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Free Facebook, Common Globally, Finally Comes to American Mobile Phones (The New York Times/Bits Blog)
In January, GoSmart Mobile, a little-known low-cost prepaid service from T-Mobile US, will begin bundling free access to Facebook’s social network and instant-messaging service with all of its mobile plans, including a basic $25-a-month unlimited voice plan. The service is primarily aimed at smartphones that run Apple’s iOS or Google’s Android software, but it will also work on the cheaper, more basic devices known as feature phones. AllFacebook Chris Daniels, Facebook vice president of partnerships, said in a release announcing the partnership: “Facebook`s mission is to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected, and we`re delighted that GoSmart subscribers, many who don’t have data access, will be able to use Facebook for free.” GoSmart Mobile senior vice president Doug Chartier added: “Once again, T-Mobile is shaking up the wireless industry by offering unlimited Facebook for GoSmart customers with no strings attached. Customers love GoSmart because it`s one of the simplest and most budget-friendly, no-annual-contract options in wireless. The deal just got a whole lot sweeter.” NBC News In related news, a terminally ill girl who received support from thousands of Christmas carolers outside her eastern Pennsylvania home over the weekend died early on Christmas morning, her family said. Shortly after the caroling began, the family’s Facebook page showed a picture of Delaney Brown giving two thumbs up with the text, “I can hear you now!!! Love you!” Business Insider Brown was diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia in May. Last Tuesday, her parents announced on Facebook that the 8-year-old only has days or weeks to live. UPI
“We are devastated by the loss of our Laney. She was our angel. We will miss her smile, her laughter, and the way she would light up any room she was in,” Christopher Winters said. “We are eternally grateful for all of the love kindness, prayers and support that we have received from people across the world. You will never know how meaningful it was for all of you to rally around Laney.”
Iran Reaches Out on Twitter at Christmas (CNN)
Iran’s top leaders used Twitter to send Christmas greetings that praised Jesus, continuing a new era of social media outreach by a government previously known for Islamic extremism and political belligerence. “May Jesus Christ, Prophet of love & peace, bless us all on this day. Wishing Merry #Christmas to those celebrating, esp Iranian Christians,” said a tweet from the official account of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.
Industry Experts Predict Native Advertising Trends for 2014 (SocialTimes)
2013 was the year of native advertising. Marketers and publishers have tried everything to cut through the clutter and engage ad-resistant and suspicious consumers. AdWeek’s Lucia Moses recently caught up with several experts in the field and asked them to share their predictions for 2014.
Justin Bieber Tweets Retirement, Then Tells Fans ‘IM HERE FOREVER (New York Daily News)
Justin Bieber is tweeting mixed messages about his future a week after dropping his bombshell “retirement” announcement on a Los Angeles radio station. “My beloved beliebers I’m officially retiring,” the 19-year-old pop superstar tweeted to his 48 million followers on Christmas Eve.”
Will South Korea House Facebook’s Next Data Center? (AllFacebook)
Facebook may be eyeing South Korea as the site for its next data center, according to a report by Business Korea. Sources told Business Korea that a Facebook official visited the country earlier this month, looking into cities such as Busan.
Kansas Regents’ Social Media Rules Come Under Fire (Hutchinson News)
Several members of Kansas State University faculty and other education groups are asking the board of regents to repeal a new social media policy devised in the wake of criticism about a journalism professor’s anti-NRA tweet. The Kansas Board of Regents last week decided that university officials can fire faculty and staff who post messages on social media that conflict with the institution’s best interests and efficient operations.
6 Tips for Shorter Tweets [Infographic] (AllTwitter)
Twitter has few absolute rules, but one of them is hard and fast: everybody is restricted to a limit of 140 characters per tweet. Sometimes you need every single one of those characters and, no matter what you do, you can’t make your tweet fit in the space. So, here are six tips from Pardot (plus a bonus) to help you write shorter tweets.
How LinkedIn is Using Data to Help You Find the Right Career (VentureBeat)
At VentureBeat’s DataBeat/Data Science Summit in November, I caught up with LinkedIn’s head of data science, Jim Baer, to chat about how the company is making use of its vast store of information it’s collecting about recruiting and careers. According to Baer, LinkedIn recently launched a series of products geared to high schoolers, including University Pages.
Social Media Helps Christmas Wish Comes True for New York Man with Down Syndrome (CBS New York)
A tidal wave of kindness reached a man with Down syndrome in upstate New York for the Christmas holiday. As CBS 2′s Alice Gainer reported, the mother of 25-year-old Elliot Shirback reached out via social media to make her son’s wish come true.