Fuel Scarcity: Presidency Gets Situation Report From Twitter

Nigerians have continued to lament what most of them describe as the ‘lingering’ challenges they face in getting the Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), popularly known as petrol.

The Issue of fuel scarcity has been the major discourse in the country as the people go through untold hardships to get the product amid the yuletide celebrations.

This has, however, generated blames from the critics of President Muhammadu Buhari while the Presidency has assured Nigerians that the issue would be resolved as soon as possible.

Following the reports that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has begun distribution of the product, the Presidency created a Twitter hashtag on Tuesday to monitor the situation across the country.

In their various briefs, some citizens said the product is still not available in their location while others alleged that oil marketers in their locality were selling above government approved pump price.

See reactions below;

Think Before You Tweet, Obama Advises

The immediate former president of the United States of America, Mr Barack Obama has warned leaders to think before tweeting, saying that the social media tools such as Facebook, WhatsApp and Twitter are leading to “snap judgments to complex issues”.

At a symposium in India on Friday, Obama said “I think it’s important to be mindful of both the power of these tools but also its limits. What I would say is Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp, all these various platforms are extraordinarily powerful tools, and those tools can be used for good and they tools can be used for ill…

“Don’t say the first thing that pops in your head. Your mother and father knew better. Listen to them. Don’t do things like that. Think before you speak, think before you tweet.”

Obama was more direct in criticising Trump’s threat to leave the 2015 Paris climate accord on slashing global carbon emissions.

“It is an agreement that — even though we have a little bit of a pause in American leadership — is giving our children a fighting chance,” he said.

Trump has threatened several times to withdraw from the Paris accord saying it is crippling US business. He has called for the agreement to be renegotiated.

On what he thinks of the Trump Administration, Obama said ” The thing I love about America and I suspect the thing you love about India is just this cacophony of life and it throws up all kinds of variety,” Obama said in response to one attempt to force a comment on Trump.

“There are political trends in America that I don’t agree with and abide by but I recognise as part of a running thread in American life.”

My Tweets Won Me White House – Trump

In an interview airing on Sunday on “Fox Business Network, U.S. President Donald Trump defended his regular use of social media, especially Twitter, saying that his tweets won him the White House and that with it,he could bypass “unfair media coverage” and speak directly.

“Tweeting is like a typewriter — when I put it out, you put it immediately on your show,” he said, according to a transcript released by the network. “I doubt I would be here if weren’t for social media, to be honest with you.”

“When somebody, says something about me, I am able to go bing, bing, bing and I take care of it. The other way, I would never have got the word out,” he said.

Trump admitted that he had been told several times, by even friends and family to slow down on his use of social media which sometimes contain factual inaccuracies and personal attacks.

In March for example, Trump asserted without evidence President Barack Obama had ordered Trump Tower in New York wiretapped – something Obama denied. In September, the FBI and the Justice Department said in a court filing ”they have no records related to wiretaps as described” by tweets from Trump.

He recently excoriated NFL players for taking a knee during the National Anthem.

He also criticized Senator Bob Corker in a series of tweets prompting Corker to respond: “It’s a shame the White House has become an adult day care center. Someone obviously missed their shift this morning.”

Twitter’s Greatest Gift To Users Is Here

Twitter has just given it’s users one of the best news ever announcing that the limit of 140 characters might change soon as they plan to enable a higher number of characters.

Twitter has said that it has started testing 280-character tweets, double the previous character limit, in a bid to help its users be more expressive. This should be a good news to those who struggle to fit their thoughts into 140 characters.

The company said in a blog post.

“Our research shows us that the character limit is a major cause of frustration for people tweeting in English. When people don’t have to cram their thoughts into 140 characters and actually have some to spare, we see more people Tweeting — which is awesome!”

Twitter is about brevity, keeping it simple and straight to the point. The 140-character limit started originally to reflect the length of SMS messages which were limited to 160 characters (140 for your tweet and 20 for the username). This constraint encouraged creativity and Twitter quickly became a fast-moving, newsy playground.

