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Nitasha Tiku

Facebook Faceoff

MessageMe, the Addictive App Facebook Tried to Buy Before Cutting It Off, Already Picked Up More Than 1M. Users

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There have been a rash of reports recently about Facebook’s mercurial approach to third-party developers. The social network may not want to be “in the business of king-making,” by boosting–or suppressing–traffic to popular apps, as Douglas Purdy, director of developer products, told Reuters. But Facebook is increasingly willing to shut the castle gate on competitors.

While Facebook claims it’s an effort to stop spam and promote apps that add value to the network, “Developers say the crackdown is an attempt to stifle applications that compete with Facebook-owned services,” or pay for ads on Facebook, the Wall Street Journal reported last night.   Read More

ZyngaVille

Zynga Tries Again With Draw Something 2, a Celebrity-Endorsed Social Network

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Celebrity revelations rarely arrive without some behind-the-scenes orchestration, which is what we imagine happened this afternoon when Ryan Seacrest “gave away Zynga’s secret,” by outing the launch of Draw Something 2 on Twitter.

After all, Mr. Seacrest’s production company RS Productions also happens to have acquired the rights to the Draw Something game show. Read More

Crime and Punishment

Uber Limo Driver Allegedly Raped a 20-Year-Old Customer In D.C., But Won’t Be Prosecuted

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The Washington Post reports that a 35-year-old limousine driver named Anouar Habib Trabelsi allegedly raped a 20-year-old passenger. The woman used Uber’s smartphone app to e-hail a black car from outside a bar on U Street in December, which is when the alleged incident occurred.

On Thursday, police held a news conference announcing that they were Read More

Sponsored by FedEx

Ask An Expert: Meet Jonny Bauer, Chief Strategy Officer from Droga5

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Today is our final installment of “Ask an Expert” and your last chance to get free tips from leading industry experts. We’re featuring Droga5’s chief strategy officer, Jonny Bauer. Droga5 has been named Agency of the Year three times and Jonny is responsible for building and overseeing strategy there, including all brand, digital, media and IP thinking for the agency. He is a member of the American Advertising Federation Advertising Hall of Achivement and a winner of multiple Effie awards, including one for the launch of JayZ’s book Decoded. Read More

Love in the Time of Algorithms

Sex By Southwest: We Hung Out with Bangs With Friends

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“I got my first match!” one of the cofounders of Bang With Friends told Betabeat earlier this week as we scarfed down free grilled cheese on the curb outside the Austin Convention Center. Around us, hordes of lanyard-wearing South by Southwest attendees swarmed by, eyes firmly fixed on their smartphones.

Unfortunately, the match–facilitated on the since-banned Bangs with SXSW specialty site–wasn’t a lust connection. “It happened at 3 or 4 am, so I was already too far gone at that point.” Read More

startup rundown

Startup News: Disrupting Burner Phones and Brunch With Jake Lodwick and Bre Pettis

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Here’s A Tip. Are you travelling outside the U.S. soon? Are you afraid of getting publicly humiliated by an Austrian waiter because you rounded his tip up to the nearest 5 percent, not 10? Well How Much Should I Fucking Tip has a goddam solution! Just type the country or city of your choice into the search bar and get the proper percent to tip at restaurants, at hotels, and in taxis. There are also convenient notes on countries with sneaky service charges, or specific parking rules. But don’t exit your browser until you’ve typed in “North Korea.” Read More