Adly, a startup that connects advertisers with celebrities willing to post promoted messages on social networks, recently raised $ 2 million in additional funding.
Tag Archives: Social
antdude writes “Pew Internet reports that: ‘Teens are sharing more info about themselves on social media sites than they have in the past, but they are also taking a variety of technical and non-technical steps to manage the privacy of that information. Despite taking these privacy-protective actions, teen social media users do not express a high level of concern about third-parties (such as businesses or advertisers) accessing their data.’”
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Salesforce.com is hoping to set the standard for how government bodies deliver online services to citizens using mobile devices.
Urturn Raises $13.4M Series A, Led By Balderton, For Its Social Expressions Platform That Lets Teens Create Memes & Movements
Urturn, the social expressions platform that soft-launched as stealthily as possible last year by intentionally hiding under a really boring name, is getting ready to turn the volume up to 11 to start seriously recruiting teens and trend-setters to its meme-stuffed, fashion-friendly, music-loving platform. Today it has announced a $ 13.4 million Series A funding round, led by Balderton Capital with a $ 10.7 million investment. The private equity arm of Debiopharm Group invested the remaining $ 2.7 million. As part of the investment, Balderton founding partner Barry Maloney will join the Urturn board. The London-based startup, which also has an office in the Valley, is also launching an iOS app today, funded by its Series A, to extend its web-based platform to mobile. An Android app is also in the works, due later this year. Prior to the Series A, Urturn had raised around $ 500,000 in friends/family funding. So what exactly is a social expression platform? Urturn — pronounced ‘your turn’ — is best described as a viral meme-generator. It offers both a social toolbox for creating and sharing ‘expressions’ with other users, with support for sharing these out to other social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, and also a space to hang your creations and browse others (and/or follow celebrity users or your friends). It also has its own bookmarklet browser button to make grabbing source material for meme-making purposes even easier, as Pinterest does. Expressions is Urturn’s term for the visual composites that are its social currency. These often start with a photo but can also include multimedia elements like video and audio, which are then augmented with text or doodles or other graphical elements, by a user selecting the relevant template. So, instead of having to go to Google to copy and paste the meme du jour to post to Facebook or Twitter, Urturn gives its users the tools to make their own version of that meme. Or something else entirely. The image at the top of this post is a basic example of an expression created with Urturn — by first uploading a photo and then adding a series of pointers to the image. Other templates currently available on the site include doodles, collages, quotes, speech bubbles, hashtag tags, cartoon elements (such as the Bunnify expression, below right) and more. There are also templates that support interactions, such as love it/leave or this/that which ask other users to vote on whether they like
Is Social Media Anxiety Disorder, known as SMAD, the newest affliction resulting from our love affair with Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites?
MavenSay, a social recommendation app, just got a surge of unplanned downloads coming from Indonesia, and its founders are moving quickly to include Southeast Asia in its expansion plans, as a result. The company’s Toronto-based co-founder, Jesse Dallal, said the two-month old app got 100,000 downloads over the past fortnight. It has a total of 130,000 downloads so far, and the sudden surge was tracked back to a power user based in Indonesia. They’re not sure which one it is, but the source of traffic points to the country, he said. The way the app works is similar to Pinterest, in that users follow other users’ recommendations. These could cover places they’ve eaten at or music they’re listening to, for example. For its launch, MavenSay roped in what it called “influencers”—featured brands to follow such as Momofuku and Refinery29. The Indonesian user that triggered the downloads isn’t a celebrity that MavenSay had canvassed, but was clearly influential enough over his or her social network to move the downloads, said Dallal. “It’s been an unanticipated consequence of our [social] strategy,” he said, referring to the way things get viral on these recommendation platforms where people reblog items from influencers. “We’ve reached out to influencers in North America, but we’re also going to reach out to influencers in Asia now. We’re thinking of coming out there and talking to users to understand what the differences in culture and usage might be,” he said. MavenSay has seven people, including its three co-founders Dallal, Mike Wagman and Bryan Friedman. The small company can’t be expected to have concrete plans for Asia yet, but seeding interest in one of the world’s fastest-growing, mobile-hungry countries may pay off eventually. According to mobiThinking, Indonesia has 260 million mobile subscribers, although those with data connections make up just 47.6 million, or 18 percent of that. And Indonesians have been quick to embrace social networking sites, with fierce loyalties once something sticks. Aged social network, Friendster started to pivot towards Asia around 2008, when it realised that 90 percent of its user base was coming from the region. While it was, by that time, lagging behind Facebook globally, some markets like Indonesia stayed loyal to Friendster. MavenSay has raised funding of $ 890,000 so far.
