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Briefly: Pebble SDK 3.0 preview released, Twitter security update

02/26, 10:22pm

Pebble releases preview of SDK 3.0 with color screen support

Pebble has released a new version of its smartwatch SDK, in preview. Version 3.0 is built with the Pebble Time in mind, including support for 64 colors in apps, a new animation framework, PNG and Animated PNG support, and automatic detection of which platforms the developer wants to build for when compiling. According to the company, developers looking to make apps for the new SDK will need to make relatively few changes to the application to get it to work.

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Briefly: Microsoft Office 365 in Education, Pingit pays Twitter names

02/25, 6:58am

Microsoft simplifies student enrollment process for free Office 365 subscription

Microsoft is offering a simpler way for students around the world to check their eligibility for a free Office 365 license. While free subscriptions have been around for a while, it typically involved a lengthy process to check for eligibility. Now, students and teachers need to just sign up with a valid school email address to receive their subscription, which includes installation of Office apps on up to five computers and up to five mobile devices, as well as 1TB of OneDrive storage.

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Twitter blames Apple for missing Wall Street monthly user estimates

02/06, 9:30am

Financial results slightly lower than expected, iOS 8 pinned for loss

In the quarterly conference call discussing Twitter's financial results, Chief Financial Officer Anthony Noto pointed to Apple's iOS 8 rollout as the reason why the company's monthly active users figure was short by four million members, at least in part. While initially a throwaway line in the discussion, the company's CEO has clarified the remarks somewhat, and has pointed specifically to iOS Twitter integration, and features in the new Safari as specific reasons for the user drop.

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Briefly: Twitter gives Google full access again, ControlAir for OS X

02/05, 2:50pm

Google renews Twitter deal, will index tweets in real time this summer

According to industry sources, Twitter has signed a deal giving Google full access to user tweets once more. The deal means that in the near future, user tweets will be indexed by the search engine giant faster, with the exposure helping to drive traffic for the microblogging service. Tweets could show up real-time in Google search results as soon as the early summer. A previous deal, expired in 2011, had similar aims, but was dissolved by Brin and company over disagreements over use of the data. Presumably, the slow decline of Google+ may have something to do with the deal rebirth. Terms of the deal are not known.

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Twitter launches Vine Kids app for iPhone

01/30, 1:26pm

Strips out recording options, potentially offensive material

Twitter has released a new iPhone app linked to its Vine video-sharing network, Vine Kids. The app offers a curated selection of videos "appropriate for a young audience," and further removes the core client's ability to record new material. Animated characters guide kids through clips.

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Twitter adds group messaging, 30-second video uploads to mobile apps

01/27, 12:08pm

Video on Twitter allows for clips to be shared without using Vine

Twitter has started to add some features it hinted at last November to its mobile apps. Rolling out slowly, users will be able to send Direct Messages to groups of people for the first time, while those who typically post videos to the micro-blogging service will benefit from being able to upload video clips directly to Twitter from within the app, without using a secondary service.

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UPI, New York Post Twitter accounts hacked, claim attack on US Navy

01/16, 1:47pm

Carrier in home port, no hostilities underway against Chinese

Unknown hackers breached the Twitter accounts of United Press International (UPI) and the New York Post on Fridy. Nearly simultaneously, the Twitter feeds of both accounts reported that the carrier USS George Washington had come under fire by the Chinese Navy, and that Pope Francis had announced the start of World War III.

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Twitter server fault logs out Android app users, affects TweetDeck

12/29, 6:55am

Server issue prevented logged-out users from signing back into Twitter

Users of Twitter found they were logged out of their account and unable to log back in, for a few hours earlier today. Primarily affecting users of the Twitter app on Android as well as the mobile site, the fault has since been rectified by the microblogging service, and though there has yet to be any official explanation for the outage, at least one Twitter user claims it to be a date-based issue.

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Briefly: Netflix Twitter promotion test, Android OneDrive app updates

12/05, 10:31pm

Netflix tests original show marketing with reminder Twitter messages

Netflix is testing a new way to remind subscribers to watch their original shows. A custom card for upcoming show Marco Polo is being used on Twitter to promote the show, complete with a "Tweet Me a Reminder" button. According to The Next Web, the @MarcoPoloMP Twitter account will be sending a message to anyone who opts in to the service at 12:01AM Pacific Time on December 12th, with participants also receiving a custom video message from the cast.

