Twitter on Thursday unveiled a new mobile video-sharing app called Vine. The app is already available for the iPhone and it allows Twitter users to capture short videos that can then be embedded directly into tweets on Twitter’s website. The videos appear directly beneath the text of a tweet in users’ timelines and they begin playing automatically when a tweet is expanded. Vine is available immediately for free on the iPhone — it can be downloaded here — and Twitter said it is working to bring the app to other mobile platforms soon.
It was only nine months ago that Twitter announced it had reached 140 million monthly active users serving a total of 340 million tweets per day. But on Tuesday, the social network announced via a tweet on its official account that “There are now more than 200M monthly active @twitter users. You are the pulse of the planet. We’re grateful for your ongoing support!” In recent years, Twitter has played a major role from breaking news to helping rally voters for presidential campaigns. Tweeting is now as common as sending a text message or making a phone call and as the company continues its push to become a media company with photos and videos, its importance as a means of communication will continue to grow and evolve.
Twitter takes a page from Instagram’s playbook, adds photo filters to iPhone and Android apps [video]
Twitter on Monday rolled out an update to its iPhone and Android applications that adds filters, photo frames and an auto-enhance capability to its image sharing feature. Available immediately for the iOS and Android-powered handsets, the new feature is basically pulls all of the features that made Instagram a billion-dollar company and shamelessly repackages them. Twitter’s new photo editing capabilities are powered by Aviary, according to a post on the company’s blog, and the video below showcases the highlights. More →
Working at Google (GOOG) has its benefits — for one thing, the company’s reputation as an innovator is nearly unmatched — however things aren’t always as simple as they look. After making a joke on Twitter about Microsoft and Nokia’s Windows Phone partnership, Google’s senior vice president of engineering Vic Gundotra was told to stop using the micro-blogging site. Gundotra had been using the social network since December 2007 and suddenly stopped in July 2011. It had been previously speculated that Google CEO Larry Page had told the executive to stop, however nothing had been confirmed until now. While speaking at the SMX Social Media Marketing conference on Thursday, Gundotra confirmed that his “boss” had asked him to stop using the service. More →
Research shows tweeting through text message is a surefire way to get your account hijacked [updated]
You don’t need an Internet-connected smartphone to send out a tweet. In fact, very few people know that tweets can be sent out through a text message. However, users who do tweet from their cellphones via SMS could have their accounts easily hacked. An exploit detailed by researcher Jonathan Rudenberg reveals “Twitter users with SMS enabled are vulnerable to an attack that allows anyone to post to their account” by spoofing the phone number associated with the account. Rudenberg reports that unless a PIN number is set up (not available in the U.S.) to authorize tweets, users are vulnerable. Although the exploit was reported to Twitter’s security team in August, Rudenberg says the social network still hasn’t closed the hole, despite asking him to refrain from publishing his finding. Rudenberg also said in his blog post that he found similar SMS-related exploits with Facebook (FB) and Venmo that have since been patched. More →
Twitter users are reporting everywhere that their accounts have been compromised, reports TechCrunch. The tech blog says many users have received emails telling them to change their passwords because their accounts might have been hacked. Although the source of the widespread account hacks is unknown, NPR reports that “several China-based foreign journalists and analysts are reporting an attempted hacking of their Twitter accounts, as China’s Communist Party begins a sensitive meeting that will set in motion a once-a-decade leadership transition.” While it might be a stretch to make a connection to China’s political transition, Twitter hasn’t provided any formal statement as to what caused the widespread Twitter breaches. As a safety precaution, it may be wise to change your Twitter account password. More →
President Barack Obama was re-elected on Tuesday evening after defeating republican candidate Gov. Mitt Romney 303 to 206 and winning an estimated 50% of the popular vote. Shortly after the president’s win was secured, an image was posted from his Twitter account along with the text “Four more years.” According to a report from BuzzFeed, that tweet became the most popular tweet in history after just 22 minutes, amassing a record 226,249 retweets. The post had more than 300,000 retweets after just 45 minutes and more than 635,000 retweets at the time of this writing. Obama’s personal thank you message has been retweeted more than 150,000 times, and The Atlantic reports that his celebration photo is the most liked photo of all time on Facebook with more than 3.1 million likes. More →
Who needs exit polls when you have Twitter and Facebook (FB)? Pew Internet has found that an estimated 22% of all registered voters in the United States have already spilled the beans about whom they supported in the 2012 presidential election. Pew says that roughly 25% of Obama supporters and 20% of Romney supporters have used either Twitter or Facebook to tell others about their votes. Broken down by age group, 29% of registered voters under the age of 50 used social media to broadcast their votes while just 17% of voters 50 years or older did the same. People desperate for Election Day predictions shouldn’t read too much into this result, however, as Pew says that its findings in this case are statistically insignificant for projecting final vote counts.
Twitter seems set to directly take on Instagram. The New York Times is reporting that the social network with over 500 million active users will soon be targeting Facebook’s (FB) Instagram with photo filters of its own. The report states Twitter plans to update its mobile apps to allow users to bypass Instagram and get straight to editing photos before they share them with their followers. More →
Twitter is reportedly mulling over creating its own video hosting service, unnamed sources have told AllThingsD. The addition of a home-grown video hosting solution would further cement Twitter as a content company as opposed to a channel for quick-fire communication. The social network has already moved to allowing photos to be immediately uploaded on its own servers, so allowing videos next would be a logical next step. The only difference between hosting photos and video is that the latter would require much more bandwidth, which could prove challenging if Twitter doesn’t have the proper infrastructure to support it.
Facebook’s (FB) newly acquired Instagram is growing like crazy. According the latest comScore research, Instagram pulled in 7.3 million active users per day on mobile compared to Twitter’s 6.9 million during the month of August. Not only that, but comScore found that Instagram users were actually engaging with photos longer than they were doing so with tweets. The research shows that the average Instagram user spent about 257 minutes browsing and using the service versus the 170 minutes spent on Twitter last month. More →
In a panel held at Buzzfeed’s headquarters, Twitter co-founder Evan Williams shared his view about how the follower count might not be all that important after all. As the social network sees more accounts attempt to buy their Twitter influence, Williams says that it’s possible the social network service might move away from measuring how many followers a user has and replacing it with metrics based on how many views a tweet receives. ”The thing I think would be more interesting than followers is… retweets,” says Williams. The Twitter board member went on to say that follower counts “don’t capture your distribution. Not only would an emphasis on how many times a tweet’s been read provide greater accuracy for influence outreach, but it would also stifle all the high percentage of spam accounts that Twitter sees.
Charlie Miller, the security expert who made his name exposing major security flaws in Apple’s (AAPL) iOS mobile operating system, has been hired by Twitter to make sure his fellow hackers don’t uncover similar gaping flaws in its own social networking site. Miller told Forbes in a phone interview that “he couldn’t offer any information on exactly what he’ll be doing at Twitter,” although the publication speculates that he will be a “full-time penetration tester to probe the service for hackable vulnerabilities and help fix them.” Miller was last seen over the summer giving Google (GOOG) software engineers ulcers when he successfully used NFC connectivity to push malicious code onto Android devices. More →