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.
Search seems like second nature to us now, but how do you program search to find what’s exactly right for you? Airbnb is chasing that goal now with its experiments on search. Read more »
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.
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.”
Whitney Wolfe, who led Tinder’s college marketing campaign, says she was stripped of her co-founder title and repeatedly harassed by CMO Justin Mateen. Read more »
More executives are switching around at Twitter, as it hires the banker that led its IPO. Read more »
Twitter announced today that it acquired mobile ad re-targeting company TapCommerce. Read more »
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.
After months in beta, Twitter’s mobile app install ads are now available worldwide for iPhone and Android. Read more »
Anonymous bulletin board Yik Yak has raised $10 million in a series A, raising $11.5 million this year. Read more »
With high valuations and mega funding rounds, is Silicon Valley on a bubble again? VCs say it’s not so cut and dry. Read more »
Foursquare is beginning to capitalize on its rich location data by charging a small percentage of users. Read more »
Social media scheduling tool Buffer shows off its link recommendation capabilities in its free app, Daily. Read more »
Photo community EyeEm has released a major update to its Android experience, which could work well with the company’s eventual plan to let users sell photos. Read more »
Education-focused children’s mobile app network Fingerprint has raised more than $20 million in funding to date. Read more »
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.
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 an effort to make the News Feed more relevant, Facebook is making videos more relevant to users’ interests. Read more »
Path can’t stop packing features into its app, and now it’s packing features into two apps. Read more »
When the cloud gets better, how do we use it to benefit business strategy? IEEE chair and Gigaom Analyst Joe Weinman believes the answer lies in upgrading the Value Disciplines. Read more »
How safe is your smart scale? Craig Labovitz of Deepfield said that it’s probably not. Read more »
Facebook has shared the cause of the outage that happened across the world very early on Thursday. Read more »
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.
Twitter has gotten much better at staying up during times of high traffic, but it’s working to push itself even harder and faster. Read more »
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.
Activity booking site Vayable is going last-minute with Vayable for iOS. Read more »
MoPub, a mobile ad marketplace that Twitter acquired late last year, could help the company expand its reach and broaden its revenue potential. Read more »
After accidentally leaking its existence a week ago, Facebook is finally rolling out new app Slingshot. Read more »
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.
Facebook’s latest update for iPad introduces trending topics for news and video, as well as a new spot for games. Read more »
Facebook announced two new updates to its ads on Thursday, including a way for users to give feedback about the ads they see. Read more »
After serving in multiple roles at Twitter for the past four years, COO Ali Rowghani has resigned from his position. Read more »
Avid users of Tweetdeck should log out and revoke access now, as an XSS exploit seems to have granted hackers access to the platform. Read more »
After rolling out its visual, term-based search for mobile users, Pinterest has brought it to the web. Read more »
Two former Apple employees are taking on key roles at Pinterest. Read more »
Lingerie company True & Co. has taken the data it has gathered over the last two years to create a new sizing chart for its users. Read more »
After making a name in mobile payments, Marcus will oversee Facebook’s messaging products. Read more »
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.
Facebook is apparently not exiting the ephemeral messaging game — a new app rolled out in select countries, called Slingshot, looks designed to compete with Snapchat. Read more »
Anonymous sharing app Secret announced a new pilot program that allows schools and companies to run their own private groups. Read more »