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February 27 2014


February 25 2014

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February 20 2014


February 14 2014

Twitter Stock Faces Early Test As First Insider Shares Unlock Tomorrow
Screen Shot 2014-02-14 at 9.24.06 AMTomorrow the first traunch of insider stock at Twitter will unlock, allowing non-executive employees to sell a portion of their shares. Nearly 9.9 million shares will be set free on Saturday, worth around $565 million.

February 11 2014

Twitter’s Web Presence Might Soon Break Away From The Vertical Timeline Flow
TwitterLayout1There’s a new Twitter redesign making the rounds, first spotted by Mashable’s Matt Petronzio, and it changes things considerably. Tweets no longer flow vertically in a single column like they do now, instead they spread out with a tile-style layout similar to what you might expect from a Pinterest or Facebook’s new Paper app. A separate new feature offers pop-up notifications with fields for easy replies for direct messages sent through the platform, and similar notices for RTs and favorites. The features are being seen separately, but if both are implemented you start to get a picture of a future where Twitter moves away from its mostly single column, simple look to a richer, more complex presentation that offers up additional information, but in a way totally alien to what users are used to from the social network. Twitter’s more magazine-style web layout would make for a media-friendly product that better highlights images and video, but at what cost? The feed then becomes somewhat unhinged from its original, linear and mostly chronological design, which is bound to affect interaction. There’s also a “View more photos” link which suggests more of a rich media discovery play in the works. These may seem like small changes, but the way people use Twitter are tied deeply to its design. A single column of chronological tweets enforces a fundamentally ephemeral quality to Tweets published by users – they are born and live only briefly, quickly pushed down by other posts being put out. A multi-column spread increases the lifespan of Tweets, in a way similar in theory but different in execution to how the new Twitter practice of bubbling back up conversations attached to @-replies keeps back-and-forth engagement more top of mind. The new pop-up notices are likewise tools designed to drive engagement, and seem to be implemented in a way that’s genuinely useful. It’s comparable to how OS X handles iMessages now, giving you the chance to respond instantly instead of having to actually wade into the app itself. There have been some complaints already on Twitter, including some comparing this new vision for Twitter to Facebook, but as evidenced by the company’s most recent financial results, the social network needs to ramp up growth, and playing with interaction design could be the way to appeal to a wider audience. Of course, as always, this particular Twitter design is just a test as of
Early Twitter Investor Chris Sacca Wins Crunchie For Angel Of The Year
IMG_9973In the year in which Twitter went public, it’s hard to bet against one of the company’s earliest and most influential investors. Which is why it shouldn’t come as a big surprise that Lowercase Capital founder Chris Sacca has won this year’s Crunchie for Angel of the Year. Sacca put some of the earliest money into Twitter, betting on the micro-blogging platform during its Series A round of financing. But he was also instrumental in helping late-stage investors like JP Morgan and Rizvi Capital Management to accumulate a huge stake in the company through secondary sales, buying up shares from earlier investors and vested employees. That proved to be a brilliant move, given the strength in Twitter’s stock since IPO. After pricing shares at $26, the stock popped to $45 by the end of its first day of trading. Its recent share decline notwithstanding, Twitter stock is still trading at about double its original listing price. All of which is why Sacca edged out Baseline Ventures founder Steve Anderson, Harrison Metal founder Michael Dearing, former Square COO and current Khosla Ventures partner Keith Rabois, and AngelList founders Babak Nivi & Naval Ravikant in the category, which was presented by Google Ventures partner Kevin Rose and TechCrunch’s Josh Constine. While Sacca’s win this year is mostly due to his involvement in Twitter, he hasn’t slowed down investing in hot startups since then. He was also an early investor in Uber, Twilio, and Instagram, for instance, and more recently put money into fancy coffee shop Blue Bottle Coffee and Ev Williams’ new publishing platform Medium.
Tech Billionaires Made Up 75% Of 2013′s Most Philanthropic People Under 50
TechCrunch Conference - San Francisco, CAYoung tech billionaires gave generously in 2013. Of the 50 top philanthropists compiled by the Chronicle Of Philanthropy, only 4 were under the age of 50 and 3 of those were in the tech industry: Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan (Facebook, $992M), Pierre and Pam Omidyar (Ebay, $225M) and Sergey Brin and Anne Wojcicki (Google, $219M). The one non-techie philanthropist joining their youthful brethren are John and Laura Arnold, who made their billion in finance. Zuckerberg, who led the pack with nearly a billion in charitable donations, is most remembered for his $100M gift to Newark’s public schools and, more recently, nearly a billion dollars in Facebook stock given to The Silicon Valley foundation. Technology IPOs have been churning out an impressive number of millionaires, many of them quite young. Twitter’s recent IPO, alone, created roughly 1,600 new millionaires. Facebook, too, created around 1,000 millionaires and billionaires, including the fresh-faced co-founders who boostrapped the site in Zuckerberg’s Harvard dorm room. Notably absent from The Chronicle Of Philanthropy‘s list are super-philanthropists Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, who had pledged barrels of cash in previous years. Both Zuckerberg and eBay founder Pierre Omydiar have also invested heavily in political organizations. Zuckerberg gave roughly $50 million to his immigration-focused political lobby, Omydiar is giving $250 million to a new civil liberties-oriented news organization, which just launched its first publication, The Intercept, last night. See the full list here.