If the last few years have all been about building compelling mobile-first or mobile-only experiences, the latest trend seems to be bringing those experiences back to the web. (Just look at Instagram!) Anyway, with that in mind, social TV startup Dijit became the latest to follow this lead, with the launch of NextGuide Web.
Editor’s note: Keith Teare is the founder of just.me and a partner at Archimedes Labs. He is also the co-founder of TechCrunch.
This was a momentous week for those of us who are watching the rapid transition that is taking place from desktop computing to mobile., and particularly for those focused on mobile-social as I am due to my job at just.me. Here is my take on what we just witnessed.
Amy’s Baking Company, an upscale bistro in Scottsdale, Ariz., learned a thing or two about social media etiquette the hard way this week.
Tripshare, an iPad application for travel planning, is joining a crowded space. But its CEO knows a little something about the industry – Bob Dana was the former employee #1 and first CFO of Virgin America. He once wrote the business plan and feasibility study for Sir Richard Branson in 2003. And now he’s doing a travel startup. Dana tells us the inspiration for Tripshare was based on a personal experience he had years ago. As CFO, he spent ten hours on a plan each week flying back and forth from New York to California. Back in 2006, Dana was trying to convince his family to come out to California for a vacation, so he put together a proposed itinerary to help sell the idea. “I ended up preparing this ten-page Word document that included text and photos I cut and pasted from various websites. It was intended to be persuasive in nature, and collaborative, too,” he explains. “I thought afterwards, that collaborative travel planning was something that was rather difficult to do.” But not only was it difficult to plan, it was also hard to move from the point of inspiration and discovery to actually booking the trip. This idea later formed the basis for Tripshare, which he founded two years ago. The app was originally built in conjunction with then co-founder and CTO Ken Goto, a former director of engineering at Apple. Goto has since moved on but his ex-Apple development team, including acting CTO Eric Kapke, now continues the work. The app itself has actually been live in the iTunes App Store as unpublicized beta since August 2012. However, though that app was functionally similar, it drew some criticisms from early users because of its user interface. Today’s version is an overhaul, and much improved. Still, despite having done no publicity or marketing, Tripshare has been downloaded nearly 20,000 times while still a work in progress. In other words, today’s release is technically a version 2.0, but for all intents and purposes, this is the big debut. Designed for those planning vacations or other complex trips with multiple destinations or activities, Tripshare allows you to browse, collect and share information with others before booking. Using the iPad’s big screen, you can flip through photos of destinations and lodgings, create itineraries, discover flights, hotels, restaurants, activities, and more. Today, the app allows you to explore over 20,000 cities worldwide, plus 500,000+ lodging options, thousands
With dozens of new features, Google’s social network is becoming more like a photo service and a news site.
Despite the 190 million people that Google says use its social network every month, Google Plus has always struggled to escape Facebook’s shadow and seem like a hopping social destination.
A new line of research examines what happens in an office where the positions of the cubicles and walls—even the coffee pot—are all determined by data.
Can we use data about people to alter physical reality, even in real time, and improve their performance at work or in life? That is the question being asked by a developing field called augmented social reality.
