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Everything You Need to Know About Instagram Direct (AllFacebook)
If you took our poll about what Instagram would announce at its press event in New York Thursday, and you guessed, “private messaging and/or group messaging features,” you were absolutely correct, as co-founder and CEO Kevin Systrom announced the launch of Instagram Direct, which allows users of the Facebook-owned photo- and video-sharing network to send photo and video messages directly to friends. Systrom said while introducing Instagram Direct: “Today, I’d like to introduce Instagram Direct — a simple way to send photos and videos to your friends. We’ve been using it internally, and we’re all very addicted to it.” TIME The new tool places Instagram in more direct competition with Snapchat, the current hot photo messaging app that reportedly spurned a $3 billion buyout offer from Facebook last month. Unlike Snapchat’s ephemeral pictures, Instagram Direct’s photos won’t disappear after a few seconds. The Wall Street Journal/Digits A big question for Instagram Direct is whether it is new and different enough to attract teen users who have already become accustomed to a new breed of mobile messaging apps. Facebook’s first attempt at a Snapchat-like app came in December, when it released an almost identical app called “Poke,” which allowed users to choose the length of time each recipient could view a photo or video before it disappeared. Nearly a year later, the app still hasn’t caught on widely. Mashable A source familiar with Instagram’s thinking told Mashable that the company isn’t considering or even discussing the idea of bringing ads to Instagram Direct. Instead, Instagram is focused on testing and rolling out the sponsored posts that it debuted early last month. SocialTimes In related news, according to a study by Linda Henkel, faculty member at Fairfield University in Connecticut, this tendency to take pictures of everything may cause us to forget the very moments we were trying to remember in the first place. Henkel’s research indicated that taking a picture pulls the photographer out of the experience.
YouTube Expands Live-Streaming to All Channels, Adds Option to Directly Launch a Google+ Hangout on Air (The Next Web)
YouTube Thursday announced it is expanding its live-streaming service to all YouTube channels. The Google-owned company now only has two requirements: your account must be verified, and it has to be in good standing. If you have both, but don’t see the feature yet, don’t worry as it’s rolling out “over the next few weeks.”
Because LinkedIn Doesn’t Cut it, Doximity Builds a Recruiting Tool for Doctors (VentureBeat)
The press often refers to Doximity as a “Facebook or LinkedIn for medical professionals,” but the company has far more to offer than social networking. In fact, this small health care startup may have some lessons to pass on to the big boys.
The Most Retweeted Tweet Of 2013 Was … (AllTwitter)
The most retweeted tweet of 2013 was Lea Michele’s first public acknowledgement of the death of her Glee co-star and boyfriend Cory Monteith. According to Twitter, it was retweeted more than 408,000 times from 133 countries.
Gmail Now Shows You All Images By Default (CNET)
The company revealed on Thursday that Gmail can maintain its current level of security while serving image attachments through Google’s own proxy servers, instead of through the image’s original host server. What this means is that instead of seeing a box that asks you if you want to display an attached image, you’ll see the image itself directly in your email.
The Most Reblogged TV Shows of 2013 on Tumblr Were … (LostRemote)
Tumblr is out with its most reblogged TV shows of 2013 list, with many of the usual suspects ranking high up. “Supernatural,” “Doctor Who,” “Sherlock,” “Game of Thrones,” “The Walking Dead” and the recently departed “Breaking Bad” were some of the top shows.
Twitter’s Expanded Photo Timeline Comes to the Mac App Along with Refreshed Design (TechCrunch)
Twitter’s Mac app, once thought dead and gone, got an update Thursday to bring it in line with the web and mobile apps in a few ways. The new expanded photo timeline makes an appearance, as does a new tweet detail view, refreshed profiles and an overall design bump.
Twitter’s MoPub Adds Native Ad Option (AppNewser)
MoPub, Twitter’s mobile ad exchange network, introduced native advertising Thursday. App developers will now be able to use MoPub to easily place mobile ads, rather than needing to build custom ads that were “too resource intensive and difficult to execute to be practical,” the company said.
The Quantified Baby: App Backed By Skype Co-Founder Wants to Track Breastfeeding and Diapers (GigaOM)
Parents, this app wants to quantify your diaper changes. Ins & Outs is an activity tracker for babies, and it’s been built by the Janus Friis-backed product incubator The Factory.