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  • Sina Weibo set to launch social credit card

    Here's an interesting development from beyond the Great Firewall. Chinese social network Sina Weibo is teaming up with China Merchants Bank on a social credit card project. According to Chinese tech news site TechRice, the new service will be tied to its DaRen, verified user programme. DaRen is intended, at least in part, as way of incentivising people to comply with the real name rules imposed on Sina Weibo by the Chinese government and also requires a profile picture, a minimum follower count and ties to a mobile number. The new card will reportedly launch later this month and will...

  • Android still killing it in shrinking mobile market, but at what cost?

    Android is killing in the mobile OS wars. Even as the global mobile market shrinks, there's no getting around the fact that it's far and away the most popular smartphone OS on the planet right now. But that dominance could come at a cost, especially in its all-out battle against Apple's iOS. According to tech research company Gartner, smartphone sales accounted for 36.7% of total mobile phone sales and grew 42.7% in the second quarter of 2012. This as the global phone market fell 2.3% from the same time last year. Here's where things get really interesting. Android has...

  • German Spotify clone Simfy to expand into South Africa

    Music streaming service Simfy is expanding its international presence, with a South African version of the offering set to launch later this month. The German-based company boasts over 18-million songs in its library, including content from all four of the major record labels -- Sony Music, Universal, EMI, and Warner. Alongside its label affiliation it also has partnerships with the Merlin Network and aggregators such as The Orchard, and Finetunes. Simfy also offers social networking, allowing users to share playlists and follow others to see what music they listen to. When the service opens to the public in 13...

  • Outlook.com hits 10M users… like a boss

    Well now, it seems Microsoft may actually have a hit on its hands with its new online email service Outlook.com. Just two weeks after launching, the Redmond-based giant announced that the service now has 10-million users. Then again, people have appear to have been excited by Outlook.com since the launch. After all, there were one-million signups just after it launched. The announcement, which came bundled with a bunch of tweaks to Skydrive also included a shout out to web commentator Chris Dixon's post about ten-million users being the new one-million users. Outlook comes bundled with social network integration and 7GB of...

  • VEVO embarks on Brazilian adventure

    Joint venture music video website VEVO is set to have a go at cracking the Brazilian market with a standalone music video platform and free apps now available. The venture, which is a collaboration between Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group, and Abu Dhabi Media, officially announced the new service today which will be localised in Portuguese. According to The Next Web, the launch is good for consumers, but even better for advertisers. “For advertisers, VEVO’s arrival in the Brazilian market is the ideal opportunity for them to access these passionate audiences through a catalog that highlights the greatest artists...

  • 4 ways LinkedIn is completely defying its most sceptical critics

    LinkedIn continues to be not only the social media site for professionals, but the professional of the social media companies. One of the best-performing recent tech IPOs reported another strong quarter, beating expectations for revenue and boosting full-year guidance. Shares jumped 12% to US$105.24 in recent trading. This comes a week after Facebook shares dropped steadily in the wake of its earnings and its stock hit an all-time low, dipping below US$20 for the first time ever. Currently, LinkedIn is trading at twice its IPO price; whereas Facebook is trading at just over 50% of its IPO price. And...

  • Don’t tweet drunk and 6 other lessons from two recent social media fails

    I was getting worried for a moment there. It had been ages and ages since we’d enjoyed a public Twitter brand meltdown. The heady days of the dodgy Durex jokes are but a hazy memory. The latest batch doesn’t involve big brands, but both cases illustrate the pitfalls of social media very nicely. Case 1: Cumtree The ultimate admission of social media failure is deleting your account, and that’s what Cumtree South Africa did. In early August, Jen Thorpe wrote this piece on adult classifieds site Cumtree after being asked to tweet a link to it (social media fail no...

