WhatsApp Messenger dominated both major app stores in the number of downloads in April, according to data from Distimo.
Made in Mountain View, California, WhatsApp Messager offers a cross-platform text messaging that does not rely on SMS technology, thus saving users money in their bills from carriers.
WhatsApp’s premium version among the most downloaded paid applications worldwide, a rare feat for any non-game app. It was among the most lucrative non-gaming apps as well. Data from App Annie showed similar trends.
Messenger’s free, trial version also ranked highly globally among downloads in that category in the Google Play store, according to the analytic firms.
Its somewhat off-color competitor Snapchat was the largest mover among major app publishers in March, according to App Annie. It rose 20 rankings based on growing popularity in the UK, the data indicated.
In California it’s illegal to use a mobile phone without a headset while driving.
Steven Spriggs was pulled over and ticketed in January 2012 for using a map application on his smartphone while driving.
He protested. The court found against him. He appealed. And at the end of March the appellate court found that Spriggs had in fact broken the law by looking at a map on his phone while driving.
Although the statute refers in one section to use of “a wireless telephone” and in another to “an electronic wireless communications device,” the court held that the ban on phone use applied to digital maps. The court reasoned that the purpose of the law was to prevent inattention while driving.
“This strikes me as very puzzling kind of statutory interpretation,” wrote cyberlaw expert Orin Kerr on a legal blog.
“The fact that the legislature was worried about distracted drivers in enacting the first ban doesn’t tell us whether the statute enacted should apply to all things that distract drivers or only some things,” he wrote.
It is not illegal to consult a paper map or a GPS in-dash “mapping display” while driving in California.
Have you ever heard your phone go off eight times in a row and just known, without even having to look, that a certain friend is sending you a text the size of a Harry Potter novel? If you are starting to dread the sound of your smartphone beeping in your pocket, you are not alone. Annoying text messages are so common that someone has named the worst offenders and put them in an infographic.
The spread of text messages can be considered evidence of an expanded linguistic repertoire. An entirely new language has essentially developed through the use of mobile technology. Linguists like Mr. McWorter describe this as a “linguistic miracle.”
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Groupon to Replace CEO Andrew Mason (SocialTimes)
Andrew Mason will no longer be the chief executive of Groupon, the company announced on Thursday. Stock in the daily deals business had fallen more than 20 percent after the company’s fourth-quarter earnings failed to meet analysts’ expectations, according to The Wall Street Journal. The Wall Street Journal Co-founder Eric Lefkofsky will join Ted Leonsis, vice chairman of the company, and serve as co-CEOs on an interim basis. Mason was already in the hot seat late last year when reports emerged that the company explored the possibility of replacing him as CEO, but ultimately decided to keep him on board. It looks like Mason wasn’t satisfying Groupon’s needs, even while on a short leash. The New York Times/Dealbook Here’s an excerpt from a letter Mason sent to company employees on Thursday, which he posted online “since it will leak anyway”: “After four and a half intense and wonderful years as C.E.O. of Groupon, I’ve decided that I’d like to spend more time with my family. Just kidding – I was fired today.” CNN Mason will take home a severance package of $378.36. He was making only $756.72 per year. NPR Mason, well-known for his open and joking personality, later compared his tenure at the company to a charmed session of playing the video game Battletoads. And he asked for suggestions for “a good fat camp to lose my Groupon 40″ — a request he later said had met with sufficient responses, via his Twitter feed.
Facebook Officially Announces Acquisition of Atlas Solutions from Microsoft (AllFacebook)
Ending weeks of speculation, Facebook Thursday confirmed its acquisition of the Atlas Solutions ad-serving business from Microsoft. AdAge initially reported the deal earlier this month, and talk heated up again Wednesday, with AdAge reporting — correctly, as it turns out — that the deal would be announced Thursday. CNET Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The companies also didn’t disclose the number of employees the deal affects, but Facebook noted that Atlas’ employees will remain in Seattle. Forbes The way Facebook is describing the potential benefits makes it quite clear that it hopes Atlas, which is used by advertisers and agencies to place ads on websites and measure their impact, will help it prove Facebook ads do in fact work – a point I made in December when rumors started heating up. Facebook has spent much of the past year or so on many initiatives with measurement firms such as Nielsen and comScore and issued dozens of case studies trying to show just that.
The Vatican Deleted All of Pope Benedict XVI’s Tweets (VentureBeat)
In a strange social media move, the Vatican has deleted all of the tweets sent from Pope Benedict XVI’s @Pontifex account to make way for a new pope. Benedict XVI was the first pope to use Twitter to communicate with his flock (though, of course, he’s the only one to hold the pontiff position since Twitter’s founding), and he urged Catholics to use Twitter to spread the “Good News.”
