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Android Users: Facebook Wants You to Test Its Latest App (Mashable)
Taking advantage of Google’s beta testing tool launched at the I/O conference earlier this year, Facebook is now offering every Android user the ability to try out the new version of its Android app early. This will help the social network correct any issues with the app before launching to the general public. Facebook Engineering Blog The Android beta program will give users who opt-in access to the latest versions of Facebook for Android before the general release. Our goals with this program are to expand our pool of testers and gain feedback across a more diverse set of devices. AllThingsD Right now, the beta program is only for the official Facebook app, not Messenger, not Camera, not Instagram… and not Facebook Home, either. But Facebook director of mobile engineering Mike Shaver suggested that this program could eventually extend to Home at some point.
Leaked Details Of Facebook’s New Chat Rooms Feature (Techcrunch)
Facebook has built a new feature codenamed “Host Chat” that lets people set up chat rooms their friends can join without an invitation, a source familiar with the feature tells us. I’ve contacted Facebook and it confirms it has begun testing this feature in the wild. AllFacebook A source within Facebook described how the host chat feature works, saying that a host chat button appears in the status update composer, alongside the “update status” and “add photos/video” options.
Google Is Developing Android Game Console (The Wall Street Journal)
Google Inc. is developing a videogame console and wristwatch powered by its Android operating system, according to people familiar with the matter, as the Internet company seeks to spread the software beyond smartphones and tablets. Reuters The world’s No.1 Web search engine, is also working on a revamped version of the Nexus Q music-streaming device, the report said. Google unveiled the Nexus Q in June 2012, but never released the product, which received critical reviews. GigaOm At least one of these is supposed to be announced some time this fall, but it wasn’t clear which one was on that schedule. VentureBeat The strategic implications of Google putting its muscle behind a game box would be powerful, bringing the company into competition with Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo and a number of other supporters of Android games in the living room. Those cheap mobile games have disrupted console and portable games in the past few years, but a direct assault on consoles in the living room could spark a major console war.
Visual Social Network We Heart It Takes Off (Wall Street Journal)
There’s a new social network with over 20 million users who trade photos tagged with things like “beach” or “flowers.” And you may not have heard about it — yet. We Heart It’ is a mobile image-based app that has taken off with young people under 24. AllThingsD We Heart It is about “expressiveness,” founder Fabio Giolito said. It’s a way for people to show “how I’m feeling at the moment” with a picture. Usually, that picture is grabbed from elsewhere on the Web — the site is only starting to allow uploads. Many users are anonymous.
DuckDuckGo, Riding Privacy Trend, Releases Anonymous Mobile Search Apps (SocialTimes)
DuckDuckGo, the search engine that does not profile its users or personalize their results, released its search app Thursday for iPhone and iPod, riding a wave of increasing interest in its products since it was revealed in early June that competing search engines share at least some data on users with the U.S. government. VentureBeat “Privacy is perhaps more important on mobile than on the Web, and we haven’t had many private alternatives,” DuckDuckGo founder Gabriel Weinberg told me. (Privacy nuts will also be glad to hear that future versions of DuckDuckGo will support anonymous browsing via Tor.)
The Economics of Viral Videos [Infographic] (SocialTimes)
An entire industry is building up around viral videos, as this infographic illustrates. Not only does YouTube connect video creators to Google AdSense for advertising revenue, the company has also built production studios in Los Angeles, Tokyo and London to help the medium thrive. Content networks, PR agencies, and analytics platforms are also popping up to predict, monitor and promote success on YouTube and Vimeo.
Flipboard Update Delivers RSS Reading and More Social Integration (SocialTimes)
Flipboard, an app that allows users to read the content that has been shared in their social networks, launched an iOS update Thursday that delivers on an earlier promise to import users’ Google Reader RSS subscriptions and adds additional ways of sharing content to social networks from the app.
How To Make a Meme with Free Imgur Tool (AppNewser)
With Imgur’s new Meme Generator, you can instantaneously create a meme to share on Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter or your blog. VentureBeat The company said users should easily be able to drag and drop text boxes on images, which will then be sized automatically to fit. There’s also a variety of classic memes (Scumbag Steve, Philosoraptor, overly attached girlfriend, awkward penguin, Good guy Greg and others) for your convenience.
What is Jelly? Twitter Co-Founder’s Mysterious New Startup Revealed (The Verge)
On April 1, Twitter co-founder Biz Stone posed a question on a company blog: “What is Jelly?” The answer, he said, is a new company and product named after the jellyfish. Unmentioned in the post is that Jelly is the second jellyfish-themed product with which Stone has been associated. Before Jelly, Stone advised a lesser-known Q&A startup named Fluther. If you want to know where Jelly is heading, Fluther is the place to start.