Techmeme
December 12, 2013, 7:00 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.
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 …
Jason Del Rey / AllThingsD:
Bitcoin's Biggest Bet: Andreessen Horowitz Leads $25 Million Investment in Coinbase  —  Coinbase co-founders Brian Armstrong (l) and Fred Ehrsam, sporting we-got-money grins.  —  If you're a bitcoin doubter, you might want to turn away.  The doors to venture funding in bitcoin startups are about to swing wide open.
Bloomberg:
Microsoft Said to Consider Qualcomm's Mollenkopf for CEO Job  —  Microsoft Corp. (MSFT)'s board is considering Qualcomm Inc. Chief Operating Officer Steve Mollenkopf among candidates to replace Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer, said people familiar with the matter.
Marguerite Reardon / CNET:
FCC votes 3-2 to lift technical ban on in-flight cellphone use  —  The Federal Communications Commission took the first step toward removing regulations that ban phone calls while in flight.  But FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler emphasized that the Department of Transportation …
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.
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.
Kashmir Hill / Forbes:
Blocking People On Twitter Now Just Mutes Them  —  Twitter has redefined the word “blocked.”  Traditionally, to “block someone” on social media is to cut all digital ties.  You no longer see their activity and they no longer see yours.  However, that's always been tricky on Twitter …
Ted Johnson / Variety:
Aereo to Broadcasters: Go Ahead, Take the Case to Supreme Court  —  Aereo on Thursday said that it would not oppose broadcasters' petition to the Supreme Court to review rulings in the startup streaming service's favor.  —  “We have decided to not oppose the broadcasters' petition for certiorari …
Alina Selyukh / Reuters:
Wireless carriers, FCC agree on ‘unlocking’ cellphones  —  (Reuters) - U.S. wireless carriers will make it easier for consumers to “unlock” their mobile phones for use on a competitor's network, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler said on Thursday.
Emil Protalinski / The Next Web:
YouTube expands live streaming to all channels, adds option to directly launch a Google+ Hangout On Air  —  YouTube today announced it is expanding its live streaming service to all YouTube channels.  The Google-owned company now only has two requirements: your account must be verified and it has to be in good standing.
Jennifer Van Grove / CNET:
Kik rides teen interest to 100M users  —  The company behind the mobile messaging app Kik announced Thursday that it now has more than 100 million registered users, which is more than triple the number it had just one year ago.  The app is signing on as many as 250,000 new people each day, CEO Ted Livingston told CNET.
Sarah Perez / TechCrunch:
LifeLock Acquires Mobile Wallet Platform Lemon For $42.6 Million, Launches LifeLock Wallet  —  Lemon, a digital wallet platform which allows users to store their ID, payment, loyalty cards and more on their smartphone, has been acquired by identity theft protection service LifeLock …

Sponsor Posts

Microsoft:
Project aims to help parents protect - and connect with - their kids  —  One hackathon team from Microsoft's //oneweek focuses on family safety and aims to give parents an easy way to understand their children's lives online.
Freshdesk:
How to not sound like a robot in your email notifications?  —  Your notifications don't have to be just notifications.  They can be another opportunity to charm your customers and to keep them hooked.  Learn how.
VMware:
The Best Thing for Your Data Center since vSphere  —  It's come to our attention that some folks are less than certain about the differences between vSphere and vSphere with Operations Management.  Let's clear things up:
Zoho:
Customer Spotlight: How One Company Went from No CRM to Zoho CRM Power Users  —  “We had evolved our CRM from spreadsheets, to Goldmine CRM and finally to ACT CRM, but we knew we needed to move to a native cloud-based CRM”
Pure Storage:
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