Linkages

Booting Up: Darth Vader Joins Instagram But His Selfie Technique Is Pretty Weird

Not how this works! (Photo: Instagram)

Cyber Monday sales exploded 20 percent higher than last year as more shoppers prefer the Internet over the mall. [Bloomberg]

Apple purchased Twitter analytics site Topsy for $200 million yesterday, but what they plan to do with it is clouded in mystery. One guess is that they’re going integrate it with iTunes Radio and alert “trending” music on the social network. [WSJ]

Facebook is rejiggering its News Feed formula to cut down on junk and emphasize high-quality news articles. [BuzzFeed FWD]

Here’s a peek into Betaworks’ long-term plans. [Digiday]

Darth Vader joined Instagram yesterday and took an alleged selfie that isn’t a selfie at all.  [Wired]

Linkages

Booting Up: Everybody Is Using ‘Cyber Monday’ As An Excuse to Shop Today

Betabeat at the mall.

An estimated 131 million people are expected to shop online today, which doesn’t seem that different from any other day. [NBC News]

Under interim CEO John Chen, BlackBerry is going to trick people in “emerging markets” into buying its products. [AllThingsD]

“@instagram.com” email addresses could be a thing. [TechCrunch]

The tech community has little interest in helping Kanye fulfill his DONDA dreams. [Valleywag]

Ben and Jerry’s ads on Instagram are less aggravating than other brands’ promos are. [AdWeek]

Linkages

Booting Up: FDA Orders 23AndMe to Halt Sales Of Its Sketchy DNA Tests

Banned. (Photo: 23AndMe)

The FDA is ordering Google-backed 23andMe to stop selling its personalized DNA tests because it doubts the products are backed by science. [USA Today]

If we’re judging by follower counts, likes and comments then ads on Instagram are working. [Digiday]

Flipboard is reportedly close to securing a $50 million funding round. [Fortune]

Blackberry’s COO and CMO have been fired, which is probably an early Christmas gift for them. [Business Insider]

Could Best Buy’s #VineinLine campaign on Twitter for Black Friday lead to people recording their fights and using the hashtag to promote them? Hopefully not! [AllThingsD]

App for That

Instagram’s New App for Windows Phones Doesn’t Really Do Much

Well, it looks cute. (Photo: Verge/Instagram)

Like throwing a Real Housewives cast party without any wine, Instagram today released a version for Windows Phones that is devoid of any useful features.

First, the newly released app doesn’t let users snap pictures, rather they have to be uploaded from the phone’s camera roll. Another key feature missing is the ability to upload videos, so we’re just going to have imagine what your slowly disappearing piece of french toast looks like. The Verge notes that users can’t tag people or view that little-used map of your geotagged pictures. Read More

Sex Drugs and Code

No-Fun Instagram Blocks Hashtags Used for Selling Drugs

No word yet on what this means for the medium's most famous stoner. (Photo: Instagram.com/badgalriri)

Sorry, dope fiends. Instagram is no longer allowing searches for terms associated with selling drugs through the app, the BBC reports.

Normally, Instagram only reprimands users for drug-related content if their posts are reported as being inappropriate, the BBC says. The company believes it’s “impractical and invasive” to search for, say, kids at music festivals pushing molly via hashtag. Read More

Love in the Time of Algorithms

Newly Engaged Couple Proves Future Rom Coms Will Revolve Around Instagram ‘Likes’

Love without a filter...? (Photo: Instagram.com/denislafargue)

No longer considered a sad tool for the socially inept, online dating is more popular than ever. From Match.com to Tinder to the extra-perplexing LoveRoom, we’re all abandoning our hopes for romantic comedy meet-cutes in favor of finding our soul mates via impersonal electronic devices.

So it doesn’t come as too much of a surprise that one pair of betrothed millennials met via Instagram. She posted a picture of some lake in Oregon, ABC News reports. He, a complete and total stranger, commented on it.  Read More

Linkages

Booting Up: #Underboob Is Now Researchable On Instagram

Ruined everything. (Photo: Apple)

Buoyed by strong iPhone sales, Apple reported a $7.5 billion profit on $37.5 billion of revenue in the fourth quarter. [TechCrunch]

Instagram has un-banned racy hashtags #thinspo, #underboob and #dildo. Sadly, #pen1s still appears to be blocked. [The Data Pack]

One Kings Lane is rolling out its own in-house line of bedding and towels. A shower curtain will set you back $69. [Wall Street Journal]

Google Glass owners will be available to swap out their current devices for a newer version, which now fits over prescription lenses. Also, you can invite three friends to the Explorer program. [Ars Technica]

There’s a “Social Media All Stars” event at Disneyland and Grumpy Cat will be there, so avoid the area on Nov. 5. [Laughing Squid]