Palo Alto-based publisher platform ShareThis, the maker of those “social sharing” buttons scattered across the web, is today announcing having closed on $ 23 million in Series C financing, in a round led by T-Venture, the venture capital arm of Deutsche Telekom. Additionally, in another move signaling its intention to unify its platform across web and mobile, ShareThis has also acquired Socialize, a startup whose developer toolkit helps make any app social.
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ShareThis Aims For Mobile, With $23M Series C Led By T-Venture, Acquisition Of Social App Platform, Socialize
Computer scientists have recreated the international and organisational structure of large corporations using publicly available data on social networks
Line, an app made by South Korea’s Naver Corp which has grown rapidly since its launch in summer 2011, is typically labelled as a messaging app – and compared to the likes of WhatsApp, Viber and Skype. But in reality Line’s feature-set positions it closer to being a social network. In other words, Line is going after disenchanted Facebookers as much as it’s hoping to woo Skype calling addicts.
TechCrunch interviewed Foursquare CEO Dennis Crowley a couple of weeks ago during Mobile World Congress in Barcelona (referenced here). It was his third time visiting and speaking at the event, and perhaps Foursquare’s most engaged visit of all in terms of going there: Crowley says that, all told, he met with 33 different companies this time around. It’s a sign of how the company is looking for new business and new partnerships, and trying to extend itself as more than an app: as it gears up for whatever comes in its future, Foursquare is positioning itself as a location platform.
MessageMe, an app that launched last week and raced up the charts to the #2 spot in social networking in the U.S., is confronting Facebook’s touchiness around access to its social graph. The app’s integration with Facebook stopped functioning earlier today (see left), the result of the company’s decision to cut MessageMe off from its “Find Friends” functionality, according to sources familiar with decision. MessageMe CEO Arjun Sethi declined to comment in this story and Facebook didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment. The move resembles Facebook’s decision last month to shut off Voxer’s access to the graph, even though Voxer connected to Facebook for well over a year. Voxer is another communications app that supports calling and voice chat. Facebook cut the app off around the same time that it launched competing functionality with free voice calling to other users. In that decision, Facebook cited Section 10 of its platform policy (which is the same one it’s using in MessageMe’s case): Reciprocity and Replicating core functionality: (a) Reciprocity: Facebook Platform enables developers to build personalized, social experiences via the Graph API and related APIs. If you use any Facebook APIs to build personalized or social experiences, you must also enable people to easily share their experiences back with people on Facebook. (b) Replicating core functionality: You may not use Facebook Platform to promote, or to export user data to, a product or service that replicates a core Facebook product or service without our permission. MessageMe apparently replicates too much of Facebook Messenger’s functionality for the company to be comfortable with it. Facebook has long been touchy about providing access to the biggest of its strategic competitors like Google and Twitter. Back in 2010, Twitter’s then-CEO Ev Williams griped about the company’s unwillingness to let Twitter users look up their Facebook friends on the service or to send Facebook updates to Twitter. In the same year, Google and Facebook had a back-and-forth over Facebook’s access to Gmail’s contact importer because the social network wouldn’t send data the other way. But it’s only in the last year that the company has really stepped up enforcement against other startups. After cutting off Voxer last month, Facebook clarified its policy, saying that apps needed to share content back to Facebook and couldn’t replicate too much of Facebook’s core functionality. It cited the same policy in cutting off Twitter’s Vine hours after launch and Russian search
With Users In Over 83 Countries, Social Discovery Platform At The Pool Wants To Be The Anti-Facebook
At The Pool, the Los Angeles-based social discovery platform, is today rolling out a big re-design that sees the startup becoming laser-focused on creating the “anti-Facebook” social network for young people. In its February 10-K report, Facebook said that it is at risk of losing young users to other services that are similar to or act “as a substitute for Facebook.”
Adobe is in the middle of Summit, its annual digital marketing conference, and as expected it’s making a bunch of product announcements. The biggest one is a new interface for Adobe Marketing Cloud, the company’s suite of products that includes Adobe Analytics, Adobe Target, Adobe Social, Adobe Experience Manager, and Adobe Media Optimizer.
