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Zynga Will No Longer Require Login with Facebook (AllFacebook)
Game developer Zynga and Facebook, once virtually intertwined, continue to drift further apart from each other, as Zynga announced in a post on its blog that while login with Facebook will still be an option for game players, it will no longer be a requirement starting next week. In February 2012, Facebook’s S-1 filing revealed that Zynga accounted for 12 percent of Facebook’s revenue, but the two companies have been drifting apart. CNET Starting next week, gamers who want to play the games at Zynga.com won’t need a Facebook account to do so. Zynga is trying to set itself apart from Facebook, but it knows it can’t cut its former partner out of the picture entirely. VentureBeat “People want to communicate with just game friends,” said Tim Catlin, general manager of Zynga.com and developer experience. “Players have wanted to have a choice about playing under a pseudonym. With a separate Zynga.com account, a player can now make up his or her own gamer name. Players can now control the way they interact with other players.” The Wall Street Journal Among the updates, Zynga will now use its own currency on Zynga.com, instead of routing payments through Facebook, which collects a 30 percent fee from transactions. Facebook also plans to restrict the game maker’s access to users’ Facebook friends lists. TechCrunch It’s no secret that Zynga is rethinking its approach to gaming at the moment. The company has shut down a number of once-popular titles and is releasing fewer games and spacing their releases further apart.
Verizon Launches Cross-Platform SMS, Letting You Text from Your PC or Tablet (GigaOM)
Verizon just turned tablets and PCs into fully functioning SMS clients. It’s new Verizon Messaging service virtualizes its texting and MMS capabilities on the iPad, Android tablets and multiple web browsers. AllThingsD “A message sent to a customer’s mobile number will appear simultaneously on his or her PC, Android smartphone and Android or iOS tablet, making sure an important text message will not be missed no matter what device they’re using,” Verizon said in a blog post announcing the new service. “The message will be delivered to the other devices and stored on the Verizon cloud for up to 90 days unless deleted by the user.” NBCNews.com The extra features may help keep customers using SMS rather then switching over to services like iMessages or Google Talk, depriving Verizon of income from texting fees. The latest version of the app is available now in the iOS App Store and the Google Play Store, and the My Verizon website should show the web app when users log in.
Visual.ly Launches Tool to Turn Your Google Analytics Stats into an Infographic (SocialTimes)
A new visual reporting tool from Visual.ly can turn insights from Google Analytics into an infographic. Unlike most of the infographics on Visual.ly, these are meant to be used internally.
Google+ Updated with New Search Filter for Photos (The Next Web)
Google announced Thursday on Google+ that users of its social network can now utilize a new search filter. Now, search queries can be filtered so that they display photo only posts — nothing about Google+ Hangouts, communities, events or status update-like posts, just photos.
The Skinny on How Weight Watchers Uses Social Media (SocialTimes)
SocialTimes recently caught up with Lee Hurley, vice president of social media at Weight Watchers, to discuss the company’s social media goals, strategies, the platforms it uses, and the analytics program it’s thinking about building.
Facebook’s Managing Editor Quits, Says the Position Shouldn’t Exist (The Daily Dot)
It takes a certain degree of self-confidence, especially in this economy, to quit a well-paying job and become an independent entrepreneur. Facebook managing editor Dan Fletcher clearly has confidence enough for that; he’s leaving Facebook next month to work for his own startup.
U.S. Moms More Active On Twitter, Facebook Than Generation Xers [Study] (AllTwitter)
An incredible 94.5 percent of all mothers in the United States are internet users, estimates eMarketer, versus 75.7 percent of the total population, putting moms at the very top of the “must-target” list for digital marketers. Indeed, more than eight in 10 of these women use social media sites one or more times per month, with 25.3 million U.S. moms on Facebook and 5.7 million on Twitter.
Reddit Adopts New Ad System, Adzerk, Allowing Users to Up and Downvote Sidebar Ads (BetaBeat)
Reddit announced Thursday that it will begin phasing out its own in-house advertising platform and Doubleclick for Publishers in favor of Adzerk, a system used by companies like StackExchange and Stack Overflow. In a blog post, Reddit said the site will continue to serve ads, many of them images, in the right sidebar of posts, but Adzerk will now give users the ability to vote ads up or down, helping to train the system to better tailor its ads based on the user’s taste.
Facebook Tests Another Timeline Layout with Elements from New and Old Designs (Inside Facebook)
Although Facebook publicly announced a new Timeline layout last week with posts in a single column on the right and customizable modules to the left, some users are seeing another design, which is more of a hybrid of the new and old Timeline. Blink vice president of planning and Media Eti Suruzon says her profile was updated Wednesday, but it doesn’t look like the version Facebook has launched to others.