Twitter CEO Dick Costolo Says Beware Of Government Regulation


Twitter CEO Dick Costolo Says "We Suck At Dealing With Abuse And Trolls"The outgoing chief executive officer of Twitter, Dick Costolo, had some choice words concerning government regulation.

In a farewell interview conducted by The Guardian on his last day at the head of the social media network, Costolo expressed his feeling that regulation may be threatening to free speech and that Twitter and similar services shouldn’t be regulated like other government institutions.

Costolo went on to say: “I can’t think of an example where regulation didn’t have unintended consequences, and I’m unable to conceive of a regulatory body that will be swift enough to deal with the constantly evolving issues of ethics, communication and technology. I just don’t think it’s possible.”

His stance falls in line with that of Twitter, long regarded as a herald of the right to free speech.

The company’s detractors have argued that the stance has led to their near non-involvement when it comes to the recent rise of online bullying and abuse of others on the platform, as well as the proliferation of highly violent and dangerous extremists.

To that point, Costolo stated that Twitter has taken steps to put a halt to those using abusive language on the social media network in addition to preventing former users who’ve been blocked from regaining access.

Christopher A. Smith


Meerkat Adds Embedding Feature


Twitter Continues Its Mission To Crush MeerkatMeerkat isn’t listening to the naysayers who say they’ve lost ground to Periscope.

And to prove it, they’re now releasing a new feature.

The live streaming app has just released a feature that will allow embedding within their live streams for all users since this past Friday.

The company also announced that they were entering a partnership with The Discovery Channel in time for the network’s popular Shark Week stretch of programming, set to begin on July 5th.

The embedding feature breaks down like this: Meerkat users can choose from three sizes, pick whether to allow comments or not on the post and upload an image into the embeddable player.

Newer users will see the stream play out with just the basic profile data.

If the player gets published before the stream goes live, viewers will see either information from your past stream or info on the upcoming one if you’ve got a streaming history already established.

The new feature for Meerkat comes just three days after their rival, Twitter’s Periscope, announced that their users could now view replays from the service on the web.

Christopher A. Smith


Courtney Love Caught Up In Paris Uber Protest


Life_Ball_2014_Courtney_Love_CropOn Thursday, the city of Paris, France was caught in the throes of a vigorous and violent protest by the city’s taxicab drivers over Uber’s growing presence in the country.

One witness to the unrest?

American rock singer Courtney Love.

Love took to Twitter to give her account of fleeing Roissy Charles de Gaulle Airport atop a motorcycle; she had to escape her chauffeured car after protesters attacked the vehicle by throwing rocks and slashing the tires in addition to damaging it with bats.

In the fashion that some of Courtney Love’s fans know her best for, she lit into French President Francois Hollande on the social media platform, stating: “This is France?? I’m safer in Baghdad.”

The taxi drivers took to the streets as part of a strike that no one can foresee an end to.

Drivers are incensed that Uber drivers aren’t required to get a license that costs other drivers 100,000 Euros to obtain.

The protests saw drivers blocking railway stations, burning tires and flipping over cars across the nation as well as obstructing the entrance to airports.

Uber has claimed that they have a million registered users including those signed up with their UberPop on-demand service in the country.

The French government has filed a complaint against the company via the Office of the Interior Minister along with the police, who have created a special task force assigned to issue fines to their drivers.

Christopher A. Smith


Jack Dorsey Might Not Be Twitter’s Ultimate Choice As New CEO


Twitter Founder Jack Dorsey Threatened by ISISIn the wake of Dick Costolo’s resignation as CEO of Twitter, former co-founder and current CEO of mobile payment company Square, Jack Dorsey is set to be the interim CEO.

But it looks like this decision has made the social media company a bit antsy.

Amid speculation that Dorsey may seek to make his interim position permanent, the company announced on Monday that they have begun the process of looking for Costolo’s eventual replacement.

The first part of the process was the hiring of executive search firm Spencer Stuart.

Investors have grumbled about the situation, with one prominent investor being the most vocal of them all. Chris Sacca.

The longtime contributor to Twitter said that the recent changes and “specific statements about Twitter’s future crushed investor hopes and turned what could have been a very positive event for the company into a debilitating mess.”

Twitter addressed those concerns publicly, stating that it was moving with a “sense of urgency.”

The chair of the search committee, Peter Currie, expressed that the company had great confidence in Dorsey’s ability to keep them on course as they looked for a bold and dynamic figure to step into the CEO position.

Christopher A. Smith


Twitter Drops 140-Character Limit For Direct Messages


Now You Can Embed Twitter Videos On Your WebsiteTwitter users, rejoice – your capacity to write at length within the direct message feature of the popular social media platform is now expanded.

On Thursday, the San Francisco based company announced that they would do away with the 140-character limit for direct messages in a post on their website for developers.

The direct messages are essentially messages to another Twitter user that are private.

Sachin Agwaral, the product manager for this feature of the application, stated the following in the post: “We’ve done a lot to improve Direct Messages over the past year and have much more exciting work on the horizon.”

The new change comes in the wake of another Twitter change that will now allow users to combat trolls collectively.

The new tweak to Direct Messages will come into effect next month.

Christopher A. Smith


Costolo Out – Dorsey In At Twitter


Twitter CEO Dick Costolo Says "We Suck At Dealing With Abuse And Trolls"Twitter has experienced a shake-up at the top as it is trying to reconfigure its defining vision.

