twitter

Tim Bradshaw

Trading may have been halted on Nasdaq-listed stocks but the tweets were still flowing on Twitter.

Step forward Carl Icahn, the activist investor, who picked this moment to update his 67,000 followers on his campaign to persuade Apple to hike its share buybackRead more

Tim Bradshaw

Many thought that Instagram’s addition of 15-second videos to its photo-sharing app would kill Vine, Twitter’s fledgling video app.

Apparently not.

Twitter on Tuesday said that 40m people have signed up to watch and share six-second videos on Vine. Read more

Tim Bradshaw

Kevin Systrom, Instagram’s founder, didn’t mention Vine at all when he unveiled his photo-sharing app’s new video function. But he wasn’t exactly subtle about pointing out the places where Instagram differs from Twitter’s 6-second video app. Here’s a quick rundown and some first impressions of how the two apps stack up: Read more

Less than a week after its founder Iain Dodsworth announced he was leaving, TweetDeck has bared its new web-design to the world. Users of the web version and Chrome app will notice that the top bar is now at the side, it’s easier to add new columns and that the overall look has been tweaked Read more

African-American teenagers are more likely to use Twitter than their white counterparts, according to a study out today from the Pew Research Center.

Researchers noted a significant jump in Twitter use among teens in general, but found that 39 per cent of African-American teens used the microblogging site compared to 23 per cent of white teens. Read more

The digerati are having fun with the Securities and Exchange Commission’s ruling that US companies can use social media to distribute market-sensitive information such as earnings reports. “Facebook Flap Forces SEC Into 21st Century,” says Forbes.

Not so fast. The US regulator’s decision to drop its inquiry into Reed Hastings, Netflix’s chief executive, who boasted about new viewing figures on his personal Facebook page, is only an incremental advance into the new millennium. It makes sense for the SEC to acknowledge the growing use of social media (I’m guessing more people saw Mr Hastings’ Facebook post than have viewed any regulatory announcement in corporate history), but I don’t think the decision will prompt fearful CEOs to tweet their earnings much more than they do already – and, even if it does, it won’t make much difference to investors.

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The hashtag has already found its way into real-life conversations. Similar to airquotes, some people – mostly young – form the square number symbol (#) popularised on Twitter with their index and middle fingers as they talk, to make a humorous or sarcastic point, or reference a cultural meme.

Now Facebook may want to claim the hashtag for itself. Read more

Twitter co-founder Evan Williams is building his current start-up with a completely different business – and spiritual – structure in mind.

The freewheeling, non-hierarchical organisation popular in Silicon Valley technology companies is not the order of the day at Obvious Corporation, the re-launched incubator and web publishing platform Mr Williams founded with comrades Biz Stone and Jason Goldman in the pre-Twitter days.

“People romanticise start-up culture,” he said, speaking at the Wisdom 2.0 Conference in San Francisco on Friday. “People think: Freedom! No job descriptions! Damn with the rules! Actually, it creates tons of anxiety and inefficiency.” Read more

Tim Bradshaw

Twitter has made one of its largest acquisitions to date with Bluefin Labs, to help its advertisers better understand the link between traditional and social media. Read more

Tim Bradshaw

The Super Bowl’s power outage was embarrassing for the NFL and CBS – but golden for Twitter.

When the lights went out in the Mercedes Benz Superdome in New Orleans, the Super Bowl broadcast didn’t show any extra ads. But the TV audience wasn’t watching the big screen anyway. If my Super Bowl viewing party in San Francisco is anything to go by (and, for once, fewer than half of the people here in attendance work in tech), a lot of people were looking at their smartphones, checking Twitter.

And amid the usual (t)witticisms you would expect in this sort of situation, many brands were quick to take advantage. If nothing else, it shows that not all of adland’s creativity goes into TV ads these days. Read more

Tim Bradshaw

It’s been a torrid 12 months on the public markets for consumer internet stocks, with Facebook, Groupon and Zynga all seeing their valuations collapse after going public.

Yet during that period, privately held Twitter has managed to increase its valuation: a tender offer to employees by a BlackRock fund prices the social media site at more than $9bn, sources familiar with the situation told the FT. Read more

Tim Bradshaw

Twitter has topped 200m active users, more than doubling its audience since September last year.

While 2011 saw Twitter come to the fore in political events such as the Arab Spring protests and the UK scandal over superinjunctions, 2012 has seen it gain more mainstream attention through international events like the US presidential elections and the London Olympic games, as well as on-screen promotions of tweets and hashtags on TV news and talk shows, where its live, up-to-the-minute updates can really shine. Read more

Tim Bradshaw

As the developer of Tweetie, Loren Brichter created one of the first Twitter apps for the iPhone – and in the process, established new standards in designing for the small screen. He spoke to the FT about his design philosophy for the FT Weekend magazine’s monthly “Meet the Innovators” slot. Read more

AFP

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

Users of Instagram and Twitter were caught in the middle of a photo turf war this week. Instagram’s announcement that it would no longer allow its photos to appear in Twitter feeds raised concerns over whether web companies are holding user content hostage as they try to monetise their platforms. Read more

Tim Bradshaw

Many Twitter users were confused and alarmed this morning by an email from the service saying that their accounts had been “compromised” and forcing them to change their passwords. Read more

Flooding in New York

A monumental presidential election in 2008, social revolutions in the Middle East last year, and now Hurricane Sandy.

Photos of water lapping at the base of the Brooklyn carousel and spindly trees crashed upon car roofs have, er, flooded social media channels.

Just as Facebook burst into the mainstream during Barack Obama’s first presidential election campaign, today Instagram, the photo-sharing app now owned by Facebook, is finding widespread use as the preferred storytelling medium of the biggest storm in decades to hit the east coast. Read more

Tim Bradshaw

In January, Twitter sparked an outcry when it announced a modification to its famous maxim that the “tweets must flow”.

The Californian company, often hailed as a defender of free speech, said that it would block users in specific countries from seeing tweets or accounts that broke local law, while maintaining the ability of people beyond the border to see the offending messages. Activists such as Ai Wei Wei and other free-speech campaigners were quick to voice concerns about potential censorship.

However, it may salve the concerns of those who suggested that Twitter would readily kowtow to the daily whims of undesirable regimes to know that almost 10 months later, it has only now put those tools into action. Read more

Tim Bradshaw

General Motors’ pullback from Facebook ads in May became a touchstone moment for doubts about the social network’s business model, just before it went public.

But as we report in today’s FT analysis of the growing turf war in the social networking market, GM has been spending money on Twitter for two years – and is now “beyond experimenting” with ads there. Read more

Common wisdom has it that when it comes to the web, China goes its own way. For big western sites there are China equivalents: for Google, there’s Baidu. For Facebook there’s Renren. For eBay, there’s Alibaba. And for Twitter, there’s Sina Weibo. Isn’t there?

In terms of numbers, yes. China has over 300m users on the Sina Weibo service – Twitter is banned in China. But hang on. According to a recent report, the most active users of Twitter worldwide are in… China. Not the US. How come?

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Tim Bradshaw

Twitter has been touting its success as a “mobile first” social network, capitalising on the biggest perceived weakness of its main rival Facebook.

One recent estimate from eMarketer has even suggested that Twitter will generate more revenues from mobile ads than Facebook this year.

But new data show the scale of the threat that Twitter faces from explosive growth at Instagram, the photo-sharing app acquired by Facebook. Read more