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Instagram Scrubs Spam, Prepares for Bigger and Better Things

Justin Bieber IG caption: "Aren't we all just searching for peace"

Justin Bieber IG caption: “Aren’t we all just searching for peace”

Facebook stock reached a high point the other day — $81.45 a share, the most expensive since its botched 2012 IPO. The social media site made marketing gains in mobile and, just as importantly, in Instagram, the photo and video sharing site that has 300 million monthly active users, surpassing Twitter. (Twitter had 284 million in October, according to Bloomberg.)

Now the site is preparing for the future, introducing new filters and offering verified badges.

“As Instagram gets bigger, we’re focused on helping you discover photos and videos from people who you care about, whether it’s a friend or your favorite musician,” Kevin Systrom, the CEO of Instagram said in a recent press statement.

“…Today, we’re excited to announce verified badges for celebrities, athletes and brands, making it easier for you to connect with the authentic accounts you’re looking for,” he continued. “…Finally, as more people join, keeping Instagram authentic is critical—it’s a place where real people share real moments. We’re committed to doing everything possible to keep Instagram free from the fake and spammy accounts that plague much of the web, and that’s why we’re finishing up some important work that began earlier this year.”

In doing away with “spammy” accounts, there was what the internet dubbed an #InstagramPurge, in which some celebs lost millions of fake followers. No sad selfies folks. This is a good thing.

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Mediabistro Job Fair

Mediabistro Job FairLand your next big gig! Join us on January 27 at the Altman Building in New York City for an incredible opportunity to meet with hiring managers from the top New York media companies, network with other professionals and industry leaders, and land your next job. Register now!

Publicist Hannah Bagshawe Marries Theory Of Everything Star Eddie Redmayne

Congrats are in order! Publicist Hannah Bagshawe married Eddie Redmayne over the weekend in Somerset, England.

Redmayne is currently starring as Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything, a role that will likely earn him more than a few acting nominations and honors. He’s also starred in the award-winning film version of Les Miserables, My Week With Marilyn and with Cate Blanchett in Elizabeth: The Golden Age.

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Are Celebrity Spokespeople Effective?

The campaign to promote Invest In Us, programs that benefit early childhood development programs through help from public and private partners, launched this week with lots of celebrity fire power: Golden Globe nominees Julianne Moore and John Legend, Internet popular international singer Shakira and actress Jennifer Garner.

One of the PSAs used in the effort is posted above. Did you see Julianne Moore? No? That’s because she’s not in it. It’s just her voice.

Do people care as much if a celebrity spokesperson only lends their voice and not their face to a campaign? Not unless you have an iconic voice.

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GOOD NEWS: It’s Hard Out There for a Protestor…So Feed Them

ICYMI: A few people have taken up protesting civil servants and the U.S. government because human rights are a thing.

From Los Angeles to Ferguson, Mo., to NYC, activists are taking up arms and exercising their First Amendment rights to say what is vexing them about the justice system. While you may or may not applaud them, a couple of people figured they are working up an appetite.

Enter into the fray John Legend and Chrissy Teigen.

These are two people very much in the public eye who tried to do something privately because it just seemed like the right thing to do — they hired food trucks for a free lunch (and most likely, a pat on the back).

No hashtag. No t-shirt. No TV cameras. Just will work for food. Nicely done.

All I Want for Christmas Is Less Kim Kardashian

kim-kardashian-paper-magazineDear Santa,

I know I’m not perfect and I just got off the naughty list.

But since I’m (probably) back in good standing, I would like to request a special present this year: convince my media friends to stop covering the troglodyte known as Kim Kardashian.

This story is why.

KK often gets press for doing nothing, but this time she is blaming whatever deity she worships for an experience common to every woman in the world: slight weight gain during pregnancy.

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Celebrities’ Aliases Revealed in Sony Pictures Hack

Justin_Beiber_disguise_3407In case you haven’t been trolling the Interweb for the latest theatrical trailer, Sony Pictures was victimized by a torrential hack attack last month. No money was stolen, but the hackers did manage to steal the element of surprise. The Verge breaks it down in a riveting account, if you’re into that sort of thing.

One thing good did come out of this: we know what celebrities like to call themselves when trying to remain incognito. Who knew A-listers, B-listers, and other folks we don’t really care about could be so inventive with nicknames?

At any rate, enjoy…

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Mariah Carey Wants Her Voice Back for Christmas


Do you remember the time when Mariah Carey did that thing with her voice that threatened to permanently damage your dog’s hearing? No one really knew how she did it, but mutt owners everywhere felt the power of her vocal gymnastics.

The ghost of Christmas past just called, and its wants Carey’s ’90s starlet tones back.

If you were around a TV (or the Web went the dang thing went viral), you know that ghost spooked Carey and already stole the thing. During the annual tree lighting ceremony at 30 Rock last night, she was supposed to sing her classic Yuletide tune “All I Want for Christmas Is You“…

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Bill Cosby Breaks Silence to Thank Notable Defenders on Twitter

Bill Cosby Whoopi Jill Scott

(Photo Credit: Getty / Source:

More than twenty women have now accused Bill Cosby of sexual misbehavior. Yesterday one of those women filed the first lawsuit against the entertainer, but Cosby, 77, has been defiantly silent as the story snowballs.

His silence ended yesterday evening when two people he knows and adores did what no one else is willing to do at this point: they defended him.

The two people are Jill Scott (left) and Whoopi Goldberg (right). And in this odd world of virality, he did them a solid on Twitter.

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Prince Is Not Thankful for His Online Fans


Talk about a “controversy” making people “delirious.”

In the record span of two months, the enigmatic-genius-symbol currently known as Prince did the unthinkable — he gave his fans what they wanted and then took it all away…along with his entire video collection online.

And then he drove away in his Little Red Corvette and made all the doves cry.

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Sting Joining the Cast of his Broadway Show ‘The Last Ship’ To Boost Ticket Sales

sting last shipWhere once Broadway stages were populated by a breed of actor that focused on work in the theater, you can now find some of the biggest names from television, Hollywood and music on marquees all over Midtown Manhattan. Indeed, trying to get a ticket to a show with a celebrity involved will cost theatergoers big bucks. The last time we checked for tickets to see Hugh Jackman in “The River,” there was nothing for less than about $280.

Hoping to turn around the fortunes of his flailing show “The Last Ship,” Sting will headline the production for five weeks starting December 9. Sting wrote the music to the show, which is about a young man who leaves his English shipping community only to return 15 years later to find that the shipyard is at risk and his childhood love is engaged to another man.

To announce the special engagement, Sting appeared on the Today show this morning. And The New York Times ran a story yesterday. So the show sees the opportunity and is looking to make the most of it.

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