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Betaworks Buys What’s Left of Social News Site Digg (The New York Times/Bits Blog)
On Thursday, Betaworks, a technology incubator in New York, said it had acquired social news site Digg. Betaworks paid $500,000 for Digg’s assets, including the site and its technology, and Digg shareholders received equity in a new Betaworks unit that will use those assets, according to a person involved in the deal. The Wall Street Journal The price is a pittance for a company that raised $45 million from prominent investors including Facebook investor Greylock Partners, LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman and venture capitalist Marc Andreessen. Digg received higher offers from bidders that included technology and publishing companies and start-ups but ultimately decided Betaworks had the best plan for reviving its brand, three people familiar with the matter said. Wired It used to be one of the most fearsome traffic drivers on the Internet, but faltered with a redesign in 2010 that critics complained gave all the leverage to promote stories to publishers, and took it away from the community that had built the site’s popularity. Users started leaving in droves, turning to Twitter to find their news, or Facebook to share links with friends, rather than “Digging” a story. PC Magazine Digg will be combined with News.me, which serves up the best stories shared by friends on Facebook and Twitter via an iPad and iPhone app and in a daily email newsletter. In the near future, Betaworks will release a cloud-based version of Digg intended to complement the existing News.me apps, Digg said. Reuters The sale came after the majority of Digg’s engineering staff left in May for Social Code, a subsidiary of The Washington Post Co. “Over the last few months, we’ve considered many options of where Digg could go, and frankly many of them could not live up to the reason Digg was invented in the first place — to discover the best stuff on the web,” Digg Chief Executive Matt Williams said in a blog post. “We wanted to find a way to take Digg back to its startup roots.”
Weddings, Engagements Will Be Announced Like Birthdays on Facebook (AllFacebook)
Facebook introduced a weddings and engagements feature Thursday, which allows you to write a quick “Congratulations!” on a newly wedded or engaged friend’s timeline, much like you would on their birthday. While it will show up in the top right corner of your news feed, engagements and weddings don’t show up on the revamped events page (yet). Mashable Facebook and other social platforms are watching users’ chats for criminal activity and notifying police if any suspicious behavior is detected, according to a report. The screening process begins with scanning software that monitors chats for words or phrases that signal something might be amiss, such as an exchange of personal information or vulgar language. ZDNET You might be shocked to learn that Facebook is automatically publishing posts under your name and placing them at the top of the Newsfeed for your friends. In some cases, these posts can include controversial political content that you would never voluntarily post.
Twitter Launches ‘Age Screening’ With Buddy Media, Preventing Underagers From Following Registered Adult Brands (TechCrunch)
The next time you try to follow an alcohol company or other brand with age-restricted products who has opted in to Twitter’s new “Age Screening” system, you’ll be required to submit your age, and won’t be allowed to follow if you’re too young. Nothing will change about who you already follow, but you’ll be sent a direct message with a link to submit your age upon your first new follow of an adult brand, and your age will then gate your future follows of brands who’ve signed up for age screening.
Tips for Getting More Tweets as a Conference Speaker [INFOGRAPHIC] (AllTwitter)
If you’ve ever spoken at a conference, or even just attended one, you know what a great opportunity it is for building connections – on and offline. Speakers especially have the opportunity to come away with hundreds more social connections, including brand new Twitter followers. We have nine tips for you.
Over 100,000 Gmail Accounts Also Exposed in Yahoo Hack (VentureBeat)
If your Yahoo account was hacked Thursday, there’s a chance that your Gmail, Hotmail, Verizon, and other accounts are vulnerable as well. The New York Times is reporting that among the over 400,000 Yahoo usernames and passwords that were exposed were a number of login credentials for Gmail, Hotmail, Comcast, MSN, Verizon, AOL, SBC Global and Live.com accounts.
Uber Experiments With On-Demand Ice-Cream Trucks (CNET)
San Francisco-based startup Uber, developer of the Summon-a-Car application, is temporarily giving users the ability to call an ice-cream truck through their app. The company’s app, available on Android or iPhone, can be used to request and book private vehicles in a number of U.S. cities. Today, however, users in San Francisco, New York, Seattle, Chicago, Boston, Washington and Toronto can also use the app to request the presence of an ice-cream truck.
Two Out of Three Phones Bought in U.S. are Smartphones (MSNBC.com/GadgetBox)
According to a Nielsen study released Thursday, two-thirds of phones bought in the United States during the last three months were smartphones. The study noted a slight increase in the proportion of Android phones among those being bought, making up 54.6 percent of smartphones. iPhones got a boost as well, up two points to a total of 36.3 percent.
Pinterest Users More Likely to Vote for Mitt Romney [Infographic] (SocialTimes)
If you find yourself on Pinterest more often than Etsy, you might be a Romney supporter, according to this infographic. See where you fall on the political spectrum based on the social media sites you use — the results may surprise you.
Good Thing We’re Tech Bloggers, or We’d Never Have Noticed the Free Payphone WiFi (BetaBeat)
New York City rolled out a program turning increasingly useless old payphones into free WiFi hotspots. The coverage has been positive, as one might expect. But we do have one complaint: If we weren’t tech bloggers, we probably wouldn’t have noticed that this particular payphone was anything out of the ordinary.