This week, Facebook announced its acquisition of messaging platform WhatsApp for $16 billion. Here’s how it fits into the company’s view of mobile over time. Read more »
Messenger app WhatsApp is Facebook’s largest acquisition to date. Read more »
After releasing a preview during last year’s I/O, Google is rolling out its “new” maps to all users, complete with exploration and recommendations. Read more »
Part of the reason that Tinder has taken off so well in the past few months is that it shows users nearby within a mile radius. However, Businessweek reports that white-hat hackers uncovered location data for users that went much deeper than that mile designation — even triangulating someone’s position within 100 feet. The hole was patched before the beginning of this year, but the process took months and Tinder was slow to respond. It’s also not the first time the company has landed in hot water over its location technology — and its transparency about security.
Edtech startup Renaissance Learning announced a $40 million from a new venture capital arm of Google that focuses on established startups. Read more »
Sidecar has announced a user marketplace that helps riders and drivers connect. Read more »
All users of LinkedIn will be able to post their thoughts via the company’s publishing platform, and gain followers for doing so. Read more »
An MIT study claims that Twitter can be used to predict major social events, thanks to heavy activity from specific communities. Read more »
Irish game development and publishing company King, best known for creating freemium smash hit “Candy Crush Saga,” filed for an IPO Tuesday. The company, which hopes to raise $500 million, pulled in $1.9 billion in 2013 and says 78 percent of its total gross bookings last year came from Candy Crush Saga, which launched on mobile in November 2012. King’s revenues in 2012 were just $164 million. King says 70 percent of its gross bookings — which it defines as the total amount its users pay for virtual items and access to skill tournaments — are on mobile, and just 4 percent of users (roughly 12 million) regularly make in-game purchases.
Secret is an anonymous social network that lets users share personal, gossipy information. But is the app really that useful if nobody’s listening to you? Read more »
Pinterest mobile for iOS and Android both received updates today — the most noteworthy of which is the ability to view GIFs on both iPhone and Android smartphones. According to the company’s engineering blog, the feature allows users to pin GIFs directly, which will show up in feeds with a small play button. GIFs can then be played via mobile, shared and repinned across platforms. The iPad version was also updated, including support for place pins.
Sharing on social media doesn’t actually mean a user has read a piece of content, The Verge reports, citing findings from real-time analytics site Chartbeat. Chartbeat says its data shows no correlation between sharing and reading — fair reasoning behind Upworthy’s decision to value an engagement metric called “Attention Minutes” over both pageviews and shares. But all is not completely lost: data from Upworthy shows that likelihood of sharing is best if a user reads an article or watches a video all the way to the end.
With just a few lines of code, the largest social network in the world has offered an opportunity for a portion of its user base to cease being invisible. Read more »
After months of relative silence, photo-sharing app Frontback has released an update and claims it’s growing fast internationally. Read more »
A report from Recode says that SaaS platform Lithium is in the final stages of acquiring Klout Read more »
If you are one of the precious few who enjoy socializing with fellow passengers on an airplane, take note: Virgin America has announced an in-flight social network to help business travelers connect. The airline’s “network” is basically a deployment of geolocating business connection app Here on Biz for iPhone. Passengers will be encouraged to log in at the gate or in the air via Gogo Inflight Internet to see nearby professionals’ details from LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. Passengers will be able to access the app via Gogo for free until July.
Instagram has published a guidebook for brands that want to advertise on the platform. Read more »
Chaatz, a messaging app released today for iPhone, will begin to install its services onto feature phones later this year. Read more »
LinkedIn is nixing two services in an effort to “focus” its product line. Read more »
Pandora will open up its submissions process to artists of all kinds. Read more »
Linkedin had a solid fourth quarter earnings report, bolstered by an acquisition designed to help better match recruiters with the company’s users. Read more »
Pinterest has cleaned up its mobile website in the hopes of attracting a more global user base. Read more »
Despite the good news in Twitter’s first quarterly earnings report as a publicly traded company — particularly stronger-than-expected revenue of $243 million and $0.02 earnings per share — the stock was down more than 20 percent in pre-market trading. Just before trading opened, the stock was at $51.40, more than 22 percent below its closing price of $65.97. The reason for the slide seems to be the company’s slow user growth in 2013: an increase of just 30 percent year-over-year. Pre-market shares tend to be more volatile than after the opening bell, but it’s still not looking very pretty.
