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Instagram’s First Acquisition is Video-Sharing App Luma (TechCrunch)
Instagram has made its first acquisition, buying both the team and technology of Y Combinator company Luma (formerly known as Midnox). Luma created a video-capture, stabilization and sharing app, which will be shut down soon. In fact, one source tells TechCrunch Luma’s stabilization technology is already live in Instagram. Mashable To help with the transition, the company will continue support for Luma until the end of the year — Dec. 31, to be exact — and has provided a link for users to their existing download videos from the platform for safe keeping. The Luma app is no longer available for download via the Apple App Store. VentureBeat Facebook purchased Instagram last year for $1 billion and has kept the app open to develop new social avenues and potential revenue streams for the company. Currently, Instagram does not support any advertising. CNET As Instagram and Vine rival each other in the mini mobile movies niche, both companies have been introducing features to distinguish their products from the other. While Vine has ripened into a place where 40 million registered users go for loopy entertainment, Instagram has focused on features to make shooting and sharing high-quality video as easy as possible.
Regifted: No More Physical Products in Facebook Gifts; Focus Shifts to Facebook Card Gift Cards (AllFacebook)
One of the main reasons behind the explosion of the gift card industry is how easy it makes the process from both ends: The gift giver avoids the process of traveling to stores, choosing gifts, transporting them, wrapping them and making sure they get to recipients; recipients, in turn, can choose exactly what they want to spend the amount of the card on, and they are spared the hassle of returning unwanted gifts. Logistical reasons also fueled Facebook’s decision to scrap physical gifts from its Gifts offering and shift its focus to its own gift card, the Facebook Card. VentureBeat We understand the logic of ditching what’s not working to focus on what’s definitely working, but still. We liked the personal touch of sending someone a bottle of champagne or a flower-growing kit. Sending a generic, Facebook-themed gift card seems practically robotic by comparison. USA Today In related news, Facebook stock continued to defy its doubters Friday by closing above $40 a share for the first time since its IPO. Shares of the No. 1 social network have been on a tear this year, gaining more than 50 percent, including a $1.99 rise Friday to $40.54 in late-afternoon trading. Shares got a lift Friday after JPMorgan issued a bullish note on the stock, saying the company is gaining traction with mobile and desktop PC users.
Tech Companies Paid Millions by U.S. to Cover Surveillance Costs (SocialTimes)
New documents from Edward Snowden’s cache reveals that the U.S. government paid tech companies, such as Google, Yahoo!, Facebook and Microsoft, millions of dollars to keep their operations compliant in the wake of a federal court ruling. The requirements resulted from an October 2011 ruling from the secret court assigned to surveillance requests that was made public last week, which said that the National Security Agency’s inability to separate domestic and foreign Internet traffic was a violation of the Fourth Amendment, according to an article in The Guardian.
Medium Needs to Figure Out What it Wants to be When it Grows Up (GigaOM)
Does Medium want to be a platform for writing of all kinds, or does it want to be a magazine-style curated experience for readers? The two are very different, and the potential for conflict is great.
Small Business Owners Find Facebook Harder to Maintain Than Twitter [Infographic] (AllTwitter)
Nearly 50 percent of SMBs have increased time spent on social media compared to a year ago; more than one in three small business owners dedicate one to three hours each week managing their social media channels, and 10 percent spend more than 10 hours. Most interestingly, 18 percent of SMBs report Facebook is the most difficult platform to maintain, followed by LinkedIn and Twitter.
Shops in Rochester, N.Y., Build Buzz with Social Media (Democrat and Chronicle)
Three local entrepreneurs are among those successfully reaching new clients through social media. They are all visual artists in different mediums who found that the sky is the limit when it comes to sourcing new business in the online and mobile world.
Viggle’s ‘Audience Network’ to Provide Advertisers with Big Second-Screen Opportunity (LostRemote)
As social TV analytics become increasingly important for networks and advertisers alike, second-screen apps now find themselves in a great position to enhance their revenue streams. Viggle, an app that “listens” to what is on TV and rewards users with points for every minute watched, has recently announced the launch of the Viggle Audience Network.
Social Media Use on the Rise Among Central Wisconsin Schools (Wisconsin Rapids Tribune)
In the Wisconsin Rapids area, where many law enforcement agencies have fully embraced social media, school officials are exploring the concept at a district level, although individual schools, as well as extra-curricular clubs, organizations and sports programs already have their own pages on such sites as Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, said Phillip Bickelhaupt, the district’s director of technology. “Mostly it’s teacher-driven and building-level administrator-led,” Bickelhaupt said.
Qwyrk Lets You Send Music & Movie Clips to Your Friends (AppNewser)
Have a tune or movie scene in your head that you’d like to share with your friend? Qwyrk lets you send personalized messages to your friends and attach songs, movie quotes and sound effects to the message.