Twitter is rolling out two-step verification. The two-factor authentication sends a six-digit code to a user's mobile phone for an extra authentication measure in addition to the email and password login. TechCrunch notes that large organizations may have problems with the new security features as they may have multiple people using a Twitter account and only one person has the phone.
The new option follows numerous hacked accounts, including a hack of the AP Twitter in April that caused the stock market to temporarily drop after a fake tweet was posted claiming the White House had been attacked.
Yahoo has gone through with its rumored acquisition of Tumblr, a popular blogging platform. Reuters reports that Yahoo paids $1.1 billion for Tumblr. Tumblr calls Yahoo the "original Internet company" in its post about the acquisition.
Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer boasts about Tumblr's size in her post about the acquisition. She notes Tumblr has 50 billion blog posts and adds 75 million each day. She also notes Tumblr has 300 million monthly unique visitors. There are over 100 million blogs on Tumblr. This means Yahoo paid about $3.6 per visitor or $11 per blog to acquire Tumblr.
Tumblr CEO David Karp said in a statement, "Our team isn't changing. Our roadmap isn't changing. And our mission – to empower creators to make their best work and get it in front of the audience they deserve – certainly isn't changing. But we're elated to have the support of Yahoo! and their team who share our dream to make the Internet the ultimate creative canvas. Tumblr gets better faster with more resources to draw from."
Rumors are swirling that Yahoo will acquire Tumblr, one of the most popular blogging platforms. Tumblr says it is currently home to 108 million blogs with over 50 billion posts. AllThingsD reports that the Yahoo board will meet Sunday night to consider a $1.1 billion Tumblr acquisition.
CNBC tweeted that Yahoo is planning to hold a product-related news event Monday night in New York City. Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer plans to speak at the event.
The Verge notes that Bloomberg reports that the press event is about a Flickr update. However, it could be a Flickr update, plus the Tumblr acquisition if the Yahoo board approves the rumored deal.
There has been a violent protest against "blasphemous blogging" in Bangladesh. RT News reports that thirty people were killed in the violent protests by radical Islamists angry about blogging they think is blasphemous. As many as 200,000 people were involved in the protests in the Motijheel commercial district, which included starting fires in stores and vehicles. The protesters are angry about people allegedly using blogs for spreading atheism. The protesters want these bloggers executed.
The protesters are very serious about their calls for executing bloggers. There were similar, but smaller protest in February according to BBC News. A blogger was murdered outside his home during those protests.
There is a blasphemy law in Bangladesh, see here. Islam became the state religion in 1988.
The Cheezburger network is cutting 24 jobs, which is about 35% of its workforce. The company is known for sites like Fail Blog, Daily What and off course, LOL Cats and other LOL animals at I Can Has Cheezburger.
GeekWire reports that the job cuts come as the network is dealing with how people view content, from on website to over mobile devices. Ad rates tend to be smaller over mobile devices. Facebook also suffered from a problem with mobile ads when its stock plunged shortly after its IPO.
Cheezburger CEO Ben Huh said in a statement, "Eliminating these positions was a difficult decision. For Cheezburger to fulfill its promise, we need to be nimble and innovate on one platform optimized for any device, everywhere. Bringing our team in-house and streamlining operations will help us realize that vision."
The network still has a couple Seattle positions listed on its job site.
The Twitter account used by the Associated Press, @AP, was hacked today. The hackers sent out a false tweet saying that there had been an attack at the White House and that President Obama had been injured.
The AP's Twitter account has been temporarily suspended. The AP's @AP_Politics Twitter says, "All, AP's Twitter accounts will be suspended until we can be assured of their security. Do not respond to any news posted by these accounts."
The AP released the following statement: "The (at)AP twitter account has been hacked. The tweet about an attack at the White House is false. We will advise more as soon as possible."
The market drop of around 140 points was short-lived, but the incident does show a hacked tweet can have an impact. Hackers could hack the account of a major company, use it to spread negative news and positive news and potentially profit from the stock's rise or fall on the market.
A study conducted by researchers from the University of Cambridge has found that your Facebook Likes can reveal personal information and personality traits, including race, age, sexuality, political views and more. The researchers analyzed a dataset of over 58,000 US Facebook users.
The researchers created some statistical models able to predict personal details using Facebook Likes alone. Here are some details about the accuracy of the models:
88% accurate for determining male sexuality
95% accurate distinguishing African-American from Caucasian American
85% accurate differentiating Republican from Democrat
Christians and Muslims were correctly classified in 82% of cases
Relationship status and substance abuse was between 65 and 73% accurate
Wether a Facebook users' parents separated before the user reached the age of 21 were accurate to 60%
Michal Kosinski, Operations Director at the Cambridge Psychometrics Centre, said in a statement, "We believe that our results, while based on Facebook Likes, apply to a wider range of online behaviours. Similar predictions could be made from all manner of digital data, with this kind of secondary 'inference' made with remarkable accuracy - statistically predicting sensitive information people might not want revealed. Given the variety of digital traces people leave behind, it's becoming increasingly difficult for individuals to control."
Unfortunately, sharing online will continue to become increasingly revealing. You could always "Like" some stuff you hate just to throw the bots off track, but you might confuse your Facebook friends.
Twitter has announced the launch of a Twttr, a vowel-free version of Twitter and plans to start charging for the regular (now premium) Twitter. The image above shows a Twttr version of President Obama's most-retweeted "Four More Years" tweet.