Viddy App Update Lets Users Shoot 30-Second Videos (AppNewser)
Video-sharing app Viddy has totally revamped its iOS app in the latest update, adding new video effects, new music tracks and the ability to create videos up to 30 seconds long. Besides being able to make videos that are twice as long as before, Viddy 2.0 also lets you pause recording so that you can essentially do edits in the camera while you are filming (like Vine).
Taking it to the Home Turf: YouTube Adds AirPlay Competitor to its iOS App (GigaOM)
YouTube just released an update to its iOS app that adds the ability to send videos directly from an iPad or iPhone to Google TV devices. The AirPlay-like feature was first rolled out as part of YouTube’s Android app in November, but YouTube has long said that it wants to bring the technology to additional platforms to allow frictionless sharing of content in the living room.
For B2B Brands, Facebook Delivers Traffic, Twitter Delivers Leads [Study] (AllTwitter)
A new study has revealed that while Facebook is the premier source of social media-originated traffic, Twitter is far and away the leading source of social leads for small and medium-sized business-to-business (B2B) brands. Some 82 percent of social media B2B leads come from Twitter, compared to just 9 percent for Facebook and LinkedIn equally.
‘Harlem Shake’ Protests Spring Up in the Middle East (The Daily Dot)
In America, the Harlem Shake is just a craze to cure office boredom, but in the Middle East, it’s becoming political. An event on Facebook is circulating seeking participants to perform the viral dance in front of ruling party Muslim Brotherhood’s headquarters next Thursday.
Don’t U Dis Txtspeak; it’s a ‘Linguistic Miracle,’ Says Professor (AllThingsD)
Columbia linguistics professor John McWhorter thinks texting, with its abbreviations and odd constructions and novel usage, is “a linguistic miracle happening right under our noses.” “A whole new language has developed among our young people doing something as mundane as batting around when they’re using their little devices,” he said in a talk at the TED conference in Long Beach, Calif.
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Obama Hosts ‘Fiscal Cliff’ Chat on Twitter (USA Today)
President Barack Obama urged Twitter followers on Monday to lobby Congress for a debt reduction deal that includes higher taxes on the wealthy. “Keep pressure on Congress,” Obama tweeted during a chat that was part of the White House “My2K” Twitter campaign to drum up support for its position in the “fiscal cliff” debate. CNET Over about an hour, the president answered seven questions on the topic — as well as one about which Chicago sports team will be next to win a championship — demonstrating the ability to stay on (political) message in under 140 characters, and an understanding of Twitter conventions used to best broadcast a tweet. Although it’s virtually certain that Obama was not writing his responses entirely on his own, the White House posted a photo showing that the president was in fact doing the typing. Reuters One questioner, who identified herself as Emma Robertson, asked in a tweet, “As a home owner, I worry deductions for home owners are at risk. Is that the case?” Obama responded: “Breaks for middle class impt for families & econ. if top rates don’t go up, danger that middle class deductions get hit – bo.” TechCrunch @Mica4Life asked: “Who will win it all first: Chicago #WhiteSox, #Bulls, or #Bears? #NFL #NBA #MLB cc: #My2k @BarackObama @whitehouse.” Obama responded: “@Mica4Life da bears still gotta shot, despite sad loss this weekend! plus rose will return for playoffs!!! -bo.” The Wall Street Journal Here is the complete transcript of the Twitter chat.
Texting Turns 20: The History of SMS (Mashable)
The first SMS was sent in 1992 by Neil Papworth. He sent the message “Merry Christmas” from his personal computer to his friend Richard Jarvis’ Orbitel 901 handset over the Vodafone GSM network. The text message was first commercially deployed a year later, in 1993, and after a relatively slow start is now one of the most popular ways for people to communicate with one another. The Huffington Post Reached Monday by The Huffington Post, Papworth said that while he doesn’t see texting lasting forever, he also doesn’t “see it going anywhere soon.” “Not everyone has a smartphone,” he said, “and smartphones usually rely on an Internet connection, which isn’t always available.” AllThingsD After years of gigantic growth, overall text-message volume is starting to decline, though total messages sent each year still measure in the trillions. But, despite the fact that rivals can boast cheaper prices and additional services, the SMS has something all its challengers lack — ubiquity.
