Here are some cool things we read about this past week:
Everything Facebook Announced at F8
Anonymous Logins: When a user logs into an app for the first time they can now login anonymously before deciding if they want to keep using the app. FbStart Developer Tools: Developers can apply to the FbStart program for access to free tools and services “to get your app up and running fast.” Audience Network: Facebook introduced its mobile ad network with three formats: banner, interstitial and native. Mobile Like for Apps: Facebook introduced a “like” button on mobile giving developers access to users’ Timelines. Local Datastore for Offline App Use: Facebook announced offline data storage, allowing developers to keep apps running while a mobile device is no longer connected to the internet. Two-Year Stability and 48-Hour Bug Fixes: Facebook’s core APIs will come with a two-year stability guarantee and the company promises to handle all major bug fixes within 48 hours. AppLinks: Developers can now link between apps. New Media APIs: Facebook announced four new APIs for media organizations: Trending, Topic Insights, Topic Feed, and Hashtag Counter. Test Apps: Developers can create Facebook App Ids quickly for development and staging.
Meet Swarm: Foursquare’s Ambitious Plan to Split its App in Two
This week, Foursquare announced a new app called Swarm that will exist alongside the current Foursquare app. Swarm will be a social heat map, helping users find friends nearby and check in to share their location. A completely rewritten Foursquare app will launch in a month. The new Foursquare will ditch the check-in and focus solely on exploration and discovery – taking on Yelp.
Twitter Considers “Whisper Mode”
Twitter is looking to encourage more private discussions on its service. CEO Dick Costolo would like to have a “whisper mode” that allows users to take public conversations and discuss them solely with friends.
SnapChat Rolls Out Text, Video Messaging
SnapChat is rolling out a text and video-messaging feature named Chat, while making it easier for users to save their exchanges with friends. The text and video messages will still disappear after users are through with them, but SnapChat is encouraging everyone to save whatever information they like.
LinkedIn Launches Sponsored Updates API and Partner Programs
LinkedIn this week announced two new types of Certified Marketing Partners – Sponsored Updates Partners and Content Partners – to make it easier for brands and agencies to scale their content marketing efforts on the platform. Sponsored Updates partners will have access to advanced tools to manage campaigns. Content Partners will provide access to high-quality content to enhance advertiser activities on LinkedIn.
Instagram Video Ads Are Coming Soon
Video ads on the platform are quietly being tested. Instagram says it’s still far off from offering self-serve advertising tools and still needs to vet and approve every sponsored photo (and soon video).
Global Social Media
Russia Orders Bloggers to Register; Outlaws Anonymous Blogging, Continues to Clamp Down on Social Media
Russia has been steadily trying to bring the Internet under control with ever-more stringent measures. After tackling general Web sites through powers that allow them to be blocked more easily, it is now turning its attention to bloggers. A new law requires that bloggers declare their family name and email address on their blogs. Any authors whose personal site has more than 3,000 visitors per day must register on a special list and abide by mass media restrictions and laws pertaining “resistance to extremism.” Abuse will be punishable by fines and website suspensions. Russian authorities have also tightened their grip on Vkontakte. The founder of the Russian Facebook fled the country after being threatened by Kremlin officials. The former CEO now claims that the site is now under “the complete control” of Vladimir Putin.
CB2 Invites Pinterest Users to Design an Apartment in Real Time
Home décor chain CB2 wanted to turn aspirational online home design daydreams into reality with APT CB2, a five day event in which five popular designers decorate one real-world apartment using furniture from the CB2 catalogue with the real-time input from the Pinterest community. Starting on May 7, each designer will have one day to transform one room in a vacant NYC apartment into a fully realized space, the progress of which will be shared over Pinterest and through a campaign microsite. Throughout the day, people can vote on a design choice an hour – for instance which chair or lamp to put in the space — all with the promise of winning $5,000 to spend at CB2 for their own dream apartment.