In an interview yesterday at the D conference, Apple CEO Tim Cook promised, “We have some incredible plans that we have been working on for a while.” If you’re talking about that smartwatch, pal, we’ve already moved on to Google Glass. [AllThingsD]
Apple is stepping up the pace of its acquisitions, though. [AllThingsD]
Aviary is expanding to Tokyo in June, with 50 million monthly users in hand. [The Next Web]
Perhaps disappointed with the results of its no good, very bad commercials, Facebook now wants to invade your consciousness via television-show product placement. [Valleywag]
After a small advertiser revolt, Facebook is finally cracking down on groups dedicated to rape and violence against women. [Businessweek]
The torn-asunder relationship between Twitter and Facebook has reached its scorched-earth, Wuthering Heights-like final stages. Having fallen into a hurried marriage with Facebook, Instagram has cut ties with Twitter, yanking all photos from your Twitter feed (and presumably burning any incriminating love letters).
Now Twitter is moving on. Today the company announced the advent of a suite of tools blatantly meant to replace the functionality lent by Instagram:
Among the Natives David Karp put on his salesman hat this week and preached the Tumblr gospel in front of execs at an Advertising Week event. Karp pushed his company’s new approach to “native” non-intrusive marketing. He went as far as to call Tumblr the “brave new world.” The site now nets 27 million visitors a month and is expected to release some sort of earnings report this week, six months after ads started running on the site.
Pass The Popcorn MoviePass, a subscription service for unlimited movie-going, launched today, but is still invite-only. The app lets you check into a movie theatre, which then unlocks your MoviePass card. You pay at the credit card ticket kiosk using your MoviePass card, like you would with an ordinary card. The service is starting out at $29.99, which makes it a steal for New Yorkers because that’s a little under the price of two movies with popcorn in Manhattan.
Movers and Shakers
Looks like startup non-incubator Betaworks is in a hiring frenzy. Days after announcing it had snapped up former Tumblr VP Andrew McLaughlin, the company is making news again with another Entrepreneur-in-Residence hire.
Paul Murphy, COO of Aviary, is leaving his post at the photo editing startup to join the Betaworks folks at their sweet Meatpacking office.
Stay tuned Kickstarter announced via tweet yesterday that, starting this fall, U.K. residents will be able to use the crowdfunding platform to launch their own projects. Currently, although people anywhere can give money to projects on the site, only individuals based in the U.S. can launch projects and receive funding.
Advise away Tout’d, a new digital forum for personalized recommendations, launched last week. As a social media platform and referral space, the app for iOS and Android enables users to ask for advice from friends as well as share recommendations ranging from restaurants and gadgets to professional referrals.
Sell now Join M&A professionals this Thursday at General Assembly for the first Startup Exit event on the East Coast. With a focus on social commerce and online retail and fashion, the evening will feature a fireside chat with Etsy’s Director of Strategic Finance, Carrington Williams, and well as a panel featuring the CEOs of Thrillist, dotBox and OpenSky. Tickets are required.
Picnik, the web-based photo-editing tool, is kind of retro. The service has been around since 2007, when Mashable wrote that “online photo editing is now a Picnik.” The service is user-friendly, basic and intuitive, and it became very popular, despite its habit of bogging down the browser. Some people even paid $24.95.
Even though Picnik announced back in January that it would be shutting down the service and refunding its customers. It’s all part of efforts by Picnik’s owner Google’s to force everyone to put their photos into Google+, we know some of you bloggers and other information workers with on-the-fly photo editing needs out there are still using it, and you have to stop.
You have to stop, because Picnik is shutting down tomorrow, for real. Get your photos out, if you have them stored there, and find another service to use. We need a new web-based photo editor to supplement the all-purpose MS Paint.
Million Dwolla Baby
Dang, looks like we missed a couple prime candidate from our spring Poachables list.
Alex Taub, head of business development and partnerships at Aviary–and a familiar face to anyone in the New York startup scene–just announced that he will be starting a new post in a similar role at Dwolla, the online payments company that has investors swooning for its ability to reduce costly credit card interchange fees. After much speculation, Dwolla finally announced a $5 million round in February led by Union Square Ventures, with participation from Thrive Capital* and Marc Ecko of Artists & Instigators.
The fact that Mr. Taub will be setting up a Dwolla outpost right here in New York City should settle any feathers ruffled over Silicon Prairie poaching etiquette.
Flickr, in the midst of its most drastic makeover since its acquisition by Yahoo, just announced it will be rolling out a new embedded photo editor to users over the next few weeks starting tomorrow. The HTML editor will be powered by New York online editing software-maker Aviary.
“We listened to you to find out what you value the most in an online photo editor, and the same 2 attributes kept coming back: speed and simplicity,” Flickr said in a blog post today.
Flickr has approached in-app photo editing in baby steps. In 2007, Flickr encouraged users to use Picnik’s third party editor to tweak their shots. (Picnik, which was bought by Google, will be shuttered later this month.) Aviary, which has a third-party app that lets users flow their Flickr photos into its online editing suite, will be replacing that functionality.
the startup rundown
2×2^2. April 16 is officially 4sqDay in New York and over a dozen other cities around the country. The fan-created social media holiday’s official celebration will begin at 7 p.m. at The Caulfield. Check out the community blog and RSVP here.
CAPITAL IDEA. General Assembly is bringing back “Assembled Capital,” an all day event dedicated to getting startups funded. The $200 (plus a $4.97 fee) to get in is a bit steep, but breakfast, lunch and booze are totally included! The event will include talks, panels and plenty of elbow-rubbing time with the like of Squarespace’s Anthony Casalena, TechStars NYC’s David Tisch, Charlie O’Donnell of Brooklyn Bridge Ventures, Shane Snow of Contently and many others.
AIRbnFREE. Airbnb is teaming up with Thrillist and sponsoring Tour de Thrillist, a bicoastal race to discover all that LA, Vegas, Austin, Philly and of course NYC have to offer. Up for grabs is a five-destination trip and free Airbnb accommodations. Cross your fingers and enter the sweepstakes here.
Tech Talent Crunch
You’d be hard pressed to find an aspiring banker or model or writer or actor who would need much convincing to move to New York City. Not so with tech folks. In the face of competition from the Valley and giants like Facebook and Twitter, suddenly in our midst, seven startups have banded together for a campaign called Come Work in New York that promises to ply talented developers, designers, and “business people” with $5,000 to help them move to the city if they’re hired.