Pinterest Acquires Livestar, The Mobile Recommendations Startup Founded By Fritz Lanman (Original)
Pinterest said today it’s acquired Livestar, the mobile recommendations app founded by Microsoft alum Fritz Lanman, who is also a noted angel investor who has backed the likes of Square, Getaround, and, as it happens, Pinterest.
Terms of the deal have not been disclosed, but this seems to be an engineering acqui-hire situation. We’re told that only Livestar’s three person engineering team will be joining the company as part of the deal, and the service as it is will be shutting down immediately. Lanman himself will not be joining Pinterest full-time, but he will continue in his role as an advisor to the company post-acquisition. From here he will be moving on to a yet-to-be-announced new project, we’re told.
Livestar was founded in 2011 and launched at TechCrunch Disrupt this past fall. The service was meant to provide personalized recommendations from your friends and authoritative sources from around the web, and was aiming at disrupting the likes of Foursquare, Yelp, and Rotten Tomatoes. The company had reportedly raised $2 million from investors including Hadi and Ali Partovi, Peter Chernin, Paul Buchheit, WME, and Ray Ozzie.
Here is the announcement from Livestar itself:
“Our goal at Livestar is to help people find great recommendations from friends, critics and strangers with similar taste.
Twitter Wins Patent for Twittering (Original)
Twitter has received a patent for, well, Twitter. Originally filed in 2008, the patent describes a "device independent message distribution platform," and it was officially granted Tuesday by the U.S. Patents and Trademark Office.…
Facebook Updates iOS App With Cover Photo Control (Original)
Facebook released version 5.6 of its iOS app Monday, giving users the ability to update their profile cover photo on the go.
Users can now update their cover photo on the iPhone with a tap of their finger
Simply tap on the cover photo in profile view and you can choose to view your cover photo, choose a new photo from your photo library or take a new photo. Select the photo you want and arrange it as desired, hit save, and you're done.
The update also promises fewer taps for creating group messages and easier ways to name and find group conversations.
The Facebook for iOS update [iTunes link] is available in the App Store now.
Introducing Netflix Social (Original)
Movies and TV shows are better with friends.
We get suggestions from our friends for new things to watch and we connect with our friends through the shared enjoyment of a great movie or TV show.
Starting today, Netflix members in the U.S. can share their favorite shows and movies on Netflix with friends by connecting to Facebook and agreeing to share.
By default, sharing will only happen on Netflix. You'll see what titles your friends have watched in a new “Watched by your friends” row and what they have rated four or five stars in a new “Friends’ Favorites” row. Your friends will also be able to see what you watch and rate highly.
Watch this video for a full demonstration.
You are in control of what gets shared. You can choose not to share a specific title by clicking the “Don't Share This” button in the player. You can also visit your “Social Settings” in “Your Account” on Netflix.com to turn on additional sharing to Facebook or stop sharing altogether.
We will be adding the ability to turn on these features for our US members over the coming days, so keep an eye out for them. All U.S. Netflix members will have access to the social features by the end of this week.…
Facebook teams with 18 operators to offer discounted data for Messenging
As of February 25, Facebook has announced a partnership with 18 operators around the world to offer free or discounted data charges for Facebook Messaging. While this will help promote Facebook Messaging as an alternative to more costly SMS or even other messaging apps like iMessage, Viber, Line a[...]