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NewFacebookLogoFacebook Takes Another Crack at Ephemeral Messaging with Slingshot [Update: App Pulled Off iTunes] (The Next Web)
Facebook is trying once again to enter the increasingly crowded ephemeral messaging app market with Slingshot, a photo sharing app. But unlike Snapchat and other services, before you can see a photo, you need to reply with a photo of your own. TechCrunch The Verge is reporting the Slingshot app is no longer available. The app never became available in the U.S. store, but now you have to change stores inside iTunes to see it at all, as the App Store page was down. Inside Facebook A Facebook spokesperson told Inside Facebook that it was mistakenly released early: “Earlier today [Monday], we accidentally released a version of Slingshot, a new app we’re working on. With Slingshot, you’ll be able to share everyday moments with lots of people at once. It’ll be ready soon and we’re excited for you to try it out.” Mashable The iOS app allows users to send disappearing photo and video messages. Users begin by snapping a photo or recording a video to share with friends. Business Insider TapTalk, another video and photo messaging app, is another source of inspiration for Slingshot. The Verge’s Ellis Hamburger recently called TapTalk the “fastest photo app in the world” and hinted that Facebook would be launching a competitor.

Instagram to Extend Advertising to Canada, U.K., Australia This Year (AllFacebook)
Ads debuted on Instagram in the U.S. last November, and Canada, the U.K., and Australia are next up, at some point during 2014, the Facebook-owned photo- and video-sharing network announced in a post on the Instagram for Business blog. Readers: What have your impressions been of advertising on Instagram?

Vimeo Names Director of Audience Development and Content Operations (SocialTimes)
Peter Gerard, founder and CEO of Distrify, is leaving to join Vimeo as director of audience development and content operations. This comes as Vimeo is increasing its efforts in original programming.

Uber and Amex Partner on In-App Loyalty Program (Re/code)
American Express cardholders spend hundreds of millions of dollars on Uber per year, according to Leslie Berland, who leads digital partnerships and development at American Express. Now the two companies are pairing up, allowing people who use both to earn Amex loyalty points by riding with Uber and to pay for Uber rides with points as well.

Viggle Wraps Social TV Around Wetpaint with New Points System (LostRemote)
Viggle, the publicly traded social TV company, acquired Wetpaint (a celebrity and entertainment news site) back in December of last year. They’ve just announced that Viggle’s points system will be built into the video you watch in Wetpaint.

Family of Jailed Facebook User in Iran: ‘They are Going to Kill Her’ (VentureBeat)
U.K. resident Roya Nobakht was visiting Iran a few months ago. While there, she visited and posted on a Facebook page — one that Iran’s religious leaders don’t like. Now she’s in prison serving a 20-year term, and her family fears for her life.

Twitter Beats Call Centers for Customer Service [Survey] (AllTwitter)
According to two surveys sponsored by Amdocs, there is a gap between what customer service providers and what customers think of social media. Most (68 percent) customer service providers believe that customers turn to social channels like Twitter because they are unable to reach anyone on the phone. However, 50 percent of consumers surveyed actually want to communicate with their customer service provider on social media.

Facebook, Twitter and Other Social Networks are The New Matchmakers. And They’re Free. (The Washington Post)
Terésa Dowell-Vest and Michelle Alexander fell in love through a status update. The District couple had gazed at photos of each other while commenting on Facebook updates of acquaintances.

Dale Jr. Has a Message for His Twitter Detractors (USA Today)
If you’ve been taking potshots at Dale Earnhardt Jr. since he began using Twitter this year, NASCAR’s 11-time most popular driver has a message for you. Keep the vitriol flowing, please!

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