Twitter

Twitter’s New ‘Muting’ Feature Lets You Silence Your Annoying Friends

It's the stealthiest way to get your friends to shut up! (Screengrab: Twitter)

We all have that friend who’s great in person, but super annoying on Twitter — you know, that person who retweets everything Perez Hilton posts, or who uses #blessed in every other tweet. Straight up blocking that friend is a little harsh, but then how do you escape the constant barrage of 140-character nonsense?

Thankfully, Twitter announced on their blog today that they’re introducing a new “muting” feature, which will let you hide certain users’ activity from your Twitter experience. Here’s how product manager Paul Rosania describes the new feature in the blog post: Read More

Secondary Markets

Startup Takes Your Personal Data, Forces Brands To Compete To Sell You Stuff

Screen Shot 2014-04-30 at 4.38.02 PM

We know that Facebook, Gmail, Twitter, and other services leverage our data to benefit from marketers and advertisers. But a new startup called OwnOut wants to help you get in on the action by leveraging your own data to pit brands against each other in a fight for your loyalty.

“We help brands steal customers,” OwnOut Founder Mike Grassotti said yesterday — nine times actually — at a presentation for ERA Demo Day.

It works like this: customers give over their email account so OwnOut can go in and examine their purchasing habits. If that seems scary, consider: you’ve likely already given that data away to other online services — OwnOut just wants you to benefit directly. Read More

Twitter Politics

Bitly CEO Not Surprised Twitter Finally Bought Its Own Tweet-Marketing Group

(via Twitter)

Twitter announced yesterday that it’s acquiring Gnip, a company that analyzes tweets, Facebook likes and Tumblr reblogs for marketers.

It seems like an obvious move. Why should Twitter sit by and let third-party companies profit from its massive content output without getting in on the fun? Still, marketing groups like Gnip have been profiting from social media companies for some time. Twitter is only the most recent in a line of tech startups trying to get in on the action.

Bitly, too, sat on its own database of social behavior data for years before recently making moves to license it. So Bitly CEO Mark Josephson isn’t surprised by the Twitter acquisition. Read More

ATwitter

#PesachProblems: Jews Are Live-Tweeting Their Passover Seders

(Getty)

There was a time when Passover meant putting down our iPhones and celebrating our ancient Jewish heritage over Bubbie’s classic matzah balls.

But it’s 2014, and technology has started making a comeback at the Seder table. JDate made dating profiles for Moses and the Pharaoh. The famed Bronfman Haggadah debuted in app form. So it shouldn’t come as much of a shock that hordes of Twitterers are using #SederUpdates to live-tweet their Passover dinners. Read More

Jesus died for our selfies

White House Might Ban Selfies With Obama

This shall henceforth be known as The Last Selfie. (Screengrab: Twitter)

The White House is mulling a selfie ban so that President Barack Obama will never accidentally end up in a Samsung ad again.

Here’s the back story: Boston Red Sox player David Ortiz tweeted a seemingly innocuous selfie with the prez last Tuesday, the New York Daily News reports. It appeared to be spontaneous and charming — until the White House realized Mr. Ortiz has a deal with Samsung that includes PR photo ops like the Obama selfie. Read More

ATwitter

Twitter’s #FF Was Born From a Bet — 5 Years Later, It’s Still Going Strong

Micah Baldwin (Twitter)

In honor of it being the end of the week, we did an interview with the guy who gave rise to the Fridays we’ve all come to know and (maybe?) love: Micah Baldwin, the creator of Follow Fridays, or #FF.

Mr. Baldwin is a startup guy living in San Mateo, Ca., ten minutes south of San Francisco. He’s the owner of Graphic.ly, a company that works with publishers to help them navigate the digital world and distribute ebooks.

He’s pretty sure it all started in January 2009, when two of his friends were competing to see who’d be the first to reach 1,000 followers on Twitter. The loser had to take the winner out to dinner. Read More

ATwitter

Here Are 25 Celebrities’ Embarrassing First Tweets

25 Photos

The Internet has been keeping itself busy today with Twitter’s First Tweet feature, which lets you search for the very first message a user ever sent out to the Twittersphere. The results are generally cringeworthy — they show you how earnest and basic you were before you discovered that the Internet was a cold, dark and deeply ironic place.

Because we love you a lot, we’ve catalogued a list of some of our favorite first tweets by celebrities. We warn you: they’re pretty embarrassing. Oprah’s is in aggressive all-caps. Lindsay Lohan’s is an “I love you” to Samantha Ronson. Kris Jenner’s uses the phrase “Twittering.” We rest our case. Read More