Google shares this year’s most popular apps, games, music, movies, TV shows, books & news

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Google has put together a hefty infographic showing 2014’s most popular apps, games, music, movies, TV shows, books & news.

Health and fitness was the fastest-growing app category, with MyFitnessPal topping the charts within the category. Candy Crush remained the most downloaded game. Other app category chart-toppers were Facebook, Netflix, Pandora, TripAdvisor, Duolingo, Flipagram and NFL Mobile …  Read more

Facebook bringing ‘Trending’ section to Android, improves web version

Facebook Trending Android iOS

Facebook introduced a new “Trending” section on the web in January to display trending stories that are frequently shared and discussed on the social network. Today, the company announced that it has improved this feature by organizing trending topics into five categories so that it’s easier for people to explore stories from different sources. Read more

Facebook pages sharing less YouTube videos, uploading more video direct to site

Facebook Video

While YouTube remains the gold standard for uploading videos online, a new study finds that its presence on Facebook is increasingly declining as page owners opt to upload more video directly to the social network over sharing YouTube embeds. The latest research from social media analytics company Socialbakers reveal that, in November, the number of Facebook videos uploaded directly to the site overtook the number of YouTube videos on Facebook for the first time ever. Read more

YouTube stars being offered retention bonuses in face of offers from Facebook & others

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YouTube style star Michelle Phan, whose videos have 3.6M views

Top YouTube video creators are being offered bonuses in return for multi-year exclusivity deals in which they guarantee to post content on YouTube first, reports the WSJ.

Facebook Inc. and video startup Vessel, among others, have tried to lure YouTube creators to their services in recent months, according to people familiar with the discussions.

In response, Google is offering some of its top video makers bonuses to sign multiyear deals in which they agree to post content exclusively on YouTube for a time before putting it on a rival service.

YouTube is reportedly particularly concerned about subscription video startup Vessel, founded by former Hulu CEO Jason Kilar …  Read more

Facebook releases updated Android client with improved support for sharing multiple photos

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Facebook has announced that it will be releasing an updated version of its mobile application later today that will improve the process of sharing multiple photos in a single post. The new composer will allow users to choose multiple images from their device’s photo library or camera, then show a preview of the post with each image in the order they were selected.

From here users will be able to add captions to each photo, write an introduction for the post, or rearrange the order of the photos. The post will show up in friends’ news feeds as a photo collage rather than a horizontal group of photos.

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Facebook reportedly in talks with Samsung to develop new smartphone

SAMSUNG

From the Cha Cha to the HTC First, the idea of a Facebook phone has been lingering for several years. Perhaps not giving up on the dream, the uber popular social media outlet is reportedly ready to take another shot at creating a smartphone and this time the company is looking for a new hardware partner. According to multiple Korean news outlets, Facebook frontman Mark Zuckerberg recently met with Samsung’s leadership to discuss a hardware partnership.

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A week after Apple launches iPhone 6, ZTE has a NYC launch event

Probably ill-advised timing but why not?

New Delaware law expands access to Google accounts of the deceased, 10 other states also considering

Google Personal Search

A new law signed into action in Delaware recently deals with how to handle a deceased person’s online data on sites such as Google and Facebook. Delaware Governor Jack Markell signed into law a new bill that gives estate attorneys and other fiduciaries more control over and access to their deceased customers’ data. Executors authorized to take control of a person’s will also are included in the new law and have the ability to transfer email and data to another family member, but is not required by the law to do so.

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Facebook Messenger adds Android Wear voice replies, conversation mute, more

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In an announced by Facebook’s Ian Lake, an updated version of Messenger, version 9, will include lots of new Android Wear focused improvements. First on the list is voice replies. The update includes the ability to tap the reply button when a message comes in, and speak what you want to say. Also included is the ability to mute a conversation directly from a Wear device.

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Facebook to disable messaging in its main Android app this week, require Messenger for all users

Facebook has announced today that it will no longer allow messaging in its main mobile application later this week. Instead, any users who wish to take advantage of the company’s messaging platform will have to do so through the standalone Facebook Messenger app.

Earlier this year the comapany started informing some European users of the upcoming move to the separate app, but this is the first time a solid timetable has been set for the transition. For users who already have the Messenger app installed, nothing will change. Once the change goes into effect, the “Messages” tab in the Facebook client will simply link to the Messenger app rather than an inbox view.

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