On Thursday, Chief Executive Officer Dick Costolo announced that he was stepping down from his position, according to the disclosure of a regulatory finding.

Co-founder Jack Dorsey will be taking over the position starting on July 1st and will remain in the role until a permanent replacement can be hired.

Costolo had been named to the position five years ago, and in his stint had overseen the company’s debut on the public market and in recent times, saw the stock prices dip heavily.

In addition, Twitter saw less people sign up in comparison to those signing up for Facebook or Instagram and their advertising outreach has stumbled.

Dorsey will not be shirking his duties as CEO of Square, the mobile payments company he left Twitter to co-create in 2012.

Industry experts see this change as Twitter re-directing its focus back to the product, but there is also speculation that this move could put the company in a key position for acquisition by a larger tech company.

Google’s name has been thrown out there as a possible choice if that were to be a possibility.

Christopher A. Smith


Periscope Has Come To Android


Periscope: 1 Million Users In First 10 DaysPeriscope is now up and ready to capture it all for Android users.

The live-streaming app that caused a firestorm when it was released for iOS three months ago made its debut on Tuesday for Android smartphones in the Google Play store.

It is yet another move in a chess match between Twitter and Meerkat, a live-streaming startup that garnered a great deal of attention and is in the unique position of being Periscope’s main competitor and relying on its parent company, Twitter to further grow its dedicated user base.

Periscope is building off the momentum it has gained from its release in Apple’s App Store, which saw it being downloaded over 1 million times in the first 10 days of its launch.

Another side note to the news is that Meerkat has dealt with some less than favorable reviews from users.

Periscope for Android will have some similarities to the iOS version in terms of optional location sharing and allowing users to tweet a link to all of their broadcasts.

Key differences will be notifications on when a user goes live, is followed by someone else and other related situations. As Sara Haider, the lead Twitter engineer for Android says, “It will be unmistakably Periscope with a look and feel that is Android-specific.”

The release is a bit of good news for Twitter after a slight tumble in earnings in the last quarter, and is certain to add more buzz to the new frontier that is live-streaming video on social networks.

Christopher A. Smith


Twitter-Flipboard Acquisition Talks Stalled


Now You Can Embed Twitter Videos On Your WebsiteA recent move by a social media giant that would raise its value in a promising way, has encountered a bit of a slowdown.

It was recently revealed that Twitter was in talks to acquire the social news magazine company known as Flipboard.

The deal, composed entirely of stocks, would be worth $1 billion.

Talks have been in motion from the beginning of the year thanks in part to the efforts of CFO Anthony Noto, representing the social media company’s willingness to expand their capabilities of innovation.

Flipboard, regarded as one of the better companies that investors have helped to grow in the past with investments totaling $160 million, is entering these negotiations being valued at $800 million.

A prime selling point? Twitter’s growing ability to sell ads in an effective manner to a base that is selective about the kinds of ads they’ll take a look at.

The acquisition of Flipboard would not only give them a new way to bring those advertisements to their subscribers, but it would also help Flipboard with their own advertising outreach program.

Another factor is the involvement of Mike McCue of Flipboard who is a well-regarded investor from the Silicon Valley scene and a former board member with Twitter; many see him as someone who can help the two parties merge successfully.

Christopher A. Smith


Obama’s New Twitter Account Brings Outpouring Of Hate


Now You Can Embed Twitter Videos On Your WebsiteOn Monday, the President of The United States, Barack Obama got his own Twitter account.

And undercutting the buzz of the moment was a truly horrendous digital response.

Not long after the first mirthful tweet sent from the @POTUS account, a slew of profane and disturbing tweets were directed towards it.

These tweets ranged from strings of curse words to suggesting the President commit suicide, complete with imagery that depicted him as a monkey and worse.

This torrent of digital hate  has been minute in comparison to the multitude of messages of welcome and support for President Obama, and the @POTUS account currently has 2.3 million followers.

The hate-fueled tweets directed towards President Obama are sadly nothing new since the first days of his presidency in 2008, which coincided with the rise of social media and the anonymity it offers those who choose to issue those messages.

It has led to the formation of the ‘Internet Threat Desk’, run by the Secret Service to monitor and investigate all digital threats towards the POTUS.

While there are no stats on record to capture all of the offensive tweets, one slur that was a combination of a racial epithet and Mr. Obama’s name was repeated close to 150 times on Monday, according to Topsy, a company that performs Twitter analysis on certain keywords.

Christopher A. Smith


President Obama Now Has His Own Twitter Account


White House Chimes In On Turkey's Blocking Of TwitterThe leader of the free world has made the move to wade into the social media waters in full, by obtaining his very own Twitter account.

President Barack Obama signed on today with the handle of @POTUS (President Of The United States).

In a matter of hours he obtained more than one million followers, with his first tweet being, “Hello, Twitter! It’s Barack. Really! Six years in, they’re finally giving me my own account.”

This new account differs from his previous account with the handle @BarackObama, which is primarily run by staffers and was launched in 2007. In the past, any personal tweets from that account were signed with his initials.

The news set Twitter ablaze and garnered many prominent well-wishers and welcomers, most notably the First Lady, Michelle Obama. The @POTUS account currently follows over 60 accounts that range from the official like Vice-President Joe Biden to his favorite sports teams like the Chicago Blackhawks and Chicago Bulls.

And the account may also have set a record for the fastest blue-check verification in recent Twitter history to boot.

Christopher A. Smith