If Twitter had been around in the 1970s, would Jaws have even been a threat? NPR reports that government researchers in Australia have started equipping sharks with electronic transmitters that post updates on their locations to Twitter whenever they get close to a public beach. Chris Peck, operations manager of Surf Life Saving Western Australia, explains that the goal of the project is to give beach goers real-time information so they can alert others to flee the waters before any sharks even get close to them. More →
“We no longer have to seek news, we have to seek refuge from it.”
Do me a solid, will you? Imagine the sweet, succulent release in finally letting go of something that’s been dragging you down, and then take a moment to ponder the agony of having no choice but to admit defeat and move on from something good sans finality. I get the feeling that a lot of Twitter users are now finding themselves in one of those two camps. For me, 2013 has become the year that the white flag was waived over Twitter.
A service that once acted as a curation engine for all of the noise that eventually hits the web has now found itself in dire need of curation, and as the stream crests, I’ve found myself disillusioned with the prospect altogether. Twitter has long since attempted to mimic Facebook’s crème de la crème News Feed approach with its Discover tab, but most would agree that said attempt has failed.
When your only hope of ever keeping up with Twitter is to simply unfollow people, brands, and services that you truly do care about… one has to question the usefulness of the infrastructure itself. More →
A couple of months ago, a group of current and former Apple employees revealed what it’s like to work in the stressful yet rewarding environment that is the Apple Campus. Now that the year is coming to a close, Glassdoor has released its annual list of “Best Places to Work,” and although Apple did make the list, the Cupertino company fell behind some of the other giants in the industry. More →
“We now live in a world where there is no downtime.”
Today, I made a choice. I made a choice to carve out a chunk of time to write this article, but I did so at the expense of communication. I very intentionally decided to cast my eyes in the other direction by ignoring a deluge of inbound inquiries, and to be honest, I’m still unsure as to whether it was the right decision. Five years ago, I might have suggested that those employed in the digital industry would understand where I was coming from, but today, I’m more inclined to believe that everyone in a developed country would get the gist. This is the era where personal time becomes a relic, silence is the new distraction, and 24/7 expectations bleed from petrol stations into every possible aspect of your life. Consider this: how many requests are you presently ignoring by taking the time to read these words?
Twitter has had a major spam problem ever since it started to gain popularity. Without any tangible restrictions on account creation, spambots run rampant by automatically responding to key terms and following tens of thousands of users in order to boost their own follower counts. The Wall Street Journal spoke with Jim Vidmar, a Twitter bot “dealer” who buys fake Twitter accounts from suppliers and then sells them to users who wants to improve their standings on the popular social network. According to their findings, the problem is not going away any time soon. More →
Twitter stock opened trading at $45.10, instantly soaring 80% above its initial public offering price. This means that having a lot of users is much more important to investors than having any sort of plan to become profitable. We are back to 1999 and eyeballs are in vogue. This is manna for messaging apps like WhatsApp, LINE, KakaoTalk, WeChat, Kik, Viber, Tango, Nimbuzz and BBM. More →
As most active Twitter users undoubtedly noticed, Twitter on Tuesday added a new feature to its website and mobile apps that is definitely making waves. In a move that pushes the service one step closer to the likes of Facebook and Tumblr — and makes ads much more valuable as well — Twitter now displays photo and video previews right in users’ timelines. There have been plenty of complaints out of the gate, as there always are when new features roll out to a social network, though most Twitterers will undoubtedly get used to them over time. If you’d rather not even give Twitter’s new photo previews a chance though, here’s a simple guide on how to disable them in the company’s iPhone and Android apps. More →
Instagram tried to crush Vine when it added video-sharing to its popular mobile service, and initially it looked like the company might succeed. Vine is still going strong, however, and the firm’s iPhone app sat at No.17 on Apple’s top free apps chart in the U.S. at the time of this writing. While people continue to enjoy making brief 6-second video clips and sharing them on Twitter, a question remained: Why did Vine choose 6 seconds as the limit for its videos? In an interview with NPR, Vine co-founder Dom Hofmann provided an explanation. More →
Twitter announced on Thursday after the market closed that it is setting its IPO share price at $17 to $20 per share and is looking to sell 70 million shares. Twitter’s offering could raise up to $1.4 billion, although it will raise somewhere around $1.2 billion if it sells all its shares at the median price. Twitter’s opening ask is much more modest than that of fellow social networking dynamo Facebook, which famously issued public stock at $38 a piece and raised a whopping $16 billion last year.
In the wake of countless music streaming services popping up over the past several years, Twitter’s own offering never made much of an impact. AllThingsD reports that Twitter will likely be shuttering its own #Music app after downloads have nearly slowed to a halt since Twitter launched the service back in April. Initial numbers were reportedly promising, but Twitter could not maintain the momentum and now Twitter #Music cannot even be found in the App Store’s top 1,000 apps according to market data company Onavo Insights. More →
Could Twitter soon go head-to-head with WhatsApp, Kik and other big mobile messaging services? Unnamed sources tell AllThingsD that Twitter has been working on “plans to significantly update its direct-messaging product in the near future” and has even “kicked around the idea of launching a standalone direct-messaging application separate from the Twitter app.” Doing a standalone direct-messaging app would put Twitter in direct competition with the scores of messaging apps that have taken the mobile world by storm over the past couple of years. AllThingsD notes that Twitter is still not settled as to whether its messaging revamp will include a standalone app for direct messages, although the company is definitely feeling some competitive heat from its rivals in the mobile messaging world.
Twitter may have found a good way to shore up potential revenue streams ahead of its IPO. BGR sister publication Variety reports that Twitter has partnered with Comcast on a new initiative called “See It” that will let users “record and watch NBC Universal programming directly off the social media platform.” Here’s how it works: Twitter will add a “See It” button to Comcast customers’ Twitter feeds that will let them watch their favorite NBC Universal shows online through any device they’re using or to access their television’s set-top box to start recording the show. While the Comcast deal isn’t likely to be a huge money-maker for Twitter, the microblogging site could see a nice boost in revenues if it negotiates similar deals with other cable companies and content providers.