Exactly six years ago Wednesday, Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey published the first post on his new service Twttr. “Just setting up my twttr,” Dorsey wrote in his brief note. No one knew at the time, but his tweet was the first of trillions of messages that would be posted to the social networking service over the coming six years. Twitter has seen more than 532 million accounts registered in its six years, and the service is used around the world by people in all walks of life. While some still view Twitter as a wasteland packed with irrelevant minutiae, the service is also used by tens of millions of people and organizations as a means of communication and promotion. Twitter has even played an integral role for groups looking to organize in protest against oppressive regimes. Twitter announced on its blog Wednesday that the service is now home to more than 140 million active users who post an average of 340 million tweets per day. As of about a year ago, four months after Twitter celebrated its fifth birthday, the company confirmed that it was delivering an average of 350 million tweets each day.
In a recent feature about Windows 8 and an earlier piece covering some of the problems facing iPad competitors, we mentioned the lack of multi-user login support as one area where media tablet vendors were missing the mark. The iPad also lacks multi-user support of course, but some features associated with multiple login functionality will become available to iPad users beginning Thursday. Skyfire, maker of the popular like-named mobile Web browser, released an updated version of its iPad browser on Thursday that includes a new “HotSwap” feature. The feature allows multiple users to share the same iPad and swap browser profiles, thus eliminating the need to log out of websites and services each time a different family member picks up the device. So, for example, a user can keep all of his or her tabs open and remain logged into Facebook, Twitter and Amazon even if another user logs into the same sites using a different profile. Skyfire with HotSwap is available as a free update for current users, and the app costs $4.99 for new users. The company’s press release follows below, along with a video showcasing the new HotSwap feature. More →
Former Engineering Director at Google and current Partner Development Manager at Microsoft James Whittaker on Tuesday published a lengthy piece explaining why he chose to leave the Mountain View-based company after having been such a vocal Google evangelist for nearly three years. His post on Microsoft’s MSDN blogs reiterates a number of opinions that have been hot topics in the media of late, but he also offers several insights from a unique point of view that only an insider can offer. In short, Whittaker feels that Google co-founder and current CEO Larry Page completely ruined the company for him. Read on for more. More →
Yesterday it was revealed that the popular social networking app Path was uploading entire iPhone address books to the company’s server. The data uploaded included full names, phone numbers and email addresses, and the app uploaded all this data without ever asking for permission. Dave Morin, Path’s co-founder and CEO, admitted fault on Wednesday through the company’s website and announced an update to allow users to either opt in or out of the contact collection feature. “We believe you should have control when it comes to sharing your personal information. We also believe that actions speak louder than words,” Morin said. “So, as a clear signal of our commitment to your privacy, we’ve deleted the entire collection of user uploaded contact information from our servers. Your trust matters to us and we want you to feel completely in control of your information on Path.” The company maintains that when data is transmitted to its servers, it is always sent securely through an encrypted connection and protected by industry-standard firewalls. More →
Path, the popular social network that competes with the likes of Instagram, may be uploading your iPhone’s entire address book up to its servers. Arun Thampi from mclov.in noticed the Path app’s steal data dump while trying to create a Mac OS X application for the social network during a hackathon. “Upon inspecting closer, I noticed that my entire address book (including full names, emails and phone numbers) was being sent as a plist to Path,” Thampi said, noting that Path didn’t ever ask for permission to do so. It’s unclear why Path is uploading the iPhone’s entire address book, but Thampi noticed that the social network performs the action during an API call with basic HTTP authentication. It remains unclear if Path’s Android application is also guilty of uploading personal information. Thampi has instructions on how to catch Path in the action on his blog.
