Archive for the 'Twitter' Category



Direct messaging on Twitter just got a little more private

Monday 21 July 2014 @ 5:15 am
Direct messaging on Twitter just got a little more private
Image Credit: Kooroshication / Flickr

Twitter is reworking its direct messaging platform so that users will be able to delete messages more consistently across web and mobile, the company said Friday.

Direct messages are private messages sent between two Twitter users, who follow each other.

The update will synchronize conversations between web and mobile interfaces. “We’re also making an update to the Twitter iPhone and Android apps that will allow you to access your entire DM history,” Twitter support said in a Tweet.

Because Twitter has a 140 character limit, it’s questionable whether its messaging function will take off the way more popular messengers like WhatsApp have.

Since Facebook acquired WhatsApp for $19 billion earlier this year, a slew of private messaging companies have emerged to get in on the craze. It’s clear that Twitter is trying to make its own messaging service a more prominent feature.

In April the company introduced pop-up notifications that alert you when someone is interacting with your tweets. This recent update is more about making users feel like they have control of their personal conversations within the app. Though it’s not exactly a full-fledged private messenger, it’s certainly a step in that direction.


Screen Shot 2014-07-15 at 10.53.56 AMOur upcoming GrowthBeat event — August 5-6 in San Francisco — is exploring the data, apps, and science of successful marketing. Get the scoop here, and grab your tickets before they're gone!  


Twitter is a real-time information network that connects you to the latest information about what you find interesting. Simply find the public streams you find most compelling and follow the conversations. At the heart of Twitter ar... read more »











Social shopping experiments continue on Facebook and Twitter. But why?

Sunday 20 July 2014 @ 8:15 am
Social shopping experiments continue on Facebook and Twitter. But why?
Image Credit: Shutterstock

Despite limited success so far, Facebook and Twitter are continuing their efforts to get you to buy stuff while you’re using their services.

According to reports late last week, Facebook is experimenting with adding a “Buy” button to status updates from selected brands. For instance, Sephora could post an update about a new color of eye shadow, and instead of making customers go to the Sephora.com website to complete the purchase, they could buy it simply by clicking the button right in the Facebook post — using a credit card kept on file with Facebook’s servers.

It’s not the first time Facebook has experimented with social shopping — nor is Facebook the only social network trying this.

Facebook Gifts was a short-lived attempt to let people buy actual, physical gifts and send them to friends within Facebook. It started in August, 2012 with the acquisition of gift-giving startup Karma, but Facebook shut down Gifts in August, 2013.

Similarly, Facebook Credits were an attempt to incorporate e-commerce into Facebook via a virtual currency. Facebook Credits were used mostly to purchase virtual goods within Facebook games, and for a time Facebook required all game developers on its platform to use Credits for in-game purchases. But after pushing them hard in 2010 and 2011, the company discontinued Facebook Credits in 2012.

Twitter, too, has been experimenting with in-stream purchases. The latest experiment, a partnership with Amazon.com, lets people add items to their Amazon shopping carts by tweeting with the hashtag #AmazonCart. That’s convenient, and a search for the hashtag #AmazonCart shows that some people are really using it. But the number using it must be minuscule compared to Amazon’s overall sales volume — and the hashtag hasn’t cracked the “trending” hashtags yet either. Sure, it’s an experiment. But it’s also likely to appeal only to a small number of purchasers, who don’t mind tweeting what it is they are thinking of buying.

These companies, it’s clear, would like social commerce to become a thing. But it’s not clear that customers really want this.

Are you making purchases on Facebook or Twitter? Let us know in the comments below!


Screen Shot 2014-07-15 at 10.53.56 AMOur upcoming GrowthBeat event — August 5-6 in San Francisco — is exploring the data, apps, and science of successful marketing. Get the scoop here, and grab your tickets before they're gone!  


