Techmeme
December 12, 2013, 11:55 PM

Top News

Instagram Blog:
Introducing Instagram Direct  —  Today, we're excited to bring you Instagram Direct, a new way to send photo and video messages to friends.  Over the past three years, the Instagram community has grown to over 150 million people capturing and sharing moments all around the globe.
Ellis Hamburger / The Verge:
Instagram announces Instagram Direct for private photo, video, and text messaging  —  At an event in New York City today, Instagram announced a new messaging feature that lets users send text and photo messages to each other privately.  “Communication is not about photography, necessarily,” said CEO Kevin Systrom.
Michael Sippey / Twitter Blog:
Reverting the changes to block functionality  —  Earlier today, we made a change to the way the “block” function of Twitter works.  We have decided to revert the change after receiving feedback from many users - we never want to introduce features at the cost of users feeling less safe.
Matthew Panzarino / TechCrunch:
Ron Amadeo / Ars Technica:
Gmail blows up e-mail marketing by caching all images on Google servers  —  Ever wonder why most e-mail clients hide images by default?  The reason for the “display images” button is because images in an e-mail must be loaded from a third-party server.  For promotional e-mails and spam …
Josh Lowensohn / The Verge:
Fleksy wants to become your new iOS keyboard, everywhere  —  Can a software keyboard startup succeed where others failed?  —  In 2007, early iPhone users had a problem.  They wanted to take a snippet of text from one place to another, and their phones wouldn't let them do it.
Alistair Barr / USA Today:
Amazon said to launch Pantry to take on Costco, Sam's  —  Pantry is set to launch in 2014 and will let Amazon Prime members buy consumer packages goods that will be shipping in a set sized box with a maximum weight limit, sources say.  —  SAN FRANCISCO — Amazon.com is working …
Leo Kelion / BBC:
Bots now ‘account for 61% of web traffic’  —  The study suggests humans only account for 38.5% of internet traffic  —  If you are visiting this page the chances are that you are not a human, at least according to research.  —  A study by Incapsula suggests 61.5% of all website traffic is now generated by bots.
More: VentureBeat, TechCrunch, CNET and Nextgov
Tweets: @gollmann and @wadhwa
Gerry Smith / The Huffington Post:
How Stolen Smartphones End Up In The Hands Of Colombian Cartels  —  This article is part of a Huffington Post series exploring the global underground trade in stolen smartphones.  Previous stories in the series can be found here.  —  BOGOTA, Colombia — In the capital of a country notorious …
Tweets: @georgegascon and @kimbhasinThanks:@dino_grandoni
Aaron Taube / Business Insider:
Google Will Now Only Charge For Ads That People Can Actually See  —  Google took a major step toward pleasing its advertisers Thursday by announcing it will now sell display ads based on viewability, a metric that will allow marketers to pay only for ad slots users are likely to see.

Sponsor Posts

Microsoft:
Financial services industry banks on the Microsoft Cloud  —  Examples of scenarios and solutions companies are implementing to drive their digital transformation.
eero:
eero data report  —  Read about trends in connected device adoption, usage patterns and behaviors from 10 major metropolitan areas.
Intercom:
From signed up to satisfied  —  Getting new users is easy; keeping them is hard.  Join Intercom co-founder Des Traynor as he explains how to bridge the gap between a company's initial traction and sustained success.
Zoho:
Zoho Assist teams up with Spiceworks to provide a free remote support tool for IT Pros!  —  Zoho Assist, a remote support and remote access offering from Zoho, has joined hands with Spiceworks, the world's largest community of IT pros.
Worldpay:
Join us on Nov 8th in Burlingame, CA  —  We're leading a panel on the future of web payments with guests Alipay, Samsung Pay and Amex.  Register here.
 

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Alina Selyukh / Reuters: