Social Media Newsfeed: Foursquare’s Future | Child Trafficking on Facebook?

By Tim Sohn 

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FoursquareFoursquare Replacing Check-in Data with Data from APIs, Crowley Indicates (SocialTimes)
Foursquare CEO and co-founder Dennis Crowley indicated that the company does not need users to check in to businesses and other points of interest to retain relevance as a local search engine, suggesting that the company can rely instead on data sent from apps that use its API. “If people think it’s all about mayorships, that muddles the story. We’re starting to put a lot of that stuff in the background,” Crowley said in a keynote presentation at South by Southwest, the tech confabulation where Foursquare launched four years ago. CNET When asked whether Foursquare was now gunning for Yelp, Crowley said that “if we keep doing what we’re doing, we make the previous generation of local search products irrelevant.” The shorter answer would have been, “yes.” Adweek Conceivably Google could do similar data mining through its Google Maps apps or Android mobile operating system, but Crowley sees Foursquare’s data as being particularly proprietary because so much of it is user-vetted. “Because it’s curated by our users, it gets updated a lot quicker and stays a lot cleaner,” he said. AllThingsD Foursquare’s biggest mistake, in his words: “In terms of product, not putting search front and center from the beginning.” He also wants to reduce the amount of taps and friction for users to navigate the app, and to reimagine how badges and mayorships work in the real world. TechCrunch Crowley said that maps haven’t really changed that much since people started making them, but now that we have certain amounts of trending data or interest data, Foursquare could help make the places that people see more meaningful to them. Crowley likened that to Harry Potter’s “Marauders Map” and how it provides Harry with details about the people and places around them.

Mother Tried to Sell Her Kids on Facebook for $4,000 (Mashable)
Misty VanHorn, 22, was arrested Saturday for alleged trafficking of minors on Facebook — offering her 10-month-old and 2-year-old for $4,000. According to the police report, VanHorn offered the kids several times on the social network — offering the 10-month-old girl for $1,000, or a package deal with the two of them for $4,000. And she had a taker. WebProNews According to the report, one of the Facebook messages read, “Just come to Sallisaw, it’s only 30 minutes away and I’ll give you all of her stuff and let y’all have her forever for $1,000.” Police say that they think VanHorn was trying to sell her kids in order to generate enough cash to post her boyfriend’s bond, who is currently in jail on an unknown charge. Social News Daily According to The Oklahoman, a female buyer in Fort Smith, Ark., was ready to buy the children, and she also now faces possible federal charges. Misty’s children have been placed in the custody of the state’s Department of Human Services.

Colin Powell’s Facebook Page is Back Up After Hacking (AllFacebook)
The Facebook page of former Secretary of State Colin Powell has been restored after suffering a hacking attack earlier Monday. Gawker reported that Powell’s page began posting offensive status reports that were aimed at former President George W. Bush, whose administration Powell was part of, and the hacker went as far as to threaten Facebook users who posted to Powell’s page to warn him that he had been hacked.

Google Updates Design of Gmail’s Web App for Android, BlackBerry, iOS, Kindle Fire and Offline App for Chrome (The Next Web)
Google on Monday announced an update to its Gmail mobile Web app and Gmail Offline. The company says the new release is available to Android, BlackBerry, iOS and Kindle Fire users; you can try it out yourself now by simply navigating to in the browser on your corresponding device.

Tumblr iOS App Updated with New Camera, In-App Support for Photosets (Apple Insider)
Announced on the Tumblr Staff blog, the Tumblr v3.3 update for both iPhone and iPad includes folds photoset functionality into the flagship app, granting users the ability to create and share photo montages through the company’s blogging service. Previously, Tumblr launched the feature as the Photoset standalone app in October 2012.

The State of Social Ads [Infographic] (AllTwitter)
While spending on social media ads continues to rise – 81 percent of agencies and 75 percent of advertisers implemented social media ads in their campaigns last year – measuring the impact of these tools continues to prove problematic. Indeed, 62 of advertisers, and 70 percent of agencies, are either unsure or flat out do not know how to measure their social marketing ROI.

New Details Emerge About the Hack on Facebook (VentureBeat)
When we first heard about the hack on Facebook, Apple, Twitter, and Microsoft that seemed to be connected, it looked like an infected website downloaded malicious software to employee computers when they accessed the site. But now, it seems that more than one infected website targeted specific visitors.

SoundCloud Introduces ‘Moving Sounds’ Slideshow Creator (SocialTimes)
SoundCloud has released “Moving Sounds,” a tool for creating slideshows with images and audio tracks. Launched in beta Monday with a handful of partners, the creative tool also represents a new form of advertising within the audio-based community.

New Blackberry Phone Nears a United States Debut (The New York Times/Bits Blog)
Just over six weeks after the BlackBerry Z10 phone went on sale in Britain, the handset, which will very likely determine the fate of the company formerly known as Research In Motion, will start arriving in the hands of American customers. Katie McFadzean, a spokeswoman for T-Mobile U.S.A., said in an email on Monday that the carrier expects to deliver the first of the new BlackBerrys to business users “as early as the end of the week.”