Facebook is the world’s largest social network, with over 1.15 billion monthly active users. Facebook was founded by Mark Zuckerberg in February 2004, initially as an exclusive network for Harvard students. It was a huge hit: in 2 w... read more »

Twitter is a real-time information network that connects you to the latest information about what you find interesting. Simply find the public streams you find most compelling and follow the conversations. At the heart of Twitter ar... read more »











Gillmor Gang: Yotifications

Saturday 19 July 2014 @ 9:00 am
Gillmor Gang Artcard The Gillmor Gang — Danny Sullivan, Alexia Tsotsis, Kevin Marks, Keith Teare, and Steve Gillmor — react with nervous jokes as all eyes turn to the success of Yo, the single-minded communication app that has one thing on its little mind. But wait a minute, what’s surreally going on here as BetaWorks’ John Borthwick leads an investment round on the love child union of… Read More



Twitter buys mobile payment infrastructure CardSpring

Thursday 17 July 2014 @ 1:10 pm
Twitter buys mobile payment infrastructure CardSpring

Late Wednesday night, Twitter announced it acquired mobile payment system CardSpring. Twitter’s advertising team says CardSpring will fit nicely into the company’s framework for recommending products and services, and for making purchases through tweets.

CardSpring is known for it Application Programming Interface (API) that lets developers make online applications for credit, credit, and other types of financial transactions — think loyalty cards. In 2012 the company landed $10 million in funding, lead by Accel Partners and Greylock Partners.

“At Twitter, we will continue to grow the adoption of our platform and work with our publisher, financial, and retail partners to create new, innovative commerce experiences for consumers,” says the company in a blog post.

Adding a mobile payments infrastructure to Twitter will help the company’s initial efforts to bring actual commerce to the app. Already Starbucks has developed a “tweet-a-coffee” function whereby connecting your Twitter and Starbucks accounts you can virtually tweet a cup of coffee to a friend and they will receive a $5 e-gift card. With a system for credit card entry, you may soon be able to tweet all sorts of products to your friends — and maybe even straight cash.

The acquisition falls in line with the general trend of “frictionless” payments on the web. Earlier today we noted that Facebook is flirting with a “buy-button,” so you won’t need to leave the site to make a purchase.

This is the latest in a series of acquisitions by Twitter that focus on mobile technologies. Most recently the company snapped up mobile ad tech firm TapCommerce for $100 million. Financial details of the deal with CardSpring were not disclosed.

 



Twitter is a real-time information network that connects you to the latest information about what you find interesting. Simply find the public streams you find most compelling and follow the conversations. At the heart of Twitter ar... read more »

CardSpring is a payments infrastructure company that enables developers to add applications to the payment network. The CardSpring web service API makes it easy for payment companies and point-of-sale vendors to work with developers to... read more »











Facebook may make its ads shoppable: Meet the ‘Buy’ button

Thursday 17 July 2014 @ 12:00 pm
Facebook may make its ads shoppable: Meet the ‘Buy’ button
Image Credit: Screen shot

Facebook is toying with the idea of becoming a meta-marketplace with a new “Buy” button for purchasing real, physical goods without ever leaving the site.

After experimenting with “Autofill” in the last several months, Facebook is now letting you use those credit cards you keep on file on Facebook to actually purchase stuff without even leaving the site or app, just by clicking a button, according to a TechCrunch report.

Autofill lets Facebook users keep their credit card info on file in their Facebook profiles, then easily populate checkout fields with one click when shopping from merchants with Autofill integration. The idea is to use your Facebook login as your one-click checkout.

“The idea is that if we have your card credentials on file, we can prepopulate your info ahead of a purchase,” said Facebook head of retail and e-commerce Nicolas Franchet during a small press roundtable in March.

“[Right now] you click on the add, you go to Sephora.com you then have to enter your info – eventually you’d want to not have to do that,” he said.

Autofill was created to solve that problem and now the new button is taking it one step further, taking even more steps and friction away. Franchet hinted back then that this is where Autofill was headed as removing as much friction as possible, along with great ad targeting, is every advertiser’s dream.

On the advertier and merchant side, the new button will likely mean higher conversion rates from their ads on Facebook. The idea of a one-click or equally quick shopping experience is something Twitter and Amazon, for example, have also been working on. The two companies recently teamed up to let Amazon customers shop with a simple tweet, and a “Buy Now” button surfaced on Twitter a couple weeks ago, as well.

This could potentially affect ad rates, making them more valuable, although the ability of these special ads converting to sales will also depend on how well targeted they are, something any advertising platform is always working on.

And while Facebook isn’t currently charging the few merchants it’s testing the new button with, it isn’t taking it off the table. Affiliate programs are an old and solid business program, so why wouldn’t Facebook roll that out.

Back in January, Facebook announced that it would be rolling out new advertising options, including a “Shop Now” button, which is likely the first iteration of the new button.


