Tag Archive | "tweets"

Twitter Makes In-Browser Notifications Official

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Twitter today officially announced that it would start to offer in-browser notifications — as we wrote yesterday, noticing a test of the feature. “When you’re logged in on twitter.com, you will receive notifications if someone has replied, favorited or retweeted one of your Tweets. You can also receive notifications for direct messages and new followers,” Michael Ducker of… Read More

Article courtesy of TechCrunch

YC-Backed Vidpresso Offers Low-Cost Tools For Adding Tweets And Ads To Broadcast TV

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Vidpresso wants to change the way that TV producers insert media into their broadcasts, with a low-cost, software-based solution that could fundamentally change their cost structure. At just $500 a month, the company is already giving producers tools to insert Tweets and Facebook messages on TV. Next up: ads. Read More

Article courtesy of TechCrunch

Twitter Toys With Ways To Boost Engagement With ‘@AchievementBird’ Experiment

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Twitter has begun experimenting with an account, called @AchievementBird, that will direct message you ‘achievements’ that you earn with your tweets. The account is protected but has granted follows in the past few days.

Once you’re on the list, the account will occasionally send you messages about how one of your tweets has performed. Xero engineer Owen Williams noted the account on Twitter, as well as a couple of the messages that he had received so far:

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One of my tweets was ‘used in an article’ and AchievementBird notified me of the fact. When I clicked on the link, the relatively new ‘Related headlines’ feature showed me exactly where the tweet had been used.

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Another Twitter experimental account called @magicheadlines is likely related to this effort, as it claims to let you ‘See where tweets are embedded around the web’. Though it could have some wider applications as a digest of ‘news-worthy’ tweets.

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When asked for comment Twitter referred us to the blog post on its continuing experimentation efforts.

It appears that AchievementBird is tapping into Twitter’s analytics package to surface the results of user tweets. Though it rolled out analytics to business users and verified users first, anyone can now get access to the page using their ‘ads’ dashboard.

If you haven’t seen it, this is what it looks like:

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If you’re a frequent tweeter, you’ll have some stats stacked up about RTs, favorites, followers and more. I’ve talked before about how Twitter is experimenting with an account called @magistats, which appears to measure the popularity of tweets by velocity. In that piece I mentioned that third-party Twitter engagement tracker Favstar is one of my go-to sites on a daily basis.

One of the features that Favstar offers is accounts that hit you up when your tweets have passed fav milestones like ’50′ or ’100′. It also offers a ‘tweet of the day’ award that you can bestow on friends or follows you think gave good tweet.

Who knows what Twitter will end up doing with the AchievementBird account in the end, but I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see it weave it into the main product as it did with the MagicRecs account. Having full access to Twitter’s dataset means that Twitter can offer features Favstar can’t, as it has to poll the API.

I still like Favstar’s presentation better, and its integration with third-party apps, but it’s early days for AchievementBird and Twitter could always revamp its analytics to be more friendly. Either way, this appears to be rolling along the track towards integration as a push notification, not a landing page.

Sending alerts to users notifying them that people are actually reading and even using their tweets in articles seems to be a good way to encourage those users to tweet more. And converting users from lurkers to active tweeters is important for retention and growth.

Image Credit: Jerine Lay

Article courtesy of TechCrunch

Twitter Says New Blocking Policy Which Allows Following, Tweet Interaction Is To Prevent Retaliation

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Twitter has introduced a new blocking policy that is materially different from the one that they’ve had in the past. Blocked users can now see your tweets while logged in and continue to follow you on the service, allowing potential harassers or abusers to continue to track your updates on the network, even though you’ve explicitly blocked them.

This greatly reduces the effectiveness of some aspects of the block functionality on Twitter and opens the door for those who have been harassed or stalked on social networks to have their updates monitored more easily. Blocked users can now retweet your tweets, fave them and RT them while logged into their account.

TechCrunch spoke to Twitter about the changes, and the company says that the change, which does not notify or alert the person you’ve blocked in any way, was done to prevent a scenario of retaliation. The company said that they had seen situations where users, once they discovered that they had been blocked — because they could no longer view tweets or interact with tweets — would find other ways to attack or harass the blocker or even be spurred to greater abuse.

Twitter says that another reason for the change is to better communicate to users that ‘blocked’ does not mean ‘invisible’ and that your information is still public.

This new method means that the only way to prevent someone from following you or interacting with your tweets is to make your account completely private. This will prevent anyone you block from seeing your tweets.

While we doubt Twitter had anything but good intentions here, changing blocking because a blocker might be antagonizing or inciting someone they’ve blocked just by blocking them will likely not sit well with victims of harassment.