If you want a digital detox, you’re going to have to pull the trigger yourself. Social Roulette is an app that would delete one in six users’ Facebook account data, but its founder confirms it’s been blocked by Facebook so it no longer functions. While there’s no specific policy prohibiting apps from deleting your data, Social Roulette is clearly counter to Facebook’s mission and business model.
For the past several years, my New Year’s resolution has been some version of “cook more often” or “try a new recipe every week.” But it never really lasts. As much as I love the act of actually cooking, so much about it is a huge hassle — choosing a recipe, shopping for all the ingredients (and paying for a whole bottle of a spice I only need a tablespoon of), ending up with a bunch of leftovers.
A New York City-based startup called Plated feels my pain — and just raised a $ 1.4 million seed round led by ff Venture Capital along with angels including Manischewitz Company CEO Alain Bankier, Facebook vet Andrew McCollom, and LA-based “adrenaline-fueled” investor Paige Craig.
Guppy writes “Does Tylenol reduce existential distress? Acetaminophen (Paracetamol) has been used to relieve mild-to-moderate physical pain for over a century, yet its actual mechanism of action continues to be debated; modern research has demonstrated an intriguing connection with the body’s endocannabinoid system, raising the question of whether it may also have subtle psychological effects as well. A recent paper claims Acetaminophen can alter our response to existential challenge; previous findings have suggested that it may blunt the pain of social rejection as well.”
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Investor Chamath Palihapitiya’s skeptical comments about the current wave of tech startups (comments that included a not-too-veiled dig at Snapchat), ended up fueling plenty of discussion at our Disrupt NY conference earlier this week. In fact, when I interviewed Sequoia Capital partner Aaref Hilaly backstage, Palihapitiya’s remarks provided a springboard for Hilaly’s take on messaging apps, including Sequoia-backed WhatsApp:
The first flood of photos taken using Google’s wearable computer are underwhelming.
If you want to know what people with early access to Google’s wearable computer Glass are doing, take a look at the public feed on Google+, the company’s social network. Photos and videos taken with the device, most of them unexciting, are flooding the service under the tag #throughglass. A couple of Google+ users even complained about the sudden rush of activity last week, calling it “spam.”
Looks like Lockerz, the social commerce and photo sharing service, may be moving on to yet another chapter in its life. After laying off 30% of its Seattle HQ staff, closing down its San Diego office, and shutting down its Plixi photo sharing API earlier this year, the company is now launching a new fashion site, Ador. A tipster tells us that Lockerz is shutting down altogether and relaunching, but as of right now, the Lockerz site looks like it is still operational. We have reached out to the company to confirm what is going on.
Search startup Leap2 is announcing that it has raised $ 1.6 million in new funding. It’s also releasing new versions of its iOS and Android apps.
Building a better search experience than the existing players is a pretty tall order. In Leap2′s case, it sounds like the focus really is on the experience, incorporating more images and social updates into a unified search result. Mixing different media into one list of links may not sound particularly new, but founder and CEO Mike Farmer told me via email that Leap2′s goal is to give you “the whole answer,” so there’s one result with all the content you’re looking for, and you don’t have to visit a number of different sites to piece things together.
What gets removed from China’s social networks shows how censorship strategies are advancing, and can even hint at the government’s plans.
In February last year, political scandal rocked China when the fast-rising politician Bo Xilai suddenly demoted his top lieutenant, who then accused his boss of murder, triggering Xilai’s political downfall.
Messages that quickly self-destruct could enhance the privacy of online communication and make people feel freer to be spontaneous.
One essential aspect of privacy is the ability to control how much we disclose to others. Unfortunately, we’ve lost much of that control now that every photo, chat, or status update posted on a social-media site can be stored in the cloud: even though we intended to share that information with someone, we don’t necessarily want it to stay available, out of context, forever. The weight of our digital pasts is emerging as the central privacy challenge of our time.
Nokia’s latest advanced feature phone, the Asha 210, comes with a physical key to access WhatsApp messaging, as well as software clients for Twitter and Facebook.