Screen Shot 2014-07-15 at 10.53.56 AMOur upcoming GrowthBeat event — August 5-6 in San Francisco — is exploring the data, apps, and science of successful marketing. Get the scoop here, and grab your tickets before they're gone!  


Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN), a Fortune 500 company based in Seattle, opened on the World Wide Web in July 1995 and today offers Earth's Biggest Selection. Amazon.com, Inc. seeks to be Earth's most customer-centric company, where cu... read more »

Facebook is the world’s largest social network, with over 1.15 billion monthly active users. Facebook was founded by Mark Zuckerberg in February 2004, initially as an exclusive network for Harvard students. It was a huge hit: in 2 w... read more »

Twitter is a real-time information network that connects you to the latest information about what you find interesting. Simply find the public streams you find most compelling and follow the conversations. At the heart of Twitter ar... read more »











How Meshfire is making social media human again … through artificial intelligence

Monday 14 July 2014 @ 5:23 am
How Meshfire is making social media human again … through artificial intelligence
Image Credit: Pixabay

Seattle is known for many things. Coffee, Internet retailers, coffee, aircraft manufacturing, coffee, and a certain rather large software company. Plus, of course, one of the world’s most recognizable skylines, including the 600 foot-high Space Needle, which offers panoramic views of the city.

So perhaps it makes sense that Seattle-based Meshfire offers a “helicopter view” of your social media account — plus a new feature the company is announcing today.

Meshfire is part of a new breed of Twitter management tools.

When you first take a look at the system, you’ll see your interactions, mentions, and suggestions laid out as cards on a dashboard. At first glance, it might remind you of to-do or project-management solutions like Asana or Trello, except that the cards in Meshfire are created automatically from your Twitter accounts.

These suggestions are the product of one of the more interesting features of Meshfire: its “A.I. assistant,” called Ember. This suggests things for you to do — such as “follow this person,” “block this account,” and “engage with this message” — and can assign these tasks across your team to balance the workload.

Automating this kind of engagement is, paradoxically, part of Meshfire’s mission to make social media human again.

Meshfire Twitter cards

I asked the company’s founder and CEO, Eli Israel, how it works.


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“It all came from conversations we were having about the tools that already existed for social media and how professionals were well represented, but for people that aren’t social media experts we noticed that things were lacking,” Israel told me. “TweetDeck, Hootsuite, Sprout Social and more offer great capabilities, but it is impossible — unless you know exactly what you are doing — to work out how to grow an audience, maintain it, and interact with your followers properly through using them.”

Meshfire EmberIt was after those initial conversations that Eli and his team, including CMO Amber Osborne, began shaping up some ideas for a new social management tool.

In a nutshell, Meshfire enables you to not just get notified of an activity on Twitter, such as when someone mentions you, but it automatically cleans out the noise and teaches you how to get better at interacting with that activity. The interesting part is how it worked out what Ember picks and chooses and how the A.I. teaches you what to do with it.

“Actually, we took hours and hours of video,” Israel says. “We then pulled all of those hours of recordings apart and worked out how she was making decisions on who to follow, who not to, who to block and who to engage with. We turned those human interactions into rules and made Ember.”

That sounds great, of course.

But I wondered: Does Ember really understand how to interact with real people? Is the system only going to be useful when trying to land the “big influencers” of this world (something that other social listening systems excel at), or is Meshfire more nuanced than that?

The answer, according to Israel, is that Meshfire really works to help you find people that are influential enough to help you, but not so ‘Internet famous’ that they won’t engage with you. As he says, the “super-connectors” of this world are great, but they’re not going to help you promote your hotel rooms in Kansas.

In fact, that’s specifically related to what the company is announcing.

Today, Meshfire announced a new feature that vastly expands the data available within the tool. The new analytics shows the user how completion of their task cards leads to increased engagement, who the top engagers are, what their top tweets are, and how many impressions their content received. Those metrics can be printed out and the raw data can be downloaded for use in their own reports. The new analytics features are being included, without charge, for all Meshfire users.

Meshfire analytics

For social media power users, this means that, from one interface, Meshfire users may follow the entire path of a tweet and measure the impact that interaction has on their entire audience. Over time, these new analytics could give the user a real feel for what works, what impacts them negatively, and who their “superfans” are — the people that every company wants to nurture and have in-depth conversations with.

That personal interaction is something that Israel deeply feels is lacking in a lot of “social” media today.

