Twitter’s Crashlytics now supports Android apps written in C/C++

NDK Crashlytics

Today, Twitter is announcing that its crash reporting tool Crashlytics is adding support for Android’s Native Development Kit and with it, apps coded in C and C++. The announcement coincides with Google’s I/O developer conference, which is currently underway.

Crashlytics already supports Java-based Android apps, but many developers have been waiting for the crash analytics to expand to apps coded in C/C++. Now, the company is rolling out support for NDK over the next few days.

“We perform a deep analysis of each stack trace to identify the most important frames so you can see the exact line of code that caused the crash and quickly address the issue,” the company said in a statement.

Twitter says that developers already using Crashlytics won’t have to download new plugins or build tools; instead, devs will just have to add a few lines of code to Gradle and Ant builds. Twitter says it will pull in all the necessary dependencies automatically.

If you’re not building from a standard integrated development environment, Crashlytics will still be able to onboard your app by auto-provisioning your keys and onboarding the app from the command line.

A big component of this update is that Twitter is promising to keep developer code safe. Rather than analyzing unstripped binaries uploaded to its servers, Crashlytics will generate the symbols it needs client-side and then upload the necessary information to its servers. This gives devs more control over what gets uploaded and also reduces the amount of information Twitter’s servers have to handle — a win/win.

More information:

Powered by VBProfiles

More information:

Powered by VBProfiles

Twitter’s live video-streaming app, Periscope, is now available on Android

Enterprise companies tackle mobile marketing automation slightly differently—and that's why they're on top. Register today for this free VB Insight webinar with AEG's VP of Social and Marketing on May 28th.

Twitter has finally launched its live video-streaming app, Periscope, for Android.

Today’s launch comes a little more than two months after Twitter’s acquisition of the fledgling company behind the app was confirmed, which came shortly before the app launched for iPhone users.

Periscope is all about letting users broadcast what they’re doing in real-time to their followers, who can interact by commenting and sharing their appreciation with “hearts.” Once a broadcast has ended, it can still be viewed for the next 24 hours, however it can be deleted at any time or saved by the creator to their camera roll.

Periscope for Android actually comes with a handful of unique new features, mainly around notification alerts. For example, when someone that you follow on Twitter starts their first ever Periscope broadcast, you’ll be informed. Another potentially more useful feature availabe only on Android is that it lets you continue from where you finished if you have to stop watching a broadcast halfway through.

Periscope actually went to market shortly after a very similar app called Meerkat launched, and it was the latter that caused a great deal of buzz initially after making a big impression at South by Southwest (SXSW) in Austin. Meerkat also one-upped Periscope by launching on Android just a few weeks back, but with Periscope’s tight integration with Twitter, and the massive user-base and financial clout that goes with it, Meerkat will face a mighty uphill battle to remain relevant.

Twitter has reportedly been in talks to buy Flipboard for more than $1B

Flipboard Nexus 7

Twitter has been in talks since the beginning of this year to buy article-sharing app Flipboard, according to a new report today.

Twitter could pay more than $1 billion in stock to make the acquisition, Re/code’s Kara Swisher is reporting, citing unnamed sources.

Twitter and Flipboard did not immediately respond to VentureBeat’s requests for comment on the report.


VentureBeat’s VB Insight team is studying marketing and personalization... Chime in here, and we’ll share the results.

Google and Twitter sitting in a tree, putting tweets in search results for you and me


In February, Twitter signed a firehose deal with Google to bring tweets right into Google’s search results. This week, that integration started rolling out on mobile, with a promise to also update the desktop version “shortly.”

As I wrote while covering the announcement, Google is hoping to boost its real-time search chops while Twitter is aiming for more users and engagement. Yet at the end of the day, this is one of those rare partnerships that benefit the user first, and the companies later (Twitter is getting an undisclosed amount of money from Google, and Google can potentially monetize tweets with its own ads, but right now it’s unclear if either will be significant).

First and foremost, this partnership means Google users finally have access to Twitter’s stream. Because tweets are often full of timely information, this means searching for anything relatively recent on Google will start bringing up messages sent out on Twitter. Many events often happen on Twitter first, and that’s data that can be incredibly useful to have indexed for users to quickly find.

Twitter’s search engine works, but it’s nothing special. Google is the king of search, and with Twitter data, it’s suddenly about to get even more useful.

Assuming that Google users find the tweets they’re looking for, they will only think more highly of the search engine, and presumably use it more. In this way, Google is next in line as the one to benefit from this new partnership.

You’d think Twitter would be next, but there’s actually one more entity to acknowledge: Twitter users. Yes, we realize there is a big overlap between Google users and Twitter users. Still, if we examine them separately, it’s clear they both win.

