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From: Intelim5/30/2017 4:10:43 PM
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Twitter now filters DMs from people you don’t know

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To: Intelim who wrote (1107)5/30/2017 5:47:12 PM
From: Krigannie
   of 1203
They have a nice discount atm.

I am still counting on a Google buyout this year or the next.

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From: zax6/23/2017 8:29:04 PM
1 Recommendation   of 1203
Richard Greenfield on why he likes Twitter stock

Richard Greenfield, BTIG: I am bullish on Twitter and would be shocked if it wasn't bought within two years.

Posted by Business Insider on Friday, June 23, 2017

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From: Glenn Petersen6/23/2017 8:58:12 PM
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Twitter bots get enterprising, courtesy of Sprout Social

Posted Jun 20, 2017 by Ingrid Lunden ( @ingridlunden)

These days, the idea of bots on Twitter might be associated more with accounts that auto-Tweet, auto-like, and auto-retweet messages, or are corralled into large armies that follow people and do other things en-masse. But as the idea of artificial-intelligence- driven messengers starts to take hold in the tech world, and specifically in areas like customer service, Twitter is positioning itself as a platform for these kinds of bots, too.

Sprout Social, a social media management company, is launching a new product called Bot Builder, to help clients build customer support chatbots for the platform. The bots will be used to answer basic questions to, say, verify a user’s identity and account information and other basic issues that form the start of customer support queries, so that they can progress the the next level of getting handled, Sprout Social’s co-founder Aaron Rankin said in an interview.

Enterprise bots on Twitter are not completely new, but the idea of using them for customer service is. Just last month, Twitter launched a new Direct Message Card that linked users from public timelines into direct message chats, to chat with bots.

But these were not about customer service; they were about marketing and interacting with brands for fun, such as a “bot tender” that helped you with drink recipes; or short-term and mostly fun experiments around quick transactions, such as this bot to order food from Denny’s.

Interestingly, for this move into customer service chat bots, Twitter has taken a route different from that of Facebook or others: it has chosen not to create a bot development platform of its own, but instead to work with third parties like Sprout to bring the concept to life and get more businesses using them.

“I think there are a bunch of reasons why we don’t build bot experience ourselves,” said Jeff Lesser, who heads up product marketing for Twitter Business Messaging. “There are millions of types of businesses that can use our platform, so we’re letting the ecosystem build the solutions that they need. We are focusing on building the canvas for them to do that.”

Sprout has rolled the Bot Builder into its enterprise tier of service — Sprout has some 18,000 customers using its services in all to help manage their Twitter presence — and over time may make it available in some form to other usage tiers. Twitter doesn’t take any cut at all on providing the platform for this. Its sales are made by way of the selling the Cards to businesses to direct users to using these experiences.

Turning to third parties to build these kinds of services is one way to promoting a wider developer ecosystem — something that Twitter hasn’t always been that good at doing. But another reason why Twitter may be holding bots at arm’s length is because of its history with them.

“We knew Twitter had a hesitancy about automation in accounts,” Sprout’s Rankin noted, referring to Twitter’s history with bot accounts — there areas in Twitter’s terms of service that lay out where it is still not allowed — “but now they’ve also started to introduce features to encourage some automation. I think between us and Twitter we’re responding to events happening in the world,” — specifically here, the rise of chatbots — “and looking at how to evolve the position.”

Twitter’s efforts to build more tools for enterprises is a long game for the company, with its first efforts in this area dating back to October 2015.

It’s still not as substantial a part of the business as the company’s efforts in advertising on the platform, but it’s also a very natural fit for the platform. People often turn to Twitter to reach out to businesses when they are unhappy with them or have questions because asking questions in a public forum feels much more immediate than sending emails or phoning random phone numbers.

Conversely, businesses use Twitter a lot to communicate things publicly. So pushing Twitter’s potential in doing more with customer service is a logical next step.

Rankin said that the Sprout Social service was built from the ground up, but with a very basic approach to “bots” that will potentially grow over time. “We are not focused on large AI problems,” he said. “We see utility in the low hanging fruit of getting through some of the basics.” Over time, as systems get smarter, this might change, he added.

Similarly, there are still some questions over what, exactly, the rules of engagement will be for these bots. Right now, we still don’t have a great way of identifying who is talking to you when multiple people are speaking from one account on Twitter, and you have to wonder what kind of response people will have if they know they are speaking with an actual human versus a machine.

“We’re encouraging a handoff to the bot that is transparent,” Rankin said. “The UX still needs to be worked out but the short answer is that there are features to do this, and the design of our product can encourage it.”