This is not the first time Twitter is considering this change. In late 2015, the company considered introducing tweets of up to 10,000 characters, which was to be developed with a new timeline that showed users the best tweets first, as opposed to its chronological, real-time order. This caused some disagreements in the company, but they arrived at a compromise the following year by introducing a timeline that showed the best tweets first and then tweets in the standard reverse-chronological order. It also excluded media attachments and usernames from the character limit.

So if you look at it from this perspective, this change is not as extreme as the other ones the company has considered.

However, with threaded replies, people can finish or continue their thoughts, leaving one to wonder if this change really is necessary and what it will bring.

The company ended by saying:

“We understand since many of you have been Tweeting for years, there may be an emotional attachment to 140 characters – we felt it, too. But we tried this, saw the power of what it will do, and fell in love with this new, still brief, constraint. We are excited to share this today, and we will keep you posted about what we see and what comes next.”

Snap Is The New Stubborn, Low-Growing Twitter

Twitter fell apart in 2013 when its growth slowed significantly in the face of competition and copying from Facebook, and users found it too hard to find the best content due to its unsorted reverse chronological feed. Its share price fell 18 percent a quarter later as the growth troubles continued.

Snapchat fell apart today when its growth slowed significantly in the face of competition from Facebook, and users found it too hard to find the best content due to its unsorted reverse chronological feed. Its share price fell 24% as its growth troubles continued.

4 years later, Twitter is finally growing again because it accepted that it had to abandon one of its core product characteristics, the unfiltered feed. Twitter finally moved to an algorithmically ordered feed that surfaced the best content at the top from the people you care about most. In Q1 2017, it posted its first big growth in years, adding 9 million users.

Today Snap announced it added just 8 million new users this quarter at a growth rate of 5%, hardly better than 158 million users and the 3.2% growth rate of Q4 2016 after Instagram cloned Stories and stunted Snapchat’s growth. Wall Street promptly eviscerated it.

Now it’s time for Snapchat and CEO Evan Spiegel to learn from history. Snap’s anti-Facebook philosophy has helped it develop disappearing messages and the Stories format by discarding the permanence of Facebook’s email-esque messaging and profile timeline. But now the unsorted Stories list is causing people’s best friends to get lost amongst the acquaintances and celebrities they follow. As I wrote last month, Snapchat is stifled by its un-algorithmic feed.

Yet Spiegel gave no sign of flexibility in his strategy during today’s earnings call. Instead he remained defiant, claiming that “If you want to be a creative company, you’ve got to get comfortable with and basically enjoy the fact that people are going to copy your products.” He joked “just because Yahoo, for example, has a search box, it doesn’t mean they’re Google.”

But this downplaying of the Facebook threat could be dangerous to Snap, and to investors who have no say in the company’s direction.

While adding extra creative tools like yesterday’s Magic Eraser and the recent 3D augmented reality World Lenses are nice, they don’t make Snapchat fundamentally more easy or useful for more people. Snapchat may need to be willing to challenge some of its most deeply held product philosophies to become attractive to all teens around the globe or a wider range of demographics. Otherwise, it will have to settle for being a “small” social network.

Source: Tech Crunch

Twitter Gets Lift From Uptick In User Numbers

Twitter shares surged Wednesday after its quarterly update showed improving growth in user numbers, offsetting concerns over a decline in revenue and another net loss for the social network.

The first quarter results came in better than most forecasts for Twitter, which has struggled to keep pace in the fast-moving world of social media.

The closely watched metric of monthly active users grew nine percent from the same period a year ago to 328 million. Twitter said daily active usage rose 14 percent without offering a specific figure.

Net loss narrowed to $62 million from $80 million a year earlier for Twitter, which has never reported a profit.

Revenues meanwhile fell eight percent to $548 million — which would normally be troubling for a social media group, but the figure was not as bad as feared.