Twitter users start to benefit once incoming Google users act on the tweets they find. That can be a favorite, a retweet, or even a reply. If that starts to happen at scale, and Google has plenty of that, Twitter users should see more content on the social network, especially in relation to tweets that Google deems important and relevant.

Last on the list is Twitter itself, if the company can convert all this new traffic into users who keep coming back. Signing up to engage is one thing, but actually choosing to become an active Twitter user is what the company actually needs. That’s not easy feat, and so Twitter’s opportunity to benefit from this partnership requires the most work.

To recap, here’s the order of winners: Google users, Google, Twitter users, and Twitter.

The biggest loser? Google+.

More information:

Powered by VBProfiles

VentureBeat’s VB Insight team is studying marketing and personalization... Chime in here, and we’ll share the results.
More information:

Powered by VBProfiles

Google Search now includes tweets on mobile, coming soon to desktop browsers

Google sign Carlos Luna Flickr

Google and Twitter today announced Google Search on mobile devices now surfaces tweets in its results. This applies to the Google app for Android and iOS as well as “any browser on your phone or tablet.”

The integration to bring Twitter’s real-time content to Google’s search results is available to U.S. users searching in English for now. The desktop web version is “coming shortly,” and the feature will roll out to more countries “in the coming months.”


More to follow

More information:

Powered by VBProfiles

VentureBeat’s VB Insight team is studying marketing and personalization... Chime in here, and we’ll share the results.
More information:

Powered by VBProfiles

Twitter’s earnings leak is latest sign that ‘good’ bots are going too far

Internet bot

When Twitter’s disappointing earnings report was discovered and prematurely released by a financial intelligence firm on April 28, causing Twitter shares to tumble, it was more than a just a big oops for the social media giant. The affair has thrown a spotlight on the shadowy world of bots – computer programs that crawl the web and perform tasks at a volume and speed a human could never match – and the legal and ethical grey areas they increasingly operate in.

According to multiple news reports, this is how the results got out: NASDAQ OMX Group’s accidentally posted the earnings release on Twitter’s publicly available investor-relations page for 45 seconds about an hour before the results were supposed to go public. Selerity, a New York company that offers a “real-time news and event detection platform” to investors, found the release – presumably through the use of automated web-scraping bots – and tweeted the information.

“No leak, no hack,” the company tweeted.

That may be true, but does that make it right?

For those of us in the bot-detection business, the landscape used to be fairly polarized between bad bots and good bots. Bad bots are often associated with cybercriminals stealing data, identities, and intellectual property or initiating denial-of-service attacks. Good bots include Googlebot, Google’s web crawling bot that discovers new and updated pages to be added to the Google index.

When my company identified, tracked, and cataloged 8 billion bots for our 2014 report on the bot landscape, I was surprised by the number originating from financial services companies. In fact, we found that financial services led all industries in bot traffic.

Many of these firms are running their own automated reconnaissance on publicly traded companies – without those companies’ consent, of course — to gain insights that may not yet be public. Some rely on a growing number of startups like Selerity, 80legs, Connotate, Dataminr, and Kapow that offer web-crawling services.

And we’re talking about more than the sort of news-harvesting that happened with Twitter, where a bot found information that a layperson just browsing around would not have noticed. For example, we’re seeing bots being used to track retailers’ inventory levels and pricing information in an attempt to forecast sales.

And therein lies the murky legal and ethical territory. If a financial services company can use high-powered computers and bots to get information that’s not accessible to the average person, do they gain an unfair advantage? Should it be considered insider trading and thus illegal? Has Selerity and its ilk built a better mousetrap, or are they merely Internet peeping Toms?

At the very least, the release of Twitter’s results should be a defining moment, prompting extra vigilance by companies about what they put on their websites – even tucked-away pages that aren’t obvious to the public. Today’s bots leave no margin for error, and companies must treat all sensitive information with the same care that the federal government does when it locks monthly job figures in a safe before releasing them.

The episode also should spur not only soul-searching by companies in financial services and other industries that are engaged in these practices but also a long, hard look by regulators and lawmakers.

In my view, a bot crosses over to the dark side simply if it piggybacks on a website without providing any value back. The dictionary defines “parasite” as an organism that lives in or on another organism and benefits by deriving nutrients at the host’s expense.” The same can be said of too many bots, which even if they don’t aim for nefarious extremes, such as stealing data, can still rob bandwidth or, as in the Twitter situation, perform the online equivalent of snatching a piece of paper out of someone’s hand.

The courts already have weighed in on some of the principles at issue here.

In Associated Press v. Meltwater, AP claimed its copyrights were infringed when Meltwater, an electronic news clipping service, included excerpts of AP stories in search results for its clients seeking news coverage based on particular keywords. In March 2013, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York sided with AP, ruling that Meltwater was using AP’s resources and not providing any value back.

