Tim Bradshaw

Facebook has overhauled its much-criticised application for Apple’s iPhone and iPad, in the social network’s latest attempt to tackle the challenging transition from desktop to mobileRead more

Interesting commentary from around the Web on the tech story that made headlines this week.

As Facebook’s lock-up period expired this week, its stock price tumbled, fueling concerns that the social networking site may crack under further pressure from investors to expand its revenue streams. Read more

The Federal Trade Commission finalised its settlement agreement with Facebook over charges that the social network deceived consumers by repeatedly making public information users believed would be kept private.

The settlement was first reached last November, and requires Facebook to take several steps to ensure it “lives up to its promises” on privacy, including: obtaining express permission from users before sharing information beyond their privacy settings; maintaining a comprehensive privacy programme; and undergoing independent privacy audits once every two years. Read more

Facebook launched a new mobile advertising product for app developers that pushes more marketing content into users’ home pages amid investor pressure on the company to expand revenue channels.

The new ads will appear in people’s mobile newsfeeds, and, if clicked, will direct users to the Apple or Google Play app store to download the promoted mobile app. Facebook gets paid every time a user clicks on an ad. Read more

Tim Bradshaw

Facebook stock has tumbled to a new low in after-hours trading, as its first quarterly earnings as a public company underwhelmed investors.

Already nervous after Zynga’s disastrous results on Wednesday, markets were unimpressed at Facebook’s mere meeting of analysts’ consensus forecasts with $1.18bn in revenue and earnings, excluding certain items, of 12c. Read more

Tim Bradshaw

Facebook’s “Sponsored Stories”. Twitter’s “Promoted Tweets”. Tumblr’s “Sponsors” in Radar and Spotlight. A pattern is forming in how social media companies charge advertisers to promote their “organic” postings.

The latest to flip the revenue switch in this way is Foursquare.

More than three years after the location-led app took the South by South West Interactive festival by storm, “Promoted Updates” are Foursquare’s first big ad productRead more

It was a big week not only for Yahoo but for Marissa Mayer, who capped her appointment as chief executive with the announcement that she is expecting her first child. Once the initial surprise had passed, Silicon Valley was abuzz with speculation about whether Mayer could be the spark that has been missing from Yahoo for the past few years.

 Read more

Tim Bradshaw

On Marissa Mayer’s first day as the new chief executive of Yahoo, a heartfelt plea from a neglected corner of the struggling web portal lit up social media. Read more

Fed up with labouring in the shadow of Silicon Valley, two Hollywood studios have belatedly woken up to social media with the launch of two new ventures that take advantage of their own in-house technology.

Dreamworks Animation, the studio behind the Shrek and Kung Fu Panda films, today launches Ptch, a mobile app that lets users create 60-second movies using pictures and video shot with their smartphone – and then share them via social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Google+. Read more

Richard Waters

The biggest investment yet made by Silicon Valley’s most-talked about new venture capital firm is in a start-up most people have never heard of.

But if you work in open-source software development, then GitHub is quickly turning into an essential utility – which explains why this mix of social network and content management system could be a model for how to make money from distributed online communities. Read more

Duncan Robinson

Twitter became the latest internet company to reveal attempts by governments to access user data and remove content, as the micro-blogging service followed in the footsteps of Google and released its first transparency report on Monday.

The report revealed that Twitter received government requests for user details from 1,181 accounts in the first half of 2012.  Twitter complied with just under two-thirds of all government requests for user data. Read more

Richard Waters

When you’re doing something controversial, it’s not a good idea to introduce a software bug that draws more unwelcome attention to the move. And it’s also best not to accuse some of your own users of confusion before you get to the root of the problem.

Facebook has demonstrated generally solid execution recently, but its latest attempt to get its members to use their email accounts is not one of its proudest moments. Read more

Tim Bradshaw

As usage and advertising spending on Twitter’s smartphone apps begins to overtake activity on PCs, the company is refocusing on mobile, according to its chief executive.

Speaking to the FT earlier this week, Dick Costolo said that 55 to 57 per cent of Twitter’s users were on mobile, particularly as it expands outside the US, which now makes up around 25 per cent of its users, reaching as high as 80 per cent in the UK.

“That is great for us because our mobile users are more engaged,” he said. “When you are active on Twitter on mobile you use it more than if you were a desktop user.” Read more

Chris Nuttall

Cue is a new iPhone app aimed at making our increasingly complex, daily online lives form an orderly queue of events and reminders.

That’s a difficult nut to crack, but the startup has the confidence and financial backing of Bret Taylor, the departing chief technology officer of Facebook. He was also a co-founder of Friendfeed with Gmail creator Paul Buchheit - another Cue investor. Read more

Tim Bradshaw

“Growth continues” at Google+, up from the 170m users announced during the last earnings call, Bradley Horowitz, Google’s vice president for product management, said at London’s Le Web event on Tuesday.

But he acknowledged that Google’s social network still had some way to go.

“I don’t think we’ve hit that hyper growth phase,” he said, while pointing out that Google+ had still managed to reach the scale it had faster than many social networks. Read more

Tim Bradshaw

Instagram’s future lies in extracting more value for users from all the photos they have uploaded in the past, founder Kevin Systrom told London’s Le Web event on Tuesday.

“We have all this data we want to let you explore,” he told host Loic LeMeur. “It’s not just about creation, it’s about exploration. That’s what we’re going to be most active in.” Read more

The Securities and Exchange Commission published letters it exchanged with Facebook leading up to its IPO, revealing details of the US regulator’s concerns over the social network’s mobile business strategy, its dependence on Zynga, and how it presented its advertising model.

The correspondence was made public on Friday, a routine disclosure, and showed similarly routine questioning. Facebook responded to all questions in amended filings before the public offering on May 18.

“I know that everyone wants to paint Facebook as evil because their shares have gone down,” said Michael Pachter, a technology analyst at Wedbush. “These questions are completely reasonable questions, each of these.” Read more

Chris Nuttall

Seagate has launched a new line of external hard drives – the first to be able to backup photos stored on your social networks.

Its Backup Plus drives, launched on Tuesday, have the usual backup functionality of saving copies of your files from local drives, but signing into your Facebook or Flickr account, using the accompanying software, also allows automatic downloads of photos from those services. Read more

Could some corporate twitter feeds – shock and horror – not be as popular with real people as they appear? New research published on Friday by a professor at Milan’s IULM University suggests that may well be the case, writes Eric Sylvers in Milan.

Marco Camisani Calzolari, a professor of corporate communications and digital languages, has examined the Twitter followers of 39 companies with major consumer brands, including DellOutlet, Starbucks, and Blackberry, and tried to determine which followers are likely humans and which are likely bots, or fake accounts. Read more

LinkedIn acknowledged a security breach of its password databases after Russian hackers claimed to have obtained almost 6.5m user passwords.

The professional social networking site confirmed in a blog post on Wednesday that “some of the passwords that were compromised correspond to LinkedIn accounts.” Read more