The two companies didn’t offer many details, only saying that users will be able to see Twitter messages on the homescreens of selected Android-based smartphones sometime next year. The collaboration will initially cover Germany, the Netherlands, Romania, Greece and Croatia, the operator said in a statement.
For Twitter the partnership is about increasing its user base, while Deutsche Telekom wants to add value to its devices and remain relevant as subscribers choose to communicate using means other than text messages and phone calls, according to Paolo Pescatore, director at market research company CCS Insight.
As of mid-November there were 230 million Twitter users globally, and 76 percent accessed the service on a mobile device, according to Twitter.
Twitter isn’t the first social networking vendor to work directly with operators and handset makers. Facebook has been the most aggressive, but has struggled to make an impact with smartphones featuring physical Facebook buttons; the most prominent phone integration with Facebook, the HTC First, was not a success.
Pescatore doubts that Twitter will succeed where Facebook struggled. Most users will likely just continue to use existing apps, he said.
Last month, Twitter updated its mobile apps for both Android and Apple’s iOS devices to give users better search tools.
The company also expanded options for marketers, allowing them to choose what smartphone models and OS versions they want to target with advertising.
Deutsche Telekom didn’t comment on plans for working with Twitter on operating systems other than Android.
Apple confirmed the acquisition but would not say why it purchased the company, which specializes in analyzing Twitter data and providing insights into current sentiment on a variety of topics.
The Wall Street Journal, which reported the news earlier, cited people familiar with the deal as saying Apple forked over more than $200 million.
“Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans,” spokeswoman Kristin Huguet said.
Topsy did not respond to requests for comment.
The iPad and iPhone maker often does what it calls “bolt-on” acquisitions, small deals to acquire technology that then gets integrated into existing or future products.
Apple’s main effort in social media has revolved around Ping, a music-centered social sharing network that was at one point integrated into its iTunes app. The service, which lets users post music tracks they liked to a newsfeed, didn’t catch on and was shut down.
But the California gadget maker has been increasingly making it easier for people to share photos, videos and news through its devices and directly to social networks such as Facebook and Twitter.
It also operates iTunes Radio, an online streaming music service that competes with Pandora and could benefit from Topsy’s data on consumer sentiment.
Twitter Inc said it has put in place a security technology that makes it harder to spy on its users and called on other Internet firms to do the same, as Web providers look to thwart spying by government intelligence agencies.
The online messaging service, which began scrambling communications in 2011 using traditional HTTPS encryption, said on Friday it has added an advanced layer of protection for HTTPS known as “forward secrecy.”
“A year and a half ago, Twitter was first served completely over HTTPS,” the company said in a blog posting. “Since then, it has become clearer and clearer how important that step was to protecting our users’ privacy.”
Twitter’s move is the latest response from U.S. Internet firms following disclosures by former spy agency contractor Edward Snowden about widespread, classified U.S. government surveillance programs.
Facebook Inc, Google Inc, Microsoft Corp and Yahoo Inc have publicly complained that the government does not let them disclose data collection efforts. Some have adopted new privacy technologies to better secure user data.
Forward secrecy prevents attackers from exploiting one potential weakness in HTTPS, which is that large quantities of data can be unscrambled if spies are able to steal a single private “key” that is then used to encrypt all the data, said Dan Kaminsky, a well-known Internet security expert.
The more advanced technique repeatedly creates individual keys as new communications sessions are opened, making it impossible to use a master key to decrypt them, Kaminsky said.
“It is a good thing to do,” he said. “I’m glad this is the direction the industry is taking.”
Selfie, which means a photo taken of oneself, usually with a smartphone, and posted on a social network, was called out this year because of its sheer popularity.
“Using the Oxford Dictionaries language research program, which collects around 150 million words of current English in use each month, we can see a phenomenal upward trend in the use of selfie in 2013, and this helped to cement its selection as Word of the Year,” said Judy Pearsall, editorial director for Oxford Dictionaries, in a statement.
Actually, a study conducted by editors at Oxford Dictionaries showed that the frequency of the word “selfie” in the English language increased 17,000% since this time in 2012.
“Selfie can actually be traced back to 2002 when it was used in an Australian online forum,” Oxford Dictionaries noted in a blog .
According to the dictionaries’ editors, this was the first known usage of the word selfie, “Um, drunk at a mates 21st, I tripped ofer [sic] and landed lip first (with front teeth coming a very close second) on a set of steps. I had a hole about 1cm long right through my bottom lip. And sorry about the focus, it was a selfie.”
The word gained momentum throughout the English-speaking world in 2013, evolving from a social media buzzword to mainstream shorthand.