It’s worth noting that you could previously view the public tweets of users that had blocked you while logged out of the service — and by visiting a profile page. But now they can do it while logged in and interact with them. If you’ve blocked them, you will not see these interactions, but others will, and those you have blocked will still be able to fave tweets, for instance, and see those in a list of tweets that they’ve faved.

This new blocking method is more of a mute filter that prevents you from seeing any tweets or interactions from a blocked follower. But those interactions still happen. In some ways, this new method is actually a more accurate picture of what happens with a Twitter account when you block someone. They could always see your tweets and manually RT them to their followers by copying and pasting text. Now, however, they can do so within the constructs of Twitter — you just cannot see them. Though their followers and anyone searching for your name can.

Twitter notes that those tweets may also show up in your searches.

Here is the current blocking policy:

If you block another user, you will no longer see:

  • The user in your follower list
  • Any updates from that user in your Home timeline, including any of their Tweets that were retweeted by accounts you follow
  • Their @replies or mentions in your Connect tab
  • Any interactions with that user’s Tweets or account (i.e., favorites, follows or Retweets) in your Interactions or Activity tabs

Twitter also notes the following:

If your account is public, blocking a user does not prevent that user from following you, interacting with your Tweets, or receiving your updates in their timeline. If your Tweets are protected, blocking the user will cause them to unfollow you.

And here’s the previous policy:

Blocked users cannot:

  • Add your Twitter account to their lists.
  • Have their @replies or mentions show in your mentions tab (although these Tweets may still appear in search).
  • Follow you.
  • See your profile picture on their profile page or in their timeline.

Privacy note: If your Tweets are public (i.e., not protected), they will still be visible on your public profile page to anyone, regardless of whether they have a Twitter account or not.

We do not send notification to a user when you block them, but because they will no longer be able to follow you, they may notice that they’ve been blocked.

The changes to Twitter’s policy may indeed prevent some immediate knowledge that a user has been blocked, though they didn’t get a notification before and still won’t get one now. It could cause a lag between the time that they get blocked and when they realize it — but the scenario by which this could prevent retaliation once discovered gets blurrier.

Many Twitter users who have been abused and who undergo continuous harassment on Twitter — especially women — will likely not be pleased that their tweets can now be easily favorited and re-tweeted within the confines of Twitter’s platform. Yes, their tweets were never truly private because Twitter is a public service — but a policy that makes it easier to interact with tweets and add commentary to them (even if it’s not visible to you, personally) seems like it’s missing the point.

Article courtesy of TechCrunch

TechCrunch Disrupt Europe Social Hub

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TechCrunch Disrupt Europe is officially underway and this social hub is one of the best ways to join the conversation. All of our tweets, Instagrams, and videos will live here, making it very easy to enjoy the conference from afar. Join in by using the hashtags #HackDisrupt and #DisruptBerlin.

Article courtesy of TechCrunch

In Twitter’s IPO Filing, The Letter To Shareholders Is Fittingly Concise

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Everyone’s going crazy as Twitter just made the S-1 filing for its IPO public. One of the standard parts of the S-1 is a letter from the CEO to shareholders, where they lay out their vision for the company.

In Twitter’s filing, however, it’s a letter from “@Twitter”. And whereas the letters from Groupon’s Andrew Mason, Zynga’s Mark Pincus, and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg all clocked in at one or two thousand words, Twitter’s letter is just 135, plus an embedded tweet.

That’s probably appropriate for a platform that was initially distinguished by the 140-character limit that it imposed on its users. It may also reflect the fact that Twitter isn’t identified with a single founder or executive the way that, say, Facebook is — none of its founders currently have a full-time role with the company (though apparently co-founders Jack Dorsey, Biz Stone and Ev Williams visited the office today). And hey, it’s not like the rest of the filing is lacking in a rundown of the company’s perspective on the risks and opportunities that it faces.

So here’s the full text:

LETTER FROM @TWITTER

Twitter was born on March 21, 2006 with just 24 characters:

We started with a simple idea: share what you’re doing, 140 characters at a time. People took that idea and strengthened it by using @names to have public conversations, #hashtags to organize movements, and Retweets to spread news around the world. Twitter represents a service shaped by the people, for the people.

The mission we serve as Twitter, Inc. is to give everyone the power to create and share ideas and information instantly without barriers. Our business and revenue will always follow that mission in ways that improve–and do not detract from–a free and global conversation.

Thank you for supporting us through your Tweets, your business, and now, your potential ownership of this service we continue to build with you.

