LinkedIn Opens Up Its Publishing Platform To All Users

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LINKEDIN OPENS PUBLISHING PLATFORM: LinkedIn is opening up its publishing platform known as “Influencers” to all users over the next few months. Previously, the number of people who could publish to the Influencers platform was limited to roughly 500 thought leaders who shared their expertise. LinkedIn used to feature quite a bit of external content from publishers, but now it seems to be featuring internal content front-and-center by way of its Influencers platform. The number of pages viewed by LinkedIn users started declining last fall (when LinkedIn changed its content strategy by launching Influencers), and so the company is likely trying to circulate more content through the social network to improve its engagement metrics. (LinkedIn)

19 BILLION DOLLARS: That’s how much Facebook is shelling out to acquire the globally popular mobile messaging service, WhatsApp. In their formal announcement, Facebook revealed some stats about WhatsApp’s usage. The app has about 450 million monthly active users, with 70% of those users also active daily, and they are adding nearly 1 million new users per day. Also, WhatsApp’s messaging volume is approaching the total global messaging volume for SMS. WhatsApp will receive about $US4 billion in cash and $US12 billion in Facebook shares. In case that’s not enough, Facebook will also provide WhatsApp with an additional $US3 billion in restricted stock units that will vest over four years. (Facebook)

We predicted that Facebook would acquire one of the massively popular global messaging apps, in our favourite social media predictions for 2014 report. WhatsApp is part of a category of dedicated messaging apps, including LINE, Viber, and WeChat, that have achieved explosive user growth over an extremely short time period. In light of this growing competition, Facebook recently released a refresh of its Messenger app with a simplified user experience, inspired by dedicated messaging apps like WhatsApp.

WhatsApp will remain autonomous and operate independently from Facebook, according to a press release from the company. WhatsApp only collects minimal data from its users, compared to the troves of user information collected by its new parent company. WhatsApp also has a well-known policy against including advertisements and games. It’s unclear if or how Facebook will integrate the two messaging platforms. (WhatsApp)

Check out our in-depth FIRST TAKE for more on this breaking story.

TINDER FLAW EXPOSES USERS’ EXACT LOCATION: Tinder, a mobile-centric dating service, has a major flaw that is exposing its users’ exact location. The flaw, which can pinpoint a user’s location within 100 feet, has been active for as long as 165 days without a public acknowledgment from Tinder. Include Security, a white-hat hacking firm, alerted Tinder of the flaw on October 23rd, but the company did not patch the flaw until some point before January 1st. (Businessweek)

WELCOME, SOCIAL INSIDERS:The Social Insider newsletter covers the day’s most important topics in social media, as well as news exclusives of interest to industry insiders. We look forward to the newsletter becoming an important part of your morning routine.

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SPRINKLR ACQUIRES DACHIS: Sprinklr, an enterprise-focused social media management company, is acquiring the Texas-based brand analytics company Dachis. Combined, the two firms have raised over $US95 million and have worked with more than half of the Fortune 500. Sprinklr plans to integrate Dachis’ brand analytics, content optimization, and employee advocacy tools to its existing social media management solutions. (Sprinklr)

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