Twitter Charts Solo Path as Salesforce Rules Out Takeover

Twitter Charts Solo Path as Salesforce Rules Out TakeoverHIGHLIGHTS

  • Salesforce said on Friday that it would not make a bid
  • Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey may now have to chart an independent course
  • Dorsey is likely to face intense scrutiny over his continued role as CEO

Twitter Inc faces an uncertain future after Saleforce.com Inc , the last of the companies believed to be interested in buying the troubled social network, said on Friday that it would not make a bid.

Twitter and Chief Executive Officer Jack Dorsey may now have to chart an independent course in the face of stagnant user growth, heavy losses and mounting competition from the likes of Facebook’s Instagram and Snap Inc’s Snapchat.

Dorsey is likely to face intense scrutiny over his continued role as CEO of both Twitter and the payment company Square , especially if the company’s next quarterly report in late October is as weak as some analysts expect.

Twitter grew rapidly for years after it was founded in 2006, and has assumed a unique and influential position in the global media ecosystem. But the company has been plagued by management turmoil since its earliest days and has long been criticized for a lack of product innovation and, more recently, lack of user growth.

Twitter last month hired bankers to field acquisition offers and companies including Alphabet and Disney expressed interest, according to sources familiar with the process. Google and Disney decided not to proceed, the sources said, leaving Salesforce, a provider of cloud computing software for businesses, as the last reported bidder.(Also see: Twitter Seeks New Path After Potential Bidders Said to Back Off)

But Salesforce investors reacted poorly to the idea, sending the company’s stock down when its interest in Twitter first emerged. Salesforce Chief Executive Marc Benioff said on Friday he had ruled out a bid.

“In this case we’ve walked away. It wasn’t the right fit for us,” Benioff told the Financial Times in an interview, saying there were many reasons the fit was not right, including price and the culture of the company.

A spokeswoman for Salesforce confirmed the comments. Twitter declined to comment.

Twitter’s shares closed 5 percent lower Friday at $16.88, while those of Salesforce rose 5 percent to $74.27.

Twitter had planned to wrap up any sale discussions by the time it reports earnings at the end of October, sources told Reuters earlier this week.

It is still possible that other bidders could emerge, according to people familiar with the matter. One source said the company may consider possible strategic investments rather than a buyout.

With a market cap of about $12 billion and losses running at about $400 million a year, Twitter was likely judged too expensive by prospective buyers.

(Also see: Twitter to Reportedly Conclude Sale Deliberations This Month)

Growth stalls
As an independent company, Twitter will likely need to address its unusual leadership situation, analysts said. Dorsey has split his time between Twitter and Square since he returned as Twitter’s permanent CEO about a year ago.

Investors are likely to pressure the company to appoint a “full-time” chief executive, said SunTrust Robinson Humphrey analyst Robert Peck.

“The most common question we receive from investors is given the struggling turnaround, doesn’t the company need a full-time CEO?” Peck said.

Dorsey sent a memo to employees earlier this month calling the company “the people’s news network,” and rallying them to “deliver a better Twitter faster.”

Twitter enjoyed a period of explosive growth in both users and revenues after its founding a decade ago, but growth has stalled over the past several years.

The company missed Wall Street’s sales expectations in both the first and second quarters of 2016, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine, and has yet to produce a net profit in 11 quarters as a public company. It will report third quarter results October 27, which SunTrust analyst Peck said he expects to be weak with data showing monthly active users flat or down.

To be sure, Twitter has become a focal point in the US presidential election. Many stories have unfolded on its service and comments made by the candidates have made big news themselves. No media company has a mobile product with as much reach as Twitter, BTIG analyst Rich Greenfield said.

Twitter has recently signed deals with a number of media companies and sports organizations to stream major events such as the presidential debates and Thursday Night National Football League games.

© Thomson Reuters 2016

Tags: Twitter, Salesforce, Social, Apps, Jack Dorsey
[“Source-Gadgets”]

Bigg Boss Season 10 Gets Its Own Emoji on Twitter

Bigg Boss Season 10 Gets Its Own Emoji on Twitter

Micro-blogging website Twitter has introduced a special emoji for the tenth season of reality TV show “Bigg Boss”.

When people tweet using hashtags like #BiggBoss, #BiggBoss10 and #BB10, the eye symbol of the show will be activated next to the hashtag.

The emoji was launched on Sunday.

According to a statement issued by the site, conversations around “Bigg Boss 10” on the social networking site reached more than 1,11,000 tweets as the show premiered on Colors channel on Sunday.

Viral Jani, Head of TV Partnerships, Twitter India, said: “Each year, we raise the bar with ‘Bigg Boss’ and introduce viewers to new innovations on the platform, and the first-ever Bigg Boss emoji will add to the excitement of Season 10 and delight fans across the globe.”

