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New Stilly app takes on Vine

Stilly is a new app that lets users record and share animated GIFs to Tumblr. David Karp is a big fan, calling the new app “addictive”.

To create the animated GIF, users simply record it on their mobile phone and, after recording, the app prompts the user to share the GIF via Tumblr or text message.

Stilly is currently only available on iOS. Download Stilly via the Apple app store.

TweetDeck founder departs the Twitter nest

TweetDeck founder Iain Dodsworth announced this week that he is going to be leaving Twitter after two years, saying it “now feels like a perfect time to start something new.”

The news has prompted speculation that TweetDeck is on the way out. Twitter (which acquired Tweetdeck in 2011) has already shut down the iPhone, Android, and AIR versions but insists that the web version is its focus going forward.

Lyft expands to Boston

Last week, peer-to-peer ride-share company Lyft took in $60 million in funding; this week it announced a new market – Boston. The company claims it is just at the beginning of a global expansion, with more launches over the coming weeks and months.

Twitter Lists get expanded

Twitter has announced an expansion of its Lists feature and significantly improved Lists’ previous limitations.

Users can now make up to 1,000 lists, instead of the previous 20. Each list can now have as many as 5,000 accounts – 4,500 more than the previous limit of 500.

Tumblr adds sponsored posts to desktop

Tumblr introduced sponsored posts to mobile apps last month and this week it integrated the same ads into its web dashboard. Advertisers include Viacom, Ford, Universal, Capital One, AT&T and Denny’s.

Tumblr users will be able to reblog, like, follow and share these ads and the brands themselves directly from the web dash. Tumblr has promised its user base that each user will only be served up to four sponsored posts per day.

Read the brief announcement on the Tumblr blog.
HootSuite launches social media security services

In the past few months, some big names like The Onion, the FT, E! Online, the BBC, Agence France-Press, Burger King, and Jeep have all had their profiles hacked in social media. To combat the trend, HootSuite has announced it is launching HootSuite Security Services to help brands get ahead of the hackers and social media attacks. The service includes a social asset audit by social media security experts, secure profiles and instant denial of access to social media accounts following hackings.

Add-on services include crisis training and simulation, which provide a review of brands’ current crisis response plans, employee training, and simulation of a social media crisis for hands-on training.

“Our social channels are fast becoming the voice of our organization and for that reason we need to protect them, in the same way we protect our brand. The HootSuite Security Services are solid means of taking that protection into our own hands. From simple password and account security best practices, to more complex measures like the crisis simulation, we feel more secure knowing our social profiles have been through the certification process,” said Nick Culo, VP of corporate communications.
Trendrr launches real-time curation offering

This week, social TV analytics firm (and 1000heads’ next door neighbour in NYC) Trendrr launched a new product called Curatorr. Curatorr enables Trendrr’s clients to roll out real-time Twitter experiences on TV, mobile apps and other digital screens.

The product offers real-time curation and filtering features for Twitter, which can be extended using Curatorr’s API to TV, apps and web pages. Trendrr has also created a studio services team to help create display experiences for its clients, which have included ABC, Telemundo and Bravo.

“Curatorr removes barriers to integrating real-time audience engagement with television programs, websites and apps. It simplifies the workflow, allowing content producers and marketers to easily create compelling experiences,” says Trendrr CEO Mark Ghuneim.
Twitter visualizes every geotagged tweet since 2009 on maps

On Friday, Twitter released some amazing visuals on its blog – various world maps overlaid with every geotagged tweet since 2009.

The maps are of Europe, New York City, Tokyo and Istanbul from the air. Every dot represents a tweet, with the brighter colors showing a higher concentration of tweets.

* Geotagged tweets from Europe

* Geotagged tweets from Istanbul

Check out the Twitter Flickr profile to see more.
Waze upgrades include integration with Facebook Events

Waze announced a series of upgrades this week including integration with Facebook Events. The app will remind users of planned events this summer and help organize large groups driving to weddings, concerts or road trips. RSVPing to a Facebook Event will trigger directions at the appropriate time. Waze will also use crowdsourcing to check the roads for the quickest, least-trafficked routes as well.