  • Is the fall of Facebook upon us? [Infographic]

    Oooh, how dramatic. In a swirl of black smoke and a tornado of facts and figures, this infographic paints a pretty bleak picture of the future of Facebook. But is it really all doom and gloom for the social network? Hardly. It has 955-million monthly active users (less a few million fake accounts), and more than half a billion people log into Facebook every day -- and it's not exactly the easiest site to log out of, either. Thanks to all that newsfeed refreshing and intermittent notification-checking that users get up to, Facebook is taking up a significant amount of...

  • Crowdfunded social network App.net raises $800k

    It may not be the most successful crowdfunding project in history, but it is causing a serious stir. Subscription-based Twitter alternative App.net has raised US$803 000 in a self-imposed period of funding from 12 315 backers. The network describes itself as a "real-time social service where users and developers come first, not advertisers". That putting users and developers first comes out of a frustration with some recent changes made to Twitter that have left some developers feeling alienated. "We believe that advertising-supported social services are so consistently and inextricably at odds with the interests of users and developers that...

  • Tencent looks to grow in other emerging markets as China gets saturated

    It's not exactly a state secret that Tencent has dominated the Chinese social media scene over the past few years. Now though, that market is becoming saturated and the company is looking beyond the Great Firewall for the next phase of growth. Speaking to Paidcontent, the company's GM for national ad planning Sophia Ong admitted that it was starting see slower growth in the Chinese online market. “Since this year, we’re starting to sense the signs of a slowing down,” she said. In a bid to ride through this slowing growth, Tencent has been exploring other revenue opportunities, including...

  • HuffPost Live: HuffPo launches streaming video network

    The Huffington Post is bent on world domination I am sure. Earlier this year, founder and Editor-in-Chief, Arianna Huffington began to conquer the world by rolling out versions of the Huffington Post around Europe. Now it's video time, the news site has launched its own video streaming network. The new network hopes to use HuffPo's community and social platform to encourage conversation from community members around the world, who can to join in live via webcam. "We have reached a moment where - thanks to technology - millions of people have a seat at the table and can join what...

  • Google+ to let you get your vanity URL on in the near future

    Oh look, a new feature on Google+ that its users will actually appreciate. Google today announced that it will start rolling out vanity URLs for its social effort. That makes a big change from the random assemblage of numbers and letters that everyone's become accustomed to. According to Google, it made the change to make it easier to find people and brands and celebrities to make big announcements: Today we’re introducing custom URLs to make it even easier for people to find your profile on Google+. A custom URL is a short, easy to remember web address that links directly...

  • Down with piracy: Google search to demote sites with copyrighted content

    Some say that the best place to hide a dead body is on the second page of Google search results. Thanks to the new updates to its search algorithm, it looks like some of the main sites which host copyrighted content are set to end up in that unknown territory -- or at least as far down in the results pages as possible. According to Google's Senior Vice President of Engineering, Amit Singhal, from this week onwards, the top secret search algorithm will start to include a new set of rules to rank search results: copyright removal notices. In an...

  • Google ready to lose $275m in Motorola deal

    Ouch. If you're a Google investor, avert your eyes. Turns out that Motorola buyout is going to cost the company US$275-million. In a regulatory filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Google said that the majority of the money would be spent on ensuring that the Motorola employees whose jobs Google is culling will be well compensated. According to the internet giant, which is set to kill about 4 000 jobs at Motorola, it will provide “generous severance packages, as well as outplacement services to help the employees find new jobs.” Thing is, those are just the...

  • Call Me Maybe Chatroulette version raking up the views on YouTube

    Ok, if you who braved it and watched the chatroulette version of Carly Rae Jepsen's catchy single "Call me Maybe" then you already know how insanely disturbing the whole thing is. If you didn't you should. Despite being mentally scarring, it's quite funny. The video stars Steve Kardynal in varying skimpy outfits (mostly bikinis) serenading a collection of guys and some girls on the video chat service Chatroulette while doing some rather provocative dance moves. The video which was uploaded three days ago now has more than 8-million videos on the video sharing site. Kardynal's YouTube page is full...