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Twitter

  • Twitter goes into hashtag, promoted Tweet overdrive to aid Nepal earthquake relief

    Individuals and organisations alike have rushed to the aid of Nepal, where an earthquake over the weekend has killed more than 4 000 people and affected more than eight-million. Following in the wake of tech companies such as Google and Facebook, Twitter has launched its own effort aimed at helping relief efforts in the South Asian country. Its efforts are however, a little less direct that those being used by the Silicon Valley giants. Recognising its importance as a tool for coordinating relief efforts, and as a backup for official channels of communication, Twitter says it will be concentrating...

  • Twitter makes policy changes addressing prohibited content, site violations

    Policing social media users is never going to be a closed chapter. There is always going to be a new challenge or behaviour that threatens this. Twitter rightfully acknowledges that it is not enough to simply put resources into place but it is critical and even necessary to have a better way of responding to abuse reports. To do this, Twitter is making two police changes, one related to prohibited content, and one about how it is enforces certain policy violations. The update to prohibited content will mean that the prohibition will now not be limited to direct, specific threats...

  • Twitter now allows users to send direct messages to anyone

    Twitter has announced new changes to its direct message features. Users can now, unlike before, send direct messages to other users even when they are not following them. Users can also opt to accept direct messages from any other Twitter user. The feature is not completely new, and it is interesting that Twitter rolled it out to some users in 2013 and is only rolling it out now to the general public. The feature has a new Direct Message button on profile pages on Android and iPhone and is visible on the profiles of people users can send Direct...

  • Twitter stock rises amid Google takeover rumours

    Where there is smoke, there is fire, the saying goes. And it holds any truth, fresh rumours of a Twitter acquisition may have more truth to them than you think. According to Mashable, Twitter’s shares rose ‘amid gossip in the investment community that the company had hired advisors to deal with takeover bids.’ At this rumour, Twitter’s shares rose up to 4.8% as rumours of Google and Yahoo planning a possible buyout surfaced. On Tuesday, rumours were doing the rounds that Twitter had hired advisers including Goldman Sachs to fend off companies that are interested in buying the social media...

  • Twitter is listening: data mining, Gnip and the fabled ‘firehose’

    Twitter is currently making a ton of money by selling access to your tweets. Now you might be wondering “Why would someone pay to read my tweets?” I mean Twitter is free, right? You just need an account and presto! There you have your access. The answer is a broad one that I will try to explain in the duration of this article. Let me start off by summing up this article in three words… Information is power The most valuable thing that the micro-blogging platform offers is information and insight into a group’s social psyche. Each month there are over 230-million...

  • Live video streaming feud: Twitter launches Periscope, Meerkat completes a funding round

    Like two bulls readying themselves for a fight, bellowing, mooing, looking menacing, intimidating the other, Twitter and Meerkat are ramping up their respective livestreaming plays. Today Twitter launched Periscope on iOS, a live video streaming startup it acquired back in January for a reported US$100-million. As news of the purchase became public, Twitter also cut off Meerkat’s ability to access its social graph. The news left Meerkat in the cold, considering that up until then, it had been the sole and popular live video streaming app for Twitter. Two weeks after its launch it amassed 120 000 users. Twitter’s...

  • 800m tweets sent in Cricket World Cup group stages, India tops rankings

    The ICC Cricket World Cup is heading into its knockout phases and, in countries where the game is popular, people are feeling a mix of nerves and anticipation. And if the group stages were anything to go by, there should be plenty of action on Twitter too. According to the social media network, some 800-million tweets were sent during the tournament's opening matches. The match which saw the most action was India's victory over Pakistan, with tweets during the match window viewed more than 118-million times. In fact, India featured in three of the most tweeted matches. Given its...

  • Fans pay tribute to Terry Pratchett with these magical quotes

    After 66 inspiring years and a career spanning 70 magical books, fantasy author Sir Terry Pratchett passed away yesterday. According to an official letter released by Penguin Random House, the novelist has been struggling with Alzheimer's disease since he was diagnosed in 2007. This didn't stop Pratchett from colouring in the wittiest and most thoughtful corners of our imaginations as he continued writing and managed to complete his last Discworld novel in 2014. A full statement from Larry Finlay, managing director at Transworld Publishers said the following: I was deeply saddened to learn that Sir Terry Pratchett has died. The world has...