Brad Rencher, senior vice president and general manager of Adobe’s digital marketing business, said that as consumer expectations change and as companies have access to more and more data, marketers need to deliver great “last millisecond interactions” — that, he said, is “where we’re either heroes or we’re average.” And that means it’s increasingly important for design, advertising, and analytics teams to work together in an efficient way.
After Recruiting Founding StubHub CTO, Buzzmob Overhauls Its Social Events App To Help Brands Connect With Fans
If you’ve been to a live event recently, like a football game or a, you’ve probably noticed that the majority of people around you spent most of their time huddled over their smartphone. It’s true of life now, too, as people now interface with the world through Instagram rather than their eyeballs, but this even more true for live events.
BuzzMob launched in 2011 to capitalize on our mobile obsession with a location-based fan engagement app, designed to help facilitate and channel the social chatter at live events. The app aims to create a more engaging experience at live events by offering a focused, virtual community message board, which allows users to tap into a realtime community feed of images, tips and status updates from fellow event-goers.
Yelp updated its iOS app to even version 6.5, and it comes with a healthy amount of new features that users should enjoy. For starters, the business page on the iPad is streamlined with easier and quicker access to business hours, menu items, and phone numbers. The new update also makes the Yelp’s search more
Sony went official with the announcement for the PlayStation 4 earlier this month. During the announcement, Sony promised that the device would have cloud services that bring “everything everywhere.” One of the big aspects of that everything everywhere is Remote Play and other features that allow players to take over for you in the middle
Following the collapse of the social network Friendster, computer scientists have carried out a digital autopsy to find out what went wrong
With $2M From Zynga Co-founder & More, Sokikom Wants To Use Social, MMO Gaming To Help Kids Learn Math
Sokikom, a new startup that wants to help K-12 teachers motivate students to learn using games, is announcing today that it has raised $ 2 million in seed funding, half of which comes in the form of a grant from the Institute of Education Sciences (a research branch within the U.S. Department of Education) and the other half comes in the form of angel funding from former Intel Chairman and CEO Dr. Craig Barrett and Zynga co-founder Steve Schoettler, among others.
Expanding beyond simply connecting investors and new companies, AngelList aims to create a more global startup community.
AngelList started as a website for investors looking to connect with fledgling startups and vice versa. Now, three years later, it increasingly looks like an indispensable part of the startup scene—and in recent months it has introduced new features that could give it an even more central role.
Out of all the problems that friends run into, money is one of the stickiest. There’s nothing that can degrade a relationship in quite the same way as an argument over rent, a restaurant bill, or even who owes what for a pack of toilet paper. BillPin, a new app that launches today, wants to make it easy to split social expenses–its logo is even “keep friendships squabble free.” It is available online, and for iOS and Android devices.
Once upon a time, the pinnacle of social networking was the ability to connect with former classmates and share what your cat had for breakfast. Today, the requirements for social networking have evolved and are more immediate. We need social networks to quickly connect us with the classrooms, businesses, hospitals, rallies and neighborhoods we frequent on a daily basis to allow private communications between parents and teachers, to notify neighbors about a burglary, to alert co-workers about emergencies, and so on.
Traffic planners have long known that closing roads can improve traffic flow. Now network theorists say that removing products from social networks can improve the choice for everyone
I find statistics absolutely delicious. Pew research released fresh stats on what slice of Americans are addicted to all of the various social networks as of December 2012. There are a few big business and cultural implications.
Azimo, the UK-based social money transfer service aiming to disrupt an industry dominated by legacy players Western Union and Moneygram, is rolling out integration with Facebook to make it easy for users of the uber-social network to send money to one another. A first for the remittance industry, claims the company, with perhaps PayPal-to-PayPal transfers coming closest.
danielkennedy74 links to an instructive story captured on video introduced with these words: “Sneaking in near press/employee access points without going thru them, zigzagging through corridors, and once carrying a box so someone opens a door for them, two jokers from Savannah State University social engineer their way into Super Bowl XLVII for the most part simply by looking like they belong.” USA Today has a slightly longer article.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Enterprise Social Network Startup Batterii Closes $2.5M Seed, Led By CincyTech, As It Builds Out Feature-Set & Adds Android App
Cincinnati-based enterprise social network startup Batterii, which describes itself as a co-creation software platform, has closed a $ 2.5 million seed round let by public-private seed stage investor CincyTech — which contributed $ 500,000 to the round. Other investors include Batterii CEO Kevin C. Cummins, Los Angeles-based investor Ken Salkin, and undisclosed individuals.