New platforms for fact-checking and reputation scoring aim to better channel social media’s power in the wake of a disaster.
The online crowds weren’t always wise following the Boston Marathon bombings. For example, the online community Reddit and some Twitter users were criticized for pillorying an innocent student as a possible terrorist suspect. But some emerging technologies might be able to help knock down false reports and wring the truth from the fog of social media during crises.
Social networks can be used to track random individuals in just 12 hours, provided the right incentives are on offer, say computer scientists
Editor’s note: Lucas Dailey is a UX designer and chief innovation officer at political social network MyMaryland.net.
My political social network startup died last year, and I eulogized it in a public post-mortem here on TechCrunch. The experience (and the article) led to a job taking over the product reins at nonprofit MyMaryland.net. Here are some tips for charting your own course for political social networks.
Police can obtain huge quantities of social network data, but must sort out the junk to glean useful information.
Within hours of obtaining identifications of the Boston marathon bombing suspects, police likely obtained search warrants and extensive digital records from mobile phone networks and social media and e-mail providers.
As the manhunt goes on for the surviving suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing, the bombers’ social networks could give investigators needed clues about them.
Microblogging site Twitter has released a new music service that will let people hear previews of songs, long into streaming services Rdio and Spotfiy, and “detect and surface” the most-discussed music and musicians on the Twitter site.
Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg’s push to put more women in leadership roles has spawned a new social software tool.
To the extent that a company has a personality, much of Facebook’s can be traced back to the fact that its creator and most of its early team were nerdy Harvard programmers. As an undergraduate at Harvard, Mark Zuckerberg started Facemash, the very first version of Facebook, as a tool that upset many campus women (and men) by comparing their looks in online photos that he did not have permission to repost. At the time, the Harvard Crimson cited campus groups Fuerza Latina and the Association of Black Harvard Women voicing their anger to a familiarly apologetic Zuckerberg. He took the site down under pressure, but the rest is history.
Americans are so fixated on social networks that they spend an average of 16 minutes out of every hour on them, according to a study by Experian Marketing Services.
China’s E-Commerce Market Grew To $190B In 2012, Driven By Mobile Users and Social Media, Says CNNIC
China’s e-commerce market racked up a whopping 1.3 trillion RMB ($ 190 billion USD) worth of transactions in 2012, according to a report by the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) (linked article is in Chinese), an increase of 66.5 percent over 2011′s total. Last year, 242 million Internet users purchased goods online, and e-commerce transactions accounted for 6.1 percent of total retail sales of consumer goods. The growth was driven in large part by mobile users: during the last half of 2012, 40.7 percent of online shoppers used a mobile device to browse e-commerce merchandise. More than half–53.6 percent–browsed a merchandiser’s mobile app instead of accessing its main Web site through their device’s Internet browser. 53.3 percent of the respondents who used their mobile devices to shop said they did so while at home, and many stated that their smartphones had begun to replace their home PCs. 26.2 percent said they browsed items on their smartphones while at work or school, and 10.6 percent said they spent their commutes or time waiting in queues to shop. In addition to mobile, social media platforms also drove e-commerce sales. 41.8 percent of shoppers said they had first seen information or promotions for a product on a social media site before deciding to purchase it. Each shopper spent an average of 5,203 RMB (or about $ 843 USD), an increase of 1,302 RMB ($ 211 USD), or 25 percent, from the year before. According to the report, the most frequently purchased items were clothing and shoes, which 81.8 percent of online shoppers bought during the last six months of 2012. General merchandise accounted for 31.6 percent of sales, while consumer electronics made up 29.6 percent of the total. While the latest figures from CNNIC are impressive, China’s e-commerce market still has plenty of room to grow and is set to overtake America’s. As this Economist story notes, the Chinese e-commerce market is currently dominated by Alibaba, which last year handled 1.1 trillion yuan ($ 170 billion USD) in sales through two of its portals, Taobao and Tmall, and is on its way to becoming the first online retail company in the world to handle $ 1 trillion a year in transactions. Taobao is a C2C marketplace with more than 800 million product listings and 500 million registered users, according to Alibaba. B2C platform Tmall counts major international brands like Microsoft, Nike and Unilever among its 50,000 merchants.