In its first earnings report as a public company, Twitter reported revenue and profits higher than had been expected, but it’s user base continues to grow slower than company watchers had hoped. Read more »
Longtime Google employee Susan Wojcicki will take over as boss of YouTube, and her skills with ads could be what the platform needs to solve its money woes for creators. Read more »
Microsoft puts a stake in Foursquare’s future, offering the startup $15 million for access to location-award datasets and technology that could help Microsoft compete with Apple and Google in mobile. Read more »
If practically everything about Facebook as a user experience on both desktop and mobile bothers you, then Paper might answer your prayers. Read more »
Alma modernizes school administration software, with help from the cloud. Read more »
ZappRx, a mobile app that manages mobile prescriptions, closed a million-dollar seed round led by Atlas Venture and SR One, the venture arm of GlaxoSmithKline Read more »
Imgur is bringing data to its massive catalog of images, offering brands and pro users to take a peek into traffic for their “viral” content. Read more »
Akamai’s Q3 State of the Internet Report shows a surprising rebound in connectivity in the U.S., motivated by high broadband adoption. Meanwhile, IPv6 uptake remains slow. Read more »
It’s the 30th birthday of the Mac, and Apple has rolled out a website to celebrate. Read more »
Fertility app Glow is expanding to include women who don’t want to get pregnant, using data for prevention instead of conception. Read more »
Despite the hubbub over the revelation that well-known Youtube gaming channel Machinima takes “marketing partnerships” with game companies that essentially amount to paying vloggers to hype up followers about games, and the mounting gray area over whether such a thing is ethical, the FTC told Polygon that it can’t really do anything about it from a legal standpoint.
Apparently because the FTC guidelines are just guidelines, they are unenforceable in a court of law. There is a possibility that the FTC could go after a big player, like Machinima or the game companies it works with, for unsavory practices at some point, but until then, it’s best to stay smart about which media sources you trust.
AOL will acquire interest-based content personalization startup Gravity to help tailor its publication materials. Read more »
Investor Carl Icahn went on the phone with Bloomberg TV and called for eBay Read more »
This neat simulation, developed by the ESA, shows the spacecraft Rosetta’s entire journey to meet its comet — and where it will go after it does. Read more »
Months of tension around the use of San Francisco’s public bus stops by Silicon Valley companies to transport workers finally led to action on Tuesday night, as the San Francisco Municipal Transit Authority (SFMTA) moved forward with its previously outlined plans to charge each bus $1 per stop, according to The Verge.
Reactions to the new rule are mixed at best: many opponents to the shuttles’ presence said that the $1 per stop charge is not enough to offset the delays private companies cause public busses, while Silicon Valley employees suggested that other conditions could push them to drive cars. Something tells me that this is far from over.
Chris Poole’s big post-4chan startup, DrawQuest, is shutting down, and his fair, graceful blog post should be required reading for all startup CEOs. Read more »
To say December wasn’t a pretty month for Yahoo would be quite the understatement. Between its protracted troubles with its Mail client and hiccups with services like Flickr, Yahoo was on PR clean-up to keep users happy. But, apparently its users just don’t know how to quit it, as ComScore revealed Tuesday that Yahoo remained the most trafficked website for December 2013 for desktop PCs in the U.S., barely edging out Google. While the desktop-only caveat is not to be ignored — it signals an older age bracket and doesn’t reveal Yahoo’s standing on mobile — Yahoo’s still entrenched in long-term user loyalty, for better or for worse.