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Facebook will get unconditional approval from EU on WhatsApp purchase, sources say

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Many months ago in February, Facebook made some big news when it announced plans to acquire successful messaging company WhatsApp for a mind-melting $19 billion. But the deal still has to be approved by regulatory agencies across the world, including the EU’s competition authority. That apparently shouldn’t concern Facebook, as the EU is rumored to give it the go-ahead “unconditionally”.

That means the company won’t have to make any concessions and the deal will simply be approved as is, since Facebook reportedly managed to convince the European Commission that it would have no anticompetitive effect. The information allegedly comes from “two people familiar with the matter”. Read more »

Twitter’s Buy button now in testing, lets you purchase stuff straight from a tweet

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Back in July a few people spotted an odd new Buy button next to certain product-related tweets in their Twitter timelines. Starting today this feature is officially in testing, the social network has announced.

For now, you’ll only see Buy buttons next to some tweets if you’re in the US. Even if you are, you might not get the new feature, as it will first be available for just “a small percentage” of users. Read more »

Instagram adds time-lapse video recording to its repertoire

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Instagram added time-lapse video recording to its repertoire of tricks. Dubbed Hyperlapse, the functionality is available only for iOS devices for the time being.

Like all things Instagram, Hyperlapse features clean, easy to ready interface. Read more »

Twitter intros Promoted Video ads

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If you’re getting sick of seeing “promoted tweets” in your Twitter timeline, well, get ready for Promoted Video ads to show up in there too. Twitter has announced a beta run of a new service that lets advertisers promote videos.

It works in basically the same way as the promoted tweets that have been available for a few years now – but combining those with a video card. So, in your timeline the Promoted Video ads will look just like a regular tweet that has a link to a video in it (and which you can play in-place on the Web or in the Twitter apps for mobile). Obviously though, below you’ll see that “Promoted by” mention as you do for promoted tweets. Read more »

Microsoft’s SNIPP3T app lets you keep track of your favorite celebrities

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Microsoft has released a new app for the iPhone called SNIPP3T that lets you keep track of all your favorite celebrities.

SNIPP3T lets you follow your favorite celebrities by clicking on their profiles. There, you can get detailed information about them and read all the latest news involving them. It’s like stalking your favorite celebrities without actually stalking them. Read more »

Facebook Messenger receives barrage of one-star reviews amid forced switch

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As has been expected for quite a while, Facebook has started taking the Messenger part out of its official app for iOS and Android this week, prompting those who want to use the feature to install the standalone Messenger. To say that this hasn’t gone well with users would be an understatement.

Facebook Messenger is now the No.1 app in the iTunes App Store for iOS, but it has a paltry one-star rating. It’s unclear if something like this has ever happened before – for the most downloaded app in the App Store to have such dismal reviews. Read more »

VSCO Cam for Android updated to v3.0

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VSCO has updated their VSCO Cam app for Android to version 3.0. The update was released on iOS months ago but it took them quite a while to bring it to Android.

The main feature in this update is the ability to find and follow other users of VSCO Grid. VSCO Grid is a social network where you can upload images from the VSCO app. So far, the only way to view and follow the profiles of other VSCO users was from the website or the iOS app but now you can do it from within the Android app as well. Read more »

Google allegedly planning on separating Photos from Google+

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After unlinking Hangouts from Google+ in the recent past, it seems Google is now planning on doing the same with its photos service. Currently available as part of the Google+ social network, the Photos service will soon become independent, according to Bloomberg.

After it becomes an independent service, users can access it separately without needing to have a Google+ account. It would still continue to be available to Google+ users. Read more »

Bolt, new instant messaging app from Instagram, now available in select countries

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We talked about the Bolt service a few days back. The app is now officially available on iOS and Android, but only in New Zealand, Singapore, and South Africa for now.

Bolt lets you have a group of close friends that you can instantly send photos or videos to. Just tap on their contact name and it takes a photo and sends it. You can press and hold on the contact name to send a video. Just like with Snapchat, the photos and videos are not sent and are removed from your device when you swipe them away. Read more »

Facebook to make Messenger a mandatory download

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Facebook has been pushing its Messenger application pretty zealously, and there’s even been talks of the social networking giant monetizing the app.

Well it looks like Zuckerberg and company are making the installation of Facebook Messenger a mandatory affair for anyone who wants to communicate with their Facebook friends from their mobile device. Read more »

Instagram readying Snapchat competitor in the form of ‘Bolt’

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Snapchat’s incredible popularity has its competitors scrambling to come up with an equivalent service to engage the masses. Despite several attempts, no one has really managed to match Snapchat’s success.

After failing to acquire Snapchat, Facebook came up with the godawful Slingshot app, which I’m sure even Facebook employees aren’t using at this point, leave alone the average users. But Facebook has an ace up its sleeve in the form of Instagram, and so now they are using Instagram’s popularity to take on Snapchat. Read more »

Google may buy Twitch for $1 Billion

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Google has been known to snatch up any and every type of business, that’s why it doesn’t come as a surprise to anyone that the internet search giant is interested in purchasing the online game-streaming service, Twitch.

What might come as a surprise is the price that Google is willing to pay: $1 billion. Read more »

Facebook to monetize its Messenger app, but how?

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If you have Facebook installed on your phone, then you’ve been harassed, at least once, to install the Facebook messenger application.

After you’ve caved in and gotten used to the intrusive chat heads feature, prepare for Facebook’s eventual monetizing of its popular app. Read more »

Facebook intros Save, its own read-it-later feature

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Just a few days after outing another new feature, Facebook today has announced the Save functionality. This basically allows you to save anything you see on the social network – to read later.

So yes, it’s clearly a competitor to standalone services such as Pocket, Instapaper, or Readability. There are certain differences, though, chief among which is the fact that Facebook’s Save lets you store any content you come across on the social network – including links, places, movies, TV and music. Read more »

Facebook launches Mentions app for verified users

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Facebook has launched a new application exclusive to those with a verified account. Called Mentions, it helps all those celebrities on Twitter to keep track of all the replies they receive.

Other than being available only for verified users, the app is currently only available in the US and only on the iPhone. Read more »