Instagram Reaches 150 Million Monthly Active Users


Instagram now has 150 million monthly active users with more than 60% of them residing outside of the United States. At last tally in June, the app had 130 million monthly active users. In February, the company reached the 100 million monthly active-users milestone

"Whether it’s documenting protests in Egypt, sharing the trip of a lifetime across the United States or snapping #petselfiez, this community continues to surprise us every day with your creativity, sense of adventure and unique perspectives on the world," Instagram said in a statement announcing the new statistics on Sunday

More about Facebook, Apps, Social Media, Photography, and Mobile Apps

King’s ‘Pet Rescue Saga’ Launches on Mobile


LOS ANGELES — launched its third game on mobile Thursday, Pet Rescue Saga. Following the success of games like Bubble Witch and Candy Crush Saga, the Facebook favorite is arriving on both iPhone and Android.

Currently one of the top 10 games on Facebook, Pet Rescue Saga prompts players to destroy colored boxes on screen by placing three or more of the same color into groups — in order to rescue pets trapped within the multicolored block structure.

The mobile version of the game will launch with 72 levels, with more to follow in future updates. Read more...

More about Facebook, King, Mobile Apps, Zynga, and E3

Google Redesigns Its iPhone Search App To Be Faster And Prettier

App Store - Google Search-1

Google today launched version 2.0 of its search app for iPhone. Google completely overhauled the design of the app, which now looks and feels more like the app’s iPad version the company launched last November. The new version feels significantly faster than the last one and the new design works especially well for image searches.

In line with last year’s iPad update, the new app now features the ability to easily swipe back and forth between your search results and the pages you clicked on. It’s also become significantly easier to switch between Google’s various search features like images, places, shopping and videos. Whenever you swipe up to the top of the search results page now, a new menu opens up at the bottom of the screen that lets you switch between the different search features.

The app, of course, also still support voice search and gives users access to all of Google’s other services like Google Goggles, Gmail and Google+. One interesting feature is its ability to detect which other Google apps you have installed on your phone and then allows you to switch to them instead of using the company’s HTML5 apps.

Overall, the app is a nice improvement over the previous version. It builds upon a trend we’ve seen lately from Google toward better mobile apps, including the recent  Google+ for iPhone redesign. For the most part, though, most users will likely continue to do most of their searches from their favorite mobile browser.

Facebook for iPhone Gets Big Privacy Upgrade [PICS]

Facebook has updated its iPhone app with a slew of new features and privacy controls, many of which mirror recent enhancements to the website.

Facebook for iPhone 3.5 [iTunes link] now lets users tag friends and places in posts and share external links from the web view. It also makes it easier to control who can see what posts, matching the enhanced controls now available on The app also features redesigned Profile and Group walls, making it both more streamlined and clean.

Additionally, Facebook fixed a number of bugs and made some performance enhancements. We really like the update and are especially impressed with Facebook's new privacy options tour that accompanies… Continue reading...

More About: Facebook, iphone, iphone apps

Top 25 Most-Shared Mashable Stories in August

icons image

You really like your coffee, don't you?

In a month where Steve Jobs stepped down as Apple's CEO, Google acquired Motorola Mobility and HP discontinued webOS operations, Mashable readers focused on the story about the Pumpkin Spice Latte's return to Starbucks, which tops our monthly most-shared stories list.

The big social networks also attracted significant attention as Twitter plopped "user galleries" on profiles, Facebook overhauled privacy settings and President Barack Obama joined Foursquare.

Based on figures from Mashable Follow's M Share button, the following 25 stories got the most love, with all of them garnering about 240,000 combined shares on Facebook, Twitter, Linke…
Continue reading...

More About: Facebook, Google, Google+, Mobile, Opinion, Social Good, Social Media, Tech, Twitter, Video, apple, features, foursquare, privacy, security, social networking, starbucks

Facebook Wanted to Buy Instagram, Will Release Photo Filters Instead [REPORT]

Following a failed attempt to acquire Instagram, Facebook will roll out up to a dozen photo filters in a mobile application release, according to a report from The New York Times Bits Blog.

Several Instagram-like photo filters are ready for release, two unnamed Facebook engineers cited in the report say, but the release date is unknown at this time.

Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg is pushing engineers and artists “to create more filters before releasing the new product,” Bits reports. “Facebook will also try to introduce new styles of filters with the hopes of drawing users away from other photo apps.”