Is Twitter about to launch an ad exchange?

According to AdAge, Twitter is planning on implementing an ad exchange similar to FBX, to allow brands to retarget people who visit their sites after seeing ads on Twitter.

eMarketer’s VP of Communications Clark Fredricksen comments: “More advertisers today are ready to make bigger bets with retargeting and exchange-based buying because they’re up to speed with Facebook or Google or Yahoo or AOL. The fact that some of the major advertising publishers have been doing that for a little while means that new players to the market can court advertisers with some experience doing this.”
Grumpy Cat goes Hollywood

Ben Lashes, talent manager in Los Angeles and Grumpy Cat’s agent, has negotiated a movie deal with Broken Road Productions. Rumours are it will be a Garfield-esque affair, where GC actually speaks.

Grumpy Cat was also in New York this week to promote her upcoming book, Grumpy Cat: A Grumpy Book: Disgruntled Tips and Activities Designed to Put a Frown on Your Face, at BookExpo America.

Impressed? I didn’t think so. Read more on the Time Newsfeed.
Pinterest lifts ban on nude images

Pinterest announced this week that it will allow more nude images to be published on its platform. The online pinboard site said that it was responding to complaints from artists and photographers against its strict no nudity policy. “Pinterest is about expressing your passions and people are passionate about art and that may include nudes. So we’re going to try to accommodate that,” the company told the FT.

Until now, Pinterest’s pinning etiquette and content policies have banned all images that contain “nudity, partial nudity or pornography.”

Read more on the FT.
Facebook adds verified pages

This week, Facebook launched verified pages in the same as Twitter’s verified accounts. These pages will now have a blue check mark beside the name of the brand or celebrity in the timeline, in search results and in news feed ads.

A Facebook spokeswoman said it was integrating verified pages to “make it easier for people to find and engage with businesses and brands”.

Read more on Marketing.
Twitter updates Android and iOS apps

Twitter updated its iOS and Android apps on Wednesday. Changes include improving the photo uploading experience and making it easier to switch between multiple accounts.

Now, when upoading an image, uses will see a full preview of the photo rather than a cropped version. Images are also easier to upload by using a button to the bottom right of the tweet composition field.

When creating a new tweet, users’ avatars and usernames will now appear on the page, too and people with multiple linked Twitter accounts can toggle between the two by simply tapping on the avatar.

Read the full review of the upgrades via the LA Times.
Get a #spaceselfie for $25

This week Planetary Resources, an asteroid-mining venture backed by James Cameron, Eric Schmidt and Larry Page, announced that it is raising $1 million to build a small space telescope via Kickstarter. The primary revenue stream will be what Planetary Resources calls the #spaceselfie. For $25, customers can upload a picture of themselves to display on the Arkyd, take a photo of it with the Earth in the background, and have a high-res image from the telescope sent back.

Brilliant! Read more on Fast Company.
Is Twitter launching a custom audiences competitor?

According to rumours, Twitter is developing a rival custom audiences tool to wrestle ad revenue from Facebook. The tool will let marketers use email addresses to identify and target Twitter users who match up with a company’s own customer lists. Twitter will be hoping the move will help it reach its goal of $1 billion in sales next year.
Facebook updates policy on offensive posts after consumer pressure

Facebook has admitted that its policy of dealing with hate speech is not working. In response it has outlined how it will deal with offensive content following a campaign targeting advertisers on the website.

The campaign was organised by a coalition including Women, Action & the Media and the Everyday Sexism project. The campaign encouraged Facebook users to contact advertisers whose ads appeared next to content promoting violence against women, asking them to withdraw their advertising on Facebook.

In a statement, Facebook admitted that: “In recent days, it has become clear that our systems to identify and remove hate speech have failed to work as effectively as we would like, particularly around issues of gender-based hate. In some cases, content is not being removed as quickly as we want.”

Facebook has pledged that its new approach aims to shut down offensive pages with greater speed and to make publishers accountable.

The coalition behind the campaign says its supporters sent 60,000 tweets and 5,000 emails in the space of a week, and has given Facebook’s pledges the thumbs up.

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