Messaging App Whatsapp Denies Facebook Acquisition Rumors (VentureBeat)
Whatsapp is refuting rumors that it’s in negotiations for a Facebook buyout. In a statement sent to VentureBeat, the company’s business head Neeraj Arora said, “The TechCrunch article is a rumor and not factually accurate. We have no further information to share at the moment.”
Even When You Gotta Go, Social Media Goes Too (USA Today)
If you have found yourself using Facebook and Twitter in the bathroom, you are not the only one. Nearly one-third (32 percent) of the heaviest adopters of social networks — those ages 18 to 24 — connect with sites such as Facebook and Twitter in the bathroom.
Hackers Launch Attack on Tumblr, My Little Pony (SocialTimes)
Hackers have taken over thousands of Tumblr blogs, including those of The Daily Dot, The Verge, and CNET, according to a report by TheNextWeb. The anti-blogging group GNAA is using a viral post to spread a worm to more than 8,600 unique sites and counting, according to a group member’s Twitter page.
Ford, Jimmy Fallon Ask Twitter Users to Help Pen Super Bowl Jingle (PC Magazine)
The “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” host is crowdsourcing on Twitter the script of the new Lincoln MKZ commercial, which will debut during the February football game. On Wednesday, Fallon will begin his writing process by sending a single tweet, after which the Twitter universe will take over, working with the comedian to “steer the script” — which is, coincidentally, the same hashtag users should attach to their tweet ideas.
Facebook’s David Fisch Talks Mobile at Inside Social Apps Conference (AllFacebook)
Facebook is increasingly becoming a mobile company, as evidenced by the fact that roughly 600 million people access the social network via their phones. David Fisch, Facebook’s director of platform partnerships, spoke with Inside Network managing editor AJ Glasser at Mediabistro’s Inside Social Apps conference in New York about the future for the company on mobile and why organic reach has decreased.
Police Use Twitter to Reunite Lost iPad with Owner 6,000 Miles Away (The Daily Dot)
When a tourist lost her iPad in the United Kingdom, a police officer was able to return it to her after tracking her down with the help of the Twitter community. North Yorkshire Police Constable Ed Rogerson was able to access some photos on the iPad, including a flight ticket and several images of what appeared to be the device’s owner.
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Online privacy groups Electronic Privacy Information Center and Center for Digital Democracy have written a letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg asking him to abandon proposed changes to the social network’s privacy policies. Users would no longer have the opportunity to vote on proposed changes and privacy practices for Facebook and Instagram would be combined. AllFacebook Facebook has announced that users who have access to Gifts can now give the sound of music — through iTunes. Users can give a particular song or album or let their friend decide. VentureBeat Facebook shared data about the social networking activities of its U.S. members on Black Friday. The official information tells us nothing about the online or offline purchasing behaviors of Facebook’s massive audience, while third-party calculations make it seem like the social network played a non-existent role in driving traffic or sales. AllThingsD Facebook’s holiday presents are showing up early. Shares of the social giant’s stock jumped by more than 8 percent on Monday on news of multiple analyst upgrades. San Jose Mercury News But the reports also cautioned that Facebook is not out of the woods. Both firms warned that the Menlo Park, Calif., company still needs to demonstrate that advertising on the social network is effective over the long term.
Tumblr Hits Quantcast’s List of Top 10 U.S. Networks (TechCrunch)
Tumblr has announced that it has broken into the top 10 networks in the United States, according to third-party measurement firm Quantcast. According to a post from Tumblr CEO David Karp, the site now reaches a worldwide audience of 170 million people. PC Magazine With more than 61.3 million monthly U.S. visitors, Tumblr is now the ninth most popular website in the country. Karp added that the achievement is “a credit to all of your brilliant creative efforts. You guys have earned an audience bigger than the biggest TV networks, and you continue to make some of the most thought provoking, insightful, inspiring, funny, diverse and compelling content being created today.” The Verge It’s nonetheless a big jump from the 120 million monthly users (again, according to Quantcast) that it hit back in January of this year. It’s worth noting, however, that while Quantcast has a number of major partners (including Tumblr) who include the Quantcast site traffic coding on all of their webpages, the vast majority of its traffic data are projections and estimates.
How We Read, Not What We Read, May Be Contributing to Our Information Overload (Nieman Journalism Lab)
An interesting new study out of the University of Texas looks at the factors that contribute to the concept of information overload, and found that, for some people, the platform on which news is being consumed can make all the difference between whether you feel overwhelmed. On the central question of whether they feel overloaded with the amount of news available, 27 percent said “not at all”; everyone else reported some degree of overloaded.