Yours,
@twitter

Article courtesy of TechCrunch

Massive Wave Of Twitter Phishing Spam Apparently Being Posted From HootSuite Users’ Accounts

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Over the past hour or so there has been a massive wave of spam related to a ‘free Groupon of pure garcinia cambogia‘ rising on Twitter. The tweets are coming hot and heavy every few seconds and have targeted celebrity accounts like Jane Fonda, sports teams like the San Francisco Giants and even some TechCrunch writers. Updated below.

Many other users appear to be affected by the tweets, and they all appear to have originated with the HootSuite client. One possible explanation for this is that a repository of HootSuite users have had their accounts compromised by a malicious entity gaining access to a company server.

We reached out to HootSuite for comment and CEO Ryan Holmes said that they are “currently reviewing the spam incident” and will get back to us with a statement.

HootSuite had some spamming issues late last month. At the time, it said that it had seen “an increase in attempts by spammers to gain unauthorized access to social media accounts by exploiting password weaknesses,” but stated that it had not been hacked.  Instead, it said that it was “seeing attempts (some successful) to login to HootSuite using user IDs and passwords acquired from compromised social networks.”

At the moment we don’t know whether this is a similar case or not. One thing to note is that the URLs being posted do not use HootSuite’s standard ‘owl.ly’ shortner, which could indicate that they’re not coming from the company’s native platform.

Here’s what the tweets look like inline:

And here’s a tweet by Jane Fonda showing the ‘via HootSuite’ label:

The link in the tweets takes you to a modified link for Garcinia Cambogia that is clearly supposed to ape Groupon, a classic phishing tactic that the attackers hope will net either Groupon login details or more likely financial information when they go to order said supplement.

At this point one culprit is a HootSuite hack of some sort, as user Sam Houston reports that he’s seeing the same message on both Twitter and Facebook. Both messages posted by the HootSuite client. Other users are saying that their LinkedIn accounts have been affected as well.

We’re working to assess how widespread the spam issue is and what the extent of the damage to HootSuite users, but for now you should exercise caution. If you ever think that any Twitter app is compromised, you should revoke its permissions in your Twitter settings area and do the same on Facebook and any other connected network.

H/t Our own Alex Wilhelm, who was also affected by the spam.

Updated: Twitter has now flagged that particular link with a spam warning when you click on it from the web:

More to follow…

Article courtesy of TechCrunch

The Next Seven Years For Twitter Hang On Its Ability To Remain A Pure Communication Platform

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Twitter turned seven years old today. The company posted a fun video about its history, which we already know plenty about. We’ll get to that later, though. Another thing we know about Twitter is its impact. But the important question is this: What does the future look like for the company?

To remain relevant for the next seven years, Twitter has to stay true to its original mission of being an open communication platform. To do that, the company has to refrain from adding too many features and getting in the way of its core strengths, which is real-time notification of our stream of consciousness. Sure, the company can figure out how to monetize this all they like, because after all, employees don’t work for free and servers don’t pay for themselves.

I’ll save you all of the reminiscing about the major stories and moments that have broken on Twitter and instead focus on the fact that the company has cracked into the mainstream in a way that not many other services have. You can’t go a day without reading a story on ESPN where a player is quoted via a tweet they published. That says more about Twitter than any tech pundit, mom or teenager could ever say. Twitter has become a reliable source for information in real-time, and it’s only becoming more prevalent in our daily lives as the moments pass by.

When I hear Twitter’s founders discuss the early days of the service, there are still elements of that magic that can be seen today, only amplified. You can’t tweet about something that affects your company without getting in trouble and you certainly can’t misstep if you’re a public figure. Still though, in the midst of these millions of tweets, there is a sense of intimacy that hasn’t been matched by any other social service. The only thing that is between you and millions of people is the tweet button.

Exactly one year ago today, I was diagnosed with breast cancer.


Xeni Jardin (@xeni) December 01, 2012

When you see a tweet like the one above, other than it being very personal, you have to remember that Xeni was referencing something she spoke about on Twitter a year before that moment. Using Twitter, she had kept people informed on her progress, her roadblocks and everything in between. If you were to follow her on Twitter you’d be able to connect with her and her thoughts and emotions in a way that you could never do on Myspace, Friendster or even Facebook. It’s real, it’s raw and it’s right now. It’s pure. It simply has to stay that way.

There have been rumors that Twitter will be launching its own music app and that’s causing some to rehash the discussion about how Twitter will change and become a horrible “media company.” That argument doesn’t hold much water. This music app, which Twitter hasn’t confirmed or denied, would be a standalone app that simply uses all of the signals that we’re giving the service to yank out useful recommendations and music listening options. The same thing happened with Vine. If you remember, Twitter wanted to get into video, so it bought the service and launched it in a standalone fashion. Sure, you can see Vines within your Twitter stream, but if you’re really into video, the Vine app is where you’ll spend your time. By segmenting all of these different types of media into their own apps, Twitter is actually protecting its platform. To be successful in the future, this needs to continue.