February 05 2014

Dick Costolo On User Growth: Twitter “Will Reach Many More People” In 2014
dick costoloTwitter CEO Dick Costolo answered repeated questions this afternoon about the company's user growth. His big point seemed to be that (despite what appears to a decreasing number of new users joining the service) "We feel very well positioned for growth," and the company "will reach many more people" this year. For one thing, Costolo offered some justification for the 7 percent quarter-over-quarter drop in timeline views, which Twitter provides as a measure of how much content users are consuming. He suggested that some of the user experience changes that Twitter made recently, such as threaded conversations, have reduced the number of timelines that a user needs to load.
Tags: Social TC Twitter
Twitter Stock Down 13 Percent After Earnings Show Disappointing User Numbers
twitter monthly active uesrsYou'd think investors would be happy. Twitter just released its first quarterly earnings report as a public company, with revenue and earnings coming in significantly ahead of analyst estimates. And yet, as of 4:30pm Eastern time, Twitter's stock had fallen 1 percent in after-hours trading. What happened? Well, the company also said that it now has 241 million monthly actively users — up 30 percent year-over-year, as it says, but only up about 4 percent from last quarter. In other words, it looks like user growth continues to slow.
Tags: Mobile TC Twitter
Twitter Crushes With Q4 Revenue Of $242.7M, But Shows Slow User Growth To 241M Actives
Screen Shot 2014-02-05 at 12.36.49 PMAfter the bell this afternoon, Twitter reported its maiden earnings as a public company, with fourth-quarter revenue of $242.7 million and earnings per share of $0.02 (non-GAAP). Analysts had expected Twitter to lose two cents per share on total revenue of $217.82 million.

February 04 2014

Twitter Is Hiring Commerce Specialists
twitter-money1.jpgTwitter has not responded to reports, from others and from us, that it is building a marketplace-style platform where users can buy things, but Twitter is quietly building it out anyway. The latest development is that the social network has posted job ads for people to work on a commerce service -- one of the rare times that the company has itself disclosed detail of what it is planning to do. Some of it confirms earlier reports of how Twitter commerce will take shape.

February 03 2014

If Sports Fans Lost The Super Bowl, Then Tech Companies Won
peytonLast night, 100 million people (minus Seattle) were disappointed to watch the Seattle Seahawks spank the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII. But that doesn't mean that the night was a waste. There were more than a few notable events over the course of the evening, including Microsoft's emotional 4th Quarter ad showing what technology has done for us.
Thomson Reuters Taps Into Twitter For Big Data Sentiment Analysis
thomson reuters twitter sentimentTwitter bases the majority of its revenue on advertising in and around its main content river, but a new service from Thomson Reuters points to how it also continues to build up its position as a big-data provider to different vertical sectors. Thomson Reuters is now incorporating sentiment analysis gained from Twitter for its Eikon market analysis and trading platform. The commercial terms of the deal are not being disclosed but a spokesperson confirms that it will be "combining a number of third-party and proprietary Twitter feeds for this service."