UPDATE: A response from Path’s CEO follows after the break. More →
Twitter announced recently that it now has the ability to, and will begin to, censor content on the social network by country. “As we continue to grow internationally, we will enter countries that have different ideas about the contours of freedom of expression,” the company said in a blog post Thursday. “Some differ so much from our ideas that we will not be able to exist there.” Twitter gave France and Germany as examples, two countries that ban pro-Nazi rhetoric from being posted on the Internet. Previously, Twitter would have had to delete specific content worldwide in order to prevent it from being visible, but it can now remove content on a country-by-country basis. Read on for more. More →
Facebook on Wednesday evening announced new applications that can be used to populate users’ Facebook Timelines with new information. The initial launch apps include Foodspotting, Foodily, Ticketmaster, Pinterest,Rotten Tomatoes, Pose, Kobo, Gogobot, TripAdvisor and several others. “If you’re a traveler, you can add the Gogobot and TripAdvisor apps to bring a virtual passport to your timeline, and show your friends where you’ve been and share tips about your favorite spots from around the world,” Facebook product manager Carl Sjogreen explained in a blog post. Thankfully, Facebook has added an option that allows users to choose exactly who can see the updates from each application, which means Timelines shouldn’t be too flooded with updates about what an old friend from highschool has been cooking for dinner all week. Sjogreen also said more applications for additional interests will be added over time. More →
We’ve already seen an 11-minute walk-through video comparing a new Windows 8 beta tablet to an iPad 2 running iOS 5, but there are plenty of features Microsoft is cooking up that didn’t make it into the beta release of the OS. In a new video, Microsoft highlights a handful of currently unavailable applications that make use of the oft-praised Metro user interface Windows 8 borrowed from the Windows Phone platform. In the video, Microsoft shows off several apps including Mail, Calendar, People, Messaging and Photos, which features seamless Facebook and Flickr integration. The People application also features Facebook integration, pulling Facebook friends and address book contacts into a single stream. Microsoft’s full demo video follows below. More →
Flipboard, the company behind the popular like-named social magazine application for the iPad, plans to add TV shows, books and movie content, Reuters reported on Thursday. The company’s app has been downloaded more than 3 million times, and it offers articles from several popular magazines including Rolling Stone and National Geographic. Users can view articles alongside customized news and social network feeds, too. Flipboard CEO Mike McCue told Reuters that he hopes to add TV shows and movies by the end of the year but has not discussed who his company is teaming up with to deliver the content just yet. It is also still unclear when McCue will add books to the app. A version of the software for the iPhone and iPod touch will be launching in the coming weeks and we’re excited to see how it performs on the iPhone’s smaller screen. More →
Facebook is expecting to acquire a total of 20 new companies in 2011 in an effort to better compete with Twitter and Google, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday. The social network purchased 10 new companies last year and just one in 2009, but has already acquired 13 various firms this year. Most recently, Facebook purchased the group-messaging service Beluga, which was created by several former Google employees, and re-released it as the “Facebook Messenger” product for the iPhone and Android smartphones. In an interview with Bloomberg, Facebook’s director of corporate development Vaughan Smith explained the strategy behind Facebook’s acquisitions. “Two years ago we didn’t have a track record in acquisitions,” Smith said. “While we expected them to work well, it was still a crapshoot how they’d turn out. We’ve built a culture that supports entrepreneurs, and it’s working incredibly well.” Facebook other big purchases this year include Snaptu, design firm Sofa and Push Pop Press. More →
Sony Ericsson on Monday unveiled its latest Android smartphone, dubbed “Live with Walkman.” With a name almost as catchy as Nokia’s failed “Comes with Music” offering, the new Live with Walkman smartphone is powered by Google’s Android 2.3 Gingerbread operating system and a 1GHz processor. Other spec highlights include a 3.2-inch touchscreen display, a 5-megapixel camera, Sony’s xLOUD audio and a Walkman music experience featuring integration with various social networks. “Consumers want smartphones to deliver a rich and social entertainment experience. Rather than a one dimensional music experience, they want instant and seamless access to new content, combined with the ability to share and connect with their friends,” said Sony Ericsson’s head of product marketing Nikolaus Scheurer in a statement. “The Sony Ericsson Live with Walkman provides exactly this, in a powerful package with great style.” Sony Ericsson’s full press release follows below. More →
Microsoft’s Bing team took the wraps off of a new location-sharing application for Windows Phone on Thursday called “We’re in.” The application is similar to foursquare and Latitude in some respects, and yet still very different. The idea is simple: you can create an invitation that will allow your friends to share their location for a specified amount of time. Say, for example, you want to share your location and see where four of your friends are, for one hour, while you all head towards a local restaurant. You can create a quick event with “We’re in” and then send it to those friends. Once they accept, their pictures and locations will appear on Bing Maps. If you hit traffic or the train is late, you and your friends can update your status as you make your way to the restaurant. Unlike Latitude, which some people avoid for fear of location privacy issues, you can always leave the party. Better yet, when the allotted time is up, your location is automatically turned off. The application is available in the Zune Marketplace now and Microsoft says it plans on delivering it to other platforms soon, too. More →
Images of Facebook’s unannounced iPad application have been leaked by TechCrunch. Reportedly, the official application has been hidden inside the iPhone app all along. We’re impressed by what we see in the leaked photos so far; there is clearly a robust gallery feature and the news feed is rich with profile photos and status updates. TechCrunch‘s MG Siegler, who has already tested the application, says that it offers an “HTML5-rich experience” and that Facebook for iPad is a vast improvement over the mobile Web interface currently available. Facebook for iPad is expected to launch soon but an exact release date is still unknown. At least we now know the social network didn’t just skip out on one completely. Read on for two more images and check the read link for a full gallery. More →