According to The New York Times, Twitter will today announce its first serious attempt at a revenue earning model. Through an advertising program known as Promoted Tweets, companies will be able to purchase the rights to keywords and have their ads strategically placed into related user search results. Not without transparency, Promoted Tweets will labelled as such. According to Twitter, the key benefit of the program is companies will be able to spread their message without fear of it being overlooked. How much companies will pay to participate in the program is unclear, but at the moment Twitter will be charging per 1,000 unique views (CPM) until it has a clear understanding of how the public will react. Users of third-party applications are safe from Promoted Tweets for the time being, but Twitter is presently working on a method to track the number of ad views in applications so it can create a revenue sharing deal with developers. So far Best Buy, Bravo, Starbucks and Virgin America have signed up for the program, but more are sure to come along. In the future, the program will be expanded into one’s timeline. More →
One of our trusty Verizon Wireless sources has let us know that Verizon will be launching the Samsung Reality on April 22nd. It’s definitely not a smartphone, but the Reality will pack enough punch to get most people happily through the day with 3″ touchscreen, horizontal QWERTY slider, 3.2 megapixel camera, VZ Navigator, V CAST, visual voicemail, 3.5mm headphone jack and one-touch access to your favorite social networking sites. We’ve yet to establish what the Reality will go for, but we can’t imagine it setting you back more than a Benjamin. Just make sure you budget north of $9.99 per month for a data plan, okay?
If you didn’t skip past this post, the odds are that you’re a BlackBerry user and Twitterer. And if our assumption is correct, then you’ll probably want to set your alarm clock for 9PM ET, as RIM has informed us that’s when it will release a public beta of Twitter for BlackBerry. We gave you a sneak peek of the app in February and weren’t very impressed with some of it, but that was a very early beta. By the looks of the change log we were sent (available after the jump), a lot of things have changed since then. Interested in giving it a shot? Grab it in the App World Test Center tonight. More →
BlackBerry users with a penchant for schmoozing and climbing up both corporate and social ladders are probably squealing with excitement this morning LinkedIn for BlackBerry has finally been released. Offering the most commonly used features such as network updates, messages, invitations and connections, the app also has the ability to integrate with the stock BlackBerry Calendar, Contacts and Messaging apps. LinkedIn for BlackBerry is available for Bold, Curve and Tour users running OS 4.3.0 and above and is available OTA here. More →
Hot on the heels of the Mini and GT350, LG announced the GS500 Cookie Plus. Carrying on in the tradition of the plain old Cookie which sold some 10mm units world-wide, in reality the Cookie Plus aims to please with a “cartoon-like UI” complete with 18 blinding themes, a 3 megapixel camera enhanced by the devices ability to edit pictures before firing them off as an MMS (this should thrill paranoid, sexting weary parents), FM tuner, all the social media support a tween could ever hope for and dozens of widgets. Pricing was absent from the press release, but the GS500 Cookie Plus will start to hit shelves in Italy and France next month with 45 more countries to follow. Oh, how could we forget — LG “plans to offer a full batch of new Cookie handsets in 2010”. Cute. More →
Those that crave the latest and greatest handsets from LG will have to wait until Mobile World Congress is officially under way, but for now, two new handsets have been announced by the Korean company that should prove to be popular with the masses. First up is the GD880 Mini. As the name implies, the GD880 is very petite (LG is calling it the “smallest and slimmest 3.2-inch full touchscreen phone on the market today”), but it turns out the device hasn’t exactly been shortchanged when it comes to specs; LG has managed to shove a 5 megapixel camera, Wi-Fi, A-GPS and 7.2Mbps HSDPA into the sleek device. Second we have the GT350. Essentially the successor of the KS360 aka Neon, the GT350 is improved by a four-line full-QWERTY sliding keypad as well as a a full 3″ WQVA touchscreen. Both phones are capable of push email and browsing the web, but the Mini has two applications the GT350 doesn’t in Social Network Connect (“which makes keeping in touch with online friends even easier than on a desktop PC”) and Social Network Feed which has built-in access to things the youth are down with like Facebook and Twitter and is integrated with Social Address Book.
Pricing for each device has yet to be made public, but we do know the GD880 Mini will be available in Europe next month (to be followed by other markets) while the GT350 will be available come April. More →
If you happened to be one of the many that noticed all was not well with Twitter’s site last night, here’s an example: control of the social media site — but not the all important API — fell into the wrong hands. The following is the message that was posted on the main site:
Iranian Cyber Army
THIS SITE HAS BEEN HACKED BY IRANIAN CYBER ARMY
U.S.A. Think They Controlling And Managing Internet By Their Access, But They Don’t, We Control And Manage Internet By Our Power, So Do Not Try To Stimulation Iranian Peoples To….
NOW WHICH COUNTRY IN EMBARGO LIST? IRAN? USA?
WE PUSH THEM IN EMBARGO LIST ;)
Based on appearances it would seem a group known as the Iranian Cyber Army hacked the site, but Twitter’s own blog says this was nothing more than a DNS hijack. And although it is unclear whether or not anyone connected with Iran was actually behind the hijack, it wouldn’t surprise many given the fact Twitter was instrumental to the protesters during the 2009 Iranian election protests.