This isn’t the first we’ve heard of Facebook photo filters. TechCrunch reported in June that Facebook was working on a spin-off photo-sharing application for iPhone. Screenshots obtained by the blog indicated the app would have “location elements, likes and comments, multi-picture mode, filters, multi-user albums, face-tagging, and more.”

Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom declined to comment on whether Facebook attempted to acquire his startup over the summer. Representatives at Facebook could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

More About: facebook, filters, instagram

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PGA Championship 2011: How To Follow Every Stroke Online

The 2011 PGA Championship begins Thursday morning at the Atlanta Athletic Club in Georgia. To allow you to keep track of the proceedings at home, work or on the go, we’ve rounded up a variety of resources for following the season’s last major golf tournament.

The first featured marquee threesome, which includes Tiger Woods, Davis Love III and Padraig Harrington, is scheduled to tee off at 8:45 a.m. ET Thursday. Coverage will continue through Sunday at 7 p.m.

SEE ALSO: 8 Mobile Apps for Golf Season

Share some of your favorite PGA web resources in the comments below.

1. Live Online

Beginning August 11, will air live coverage of the events.

The first featured Marquee group composed of Woods, Love III and Harrington will tee off at 8:45 a.m. ET Thursday. McIlroy, Clarke and Schwartzel's threesome will tee off at 1:45 p.m. ET Thursday.

The coverage will include a 360-degree camera that will span the panorama of the course. And the Video Highlight Hub allows viewers to customize their experience by searching and filtering by player, round or hole.

2. TNT & CBS Broadcasts

TNT and CBS Sports will broadcast the tournament from August 11 through August 14.

3. Snap

While watching the championship events on or TNT, viewers can "snap" coverage and share their own instant highlights on Facebook and Twitter. Turner Sports and the PGA partnered with SnappyTV to provide this service.

Note: The image of Bugs Bunny above is a preview.

4. PGA Championship iPhone app

According to Turner Media, the PGA Championship is the first major tournament to allow mobile devices on the course. Even if you haven't scored on-site championship real estate, get into the game via the free iPhone app, which offers live coverage and push notifications when a favorite player birdies, etc.

The site and its live player are also optimized for iPad.

5. Mobile Web's mobile site offers nearly everything you'd find in its full browser version, including real-time scoring, player locator, spectator alerts, Twitter ticker and the aforementioned Snap feature.

6. SIRIUS-XM Radio

Hear the latest tour coverage and highlights on SIRIUS-XM.

7. PGA Tour Official Twitter

Follow the PGA Tour's official Twitter feed, which will not only provide championship updates, but also posts expert analysis, sweepstakes and player stats.

8. PGA Tour Official Facebook

On the PGA Tour's super interactive Facebook Page, you can find polls, video interviews, contests and player profiles.

More About: pga championship, social media, sports, web

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Facebook Messenger Soars to Top Free iPhone App

So far it seems Facebook’s Messenger app is a hit. After launching just Tuesday afternoon, it’s already the number-one free app in the iTunes App Store. The iOS app has more than 600 customer reviews and with 900 ratings has 3.5 of five stars. The app has the potential to chip away at the hold of cell carriers. It allows users to send messages and texts through the 750-million-member social network, and it updates in real time, so there’s no need to refresh to see if you’ve received new messages. “This is replacing text messages in my dock!” one iOS reviewer wrote.         The negative reviews in both the App Store and the Android Market are mostly critical of Facebook now having two apps (though the company told Mashable it does plan to integrate the new message functionality into the main app) and of the fact that Messenger isn’t an instant message app. Have you tried either the Android or iOS app yet? Could you see it replacing text messages? You can check out images of the iOS and Android app below.  

Login Screen: iPhone

This is the Messenger login screen for the iPhone App.  

Login Screen: Android

This is the Messenger login screen for the Android App.  

Finding Friends: iPhone

The Facebook Messenger app finds your friends as you type.  

Finding Friends: Android

It's much like tagging friends on Facebook.  

Sending a Message: iPhone

The interface is much like the texting interface on the iPhone.  

Sending a Message: Android

Even the Android app sports the iOS-like interface.  

Threaded Messages with Photos: iPhone

Users can send photos in their messages. They will appear threaded within the conversation.  

Threaded Messages with Photos: Android

They will appear threaded within the conversation.  

Map View: iPhone

The Map View lets you see where everybody in a message is located.  

