Friday 5 — 1.31.2014

By Friday Five

  1. wechat mobile giving新年快乐 — or, Happy New Year! Tencent’s WeChat has greeted the year of the horse by allowing users to send lucky money via mobile. This smart marketing move is aimed to inspire transaction among WeChat’s nearly 300 million global active users, and perhaps lure new users drawn by the feature.
  2. In another nod to the increasingly visual nature of social engagement, Twitter has released new mobile photo sharing capabilities this week. It’s a move to keep people in the app, and drive engagement by issuing a reminder to @ mention others when you upload a photo containing people.
  3. Facebook takes a crack at a “distraction-free” newsreading experience with the launch of Paper. It’s a definite upgrade from its Android Home experience and more like Flipboard — but will it offer too much competition with its own app?
  4. Blogging is dead — long live collaborative publishing. Medium, the originally invitation-only content platform has announced a $25M round of investment. Medium pays some of its writers to attract quality content, and provides a lovely admin user experience for all. There are still some questions about Medium’s overall direction — how much is it a curated magazine versus a place for all storytellers?
  5. How do you make sense of all the social media noise to inform the news? CNN and Twitter announced a partnership with a new tool aimed at journalists. Dataminr, a firm better known for financial services products, is shifting to help CNN use algorithms to identify accurate, breaking news stories from Twitter.

Weekend fun: Before all those SuperBowl ads go live on YouTube, amuse yourselves with this penguin dance-off. (h/t The Dodo, my new go-to source for all things animal-related).

Every Friday, find five, highly subjective links about compelling technologies, emerging trends, and interesting ideas that affect how we live and work digitally.

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