The head of IBM's mainframe group is looking to bring mobile and social workloads into the platform in another move that would help the mainframe stay relevant and fend off competition from lower-cost systems.
Tagwhat is a mobile startup trying to present users with content that’s relevant to their location — descriptions of nearby points of interest, social network messages related to those locations, and now, with the latest app update, with local deals and events.
The deals are pulled from Facebook and other social networks, and then recommended to users based on the time and location. Co-founder and CEO Dave Elchoness argued that this approach is significant because it means a user can see relevant deals without having to follow a bunch of different businesses on Facebook and Twitter. At the same time, the businesses get access to potential new customers (rather than just promoting themselves to existing fans), and they don’t have to change their behavior at all — which also means that Tagwhat doesn’t have to go out and recruit a bunch of businesses.
When the Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers meet up in New Orleans, social networks are expected to light up with users talking about great passes, touchdowns and, of course, those Super Bowl commercials.
Socialising doesn’t have to mean giving up control of your content by handing it over to a social network
The CEO of Dropbox, Drew Houston, has told Technology Review more than once that he is building the “file system for the Internet” (see here and here). But news from the company yesterday suggests they may actually be enabling something more – decentralized social networking that doesn’t rely on everyone’s content being entrusted to one central store, such as Facebook.
Dalton Caldwell’s alternative paid social network launches a file-storage feature that could serve photos, videos, or anything else app developers dream up.
When I asked “who will create Instagram’s App.net?”, I imagined an app that simply cloned the popular photo network’s features and asked users to pay for them in exchange for “not being sold” to advertisers. Dalton Caldwell, the founder of App.net, has a much more ambitious idea: build a paid social-media file-hosting service and let a thousand would-be Instagrams bloom from it instead.
Many large companies are embracing internal social networks, but for the most part, they're not getting much good from them, according to analyst firm Gartner.
IBM will launch before mid-year several new and improved collaboration and communication products, including a new suite for human resources tasks and a major upgrade of its Connections enterprise social networking product.
Move over Twitter, because according to Trendstream’s Global Web Index for Q4 2012, Google+ has managed to move into the second-place spot for social platforms. This puts it behind Facebook (although by a significant amount of users), with YouTube also managing to top Twitter. Now Twitter is in fourth place in terms of total active
Today, the streaming music startup Serendip is bringing its “lean back,” serendipitous music discovery service to mobile with the debut of the Serendip iOS application. Like the web version which launched last fall, the new app offers a continuous stream of the music popular among friends, or others you’ve dubbed your “music soulmates.”
Fandalism, a social network for musicians, is adding a new feature that should undercut the market for “aggregators” like CD Baby and Tunecore (which allow independent artists to sell their music on iTunes and other digital stores).
To do that, founder Philip Kaplan (who also founded the FuckedCompany blog and ad network AdBrite, as well as co-founding social shopping startup Blippy) is offering a free song upload to iTunes, and unlimited uploads to iTunes, Spotify, and Google Play ) for $ 19.99 per year. That’s significantly cheaper than most other services, he said — for example, Tunecore charges $ 29.99 per album per year, while CD Baby charges $ 49 per album and takes a cut of earnings.
Social gifting startup Wrapp is today announcing that it has grown its user base to 1 million within fourteen months – proof that people really do enjoy freebies, it seems. The company, which allows users to send both free and paid digital gifts and gift cards to friends, also had a busy holiday season, hitting 1 million gifts sent per week during the period. And it saw 100,000 gift redemptions per week by the end of December.