Map View: Android

You can choose not to attach a location to your messages if you wish, though.  

Individual Map: iPhone

If you go to a user's single message, you can see exactly where he or she is located.  

Individual Map: Android

Both the iOS and Android version integrate with Google Maps.  

Messages View: iPhone

Since the app is integrated with Facebook, all of your messages will appear in this view, regardless of where the messages originated.  

Messages View: Android

The blue dot indicates that you have an unread message. More About: Android apps, facebook, iOS apps

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Measuring Clout: 4 Music Charts Powered By Social Media

music image

Fifty-three years ago this week, Billboard launched its “Hot 100 Chart,” which at the time tracked top singles based on radio play and sales. A lot has changed since 1958 when it comes to measuring the popularity of tunes. Namely, now there’s this thing called the Internet all up in the music business’s business.

Granted, the “Hot 100 Chart” has been anything but stagnant over the years. Since it proclaimed Ricky Nelson’s “Poor Little Fool” tops on August 4, 1958, it has introduced alterations such as the addition of streamed and on-demand music to the chart’s forumla. The chart ranks the week’s most popular songs across genres based on radio airplay audience impressions as measured by Nielsen BDS, sales data as compiled by Nielsen SoundScan and streaming activity data provided by online music sources.

Although the chart is still a major indicator of musical success, there’s now a bevy of other tools that take into account the social aspect of a song’s popularity. Read on for four ways you can track musical success based on social media clout.

Next Big Sound

Next Big Sound launched back in March 2010. It gauges the popularity of bands and artists via fan activity on a variety of social networking sites, as well as traditional sales data, radio plays, traffic to an artist's website and P2P activity.

The website is basically a tool for fans, artists, music industry professionals and journalists to track the popularity of an artist across sites like Facebook, YouTube, MySpace, Twitter, Soundcloud, ReverbNation, Pure Volume, etc. Casual users can sign up to get weekly stats about their favorite bands sent to their inboxes and even compare bands' social clout on the site. More hardcore users -- like bands and labels -- can sign up for the premiere service for even deeper data mining.

NBS also recently partnered with Billboard, in order to bring you the second entry on on our list ...

Social 50

The "Social 50" is Billboard's newly minted chart. It measures an artist’s popularity every week based on social networking activity mined from Next Big Sound.

Like NBS, the Social 50 ranks artists using such metrics such as weekly additions of friends, fans and followers, artist page views and weekly song plays. Rankings are also influenced by measuring the ratio of pageviews to fans. if you're more of a curious fan than a hardcore music head, this is likely the chart for you. It's also usually packed with more mainstream acts, so if you're looking for more esoteric fare, you might want to check out ...

We Are Hunted

We Are Hunted is both a music chart and a community. At its core, the site features a chart that tracks songs' popularity every day based on blog activity, mentions on social networks, buzz on message board and forums, Twitter talk and movement on P2P networks.

It also features the ability to build your own charts, which you can share with friends and other music lovers, and a “Discover” tool, which helps you find new music based on what you like and dislike on the site.

Recently, We Are Hunted has been rolling out a bevy of apps, including an iPad app for music discovery and a number of offerings that integrate music intelligence company The Echo Nest's API, including the appropriately blasé Pocket Hipster.

MTV Music Meter

As part of MTV's quest to put the "music" back into "MTV," the network recently released its Music Meter, which seeks to highlight up-and-coming artists by ranking them based on their social media status.

MTV worked with music intelligence company the Echo Nest to develop an algorithm that combs through blogs, social media, video and more traditional metrics (like radio plays and sales) to determine which bands are receiving the most attention on any given day.

MTV also rolled out an app for iOS and Android iteration, letting users go mobile with their music discovery.

Image courtesy of Flickr, craigCloutier

More About: Billboard, billboard-hot-100, mtv-music-meter, music, music charts, next-big-sound, social media, social-50, wearehunted

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45 New Digital Media Resources You May Have Missed

At this point of the week, you know the features roundup is headed your way! The only difference this time around is that our tech features involve things like beer and Shark Week!

Okay, now that we’ve gotten your attention, tune in for the latest in social media obervations, startup tips and geeky gadgetry galore. Pack your brain with fascinating facts about the history of mobile phones. Satisfy your curiosity by discovering where those darn-cute Google Doodles come from. And tap into the best LinkedIn apps for sales teams. It’s your world — we just write for it.

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