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Twitter launches targeted ads based on user interests

Twitter announced on Thursday its plans to add interest based user targeting for promoted tweets. Interest areas range from ‘TV and Movies’ to ‘Pets’ and ‘Science’. Each interest area then breaks out into a series of sub categories, leaving advertisers with over 350 targeting options. What Twitter have not said is how they’re categorising people although it’s likely to be a combination of followed profiles, tweets and users’ own profile data.

Read more on TNW.

Obama’s Reddit Q&A sets records

Obama’s ‘Ask me Anything’ session on Reddit hit 4 million registrations and over 200,000 concurrent users, nearly doubling Reddit’s previous biggest traffic day. The thread also amassed over 24,000 comments.

Adam Fletcher, deputy press secretary for Obama for America said “More than 40 million people use Reddit every month and the President’s ‘Ask Me Anything’ session was a great opportunity to answer questions from this group directly,”

As a result of the session, the Obama campaign said more than 25,000 people registered to vote.

Wolfram|Alpha launches analytics for Facebook

Although you may not be familiar with Wolfram|Alpha, you’ll be familiar with Apple’s Siri which is powered by the computational knowledge engine. Now Wolfram|Alpha is turning attention to Facebook. With its new analytics tool, you’ll be able to see what words you use most, what times of day you’re most active on the platform, who likes your updates most, how many of your friends are married etc.

Read more on TechCrunch and the Wolfram|Alpha blog

Romney uses Twitter promoted trends to boost election campaign

Romney’s digital team have been spending big on Twitter as part the presidential wannabe’s White House push. Leveraging the #BelieveInAmerica hashtag, it’s the first time a presidential campaign has ever used this Twitter in this way to get a message across.

More on Clickz.

Del.icio.us founder launches Human.io

Joshua Schachter, who created the social-bookmarking service Delicious, has now released Human.io, which he’s calling a platform for micro-task collaboration.

His blog post from Thursday explains;

“Human.io lends itself to small, simple tasks: Vote on an item, take a picture of a storefront, etc. It allows you to script with humans as easily as you would script with software. It also offers easy access to the sensors on the phone: GPS, camera, and so on.

The architecture borrows from Twilio: The developer sends UI widgets to the client, receives HTTP callbacks when their users perform actions, and then responds with more UI widgets. You can easily run apps from behind a firewall, on your laptop, or otherwise without opening a port on the firewall.”

Still unclear what it is? I don’t blame you. To help, Human.io have released a sample app by means of demonstration – a photo scavenger hunt.

Facebook intros phone and email based targeting

Businesses will soon be able to upload customer email addresses, phone numbers, and user IDs to Facebook and match Facebookers that have used this data in their personal profiles. Businesses will then be able to target ads at those individuals and offer special deals.

To do all this Facebook needs to splice together two sets of data. For security, all data will be ‘hashed’ meaning the business and Facebook doesn’t get access to data on each side of the splice for data protection reasons.

More on Inside Facebook.

Twitter launches certified products program

Twitter launched its new certified products program with 12 partners including Gnip, Radian6 and Topsy. There are three areas of certification, engagement, analytics and data reselling.

Twitter’s Seth Bindernagel comments on the Twitter blog;

“Thanks to the Twitter ecosystem, brands, publishers, nonprofits, governments and others have products that help them engage with and understand their audience so they can flourish on Twitter. With this program, we’ve identified areas where we see huge demand for innovation on Twitter’s platform.”

“We’re launching today with 12 partners, and this is just the start. If you have a unique product that fits in at least one of the product verticals, solves a market need and has the potential for a large impact, please get in touch.”

Read more on the Twitter blog and Mashable social.

Internet’s best cat video revealed at film festival

Obviously the biggest news in social over the last week. Lucky attendees got to watch 79 finalist videos on a big outdoor display selected from over 10,0000 entries with the grand prix ‘top cat’ announced on Friday. And the worthy winner, with approaching 3.5 million views, was Henri 2, Paw de Deux.

Twitter hits back at fake profile claims

As covered in the last few week’s week in social posts, Status People have kicked up a healthy debate around the validity of some of Twitter’s big number profiles. According to the tool, 71% of Lady Gaga’s 29 million followers are fake and only 30% of Obama’s followers are what it considers ‘good’ profiles.

Twitter has come out on the defensive against the allegations, explaining that Twitter do not judge active users by whether they tweet, with around 50% of all accounts being passive consumers rather than active posters. Instead Twitter regard activity based upon the frequency of logins rather than the frequency of postings. This is data only Twitter can see so third party apps are not able to measure this.

Twitter spokeperson Carolyn Penner commented: “Identifying [fake] accounts on Twitter is complicated. Our process for doing so involves a wide range of data and signals only available internally and allows us to suspend accounts that are engaging in spam behavior while minimizing impact on legitimate accounts – including accounts that are used to consume content rather than share it.”

Read more on BuzzFeed.

MTV launch most share worthy category at upcoming Video Music Awards

MTV has added a new category in the Video Music Award list which will be announced live on air on Sept 8th. Picking a winner will be based upon social sharing and anyone can vote in the category using Twitter hashtags and see what’s winning in real time. So far One Direction are in the lead with over 15 million shares.

Go and vote for your favourite over on the MTV Awards site.

Twitter no longer displays details of third party apps

Continuing the smack down on its ecosystem of third party Twitter clients and apps, Twitter has removed the name of the app used to create the tweet in the tweet display. Clearly Twitter doesn’t want to give unwanted air time and publicity to these clients and the un-announced move signals a growing determination to have users’ Twitter experience controlled by Twitter itself – mainly so it can make more money in ads.

More on Gizmodo.

Flipboard passes 20 million users in 8 months

And to celebrate, Flipboard has released this shiny infographic delving into its users and their behaviours.

Fribi helps you give away unwanted stuff

Fribi is an app that allows users to swap and share unwanted items with other people in their area. You can send out Fribis to everyone, just people you know or friends on Facebook.

Morten Isachsen, CEO and co-founder of Fribi says: “We store a lot of things away in our closets, garages and basements until they get so old and outdated that we end up throwing them in the garbage anyway. The Fribi service was initially made for our neighborhood in Oslo (Norway), but we decided to go for it, put our own resources into a project group and establish a new company.”

Fribi’s not gained traction outside Norway although it has just received a 100k grant from Innovation Norway and is expected to take on funding soon.

Clint’s ’empty chair’ speech sparks #Eastwooding meme

At Friday’s Republican convention, Clint Eastwood gave a surprise speech where he appeared on stage talking to an invisible Barack Obama in an empty chair for a full eight minutes. The social web exploded in a lobby of spoof homages of people (and their pets) ‘telling it’ to an empty chair.

Obama responded swiftly with the following image posted to his official Facebook presence, receiving over 430,000 Likes and 28,000 comments.

Well worth a standing ovation.

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