February 01 2014

Gillmor Gang: Brand Royalty
gillmor-gang-test-pattern_excerptThe Gillmor Gang — Robert Scoble, John Taschek, Kevin Marks, Keith Teare, and Steve Gillmor — seem perfectly willing to predict the futility of the next Microsoft CEO, and even perhaps the next Bill Gates. But we can only successor-surf so long before returning to the more heady war of the social stream. You can decide for yourself, but this feisty show was supercharged by @jtaschek's minority report on the heir apparent and never really let up. From @kteare's posit of Facebook devolution to everybody's fascination with the mirage of brand loyalty, the emerging point is still elusive. Namely, that we'll know it when we see it, and reward each and every app that fits into the puzzle with a notification seat at the table.

January 31 2014

Twitter Acquires Over 900 IBM Patents Following Infringement Claim, Enters Cross-Licensing Agreement
twitterTwitter announced today that it has acquired over 900 patents from IBM, and that it has entered into a cross-licensing agreement with the Internet services and software company. IBM had issued a complaint against Twitter previously for patent infringement, as reported in an S-1 filing ahead of the social network’s IPO late last year. IBM was seeking a settlement according to that document, and while Twitter appeared ready to defend itself, potentially in court, this deal today indicates that instead the two companies have come to an agreement that involves Twitter buying some of IBM’s intellectual property. In the original filing, IBM had cited “at least three” patents it suggested Twitter infringed upon, so the scope of this deal is obviously much broader. This is a song we’ve heard before: Facebook acquired 750 IBM patents back in March 2012, just ahead of its own IPO. That patent trove was designed to fend off infringement accusations coming from Yahoo, however, rather than IBM. IBM also sold 1,000 patents to Google back in 2010, and the one-time PC maker is still the leading patent holders in the world, having held 6,809 patents as of earlier this month, followed by Samsung at a distant second with 4,676 patents. There’s no word on the specific nature of the patents involved, but we’ve asked Twitter for more info and will update if it becomes available.

January 30 2014

So You Nailed Your Wearable Strategy, Now It’s Time To Figure Out WTF Your Twitter Bio Should Be
Screen Shot 2014-01-30 at 11.42.14 AMFirst, a website could help you figure out your wearable strategy automatically. Now, another site wants to help you with the challenging task of coming up with something profound to say about yourself in your Twitter bio. Digital ad and media-focused news site Digiday has created an homage to the popular WhatTheFuckIsMyWearableStrategy website created by Brit Daniel O’Connell, aptly titled WhatTheFuckIsMyTwitterBio, which provides a ready-made missive to share with the world on the social network. Here’s mine: “MARKETING EGGHEAD-IN-CHIEF, PERSONAL BRANDING NINJA, TUMBLR CLAIRVOYANT. CACHE RULES EVERYTHING AROUND ME.” Of course, there’s no limit to the number of times you can go again, so I could also be: “DIGITAL RETAIL QUEEN, FACEBOOK PROFESSOR, CRYPTO GEEK. ALL THINGS DISNEY.” Or: “SEO PRINCESS, ZEITGEIST MIXOLOGIST, CAMPAIGN YODA. KEEPING IT CLASSY.” The site was created by Digiday employees Jack Marshall, Saya Weissman and Brian Braiker, and it’s described as “a fun little side project” by Weissman on Twitter. I still maintain that the best Twitter bio for anyone and everyone is “Social Media Expert (RTs do not necessarily count as endorsements)” since the key to success is being so incredibly boring and generic as to be absolutely invisible, but if you’re feeling you need something that really advertises your awesome aptitudes, you’ll be surprised at how good this website is at knowing the depths of your soul.