The reality show, an Indian version of international series “Celebrity Big Brother”, features celebrities locked inside a house for three months under constant camera surveillance, without any gadgets or luxury. This time the spotlight is on the common man.

This year on one hand we will see ‘common man’, and on the other hand, the heady ‘celebrity’ brigade living under the same roof.The tenth season of the show is hosted by superstar Salman Khan. And the emoji will be active for the complete season.

Tags: Bigg Boss 10, Twitter, Emojis, Social
[“Source-Gadgets”]

Disney Said to Have Dropped Twitter Pursuit Partly Over Image

Disney Said to Have Dropped Twitter Pursuit Partly Over Image

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Walt Disney was earlier said to be in the line to bid for Twitter
  • Salesforce and Google earlier backed out from the bidding
  • Twitter is reported to be seeking about $30 billion for its sale

Walt Disney Co. decided not to pursue a bid for Twitter Inc. partly out of concern that bullying and other uncivil forms of communication on the social media site might soil the company’s wholesome family image, according to people familiar with management’s thinking.

The producer of family fare like “Finding Dory” had gone so far as to hire two investment banks, JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Guggenheim Partners LLC, to help evaluate a bid for Twitter. Disney management also listened to a presentation about the business from Twitterexecutives, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the discussions were private.

(Also see:  Twitter Seeks New Path After Potential Bidders Said to Back Off)

There were other reasons for Disney not to pursue Twitter. The social media pioneer, creator of the 140-character tweet, is losing money and yet sports a market value of almost $12 billion (roughly Rs. 80,067 crores). That would a big deal even for Disney, which has a market value 12 times that. Some of Disney’s largest investors called the company over the past few weeks to express their displeasure with a Twitter purchase for those reasons, people close to the companies said.Salesforce.com Inc. also decided against a Twitter bid, as did Alphabet Inc.’s Google.

Another Milestone
Twitter could have been another milestone in the career of Disney Chief Executive Officer Bob Iger. The 65-year-old can point to the success of other acquisitions made under his tenure such as Pixar, Marvel and Lucasfilm. In a public chat at Boston College earlier this month Iger talked about how critical it is for Disney’s brands to establish a direct connection to consumers via mobile devices.

Iger recruited Twitter co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey to the Disney board three years ago. Dorsey has said he respects Iger and considers him a mentor. Iger was invited to speak to Twitter’s senior staff about leadership at the beginning of the year.

Dorsey has been resistant to selling the company, however, hoping instead for more time to prove that a new live-video streaming strategy can help increase user growth, people familiar with the matter have said. Twitter’s board decided to retain bankers to explore the option after receiving interest from a prospective bidder that has since backed out.

Twitter has for years faced criticism for its hands-off approach to abuse and harassment on its service. Because people don’t have to use their real names, racist, sexist and anti-Semitic internet “trolls” have thrived on the platform. The company has pledged to become more serious about the issue in the last year, working on solutions such as letting people block keywords. Still, attacks this year have led to temporary departures of high-profile users including Leslie Jones, an actress in the movie “Ghostbusters,” as well as a New York Times journalist.

Twitter has only recently started exploring technological solutions to harassment on its service. Disney’s discomfort with abuse on the site indicates that it’s a larger problem for Twitter’s business prospects than its executives imagined.

© 2016 Bloomberg L.P.

Tags: Walt Disney, Twitter, Jack Dorsey, Social
[“Source-Gadgets”]

Twitter, Spotify, Reddit suffer Internet outage in US

The outages happened as hackers launched a large distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack on Dyn’s servers. Photo: AFP

The outages happened as hackers launched a large distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack on Dyn’s servers. Photo: AFP

Some major Internet companies suffered service disruptions on Friday due to what Internet infrastructure provider Dyn said was a cyber attack that affected some sites, mainly for users on the US East Coast.

Some US Internet users had trouble accessing sites including microblogging site Twitter , music streaming service Spotify, discussion site Reddit and news site Vox, but others found the sites accessible in Europe or via mobile phones.

Amazon’s web services unit said on its site that it had identified the root cause of the issue and was working to resolve it.

“Customers may experience failures indicating ‘hostname unknown’ or ‘unknown host exception’ when attempting to resolve the hostnames for AWS services and EC2 instances,” Amazon said in the announcement on its site.

Dyn said what it described as an “attack” was mainly affecting the East Coast and that its engineers were working on it.

The outages happened as hackers launched a large distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack on Dyn’s servers, tech news site Gizmodo reported.

An FBI representative said she had no immediate comment on the outages.

