Twizgrid: A New Way to View Twitter Through Photos

Twizgrid Twitter Picture App

San Francisco-based tech company, AJP Apps, offers a new way to view Twitter with their photo-centric iOS app, Twizgrid.

Twizgrid presents the visual side of Twitter in an unprecedented manner. Photos uploaded to Twitter stream into the grid-like format, transforming simple tweets into a collection of photos. Discover content by searching for keywords, browse topics in the ever-changing curated albums, or view images from individual Twitter accounts.

“With 500 million registered Twitter users and more than 175 million tweets per day, we feel there is a vast untapped resource of incredible photos on Twitter,” says co-founder Chauncey Regan. “Twizgrid provides a richly layered experience. While photos remain our ultimate focus, the inclusion of corresponding tweets and Twitter profiles provides an invaluable frame of reference for the images. It’s truly a window to the world.”

Twizgrid also offers a unique way to view photos around you. Using the integrated map, searches may be narrowed by current location or through specifying any other desired point. Users can search for food within 5 miles of San Francisco, or fashion within 10 miles of New York, providing an endlessly dynamic experience.

Photo apps have become big business. The recent acquisition of Instagram by Facebook, at a staggering $1 billion, sent shock waves throughout the tech industry. 150 million photos have been shared through Instagram, while Facebook, with an impending $100 billion IPO, boasts 250 million images shared per day. “It was shocking to us that no one had made a serious attempt at utilizing the photos on Twitter, one of the world’s leading social networks,” states Ms. Regan.

AJP Apps previously developed a photo contest app called Me+My, which was released in December 2011 and has consistently been featured among Apple’s “What’s Hot” list within the social networking category.

Twizgrid is available for free on the iPhone. iPad , and iPod Touch.

To try Twizgrid, please visit the iTunes Store:
http://bit.ly/twizgridapp

For more information on Twizgrid, please visit:
http://www.ajpapps.com/twizgrid

For more information on AJP Apps, please visit:
http://www.ajpapps.com

Facebook Antivirus Marketplace Launches Offering Free Security Software Downloads

Today Facebook announced the launch of the Facebook Antivirus Marketplace, developed with Facebook industry partners to enhance protection for people on Facebook.

Antivirus Marketplace Project from Facebook

Microsoft, McAfee, TrendMicro, Sophos and Symantec will augment Facebook’s URL blacklist system with their own URL blacklist databases. The AV Marketplace will also let people download six-month licenses to full versions of anti-virus software at no charge.

Visit the AV Marketplace here. Learn more about the partnership on the Facebook Security Page.

Facebook Announces They Have 901 Million Users

Facebook Announces 901 Million Facebook Users

Facebook Users March 2012

Facebook disclosed on Monday in it’s amended S-1 filing that it has 901 million facebook users as of March 31, 2012, making it very likely that Facebook will pass the 1 billion users mark in the next 6 months.  This is an increase of 33% as compared to 680 million as of March 31, 2011.

Also in Facebook’s amended S-1 filing it states that the Facebook network receives 3.2 billion likes and comments per day and 300 million new photos daily.  Of the 901 million users figure, 526 million Facebook users were described as daily active users in March 2012.  A few other notable mentions from the Facebook amended S-1 Filing are:

  • 488 million people also used Facebook mobile products in March 2012.
  • There were more than 125 billion friend connections on Facebook as of March 31, 2012.

I wonder who will be the 1 billionth user !! I suspect a big celebration is in the works !

Congrats Facebook  and Facebook Users !!!

You can view the entire amended S-1 Filing here.

Facebook Announces Update to Facebook for Android

Facebook for Android 1.9 includes performance improvements as well as shortcuts to share photos and messages faster.

