Visiting Dignitaries

Justin Bieber’s New App Is for Selfies, Kind of Like All the Other Apps for Selfies

I was like selfie, selfie, selfie, ohhhhh (Photo: YouTube)

When celebs dip their perfectly pedicured toes into the tech world, the results often feel crass and unnecessary. Do we really need this “clean-living startup” from Jessica Alba? Does anyone read Gwyneth Paltrow’s GOOP in earnest? And why did we have to download a bad app to listen to Jay-Z’s latest album?

But you can’t get much more crass than Shots of Me, a selfie app backed by a big chunk of change from Justin Bieber. So why do we need this selfie app? “Immaturity fuels bullying and drama-filled comment reels,” TechCrunch points out. “So RockLive has taken funding from Justin Bieber to solve these problems with Shots of Me, a self-portrait photo sharing iOS app that launches today.” Read More

Visiting Dignitaries

Justin Bieber’s Latest Investment Is a Social Network for #Teens

"Yo sweet pitch deck, dawg." (Photo by Nicky Loh/Getty Images)

Sure, Katy Perry just passed Justin Bieber as the most popular person on Twitter. But that doesn’t mean the diminutive Canadian heartthrob is losing his taste for the digital rat-race.

Fortune reports that he’s just made a new seed investment, his first in a social network. The Biebs is pumping some of his endless cash into Shots of Me, a new teen-targeted social network due to launch later this week. VC Shervin Pishevar and boxer Floyd Mayweather have also invested. Read More

Visiting Dignitaries

Address Your Thank You Letters to Richard Branson Because He’s Sending Justin Bieber to Space

Stay up there. (Photo: Twitter.com)

Out of ideas on who he can alienate on planet earth, Justin Bieber has volunteered to be shot into space for a suborbital flight on Virgin Galactic. Ginger-in-chief Richard Branson excitedly tweeted the news Wednesday announcing his diabolical plans on how he’s angling to rid the planet of the autotuned manchild.

“Great to hear @justinbieber & @scooterbraun are latest @virgingalactic future astronauts. Congrats, see you up there!,” tweeted Mr. Branson, reminding us that the requirements of becoming an astronaut is alarmingly low.  Read More

Visiting Dignitaries

Justin Bieber Will Sue You for $5 Million If You Tweet From His Dumb House Parties

I was like selfie, selfie, selfie, ohhhhh (Photo: YouTube)

If you are ever #blessed enough to get an invitation to one of Justin Bieber’s house parties, take plenty of sneaky Snapchats because you won’t be able to permanently document it. TMZ obtained a waiver that guests are required to sign before entering Bieber du Monde barring them from publicly discussing it on social media, like Twitter, Instagram or on Bodybuilding.com, or their ilk. Read More

shameless rumormongering

Rumor Roundup: Softbank Gets a Panty Dropoff and Fred Durst Did It All for the Diggs

Screen Shot 2013-02-01 at 5.11.34 PM

Airbnb Is a Belieber Early this week, CEO Brian Chesky tweeted out a photo of Justin Bieber, whose startup cred apparently extends to Airbnb renter. The Instagram shot was taken by Mazy Kazerooni, cofounder of #DominateFund, Ben Parr’s still hush-hush, celebrity-focused micro-VC. Gee, wonder who their LPs are?

Friday flashback This week the revamped Digg got an unexpected celebrity thumbs-up: Fred Durst of Limp Bizkit fame (infamy?) tweeted at developer Robert Tolar Haining, “I love Digg. Great job and beautiful interface.” “Why thank you sir!” Mr. Haining replied, because what else are you going to say when Fred Durst compliments your UI? Read More

Exit This Way

Street Style Social Network Thre.ad Shutting Down

Ms. Nguyen (Photo: We Are NY Tech)

New York-based street style social network Thre.ad announced in an email sent out to users today that it will be shutting down. The company’s owners would probably rather you think of it as a pivot, however: According to the announcement, they’re folding Thre.ad into a new ecommerce site called That’s Foxy, which will deliver “shop-able products that are inspired by what’s trending in the community.” Read More

Exit This Way

Marissa Mayer’s First Acquisition Means an Exit for Justin Bieber, Scooter Braun, Ellen, and Ryan Seacrest

Justin Bieber Stamped

This is about as close as Marissa Mayer has come to being featured in an episode of Entourage. Today, word leaked that the new Yahoo CEO made her first acquisition–or acqui-hire, depending on who you ask. Ms. Mayer has purchased Stamped, a New York City-based recommendations app cofounded by two fellow Xooglers. Stamped cofounder Robby Stein worked closely with Ms. Mayer when the two were both still employed by GOOG.

Mashable says Stamped’s team, five of whom are former Google employees, will be joining “a new mobile product team to be established in New York under the leadership of Stamped’s three co-founders.” In a blog post published to the Stamped site, the team confirmed that they will be “discontinuing the Stamped product” but are working on a solution for users to export their data from the app.

Business Insider reports that the deal was closed for a ”a nice size,” but nothing too hefty. That should mean some extra spending money for a group of people who have no need for it: Stamped’s celebrity investors. Read More

Hoaxes

Justin Bieber Trolls Everyone, ‘Stolen Laptop’ Claim was a Viral Marketing Stunt for His New Single

(Photo: YouTube)

Yesterday morning, music news outlets across the Internet began reporting that human Girl Talk game Justin Bieber had his laptop and camera stolen at a concert in Washington state. On Wednesday, the Biebs tweeted out to his 29 million followers that his stuff had been ganked from the Tacoma Dome. “yesterday during the show me and my tour manager josh had some stuff stolen. really sucks. people should respect other’s property,” he lamented. “i had a lot of personal footage on that computer and camera and that is what bothers me the most. #lame #norespect” Read More

Visiting Dignitaries

Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez Fan Sites Fined $1 M. for Child Privacy Violations

(Photo: Instagram)

Artist Arena, the division of Warner Music Group behind fan sites for pop music stars like Justin Bieber, Selena GomezRihanna and Demi Lovato, has agreed to a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission. The New York Times reports that the company has agreed to pay a $1 million civil penalty for illegally collecting personal information from children.

The pop stars themselves haven’t been accused of any misconduct. But because Artist Arena asked for details like birth dates in order to let fans create online profiles, the FTC argued that the company knew very well that it violated the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (Coppa) by collecting the addresses and cellphone numbers of roughly 101,000 users aged 12 or younger without parental consent or notification. Read More

Music 2.0

Scooter Braun and Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino Talk Music Industry Disruption at Google Event

Mr. Braun did not wear a Mickey Mouse shirt.

Betabeat arrived at Google’s Big Tent event at the Skylight West building just in time for the Trends and Transformations in Music panel. Moderated by Billboard editorial director Bill Werde, the topic du jour was how the Internet and social media have ushered in a new era of music production.

In attendance were Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino and none other than Scooter Braun, Justin Bieber’s talent manager and the man credited with discovering America’s favorite heartthrob. (Sadly, there appeared to be zero Beliebers in the audience, as no piercing screams rang out during the program.) Read More