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Pinterest Acquires Machine Learning Commerce Recommendation Engine Kosei (TechCrunch)
Pinterest yearns to know what you want next, which is “exactly” why it acquired recommendation engine startup Kosei, Pinterest’s head of engineering Michael Lopp told TechCrunch. For an undisclosed figure, Pinterest gets Kosei’s tech that understands 400 million relationships between 30 million products, and the majority of its 10 person team including its co-founders. Fast Company For Pinterest, this is not just a gee-whiz technological feat, but a crucial part of how the company can make money. Even something as basic as the classic, Amazon-style “if you like that, you’ll like this” recommendation engine can help Pinterest better target advertisements to users. GigaOM The bigger picture here is that despite years of effort by companies such as Amazon and Netflix, recommendations — a driving factor behind the entire big data and data science movement — are far from a solved problem. Data science teams at those companies, as well as at places such as Facebook, Google, LinkedIn and Twitter, are always testing out new variables and tweaking their models in an effort to put the right content — ads, users or otherwise — in front of the right people. SocialTimes In related news, Pinterest recorded the biggest percentage rise in active users of every major social network in 2014, reveals a new study. GlobalWebIndex surveyed internet users aged 16-64 worldwide (excluding China) and found that Pinterest had gained 97 percent more active users year-on-year, narrowly beating Tumblr, which saw a 95 percent growth in active users, into second place.
Man ‘Sold’ Facebook IPO Shares, Gets 46 Months in the Federal Slammer (VentureBeat)
A New Jersey man was sentenced to 46 months in federal prison today for bilking would-be Facebook IPO investors out of millions of dollars. Fred Todd, a 61-year-old attorney, was sentenced in federal court in Trenton, N.J. for having teamed up with two co-conspirators in a 2012 plot to bilk two victims who thought they were getting in early on Facebook’s upcoming IPO.
Netflix Stock Soars After Q4 Earnings Report (LostRemote)
Netflix’s stock skyrocketed after it released its Q4 earnings report. Turns out, they’re making a lot more money than you think.
WhatsApp is Coming to Your Desktop (Re/code)
Messaging service WhatsApp launched a web version on Wednesday, meaning users can now send and receive messages from their desktop or laptop computers. WhatsApp, for which Facebook paid $19 billion last February, said through a spokesperson that the mobile use case — where the company has amassed 700 million users — remains the primary focus.
Illinois Law Allows School Officials to Demand Students’ Passwords (SocialTimes)
The trend among U.S. states when it comes to passwords for social networks and email accounts has been to protect them from employers, potential employers and school administrators, but an Illinois law that took effect Jan. 1 bucked that trend. CNET reported that Public Act 098-0801 is aimed at preventing cyberbullying, but St. Louis Fox affiliate KTVI reported that parents were concerned about the part of the law that grants access to students’ social media passwords, and Motherboard shared part of a letter sent to parents by school authorities.
Best Twitter Ad Practices Include Narrow Targets, Videos and Brevity (The New York Times)
More than four years after introducing advertising on its platform, Twitter has changed the way businesses create ads. And as with any game in which the rules have shifted, players adapt by developing new strategies.
Facebook Groups App Users Asked to Complete Surveys (SocialTimes)
Facebook introduced stand-alone application Facebook Groups in November, and some Facebook users who downloaded the app are being prompted to take surveys to describe their experiences. Readers: Do you use the Facebook Groups app?
Here’s How Social Media Marketing Will Change in 2015 (The Huffington Post)
In 2015, social media marketing will change in a major way. Here’s how you will need to adjust your strategy to stay ahead of the game.
NBC Turns to Tumblr to Host All the Super Bowl Ads in One Place (Adweek)
Rick Cordella, NBC Sports Group SVP and GM for digital media, said in a statement. “Tumblr is a visually rich, social-friendly platform that is perfect to showcase the Super Bowl TV ads. We are optimistic this experience will be the first step in creating a more robust NBC Sports destination on Tumblr.”