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Google Play Update Shows the Big Picture (SocialTimes)
Google has announced an update to Google Play that will show bigger images for books, movies and album covers. The change began rolling out to Android smartphones and tablets starting Tuesday. Wired Media and apps with a similar theme are now grouped together to make it easier to explore new content options by subject, with recommendations that continue to pop up as you scroll down the interface. Google also updated the check-out experience so it’s more streamlined. VentureBeat The Play redesign comes a few months after Apple redesigned the App Store in iOS 6. Like Apple, Google knows that the first step to tearing people from their money is making the shopping experience as pleasant as possible — which is why design is so important. CNET The app’s redesigned user interface specifically is intended to improve the entertainment experience, whether it’s listening to an album, reading a book, or playing a game. The overhaul was rumored for weeks, with various sites publishing screenshots showing off several alleged design tweaks for Google Play. TechCrunch It would seem that Google’s big goal with this new redesign was to bring the Play Store in line with other prominent Android features — ever since its last major facelift, the Google Play Android app has been swathed in blacks and greys, with color highlights corresponding to different content types breaking up the visual monotony. At the time the shift in design made sense — Honeycomb and Ice Cream Sandwich featured a colder, darker aesthetic than previous versions of Android and also relied on light blue UI flourishes.
GM, Facebook Renew Advertising Relationship (AllFacebook)
A few days before Facebook’s initial public offering last year, General Motors pulled its $10 million advertising campaign from the social network, unhappy that it didn’t have the control over ads it sought. But now it appears the two sides have reconciled their differences. VentureBeat GM will advertise via Facebook as a part of the “Find New Roads” campaign for the Chevrolet Sonic. According to GM, the campaign will be mobile-only and will take advantage of Facebook’s new mobile-targeting features. The New York Times/Media Decoder According to Ryndee Carney, a spokeswoman at General Motors in Detroit, General Motors “worked closely with Facebook” on the idea for the test campaign, which was presented to “the Chevrolet digital team, Carat and Commonwealth.” Those were references to two advertising agencies that work with GM.
Music Service Pandora Tops 200 Million users (USA Today)
Pandora says it has reached 200 million registered users in the United States, as competition in the streaming radio business heats up. In a statement released Tuesday, the company revealed it doubled its number of registered users in the United States in less than two years, hitting the 100 million mark in 2011.
Tumblr Abruptly Closes Down its Storyboard Project, Lays Off Entire Editorial Team (paidContent)
A year ago, Tumblr launched an ambitious attempt to curate content from within the blog network — a unit known as Storyboard, with its own editorial staff who highlighted and aggregated posts from popular Tumblrs. Although the company seemed to have high hopes for the project, founder and CEO David Karp announced late Tuesday night on the official Tumblr blog that Storyboard has been shut down and the staff of the unit have been let go.
Is the IRS Targeting Tax Cheats on Twitter? (AllTwitter)
Did you file your taxes yet, or are you waiting till the last minute like the other half of the United States? Either way, make sure you don’t talk smack about it on Twitter.
How a Small Newspaper Used iPads to Bend the Rules of Reporting (Ebyline/The News Hook)
With the rapid migration of news and media onto the mobile platform, newspaper editors are finding all sorts of ways to keep up with the changeover and stay ahead of the trends. That’s why Randy Parker, managing editor of the York Daily Record put a tablet or smartphone into the hands of its top reporters.
Foursquare Readies Version 6.0 of its iOS App with Improved Search and Recommendation Features (The Next Web)
Foursquare will be updating its iOS app to version 6.0 later today, expanding its emphasis on search and location-based recommendations. The Explore section, which used to be hidden in its own separate tab at the bottom of the screen, is now right at the forefront of the overall app experience.
Adobe: Video Accounts for 77 Percent of Viral Reach on Social Nets [Infographic] (SocialTimes)
Social media and video “go together like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich,” said Tamara Gaffney, senior manager at Adobe Digital Index, “because they’re very sticky and they’re very complimentary to each other.” Adobe’s 2013 Video Benchmark Report, released Tuesday, showed how incorporating video content in social media campaigns can help brands and media companies get better results.
Vine and Instagram Posts Warn Students of Stabbing Attack (The Daily Dot)
A student at Lone Star College, near Houston, used the video-sharing platform Vine to warn others on campus about a stabbing attack. As many as 14 people were injured, one critically.