Old Dogs Learn New Tricks

Old Dogs Learn New Tricks

Popes, They’re Just Like Us: Pontiff Loves the Internet

Chill pope. (ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP/Getty Images)

Catholics the world over are rejoicing/being glad because of new SuperPope Francis, who by some miracle is neither misogynistic nor homophobic. He isn’t even creepy-looking. It’s progress we never thought we’d see during our lifetime.

Today, he got even cooler. In a statement, the Pope adorably described the Internet as a “gift from God,” noting that it is “a network not of wires, but of humans.” Awwww, gramps! Read More

Old Dogs Learn New Tricks

Science Says Your Dad’s Prius Makes Him Feel Like One Groovy Cat

Uh oh, cool guy alert. (Photo: Getty)

Hybrid cars are good for the environment, but it turns out they’re really good for something else, too: raising baby boomers’ self esteem. This is great because as a generation, they’ve always been sorely lacking in that department.

That’s right, acid flashbacks and trend pieces about millennial narcissism aren’t the only things lifting the spirits of middle-aged Americans these days. Totally souped up hybrid cars are making consumers over the age of 60 feel much better about themselves because of three variables: social value, price and quality, according to Social value is fancy science-speak for “making you look cool.” Read More

Old Dogs Learn New Tricks

Dear TV Obsessives, TV Guide’s New App Is Actually Pretty Great


When Betabeat stopped by the TV Guide offices in Times Square yesterday, Christy Tanner didn’t waste any time getting our attention, pointing out that gets 25 million monthly unique visitors, up from 4 million since 2006. (For reference, last year comScore reported that The New York Times’s website was attracting 30 million monthly uniques.) What’s more, she added, anticipating our assumptions, almost half those users are under 35 and average 22 page-views per person. Sixty-year-old brands repositioning themselves for the internet era, we suppose, don’t have time to beat around the bush.

In fact, as Ms. Tanner, executive VP and general manager of the website and TV Guide Mobile, explained, TV Guide Digital seems to be in the midst of a digital reawakening, the best example of which is its surprising useful new app, released on iOS today, with an Android version coming this fall. Read More

Old Dogs Learn New Tricks

Photobucket Gets a Major Redesign to ‘Take Back Control’ of Your Photos


Photobucket–the janky-looking, but still widely-used image-hosting site once owned by News Corp–is debuting a serious overhaul for the first time in years with an emphasis on taking control of the lifecycle of your photos and videos, CEO Tom Munro told Betabeat. With a significant redesign and new privacy controls, Photobucket hopes to best Facebook, Flickr, and the like as your default storage space to organize and share photos and soon “tell stories.”

Photobucket lurched towards a comeback last year when Twitter decided to use its technology to power native photo sharing. However, consumers might be more likely to associate the service, which launched in 2003, with eBay sellers or their LiveJournal or MySpace account. (The company claims that currently Photobucket, which has 10 billion photos, is second only to Facebook in terms of uploads.) Read More

Old Dogs Learn New Tricks

With Draw Something, NYC-Based OMGPOP Just Ousted Zynga As the Mayor of Facebook Games


OMGPOP, the New York-based casual gaming company founded all the way back in 2006, just had its first big breakout with Draw Something. In fact, according to the AppData leaderboard, which measures apps on the Facebook platform, Draw Something just surpassed Zynga’s Word with Friends in terms of daily active users.

Draw Something has 10.8 million daily active users logged in through Facebook, compared to Words with Friends 8.9 million. OMGPOP, which pivoted from its first concept, iminlikewithyou, in 2009, has released five Facebook games to date. But Draw Something is its first big hit. And how! A few days ago, the company told TechCrunch that Draw Something had passed 25 million registered users, was close to 1 billion ad impressions, and considering a TV show based on the game (which reminds us, where’s that Angry Birds movie, anyway?) Read More

Old Dogs Learn New Tricks

Facebook Cofounder Chris Hughes Named Editor-in-Chief and Publisher of The New Republic


It looks like we can cut the question mark at the end of “Chris Hughes: Media Mogul?” The New York Times Media Decoder blog reports that the rumors were true, Mr. Hughes will indeed head up the 98-year-old neoliberal magazine, which has struggled with diminishing profits and dwindling circulation.

Although the terms of the deal were not revealed, Mr. Hughes will become the magazine’s editor-in-chief and publisher. And they’ve wasted no time updating the publication’s Wikipedia page. After spearheading President Obama’s digital campaign in 2008, Mr. Hughes went on to found Jumo, a social network for nonprofits and activists which was “acquired” by GOOD for $0.

What’s the former Facebooker’s plan to rescue old media? According to Media Decoder, Mr. Hughes will focus on “distributing the magazine’s long-form journalism through tablet computers like the iPad.” Read More