Today we hit up Sony Ericsson’s shindig in NYC for some one-on-one time with its XPERIA X10, and so far (it’s a non-retail prototype) it looks like SE has a decent device on its hands. Of course, we all know the X10 is running Android 1.6, but SE has created its own UI, or UX as it prefers to say (short for User Experience), called Nexus. Like other UI overlays for Android, Nexus focuses on social media integration, entertainment and simplifying contact info by aggregating user information. Two very unique applications that SE has integrated into Nexus are Timescape and Mediascape. Timescape is much like viewing your contact information on HTC’s Sense UI and Motorola’s MOTOBLUR: you can view your contact’s email, SMS, Facebook and Twitter updates all in one place. Mediascape allows you to access photos, video and music from your phone as well as YouTube and PlayNow, SE’s music store. The great thing about Timescape and Mediascape is that they recognize connections between your contacts (like facial recognition), music and media and it makes suggestions on how you can communicate or get a guide to new media. Now that we’ve got the software aspect out of the way, hit the jump to see not only what think of the device itself, but quite a few pretty pics and a video overview!
While many tech geeks who fancy Verizon will be spending the majority of this week debating whether or not to pull the trigger on either the DROID or DROID Eris, today Verizon quietly started selling the LG Chocolate Touch, a non-smartphone with mass market appeal. Equipped with a 3″ touchscreen display and 3.2 megapixel camera, the Chocolate Touch also features support for VZ Navigator, V CAST Music/Video, Visual Voicemail and EV-DO Rev. 0 connectivity. Also of note is a convenience key that leads directly to social media sites like Facebook, MySpace and Twitter as well as the inclusion of Dolby Mobile technology, something which is claimed to deliver “audio quality that rivals MP3 players.” Of course with only 1GB of internal memory and no microSD card in the box users will be forced to drop some extra cash if they wish to listen to more than 250 songs, but at $79.99 on contract after a $50 rebate, what do you expect? More →
Rogers Wireless was the first carrier to bring Android smartphones to Canada with the HTC Dream and Magic — two devices that weren’t exactly cutting edge — and now it’s trying to generate some excitement with the Eve, LG’s first Android offering. Pre-loaded with the Social Networks Manager app, an aggregate for Facebook, Twitter and Bebo, the Eve is being positioned as the “ultimate smartphone for social media enthusiasts”. There isn’t anything extraordinary going on spec wise, but the Eve should get the job done for most with a 3″ touchscreen display, sliding QWERTY keypad, 5 megapixel camera, Wi-Fi, GPS and 7.2Mbps HSPA. All of this can be yours for $49.99 on contract or $399.99 without. You know, unless you want to wait until Thursday to see just how much the TELUS’s HTC Hero is going to set you back. More →
Remember that mysterious LiMo-powered smartphone we exclusively showed you a week back? Well today it was made official alongside another handset as well as a new internet service, Vodafone 360. The two devices, manufactured by Samsung, have been dubbed the 360 H1 (the device we showed you) and 360 M1. The 360 H1 looks to be an all around solid device with a 3.5-inch OLED touchscreen display, 5 megapixel camera with auto-focus and flash, 16GB of internal memory, GPS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and HSDPA. The 360 M1, on the other hand, leaves a little bit to be desired but still packs a bit of a punch with a 3.2-inch touchscreen display, 1GB of internal memory (expandable by microSD), GPS, Bluetooth 2.0 and HSDPA. As for Vodafone 360 platform, what we previously told you was correct in that it incorporates more or less the same sort of social media approach as webOS and MOTOBLUR, but with a slightly stronger emphasis placed upon games, apps and music. Nothing too crazy, but it’s something we think every smartphone should have as we draw nearer to a new decade. Of note, Voda’s 360 services will also work on dozens of Nokia and Sony Ericsson handsets so if this new dynamic duo isn’t your thing, rest easy. Oh, and just one more thing… The H1 and the M1? H1 and M1? H1M1? A bit too close for comfort.
Read (360 H1)
Read (360 M1)
Are you concerned that there just aren’t enough Berry-centric sites out there for you to talk RIM with like-minded addicts? Dry those eyes as MyBlackBerry, a RIM-operated community forum for BlackBerry users, will officially launch tonight at midnight. In short, MyBlackBerry is a place were any current and future BlackBerry user is free to share tips, stories, review apps and just plain chew the fat. We’ve been testing out the site for a few weeks now and we think that given time and an influx of new users, it should become a decent spot for the BlackBerry faithful. Then again, there is something slightly creepy about posting to forums on the manufacturer’s website (don’t pretend you’re not the paranoid type), but we digress. As you wait for the stroke of midnight, you might want to check out the promo video that sums up what the site is all about. Speaking of the promo video, did anyone notice a little oopsie about a third of the way through? We’ve highlighted it ever so subtly above just in case you missed it.