“If we were to start again with social media – a completely clean slate — we’d like to see real human interaction rather than all the automatic output we witness today. It’s funny to say this considering Ember is A.I. and we’ve built a web tool that automates certain processes, but that’s what we’re trying to do with Meshfire: make social ‘human’ again,” he told me.

“We’re seeing, for example, huge political campaigns where, with just a small team of people and Meshfire, you can have individual conversations with citizens to help them understand your policies on a one-to-one basis. With other systems, what we see is ‘broadcast messaging’ that might be pertinent to some people but irrelevant to others. We’re trying to help you build a personal connection to everyone that wants your products or services and allow you to manage that within a small team.”

Having tried Meshfire out for myself, I see a lot that I like in the product. The philosophy behind the solution reminded me of the marketing ethos and ideas put forward by Scott Stratten in his “Unmarketing” books, and it turns out that I wasn’t very wide of the mark.

“A lot of the Meshfire philosophy can be found in those books. When it comes down to it, we like any tools that automate the grunt-work but still allow the individual to talk directly to people”, says Eli.

For me, and anyone else that has to manage one or more social media accounts, that ideal alone makes Meshfire worth its weight in gold. Or, since we’re talking about Seattle here, let’s say that it is worth its weight in coffee.


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Gillmor Gang: Taming of the Stream

Saturday 12 July 2014 @ 9:00 am
Gillmor Gang Artcard The Gillmor Gang – John Borthwick, Robert Scoble, Kevin Marks, Keith Teare, and Steve Gillmor – examine the gathering storm that is the Uber social network. After years of positioning, acquisition, soaring value payouts, and a winner-take-all sensibility in the tech community, now something different. The data points: Digg Deeper, Soundcloud, Twitter user metrics, and more… Read More



Gillmor Gang: Pass the Buck

Saturday 5 July 2014 @ 9:00 am
Gillmor Gang Artcard The Gillmor Gang — Robert Scoble, Dan Farber, Kevin Marks, Keith Teare, and Steve Gillmor — spend a late Thursday afternoon on experiments, office shake ups, and a potential bank shot from an old monopolist. With the world going cup crazy, you wouldn’t fault those who traded tech for TV and shelter from the tweetstorm. The Facebook social reengineering has been all the… Read More



Microsoft and Twitter make Bing a better social search engine

Monday 30 June 2014 @ 4:14 am
Microsoft and Twitter make Bing a better social search engine

Above: A screenshot of Microsoft's Bing search engine.

Image Credit: Microsoft

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Bing, the Pepsi of search engines, today expanded upon its existing partnership with Twitter.

Google and Twitter never rekindled their real-time search deal, but Microsoft appears more eager than ever to bring Twitter’s trending content to its flagship search service.

As of today, Bing now enables users to search trending hashtags, Twitter handles, and celebrity-related tweets. The update builds upon an existing, exclusive deal signed back in November 2013 which integrated some tweets into search results.

A query for the hash tag “#dailyshow,” for example, yields the following results:

daily-show-2-1

The new features certainly make Bing a better Twitter search engine than Google. Attempt the query above on Google and you’ll first find results for “thedailyshow.cc.com.”

But, as you may have noticed, Twitter already has its own search engine. Do we really need another one?

Via: Search Engine Land.


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Microsoft Corporation is a public multinational corporation headquartered in Redmond, Washington, USA that develops, manufactures, licenses, and supports a wide range of products and services predominantly related to computing through ... read more »

Twitter is a real-time information network that connects you to the latest information about what you find interesting. Simply find the public streams you find most compelling and follow the conversations. At the heart of Twitter ar... read more »

Google's innovative search technologies connect millions of people around the world with information every day. Founded in 1998 by Stanford Ph.D. students Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Google today is a top web property in all major glob... read more »

Bing is a search engine that brings together the best of search and people in your social networks to help you spend less time searching. Bing is for people who do; for people like you who are always doing more. Whether online or on... read more »











ConnecTV Acquires TweetTV To Add Real-Time Analytics To Its Social TV Platform

Monday 30 June 2014 @ 3:59 am
Screen Shot 2014-06-30 at 12.59.02 Both Twitter and Facebook are vying for pole position as the platform of choice for social TV engagement — the place where viewers go to quip about TV shows in real time – but there are movements among pure-play startups to build up their positions, too. In the latest of these, ConnecTV is buying TweetTV to add more analytics features to a network that already lets… Read More



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