150 million people are using Instagram each month, with about half of those photos being a cocktail pressed against a sunset. Now the app is seeking advertisers to capitalize off it. [Wall Street Journal]
Spotify lost $177 million last year so of course the streaming service thinks it’s worth a $5.27 billion valuation. [Billboard]
Could millennial’s relationship with Tinder be on the rocks? Usage of the app from people aged 18 to 24 decreased 20 percent since the beginning of the year. [Bloomberg Businessweek]
Everyone can shut up about Amazon releasing a free smartphone because it’s not happening. *side eye* [The Verge]
Michael Wolff <3′s Kara Swisher. [USA Today]
The S.S. Groupon might be finally veering into steadier waters: The daily deal site deleted the interim tag from Eric Lefkofsky’s name, meaning it finally has a CEO. That sent shares up 20 percent. [AllThingsD]
YouTube founders are releasing their own Vine and Instagram competitor today called MixBit. It appears easier to edit videos than the other two apps and lets users record a full 16 seconds of film. [New York Times]
Bebo’s back! Site founder Michael Birch released a weird video celebrating its return proclaiming “The new Bebo will be very different from the old one” then showed some phallic artwork. [Business Insider]
Facebook is trying out a trending topics section. [TechCrunch]
Kara Swisher, a former Washington Post employee, has some unsolicited advice for its new owner Jeff Bezos. [AllThingsD]
Yahoo! for Yahoos! We’ve found a leading candidate for the single person happiest to hear that Yahoo was acquiring Tumblr. No, we’re not talking about CEO David Karp.
Meet Tumblr engineer Jeremy Johnstone. He used to work for Yahoo, and, apparently, the company retains a place of pride in his heart. In fact, he still wears Yahoo gear so constantly that one of his colleagues (the parent of Tommy Pom, no less) has created an entire Tumblr–”Jeremy’s Yahoo Wardrobe”–to chronicle his displays of loyalty.
For example, here is the bright purple car covered in Yahoo decals that he drove in 2007. Here is his Halloween costume from 2006, when he dressed up as the Yahoo logo. And then there are his many company t-shirts. Love is a beautiful thing, you guys.
As HBO drums up promotion of the upcoming season of Games of Thrones, the premium cable network is trying a different approach: cozying up with the digerati. (Historically, HBO has greeted the Internet much Night’s Watch would approach a horde of White Walkers.)
Last week, the cabler held elaborate Games of Thrones-themed events in techie hotspots like Silicon Valley and Seattle–home base to Internet giants like Amazon, Google, Netflix prone to disrupting the archaic television distribution process.
40 Sexist Stereotypes It was not a great week for women in tech. Between the Adria Richards fracas and Complex deciding the best way to contribute to the discourse was to throw up a slideshow of the “40 Hottest Women in Tech,” it’s almost as if the takeaway from Sheryl Sandberg’s book was Lean In… with yer boobs. The good news is that in order for the gender disparity in tech to shrink, we need to have conversations like this–even if they turn ugly or mean-spirited or upsetting.
Your Name Here A Silicon Valley source had the pleasure of dining near Path cofounder Dave Morin and his wife, Brit.co founder Brit Morin recently. Mr. Morin spoke about the future of Path while Ms. Morin, a DIY enthusiast, used crayons provide by the restaurant to doodle on the paper table cloth, said the source. There were rainbows, flowers and balloons, but our favorite was a drawing of the Brit.co logo, with “Morin” written underneath and an arrow pointed towards Ms. Morin (just in case the restaurant staff didn’t recognize her). That’s one way to disrupt advertising, we suppose. Our tipster was kind enough to snap a pic on their way out.
Happy Internet, Mr. President Twice this week in conversation with tech types, Betabeat was asked when Reddit cofounder Alexis Ohanian was running for office already. The 29-year-old credited with helping to defeat SOPA/PIPA already toured the country (in a bus once leased for John McCain’s “Straight Talk Express”) running for president of the Internet. But with Sheryl Sandberg hot on his heels, isn’t it time to start campaigning for the real thing?
Silicon Alley Smackdown One of the many tech events on rain delay because of Hurricane Sandy was the Big Apple Smackdown ping pong tournament, whose guest list included an impressive number of familiar names from the New York tech scene. (Betabeat is one of the media sponsors, so we may be a little biased.) Among the techno-athletes scheduled to play was Gilt Groupe CEO–and soon-to-be Gilt Groupe chairman–Kevin Ryan. Apparently, we missed quite a show.
The tournament was scheduled for Sunday, “and I played on Friday and on Sunday just to get ready for it!” Mr. Ryan told Betabeat. Really? “Oh yeah, because I won a tournament about a month ago.” That was an invitation-only affair for ping pong ringers at the Hamptons manse of ABC Carpet & Home’s Ken Pilot. “You had to put $100 into the pot and the winner got two-thirds of the pot, so I was pretty excited about that,” Mr. Ryan enthused.
A lot of startups are letting their employees work from home for the next few days because of hurricane Sandy. That’s all swell news, but those members of New York’s tech scene who were supposed to go out and party or sit through conferences are screwed. Tech events are getting cancelled left and right, though some scene luminaries don’t seem to mind.
AllThingsD’s “D: Dive Into Mobile” conference has been postponed until a later date that will be announced as soon as possible. The event had originally been set for tomorrow and Tuesday in New York City. If you booked a room at the Ritz Carlton (looking at you, VC’s), the hotel is apparently giving full refunds and waiving cancellation fees. Speakers like Pandora CEO Joe Kennedy and Hillary Clinton’s Chief of Staff, Cheryl Mills, will just have to wait until another day to make their speeches.
Movers and Shakers
If tapping Annie Leibovitz to shoot David Karp and his sidecar wasn’t enough to convince you that Vanity Fair is serious about covering the tech sector as part of the power elite, how about this coup from the top of the masthead? Wired‘s Ryan Tate broke the news that Kara Swisher has pried herself out of Marissa Mayer’s air vent to contribute part-time to the Conde Nast title, with some convincing from Graydon Carter, of course.
Mr. Tate reports that the tenacious AllThingsD cofounder agreed to “write profiles and other technology-related features,” for Vanity Fair only after “overtures” from Mr. Carter.
Expect posting to be a little light around these parts tomorrow. Unless the Singularity happens between now and lunchtime tomorrow, our plans have room for little other than Coronas on the beach or, in the event of thunderstorms, Magic Mike.
However, Betabeat would never be so neglectful as to leave our readers without a little Read More