The Tech News Blog

April 13, 2014

Twopcharts: 44% of Twitter’s 947 Million Accounts Haven’t Tweeted Once

100 Twitterers-3

Twitter has a ton of users, right? Around 974 million, to be a bit more precise. However, just because a person has taken the time to make a Twitter account doesn't necessarily mean they've used it. And according to the latest stats from Twopcharts, a third-party site that monitors Twitter activity, a surprisingly high number of people have done just that: Made an account and abandoned Twitter forever.

Just how many? According to the site, approximately 44 percent of Twitter's 947 million accounts or so have never sent a single tweet. Of the number that have — approximately 550 million — just under half of these accounts are reported to have sent their last tweet more than one year ago (43%). Only 126 million have sent any kind of tweet at any point in the past 30 days.

Twitter is, of course, saying nothing about Twopcharts' data, commenting that the company doesn't talk about third-party data related to its service. Twitter representatives are fairly famous for not discussing this "dark pool" count – the number of inactive accounts that exist on the service, which includes those who have never doneanything as well as those who came, tried Twitter out, and left some time ago.

April 7, 2014

Twitter Buys Cover, Android Lockscreen App

Cover Twitter

Twitter on Monday confirmed that it is acquiring the Android lockscreen app Cover for an undisclosed sum.

Cover, which launched in October, learns the apps you use at different times of the day, and puts them on your lock screen for easy access. Cover first announced the acquisition in a Monday blog post that noted that the companies fit well together.

"Twitter, like Cover, believes in the incredible potential of Android," the Cover team said. "They share our vision that smartphones can be a lot smarter — more useful and more contextual — and together we're going to make that happen. We'll be building upon a lot of what makes Cover great, and we're thrilled to create something even better at Twitter."

Since launching six months ago, the Cover app has quickly earned a name for itself, attracting "hundreds of thousands" of users, the company said. Cover will remain available for download in the Google Play store for the time being, though the team behind the app will now focus its attention on work at Twitter.

February 11, 2014

Report: Twitter Testing Facebook-Esque Redesign

Twitter redesign

Brace yourself, Twitter. A major change to your profile page could be on its way.

The social network appears to be testing a new profile page design that takes cues from Facebook and Pinterest. First spotted by Mashable on Tuesday, the new layout (above; click for larger image) moves your profile photo and bio to the left side, making room for a larger header photo, like Facebook's Cover photo.

According to Mashable, the recommended header photo size in the new version is 1,500-by-500 pixels, with a maximum file size of 5MB. Facebook Cover photos are 851 by 315.

Underneath the large rectangular header photo on the revamped Twitter, you'll see the familiar counts for the number of tweets you have posted, people you're following, followers, favorites, and lists, along with a new category for photos and videos.

January 26, 2014

Yahoo Apologizes for Tweeting About Gmail Outage

Yahoo Google Teasing

You just can't make a funny in Silicon Valley anymore. At least, not when you're running Yahoo's official Twitter account.

During yesterday's nearly hour-long outage for both Gmail and Google+ — an unexpected bit of downtime that generated its own Twitter hashtags and at least eight more messages per user regarding one's inability to access Gmail — Yahoo took its own Twitter account to post a helpful update for those unaware about the downtime.

"Gmail is temporarily unavailable," read the tongue-in-cheek tweet. Accompanying it was an image of Google's "Temporary Error (500)" page that awaited anyone trying to type into their browsers.

Funny, right? Bold, if nothing else, given the issues Yahoo recently had regarding the availability of its own mail service. We'd rather take an hour of downtime over a week; just sayin'.

That said, Google's own Twitter account for Gmail remained remarkably silent as the service sat offline, so we'll give Yahoo credit for at least doing its part to keep the tech world informed — or something. At least, that's what Yahoo seems to be suggesting.

"The @Yahoo Twitter handle is used by our editorial team to inform about news and events," read one of Yahoo's tweets posted around 1:30 PT yesterday.

January 3, 2014

Twitter’s Vine Launches Web Profiles

Vine Web Profiles

Until now, Vine users have been limited to viewing their six-second videos on the service's mobile apps, but the Twitter-owned service today opened Vine to the Web.

Users can now log in at to view their friends' videos in the home feed, and like, comment on, and share content just as they would on the mobile apps. Click the person icon on the top right of the screen, meanwhile, to peruse your own Vine videos online.

Also in the top right is a TV icon; click it for TV Mode, a larger view of the Vine videos on your screen. Videos will play in sequence, but you still have to click on them to enable the sound. Select the arrows to scroll through available Vines.

"This release is just a first step toward bringing you a richer, more enjoyable Web experience," Vine engineer Janessa Det said in a blog post. "We look forward to introducing more improvements in 2014."

Web profiles arrive on the heels of Vine's new vanity URLs, which launched late last month. At this point, though, only those who actually use Vine are eligible: You'll need to be active on the site for at least 30 days and have posted more than two videos to snag a vanity URL. If you're feeling less than creative, Twitter automatically reserves your micro-blogging handle, but you must register on Vine to confirm it.

