More tech Stories
In Brief

After debuting its standalone Messenger app for iPhone and Android three years ago, Facebook has finally expanded the app to accommodate for the iPad. The app works more or less the same as the Messenger app currently available for the phone, including Stickers and VoIP calling. Right now, Facebook seems to be keeping chat baked into the iPad version of the Facebook app, but it will be interesting to see whether it decides to spin out Messenger and eliminate chat from the flagship app as it did for the iPhone. 

In Brief

Facebook has spent most of this week fighting off the storm of controversy from a psychology study by the company that showed it manipulated the News Feeds of thousands of users to draw an emotional response without their consent. On Wednesday, speaking to NDTV in India, COO Sheryl Sandberg admitted, “We communicated very badly.” However, Sandberg downplayed the impact of the study and said that the company was neither breaching privacy nor being manipulative: “Facebook cannot control emotions of users. Facebook will not control emotions of users.” It’s another semi-apology from Facebook: Sandberg apologized for the way the study was handled, but not for the study itself.

Upcoming Events

In Brief

Vine has become a popular medium for users to share six-second videos, but until now there hasn’t been a way to know how popular individual Vines are. On Tuesday, the company introduced “loop counts,” which are available now in the Vine update for iOS and Android. Loop counts are exactly that — a number in the corner of a Vine that shows how many times a video has been “looped” — or played end-to-end and restarted — since April 3. The update, which includes a redesign, also offers richer analytics for Vines, including milestones like reaching 100 “likes.”

In Brief

David Hahn, the former VP of product for LinkedIn, will join Greylock Partners as an entrepreneur-in-residence, the VC firm announced Monday. At LinkedIn, Hahn oversaw the company’s monetization products, including Sponsored Updates. According to LinkedIn co-founder and current Greylock partner Reid Hoffman, Hahn’s product portfolio generated $1.5 billion for the company. As an entrepreneur-in-residence, Hahn will advise the leadership teams of the firm’s portfolio companies, which include both social and enterprise startups, on monetization and product.

loading external resource
In Brief

A report released Tuesday by Forrester, which surveyed more than 4,500 people between the ages of 12 and 17, says that Facebook doesn’t have the “teen problem” stemming from a study in 2013 that suggested youth were leaving the network in droves. According to the brief, more than three quarters of teens still use Facebook at least once per month — double the usage numbers of Snapchat, Tumblr, or Pinterest — and 28 percent say they use it “all the time.” While the study doesn’t track how teens see the popularity of Facebook among their peers, the usage levels suggest that teens aren’t abandoning it en masse.

Screen Shot 2014-06-24 at 8.35.48 AM

 

In Brief

Online marketplace Etsy, which has made its name in selling handmade goods from independent vendors, announced on Monday that it acquired A Little Market — an ecommerce shop based in France that also focuses on handmade goods. The Wall Street Journal reported that the acquisition is the largest from Etsy to date, although the terms of the deal have not been disclosed. The company says that A Little Market will continue to function independently, providing domestic goods in France. The company has been on a bit of a buying spree, as it acquired technology ecommerce company Grand St. in April of this year.

In Brief

Taking advantage of the lightweight mobile app trend pursued by social companies like Foursquare and Facebook, LinkedIn announced on Thursday that it has a new app for iPhone designed just for jobseekers. The app, LinkedIn Job Search, is fairly straightforward: Users can search for opportunities in their field, receive recommendations based on saved searches and make use of an easy way to fill out applications. The most interesting thing about the app is that none of the activity will post to LinkedIn, making it easier for stealthy jobseekers to follow companies and apply without notifying their network.

In Brief

After years of not supporting GIFs within the stream, Twitter has finally had a change of heart. On Wednesday, the company announced that users will now be able to share GIFs in the stream on the web platform as well as iPhone and Android. It’s important to note that GIFs won’t play live in the stream — users will be able to access the animation by pressing a “play” button. In any case, be prepared for a boatload more of animated cats.

In Brief

In an effort to further augment its Creative Labs experiment Paper, Facebook announced Monday that the latest update to the mobile app includes new information-gathering and customization features for users. One of those is a new “Trending” section, a more extensive version of the similarly-titled section  on the website, with 10 news topics instead of three, that allows users to see what others are sharing in Paper in real-time.  For directed coverage, users can also search via hashtag for specific content. Additionally, the update includes the ability to update profile photos, tag pictures, mention friends and selectively share content.

In Brief

 

amex uber partnership

On Monday, ride-sharing app Uber announced a loyalty program with American Express that allows eligible cardholders enrolled in the Membership Rewards program to not only earn points on rides, but also to pay for rides with those points. According to the blog post, this is the first time consumers will be able to use loyalty points in-app and in real time for transportation.

The partnership comes after Uber’s announcement of  $1.4 billion in new funding, leaving the company with a post-money valuation of $18.4 billion.

12319page 1 of 19