January 29 2014

Why Hasn’t Twitter Just Given @n His Name Back?
Screen Shot 2014-01-29 at 1.29.50 PMYesterday Naoki Hiroshima, an Echofon developer, posted an article about how he lost his extremely short Twitter handle @n in an extortion scheme. Hackers compromised his GoDaddy account with social engineering (calling and lying to an account rep), gaining access to his email on a personal domain. They said that they gained access via a similar call to PayPal, who the hacker claimed gave them the last 4 digits of Hiroshima’s credit card. They then used that CC info to convince GoDaddy that they were the owner of the domain, and reset his login information. They used that data to leverage Hiroshima into giving them — under duress — his low-character-count Twitter user name @N. This, it turns out, was the point of the entire affair from the beginning. PayPal has since investigated and claims that it never gave out Hiroshima’s credit card number or any other personal information — though it does acknowledge there was an attempt to get the info. So, that leaves a question about whether the hacker was lying about where it got Hiroshima’s card numbers — but it doesn’t change the fact that the hack happened. And it leaves an even bigger question. The hack is pretty well documented and it appears evident that the end result was fairly straightforward extortion. So why hasn’t Twitter simply given Hiroshima his @n username back? Twitter, for its part, will only tell us that it is still investigating the matter. We spoke to Hiroshima about the ordeal, and exactly how it went down. He notes that it’s highly improbable for the hacker to have gained access to his account without credit card numbers somehow, and that they claim it was via PayPal. He also says that he feels he did everything normally expected to prevent this kind of thing, but that the methods used by the hackers side-stepped any additional efforts he might have taken like two-factor authentication. “[Two factor authentication] can’t prevent this from happening again,” says Hiroshima. “GoDaddy allowed the guy to reset everything over the phone. As long as a company only uses the last 4 digits of a [credit card] to verify [identity], this will keep happening. They should ask multiple questions.” GoDaddy has said that it is investigating but has not responded to a request for further comment. The vector for the attack, in the end, was the weakest link in many security
Tags: Social Twitter
CNN And Twitter Partner With Dataminr To Create News Tool For Journalists
newspaperCNN is hosting a press event today to announce a partnership with Twitter and social analytics company Dataminr, resulting in a new tool called Dataminr For News. Dataminr CEO Ted Bailey said the goal is to "alert journalists to information that's emerging on Twitter in real time." Basically, the technology looks at tweets and finds patterns that can reveal breaking news when it's still in its "infancy". Those alerts can be delivered in a variety of ways, including via desktop applications, email, mobile alerts, and pop-up alerts.

January 28 2014

Twitter Mobile Update Bubbles Trending Events To The Top Of The Timeline, Adds Photo Editing
twitter-android-updateTwitter has just released an update to its Android client (coming soon to iOS) that brings new photo editing tools to the service, which are likely meant to make it easier to share photos direct and keep people out of competitive apps like Instagram. The second change adds a significant element of event discovery and real-time trend monitoring to user timelines. The event surfacing is the more interesting element, since it marks a considerable attempt by Twitter to meddle with the straightforward chronological nature of that part of its service (besides promoted content). In case a user doesn’t have any new tweets to load when you manually update it, it now brings up recommended posts from people you don’t follow, as well as trending topics and suggestions about new people to follow. In the U.S. only, it surfaces event updates for things unfolding on TV, in sports and on the news. Each content update features a link to click through for more tweets centered on that conversation. It’s an extension of some of the other work Twitter has been doing around surfacing events and breaking news, including the Eventparrot experiment and a feature that was tested back in August to highlight nearby events via proximity-based alerts. A couple of things to flag about this change: It only happens when there’s no other new content for a user to view, and when they express a desire for more content, which is very clever; and it represents a way for Twitter to secure its place as the source of live, real-time information about things unfolding on the ground, a reputation that Facebook clearly covets. Others are already capitalizing on Twitter’s ability to identify and follow events as they unfold, including Banjo, but Twitter adding this as a native feature in its mobile clients could change the nature of the service at a basic level. Should it roll out globally, and expand its scope, mobile users could be using Twitter a lot more for things like local discovery than they had been previously.

January 26 2014

Funny, I Don’t Feel All That Fatigued With Twitter
twitter water bottlesEveryone seems to be talking about New York Times reporter Jenna Wortham's piece reflecting on her "newfound fatigue" with Twitter. Basically, Wortham uses the all the Twitter discussion around Justin Bieber's arrest as a springboard for a broader argument about how the service has become less about finding useful, relevant information and more about competing for attention. As you'd expect, the piece saw its share of praise and criticism. The most common critique seems to be some variant of, "Dude, just unfollow people who are annoying" but as Wortham and others have noted, that's easier said than done, because it can be embarrassing or awkward to unfollow someone, even if you're really tired of their tweets.
Tags: Social TC Twitter
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