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The week in social: Meerkat off Twitter, feeling fat, and Lasso

Facebook introduces topic data app

Facebook has teamed up with DataSift to finally allow users to dissect what people are actually saying about brands, events, and various activities. Topic data will help further communicate the value of social media. Facebook user content such as status messages will be used for ad targeting, and the topical data will allow Facebook advertisers to learn more about their audience and create more relevant ads. In turn, advertisers will want to invest even more into Facebook ads. For now, data will primarily be limited to only partners of DataSift in the U.S. and U.K.

Read more on AdWeek.

VaporChat gives users full control of their texts

Last week VaporChat launched its mobile messaging app, which positions itself as the “first mobile platform to allow senders to be in total control over anything they send.” The app is said to be a departure from other messaging apps due to the amount of settings available for a user to control their content. One example of this is the ability to delete messages or even entire conversations from not only their own device but the recipient’s device as well. Users also have the option to chat in “vapor” mode, which provides a self-destructing conversation timer. Unlike many other “disappearing” messaging apps, users can also prevent a recipient from copying or saving anything they receive.

Read more on TechCrunch.

Apple Watch details released

Pricing and release details for the highly anticipated Apple Watch have been released. The Apple Watch will be available for pre-order online and in-store April 10, roughly two weeks before it goes on sale April 24. The ‘Watch’ edition will be available from $ $700 – $1400, depending on the size and band combination. It is said to endure small amounts of water submersion and will feature touch-screen navigation. The Apple Watch will also come equipped with Siri as well as heart rate and calorie measurements. For some, battery issues may be an immediate question for concern, however Apple CEO asserts that the watch will last 18 hours on average. Notifications are touted to be one of the major features of the app, allowing users to stay in touch via email and social apps.

Read more on The Inquirer.

Verizon Wireless named Facebook’s most socially devoted brand in February

According to a recent infographic by Socialbakers, Verizon Wireless has been named the most socially devoted brand on Facebook for February. A few metrics that factor into this title include response time, response rate and the difference of answered minus unanswered questions (AMUQ). Socialbakers also found that retail edged the food category as the industry with the most Facebook likes. Disney remained the top media brand while Walmart still holds its place as the top brand on Facebook with over 32 million likes. The top brand on Twitter was Starbucks while the e-marketplace Etsy came on top for Twitter interactions.

Read more on AdWeek.

WhatsApp hits 1 billion Android downloads

Last week, mobile messaging app WhatsApp became the second non-Google app in history (besides Facebook) to hit 1 billion installs on Android devices. This comes slightly over a year since Facebook bought Whatsapp for $16 billion. The milestone makes WhatsApp the most popular mobile messaging app on the market.


YouTube now supports 360-degree video

YouTube has announced its support of 360-degree videos, a feature largely geared towards action-oriented content such as sports. One of the main features of these types of videos is the ability to show an entire scene, allowing content creators to capture even more within their videos. The amount of 360-degree clips is expected to grow with the popularity of 360-degree camera systems coming to market. One unique aspect of this feature is the ability to provide users with a “choose-your-own-adventure” video, where content is viewed based on where the viewer is looking.

Read more on The Verge.

Meerkat cut off from Twitter graph

The increasingly popular live video-streaming app, Meerkat, was abruptly cut off from Twitter’s social graph. This came merely hours before the SXSW interactive conference, where Meerkat was positioned to be the next big tech app featured. A few drawbacks come as a result of this decision, including the inability for users to immediately see their map of friends while streaming. Users will also receive fewer push notifications when friends begin streaming their videos via Meerkat. Despite the hitch, many see this as a evidence of Meerkat’s popularity and potential to dominate as a video streaming app.

Read more on The Verge.

Twitter to launch second screen TV experience

It comes as little surprise that one of the main portals of television conversations will soon launch a “second-screen” experience. This means that users who tweet show-related hashtags will be prompted with a message to try out Twitter TV Timelines. The timelines will present the viewer with an aggregation of all of that show’s related content, including photos, videos and more. This is Twitter’s solution to cutting through any non-TV noise and giving Twitter users more content relevant to their favorite shows.

Read more on Mashable.

“Feeling Fat” offends

Catherine Weingarten of international local-global initiative Endangered Bodies took offense to the “feeling fat” option on Facebook. After launching a petition on for the social network to remove that option, Facebook released a statement promising to remove this as an option for status updates, “which could reinforce negative body image.”

Read more on USA Today.

Photobucket buys Lasso

Photobucket recently announced the acquisition of Lasso, a private photo-sharing and chat app. The app was originally designed to simplify the process of requesting photos from family and friends. Along with this deal one of Photobucket’s original founders, Alex Welch, will return as a co-founder to serve as adviser to Photobucket. The deal also includes a combination of cash and stock. Specific terms are not being disclosed.

Read more on The Denver Post.

Snapchat wants to feature March Madness games

Snapchat is reportedly in talks to acquire the necessary rights to feature NCAA basketball games during the Final Four. With the launch of the “discover” media tab, the app has renewed its image as a valuable platform for both users and brands.

Read more on Fast Company.

Alibaba invests in Snapchat

Online shopping network Alibaba is preparing to invest $200 million into the infamous self-destructing messaging app Snapchat, with a valuation of $15 billion. Alibaba, second to Amazon as largest e-commerce company worldwide, looks to further expand into entertainment and social networks. According to Bloomberg, the investment in Snapchat would grow Alibaba’s total equity investments to $6.3 billion in the past 12 months.

Read more on The Next Web.