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Twitter starts rolling out harassment reporting, blocking tool changes

12/02, 3:07pm

Flagging abuse on Twitter becoming easier to perform with simpler process

Twitter is updating the way it handles abusive tweets by making changes to its harassment reporting system, both on the public and internal sides. The microblogging service is starting to roll out a more mobile-friendly way of flagging abusive tweets, while a new blocked accounts page within the website's settings menu aims to help users manage who can or cannot contact them.

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Twitter beats estimates with third quarter results, user growth slows

10/27, 10:50pm

Posts $175 million net loss, average monthly active users increase by 13 million

Twitter posted its third quarter results for fiscal year 2014, posting $361.2 million in revenue. Revenue was up compared to the same quarter in 2013, with quarter-on-quarter results improving by approximately $49 million. The company beat out analyst projections of $351.35 million, but posted lower than the $0.01 earnings per share (EPS) expected with a loss of $0.29 EPS.

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Twitpic archives acquired by Twitter, data saved temporarily

10/25, 7:45pm

Twitpic still shuttering, service in 'read only' mode for now

With time ticking down before the permanent shutdown of Twitpic, the company has announced that it has agreed to an acquisition offer by Twitter itself. The arrangement keeps the domain and photo archive accumulated by the service intact, and this keeps "the photos and links alive for the time being" according to a blog post announcing the deal. The service is not completely rescued, however, as the service is still shutting down ultimately, and in "read-only mode" for now.

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Twitter introduces Digits, a new way to log into applications

10/22, 9:32pm

Digits offered in Twitter's Fabric development kit, uses only a phone number

Twitter has started putting the pieces into place to distance users from password requirements with the announcement of Digits. The company unveiled the new platform at its first mobile developer conference in San Francisco today, as a part of its Fabric suite of development tools. Rather than relying on a username and password for every app, Digits uses a telephone number and text messages to confirm identities instead.

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Valve pulls game from Steam over Gabe Newell Twitter death threat [u]

10/21, 11:27am

Frustrated developer complaints cause removal of game from sale on Steam

[Update: Mike Maulbeck is stepping down from the company] A game has been pulled from the Steam store, after the developer threatened to kill Valve Software's co-founder, Gabe Newell. Mike Maulbeck, the creator of Paranautical Activity, was frustrated at how his creation was incorrectly labeled in the Steam store as an Early Access game, and during a tirade against Valve and Steam on Twitter, wrote "I am going to kill Gabe Newell. He is going to die."

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UK government threatens Internet trolls with two years in prison

10/20, 1:38pm

Online abuse proposals quadruple current maximum prison sentences

The government of the United Kingdom is attempting to increase the possible penalties for online harassment, following recent high-profile reports of "trolling" in the country. The proposals, an amendment to the Criminal Justice and Courts Bill undergoing the latter stages of parliamentary debate, potentially allows for people convicted for trolling to face prison sentences of up to two years, up from the current six-month maximum.

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TwitPic acquisition failed, image hosting service closing October 25th

10/17, 8:04am

Acquisition of TwitPic notification premature, shutdown rescheduled

Twitter image hosting site TwitPic has failed in its efforts to be acquired, and will be shutting down after all. Discussions over the last-minute acquisition failed, with the company announcing on its blog that it will wind up operations and take the service entirely offline on October 25th, one month after its original closure date, giving users just over a week to back up images stored on TwitPic servers.

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Twitter-based money transfers reportedly launching in France this week

10/13, 8:35am

BPCE, Twitter preparing to launch money transfers via tweets

Twitter users in France will soon be able to send money to other users by tweeting, according to a report. Groupe BPCE, the second-largest bank in France based on customer numbers, will apparently start providing simple person-to-person transfers of funds within the country, with the sender able to pass funds along to other people without knowing any of the recipient's bank information.

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Twitter rails at transparency report conditions, files suit against US

10/07, 3:24pm

Twitter lawsuit accuses FBI, DOJ of First Amendment violations

Twitter has launched a suit against the US government. The lawsuit, filed in the US District Court of Northern California, demands that Twitter's full transparency report about law enforcement requests be published in its entirety, and that restrictions placed on what may be disclosed are illegal under the First Amendment of the US Constitution.

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Briefly: Twitter for Mac update, Spotify now supporting Apple CarPlay

10/02, 9:14pm

Twitter app for OS X updated, adds new photo features

Twitter for Mac has received an update today, adding new photo features for OS X users. The app allows users to access the social media platform outside of a web browser. Twitter for Mac v3.1 includes the new ability to view and post Tweets with up to four photos at a time, with an image preview for each available for viewing the full photo. Photos can now be shared privately in the Messages section. Various performance improvements and bug fixes are also available in the latest version. Free to download, Twitter for Mac is available through the App Store.