Now you can share photos and messages right from your home screen. Messenger and Camera shortcuts will appear in your app tray after updating your Facebook for Android app.

facebook android app

Android 1.9 also comes with many of the messenger features found in the standalone Messenger app including:

  • Mobile/online status
  • If you have already started a group conversation, you can add people on the fly
  • Your contact list sorted by the people you interact with frequently
facebook android app update

Facebook for Android 1.9 is now available in Android Apps.

facebook android update to facebook app

Microsoft, Facebook Announce AOL Patent Portfolio Agreement

Facebook Microsoft AOL Patent Purchase

Microsoft Corp. and Facebook announced today a definitive agreement under which Microsoft will assign to Facebook the right to purchase a portion of the patent portfolio it recently agreed to acquire from AOL Inc. Facebook has agreed to purchase this portion for $550 million in cash.

In the initial AOL auction, Microsoft secured the ability to own or assign approximately 925 U.S. patents and patent applications plus a license to AOL’s remaining patent portfolio, which contains approximately 300 additional patents that were not for sale.

As a result of today’s agreement, Facebook will obtain ownership of approximately 650 AOL patents and patent applications, plus a license to the AOL patents and applications that Microsoft will purchase and own.

Upon closing of this transaction with Facebook, Microsoft will retain ownership of approximately 275 AOL patents and applications; a license to the approximately 650 AOL patents and applications that will now be owned by Facebook; and a license to approximately 300 patents that AOL did not sell in its auction.

“Today’s agreement with Facebook enables us to recoup over half of our costs while achieving our goals from the AOL auction,” said Brad Smith, executive vice president and general counsel, Microsoft. “As we said earlier this month, we had submitted the winning AOL bid in order to obtain a durable license to the full AOL portfolio and ownership of certain patents that complement our existing portfolio.”

“Today’s agreement with Microsoft represents an important acquisition for Facebook,” said Ted Ullyot, general counsel, Facebook. “This is another significant step in our ongoing process of building an intellectual property portfolio to protect Facebook’s interests over the long term.”

The parties are evaluating the accounting treatment for these transactions. These transactions are also subject to customary closing conditions, including clearance under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, as amended.

About Facebook

Founded in 2004, Facebook’s mission is to make the world more open and connected. People use Facebook to stay connected with friends and family, to discover what’s going on in the world, and to share and express what matters to them.

Facebook® is a registered trademark of Facebook Inc. Other names may be trademarks of their respective owners.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

Forward-Looking Statements

Statements in this release about Microsoft that are “forward-looking statements” are based on current expectations and assumptions that are subject to risks and uncertainties. Actual results could differ materially because of factors such as:

  • execution and competitive risks in transitioning to cloud-based computing;
  • challenges to Microsoft’s business model;
  • intense competition in all of Microsoft’s markets;
  • Microsoft’s continued ability to protect its intellectual property rights;
  • claims that Microsoft has infringed the intellectual property rights of others;
  • the possibility of unauthorized disclosure of significant portions of Microsoft’s source code;
  • actual or perceived security vulnerabilities in Microsoft products that could reduce revenue or lead to liability;
  • improper disclosure of personal data that could result in liability and harm to Microsoft’s reputation;
  • outages and disruptions of services provided to customers directly or through third parties if Microsoft fails to maintain an adequate operations infrastructure;
  • government litigation and regulation affecting how Microsoft designs and markets its products;
  • Microsoft’s ability to attract and retain talented employees;
  • delays in product development and related product release schedules;
  • significant business investments that may not gain customer acceptance and produce offsetting increases in revenue;
  • unfavorable changes in general economic conditions, disruption of our partner networks or sales channels, or the availability of credit that affect demand for Microsoft’s products and services or the value of our investment portfolio;
  • adverse results in legal disputes;
  • unanticipated tax liabilities;
  • quality or supply problems in Microsoft’s consumer hardware or other vertically integrated hardware and software products;
  • impairment of goodwill or amortizable intangible assets causing a charge to earnings;
  • exposure to increased economic and regulatory uncertainties from operating a global business;
  • geopolitical conditions, natural disaster, cyberattack or other catastrophic events disrupting Microsoft’s business; and
  • acquisitions, joint ventures and strategic alliances that adversely affect the business.