Dictionary editors also noted that the popularity of the word “selfie” can be seen in the number of “spin-off terms” that have cropped up. For instance, a helfie is a picture of one’s hair and a belfie is a picture of one’s posterior.
And a welfie is a workout selfie, while a drelfie is a drunken selfie.
Other contenders for the International Word of the Year included bitcoin, a digital currency, and showrooming, meaning to visit a store to see a product before buying it online at a lower price.
Also making the short list were twerk, which means to dance provocatively in a low, squatting position, along with binge-watch, which means to watch multiple episodes back to back of a television program; and schmeat, a derogatory term for synthetically produced meat from biological tissue.
Twitter Inc announced that it would introduce self-serve ads for small- and medium-sized businesses in three countries outside the United States, marking one of its first moves to expand revenue as a publicly listed company.
Businesses in the United Kingdom, Ireland and Canada will be able to buy “promoted” ads that can be shown to targeted Twitter users, the company said.
Twitter held a successful initial public offering last week that raised $1.8 billion. Its stock price has since soared, implying a market capitalization of more than $24 billion.
Twitter, which made $317 million in revenue in 2012, generates the majority of its sales through selling ad packages directly to large companies and international brands such as Verizon Communications Inc or Samsung Electronics Co Ltd. But analysts believe it has the potential to greatly boost sales by letting smaller businesses buy automated ads without the help of Twitter salespeople.
Google Inc, for instance, became an online advertising powerhouse by automating its ad-buying capabilities for small- and medium-sized business.
Twitter gave U.S. businesses early access to the self-serve program earlier this year. The company has said it intends to eventually roll out the program around the world.
Analysts expect Twitter to make more than $1.1 billion in 2014 revenue, according to Thomson Reuters data.
Instagram may be attmepting to become a photo-heavy version of Twitter, a major rival service. One of the company’s biggest goals is to figure out how to better use the 55 million photos its users upload each day to describe what’s going on in the world, Systrom said at the Gigaom RoadMap conference in San Francisco.
“How do we surface live events overseas, tell you there’s rioting in London, or let you turn to the World Series?” Systrom said in response to a question from Gigaom founder Om Malik about the future of Instagram, during an on-stage chat. “If it’s about what’s happening in the world visually, how do we let you discover that?” Systrom said.
Right now, discovering new content on Instagram is awkward with the site’s existing hashtag and user search functions. “It’s really hard to find the content you want to find without being good at searching through hashtags,” Systrom said.
To achieve its vision, Instagram said it would need to make better use of location and proximity data. To do that, the company needs to balance the need for privacy with the benefits of providing location information to the Instagram app, Systrom said.
“I’m sure all of us would like to see what’s happening across the world as it’s happening, but then you need location data,” he said.
Other ideas on the table for Instagram include new ways to tag different elements in photos — such as products — now that advertisements are part of the service, Systrom said.
Instagram has had strong growth since the company was acquired by Facebook last year. At the time of the acquisition, Instagram had nearly 30 million users and now has 150 million-plus active users. Instagram has around 60 employees inside Facebook, up from about 15 last year, Systrom said.
“We’re going from kind of becoming a business, to actually becoming a business,” Systrom said.
The report by the Pew Research Center in collaboration with the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation was released on Monday. The results are based on a the survey of more than 5,000 U.S. adults including Twitter and Facebook users.
Twitter users who consume news on the platform – defined as information about events and issues that involve more than just family or friends – represent only 8 percent of the U.S. adult population.
Almost half of all U.S. adults on Facebook use the social media platform founded by Mark Zuckerberg to consume news as well, according to a study from the Pew Research Center released two weeks ago. But that group represent nearly one-third of all U.S. adults.
Twitter has about 200 million users worldwide, while Facebook has 1 billion.
The survey also underscores how young people consume news because almost half of Twitter news users are between the ages of 18 and 29.
Breaking news or topics of interest can explode on Twitter with millions of tweets covering events ranging from the Newtown, Connecticut shootings to the Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage.
Twitter just named NBC News digital executive Vivian Schiller as head of news to act as a liaison between Twitter and news organizations.
The network known for short messages of up to 140 characters is preparing to make one of the most closely watched initial public offerings later this week. It raised the price range for its IPO by 25 percent earlier on Monday, valuing the company at up to $13.6 billion.
Tweets have been featured prominently in Bing for a few years, as part of Microsoft’s effort to incorporate plenty of information from sites like Twitter, Facebook and Klout. With a smaller market share, the search engine is far from beating Google but hopes to attract more users by weaving in more social data.
“Whether it’s a politician, celebrity, thought leader or friend, our renewed partnership with Twitter ensures that you have near real-time access to what people are tweeting tailored to what you’re searching for,” Microsoft said in a brief blog post Friday. It didn’t say how long the partnership has been renewed for.