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Briefly: Apple Store app for iPhone 6, Tweetbot 3.5

10/02, 10:36am

Apple Store app adds support for iPhone 6

Apple's Store app has been updated to reflect its updated iOS and latest iPhone release. Users of the Apple Store app can now start their Retail Store order on their own device, featuring a Browse function that displays trending products, as well as reviews for accessories. Apple Store v3.0.1 offers compatibility with the latest Apple mobile devices, including support for iPhone 6. Free to download, the Apple Store app is available on iTunes.

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Amazon teams up with Twitter to add wish list items with hashtag

09/24, 6:52pm

Social media, commerce combination adds to previous Amazon cart initiative

Amazon and Twitter teamed up again for another commerce experience within the micro blogging platform. Similar to the previous initiative that the two companies launched earlier this year, users can reply to a tweet with a certain hashtag to add an item to their Amazon wish list. The only catch is that it only works with tweets that have links to the item on Amazon, while also required Twitter and Amazon accounts to be linked.

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TwitPic staves off impending shutdown with acquisition announcement

09/18, 9:27pm

No details available on acquisition or company behind it, no legal plan stated

It turns out that TwitPic won't be forced to shut down after all, according to a tweet sent out on the official TwitPic Twitter account. Apparently, an interested party came to the rescue by acquiring the company, allowing it to fight off its recent conflict with Twitter -- at least for now. TwitPic was previously said to be winding down on September 25 as a result of a trademark dispute with Twitter.

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Twitter dives into official commerce test with growing 'buy' button

09/08, 2:13pm

Social media company evolves to include more commerce models, give exclusive offers

Twitter appears to be diving deeper in to the pool of commerce as the social media company announced today that it was beginning a new test of a "buy" button. A previous version of the button appeared in small-batch testing that appeared in June and in a mock-up dating back to January, but it's only now being officially announced by Twitter.

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Twitter details how it fights off spam with BotMaker anti-spam tool

08/21, 6:43pm

Bot system results in 40-percent spam reduction, rule changes issued in seconds

Social microblogging service Twitter offered details on how it battles with spam on the service, showing off a specialized tool that the company made in the process. BotMaker was built by the team, which has so far been responsible for a reduction of 40 percent "in key spam metrics" since its launch. The company went into spill some of the specifics of its creation, something it needed to make since it offers real-time interactions and an exposed developer API.

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Twitter makes random tweets, favorites on timelines official feature

08/20, 7:50pm

Company alters help page to reflect change in timeline content from popular, relevant accounts

Twitter users may have seen a number of items showing up in their feeds from users they don't follow for the last few weeks. In what was thought to be one of the company's experiments, tweets from users that aren't followed and random favorites from others were showing up in timelines. It appears that the feature is no longer in testing, as Twitter has added the new feature to its help page about timelines.

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Twitter will remove images of deceased by family member requests

08/20, 6:12am

Change in Twitter policy to help protect families from malicious imagery

Twitter is now accepting requests to remove images and videos of the deceased. In a change of policy, the service announced it will take down photographs and other materials "in certain circumstances," with requests from immediate family members and other authorized individuals being considered for removal "in order to respect the wishes of loved ones."

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Twitter adding meanings to popular hashtags in latest feature test

08/04, 5:23pm

Some hashtags now have an explanation attached to them when searched by test users

Social micro-blogging service Twitter was discovered to be testing a new feature recently that demystifies the code of a hashtag. The new feature was discovered in the Twitter iOS app, showing the meaning behind some popular hashtags, including those for television shows, Twitter specific events and video games. The feature could help relieve some confusion when it comes to hashtags, but it's unknown if the feature will be adopted.

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Twitter acquires 'visual intelligence technology' startup Madbits

07/30, 6:48pm

Company prototyped several types of apps, decided to take system to Twitter

Madbits, a startup company founded by Clément Farabet and Louis-Alexandre Etezad-Heydari, announced this week that they are taking their technology to Twitter. The company was focused on making computers learn through the use of artificial intelligence, specifically "deep learning" as it readied for a public launch. Details of the deal have not been shared by either company.

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Twitter beats expected second quarter revenue with $312 million

07/29, 9:58pm

Revenues up more than $170 million compared to last year, posts $145 million loss

Twitter released its quarterly results today, showing a strong surge in business during the second quarter of its 2014 fiscal year. The company posted revenues of $312 million, compared to only $139 million during the year-ago quarter. The increase represents a 129 percent increase year-over-year. The social media company also saw an increase in users compared to the results from the previous year.

