Apple’s artist-driven music network “Ping” was basically dead on arrival, but Twitter thinks it has what it takes to make a successful social music service. The company on Thursday unveiled Twitter Music, the worst-kept secret in social networking. The service helps users discover music based on what their friends are listening to, along with recommendations from popular artists. “It uses Twitter activity, including Tweets and engagement, to detect and surface the most popular tracks and emerging artists,” Twitter said in a blog post. “It also brings artists’ music-related Twitter activity front and center: go to their profiles to see which music artists they follow and listen to songs by those artists. And, of course, you can tweet songs right from the app.” Twitter Music will be available on the web and on Apple’s iPhone at launch, but Twitter plans to expand it to other platforms moving forward.
WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum has been talking at the D: Dive Into Mobile conference and he revealed some numbers about the company’s performance. The figures are certainly impressive: more than 200 million users and 12 billion outbound messages per day. In terms of active users, WhatsApp is now bigger than Twitter. Yet the company hit 11 billion outbound messages per day on New Year’s Eve, 2012. In August 2012, WhatsApp announced it was handling 6 billion outbound messages a day. Is the service’s messaging volume growth really decelerating this rapidly? From 6 billion outbound in August, to 11 billion in December, and then to 12 billion in April 2013. These are terrific volumes and they make WhatsApp one of the most fascinating and valuable app companies in the world… but its growth rate now seems to be falling quickly. More →
Everyone seems to following be Pandora into the music discovery business these days and Twitter has decided getting into the game by releasing its own music app on Friday. There’s just one catch, however: As AllThingsD writes, Twitter is only making the app accessible to select “influencers” such as Ryan Seacrest before making it available to the non-famous portion of the public. The music app apparently “suggests artists and tracks to users based on a number of personalized signals, including the Twitter accounts a user follows on the microblogging service” and will let users “listen to clips of music from inside the app, using third-party services like iTunes and SoundCloud.” AllThingsD says that the music app will likely be released for all users some time next week.
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.