Those who do not qualify for a vanity Vine URL will simply have a series of numbers at the end of their Vine profile link for now.

Vine rival Instagram, which added video recording last year, rolled out Web profiles in Nov. 2012.

December 6, 2013

Report: Twitter for Internet-Free Phones Coming Soon

Twitter Logo

No Internet? No problem. Soon, those without an Internet connection will be able to access Twitter.

According to a report from Reuters, Twitter is joining forces with Singapore-based startup U2opia Mobile to make its service available to users in emerging markets who have phones that cannot access the Web. The service is expected to launch in the first quarter of next year.

When it becomes available, users will simply need to dial a code on their device to get a feed of the popular trending topics on Twitter, Reuters said, similar to how Twitter worked at its inception back in 2006. More than 11 million people already use U2opia's Fonetwish service, which offers access to Facebook and Google Talk on mobile devices without an Internet connection.

"For a lot of end users in the emerging markets, it's going to be their first Twitter experience," U2opia CEO and co-founder Sumesh Menon told Reuters. He mentioned that 8 out of 10 people in emerging markets still do not have access to the Internet on their phone.

November 7, 2013

Twitter Goes Public, Opens Strong

Twitter IPO

Micro-blogging site Twitter is now public. Almost two months after the company filed confidential IPO documents, Twitter users this morning helped ring the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), where Twitter will be listed as TWTR.

"Ring!" the company tweeted from its @Twitter feed at 9:30 a.m. this morning, when the stock market opened here in Manhattan.

Twitter called on Sir Patrick Stewart (@sirpatrickstew), 9-year-old Vivienne Harr (@vivienneharr) and Cheryl Fiandaca (@CherylFiandaca), public information bureau chief with the Boston Police Department, to ring that opening bell since "Twitter owes success to its users," the NYSE tweeted.

The NYSE building this morning was adorned with a huge Twitter banner, the company's familiar bird logo looking down over Wall Street.

October 9, 2013

Comcast Turns Twitter Feed Into TV Remote With ‘See It’ Function

Comcast See It NBCUniversal TwitterComcast Xfinity TV customers will soon be able to control their TV with a single tweet.

Comcast, NBCUniversal, and Twitter today jointly announced an upcoming feature, dubbed "See It," which allows users to instantly access shows, movies, and sports directly from a tweet.

Expected for a November debut, See It will be available with shows airing on NBCUniversal's networks, including NBC, NBC Sports Network (NBCSN), CNBC, MSNBC, USA, SyFy, Bravo, Oxygen, E!, Esquire Network, and The Golf Channel.

Twitter CEO Dick Costolo boasted that the micro-blogging site serves as a hub for TV viewers to discuss what they're watching when they're watching it.

"Millions of users are exposed to the live conversation that unfolds on Twitter while a show is on the air and now, with See It, they'll be able to tune in directly from a Tweet," he said in a statement.

The new program melds entertainment discovery and social networking by immediately allowing Xfinity TV customers to click a button and tune into a program being discussed in their Twitter feed. See It enables users to turn on a live or On Demand show, watch a title online or via a mobile device, set DVRs, set reminders, and even buy theater tickets through Fandango.

October 4, 2013

Twitter IPO Prospectus Reveals Long String of Losses

Twitter Logo

Twitter lost a whole mess of money in each of its past three fiscal years and is on pace to lose a lot more in 2013.

That's probably the most headline-grabbing detail to emerge from the company's Form S-1 registration statement filed with the SEC and published Thursday ahead of an initial public offering that could happen as soon as late October. The prospectus has plenty more in it—the document is 164 pages long with scores of additional pages of financial statements and more—but as Twitter embarks on its pre-IPO investor roadshow, you can imagine the microblogging site's inability to turn a profit thus far will be a major question.

Twitter, we now know, had a net loss of $67.3 million in 2010 on revenue of just $28.3 million. The good news is that even as the company's monetary losses piled up in succeeding years, so did the revenue—at least to the point that Twitter wasn't losing more than double what it was pulling in, anyway.

To wit, in 2011, Twitter had revenue of $106.3 and lost $128.3 million. In 2012, revenue was $316.9 million and the net loss was $79.4 million. In the first six months of 2013, Twitter's already hauled in $253.6 million, putting it on pace for its biggest revenue year ever. Unfortunately, the company's also on pace for a record loss, with minus-$69.3 million already on the books.

September 17, 2013

‘Technical Glitch’ Briefly Restores Facebook, Twitter in Iran

Facebook logo

Some Iranian Internet users on Monday caught their first glimpse of social media in four years when a glitch briefly opened access to Facebook and Twitter.

The sites were blocked following the 2009 re-election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in an effort to limit online protests, but made a rare appearance on some Web browsers Monday night, according to the Washington Post.

The sites were accessible to some, while others in the country continued to be redirected to a government-approved page.

"God has freed Facebook!" one user wrote as a status update minutes after the site re-opened. The social networks were reportedly available via various Internet service providers, including the country's highly controlled mobile phone network.

But the excitement was short lived: The Post reported today that Facebook and Twitter are once again blocked. Authorities told the paper that access was opened as a result of a "technical glitch."