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Twitter changing the way direct messages are managed, accessed

07/20, 2:12pm

Updates allow entire direct message history to be seen across apps, consistently deleted

Last week, Twitter announced that it is going to issue an update on how direct messages are handled on the micro-blogging service. The update makes deleting direct messages consistent across all platforms, allowing users a single action for removal, rather than deleting across every interface version. Another update is coming that changes how direct messages are handled across the numerous platforms, to give users access to their complete messaging history.

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Twitter reportedly tests 'Buy Now' buttons, acquires Tap Commerce

07/01, 7:38am

Social media users could buy products directly from Twitter feed

Twitter is making more of an effort to work with retailers, with two reports claiming the microblogging service is taking two separate approaches. The company acquired Tap Commerce, a marketing firm specializing in redirecting users to mobile apps, while a second report supposedly spotted the service trying out new "Buy Now" buttons next to product images.

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Twitter tests a better way to retweet with 'retweet with comment'

06/24, 7:05pm

Test turns original tweet into a Twitter card, gives users more room for context

A new Twitter feature was spotted in the wild today, featuring a new way for users to retweet. Building upon the need for more information and the lack of space when quoting, Twitter is looking to utilize Twitter Cards to give users more room to comment compared to quoting. By changing the feature, Twitter could grant a more effective way to communicate when retweeting.

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Twitter acquires video sharing tool start-up SnappyTV

06/19, 3:35pm

SnappyTV purchase bolsters Twitter tools for broadcasters

Messages on Twitter could soon include more video clips from television, thanks to an acquisition by the microblogging service. SnappyTV, a start-up primarily offering tools for quickly spreading TV show clips around on social networks, has been bought by Twitter for an unknown amount, and is likely to help the company involve itself more with television broadcasters.

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Twitter enables Bing translation for iOS, extends web use

06/13, 11:20am

Web gets in-timeline translations

Twitter has expanded its use of Bing translations, reports note. For the first time, the function has been made available in the official Twitter iOS app, where it will display translated text underneath the original. To get the option to appear, though, a person has to select an individual tweet.

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Twitter rolls out new profiles, adds pictures to Tweetdeck scheduling

05/29, 6:50pm

New web profiles for all users, Tweetdeck adds scheduled picture tweets, visibility

Twitter has made a few changes to some of its services recently, namely in the profile pages and its Tweetdeck app. The company announced in April that it was testing a new profile layout for the web, starting with a small user group. These new profiles have now been rolled out to all Twitter users. Tweetdeck has also seen some changes, adding new features to post scheduling within the app.

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Twitter enters into two-year, $240 million ad deal with Omnicom Media

05/27, 8:22pm

Agreement integrates Accuen into MoPub for further ad reach, buying

Social media company Twitter has made a move to strengthen its ad division with a $240 million agreement with Omnicom Media Group. The two-year deal will see Omnicom's programmatic ad-buying unit, Accuen, integrated with Twitter's MoPub ad exchange. Twitter had purchased MoPub in September for $350 million in a move to strengthen its advertising arm.

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Twitter blocks 'blasphemous' content in Pakistan, attacked by EFF

05/23, 10:33am

Censorship requests from Pakistan Telecommunications Authority performed by Twitter

Twitter has come under fire for agreeing to requests by a bureaucrat in Pakistan to block certain content from the site. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has attacked Twitter for complying with the requests from the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority, suggesting the agency does not have any legal authority to demand the removal of the content.

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Briefly: Chrome for Android updated, Twitter rolls out photo collages

05/21, 3:03am

Chrome for Android improved, adds new features

Google has updated its Chrome browser app for Android devices, most notably adding an Undo Tab Close feature. Also included in the update changelog is new a fullscreen video ability with subtitles and HTML5 controls, support for some multi-window devices, more Chromecast support and other bug fixes. Chrome is free to download through Google Play.

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Twitter considering purchase of audio sharing company Soundcloud

05/20, 4:24pm

Audio sharing site could be Twitter's second attempt at music, growth solution

Twitter may be taking another stab at the music app business, as it is reportedly in talks with Soundcloud about a possible acquisition. Sources familiar with both companies have said that Twitter is considering a deal that would bring the social audio and music sharing service under its wing. The deal would mark the latest high profile purchase for Twitter, following its previous $350 million deal for MoPub in September 2013.