Google is the market leader in search with nearly 67 percent share in the U.S., according to a September comScore ranking. Microsoft was a distant second with roughly 18 percent share, while Yahoo, which uses Bing on the back end, came in third at about 11 percent.
Microsoft gave Bing a makeover of sorts in September. Along with a new look, it created a new results view that merges social posts with factual information about people, places and things.
Competition between Twitter and rivals like Microsoft, Google and Facebook is likely to heat up once the social network goes public on the New York Stock Exchange. But, “we also depend in part on Internet search engines, such as Google, Bing and Yahoo, to drive traffic to our website,” Twitter said in its IPO documents.
IBM is suing microblogging website Twitter over software patents.
Software patents, for the uninitiated, keep lawyers in sportscars and snakeskin shoes. It seems that there isn’t a firm in the information technology industry that isn’t suing or being sued by some other company about some element of intellectual property, and IBM is suing Twitter in the run up to its target’s initial public offering (IPO).
IBM is asserting its rights over US Patent No. 6,957,224, Efficient retrieval of uniform resource locators; US Patent No. 7,072,849, Method for presenting advertising in an interactive service; and US Patent No. 7,099,862, Programmatic discovery of common contacts.
In its most recent filing to the SEC Twitter revealed the IBM lawsuit and its thoughts about it. This is just one of several patent cases that the firm said it is facing, it suggested that it might decide that settling is the smartest move.
“Some of our competitors have substantially greater resources than we do and are able to sustain the costs of complex intellectual property litigation to a greater degree and for longer periods of time than we could,” it said.
“The outcome of any litigation is inherently uncertain, and there can be no assurances that favorable final outcomes will be obtained in all cases. In addition, plaintiffs may seek, and we may become subject to, preliminary or provisional rulings in the course of any such litigation, including potential preliminary injunctions requiring us to cease some or all of our operations. We may decide to settle such lawsuits and disputes on terms that are unfavorable to us.”
Twitter’s response to IBM was that it might be able to challenge IBM’s assertions, but then again, maybe not. It said, “Based upon our preliminary review of these patents, we believe we have meritorious defenses to IBM’s allegations, although there can be no assurance that we will be successful in defending against these allegations or reaching a business resolution that is satisfactory to us.”
We have asked both IBM and Twitter for comment.
A hacker struck the Strait Times of Singapore in response to what he claimed was a misleading article.
The hacker, who called himself “The Messiah”, claimed to be part of the hacktivist collective Anonymous.
He left a note on the Singapore Strait Times website that expressed dissatisfaction with the way that a video protesting the press had been edited and presented by the newspaper.
“Dear ST: You just got hacked for misleading the people!” said the message on the hacked page of the newspaper. This was accompanied by the well known Anonymous mask from V for Vendetta.
The comments posted by the hacker were aimed at both the newspaper and its reporter. “We oppose any form of internet censorship among other things,” they said.
While the video was a protest against the Singapore government the latter part of it was missing, the hacker said, and the newspaper “chose to conveniently modify the sentence ‘war against the Singapore government’ into ‘war against Singapore’” according to the hacker’s statement, which is reproduced on the BBC news website.
“That in our opinion can be very misleading…. The media has also misled our intentions by stating that we had plans to attack the infrastructure of Singapore on the 5th of November,” added the note. “That is ONLY our intention if the internet framework gets implemented. Not otherwise.”
The Straits Times said that the relevant authorities are aware of the threats made in the video, and that they are aimed at the national infrastructure.
The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore said, “We are aware of the video, and the police are investigating the matter.”
“With 540 million people active across Google each month, 300 million people active in just the stream and more than 1.5 billion photos uploaded every week, the Google+ community is growing faster than we ever could have imagined,” wrote Vic Gundotra, a Google senior vice president, in a blog post. “Today’s updates are our way of saying ‘thank you.’ We hope they save you time and help you share your story.”
And in that vein, Google announced improvements to Google+ Hangouts and the photo feature that are aimed at making it easier to message, photo edit and make video calls.
For Hangouts, Google has tried to tweaked the video calling experience, making it full screen across both mobile and desktops and enhancing webcam lighting automatically.
Hangouts for Android now supports location sharing and SMS. “This way you can send a map of your current location versus finding and typing an address, and you can send and receive SMS versus switching between apps,” wrote Gundotra. “Animated GIFs also play inline.”
The Android app and video calling features will be available in a few days, according to Google.
Google is also moving to make it easier to save, organize, edit and share photos and videos on Google+.
Gundotra said with Google+ for iOS, users will have their photos and video automatically backed up as they take them with the addition of full-size backups and background sync.
