There was a lot of chatter about "Facebook Lite," a stripped-down version of the social network's profiles and home page, when it stumbled out of the gate last summer and was widely interpreted as a hit on Twitter. Facebook pitched it as a test for "countries where we are seeing lots of new users coming to Facebook for the first time and are looking to start off with a more simple experience."
It might not seem like much, but a Monday announcement from Facebook to unveil its new "Community Pages" feature is one of the boldest steps that the social-networking site has taken toward, well, consuming your life.
"Community Pages" take the concept of a Facebook "fan page" and apply them to concepts, places, and ideas, rather than brands. An announcement at the top of Facebook's prototype community page for "cooking" explains that it aims to be "the best collection of shared knowledge on this topic," and sources quite a bit … Read more
Uh-oh. Just a month after Gina Bianchini, co-founder of build-a-social-network service Ning, departed the company, it's cutting 40 percent of its staff and axing its free, ad-supported service.
Bianchini had co-founded Ning with Valley legend Marc Andreessen, and it had raised $119 million in venture capital, including a whopping $60 million round in early 2008 that Andreessen famously characterized as a stockpile for the "nuclear winter" that would help get it through the economic recession.
SAN FRANCISCO--Twitter platform lead Ryan Sarver said to an audience of developers at the company's Chirp developer conference on Wednesday that Twitter's team wants to "support you and kind of push you--challenge you to think bigger." Bigger than just another Twitter client, that is.
"We're really excited to be here to support you not just to think big, but to build big," Sarver said. "If developers are so critical to our success, we need to work really hard to help support you, help fulfill you, and make sure that you have all the tools you need to build businesses and build meaningful products."
It's a particularly touchy time for Twitter developers because of new fears that have recently bubbled to the surface: Twitter announced last week that it is collaborating with BlackBerry manufacturer Research in Motion to build an official app for the handsets, and that it has acquired Atebits, manufacturer of iPhone app Tweetie. There are, obviously, lots of Twitter clients out there, and one Twitter investor referred to these apps as fundamentally "filling holes" that Twitter should have in its own service.
Sarver assured developers that the company has not declared war on them, saying that "our success is intrinsically linked together" and that developer-created applications are responsible for 75 percent of Twitter activity and 60 percent of the 55 million tweets posted every day.
Sarver announced several forthcoming updates to Twitter's developer application program interface (API): annotations, which will let developers add arbitrary metadata to anything in the system; "places," the company's geotagged directory; user streams, which will give developers access to Facebook-like activity items like one Twitter user following another and a user adding a tweet as a "favorite" in real-time; and dev.twitter.com, a central hub for developer activity. The end result of this is that he hopes the greater resources for developers will give them the ability to make deeper, higher-quality apps.
He said Twitter's team wants to work directly with developers on "how can we make bigger apps, how can we change the world, how can we help people in different corners of the world communicate."… Read more
Citing an "entrepreneurial calling," longtime Digg CEO Jay Adelson announced Monday that he's resigning his position at the social-news site. Founder and chief architect Kevin Rose, who's been a far more visible face of the company over the years, will be taking over as interim CEO.
"After five years, 40 million users, and an amazing ride, I've decided to step down as CEO of Digg," Adelson, who says he will remain an adviser to the company, wrote in a post on the company blog. "With the new Digg getting ready to launch, … Read more
Calling it "an offer we can't refuse," the founders of a photo-sharing service called Divvyshot announced Friday that the start-up has been acquired by Facebook. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but it's clear that as with Facebook's acquisition of Parakey--and even the far bigger FriendFeed buy--this is an acquisition designed to get the engineering team on board.
Divvyshot, which launched with backing from the Y Combinator incubator, allows for group photo sharing: multiple users can edit albums, which are grouped around various events and places. As part of the acquisition, the … Read more
If you work on the Internet, it seems like you either love or hate April Fools' Day, which has become just about any tech company's excuse to make fake product announcements or attempt to mislead readers. This year was no exception: Though there was no "Hotelicopter"-like prank that actually fooled reputable news sources, fake news was more ubiquitous than ever.
Most of 2010's gags, to be honest, aren't all that funny if you don't get the tech industry in-jokes referenced. But a few, like the In-N-Out Burger prank in New York, were pretty darn good. Also worth noting: we haven't seen a single Rickroll.… Read more
Microsoft's Bing Maps tool will soon feature tips and comments from location-based networking service Foursquare.
Don't panic: This won't broadcast your location to anyone hunting around on Bing Maps. It will, however, pull up the quick "tips" that Foursquare users can attach to a given business or other venue, like the one I saw when I "checked in" to a restaurant last night and was greeted with "Love, love, love the Brussels sprouts."
Facebook is making moves to crack down on ads that look like they're finely targeted but really aren't, some digging by marketing blog ClickZ revealed Monday.
You've probably seen these ads: they make it look like they're geared to you ("28, female, and living in Boston? Try this..."), but the rest of the message and the product itself are actually fairly generic. According to ClickZ, Facebook has built an "evaluation program, part automated and part human" to give the thumbs-down to ads "featuring user attributes that are deemed irrelevant to the … Read more
We already knew that in the heated battle among location-based social-networking start-ups, Foursquare already had Ashton Kutcher on its team. Turns out it also has "Jersey Shore" star "DJ Pauly D," one of a handful of MTV and VH1 celebrities who are featured in a new marketing campaign that MTV Networks has inked with the pumped-up Foursquare.
(Serious question: Has this start-up jumped the shark already?)