Talking Orbit gum stick Ryan Seacrest announced today that he’s producing a new program for Aol, but sadly (luckily?) it doesn’t include any of the Kardashians. Rather, it’s a 10-episode series with appearances from relationship coach Gwyneth Paltrow. The Web-only deal is his production company’s first foray into creating digital programming.
Variety called the deal an “organic evolution” for Mr. Seacrest since his Internet prowess has racked him up millions of followers on Twitter and Instagram. Combined with his popularity, a presumably high Klout score and his connections with Valley big-wigs (like Twitter CEO Dick Costolo), he’s become their go-to guy for communicating with middle America.
Because apparently there aren’t enough music apps in existence, Twitter announced today on ABC gigglefest Good Morning America that it will be making its highly anticipated foray into the crowded music market. Along with a website, Twitter #Music (hashtag!) is a new, separate app for your iPhone that’s slated to be released later this afternoon.
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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.
Remember when Twitter was a mere fringe hobby, beloved by early adopters but mystifying to everyone else? Well, today we got a clear-as-a-bell reminder that those days are long gone, when the company took to the Today Show to introduce a new look.
Users can now add a header photo, and recent images have been relocated into their own snazzy box.
“What we’ve heard over and over again from our users is they want to bring more of their personality to the profile pages,” explained CEO Dick Costolo. “So today’s changes are all about bringing that personality forward, more media forward, more photos forward, so it’s much easier to see these media experiences and flip through them.”
Sometimes the hardest question to get a founder to answer is why anyone would regularly use their app. That’s particularly true for startups that solve a problem users don’t actually have.
But often, the pitch for why X app is better at rating, or recommendations, or social planning relies on the assumption that it will be populated by users just dying to share their personal tastes or make plans . . . using an app that’s on screen four of their smartphone, right next to Draw Something.
That’s been the problem with Stamped, a remarkably sleek ratings and recommendations app launched by Xooglers last November that allows users to give their “stamp” of approval to books, songs, restaurant recommendations, you name it.