For further information regarding risks and uncertainties associated with Microsoft’s business, please refer to the “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and “Risk Factors” sections of Microsoft’s SEC filings, including, but not limited to, its annual report on Form 10-K and quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, copies of which may be obtained by contacting Microsoft’s Investor Relations department at (800) 285-7772 or at Microsoft’s Investor Relations website at http://www.microsoft.com/investor.

All information in this release is as of April 23, 2012. The company undertakes no duty to update any forward-looking statement to conform the statement to actual results or changes in the company’s expectations.

Matt Cutts Explains How Google Search Works

Users visit Google and enter their search terms or “keywords” and in half a second Google displays the results. Sounds super easy doesn’t it? Behind the scenes a whole lot more is happening to give you the best results possible. On Monday, Google launched a video to help explain how the massive search engine actually works.

Matt Cutts, an all around great guy and software engineer head of Google’s web spam team, details in the YouTube video shown below how the search engine giant scours the web on a daily basis to provide the most accurate and up-to-date results to users.

Google does a great job in my opinion, better than most. I know Google has it’s haters, but I’m a true long time fan ! Take a moment someday and search Bing, Yahoo and Google for the same keywords and see which search engine returns the best results.

Here is a transcript of the Matt Cutts video shown above.

Hi, everybody. We got a really interesting and very expansive question from RobertvH in Munich. RobertvH wants to know–

Hi Matt, could you please explain how Google’s ranking and website evaluation process works starting with the crawling and analysis of a site, crawling time lines,frequencies, priorities, indexing and filtering processes within the databases, et cetera?

OK.

So that’s basically just like, tell me everything about Google. Right?

That’s a really expansive question. It covers a lot of different ground. And in fact, I have given orientation lectures to engineers when they come in. And I can talk for an hour about all those different topics, and even talk for an hour about a very small subset of those topics. So let me talk for a while and see how much of a feel I can give you for how the Google infrastructure works, how it all fits together, how our crawling and indexing and serving pipeline works. Let’s dive right in.

So there’s three things that you really want to do well if you want to be the world’s best search engine. You want to crawl the web comprehensively and deeply. You want to index those pages. and then you want to rank or serve those pages and return the most relevant ones first. Crawling is actually more difficult than you might think.

Whenever Google started, whenever I joined back in 2000, we didn’t manage to crawl the web for something like three or four months. And we had to have a war room. But a good way to think about the mental model is we basically take page rank as the primary determinant. And the more page rank you have– that is, the more people who link to you and the more reputable those people are– the more likely it is we’re going to discover your page relatively early in the crawl.

In fact, you could imagine crawling in strict page rank order, and you’d get the CNNs of the world and The New York Times of the world and really very high page rank sites. And if you think about how things used to be, we used to crawl for 30 days. So we’d crawl for several weeks. And then we would index for about a week. And then we would push that data out. And that would take about a week. And so that was what the Google dance was.

Sometimes you’d hit one data center that had old data. And sometimes you’d hit a data center that had new data. Now there’s various interesting tricks that you can do. For example, after you’ve crawled for 30 days, you can imagine re-crawling the high page rank guys so you can see if there’s anything new or important that’s hit on the CNN home page.

But for the most part, this is not fantastic. Right?  Because if you’re trying to crawl the web and it takes you 30 days, you’re going to be out-of-date. So eventually, in 2003, I believe, we switched as part of an update called Update Fritz to crawling a fairly interesting significant chunk of the web every day.

And so if you imagine breaking the web into a certain number of segments, you could imagine crawling that part of the web and refreshing it every night. And so at any given point, your main base index would only be so out of date. Because then you’d loop back around and you’d refresh that. And that works very, very well.

Instead of waiting for everything to finish, you’re incrementally updating your index. And we’ve gotten even better over time. So at this point, we can get very, very fresh. Any time we see updates, we can usually find them very quickly. And in the old days, you would have not just a main or a base index, but you could have what were called supplemental results, or the supplemental index. And that was something that we wouldn’t crawl and refresh quite as often. But it was a lot more documents.

