The Platform Wars

platform-battle2 During its WWDC keynote this year, Apple took on the world: Dropbox, Box, OneDrive and Google Drive for cloud storage; WhatsApp, Snapchat and BBM for messaging; Skype and your cell phone for calls; Google for search; and so on. Hell, Apple even took on Objective-C. Read More

6 Jobs the Best Social Media Managers Actually Do

social-media-managerMy search for a someone to run HubSpot's social media efforts has been an eye-opening, albeit frustrating, one. It seems that of the applicants that can boast any goal or metric from their job, the one thing they point to doing is "driving engagement." While engagement metrics can be tied back to a business' bottom line, more often than not, social media marketers aren't moving the metrics CEOs care about. [Read more...]

WhatsApp Cofounder on Facebook: We’re Not Getting ‘Swallowed By the Borg’

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Brian Acton still hasn't fully come to terms with the idea of his new life as a a billionaire and Facebook employee.

Acton, one of the two cofounders of WhatsApp, opened up about his personal feelings on the pending Facebook acquisition in his first speaking engagement ever at StartX, a startup incubator affiliated with Stanford University, on Wednesday night.

"More than anything, you are somewhat numb," Acton said of the negotiation process with Facebook. "You are dumbstruck as to what's going on. You have this flotilla of lawyers around you. And it was a lot of lawyers, I'll tell you that. Ninety-six hours of being in conference rooms with lawyers non-stop." Read more...

More about Facebook, Whatsapp, Business, and Startups

Pinterest Joins Facebook, Twitter in Battle for Small Business Advertisers

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Pinterest is expanding its first major ad offering, Promoted Pins, to all businesses in hopes of capturing ad dollars from small and medium size businesses.

San Francisco-based Pinterest announced on Thursday that all businesses will soon be able to pay to promote their content in search and category feeds on the service. Pinterest first rolled out promoted pins to paid advertisers in May, testing the program with a dozen large advertisers.

The company is using what it calls a "do-it-yourself" tool that will enable smaller businesses to set up their own promotions moving forward. The company is testing the new tool with a handful of SMBs before a full launch, and other interested advertisers can apply for the program here. Advertisers will pay every time a user clicks on their ad. Read more...

More about Facebook, Advertising, Twitter, Marketing, and Small Business

#NBAFinals rematch is on Twitter

When they visit the @Spurs tonight, @KingJames and the @MiamiHeat will begin their quest for a third consecutive @NBA championship in an epic rematch from last season.

While the two teams battle to add to their already-impressive legacies, hoops fans can follow all of the NBA Finals action on and off the court in real time on Twitter. Join the conversation with the #NBAFinals hashtag and follow the @NBA for highlights, game updates, fan polls, analysis and behind-the-scenes photos and videos.

Heat fans can stay close to the action on the court and inside the locker room by following @MiamiHeat and using #LetsGoHeat, #HEATNation and #HEATFinals. Fans are also encouraged to share Tweets with pictures showing off their #WhiteHotHEATStyle.

@MiamiHeat players, including @KingJames and @ShaneBattier, can be found here.

Meanwhile, San Antonio fans should follow @Spurs for inside access to the team and dive into the hoops conversation with #GoSpursGo and #ESpurs (the team’s pregame show). Want to show off your Spurs colors? Tweet pictures of yourself wearing black or Spurs gear using #GoSpursGo for a chance to win a pair of tickets to each game.

Find @Spurs players, like @tonyparker and @theborisdiaw, and other Spurs-related accounts here.

And if you happen to miss a key play from the #NBAFinals, have no fear. Twitter Amplify and the NBA have teamed up to provide fans the very best #NBARapidReplay highlights from the NBA Finals, presented by American Express, Champs, and State Farm.

Here’s an #NBARapidReplay featuring @KingJames from the Eastern Conference Finals:

The @Spurs were part of many key plays in their Western Conference Finals victory over the @OKCThunder, including this great @manuginobili pass to @theborisdiaw:

You’ll also want to follow @ESPNNBA, @NBATV and @NBAonTNT for expert analysis, guest tweeters, score updates and more. This list of ESPN broadcasters and writers, and this list of TNT and NBA TV media, will ensure you don’t miss any of the excitement on or off the court.

In addition, @ESPN has teamed up with renowned sports animator Richard Swarbrick to develop a Vine campaign celebrating the 2014 NBA Conference Finals and #NBAFinals. Check out this Vine video, featuring @manuginobili:

Will the defending champions win their third consecutive title in 2014? Or will the @Spurs win their fifth championship since 1999? If it were up to fans on Twitter, the Heat may be tough to dethrone: this graphic shows that the @MiamiHeat were discussed the most on Twitter since the NBA Playoffs began on April 19, 2014.

