Social & Web

Watch out Meerkat

It looks like Twitter bought livestreaming app Periscope weeks ago, before competitor Meerkat went viral. Two outlets, Business Insider and Re/code, are reporting the news from their respective anonymous sources, but there’s no word on how much the deal closed for or confirmation from Twitter (I’ll update if I hear back). Periscope is still in private beta, but was rumored to have the same livestreaming capabilities that made Meerkat spread virally.

Back to the drawing board

When I wrote about the decentralization movement a year back, one of the big pro-privacy hopes was Mailpile, which is ambitiously trying to build a user-friendly yet rock-solid encrypted webmail system with a hybrid desktop/in-browser approach. On Friday, Mailpile’s Bjarni Rúnar Einarsson announced the rejection of the Mailpile beta, saying feedback had led the team to go back to the drawing board. One key issue was unsurprisingly related to making “all that crypto stuff completely seamless.” Iceland-based Einarsson is taking a break to get married (mazel tov) and, with the back-end providing most of the problems, front-end designer Brennan Novak has “moved on to other things for now.” Here’s hoping Mailpile gets back on track when development resumes next month.

Small businesses may suffer

Facebook Pages may lose some of their likes soon. Thursday the company  warned businesses it’s removing likes from deactivated or memorialized accounts. The like dip would be more of an ego hit for companies than an actual hit on their Page’s reach, since Facebook is only removing people who weren’t around anyways. On the upside, Facebook points out that this “gives businesses up-to-date insights on the people who actively follow their Page.”

Messaging joins voice

Open Whisper Systems has released version 2 of its Signal secure calling app for iPhone. This is an important iteration, as it introduces secure text messaging that’s compatible with the outfit’s TextSecure app for Android — for now, Open Whisper Systems’ secure voice app for Android, RedPhone, remains separate from that, though everything will come together later this year in a Signal app that works across iOS, Android and the desktop. As secure communications operations go, Open Whisper Systems has good credibility, offering end-to-end crypto, auditable open-source code and decent identity verification. The TextSecure protocol has also found its way into WhatsApp, which is why Android-toting users of that Facebook-owned messaging app enjoy extra security these days.

What will they look like?

Tinder is working on building itself an ad unit, according to Re/Code sources. The dating company contacted both Facebook and Twitter to discuss a potential advertising partnership. There’s no more information on what these advertising units could look like, but Re/Code speculated that local bars or restaurants might want to market themselves as date spots in the app. Tinder wouldn’t comment on Re/Code’s story.

12325page 1 of 25