This seems to be Twitter’s view, too, the company is making efforts to personalise “accounts” for businesse, with users able to differentiate and distinguish between different individuals responding from that account.

“We don’t want brands to create new accounts for bots,” said Lesser. “We want to build them into the accounts that people are [already] used to seeing.”

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To: zax who wrote (1110)6/23/2017 9:02:05 PM
From: Glenn Petersen
   of 1203
A good piece. Over the past year I had reduced my time on Twitter. Too much noise, The changes have brought me back.

I agree with the commentator that the acquisition of Twitter is inevitable. In this eat of be eaten world, they were unable to achieve shark status.

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From: Glenn Petersen7/2/2017 3:02:23 PM
1 Recommendation   of 1203
While this article focuses on the challenges faced by Tumblr, those challenges are also shared by Twitter.

But the truth is that running a platform for culture creation is, increasingly, a charity operation undertaken by larger companies. Servers are expensive, and advertisers would rather just throw money at Facebook than take a chance on your weird, problematic network. Generating and incubating internet culture has little market value in and of itself.

Tumblr’s Unclear Future Shows That There’s No Money in Internet Culture

By Brian Feldman
New York Magazine
June 28, 2017 4:48 pm

Earlier this month, Verizon completed its acquisition of Yahoo, incorporating the internet-portal pioneer’s slate of brands under a new umbrella corporation named, ominously, Oath. Among those Yahoo brands is the website Tumblr, a blog-based social network that you either know well to the point of obsession, or find completely incomprehensible. As Verizon completed its acquisition, a number of Tumblr employees, as well as those at other Verizon-owned properties, like the Huffington Post, were laid off.

The future of Tumblr is still an open question. The site is enormously popular among the coveted youth crowd — that’s partly why then-CEO Marissa Mayer paid $1 billion for the property in 2013 — but despite a user base near the size of Instagram’s, Tumblr never quite figured out how to make money at the level Facebook has led managers and shareholders to expect. For a long time, its founder and CEO David Karp was publicly against the idea of inserting ads into users’ timelines. (Other experiments in monetization, like premium options, never caught on: It’s tough to generate revenue when your most active user base is too young to have a steady income.) Even once the timeline became open to advertising, it was tough to find clients willing to brave the sometimes-porny waters of the Tumblr Dashboard. Since it joined Yahoo, the site has started displaying low-quality “chum”-style ads in between user posts on the Dashboard. Looked at from a bottom-line perspective, Tumblr is an also-ran like its parent company — a once-hot start-up that has eased into tech-industry irrelevance.

Looked at from another angle, however, Tumblr is among
the most important sites online — a central hub of what is nebulously known as “internet culture.” Most recently, the site gave us Dat Boi, the unicycling frog, but Tumblr’s most famous legacy is probably the reaction GIF, which was popularized by Tumblr accounts like What Should We Call Me. Tumblr’s reblog structure, which created lengthy, publicly shared conversations between strangers, also helped popularize the concept of the Discourse, the internetwide conversation happening all at once. It is also the primary meeting place for fandoms of shows like Doctor Who and Supernatural, and films like the Marvel movies — some of the most aggressive fandoms are cultivated on Tumblr.

It is rare, but not at all unprecedented, for a site to reach Tumblr’s size, prominence, and level of influence and still be unable to build a sustainable business. Twitter steers a huge portion of online culture, and has become an essential water cooler and newswire for journalists, tech workers, and otaku Nazis, but still has trouble turning a profit. Twitter itself shuttered its service Vine after just four years, even though the six-second-video social network had created more ubiquitous catchphrases and viral videos than any other social network over the same period. Reddit, the so-called “front page of the internet,” has been unable to fully capitalize on its enormous audience and influence, even after being purchased by Condé Nast (which it then spun out again; Condé Nast is very careful to specify that it does not own Reddit, though its parent company Advance Publications is a majority stakeholder). 4chan, whatever else you might think of it, is probably the most influential single website of the last decade, but its owner Hiroyuki Nishimura has said he is likely to shut it down. Even YouTube, which is synonymous with online video, still has trouble with profitability. As late as last October, CEO Susan Wojcicki was saying that the site was still in “investment mode” and that there was “no timetable” for profitability.

What makes these sites so friendly to creative expression? To begin with, there’s a focus on frictionless, near-immediate sharing — making posting hassle-free. 4chan doesn’t even require an account, whereas Vine limited its clips to a mere six seconds. It also has to be easy for users to iterate or remix content: The core function of Tumblr is the reblog, which lets users attach their own comments and photos to other posts like Lego blocks.