Google also is using its expertise in search to make it easier for users to find the one photo they’re looking for out of the thousands they’ve taken. Google+ now recognizes 1,000 different objects, including sunsets and snowmen, so users can type in a search for the photo they’re looking for in their photo library.
Other photo updates include automatic enhancements, tools for editing on the go, and the ability to erase unwanted moving objects , such as a car in the background, from a photo.
Based on an assumed initial public offering price of $18.50 — the midpoint of the range — Twitter estimates the net proceeds from the sale of shares of common stock will be roughly $1.25 billion, the company said in documentsfiled with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
Some 80.5 million shares of common stock will be registered, according to the filing.
Releasing its IPO price range positions Twitter to begin its “road show,” seeking to raise funds from investors across the country. In documents filed last week, the company said it would list its shares under the ticker symbol TWTR on the New York Stock Exchange, representing a big win for the market over rival Nasdaq.
Twitter has yet to determine a date for the listing, though one report suggested Nov. 15 could be the day.
Twitter’s IPO is likely to be one of the hottest of the year and the most prominent in social media since Facebook went public last year. Twitter’s share price range will be markedly lower than Facebook’s, which priced its IPO at $38 per share.
Twitter filed for its highly anticipated public offering earlier this month.
While Chinese hackers are famous for taking on other people’s governments, it appears that one of them has broken ranks to take out Glorious People’s Republic’s Twitter site.
China’s state broadcaster CCTV deleted a tweet claiming the country’s president had set up a special unit to probe corruption accusations against a former domestic security chief. The tweet referred to an article in Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post newspaper. CCTV said that the Twitter account was hacked on October 21 and used illegally to post incorrect information copied from other sources.
The Tweet said that President Xi Jinping has set up a special unit to investigate corruption allegations against the retired leader Zhou Yongkang. The South China Morning Post, had said Zhou was being investigated for corruption. But sources have told Reuters he was helping in a graft probe, rather than being targeted himself.
Twitter is blocked in China but some state media have set up accounts in an apparent bid to reach foreign audiences. The hack would have had little impact as the account only has 2,480 followers, in contrast to the 9.9 million followers of its main account on Sina Weibo, China’s version of Twitter.
The move will benefit Zuckerberg’s interests at two levels. With Facebook keenly emphasising its mobile credentials, the Onavo service could persuade doubters that it’s time to give the service a go.
Meanwhile his Internet.org initiative plans to bring internet connectivity to the parts that other means just can’t reach. Compression technology might make Facebook a viable option in parts of the developing world where data is an expensive luxury, while for the rest of us the prospect of lower roaming charges might be enticing.
As well as being a new subsidiary of Facebook, Onavo will become a satellite office for Facebook in Tel Aviv, the first time it has had a direct presence in Israel. So far there’s no information on how much money has changed hands, but figures of between $100m and $200m have been mentioned.
In a blog post, Onavo said, “We’re excited to join their team, and hope to play a critical role in reaching one of Internet.org’s most significant goals – using data more efficiently, so that more people around the world can connect and share.
“When the transaction closes, we plan to continue running the Onavo mobile utility apps as a standalone brand. As always, we remain committed to the privacy of people who use our application and that commitment will not change.”
However, we might speculate that the technology involved could also be integrated into mobile Facebook apps to make them more data efficient, luring more people to share their lives as they live them.
On Wednesday the financial research company PrivCo released a report that, by using deduction, came to the conclusion that Twitter, at one point, was shooting for an IPO date of Nov. 15.
PrivCo’s analyst was based on an earlier version of Twitter’s public S-1 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, recently made public. In it, the social network said that the deadline for employees to sell restricted stock to cover tax obligations was Feb. 15, 2014. Because this lock-up period is typically 90 days after an IPO, that means Twitter was planning to go public on Nov. 15, PrivCo said.
By giving the Feb. 15 lock-up date in that previous document, “Twitter’s IPO advisors slipped up,” PrivCo said.
PrivCo’s analysis was based on an earlier draft of Twitter’s IPO filing, so the company may very well have adjusted its timeline for going public since then. The social network could not be immediately reached to comment on PrivCo’s report.
Twitter’s documents for its highly anticipated IPO became public last week. In them, the company said it would be listing on the Nasdaq Global Select Market or the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “TWTR,” but it did not say when it would be making its initial public offering.
PrivCo’s analysis does jive with some other reports saying that Twitter is shooting to begin trading before Thanksgiving.
Twitter’s initial filing was submitted confidentially to the SEC under the JOBS (Jumpstart Our Business Startups) Act so it could prepare its paperwork out of the public eye. The company said via tweet on Sept. 12 that it had filed plans for an IPO, but the actual paperwork was likely submitted much earlier than that.