Why Michelle Phan is starting over

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Michelle Phan is starting over.

by David Yi

LOS ANGELES — Before Michelle Phan became the biggest influencer in beauty and was compared to Oprah Winfrey, she was a starving student at an arts college in Florida. She waited tables at Pacific Rim Sushi in Sarasota, an expensive locale on the southern end of the Tampa Bay Area, which caters to tourists from the city’s beachside resorts

She figured if she was going to work at a restaurant and “bust her balls for tips,” it was going to be where all the rich people went

The year was 2007, and the then 19-year-old didn’t mind cleaning tables; if it meant being able to pay the bills, so be it Read more…

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Profanity-ridden rant from good Samaritan strikes a chord with Singaporeans

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SINGAPORE — One guy’s colourful and passionate rant on Facebook about his good deed has gone viral in Singapore.

Kai Sheng Si saw a visually-impaired man at an MRT station looking lost, and decided to help when he realised passers-by were ignoring him.

After helping him, Kai took to Facebook to call his fellow commuters out, while dropping a bunch of F-bombs and cussing in Hokkien, for good measure. Read more…

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Grammys 2016: How to keep up with the awards show on social media

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LOS ANGELES — The Recording Academy is ramping up its social media efforts in order to attract younger viewers to the 58th Annual Grammy Awards

This year, for the first time ever, the Academy is utilizing a number of Internet influencers to help produce content across Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Vine and Snapchat in the three days leading up to the show.

The decision to emphasize social platforms comes one year after the show broke Twitter records. On Grammy night 2015, the telecast generated 20.9 million tweets globally between 5 p.m. and 11:40 p.m. EST, resulting in 1.6 billion views. According to Nielsen, that is the highest-ever number of Twitter impressions for a TV special. Read more…

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Here’s how to turn Twitter’s new timeline on and off

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Starting today, Twitter is gradually rolling out its new timeline, which sorts tweets based on relevancy rather than chronology. 

The feature immediately caused a great deal of confusion: Is it opt-in, opt-out, and how do you turn it on or off? Here’s the rundown.  

The new, best-tweets-first Twitter timeline is currently opt-in, meaning it’s off by default, and you have to turn it on yourself to try it out. That said, it’s not yet live for all users

The feature might become opt-out (i.e. enabled by default, but users are able to turn it off) in the future, but we’ll talk about that when we get there. Without further ado, here’s where to find the feature if it’s been enabled for your account.
Read more…

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Twitter’s new timeline is here: What you need to know now

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Twitter’s new algorithms have arrived

The company pushed out an update Wednesday that makes its much-talked-about timeline redesign official. The new feature, which is live on Twitter’s app and website now, will show tweets that are sorted based on relevancy, rather than chronology, at the top of your timeline.

While this is a significant update for Twitter, it’s by no means the end of the reverse-chronological timeline, which has been one of the service’s signature features, despite the fears of vocal users.

The change is strictly opt-in — at least for now. As of today, you won’t see the feature unless you manually activate it in your account settings. This will, however, change at some point in the next few weeks. After the feature has been out in the wild long enough for people to get used to it, the company will switch it on for everyone — though users will still be able to opt out through their settings Read more…

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Weibo breaks records with 134 million users on eve of Chinese New Year

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Say what you will about WeChat — there’s really no disputing that it’s China’s top social app, and as such it owns Spring Festival. But China’s other major social platform, Weibo, celebrated Chinese New Year too. And just like last year, activity on the site broke records as the clock wound down.

Specifically, Weibo parent company Sina says that Feb. 7 saw:

  • 134 million active users, a 31% increase compared to last year’s 102 million.

  • 51.9 million posts, a 15% increase from last year’s 45 million.

  • A 76% year-on-year increase in “interactivity” (although it’s not clear how Weibo measures that).

  • 18.2 billion total views of posts on Spring-Festival-related topics.

  • 100 million users who nabbed digital red envelopes (lucky money) via Weibo. Read more…

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Twitter forms safety council to help prevent abuse

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Twitter lets people around the world express diverse opinions, but it can also be a hellhole of harassment and abuse.

The company has repeatedly tried to solve this issue, with feeble results. Now, it has announced that it is forming the Twitter Trust & Safety Council, a panel of organizations and experts who will help the company develop tools and policies to get rid of abuse, bullying and harassment on the platform.

Currently, the council consists of some 40 global organizations and individuals, including the Anti-Defamation League, Childnet International, Thorn, Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI) and Bravehearts (see the full list here). 

“With hundreds of millions of tweets sent per day, the volume of content on Twitter is massive, which makes it extraordinarily complex to strike the right balance between fighting abuse and speaking truth to power,” Patricia Cartes, head of Twitter’s Global Policy Outreach, wrote in a blog post on Tuesday. The newly assembled council, she claims, is a “foundational part of our strategy to ensure that people feel safe expressing themselves on Twitter.” Read more…

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Kickstarter hits 100,000 funded projects, shares 100 astonishing facts

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Kickstarter has reached a big milestone: 100,000 projects were successfully funded through the crowdfunding platform. 

To celebrate the occasion, the company shared 100 fascinating tidbits about its history. 

For example, it took 121 days for the first 100 projects to be successfully funded on the platform, back when it was launched in April 2009. It only took three days to fund the last 100 projects on Kickstarter. 

All in all, 86,101 creators launched the 100,000 projects on Kickstarter; 8,539 of them managed to successfully fund more than one project, and one Kickstarter ninja funded a whopping 94 projects. 

More than 9 million backers helped fund those 100,000 projects; and as a true testament to the global nature of Kickstarter, the average distance between a project’s location and its backer is 2,317 miles.  Read more…

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Is Twitter done with its timeline experiment?

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We may never know exactly what Twitter planned to do with its timelines before #RIPTwitter became the most popular hashtag on the beleaguered service, but we do know this: The much talked about experiment is done — at least for two users.

Robin Bonny, a 17-year-old high school student in Switzerland, who first revealed his timeline tester status to The Verge said that as soon as Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey started publicly addressing an algorithm-based Twitter timeline possibly replacing the current reverse-chronological view, he stopped getting the new timelines.

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Here’s what most people were Googling during the Super Bowl

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As Peyton Manning surged, Cam Newton scrambled and Coldplay’s Chris Martin danced with two of his friends, millions of Americans turned to Google, seeking insight into the events of Sunday night’s Super Bowl.

Google Trends data released early Monday by the company showed what were viewers searching for most during the four hours of sportsball, all condensed into a bubbly 30-second interactive. Click “replay the match” to see how it all went down (each circle is a search term — the players and performers). Search interest is displayed by the size of each circle; the bigger the circle, the more searches. Read more…

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