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Facebook Acquires Link Sharing Apps Branch and Potluck

potluckThe acquisition season is still continuing, and this time, it’s Facebook’s acquisition of Branch, whose apps are all about sharing. Banch’s CEO Josh Miller shared the big news, appropriately, on Facebook:

After two years building Branch and Potluck, I am thrilled to announce that we will be continuing our mission at Facebook!

We will be forming Facebook’s Conversations group, based in New York City, with the goal of helping people connect with others around their interests. Their pitch to us was: “Build Branch at Facebook scale!”  Read more

Google Glass Facial Recognition App Wants to Match Your Face to All of Your Online Profiles

Here’s a great app for those who fear being surrounded by criminal sex offenders: Name Tag. It’s an app being developed to match faces to the app’s vast database of social profile images, dating websites, and even the national sex offender registries.

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T-Mobile Offers ‘Free Facebook’ to PrePaid Customers Without Data Plans

gosmartCellular company T-Mobile is trying its best to accumulate new customers – the mobile wireless provider is now offering free Facebook access to its prepaid customers without data plans. The deal is for its GoSmart users ( starting at $25/mo) who will be able to access a slower, free version of Facebook using their phones starting in January of 2014.

Since GoSmart users who have data comes with unlimited access, the free Facebook access will be unnoticeable for those on the 3G data network. Additionally, T-Mobile is rumored to be luring new customers by paying off their cancellation fees with other carriers. Subscribers of other cellular service will get up to $350 credit to switch from rival carriers, with up to five lines of service per family.

Tourist Walks off Australian Pier While Checking Facebook

facebookThe Port Philip Bay in Melbourne, Australia nearly claimed at least one Facebook loving tourist, who, luckily survived the ordeal despite being unable to swim. According to witnesses who called for aid, the Taiwanese tourist walked right off of the Pier and into the cold water. She was able to maintain afloat , on her back, until police arrived and recued her a few meters away from the pier. She somehow managed to hang onto her phone despite being in harm’s way.

A social media warning was humorously posted on the Victoria police website:

Status Update: OMG One Step Too Far

In an interesting twist Victoria Police Water Police have identified a new hazard on Port Phillip Bay – social media!

A female tourist is lucky to be alive after taking one step too many while browsing Facebook on Monday night.

Nielsen: Instagram the Fastest Growing App of 2013

Facebook was the No. 1 most popular smartphone app of 2013, according to Nielsen’s year-end digital media report, which looked at unique users for iOS and Android apps. The Facebook-owned photo-sharing app Instagram was the fastest growing app. It jumped up 66 percent from last year to the No. 7 slot.

Facebook’s success is probably no surprise. There are a number of social networks on the top 10 list, but take a closer look and you’ll also see a lot of basic, utilitarian apps, such as search and maps.

About two-thirds of American mobile subscribers own a smartphone, up from 56 percent at the beginning of the year, Nielsen said.

Here’s the full list:


Donating to Charity is as Easy as Logging Into Facebook

‘Tis the season of giving, and there’s no better way to end the year than charitable gifts to your favorite nonprofit. To help you make fast and easy charitable donations,  Facebook is partnering with non-profits to help you support great causes.

facebook donate

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Twitter Developing Mobile Service for Phones Without an Internet Connection

twitter304Twitter is returning to its SMS roots for mobile blogging – the company has teamed up with startup U2opia to create a phone-accessible feed of localized tweets. The service is set to target emerging markets in areas like Africa and South America where 8 in 10 users do not have data connections on their phone.

In an interview with Reuters, U2opia’s Co-founder Sumesh Menon said, ” For a lot of end users in the emerging markets, it’s going to be their first Twitter experience.” U2opia transmits Twitter feeds using USSD, or Unstructed Supplementary Service Data. It doesn’t allow users to see images or other graphics, but is otherwise perfect for the micro-blog.  Read more

This Video Shows Why Facebook Acquaintances Should Rarely Visit in Real Life

facebook friendsStudies have shown that humans can only commit to 150 meaningful relationships in real life, at work, and also on Facebook – so why do we have so many beyond that number? It’s known as Dunbar’s number, and it’s part of our evolutionary trait.

As social animals humans have developed brains to accommodate for hunter-gatherer societies up to about 150 individuals. Geographical distributed limited that number, but now, with Facebook and other online sites, it’s easy to have an infinite number of acquaintances that you never really interact with on a daily, monthly, or yearly basis. To bring this theory to life, we are sharing this video from internet prankster, Greg Benson. Read more

When a Death App Comes to Facebook

Death and social often seem like opposing paradigms. At least, that’s how it feels on Facebook, where the death of a user is often awkward. So now, there’s an app for that. It’s Sanctri, and it’s Facebook’s memorial park.

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Now You Can Reach Almost Anyone via Facebook Messenger

People (5)Facebook released an update to its Messenger app that allows you to reach anyone using the app whose number you have, not just your existing Facebook friends.

The update lets individuals text their contacts from within the app, rather than switching to Facebook, their phone’s SMS client, or any other chat app. For those still paying per text, it could be a real money saver. Of course, not everyone has signed up for Messenger, so it may depend how popular Messenger is with an individual’s group of friends and family whether it’s relevant.

A fresh design, more speed, swipe navigation, and icons showing who among your contacts is on Messenger and active round out the update. Read more