twitter

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