Starting today, we are shifting to a two-tiered service: Everyone can use our basic service, Twttr, but you only get consonants. For five dollars a month, you can use our premium "Twitter" service which also includes vowels.
We're doing this because we believe that by eliminating vowels, we'll encourage a more efficient and "dense" form of communication.
YouTube says it now gets more than a billion unique users every single month. There are about 7 billion on Earth, so over 14% of the humans on Earth visit YouTube each month. YouTube also shared the following facts about its massive usership:
Nearly one out of every two people on the Internet visits YouTube.
Our monthly viewership is the equivalent of roughly ten Super Bowl audiences.
If YouTube were a country, we'd be the third largest in the world after China and India.
PSY and Madonna would have to repeat their Madison Square Garden performance in front of a packed house 200,000 more times. That’s a lot of Gangnam Style!
For those curious as to what is popular on YouTube, a good resource is the YouTube Trends Dashboard. The dashboard lets you see what is popular by cities and countries as well as by age groups and gender.
Google has announced a new round of spring cleaning, which includes Google Reader, an RSS reader launched by Google in 2005. Google says usage of the reader has been on the decline.
We launched Google Reader in 2005 in an effort to make it easy for people to discover and keep tabs on their favorite websites. While the product has a loyal following, over the years usage has declined. So, on July 1, 2013, we will retire Google Reader. Users and developers interested in RSS alternatives can export their data, including their subscriptions, with Google Takeout over the course of the next four months.
The last day for Google Reader will be July 1, 2013. Google explains here how you can download a copy of all your Reader data using Google Takeout.
The use of social networks and tablet apps to get updates about new content likely helped curb the growth of RSS readers. Some old-style replacement RSS reader possibilities for Google Reader include Bloglines, NewsBlur and The Older Reader. Marketing Land has a list of more RSS reader alternatives.
Posterous has announced that it is shutting down to focus on Twitter. The blogging platform and apps will no longer be available:
On April 30th, we will turn off posterous.com and our mobile apps in order to focus 100% of our efforts on Twitter. This means that as of April 30, Posterous Spaces will no longer be available either to view or to edit.
Posterous is giving users until April 30 to backup their Posterous Spaces. You can click "Request Backup" to get your data. Posters says you can go to https://posterous.com/#backup to get that backup.
Posterous was a good blogging platform when it was active. It was acquired by Twitter last March. Meanwhile, Posterous co-founder Garry Tan has launched a new site called Posthaven that charges $5 a month.
Blogger Andrew Sullivan is leaving The Daily Beast and returning his blog to his website, andrewsullivan.com. Sullivan decided to go with a paid blogging model. In the announcement, Sullivan said the decision not to use advertising on the relocated blog was the hardest.
The decision on advertising was the hardest, because obviously it provides a vital revenue stream for almost all media products. But we know from your emails how distracting and intrusive it can be; and how it often slows down the page painfully. And we're increasingly struck how advertising is dominated online by huge entities, and how compromising and time-consuming it could be for so few of us to try and lure big corporations to support us. We're also mindful how online ads have created incentives for pageviews over quality content.
Sullivan went with an initial annual subscription price of $19.99 a year for his blog, the Dish. He is well on his way to having a successful paid blog. In just 24 hours, The Dish obtained about 12,000 paid subscribers and brought in about $333,000.
Venture Beat reports that Sullivan estimates he needs about $900,000 in revenues a year to run his blog ad-free at its current level of content. Venture Beat also says Sullivan has partnered with Tinypass for site metering services.
The Library of Congress announced it has an archive of 170 billion tweets that goes back to 2006. The archive grows by nearly half a billion tweets a day. Unfortunately, there is no way yet for the public to access the enormous tweet database.
The Library's focus now is on addressing the significant technology challenges to making the archive accessible to researchers in a comprehensive, useful way. These efforts are ongoing and a priority for the Library.
Twitter is a new kind of collection for the Library of Congress but an important one to its mission. As society turns to social media as a primary method of communication and creative expression, social media is supplementing, and in some cases supplanting, letters, journals, serial publications and other sources routinely collected by research libraries.
It should not be a surprise that the Library of Congress has not yet come up with a way to share the information as even Twitter itself only allows searching of recent tweets. Twitter did recently add a feature that lets you download your Twitter archive.
The Library of Congress has the tweets, but it is in a very raw form according to a Washington Poststory. Deputy Librarian of Congress Robert Dizard Jr. told the Post, "People expect fully indexed - if not online searchable - databases, and that's very difficult to apply to massive digital databases in real time."
There is also a controversy of whether to display deleted tweets. Some argue that the Library of Congress should display them in its database. How this is resolves remain to be seen. It will be sometime before the database itself is seen at all as the LOC does not have the technology yet to display it.
Jeremiah Warren compiled this video of the events of 2012 using tweets. Warren says he used Storify to make the 2012 tweet story, which has tweets on everything from the death of Lonesome George to the Facebook IPO. Take a look:
The Pope now has a Twitter account, @Pontifex. The Pope has also started tweeting on Dec. 12, 2012. The Pope wrote in his first tweet, "Dear friends, I am pleased to get in touch with you through Twitter. Thank you for your generous response. I bless all of you from my heart."
The pope also wrote several other tweets on Dec. 12th. The Pope already has over 1.1 million followers. Here is a video of the Pope's first tweet: