Instagram Is Down (Update: It’s back!)

instagramdown RED ALERT! We are at DEFCON 1.

Instagram is down. Read More
TechCrunch » Social
Jordan Crook,Greg Kumparak

Futureful, The Janus Friis-Backed AI Predictive Discovery Engine, Rebrands As Random

Futureful, the AI predictive discovery engine backed by Skype co-founder Janus Friis which we last covered back in August, has a new name and a new interface -- evolving its proposition of serendipitous browsing to more clearly flag up the randomness angle. Read More
TechCrunch » Social
Natasha Lomas

Vine Co-Founder Colin Kroll Steps Down From Day-To-Day Role

This afternoon Vine co-founder Colin Kroll announced in a tweet, fittingly, that he has stepped back from "day-to-day" duty at the service, and that he will remain an adviser to the product.

This marks the second departure of a founder from Vine. Dom Hofmann departed the company in January. Read More
TechCrunch » Social
Alex Wilhelm

Passport to an Indian success

When Kunal Bahl was refused a US visa he set up back home. Now his thriving company Snapdeal has eBay as an investor
Financial Times - Entrepreneurship

Why Tech Takes April Fools’ Day So Seriously


Tech journalists hate April Fools' Day. Not because we don't like a good joke — heck, who doesn't? — but because we're basically recycling PR stunts on behalf of the companies we cover.

Just keeping track of Google on April 1 is a full-time occupation. By my count, the company had 14 pranks this year. (Does that mean there will be 15 next year?) But Google's hardly alone. Microsoft, Twitter, LinkedIn, Nokia, Samsung, Kickstarter, Roku and Tumblr, just to name a few, have tried their hands at goofs this April Fools'

For Google, the tomfoolery dates back to 2000, when it introduced MentalPlex, a feature that let you summon a search by staring at a GIF. The company also introduced goofy error messages (sample: "Error 006: Query is unclear. Try again after removing hat, glasses and shoes.") Read more...

More about Marketing, April Fools Day, and Business
Todd Wasserman

The Shifting Responsibilities of Marketing Pros

sepia crowd 320240.jpg

Many marketers are confused about their roles in the age of big data and customer experience. That message became all too clear this week at unrelated conferences in San Francisco.

Predictive Analytics World and Totango’s Customer Success Summit were both excellent conferences. But they triggered a little voice in the back of my head.

Do marketing professionals really understand their jobs?   

Read full story... - All News

App-Connected Slot Cars Give You Mario Kart-Like Power-Ups And Damage

Who knew that when Super Mario Kart first hit the SNES so many years ago it would have such a lasting effect on us? Even Scalextric, who have been making slot car tracks for decades, are finally introducing a new accessory that wirelessly connects to an app so you can add SMK-like crash damage, power-ups and even stat tracking to back up your bragging rights.
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Gizmodo Australia
Andrew Liszewski

Google Quietly Begins Pushing Its Photo Backup Software To Google+ Users

Google has begun pushing its “Auto Backup” photo archival software to Mac and Windows users via the company’s social networking platform, Google+. The promotion is new, we’ve confirmed, though the software itself was first launched back in December. At that time, Google began offering the desktop utility as a part of its older Picasa photo-sharing platform, which… Read More

Sarah Perez

WhatsApp Is Down, Confirms Server Issues [Update: It's Back After A 210-Minute Outage]

WhatsApp Down

Update: WhatsApp experienced an outage for around 210 minutes today from 11am to 2:30 pm PST. Users around the world reported that they were unable to send messages, and WhatsApp confirmed these problems at 12:16pm PST with a tweet stating “sorry we currently experiencing server issues. we hope to be back up and recovered shortly.”

WhatsApp started to work again for some users at 2:30pm PST after around 150 to 210 minutes of downtime. Some users reported  that “last seen” stamps vanished from their conversations when WhatsApp first came back online, but now some say they’re appearing again.

At 2:48pm PST, WhatsApp confirmed it was back up with this tweet

Around the same time, WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum apparently told the Wall Street Journal via email that “we had a server outage, should be OK now.”

WhatsApp users flocked to Twitter asking “Is WhatsApp down?”. They were met with memes joking that Facebook was shutting WhatsApp down, that its founders went on vacation, that there was a party in the server room, or Zuck himself was meddling with the app


WhatsApp Vacation


In reality, it’s more likely that WhatsApp’s $ 19 billion acquisition by Facebook announced Wednesday led to a surge of signups and usage that has overloaded its servers. We’ve contacted Facebook and are awaiting a response.

WhatsApp ConnectingWhen users (including me) tried to send messages or check their existing chat conversations, WhatsApp got stuck, showing an endless loading asterisk and the alert “Connecting…”

The “WhatsDown” reports started flooding in around 11am PST, but there were some troubles last night as well. We received tips from frustrated users in the US, India, Israel, and many places around the world. The outage could stoke fears that Facebook will screw up WhatsApp if the acquisition gets regulatory approval.

The down time may have pushed users to other chat apps, as Telegram tweeted:

In a testament to the global popularity of the 450 million user service, condom brand Durex’s Kenyan branch capitalized on the WhatsApp problems by doing some marketing:

As I wrote Thursday, being acquired by Facebook could give WhatsApp the engineering backup to be able to fight outages in the future. But today, being the biggest venture-backed acquisition in history worked against the messaging startup.

WhatsApp has suffered short downtimes every month or two for the last half-year. Stumbles like this are somewhat common for fast-growing apps, and users aren’t likely to permanently switch away since it was fixed relatively soon. Still, Facebook bought the startup for the astronomical sum in part because it is many people in the developing world’s first taste of the Internet. Now, their first taste of the Facebook-owned WhatsApp has been soured.

More Big WhatsApp News

Facebook Buys WhatsApp For $ 19 Billion

Why Facebook Acquired WhatsApp: International Reach

WhatsApp Won’t Start Showing Ads

WhatsApp Founders Rejected For Jobs At Facebook In 2008 But Get The Last Laugh

For all our Facebook/WhatsApp stories, click below

TechCrunch » Social
Josh Constine

How We Work 2014: Eric Ravenscraft’s Favourite Gear And Productivity Tricks

Each week, we feature a new crazy awesome person to share how they get their work done and lay all their productivity secrets bare. This week, we’re turning the tables and sharing our own stories. Now it’s my turn to pull back the curtain. Pay no mind to man back there. Just how he works.
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Lifehacker Australia
Eric Ravenscraft