Twitter Generated Zero Percent of Black Friday Sales (Mashable)
An IBM study found that shoppers referred from social networks like Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube generated only 0.34 percent of online sales on Black Friday — a decrease of more than 35 percent from the year before. Twitter literally contributed nothing to the revenue.
Rutgers Mashes Up Instagram and Google Street View (BetaBeat)
Rutgers’ Social Media Information Lab has just launched a new project dubbed The Beat, with pairs geotagged in Instagram photos with the location taken on Google Street View. The app is a stark reminder of just how much personal information we offer up to the Internet.
Study Finds Rise in Texting Even as Revenue Drops (The New York Times/Bits Blog)
The Pew Research Center published a study over the weekend that showed that the number of cellphone owners who text on their phones has grown to 80 percent from 58 percent in 2007. Instead of sending traditional text messages, cellphone owners are shifting toward Internet-based messaging services, like Apple’s iMessage, Facebook messaging and WhatsApp.
Violentacrez’s Short, Sad Reddit Reappearance (The Daily Dot)
If you’re wondering what happened to Michael Brutsch, who won unwanted notoriety last October after Gawker’s Adrian Chen exposed him as the real-life persona behind redditor Violentacrez, “the biggest troll on the Web” — well, he’s still alive and still has Internet access. Beyond that, only he knows for sure.
Texting. We all do it and we all have ridiculous stories about it, whether it’s a text to the wrong person or an embarrassing autocorrect snafu. Today a hilarious video that turns autocorrection into a love song (or should we say…lobe song?) is going viral and it inspired us to put together a list of some of the funniest texting-related videos on YouTube. Enjoy!
Baby I Lobe You – An Autocorrected Love Song
The Above Average Network brings you this hilarious autocorrected love song. I must admit that this video had me giggling from start to finish. Some of my favorite highlights include “I wanna hate six with you” and “You’re a fluffing piece of shirt.” Amazing.
YouTuber swoozie06 has racked up over 5.4 million views with this awesome video about text messaging pet peeves. What’s your biggest texting pet peeve?
Text Message Decoder
This video from JennaMarbles has been viewed over 9 million times. The Text Message Decoder (TMD) will help you understand what all those unclear text messages mean! Warning: NSFW Language.
Parents Just Don’t Understand: Dad’s New Phone
Do your parents text you? Are they as annoying as this guy’s dad? LOL! LOL! LOL!
Did I Type That?
Ellen takes a look at a few hilarious autocorrected texts on her show in this video from last January, which has racked up 2.5 million views. I am finding it hard to believe that some of these are real! What do you think?
Girl Falls In Mall Fountain While Texting
And who could forget Cathy A. Cruz, the woman that fell in a mall fountain while texting and walking back in 2011? Revisit the video below and check out our 2011 post to find out more.
Megan O’Neill is the resident web video expert here at Social Times. Megan covers everything from the latest viral videos to online video news and tips, and has a passion for bizarre, original and revolutionary content and ideas.
Happy Friday, folks! The weekend is just around the corner and, a usual, we’re celebrating with a roundup of some of the funniest videos from the past week. This week’s Friday Morning Laughs includes a hilarious animated short about rude texters, Will Ferrell’s take on the Twilight couple’s breakup, some amazing dog tricks, Batman and (yes, again) a Call Me Maybe parody. So grab your cup o’ joe, sit back and get ready to laugh. continued…
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Mitt Romney’s Amercia: No Laughing Matter (U.S. News & World Report)
Mitt Romney should have been doing a victory lap the day after clinching the Republican presidential nomination. But when Americans woke up Wednesday morning to a new Romney mobile app that misspelled “America” as “Amercia,” memes proliferated. The Hill With the hashtag #Amercia still trending late on Wednesday morning, users searching for the word on Twitter were also seeing a promoted tweet from the GOP nominee’s official Twitter account. Twitter’s promoted-tweets tool allows users to pay to promote individual tweets, anchoring them at the top of search results for specific keywords. MSNBC.com It didn’t take the Romney campaign staff long to send “Version 1.0.1″ of the app — which is described as having some “bug fixes” — to Apple, but the damage was already done. Twitter users went nuts, a new Tumblr blog was created, and plenty of media ridicule followed. The Daily BeastThe Telegraph may have drily won the Internet with its memorable dek: “White House hopeful Mitt Romney has meticulously spelt out his vision for a better America while on the campaign trail this year. But his new mobile app did not feature the same levels of preparation.” Here are five other cringe-inducing political typos and misnomers of the recent past. USA Today As the Scripps National Spelling Bee wraps up today near Washington, we’re once again confronted with the annual question: In a world of spell check and r u there texting, does spelling even matter anymore? continued…