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FCC Chair's attorney takes to Twitter, fields net neutrality questions

05/13, 1:52pm

Move intended to assuage Internet fears of 'fast lane' provisos

Starting at 2PM ET, the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Senior Counsel for External Affairs for the Chairman, Gigi B. Sohn, will be monitoring questions regarding Wheeler's pending net neutrality legislation. Using the hashtag #FCCNetNeutrality, users can submit questions, or follow the discussion led by the FCC's chairman's lead attorney.

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Twitter introduces mute feature to official Android, iOS apps

05/12, 2:55pm

Feature makes its way to live apps less than a month after tests discovered

On its blog today, Twitter announced that the recently-tested mute feature is now starting to roll out to all users of the official Android and iOS apps, as well as on Twitter.com. The feature allows users to mute someone from their timeline without unfollowing them or informing the party being muted.

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Briefly: Kik's virtual currency, Twitter's password change via text

05/10, 1:15am

Kik messaging app launches its own virtual currency

Canadian start-up Kik has launched a virtual currency for its messaging app with built-in browser. Kik users can now earn "Kik Points," which both incentivizes in-app activity and allows for buying content. Points can be earned by executing specific tasks, such as inviting friends to the beta, and in turn "buy" in-app content like stamps. Kik is available for download across operating systems.

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Tech companies sign joint letter opposing FCC net neutrality proposals

05/08, 7:06am

Google, Facebook, Amazon among coalition asking for FCC to reconsider net rules

A coalition of technology companies have co-signed a letter to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) over its net neutrality proposals. Signed by over a hundred Internet companies, including Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, and Amazon, the letter asks the FCC to reconsider what the companies claim "represents a grave threat to the Internet."

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Amazon adds shopping using Twitter hashtags in US, UK

05/05, 11:33am

Twitter users reply to posts with hashtag to add items to Amazon cart

Amazon is expanding its purchasing options, by allowing customers to shop for products by posting on Twitter. Introduced today, users of both services can add items featured on the social media site directly to their Amazon.com cart by responding to specific posts with #AmazonCart, with the product then shown in the checkout section of Amazon's website for later purchase.

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Twitter testing ability to mute accounts in official mobile apps

05/04, 2:00pm

Mobile app feature similar to Tweetdeck's muting of followed accounts

A mute feature has started appearing in official Twitter clients for Android and iOS, according to reports, meaning that widespread use of the feature may be available in the near future. The mute feature would allow a user to stop the tweets and retweets of someone they follow from showing up on their timeline.

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Turkey's prime minister accuses Twitter of tax evasion

04/13, 8:50pm

Claim of Twitter as tax evader follows lifting of ban in Turkey

The Prime Minister of Turkey is continuing to attack Twitter, accusing the microblogging service of tax evasion. In a televised address, Recep Tayyip Erdogan claimed the recent ruling by Turkey's highest court against a ban on the service places the interests and rights of companies ahead of those of Turkey itself, and that his government will "go after" Twitter for supposedly due taxes.

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Twitter reveals new profile pages with pinned tweets, larger images

04/08, 10:42am

New content-focused Twitter profile pages add post filtering options

Twitter has unveiled its upcoming changes to profile pages, a change that first surfaced in February. Bearing a passing resemblance to Facebook profiles, all user profile pages will receive an update that overhauls the layout of the page, providing larger profile photographs and putting a greater focus and control on the account's more popular tweets and images.

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Briefly: Uber's courier service, Twitter acquires Cover startup

04/07, 10:52pm

Uber announces UberRush courier service, beginning exclusively in New York City

Ride service app Uber has announced the testing of its new courier service, UberRush. Beginning in New York City, UberRush will appear on users' home screens, allowing customers to have small goods delivered by bike or foot courier. As opposed to an on-demand delivery service that is based on an order, UberRush has couriers picking up objects from Uber users and delivering them to a specific address as determined by the customer. The base fare for deliveries is $15, with delivery zoning factoring in potential additional costs. UberRush will become available to users starting tomorrow.

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Vine iOS, Android apps get private messaging feature

04/03, 4:27pm

Messages can be sent to non-Vine users

Twitter-owned Vine has updated its iOS and Android apps with a new direct messaging feature. The option lets people send videos privately, regardless of whether the recipient is a Vine user. People who don't have a Vine account will instead get the videos via SMS or email.

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Twitter ban lifted by Turkish regulator following second court ruling

04/03, 12:44pm

Turkish Constitutional Court rules Twitter ban an attack on free speech

Turkey's telecommunications authority (TIB) has finally lifted its ban of Twitter. The block, which started on March 20st after Prime Minster Recep Tayyip Erdogan threatened to "wipe out" the micro-blogging service, has reportedly stopped with some users able to receive and make new posts after the country's courts intervened for a second time.

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