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A Facebook Smartphone in 2013? (Los Angeles Times)
Can a Facebook smartphone solve the social media company’s mobile problem? Just one week after Facebook’s less-than-stellar IPO comes news that the social network is beefing up its engineering staff in the hopes of releasing a Facebook smartphone by 2013. GigaOM Does it make any sense for Facebook to build its own smartphone? Some argue that this would be a natural extension of the social network’s strategy. The Next Web But the tech world consensus is that it would be a nightmare for Facebook if it got into the mobile hardware game. A Facebook phone, which has been rumored for quite some time, could be one of the only ways for the company to not only control the experience of its mobile users, but properly iterate and hack out a better mobile experience overall. The New York Times This would be Facebook’s third effort at building a smartphone, said one person briefed on the plans and one who was recruited. In 2010, TechCrunch reported that Facebook was working on a smartphone. The project crumbled after the company realized the difficulties involved, according to people who had worked on it. AP Social media sites and blogs have lit up after eagle-eyed viewers spotted a surprise cameo by Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, in a Chinese TV documentary about the country’s police force. The documentary by CCTV was part of a series on Chinese police and high-tech crime-solving methods.
Apple Rejecting Apps With Flattr Social Micro-Payment Integration (Apple Insider)
Social micro-payment company Flattr was dealt a blow on Monday as it was announced that Apple will be rejecting any app that integrates the donation service as it violates App Store terms and conditions regarding third-party payments. Problems began in early May when Apple rejected an update for podcast manager Instacast, citing the app’s new integration with Flattr that allowed users to donate money with the click of a button. TechCrunch Flattr, for those unfamiliar, lets users click to donate funds directly to a content creator. It’s a “like button with cash,” TechCrunch’s Mike Butcher once said of the service. To use Flattr, users decide how much they want to spend per month. Then, whenever they see a Flattr button on the Web or mobile, they click to donate. The Next Web Basically, Apple is saying that “if you’re going to use our infrastructure to sell things, you have to do it our way.” Apple of course reserves the right to do so, and an app like Instacast could decide to make a stand against the giant and move to another less rigid platform. That move would hurt the company, since Apple’s App Store has the largest user base.
Meshing Microsoft With Skype (The New York Times)
Skype, the biggest acquisition in Microsoft’s history, will ultimately be judged by whether Microsoft can weave the product deeply into its vast product portfolio, providing a superior Skype experience on products as various as Windows PCs and Xboxes. The idea that Skype can give Windows and other Microsoft products an edge is the only way the company can justify the high price it paid, analysts say.
Socal Media Start-Ups Bring Compatible Travelers Together (USA Today)
Traveling, especially by plane, has gone from glam to glum. To try to reverse the trend, social travel media websites linking travelers around the world have popped up. Many help travelers plan trips and share their experiences.
Twitter-Fueled Hedge Fund Bit the Dust, but it Actually Worked (VentureBeat)
Derwent Capital Markets is using Twitter to figure out where the money is going. A hedge fund that analyzed tweets to figure out where to invest closed its doors last year after just one month, the Financial Times reports. That’s not because its analysis of Twitter wasn’t working.
Flaming Lips’ Wayne Coyne Talks Twitter [Video] (SocialTimes)
Wayne Coyne, lead singer of The Flamingo Lips, stopped in New York on his way to a 24-hour bus tour from Memphis, Tenn., to New Orleans, La., for MTV’s O Music Awards, the band’s most epic performance since the 24-hour song it released in October 2011. In our interview with Coyne, the singer shares his Twitter philosophy and a few of the unexpected connections he’s made through social media.
China Cracks Down on Twitter-Like Website, Asks Users to Sign Contract (GlobalPost)
China’s biggest micro-blogging website has introduced a code of conduct that restricts the types of messages users can post, BBC News reported. The website, called Sina Weibo, is similar to Twitter.
Elevator Pitch: Fondu Is Yelp Meets Twitter [Video] (mediabistroTV)
In the latest episode of mediabistroTV’s “Elevator Pitch,” host Alan Meckler chats with Gauri Manglik, the co-founder and CEO of Fondu. Fondu is an iPhone app that allows users to share bite-size restaurant reviews with their friends (sort of like Yelp meets Twitter).
AP Plans Google Hangout on New Stylebook (Google+)
The AP will host a Google Hangout on May 31 at 2 p.m. EDT to discuss changes in the new AP Stylebook. Bring your questions.