And so you could almost imagine having really fresh content, a layer of our main index, and then more documents that are not refreshed quite as often, but there’s a lot more of them. So that’s just a little bit about the crawl and how to crawl comprehensively. What you do then is you pass things around. And you basically say, OK, I have crawled a large fraction of the web. And within that web you have, for example, one document. And indexing is basically taking things in word order.

Well, let’s just work through an example.

Suppose you say Katy Perry. In a document, Katy Perry appears right next to each other. But what you want in an index is which documents does the word Katy appear in, and which documents does the word Perry appear in? So you might say Katy appears in documents 1, and 2, and 89,and 555, and 789.

And Perry might appear in documents number 2, and 8, and 73, and 555, and 1,000. And so the whole process of doing the index is reversing,so that instead of having the documents in word order, you have the words, and they have it in document order. So it’s, OK, these are all the documents that a word appears in.

Now when someone comes to Google and they type in Katy Perry, you want to say, OK, what documents might match Katy Perry? Well, document one has Katy, but it doesn’t have Perry. So it’s out. Document number two has both Katy and Perry, so that’s a possibility. Document eight has Perry but not Katy. 89 and 73 are out because they don’t have the right combination of words. 555 has both Katy and Perry. And then these two are also out.

And so when someone comes to Google and they type in Chicken Little, Britney Spears, Matt Cutts, Katy Perry, whatever it is, we find the documents that we believe have those words, either on the page or maybe in back links, in anchor text pointing to that document. Once you’ve done what’s called document selection, you try to figure out, how should you rank those? And that’s really tricky.

We use page rank as well as over 200 other factors in our rankings to try to say, OK, maybe this document is really authoritative. It has a lot of reputation because it has a lot of page rank. But it only has the word Perry once. And it just happens to have the word Katy somewhere else on the page. Whereas here is a document that has the word Katy and Perry right next to each other, so there’s proximity. And it’s got a lot of reputation. It’s got a lot of links pointing to it.

So we try to balance that off. You want to find reputable documents that are also about what the user typed in. And that’s kind of the secret sauce, trying to figure out a way to combine those 200 different ranking signals in order to find the most relevant document. So at any given time, hundreds of millions of times a day, someone comes to Google. We try to find the closest data center to them. They type in something like Katy Perry.

We send that query out to hundreds of different machines all at once, which look through their little tiny fraction of the web that we’ve indexed. And we find, OK, these are the documents that we think best match. All those machines return their matches. And we say, OK, what’s the creme de la creme? What’s the needle in the haystack? What’s the best page that matches this query across our entire index? And then we take that page and we try to show it with a useful snippet. So you show the key words in the context of the document. And you get it all back in under half a second. So that’s probably about as long as we can go on without straining YouTube.

But that just gives you a little bit of a feel about how the crawling system works, how we index documents, how things get returned in under half a second through that massive parallelization.

I hope that helps. And if you want to know more, there’s a whole bunch of articles and academic papers about Google, and page rank, and how Google works. But you can also apply to there’s jobs@google.com, I think, or google.com/jobs, if you’re interested in learning a lot more about how search engines work. OK. Thanks very much.
“The Anatomy of a Large-Scale Hypertextual Web Search Engine”: http://research.google.com/pubs/archive/334.pdf

Get hired by Google and learn even more: http://www.google.com/intl/en/jobs/index.html

Want your question to be answered on a video like this? Follow Google on Twitter and look for an announcement when we take new questions: http://twitter.com/googlewmc

More videos: http://www.youtube.com/GoogleWebmasterHelp
Webmaster Central Blog: http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/
Webmaster Central: http://www.google.com/webmasters

Facebook Acquires Internet Startup Tagtile

Facebook on Friday confirmed that it bought a San Francisco startup that helps merchants court shoppers with rewards for checking in with smartphones during visits.

Facebook’s acquisition of Tagtile for an undisclosed sum came on the heels  of a billion-dollar deal to acquire the startup behind wildly popular  smartphone photo sharing application Instagram.   “We’re happy to confirm that Tagtile’s founders are joining Facebook, and  that Facebook is acquiring substantially all of the company’s assets,” the  world’s leading social network said in reply to an AFP inquiry.