Dyn is a Manchester, New Hampshire-based provider of Internet infrastructure services, including managing DNS activity that connects a user to a website’s servers.

Dyn’s website says customers include some of the world’s biggest corporations and Internet firms: Pfizer, Visa, Netflix and Twitter, SoundCloud and BT.

A company representative could not immediately be reached to clarify Dyn’s statement, made via Twitter, on the outages. Reuters

[“Source-Gadgets”]

Twitter for Android Finally Gets a Night Mode

Twitter for Android Finally Gets a Night Mode

Twitter for Android Finally Gets a Night Mode
HIGHLIGHTS
The feature turns app’s theme to dark and is meant for use at night
The feature was being tested by alpha testers in May
The feature is currently available only for Android
After testing ‘Night Mode’ UI on Android in May, Twitter on Tuesday finally released the feature for its app on Google’s mobile platform. The Night Mode essentially changes the app from its regular theme to a darker one (midnight blue in colour) and makes it more comfortable to use at night. There’s no information about when the feature will be rolled out for iOS.

You can switch on the ‘Night Mode’ feature on Android in the top menu, where you’ll either see the navigation menu icon or your profile icon depending on the device you have – tap either of those, and then switch the Night Mode toggle on. Twitter made the announcement in tweet on Tuesday.

twitter_android_night_mode_gadgets360.jpg
In May, we reported that the testing of the feature happened among a small number of alpha testers, as reported by a Twitter user running the v5.112.0-alpha.423 build. At the time, the UI was said to switch automatically at night time, and come back to the standard white background UI with black text in the day time.

However, as pointed out by The Verge, in the latest addition to the app, there is no automatic trigger that switches on the ‘Night Mode’ according to certain times of day or based on your phone display’s brightness.
Last month, the micro-blogging website rolled out an update that redesigned Android app based upon Google’s Material Design that makes use of grid-based layouts, has responsive animations and transitions, padding, and depth effects like lighting and shadows.

Recently, it was also revealed that Twitter-owned video clip-sharing website Vine’s entire source code was available for anyone to see till March, till an ethical hacker pointed out the flaw that allowed for the source code to be downloaded. The website then fixed the bug within 5 minutes following a demonstration by the hacker.

Tags: Android, Mobiles, Twitter, Twitter Android App, Twitter Night Mode

[“Source-Gadgets”]

Twitter for iOS Gets the Long-Awaited Night Mode Feature

Twitter for iOS Gets the Long-Awaited Night Mode Feature

Twitter for iOS Gets the Long-Awaited Night Mode Feature
HIGHLIGHTS
Night Mode makes its way to Twitter on iOS
Night Mode available with version 6.60 of the Twitter app
No automatic trigger, users have to switch manually to Night Mode
After its introduction to Twitter’s Android app last month, Night Mode has finally made its way to iOS. The feature has been in works for quite some time now and was spotted being tested by the social media networking website in May.

The Night Mode essentially changes the theme of the app from regular to a darker one (midnight blue in colour) and makes it more comfortable to use in conditions of low light.

In order to switch on the Night Mode on your iOS device, you need to head to the Settings tab on the updated Twitter app and enable Night Mode.

Twitter said in a tweet on Monday that it is rolling out the Night Mode feature from the same day. Night Mode can be found in version 6.60 update of the iOS app which is already available in App Store in India.
In May, we reported that the testing of the feature happened among a small number of alpha testers, as reported by a Twitter user running the v5.112.0-alpha.423 build. At the time, the UI was said to switch automatically at night time, and come back to the standard white background UI with black text in the day time.

However, Just like on Android, there is no automatic trigger on iOS that switches on the Night Mode according to certain times of day or based on your phone display’s brightness.

Tags: Apple, Night Mode, Twitter, Twitter Dark Theme, Twitter Night Mode iOS, iOS

[“Source-Gadgets”]

Twitter to Share Ad Revenue on Videos by US Users

Twitter to Share Ad Revenue on Videos by US Users

Twitter to Share Ad Revenue on Videos by US Users
HIGHLIGHTS
Twitter offers revenue sharing to media and entertainment compani
New program will offer video creators a 70 percent share of revenue
Users would also be allowed to share their videos on other platforms
Twitter Inc on Tuesday stepped up its battle to attract video talent to its platform, saying it will allow US users who upload a video to share in any advertising revenue it generates.

Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat and YouTube are all competing to keep or recruit top video talent as they seek to cash in on the wave of televison-style advertising that has been moving to the internet.

Twitter already offers revenue sharing to media and entertainment companies such as CBS Corp and the National Football League which post videos through its Amplify Publisher Program. That option will now be open to any Twitter user, Twitter said in a blog post.