Services like HealthTap have proliferated over the last year as a way to let anyone with questions about their health connect with real, licensed physicians online and avoid the pain of waiting in line at the doctor’s office. While HealthTap and others are building up their health information databases to let people quickly find answers to a variety of health questions, the demand for personalized health information continues to grow.
Social ties between humans are stronger than those between fruit flies or ants but weaker than those between bees, according to a cheerful new ranking based on how quickly creatures die when they become isolated
Twitter users reacted fast to the explosions that ripped through the Boston Marathon Monday, but the incident also revealed how social media can only be so reliable in such situations.
Anyone who has had a computer and a connection to the Internet in 1999 quickly knew what it felt like to find any song that you wanted, and then listen to it almost immediately. Well, the immediate part wasn’t true, since you had to download the MP3s, which usually took quite a bit of time on a dialup connection. Since Napster, and it getting sued into oblivion (and then acquired for bits and pieces by Best Buy), streaming music has become the technology du-jour. Napster co-founder Sean Parker is now heavily involved with Spotify, which realized the “any song, any time” dream that Napster introduced us to. Today, a service called Napster.fm popped up, and it’s a web-based music player that has some interesting social features. The best part about it is that it’s open source and can be set up by anyone, in case it ever gets shut down. Its creator, Ryan Lester, is a student at Carnegie Mellon who is “taking a few years off to work at SpaceX and do other stuff.” A part of the “other stuff” is clearly Napster.fm. How does it work? Well, after going through the quite FAQ (Lester obviously has a sense of humor), he explains that the service is dependent on “minor inefficiencies in YouTube’s piracy-detection system.” Regardless of where the tracks are coming from, the service actually works. As soon as you visit the site, the song that’s queued up for you is “Never Gonna Give You Up,” which is long-forgotten-once-hated “RickRoll.” The search interface is pretty basic, but once you start adding songs to your playlist, you can share them with friends who have also signed up for the service. Once you’ve done that, you can sync up and listen to exactly what they’re listening to. The “Discovery” tab shows you what everyone has listened to, if you’re in the mood to find something new. You can even create a group of friends that are using the service and someone can play DJ and decide on which tracks will come up next. Sure, these are some of the things that you can do on other services, like Turntable.fm, but the Napster.fm interface is stripped down and basic, not sucking up a lot of resources. The other nice part is that there isn’t a desktop client to worry about, as is the case with Spotify. What you’re listening to will
When Google comes to your door – or your digital door – and tells you they’d like you to join their collective, generally you say yes, let’s do it! That’s what Behavio has announced they’ve done this week. Behavio is a company that was Knight Foundation funded and aimed to develop apps that would accurately
Companies know how important it is to make their products as friendly as can be with third-party social websites, and Microsoft, for one, has done a pretty fantastic job at making sure the team behind Bing’s doing exactly that. To wit, the Surface maker is, as of today, also starting to cater to the Pinterest crowd, announcing that it’s now allowing users of the recently redesigned site to share Bing image search findings via a simple click — assuming you’re logged in, naturally. The new sharing feature might seem like a rather minor one on paper, but for avid Pinners, it’ll certainly come in handy as they can keep their precious boards stocked up with a little less effort. And, well, you know what that means: more cats.
Via: The Next Web
Tint Gives Businesses An Easy Way To Bring Social Media Feeds To Their Websites, Apps And Facebook Pages
Last year, Tim Sae Koo, Nikhil Aitharaju, Eunice Noh and Ryo Chiba launched HypeMarks to give people a less hectic way to consume social media. The startup aggregated tweets, articles, links and more shared by influencers and celebrities on social media accounts and, by grouping those by topic, aimed to give people a snapshot of an industry through the eyes of the people who know it best.
