Social Media Newsfeed: Replacing Google Reader | Blackberry’s Back | Sony Smart Watch

By Donya Blaze 

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Google ReaderThe Race to Replace Google Reader (ReadWrite)
For a service that Google felt was too much of a bother to keep running for its users, building the next great RSS newsreader tool seems to be the summer’s big event in the technology world. The “race” metaphor seem particularly apt, with competitors employing terms like countdown clocks and finish line — all tied around that fateful July 1 date. Forbes The value of a good release before July 1st is huge, allowing importing of data from Reader. Miss the deadline, and other services will start locking in the new user base. GigaOm Since Google’s announcement, there’s been a burst of launches of some variation of an RSS reader or new reading app. So we decided to break down some of the leading options to help you figure out which one is right for you. This isn’t an exhaustive list, but it’s an overview of some of the most popular or interesting choices out there.

With Massive Services Roll-Out, We’re Finally Seeing Blackberry’s Post-Device Future (Business Insider)
BlackBerry launched a service today allowing government agencies and corporate clients to secure and manage devices powered by Google Inc’s Android platform and Apple Inc’s iOS operating system. The long-anticipated offering, which BlackBerry had said would come out around mid-year, could help the company sell high-margin services to its large clients even if many, or all, of their workers are using smartphones made by its competitors. AllThingsD Opinions on just what sort of financials BlackBerry will post on Friday are divergent to say the least. Recent reports from Bernstein Research and Pacific Crest suggest that demand for the company’s new BlackBerry smartphones has fallen off so much that the devices are just piling up in inventory. But others are more upbeat about BlackBerry’s prospects.

Instagram Video and the Death of Fantasy (The New York Times)
Over the weekend, I went to a sunset picnic on a rooftop in Brooklyn. To capture the moment, I opened Instagram and turned on the company’s new feature that lets people upload short videos in addition to photographs. I tried to document the carefully arranged snacks and decorations and capture the liveliness of the mood, but what I got instead was a grainy video of dresses and hair, whipped around by the wind, music thumping from a party next door and snippets of a conversation about birth control. SocialTimes Instagram has published tips for improving the sound quality of its newly launched video-sharing tool. The key takeaways? If you are watching a video and you can’t hear it, turn up the volume on your phone or adjust your settings. If you’re in the process of making a video, there are three things you can do to improve the sound. AllFacebook The Nitrogram 50, a list of the 50 most popular brands on Instagram, went live to the public Monday, with athletic apparel and footwear giant Nike topping the charts by a wide margin.

Sony Introduces Its New Android-Powered Smart Watch (Mashable)
Sony updated its smart watch Tuesday, introducing the Sony SmartWatch 2 at Shanghai’s Mobile Asia Expo. Designed to be used as a second screen for your Android smartphone, the water-resistant smart watch has NFC (near-field communication) connectivity, and can be personalized with apps based on how you want to use it. AllThingsD Sony promises the watch will have extended Android compatibility, working with devices beyond Sony’s Xperia smartphone line, and longer-lasting battery life of three to four days with typical usage. Lastly! If you have a newer Walkman — yes, they still exist — the new Sony watch will act as a remote for that device.

Snapchat Targets Future Users, With New Service for Kids Under 13 (GigaOm)
Every social media company wants to get ahold of the millions of tech-savvy kids that have yet to hit 13, but building a service for them that passes legal muster is extremely challenging. Because of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), kids under 13 can’t have Facebook or Twitter logins, they can’t have chat elements, and they can’t post their photos online or use their real names. In short, they can’t do most of the things people like to do on social networks. But disposable photo messaging service Snapchat is taking the plunge, with a new service just for kids.

Interest in Social Networks Waning, Study Finds (SocialTimes)
Users appear to be losing interest in social networks as participating in them becomes mandatory, rather than purely recreational, according to a study conducted by E-Poll Market Research, a consumer research company that serves media, entertainment and Fortune 1,000 companies.

How to Get Your Social Media Fix in Just 60 Minutes a Day [INFOGRAPHIC] (AllTwitter)
How much time do you spend using social media? If you’re anything like what’s increasingly becoming any other normal person, the answer to this question is two-fold: one, you’re using it a lot, and two, the time you’re spending on these channels is getting bigger all the time. So… how do you find the balance?

Twitter’s Future: Commerce, Dinner Reservations and More TV Tie-Ins (Mashable)
While Facebook and Twitter both made pitches at last week’s Cannes Lions festival, the consensus seemed to be that what Twitter lacked in scale, it made up for in agility. Twitter isn’t resting on its laurels, though. The company is looking to both solidify its lead in real-time marketing and expand the functionality of tweets. Broadly, those two goals appear to present a roadmap for Twitter’s growth over the next year or so.

Topsy Update Reveals Geographic Information for Tweets (SocialTimes)
Less than 2 percent of Twitter users reveal their locations when they Tweet, but Topsy says it can pinpoint the origin for 95 percent of Tweets nationwide. Now, the social analytics company has released an update to its geo-inference tool for marketing at the local level.