the next few weeks, which will make it a doddle to share even more information than before. The app, which Facebook says is optional, uses your phone’s microphone to listen to what you’re watching or listening to, and enables you to share it as a status.

Whilst on the surface this sounds highly suspect and like it has the potential to be a gross invasion of privacy, Facebook’s news page insists that it is completely optional, only works when you activate it (and then only records for 15 seconds), and data will only be stored as irreversible code. Discussing this in the office this week, we were sceptical. If it can discern song lyrics, surely it can pick up conversation too? Maybe it’s just the cynical part of me that dislikes the idea of my newsfeed becoming even more full of rubbish….

2. Apple buys Beats

This week it was confirmed that Apple will be buying Beats for the tidy sum of $3bn. Whilst the rising music brand, most well-known for their famous co-founder, Dr Dre, will apparently remain separate from the Apple brand, the move will enable Apple to offer subscription-based music services, which will help it keep up with competitors. Don’t worry, it’s not replacing iTunes – the Beats service will be alongside its own radio streaming and music download facility, providing a comprehensive solution for users.

The Beats deal is the largest that Apple has ever made, which shows the brand clearly has big plans for future products – although so far the company has declined to disclose any of them as yet. Watch this space…

3. The devil in the detail…

Recently there was uproar on Reddit regarding Google and the horrendous error in the kerning of the letters within their logo. In perhaps the whole of graphic design history, the tiniest tweak was made in order to correct the ‘issue’. Hopefully this means that all design nerds can now sleep at night… Here’s the before and after courtesy of Gizmodo.

4. New, softer Panda

Another one from Google… Early last week, Google pushed out the “next generation” of Panda, including a new algorithm update which claims to benefit smaller sites and businesses, and be gentler overall.

Google’s Matt Cutts spoke at the Search Marketing Expo in March, explaining that after so many were hit in the previous Panda update, this new version has one specific algorithmic change that should have a positive impact on the smaller businesses.

Controversially, an article on WebProNews states; “Search Engine Roundtable recently ran a poll asking how Panda 4.0 impacted readers’ sites. Over 1,200 people responded. Over 15% said they had recovered from a previous Panda penalty. Over 19% said their rankings increased, but that they were never hurt by Panda. Over 23% said their rankings remained the same, but they were never previously hurt by Panda. Nearly 27% said they were never previously hurt by Panda, but saw their rankings decrease this time. About 11% said they didn’t recover from a previous Panda penalty.

“The poll doesn’t take into account business size, but it’s probably safe to assume that a good amount of those who participated are from or represent small businesses.”

Was your business site affected by Panda? Have you seen any positive changes after the Panda 4.0 update last week? Let us know in the comments.

5. Holiday season!

Not sure I fancy this though… World’s tallest water slide