Having said all of this, Twitter is indeed trying to build a successful business and company in the hopes of going public as early as next year. You can’t hold that against them, but you can hold them to their original appeal, which is a clean platform that only asks you to share “What’s Happening?” in 140 characters. If that ever changes dramatically, we can then start to worry.

Here’s how our founder, Michael Arrington, described Twitter (then called Twttr) when it launched in 2006:

Odeo released a new service today called Twttr, which is a sort of “group send” SMS application. Each person controls their own network of friends. When any of them send a text message to “40404,” all of his or her friends see the message via sms.

After seven years, this description still rings true. Let’s hope it stays that way.

Now, if you’d like to watch, here’s Twitter’s celebratory seventh birthday video:

[Photo credit: Flickr]

Article courtesy of TechCrunch

Update For Twitter’s iOS, Android Apps And Mobile Site Includes Top Tweets From The Past And Better Web Browsing

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Twitter has updated its iOS and Android apps today, as well as its mobile site, to include more interesting content to keep you tapping and exploring as you perform searches. As we noted last month, Twitter has started to surface older tweets in its search results. Today, that experience will become more prevalent in Twitter’s mobile experience.

In addition to tweets that might have some age to it, your search results will now include topics and user suggestions based on your query. Since Twitter is a real-time service, this is no easy task.

A few video services have gotten the axe, and the app now has native support for traditional Chinese language. It’s nice to see Twitter combine some sweeping discovery updates with a maintenance release in time for SXSW.

It’s a small tweak, but I’m enjoying the addition of the tweet staying visible when you tap a link, providing some context as you venture off of the network. You can make it go away by tapping the web page:

Here’s the list of updates for Twitter for iOS and Android:

• As you search you’ll see more topic and user suggestions for your query, based on what’s happening in real time. You’ll also see these suggestions when adding a hashtag or username as you compose a new Tweet.
• Top Tweets from big moments in the past pop out when you search for a given term. For example, searching for “election” might highlight Tweets from several months ago.
• When you open a web page you can now see the related Tweet for more context. Just pull the tray icon up or down to see or hide the Tweet.
• It’s easier to see long conversations in the Tweet details view, which now shows all of the replies to any Tweet
• Pull-to-refresh in Discover shows a new, smoother animation
• Support for traditional Chinese
• Uploading videos vie Mobypicture, Vodpod and Posterous is no longer supported
• Additional bug fixes and improvements

Here’s a look at what you might find when doing a search:

The only old tweet I saw with the “election” search was a promoted one, hopefully that won’t be the case for all of your searches. As the discovery experience gets better, Twitter can hopefully trap those non-tweeters into clicking more links and following more people.

[Photo credit: Flickr]

Article courtesy of TechCrunch

Ooyala Adds Twitter Integration, Signs ESPN As First Client To Embed Videos In Tweets

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Ooyala

Video distribution platform Ooyala wants to make videos available wherever users may be. That means enabling its customers to distribute their content onto all sorts of mobile phones and tablets and connected TVs and crap like that. But it also means distributing video directly into platforms like Twitter.

Since Twitter released its Cards API, enabling publishers to add additional media — like photos, and, uh, video, among other things — Ooyala has been working to integrate it with the company’s video platform. The idea is to let publishers quickly and easily add embedded videos to their tweets.

According to Brian Theodore, group product manager at Ooyala, ESPN will be using the platform to post highlights and other short-form videos to its Twitter stream. Doing so will enable it to take advantage of the real-time nature of conversation that happens during live sports. Like, for instance, this video embedded into ESPN College Football’s Twitter Feed.

Now that all the hard work is over, ESPN won’t be the only Ooyala client to take advantage. The company is offering an SDK to clients for free, so that they too can connect with the wonder that is Twitter. And that means that if you’ve ever wanted the power to watch an ESPN video directly within a tweet, you’ll now be able to do so — thanks to the power of Ooyala’s video platform.

The Ooyala-Twitter integration not only lets publishers embed videos in Tweets that can be viewed on Twitter.com, as well as various apps and its mobile web site, but it also provides monetization and deep analytics. That includes ads that can also be embedded in Twitter streams, as well as the ability to drill down and see which devices and apps were used to access videos embedded in tweets. There’s also a content discovery piece, as Ooyala videos in Twitter can provide recommendations for other related content.

For users, that means more places and ways to find and watch videos that might be of interest to them. And for Ooyala clients, it means bigger possible revenue streams as more video is consumed.

Article courtesy of TechCrunch

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