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Instagram, the hugely popular iPhone photography app that evokes 1970s style, has announced it’s finally developing an Androidapp.

The company believes its membership base of 50 million could double with its Android launch, CNET reports.

“We have two people working on Android now,” Kevin Systrom, CEO of Instagram said at LeWeb in Paris. “I’m excited to be able to see our numbers today nearly double.”

Instagram Is Coming to Android

Though no additional details or timeline on the Android app’s arrival were revealed, Systrom says the company is still focusing primarily on increasing its membership.

The app’s biggest change to date was the September rollout of Instagram 2.0, which brought live filters, instant tilt-shift, high-resolution photos and a speedier experience.The company also announced at Le Wed that is has plans to introduce ads to the free app.

“Obviously, we didn’t start a business to not make money,” Systrom says. “Our focus now is on growing the network. You really need to build up the network, or no advertisers care.”

Do you think the Android platform will be a game changer for Instagram? Will the app continue to gain popularity?

4 Ways the New Twitter Is Taking on FacebookTwitter’s native video- and photo-sharing features may have hinted at its desire to go after Facebook, but the redesign it launched on Thursdaystated them loud and clear.

Twitter now looks a lot more like the world’s largest social network, with features that focus on social interaction and brand pages.

Twitter once differentiated itself as an “information network” while Facebook defined itself as the “social graph.” But just as Facebook added real-time features that make it look more like Twitter, Twitter has inched into its competitor’s turf.

In June, Twitter’s video and photo-sharing tools positioned the network to increase engagement by breaking the mold of its 140-character tweets. Meanwhile, a new “Activity Feed” was added in August to keep track of followers’ interactions with other Twitter users, and later that month it added photo galleries to every user’s profiles — it’s first step toward establishing profile pages that are more than just an aggregation of tweets.

The new public-facing Twitter profile page is not another step toward that goal, it’s a giant leap. In the company’s own communications-department-approved words, the new profile “puts you and your interests front and center.” It wants to be “your opportunity to introduce yourself to the world” and “stay close to everything you care about.” All of these objectives encroach upon Facebook’s territory.

These four new features in particular challenge Facebook’s reign as the default social site for managing online identity, keeping up with friend-recommended (and created) content and serving as brands’ social media hub.

In her latest guest post for TechCrunch, Penelope Trunk, the co-founder of Brazen Careerist, argues that there are so few women in tech because women are inherently interested in raising a family, particularly those in their 30’s.

Unfortunately, Trunk’s article fully misses the heart of the problem facing women in technology today, and she is instead causing more harm and division than any good.

It is correct to say that women are not very well represented in technology and startups. Only 1 out of 84 top VC’s listed in The Funded was a woman , for instance. However, instead of either ordering women to join startups, or resorting to stereotypes, or getting worked up about articles such as Trunk’s, we need to look at the environment as a whole, see what is really going on, and look to fix it.

Simply stating that women aren’t into startups because they don’t want to “continue working in their 30s the same way they did in their 20s” as she suggests is simplifying the issue down to heuristics and gender bias. We need to ask ourselves the right questions:

  • Is the startup culture itself unreceptive to women?  Is it naturally a “male” culture?
  • Are women really more prone to wanting to eventually focus their time on taking care of their family versus caring for a startup?
  • Are we giving women enough time to stake out their place in the startup field? After all, we know that the fight for women’s rights, women’s suffrage, and gender equality generally took a great deal of time.

Google has released its new Currents app for Android devices and iOS. The universal app offers a personalized news experience in a magazine-like format.

Google Currents contains three “editions,” including Publisher, Google trending, and favorites.

In a blog post, Google said:

We strive to give you beautiful and simple ways to experience all the content the web has to offer, such as sharing photos on Google+, watching YouTube videos and discovering books, movies and music from Android Market. Today we’re expanding our content offering with the introduction of Google Currents, a new application for Android devices, iPads and iPhones that lets you explore online magazines and other content with the swipe of a finger.

Google Currents Becomes

Publisher editions include in-depth articles, videos, photos, and slideshows from publishers. These include Forbes, Saveur, Popular Science and TechCrunch.

The Google Trending edition offers the five most recent trending stories in multiple categories such as world, entertainment and sports. Finally, your favorite blogs and feeds are included thanks to Google Reader subscriptions.

Describing a vulnerability in some of its reader software as “critical,” Adobe identified a flaw that could “potentially allow an attacker to take control of the affected system.”

We’re not just talking about your mom’s e-books. Adobe says hackers have used this flaw in targeted attacks against at least one U.S. defense contractor.

Some sharp computer nerds at Lockheed Martin and the Defense Security Information [ Continue Reading… ]

Twitter Unleashes Embeddable Tweets

Along with Twitter’s redesign announcement Thursday, the service has rolled out a new way to let website developers and bloggers embed tweets that give visitors the ability to reply, retweet and favorite without leaving the page.

Twitter users now can place embeddable tweets on their websites by simply using one line of code. A single-click action also lets visitors follow the creator of a tweet.

“Try it on your website by clicking ‘Embed this Tweet’ from any permalink page in the newly launched Twitter,” Twitter’s Brian Ellin said in a blog post that provides an example of an embedded tweet. “If you use WordPress or Posterous Spaces, it’s easier than ever to embed Tweets.”

[ Continue Reading… ]

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