Here are some cool things we read about this past week.
Facebook has added another acquisition to the pile with the purchase of the year-old social gifting company Karma. The e-commerce startup creates a curated catalog of products that mobile app and Facebook users can send directly to their friends. You pick a gift from the app-based catalogue, add a card and send it via SMS, email or Facebook. The app allows users to gift anyone from anywhere without the sending having specific shipping information for the recipient. When the gift-getter receives notice of the gifting, he or she can make color or flavor choices, or even swap the gift for an alternative one or donate the gift to charity. The acquisition is significant in that it gives Facebook an interesting e-commerce revenue stream and further enhances its mobile footprint.
Facebook is testing a series of cosmetic changes to the top of users’ Timelines. The images (you can see them below) show a condensed version of Timeline, in which a user’s details (name, occupation, education, location) appear in reverse type on top of – rather than below – the cover photo.
NASCAR has become the first sports league, or company for that matter, to ink a special arrangement with Twitter. The partnership, launching June 10 around Pocono 400, focuses on a digital program supporting live race broadcasts. During a race, when fans click on #NASCAR, search for #NASCAR on Twitter, or visit twitter.com/#NASCAR, they will reach a Twitter platform scrolling the most relevant tweets from NASCAR drivers, families, teams, commentators, celebrities and other racing fans and personalities. Twitter.com/#NASCAR will be available for the Pocono race and then again on June 10 in conjunction with TNT’s first of six television broadcasts of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. Twitter will use algorithms and editorial signals to select and feature the best tweets and photos from NASCAR insiders during race weekends. Twitter’s media team will curate the tweets.
The Chinese government has confirmed that the country now has more than 1 billion mobile phone users, after revealing that the first quarter of the year saw an additional 43 million devices added. While the bulk of those mobile devices are feature phones, China’s smartphone market has risen to become the world’s largest, based on both shipment volume and device activations.