“This past quarter has given us a lot of confidence in our focus and execution and excitement for our path ahead,” Twitter chief executive Jack Dorsey told a conference call.

Dorsey said Twitter remains “focused on making progress” toward achieving profitability, but offered no specific goal.

“We’re delivering on our goal to build a service that people love to use, every day, and we’re encouraged by the audience growth momentum we saw in the first quarter,” he said in the earnings release.

Twitter shares rallied 7.8 percent to close at $15.82, the highest level since February, suggesting an easing of fears about the path forward for the micro-blogging service.

Source: Guardian

Amazon Wins Deal To Pay $50 Million To Stream NFL Thursday Games Over Twitter

Amazon won the rights to broadcast 10 National Football League Thursday night games live online this season as part of its video subscription service, the online retailer’s latest effort to boost the value of Prime membership.

The e-commerce giant paid $50 million for the one-year deal, according to a person familiar with the agreement. An Amazon spokesman Tuesday confirmed the company gained the streaming rights to the games, but declined to comment further.

Twitter had a similar deal for the NFL’s Thursday night games last year, kicking off a strategy to expand video and boost its appeal to a broader audience. The agreement with the NFL spurred more than 40 partnerships for Twitter to live stream sports, entertainment, news and politics, the company said. But the loss of the contract shows the unpredictability of relying on annual deals to build the business. Twitter fell 0.4 percent Wednesday to $14.63 at 10:57 a.m. in New York.

“The NFL was a great partner to launch our strategy and we will continue to work with them to bring great content to our passionate sports fans,” Twitter said in a statement.

While the games will continue to be broadcast on television by CBS, NBC and the NFL Network, short-term digital agreements are part of the football league’s strategy leading up to 2021, when the traditional broadcast deals begin to expire. At that point the NFL will be looking at tech companies as possible bidders alongside networks like ESPN, CBS, NBC and Fox.

Amazon has been enhancing its streaming content by making original movies and shows to increase the value of $99-a-year Prime membership, which also includes delivery discounts and photo storage. Customers who watch shows on Amazon during promotional trials are more likely to subscribe to Prime and renew their memberships, the company has said.

Finally Twitter Remembers It’s Own Tweetdeck

It finally seems that tweetdeck has been remembered by twitter 6 years after it was created.

In a survey sent to some power users today, Twitter asked which features they would most like to see added to an “advanced” version of Tweetdeck. After that, respondents were asked if they’d be willing to pay for a more full-featured version of a client that otherwise has been mostly forgotten.

Twitter acquired Tweetdeck for $40 million back in 2011, at a time that was particularly fraught for developers building mobile and desktop clients that competed with Twitter’s own. Just two months earlier, Twitter’s then-head of platform Ryan Sarver had warned developers to stop making Twitter clients and focus instead on complementary apps and services.

In that respect, Tweetdeck being bought was probably preferable to having its API access shut off and dying a slow death. But those who hoped Tweetdeck would be the basis for a more robust Twitter client for power users would end up being sorely disappointed.

While Twitter never officially killed off Tweetdeck, the product has languished from lack of development over the last several years. It got a small update in late 2012, but since then has seen features slowly disappear or fail to keep pace with features that were added to Twitter’s official clients. First mobile Tweetdeck clients disappeared, and later the native Windows client was discontinued.

Twitter To Shut Down Tweetdeck For Windows, April 15

Twitter has announced that it will no longer support the Windows version of its TweetDeck application. The company said that this change will take effect on April 15 and says that you can still use TweetDeck, but just on the Web.

No specific reason was given for the termination of support for the Windows version of the app, but it’s possible that Twitter may not have enough resources available to manage this along with Chrome and iOS versions.
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Although Twitter has released updates to its platform over the past few years, such as support for polls and animated GIFs, some had complained that the company wasn’t doing more for TweetDeck. It responded in today’s blog post saying that it has been “working on infrastructure projects … to ensure we have a stable foundation to continue improving TweetDeck in the future.” Twitter went on to state that over the past year, it “shipped features such as TweetDeck Teams, group Direct Messages, and a confirmation step before Tweeting, as well as new search filters to make it easier to surface Vines, GIFs, Periscopes, and older content.”