Fair use or free ride? That’s the question that should cut right to the heart of whether a bot is a good bot or a bad one.

Bots are on the increase for the simple reason that they have become a reliable and effective weapon for legitimate businesses and organized criminal hackers alike. The Twitter miscue has demonstrated that it’s become too hard to tell the good guys and the bad guys apart.

The business world, technology community, and government leaders need to carefully examine the issue.

Rami Essaid is CEO and cofounder of Distil Networks, a bot detection and mitigation company.

VentureBeat’s VB Insight team is studying marketing and personalization... Chime in here, and we’ll share the results.

Periscope Decouples From Twitter To Let New Users Sign Up With A Phone Number

periscope-twitter I’m not sure about you, but most of my friends in real life — aka people I didn’t meet through the internet or work — don’t actually use Twitter. It makes sense, therefore, that Periscope — the super-shiny-new-fangled-live-streaming-service that Twitter bought and is pushing hard right now, has decoupled from its parent and can now be used by those who do… Read More

Mayweather-Pacquiao promoter whines about a few thousand Periscope viewers cutting into his multimillion-dollar payday

Screen Shot 2015-05-05 at 10.46.12 AM
Successful CMOs achieve growth by leveraging technology. Join us for GrowthBeat Summit on June 1-2 in Boston, where we'll discuss how to merge creativity with technology to drive growth. Space is limited. Request your personal invitation here!

One of the promoters of the boring yet hugely profitable Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao “fight of the century” is butt-hurt today because illegal free streams of the fight on Twitter’s Periscope app prevented the taking of even more profits.

Some people who had purchased the fight on pay-per-view used the Periscope mobile app to shoot the bout on their TV and stream it live. ESPN reports that as many as 10,000 users tuned into some of the Periscope streams.

This didn’t go unnoticed by the fight’s promoters. Top Rank, which puts on Pacquiao’s fights, spoke through its president Todd DuBoef in an Los Angeles Times interview over the weekend:

“We’ll have to pursue any people who are allowing people to distribute something that is behind a proprietary wall,” DuBoef said. “We’ll have to challenge those technology companies that are facilitating it and we’re going to have to take a legal position against them.”

Twitter said it blocked 30 livestreams of the fight on the Periscope app after receiving reports of 66 illegal feeds. But the streams weren’t hard to find on both Periscope and rival streaming app Meerkat. The video quality of a Periscope feed is necessarily low, but for many it was enough to follow the action without shelling out $100 to watch the fight on TV.

Twitter’s CEO didn’t seem too upset about the issue on fight night:

DuBoef wants to go after the people who tuned in to the streams, too. “When we start finding out more about it and identify the people who are posting on social media, we’ll know their names and we’ll definitely go after them,” he told the L.A. Times.

While people like DuBoef bemoan the loss of a few more pennies from additional pay-per-view sales, it’s an open question whether or not the cable and IPTV systems serving the fight could have handled any more customers. Demand for the pay-per-view program was so high that parts of the distribution system were overwhelmed, and many customers couldn’t buy the fight due to system outages.

Still, by all accounts, the stakeholders in Saturday night’s fight made out like bandits. The pay-per-view take was almost certainly the biggest in history, with HBO and Showtime raking in more than a combined $400 million on fight night.

The pay-per-view feed sold for a record high price of $90, with some operators charging $100 for the high-definition feed. Verizon has already proclaimed the fight as the largest PPV event ever; the IPTV provider says it sold more than 250,000 feeds of the fight.

The fighters had a big night, too. It’s believed that the Mayweather camp made more than $150 million, while the Pacquiao side made more than $100 million.

By the terms of the contract between the two fighters, the first $160 million of revenue and the revenue above $180 million from the fight was to be split 60/40 between the fighters, with Mayweather receiving the larger 60 percent share. Revenue between $160 million and $180 million was to be split 51/49, with the larger share going to the winner, Mayweather.

Mayweather won the fight in a unanimous decision, with two judges scoring it 116-112 and the other 118-110.

More information:

Powered by VBProfiles

VentureBeat’s VB Insight team is studying marketing analytics... Chime in here, and we’ll share the results.
More information:

Powered by VBProfiles

With 100 Million People Watching Vine Videos Every Month, Jason Mante Says Monetization Still Isn’t The Focus

jason-mante12 Twitter now owns Vine, which has a large, vibrant user base. And still, there are no plans to make money off of it just yet, Vine’s head of user experience Jason Mante said on stage at TechCrunch Disrupt NY. “Would we like to make money sometime? Sure, of course,” Mante said. “With Vine we’re focused on making sure we make an amazing product. We’re just… Read More