Open and egalitarian as Twitter may seem, the social network is actually as hierarchical as any old media platform. So finds data journalist Jon Bruner, who writes in O’Reilly Radar: “Twitter is giant, and it has an outsize influence on popular and not-so-popular culture, but that influence seems due to the fact that it’s popular among influential people and provides energetic reverberation for their thoughts -- and lots and lots of people who sit back and listen.”
To the chagrin of privacy advocates (and Google), software developers appear determined to make facial recognition apps available to any Google Glass user. Forbes features one such developer whose startup is soon to release an unauthorized app for Glass, which will let users collect and catalog images of faces. The development is bad news for Google, which, this summer, received a letter from eight members of Congress expressing their concerns over Glass’s potential for privacy infringement.
Don’t call it a selloff, but everyone’s unloading Facebook shares, this week. Facebook itself is planning a secondary sale of 70 million shares, which will amount to nearly $4 billion -- some of which it plans to spend on acquisitions, AllThingsD reports. Mark Zuckerberg, meanwhile, is selling 41.4 million shares, the majority of which he is expected to use to pay off taxes on some 60 million shares he is getting via stock options.
Just as we enter into peak giving season, Apple is adding a gifting option to its iBookstore. “The ebooks shop has long lacked any sort of gifting options, despite the fact that Apple’s App Store has had them since 2010, and iTunes well before that,” Macworld writes. “Gifting in the iBookstore works identically to Apple’s iTunes and App Store counterparts.”
It took three years, by Variety’s count, but Roku is finally adding YouTube content to its set-top boxes. What took the two so long to come together? “The issues in the standoff between YouTube and Roku aren’t clear,” according to Variety. “Google may have previously viewed Roku’s channel-aggregation strategy as competitive with YouTube.” The YouTube channel is now live on the Roku 3, and it is expected to become available on older device models, next year.
Samsung is reportedly dying to mirror Apple’s retail store magic, and in the United States especially. It’s no surprise, then, that the Korean gadget maker just hired former Apple Store designer Tim Gudgel. At present, “instead of costly, dedicated stores, Samsung has pop-up areas in shopping malls and dedicated areas in Best Buy locations,” GigaOm notes. “The hiring of Gudgel signals a possible change in that strategy.”
Hoping to be a more reliable resource of real-time information for publishers, Facebook this week picked up SportStream -- a startup that should help the network surface relevant content. “Ideally, SportStream will make it easier for media partners -- like, say, a Fox Sports or an ESPN -- to find Facebook chatter about up-to-the-minute sports events, allowing the partners to better use that content on their properties,” AllThingsD writes.
At the beginning of the year, NBC News said goodbye to its hyper-local news network EveryBlock. Now, however, Chicago Grid is reporting that EveryBlock is getting a second chance -- or at least in Chicago. “Comcast is considering launching EveryBlock in Chicago first and subsequently adding more cities,” the local news site reports. “At its peak, the site covered neighborhood news in 19 cities.”
Taking a page from Facebook’s playbook, Twitter is reportedly developing a feature that would let users edit tweets after they’ve been posted. Citing several sources, blogger Matthew Keys has it on good faith that “the feature has been a top priority at the company for months as Twitter pushes to expand partnerships among media organizations and original content producers.” Say sources, the feature will only let users edit posted tweets for a short period of time before they become permanent record.
What’s good for the liberal goose is apparently good for the conservative gander. Yes, following Arianna Huffington’s lead with Huffington Post, former Arkansas Gov. -- and possible 2016 presidential contender -- is reportedly launching an online news publication named “Huckabee Post.” Citing comments from the former governor’s son, David Huckabee, ABC News reports: “The site will cover a range of topics from news and politics to sports and pop culture.”