Importantly, iteration, and a meme’s growth, is much easier to track and understand when platforms use strict chronological timelines, which allow users to see a visible progression of online discourse, rather than trying to piece it together like a puzzle. Algorithmic timelines, like Facebook’s News Feed, are terrible for collaborative online culture. If Twitter has seemed a bit more staid over the last year, it might have something to do with its algorithmic timeline (which you can turn off).

Lastly, there is light content moderation. This can be a blessing and a curse, but allowing users to feel safe posting whatever is what allows these communities to grow, whether it’s via 4chan’s lolcats or Tumblr’s porn GIFs. When heavy-handed moderation is put in place, you not only limit expression, you run the risk of alienating the creators — like when top YouTubers like PewDiePie began to rebel against the platform after advertisers withdrew over content they found objectionable.

Advertisers, ultimately, are part of the problem. The general thinking in the rise of social networks was that if you make stuff that gets a lot of attention (or, better yet, own the real estate on which others are making stuff for free), brands will put their ads next to it. But with a small handful of exceptions, the advertising riches never really materialized. There are many reasons for this — for one thing, it’s tough to sell a high-quality ad experience to executives at Coca-Cola when you first have to explain what a meme is and why it’s “viral.” On top of all that, there are reams of porn, hate speech, copyright infringement, and more porn floating around on these platforms, easily accidentally placed adjacent to a company’s studiously inoffensive ad.

Maybe more importantly, Tumblr and Vine and the like never had data-mining operations as sophisticated as, say, Facebook. That’s why most of the advertising money in the industry has drained toward Facebook, which has 2 billion users, mounds of data, and can better assure advertisers of content cleanliness. Facebook is instructive: It’s less a place for creation or debate than it is for hosting all of the nitty-gritty, more boring data about your life. For much of its life, Facebook aggressively trafficked not in collecting rage comics and funny video clips, but in collecting bland lists of favorite movies and where you went to college — personal information that it can use to target ads with alarming specificity. And by selling ads against people’s identities, rather than their creative content, the company has churned out impressive profits, and given a wider impression that an ad-supported content platform is viable. (One of the great ironies of Twitter’s and Tumblr’s inability to make sustained profits is that Instagram and Facebook are both full of videos and posts screenshotted and stolen from their more productive, less wealthy rival platforms.)

But the truth is that running a platform for culture creation is, increasingly, a charity operation undertaken by larger companies. Servers are expensive, and advertisers would rather just throw money at Facebook than take a chance on your weird, problematic network. Generating and incubating internet culture has little market value in and of itself.

Which means Tumblr has to hope for patience and kindness from Verizon while it seeks a way to make money. It’s not an impossible task (though Verizon’s hope that Yahoo will be the content arm of a major advertising operation is not promising for the company). There are signs that the internet-culture machines are finding ways to make themselves sustainable: YouTube is not shutting down anytime soon, but pre-roll ads weren’t doing the job, and now it has a premium subscription service in order to collect revenue directly from users. The next hubs of internet culture will learn from the mistakes of the past decade, hopefully by doing one of two things: developing a way to collect revenue directly from its audience, like Twitch or Patreon allow now, or by eschewing the notion of a sustainable business at all. It can be easy, in the era of just a handful of megaplatforms, to forget that the internet used to be a much more decentralized place, where things went viral across disparate platforms and websites and forum threads, rather than within a single one.

All of this is running in parallel to a larger internet movement away from public spaces: group messaging, private forums, and chat rooms, ephemerality. The overall stumbles of building centralized hubs of internet culture mean that, going forward, content might soon be consumed not by one large audience on a single platform, but by thousands of smaller audiences across a variety of online spaces.

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From: Glenn Petersen7/10/2017 3:39:05 PM
1 Recommendation   of 1203
Twitter lets you avoid trolls by muting new users and strangers

by Josh Constine ( @joshconstine)
July 10, 2017

When trolls barge into people’s notifications with offensive replies or user names, those legitimate users might not keep coming back to Twitter. So today the company rolled out new tools to help you silence the riff-raff. There are now options to mute notifications from newly registered accounts, people you don’t follow and people who don’t follow you. These can be configured in the Notifications -> Settings -> Advanced Filters section of Twitter.

These additions follow Twitter’s March rollout of ways to silence people who haven’t added a profile picture or verified their email address or phone number. Twitter also recently required filtering new Direct Messages into a Requests folder.

The change comes amid Twitter denying The Washington Post‘s report that it’s working on ways to let people report fake news.

Twitter has been publicly urged to deal with its abuse problems for years now. But currently, Twitter’s strategy seems to be hiding the abuse from victims rather than aggressively exterminating the trolls that spew hate speech and threats.