  • #CricketFire vs #CapeFire: the story of a fire and a One Day International

    After a fire broke out in the Cape's Southern Peninsula on Sunday, hundreds of Capetonians took to Twitter to share incredible photos from the fire and call for assistance. Some of the tweets started being grouped around the hashtag #CapeFire. Read more: 61 astonishing photos of the #MuizenbergFire shared on Twitter But on Tuesday South Africa's national cricket team beat expectations after cricketers Hashim Amla scored 159 and Faf du Plessis grabbed a century. The Proteas (nickname for the cricket team) beat Ireland because of this and naturally had cricket fans around the world share their joy on Twitter with the hashtag...

  • Tweets from space for Star Trek’s Spock following actor’s death

    Leonard Nimoy, the actor best known for his groundbreaking role as Spock in the original Star Trek, passed away last week at the age of 83. Tributes poured in from across the world reminding everyone how the Starship Enterprise inspired everyone from NASA, JJ Abrahams and even Barack Obama. Unable to attend his funeral on Sunday, co-star William Shatner held a Twitter funeral for the man who kept Captain Kirk in check. In a fitting tribute from space, International Space Station astronaut Terry Virts gave the Vulcan salute, a symbol of Spock and the TV show and movie franchise's lasting influence...

  • ISIS targets Jack Dorsey and Twitter employees over its terms of service

    That escalated quickly. Last night ISIS supporters rallied behind an anonymous post online calling for jihadists to attack Twitter over removing the Islamic State's messages on the social network. The post is addressed to Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey saying any attempts at protecting Twitter employees is "helpless". Dorsey's face appears at the top of the post photoshopped into the cross sights of a gun. According to Twitter's terms of service any tweet that contain "specific threats of violence against others” will be removed. But aside from using these guidelines as the sole reason for suspending ISIS accounts, Twitter's decision to remove the recent videos of hostage executions...

  • Twitter to crack down on serial trolls by tracking their phone numbers

    Twitter has announced that it is now going to decisively deal with trolls as part of its long term plan. In the past Twitter was ambiguous about its stance regarding trolls, as evidenced by its inaction around Gamergate. Although there were constant threats of assault, death and rape, Twitter frequently failed to act. And when it did, it was often weeks later with no concrete action. But the general public clearly views trolling as a serious matter which needs to be dealt with. In Sweden, there is even a television show called Trolljägarna (Troll Hunter) which, as the name...

  • These were the biggest Oscar moments on Twitter

    The 2015 Academy Awards were, as we've already written, probably the geekiest in history. It should hardly be surprising then that they also attracted some serious attention on Twitter. While Twitter hasn't provided exact details of how many tweets per minute the top events from the night got but, as this heatmap shows, there was a flurry of global activity during the awards ceremony, although the majority of activity came from North America. The events causing all that activity included: Lady Gaga performing and being joined onstage by Julie Andrews Alejandro Iñárritu winning Best Picture for Birdman ...

  • Twitter revenue beats estimates but user growth stalls

    Today Twitter has released its financial results for the quarter and fiscal year ending on 31 December 2014. The results are mixed, featuring a growth in profit but a tiny growth in user count, which compared to Facebook’s and Instagram’s should be of some concern. The growth in users increased by a mere 1.4% in the fourth quarter, down from 4.8%, compared to the third quarter in 2014. For the drop in user growth, Anthony Noto, Twitter CFO, hazards possible causes for it. He suggests that the roll out of iOS 8 cost Twitter 4-million monthly active users. Image: Gigaom There are...

  • A step-by-step guide to creating your own #MugabeFalls meme

    By now you've probably seen the meme of the week #MugabeFalls. If you haven't: where have you been? Read the next paragraph to catch up; if you know what we're on about, skip it. Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe tripped after addressing supporters in Harare, an incident that on its own wouldn't have drawn much attention. But the 90-year-old was so embarrassed that his security personnel ordered photographers to wipe all images of the fall. An Associated Press photographer disregarded the orders, however, and the image was spread via its wire service and consequently the web. Some basic Photoshop skills turned Twitter users into...