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Yelp Turns Up Heat on Restaurant Reservations Sites (CNET)
It looks like Yelp could be eating into some of OpenTable and Trip Advisor’s business. The reviews site launched a free tool on Tuesday that lets diners book restaurant reservations directly from its website. TechCrunch Yelp will now offer restaurants the ability to take bookings with no fee paid — as long as the restaurant has “claimed” its Yelp profile page. As a point of comparison, SeatMe’s normal service, which sits on a restaurant website, is charged at $99/month. MediaPost On the consumer side, people will get a text message reminder after booking, as well as the option to cancel or change a reservation via text. The new service marks an expansion of the company’s platform initiative launched last year, aimed at helping it expand into local e-commerce. The Next Web Yelp said it is also providing a free widget for businesses to add to their own websites to encourage more reservations.
Outlook.com Adds Advanced Email Rules, In-Line Replies and Revamped Chat Options (The Next Web)
Microsoft’s Outlook.com webmail service will soon include a new Advanced Rules feature for granular message filtering, as well as a streamlined chat experience, among other new features. Announced in a blog post, Microsoft said the Advanced Rules option gives users more control over how messages are sorted on arrival, filed or bounced back to the top of your inbox.
The Weather Channel Demonstrates How Not to Respond to a Complaint on Twitter (SocialTimes)
Unfortunately, someone at The Weather Channel forgot their manners when responding to a customer complaint on Twitter. When Fort Worth City Council member Joel Burns pointed out that The Weather Channel’s app used pictures of Dallas for Fort Worth, someone on the social media team responded with snark.
Pinterest Lets the Pictures Tell the Story in Quiet, Lovely Ads From Molecule (Adweek)
Idea: Pinterest’s new Guided Search function offers more structure to your Pinterest searches but retains an element of serendipity. It’s programmed loosely enough that exploring certain topics can lead you in unexpected directions, like a tour guide who knows what you might want to see often before you do.
Facebook Shares Five Success Stories To Mark National Small Business Week (AllFacebook)
Facebook is helping to mark National Small Business Week this week by showcasing five small businesses and their use of the social network for growth in a post on its Facebook for Business page. Readers: Do you know of any small business success stories on Facebook (perhaps even your own)?
Iranian Women Shed Veils for Facebook Page (USA Today)
Thousands of Iranian women are sending photos of themselves without their hijab, or veil, to a new London-based Facebook page dedicated to allowing them “stealthy freedoms.” The Facebook page — called “Stealthy Freedom of Iranian Women” — was set up 10 days ago by Iranian journalist Masih Alinejad and has attracted almost 150,000 likes.
Social Media Takes Over as Local News Station Forced Off-Air When Truck Rams Into Station (LostRemote)
A local Baltimore, Md., ABC station was forced off-air Tuesday after a man rammed his truck through the station’s front door, and barricaded himself inside for over four hours, our sister site TVSpy reports. And since the situation happening at their station prevented the network from reporting on-air for hours, social media took over.
Spotify Overhauls its Windows Phone App with New Design, Features — for Paying Customers Only (VentureBeat)
Good news for Spotify customers using the service’s Windows Phone app: The app just got a much-needed overhaul. The update is now available on devices running Windows Phone 8 and above.
We’re Using Twitter, Facebook Less, Instagram, Tumblr More, Says Data [Study] (AllTwitter)
Facebook leads Google+, YouTube, Twitter and LinkedIn in the list of top global social networks, but use of all of these platforms has dipped over the past two quarters – Facebook has seen a 6 percent drop in active usage since Q3 2013, beaten only by YouTube (-8 percent), with LinkedIn (-3 percent), Twitter (-3 percent) and Google+ (-1 percent) also softening. In the meantime, Instagram goes from strength-to-strength, registering an incredible 25 percent grow in active usage since Q3 2013.