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Twitter Testing Major Profile Redesign That Looks a Lot Like Facebook (Mashable) Twitter is testing a major profile redesign that’s very reminiscent of Facebook and Google+. Mashable assistant features editor Matt Petronzio spotted on Tuesday a huge update to his Twitter profile page, with the main picture and bio scaled to the left and significantly more real estate dedicated to the header photo. VentureBeat Sources said that the micro-blogging website is beta-testing different design configurations in order to make the site more appealing to users and easier to use. The Verge The new profile pages’ big profile picture is flanked by a huge, 1,500-pixel-wide cover photo with follower counts and tweet counts layered atop it. The tweet stream has been turned into a mosaic view of tweets. The new profile highlights photo and video tweets, but notably removes any semblance of a chronological vertical “timeline” from the profile. NBC News Although Twitter declined to comment on the new design, the company does push out frequent updates to its apps and Web interface — though usually even minor changes are announced on the company’s blog. TIME Twitter recently unveiled a separate new design to all its users, not long after the company’s Feb. 5 earnings call when analysts revealed its user base may be plateauing.
Bitcoin Exchanges Halt Withdrawals as ‘Massive’ Attack Spreads (GigaOM)
Bitcoin’s bad week got even worse on Tuesday as the chief security officer of Blockchain.info reported that hackers are launching DDoS attacks across the Bitcoin eco-system in an effort to exploit a software vulnerability that allows attackers to tamper with transaction records. Business Insider An unknown entity caused Bitcoin wallets at many exchanges, including the two largest USD-traded ones, to start misinterpreting transactions. CoinDesk Andreas Antonopoulos, the chief security officer of Blockchain.info, said a few exchanges will suspend withdrawals temporarily while the exchanges re-work their accounting systems to ensure they are not confused by the attack.
Square Tapped by Whole Foods in its Second Big In-Store Payments Deal (TechCrunch)
A year and a half after debuting a massive partnership with Starbucks, payments company Square announced its next big, in-store retail deal Tuesday: Whole Foods. When Square debuted Stand last year, the assumption was that this high-powered hardware and software play would help attract large retailers. GigaOM Square’s sleekly designed point-of-sale terminals currently exist at Whole Foods delis, pizza counters and beverage stands in seven grocery stores around the country and will be introduced to more stores throughout the year. Mashable The partnership between Square and Whole Foods comes at a time when Square is rumored to be prepping for an IPO. Square reportedly generated more than $100 million in revenue last year and major partnerships like this one could help boost that number higher.
Lithium Technologies to Acquire Klout (Re/Code)
Klout, the online popularity contest startup, is poised to be sold to social customer service company Lithium Technologies. The deal is signed but not closed, said sources. And, while the numbers are fuzzy given they account for a mix of cash and Lithium private stock, the acquisition is “in the low nine figures” — that is, at least $100 million. SocialTimes In 2011, the media denounced Klout’s algorithm, comparing Justin Bieber’s perfect score of 100 to Barack Obama’s measly 58. Klout relaunched the product and kept people from being able to game the system. Today Klout’s API usage in on par with Facebook and Google.
Mozilla to Sell New Tab Page Ads in Firefox (CNET)
Ads are coming to Firefox’s New Tab page, browser maker Mozilla announced on Tuesday. Mozilla said that the ads are part of an attempt to connect new browser users to sites that they might find relevant. Called Directory Tiles, the initiative will use a combination of sponsored sites, popular sites based on geographic location and Mozilla ecosystem items to fill in blank New Tab pages. Currently, the nine empty boxes on a new New Tab page fill in over time with sites culled from the user’s browsing history, frequently visited sites and bookmarks. Darren Herman, Mozilla’s vice president of content services, did not say when Directory Tiles would be introduced, stating only that Mozilla plans to show them to new Firefox users “as soon as we have the user experience right.”
Micro-Social-Networking Platform Hibe Launches Facebook App (AllFacebook)
Micro-social-networking platform Hibe announced the launch of its website and release of its Facebook application Tuesday, aimed at allowing users to build micro-social-networks on top of existing platforms, such as Facebook, where they can discuss single topics of interest. Hibe said in a release announcing its launch that “any Facebook user can start a micro-social-network about their favorite artists, celebrities, or sports teams, thereby creating one unique destination for the millions of other fans who follow such a Facebook page to meet, find inspiring people to follow, and learn from their experiences.”
Google’s Market Cap Hits $400 Billion for First Time (Mashable)
Google’s stock hit another all-time high Tuesday of $1,191, pushing the company’s market cap above $400 billion for the first time in its history. The stock increase comes less than two weeks after Google released its fourth quarter earnings report and announced plans to move forward with a long-delayed stock split. Google recently overtook ExxonMobil’s market cap to become the second most valuable company. It is about $80 billion behind Apple, one of its chief competitors and the most valuable company in the world.
Don’t Worry About SEO — Just Make Good Content (SocialTimes)
Search engine optimization has been a key part of any online business strategy for years now. From dialing in on relevant keywords to spamming anything relevant for page views, there are right ways and wrong ways to do it. According to development company Simple Web, the focus on SEO may be detrimental to your website or service — and detrimental to the Internet at large.
Open-Source Video Platform Kaltura Scores $47M (VentureBeat)
Kaltura, an open-source video platform, has raised an additional $47 million in funding Tuesday. The company’s platform is based on open-source software that enables its clients to host, publish, manage, monetize and analyze video content, offering a wide range of video products across several areas, including publishing, education and enterprise. GigaOM The New York-based company wants to use the money for further international expansion and has raised a total of $115 million to date.