The Civil Rights Defenders have issued their first batch of GPS bracelets that will alert the CRDs’ headquarters, other nearby activists, and the entirety of the CRDs’ social media following if the bracelet’s owner is ever kidnapped. The first 5 bracelets were issued from April 2nd through April 5th during the Civil Rights Defenders’ conference,
The results are in for Filipino accelerator IdeaSpace’s startup competition, and the top ten picks have a heavy focus on social projects. A glance at the list reveals a strong emphasis on environmental and health-related projects, especially those that will likely benefit the developing nation’s poorer regions. Armtech – affordable water purification machine for households DateCola – natural date-enriched beverages, a healthy alternative to soft drinks Mirand – low-cost and high-quality total joint implants for the Asian market PGRS – produces electricity via rumble strips installed on high traffic roads PinoyTravel – provincial bus seat reservation system using mobile technologies PortfolioMNL – online marketplace for creative professionals Prodigo – a solution for highly targeted promotions for merchants using Big Data analytics Tech4Health – solution for health monitoring of chronic conditions, including diabetes TimeFree – SMS-based automated queuing system WeGen – new design of wind turbine that is more efficient than current technology When the top 20 were picked, many of them were mobile-phone dependent and appeared to center around developing smartphone apps for urban cities. But it seems that many of those didn’t make the cut for the top ten. One of IdeaSpace’s co-founders, Earl Martin Valencia, said: “All winners are viable business ideas based on science and technology, not just IT. They reflect the market needs of emerging markets such as the Philippines and we believe that it’s a big market also globally.” Jojo Flores, co-founder and vice president of Silicon Valley-based incubator Plug and PlayTech Center, was present at the pitching event all day. He said he is keen to invest in some of them and take them to the global stage as well. The top ten have each won six months incubation support (such as business operations covering accounting and legal services) and funding of up to $ 120,000 (PHP 5 million). IdeaSpace is a non-profit and was launched a little over a year ago. It has the support of various large Filipino conglomerates, and these are expected to provide mentorship to incubated companies. Some academic partners like the Asian Institute of Management and the University of the Philippines-Open University, as well as corporates like Microsoft and Amazon, will come onboard to mentor the winners of this competition.
HTC and Facebook have teamed up to unveiled the first phone to come preloaded with Facebook’s new Android launcher called Home.
There’s a good chance 2011′s HTC Status, with its portrait QWERTY layout and dedicated Facebook button, never found its way into your social network. That last attempt at the mythical Facebook phone failed to garner much praise, but if social networks gave up so easily, well, we’d all still be using MySpace. HTC and Facebook are at it again, this week launching the $ 99 First, exclusively on AT&T in the US.
Yes, it’s a name every commenter could love (or hate)
Yes, it’s a name every commenter could love (or hate), a title cheekily reminiscent of the HTC One. This, though, is a rather different device, aiming more toward the mid-range and relying on some serious social integration to make it stand out. It’s the first phone runni–ng the Facebook Home interface, which will be available on many devices starting on April 12th. It delivers a far more comprehensive Facebook experience than the previous apps have managed, and intriguingly Zuckerberg himself said that Home is “the next version of Facebook.” The end of the web? Stay tuned.
A modified version of Android puts social networking, and Facebook, at the heart of a device.
MIT Technology Review editor Rachel Metz live-blogged Facebook’s announcement from its headquarters in Menlo Park, California. Read her blow-by-blow account of the event below.
Collective Bias Raises $10.5M Series A To Push Its Shopping Blogger-Powered Social Marketing Model Internationally
The market for social marketing startups is getting some natural uplift as advertising money continues to shift online and marketers experiment with alternatives to traditional ad formats that don’t make enough of a mark in the digital space. One such startup, Collective Bias, has just closed a $ 10.5m Series A to expand its blogger-powered social marketing model internationally.