In other news, product manager Amy Zima also unveiled a “seamless log-in experience” on the Twitter platform. This means that when you’re jumping between different Twitter-owned properties, such as Twitter.com, its analytics, or even TweetDeck, you’ll automatically be logged in.

Twitter Now Uses Algorithm To Determines Tweets That Appear On Your Timeline

Twitter revamped its timeline Wednesday, allowing the “best” tweets to rise to the top, despite warnings of a revolt from members loyal to the real-time flow of the messaging platform.

The tweaked format aims to inject new life into the struggling one-to-many messaging service by moving away from a pure chronological timeline to one determined by algorithm, as used by social network leader Facebook.

Twitter said the “Show me the best tweets first” feature is optional and that users can stick with tweets rushing by like leaves on a fast-moving river, if they prefer.

“You follow hundreds of people on Twitter — maybe thousands — and when you open Twitter, you may feel like you’ve missed their most important tweets,” senior engineering manager Mike Jahr said in a blog post.

“Starting today, you can choose a new timeline feature that helps you catch up on the most important tweets from the people you follow.”

The algorithm was most likely built on a “while you were away” feature that Twitter introduced about a year ago to show people notable posts they missed while not using the service.

“When you first open Twitter, the tweets you’re most likely to care about will appear at the top of your timeline — they are recent, and in reverse chronological order,” Jahr said.

“Then the rest of the tweets will be displayed right underneath, also in reverse chronological order, as always.”

Twitter users can refresh a page to begin seeing live, real-time tweets as usual, according to Jahr.

With the new feature, “we’ve improved the timeline by analyzing how millions of people engage with billions of tweets,” said product marketing manager Eric Farkas.

“We’re using this information to determine the best content to surface. We use a person’s past Twitter activity to predict which tweets they might like to see most.”

The “Show me the best tweets first” feature is available to people accessing Twitter using a Web browser or applications on mobile devices powered by Apple or Android software.

“We’ve already noticed that people who have used this new feature tend to retweet and tweet more, which is good for everyone,” Jahr said.

Twitter planned to begin turning the feature on during coming weeks, sending people notifications to let them know about the change.

“If you love it, great,” Jahr said. “If you don’t, you can easily turn it off in settings.”

– #RIPTwitter? -The new feature is being introduced as Twitter strives to expand its ranks of users and ramp the amount of time people spend at the service, as its stock plumbs new lows and fears rise about the future of Twitter.

Twitter shares slumped again on Tuesday to send its market value below $10 billion for the first time since its public offering in late 2013.

But reports of the timeline shift have already prompted protests from some users who say it may lead to the death of the platform, tweeting with the hashtag #RIPTwitter.

Twitter was set to release its quarterly results at the market close Wednesday, with investors intensely focused on growth in its user base.

In its last report, Twitter said it had 320 million monthly active users worldwide — only modestly up from 316 million in the prior quarter as it struggles to keep pace with Facebook and other fast-growing social networks.

Earlier this month, one report said venture capital powerhouse Marc Andreessen and the firm Silver Lake Partners is considering a deal, perhaps to acquire or take a controlling stake in San Francisco-based Twitter.

Twitter has been the target of takeover talk in the past, but none of the rumors have played out. That report came fresh on the heels of the firm announcing it is overhauling its top management in a major shakeup.

Twitter on Tuesday began making a revenue-focused change to its home page by reserving the top slot in timelines for videos that marketers pay to “promote.”

The “First View” feature aims to boost Twitter’s appeal to advertisers by allowing them to lock in the key position for a 24-hour period.

“Now, marketers can tell a powerful visual story across the Twitter audience,” a statement said.

AFP