Today’s changes won’t do anything to get rid of people trying to offend or scare away legitimate users. But at least the options could reduce the harm caused by jerks who often register new accounts to attack people, don’t always follow their victims and are rarely followed back.

For Twitter to level-up beyond its current scale or impact, it must make itself usable by mainstream internet citizens. These are people who aren’t likely to configure deeply buried settings, understand user interface jargon, put up with vulgar trolling or immediately realize what the service is even for.

Yet at Twitter’s core is a service valuable to everyone: the ability to consume a distilled, snackable perspective of the world from experts on every topics and participate in the discussion. Twitter’s challenge will be taking the necessary steps to make its app simple and safe enough, even if it means jostling its loyalists, and kicking out the spam bots and unsavory characters even as it’s trying to keep its user count growing.

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From: Glenn Petersen7/27/2017 9:23:43 AM
3 Recommendations   of 1203
Twitter shares drop 9 percent as it fails to deliver user growth
  • Twitter posted better-than-expected EPS and revenue growth in its second-quarter earnings report.
  • The number of monthly average users remained flat from the previous quarter.
  • Advertising revenue continues to decrease year-over-year.

Michael Sheetz | @thesheetztweetz
July 27, 2017

Twitter reported a lower-than-expected number of monthly active users in its second-quarter earnings report before the bell Thursday.

Shares of the company dropped 9 percent in pre-market trading, after the company reported 328 million monthly active users, unchanged from the previous quarter.

"You have zero user growth versus Facebook reporting 70 million new users [after the bell Wednesday]," Aegis Capital internet analyst Victor Anthony said on CNBC's " Squawk Box." "It's not a recipe for a stock you want to buy."

Advertising revenue also decreased 8 percent year-over-year, totaling $489 million compared to $535 million in the same quarter last year.

Expectations vs. results
  • EPS: 12 cents vs. 5 cents expected, according to Thomson Reuters.
  • Revenue: $574 million vs. $536.7 million expected, according to Thomson Reuters.
  • Monthly active users: 328 million vs. 329 million expected, according to StreetAccount.
Twitter started the year strong when the company reported 9 million more monthly active users than expected in the first quarter. User growth has been a concern for investors, who see the 328 million active Twitter users as severely lagging behind Facebook's more than 2 billion.

The social network admits it needs to continue to bring its revenue growth in line with its user growth, but Twitter executives remain confident recent efforts are helping to reverse recently declining revenues.

"While we still have a lot of work to do for revenue growth to get it to track audience growth, the improvements in revenue growth reflect the progress executing against our top revenue generating products in the second quarter as well as strengthening business fundamentals," chief operating officer Anthony Noto said on a call with investors.

Twitter launched a less data-intensive version of its service called Twitter Lite on April 6. It can only be accessed via mobile web browser and takes up less than 1 megabyte of storage.

CEO Jack Dorsey said Twitter Lite is an effort to attract users in low-data, remote parts of the world, such as as India, where Twitter found the "app was way too slow to access."

On an earnings call with investors, Dorsey said initial results from Twitter Lite "look really positive" but declined to provide any statistics, warning that it was too early assess the success of the service.

A crackdown on abusive activity is making progress, as Twitter reported it is taking daily action on ten times as many abusive accounts compared to the same time last year. By limiting functionality or suspending accounts, Twitter found abusive users generated 25 percent fewer abuse reports. Mistreatment on the platform has scared off both advertisers and potential buyers, as Salesforce ruled out a bid for Twitter in part from concerns the social platform could not handle online abuse and trolls.

Online advertising is increasingly an issue for Twitter, as other technology companies such as Alphabet and Facebook continue to eat up more digital advertising revenue. Advert engagement grew 95 percent year-over-year in the second quarter, yet ad sales fell 8 percent from the previous year.

Digital trends analysis firm eMarketer projects Twitter's advertising revenue will grow 1.6 percent this year, to $2.28 billion, with 90 percent of that revenue coming from the mobile market. Despite the focus on mobile, eMarketer believes the company's share of global market advertising will shrink to 1.5 percent.

Shares of Twitter remain well below its IPO price of $26.

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From: Ron7/31/2017 2:14:00 PM
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Twitter is testing a $99 a month advertising subscription service

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To: Krigannie who wrote (1106)8/7/2017 1:23:15 AM
From: TexasRanger23
   of 1203
I'm going to continue holding my Twitter positions in the hopes this will turn out successful. Maybe Twitter can entice Trump to do his address to the nation videos on Twitter.

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