YouTube has long offered its video stars a cut of revenue. Facebook, for its part, has ramped up its Live video product in recent months and paid a relatively small number of media companies and celebrities to generate video.

Facebook said it is testing ways to “create a sustainable, long-term monetisation model for live video that includes new and different ways of sharing revenue with some partners.”
Instagram and Snapchat also rely heavily on celebrities, who often have millions of followers, to encourage user engagement and growth by posting personal photos and videos.

Twitter’s new program will offer video creators a 70 percent share of revenue. YouTube, which is owned by Alphabet Inc’s Google, shares 55 percent of the ad revenue with content creators.

Twitter said individual users would also be allowed to share their videos on other platforms.

Under Chief Executive Jack Dorsey, the company has made a significant push into video, signing deals with several media companies and sports organizations to stream major events.

Twitter shares dipped 0.5 percent to close at $18.38 on the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday.

© Thomson Reuters 2016

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Tags: Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, YouTube, Apps, Social, Home Entertainment

[“Source-Gadgets”]

Twitter Revamps Moments Feature for Rio 2016 Olympics

Twitter Revamps Moments Feature for Rio 2016 Olympics

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Twitter will also let users to use team emojis with 3-letter country code hashtags
  • There are 50 Olympics emojis that are triggered by using hashtags
  • The hashtags will be available in English, French, Portuguese, and Spanish

Micro-blogging website Twitter on Wednesday announceda change to its Moments feature which will now insert Olympic-related tweets into a user’s timeline for weeks at a time.

Earlier, Moments used to insert tweets into a user’s timeline for a matter of hours or, at most, a few days.

The feature can also be used to catch up on what you missed during the day – thanks to recap Moments – which will highlight the results, medal counts and other notable newsworthy items, technology website TechCrunch.com reported on Wednesday.

The live Olympic Moments for select sports and events will be available in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, Japan, the UK and the US.

In addition to Moments, Twitter is rolling out 207 team emojis that will activate when users tweet with the three-letter country code hashtag for their favourite team.

x

There will also be over 50 Olympics and sports emoji that can be triggered by hashtags. The hashtags will be available in English, French, Portuguese, and Spanish.

All the emojis and types of Moments will be available in the days ahead but the dedicated Moments section is available now, the report added.

Share a screenshot and win Samsung smartphones worth Rs. 90,000 by participating in the #BrowseFaster contest.

Tags: Apps, Moments, Olympics, Rio Olympics, Social, Twitter, Twitter Moments

[“Source-Gadgets”]

Double Trouble For Twitter With Revenue and Stocks Down

shutterstock_411932392

Has the Twitter success story run its course? That’s the question being posed on Wall Street after Twitter reported disappointing revenue growth in the first quarter of 2016 recently.

In the first quarter, Twitter reported $595 million in revenue, well below the $607.8 million that analysts were expecting.

The company added 5 million users, but fell short of the growth that would allow it to steal the advertising thunder from rivals Google and Facebook.

“The concern that dismal user growth would eventually affect revenue growth is starting to show up in Twitter’s results,” observed Jitendra Waral, a senior analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence.

Twitter Reports Disappointing Revenue Growth

Soon after Twitter announced its first quarter results, shares dropped more than 12 percent.

It’s worth noting that the year has not started on a great note for the company. Last quarter, users declined for the first time.

The biggest concern right now is about the company’s user and sales growth since Twitter sliding stock plummeted more than 20 percent this year.

Like tech giant Apple, which has reported its first sales decline in 13 years, Twitter faces a tough challenge to convince Wall Street it’s still got what it takes to grow.

Competition for Ad Dollars Goes “Live”

To boost growth, Twitter says it will continue to focus on “live” broadcasts.

While speaking with analysts on Twitter’s live-video service, Periscope, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said, “We remain focused on improving our service to make it fast, simple and easy to use.”

Regaining the live content niche however, is not going to be easy for Twitter. Snapchat has seen massive success with its live stories, but the biggest challenge will come from Facebook. In the past few months, Facebook has announced a number of new features that threaten Twitter.

Facebook is also aggressively pushing live video by introducing Facebook Live that lets anyone with a verified account broadcast live.

Twitter, on its part, has made several changes to entice users and advertisers. But analysts feel the company is not moving fast enough to take on competition. “I just haven’t seen enough product improvements for an experience that’s just materially better than people have seen in the past, or appeals more to the mainstream,” Mark Mahaney, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets told Bloomberg.

But not all is lost for the social networking service. Twitter beat Verizon and Amazon earlier this month to win rights to stream 10 NFL games. Time will tell whether this opportunity will eventually give Twitter a touch down of its own.

[“source-smallbiztrends”]