Groups can now have their own forums, and all users may now easily embed videos and images in their activity or forums.
As previously explained, a “group” is a collection of individuals united in pursuit of some collective objective.
In addition to their own activity stream, each group now gets its own forum, which may be public, private, or completely hidden as desired by the group members (or their overlord at any rate).
Those creating new groups will be given the option of enabling a forum for the group during creation.
Pre-existing groups, of which there are now several hundred, can add one as well – the group admin can enable the group forum by going to the group page, accessing the “Admin” section and then enabling “Discussion forum” under “Group settings.”
The actual mechanics of group forum operation are essentially the same as the main forums.
A display of public group forum activity resides here.
In addition to groups, automatic embedding for external content has been added throughout. The main usage is likely to be for embedding videos, especially YouTube and NicoNico Douga, and images into activity updates and group forum posts.
For videos, all that is required is to paste the full URL of a supported video page (i.e. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MqOFWDGHOqo) into the update or post – the link will be automatically converted into a player embed.
Direct image embedding currently supports images hosted on the sankakucomplex.com or sankakustatic.com domains – in these cases a direct link to the jpg, png or gif file in question (not its containing page) will result in it being embedded directly. Clicking allows it to be viewed full size within the page as on article pages.
However, there are a large number of other embeds also supported – Flickr, Photobucket, Blip.tv, Vimeo, DailyMotion, Hulu, Viddler, Qik, Revision3, and Scribd are all embeddable by simply including a link.
In case an embed is not desired (for example, in a simple list), preceding the link with a caret (^) will preserve it as a simple hyperlinked URL.
As usual, further updates are to be expected soon. In the mean time, the Beako Fan Club still serves as an ideal introductory group.