In total, there were 7.4 million gifts given to date during the holiday peak period, the company tells TechCrunch.
sciencehabit writes “To humans, all fire ants may look alike. But the tiny, red, stinging bugs known as Solenopsis invicta have two types of social organization, and these factions are as recognizable to the ants as rival football teams are to us. Researchers once thought that the groups’ distinct physiological and behavioral profiles stemmed from a variant in a single gene. Now, a new study provides the first evidence that the gene in question is bound up in a bundle of some 600 other genes, versions of which are all inherited together. This ‘supergene’ takes up a large chunk of what may be the first known social chromosome, analogous to the chromosomes that determine sex in humans.”
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Facebook is rolling out a major new search engine designed to give users more options in sorting through topics and interests based on their friends.
Today at a press conference in California, Mark Zuckerberg announced a big new feature from Facebook: Graph Search. It’s a set of tools designed to quickly bring together social information involving “people, photos, places, and interests” in response to a user’s query. Zuckerberg was quick to point out that they aren’t indexing the web, and thus aren’t challenging Google. However, it will use the vast volumes of data already stored on Facebook to answer questions like “What kinds of movies do my friends like?” and “Who are friends of friends that are single in San Francisco?” Addressing the obvious privacy concerns, the company said it wouldn’t allow users to search content that wasn’t already shared with them (or already public). The searched data does, however, include location data, if it’s been shared — you can search by places your friends have been. Significantly, the official site also mentions that Graph Search will help you meet new people, something Facebook hasn’t really highlighted until now. Graph Search is being rolled out as a limited beta, with only a few thousand participants. In the coming months, they’ll open it to more users and continue working on mobile and non-English versions.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Ford Motor Co. is looking to integrate drivers’ favorite apps into their cars, giving them someone to read them the morning newspaper, along with an app to find them the site of their next great date.
Employers in Illinois and California cannot ask for usernames and passwords to the personal social media accounts of employees and job seekers under laws that took effect on Jan. 1.
Michigan Becomes Latest State To Protect Citizens From Employers And Schools Snooping On Private Social Feeds
Employers and schools in Michigan, the greatest state in the Nation, are now prohibited from asking employees and students for passwords to their personal email and social media accounts. In a win for reasonable privacy and common sense, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder just signed House Bill 5523 into law introduced by state Rep. Aric Nesbitt, R-Lawton. “Cyber security is important to the reinvention of Michigan, and protecting the private internet accounts of residents is a part of that,” Snyder said in a released statement on 12/28/2012. “Potential employees and students should be judged on their skills and abilities, not private online activity.” The bill also protects job and school applicants from having to give out their passwords. Offenders to the new law could be charged with a misdemeanor and charged up to a $ 1,000 fine. Bills such as these are in response to a troubling trend that surfaced in 2012. Employers and schools were found asking current and prospective employees and students for access to their online accounts. This was often labeled as voluntary but not complying often had negative effects. Earlier this year, the United States House of Representatives failed in an attempt to ratify a Federal ban, paving the way for states to take up the responsibility. California, Delaware, Illinois, and New Jersey have similar laws on the books. But remember, there’s a difference between private and personal, and anything you put online will never be completely private — right, Randi? [image via mittenmade]
This year, the Web was dominated by online education, shifting social networks, and the continued march toward mobile.
For all the attention lavished on the Web’s growth on mobile devices this year, one of the most interesting Internet trends is still best experienced on a desktop computer: online education.
With the holiday season upon us, let’s take a look at some of the gift-giving services and how well they work, writes contributor Natasha Starkell.
Facebook’s acquisition of Karma earlier this year must have caused quite a few sighs and fading hopes of the gift-giving websites, and Giftiki was even acquired by LaunchRock a couple of months ago. Yet Facebook Gifts differs from other gift services in how much freedom both the giver and recipient of the present have to select the from the gift options.
Twitter is reaching out to TV producers and showrunners to find out ways that it can further integrate with the TV experience. That could mean Twitter-based voting, in the case of some competitive reality shows. It could also mean introducing interactive elements in scripted shows that viewers could use to unlock new content or web experiences.