Following reports of a porn outbreak on Vine, Twitter’s new video-sharing app appears to be cleaning up its act. “Trying to search for the #porn hashtag (and other terms such as #sex, #boobs, and #booty) brings up no results at this time,” The Verge reported on Monday afternoon. “However, there are still numerous workarounds -- #pornvine is still allowed, for example, as is #nsfw.” As such, the threat still looms that Apple will decide to expel Vine from its App Store.
Pinterest on Monday gave the world a sneak peek at its new site, noting the new look features "larger images, better navigation and a faster overall experience,” Marketing Land reports. But, “the biggest change occurs with the look of the pin” -- which will be accompanied by bigger pictures, similar pins, and oher boards to which other the pin has previously been linked.
Despite Apple’s early lead in the space, Android could soon overtake iPads as the world’s top tablet platform. That’s according to new research from app analytics firm Localytics, which attributes the change mostly to U.S. consumers, and U.S. Kindle Fire and Kindle HD users in particular. “The U.S. is Amazon’s first and main market for the Kindle Fire, with Amazon only starting to roll out the tablets to other markets towards the end of 2012,” TechCrunch reports.
Google is organizing an effort to set limits on government access to digital communications. “The company has been talking to advocacy groups and companies about joining a lobbying effort to change the 1986 Electronic Communications Privacy Act,” reports Bloomberg, citing comments from a Google spokesman. Well suited to partake in the privacy debate, Google says it receives some 1,400 requests a month from U.S. authorities for users’ e-mails and documents.
CNNMoney suggests that the honeymoon may be over between analysts and Yahoo’s latest CEO, Marissa Mayer. “Industry watchers are now starting to look for proof that Mayer can deliver on her promises,” it writes. She will get her chance to offer said proof later today when Yahoo reports fourth quarter earnings. “It will be a look into the new Yahoo business strategy -- the results of which Mayer began laying out in an all-staff meeting in September.”
A whopping 1.6 billion mobile phones were shipped (not sold) globally in 2012, 700 million of which were smartphones, reports Engadget, citing new data from research from Strategy Analytics. Last year, Samsung shipped 213 million devices -- more than any other phone maker. Conversely, Apple, the smartphone pioneer saw less growth in 2012 than in 2011 and may hit a plateau in market share in 2013, according to ABI Research.
Extole, which is billed as a consumer-to-consumer social advocacy platform, just closed $7.6 million in funding from existing investors. The news “comes after the company reported significant growth in 2012, adding to its growing client list which includes brands like Shutterfly, T-Mobile, Seamless and Zazzle,” betakit reports. Investors, which have already helped the Etole raise $15 million, include Shasta Ventures, Norwest Venture Partners, Redpoint Ventures and Trident Capital.
Microsoft on Thursday reported second-quarter earnings of $6.3 billion, or 76 cents a share, on revenue of $21 billion. “Wall Street was looking for earnings of 75 cents a share on revenue of $21.53 billion,” ZDNet reports. Still, the software giant’s latest earnings were results “were a mixed bag relative to estimates as its enterprise products fared well, but details about Surface units, hidden within the Windows division, were largely missing in action.”
As Facebook becomes more protective of its social graph, the social network this week cut off friend finding access to Yandex’s new social search app Wonder. “The move follows a trend of Facebook aggressively protecting its data,” TechCrunch reports. A voice-activated social search app for iOS, Wonder lets people see “what local businesses friends had visited or taken photos at, what music they’d been listening to, and what news they had been reading.”
Quora this week is launching a blogging platform that will automatically distribute posts to users based on their past viewing habits. As TechCrunch reports, the move is all part of Quora’s co-founder Adam D’Angelo’s mission to share and grow the world’s knowledge. “Starting today, Quora users can create as many blogs and posts within them as they like,” it writes. “From the web or mobile, they can express themselves through rich text editors and embedded images.”