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Twitter continues to increase advertising on Twitter to try to increase revenues. The latest advertising change will allow select advertisers to gather contact information directly from tweets. This should help companies identify how much return on investment they are seeing from advertising with Twitter.
Select advertisers will be able to collect contact information from users who click a customizable "call to action" button. A user's information is already filled in, making the process painless for both the advertiser and Twitter user. The advertiser will then receive the e-mail, Twitter name, and name of prospective customers.
The feature is currently being tested by Priceline, New Relic, and others, but the group remains small. It's currently available to managed clients, but a global launch is coming "soon."
Twitter has finally introduced a rumored--and much needed--feature: two factor authentication. For those who don't know, two-factor authentication relies on two different pieces of information. Generally, one is a password (something you know) and the other is a code e-mailed or sent to you via text message (something you have).
This technology isn't new. Banks have used it for years with ATM cards requiring a PIN number. After a string of high-profile hackings, including the AP's account, Twitter has introduced this technology for everyone. You are highly encouraged to enable two-factor authentication as soon as you're done reading this article.
You'll be required to register a phone to send codes to. When attempting to log in from an unknown computer, you'll be required to enter a code that is sent via SMS to your registered device.
Google has announced that Google Checkout will be closed in six months. Google is encouraging users to switch over to their Wallet product instead. Merchants who make use of Google Checkout will be able to keep using the service until November 20, 2013.
If you don't have your own payment processing, you will need to transition to a different solution within six months. To make things easier, we've partnered with Braintree, Shopify and Freshbooks to offer you discounted migration options.
If you are a U.S. merchant that does have payment processing, you can apply for Google Wallet Instant Buy, which offers a fast buying experience to Google Wallet shoppers.
Today at Yahoo's press conference, the recovering Internet company unveiled an updated Flickr product. Flickr is Yahoo's photo sharing and storage offering. Yahoo's senior vice president, Adam Cahan, announced that Flickr will now offer a massive one terabyte of free photo storage space.
Flickr had become about words, little images, blue links. It was not about the photo anymore.
Flickr's new homepage does away with words. It features a clean photostream that makes use of full-resolution images and puts the emphasis on the pictures. New features also include iPhoto-style slideshows and new sharing options. Users can now push photos to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, or Pinterest.
Android will also be getting a new Flickr app that has similar features to Flickr's iOS app. According to Cahan, "Upload once, send to any device, any screen, any friend, any follower, on any service, and make it absolutely beautiful."
At this year's Google I/O, Google introduced a unified chat platform under the Hangouts branding. For most, this is a great thing, however, for some, it's terrible. As discovered by danib62 on Twitter, switching to the new Hangouts removes the ability to use Google Voice from Gmail.
If you'll recall from last summer, I wrote about traveling with technology. While abroad, I made extensive use of this Gmail Voice calling feature to make free calls home. Removing it seems like either a gross oversight by Google or a directed attempt to shy away from the Voice product.
Luckily for those who use Google Voice in Gmail, Google is allowing users to revert to the old Google Talk. This doesn't mean that Google won't eventually force all users over to the new Hangouts, but it does help those who accidentally upgraded without realizing it takes away the Google Voice ability.
Google have been tinkering with their Blink engine, and have removed a crazy 8.8 million lines of code. Blink is a rendering browser engine, with the team behind Blink removing those 8.8 million lines of code in just over a month.
Alex Komoroske, a product manager on Chrome's Open Web Platform, spoke to a group of Google I/O attendees that removing so much code had more than one improvement - not only did it improve the engine itself, but it had a huge effect on the engineers, too. The engineers are more productive and the team is now exploring new rendering techniques and code contribution requests from Abode, Intel, and Microsoft.
Google is well-known for hiding Easter eggs within its products and the new Hangouts is no different. There are at least six Easter eggs present in Hangouts that have been detailed by a Google+ user. You'll need to be using the desktop version of Hangouts on Google+ or the Chrome Extension.
Head on over to Google+ Hangouts and try these Easter eggs out. Some people have reported a few issues with the web interface for Hangouts, but these same reports say the Chrome app works flawlessly.
Yahoo has scheduled a product event in New York City for Monday, May 20. This comes at a time where rumors are flying around that Yahoo is interested in picking up Tumblr. It follows that Yahoo could use this event to announce a buyout, partnership, or something else related to Tumblr, which gives the Tumblr rumor a bit of fire.
There are plenty of other things Yahoo could be planning for the event, but the rumored Tumblr deal seems the most likely, especially since this event has been hastily thrown together. Of course, we'll cover the event and let you know just what happened at the event. Until then, we'll keep speculation to a minimum.
Time Warner Cable (TWC) has in the past mentioned that it would like its own Aereo-like service and we may have just figured out how they plan to reach that goal. Bloomberg is reporting that TWC is considering buying a major equity stake in Hulu so that they "could offer Hulu to its customers as a bundled service inside and outside of the home with its current products."
This would allow TWC customers to watch their favorite shows on Hulu without having to purchase a Hulu Plus subscription package. The deal would see Time Warner Cable taking a 33 percent stake in Hulu with the other 67 percent being held by Disney, Comcast and News Corp.
Glenn Britt, CEO of Time Warner Cable, said that this move would offer TWC customers more value and would fill a void in the industry where cable customers need more flexibility. He said that he wants to offer customers "smaller, more affordable packages that don't cost them upward of $100 a month."
This morning a video has surface which is said to be of Microsoft origin and was never meant for the public's eyes. The video takes aim at Microsoft and points out that Google earns its revenue by targeting you with personalized ads.
Set to the tune of Beethoven's 5th Symphony, the video features Google's Chrome logo as a sort of bouncing ball and it highlights how the evil Google is cashing in on you by targeting ads at you through all of your devices. It fails to point out that TV services, magazines, newspapers, and pretty much everything else in the world is doing exactly the same thing.
Ads have always been targeted, and always will be. It would be foolish and a waste of money to place an ad that none of its viewers would be interested in. Let's not forget either that Microsoft buys ad space on Google's services, and that it too has been the focus of seemingly shady business moves in the past.