“We’ve admired the engineering team’s efforts for some time now.”    Tagtile was created by former VMware engineer Abheek Anand and one-time  Google engineer Soham Mazumdar.   The entrepreneurs created a system that lets customers use iPhones or  Android-powered smartphones to check in at shops and get rewarded with  discounts, coupons or loyalty points.  To check in, customers need only to tap smartphones on small white cubes  that swap information with handsets using sensors.

“We started Tagtile with a simple goal — to help local business owners  build better relationships with their best customers,” the founders said in a  post at the company’s website.    “We are happy to announce that we are joining Facebook,” they continued.   “It is an opportunity for us to take our goal and do it on a much bigger scale  than we could have on our own.”    Facebook has been building its mobile services and capabilities as  lifestyles increasingly revolved around smartphones and tablet computers.

More than 10 million Instagram applications tuned to Apple or  Android-powered gadgets have been downloaded since the acquisition by Facebook  was announced on Monday, raising the total number of users to about 40 million.

Facebook in February filed for a stock offering and could raise as much as  $10 billion in the largest flotation ever by an Internet company on Wall Street.  Facebook — the leading social network in all but six countries, notably  China and Russia — claims more than 845 million users.  Facebook’s value has been estimated at between $75 billion and $100 billion.

Facebook Launches Facebook Groups for Schools

Facebook just announced the launching of Facebook Groups for Schools, which allow people with an active school email address to join groups at their college or university.

See what’s happening on campus
You can join Facebook groups for schools and find a group for your major to discuss classes, for your sorority to plan upcoming events, or for your dorm to share photos.

Groups for Schools
Photo of Wisconsin by Richard Hurd

We are also introducing file sharing for these Facbook groups for schools, to make it even easier to share lecture notes, sports schedules or class assignments.

Groups for Schools

Facebook Groups for Schools will gradually be rolling out to colleges and universities around the world. You can sign up to find out when it will be available at your school. To learn more about how to use Facebook Groups at Schools, visit the Help Center.

New Mobile App Helps Merchants Redeem Deal Vouchers Instantly

Group eCommerce Merchant Redeem Deal Vouchers App

Group Commerce Merchant App Launches

Ever wonder how merchants keep track of all the deal vouchers that come their way in the form of printouts, vouchers, and mobile app displays? A new app custom built by Haneke Design for Group Commerce Inc., the industry leading e-commerce platform built for the unique needs of publishers and merchants, just made that process a whole lot easier.

To ensure a great user experience, “we looked for a development partner for the Group Commerce Merchant app that had outstanding design and technical skills as well as an understanding of the mobile offers space,” said Jonathan Kind, implementation manager of Group Commerce, Inc. “The Haneke Design team understood our needs immediately and created a highly intuitive and elegant app that integrates perfectly with our platform.”

Available now for iPhone and iPad in the iTunes App Store, the Group Commerce Merchant app allows Group Commerce clients to quickly redeem vouchers presented by their customers at the point of sale. Instead of dealing with the hassle of checking off names on paper lists, merchants simply use their device camera to scan a voucher the customer presents on their mobile device or on paper. If no bar code is available, the merchant simply types the voucher code into the app.

Group Commerce needed the app to work regardless of whether an internet connection was available, since connections at merchant locations can be spotty or intermittent. Haneke designed the app so that once a merchant re-establishes an internet connection, it will synch and transmit the stored data. The redemption status of the merchant’s offers is immediately updated in Group Commerce’s Merchant Portal, eliminating the need for paper lists and ensuring accuracy.

“We’re very proud of this app and honored to have had the chance to work with Group Commerce and their team,” said Jody Haneke, president of Haneke Design. “Our belief is that apps that have the greatest utility and likelihood of use multiple times per day, if not all day long, are the ones that will be most relevant by making life easier for businesses and consumers. As our specialization in these types of applications grows, we are seeing how the role of apps is evolving and bringing that knowledge for the benefit of our clients and their customers.”