If you can’t wait to tweet along with the NBA finals, you’re not alone. Our new research finds that 61% of sports fans on Twitter tweet at least once a day, and 78% check in for news daily. Read more on this research here and remember to follow @TwitterSports for the latest sports Tweets, data and best practices from around the world.

Pinterest Revamps Analytics Dashboard and Expands Promoted Pins Test

promoted_pins_pinterest-1Brand pinaholics, rejoice! Today, Pinterest announced two updates to get a little friendlier with brands. Soon, all brands will have access to a brand new analytics dashboard and the ability to use Promoted Pins. 

Yep, that means if you're one of those marketers who's obsessed with squeezing value out of Pinterest, this is your lucky day. [Read more...]

User security and national security surveillance reform

In 2013, following the revelations by Edward Snowden about the scope of national security surveillance both domestically and abroad, Twitter joined with a number of other technology companies to seek concrete reform in Washington, D.C. of our surveillance laws and practices.

The Reform Government Surveillance Coalition has been fighting on Capitol Hill to pass the USA Freedom Act. The bill was introduced with clear objectives:

  • explicitly ban bulk collection of telephony and Internet metadata;
  • create a Public Advocate in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) — the court that reviews and authorizes government surveillance — to argue against the government when the requested surveillance is perceived to be overbroad or otherwise in conflict with the law;
  • require that the FISC declassify and release its interpretations of the relevant laws in these cases; and
  • allow Twitter and other service providers to be more transparent about the number, type and scope of government requests for user data.

These proposed changes in the law would give more clarity to service providers about how and when to comply when they receive national security requests for the federal government. Perhaps more importantly, they would give more clarity to users about the services they use, and would better inform the public debate about the use of these powers by the government.

As the legislative process moved forward, significant and unfortunate changes were made to the bill in the House of Representatives. The House-passed bill would still represent a slight improvement over the status quo, but it falls far short of real reform of surveillance practices.

Now, one year after the revelations about surveillance, the Senate has the opportunity to pass a version of the USA Freedom Act that would close the loopholes in the House-passed bill, and help restore the confidence of Internet users domestically and around the world, while keeping citizens safe.

While Congress continues to consider legislative reform, in the marketplace Twitter continues our longstanding policy of providing our users with enhanced security to protect their privacy. For instance, since early 2012, all connections between Twitter users and our servers have been protected by HTTPS. More recently, we implemented TLS forward secrecy to improve the security of our connections, and in early 2013, we implemented DMARC, a way to prevent bad actors from spoofing email to our users. These security measures and practices are important, and other initiatives, such as Reset The Net, highlight the need for improvements across industry and government.

In addition to these efforts, strong legislation is essential to reform. The Congress should pass and the President should sign a strong, meaningful reform bill.

Google’s Project Tango Tablet Is A $1,024 7-Inch Tegra K1-Powered Device With Depth Sensing

tablet-light-1280 Google has added some new development hardware to its Project Tango 3D-depth sensing mobile project – a table development kit made its debut today, boasting a new NVIDIA Tegra K1 processor, 4GB of RAM, 128GB of storage, a 1080p display, stock Android 4.4, WiFi, Bluetooth LE and 4G LTE alongside its two cameras and rear depth sensor for the special depth sensing magic. The tablet… Read More

Facebook Moves to Single-Column Timelines for Pages

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Facebook has announced a plan to revamp the look of Timelines on its Pages, moving to a one-column design more similar to the Timelines on individual profiles. (Quick reminder: Pages are generally public and can be for a person, business, movie, etc., while personal profiles are just for individual use.)

Here's the new design:

New Facebook pages layout

Image: via Daily Dot

This is a little change, but it illustrates that Facebook is making a concerted push to give itself a streamlined, stripped down look. It also further blurs the line between a personal account and a Pages account, which makes sense. Facebook would prefer that its users treat their individual accounts more like Pages anyways, publicly posting and sharing content, so this will help reinforce the idea that Pages aren't so different than regular accounts (which is a lie, Pages are inferior). Read more...

More about Customization, Facebook Pages, Facebook Redesign, Social Media, and Facebook

A Guide to the New Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL)

spam-sandwich-yellowIn late 2013, the new Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) was passed, which goes into effect July 1, 2014.

CASL is more demanding than the U.S. anti-spam law, "CAN-SPAM" -- it's actually more comparable to laws in EU member states like Ireland and Germany. This post will provide you with coverage of some of the highlights of the new legislation. [Read more...]

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