The week in gadgets

2 Apr 2012

A look at gadget happenings, as Faceboook mulls a ‘Hate’ button, i-Free Innovations defends its Girls Around Me app, Angry Birds gets animated for fall, and the growth of Pinterest slows down.

Facebook may implement ‘Hate’ button

Facebook may add a ‘Hate’ button next to its ‘Like’ button on the social networking site in response to Facebook studies suggesting people hate things on the internet more than they like them, TechCrunch reported.

There’s a business reason behind the possible move, too: Facebook’s S-1 filing reveals users are generating 2.7bn Likes and comments per day. Facebook hopes to double that with the addition of the ‘Hate’ button, according to TechCrunch. Indeed, if Facebook introduces a ‘Hate’ button soon, it may well raise its valuation further ahead of its IPO next month.

The TechCrunch report cites sources at Facebook as saying CEO Mark Zuckerberg estimates 2bn Hates on the first day of the button’s release.

Developer of Girls Around Me app defends the controversial app

The developer of the Girls Around Me app, which blogs have criticised as being creepy, stalkerish and infringing privacy because the app is designed to locate nearby women, has said its goals have been misunderstood.

“But we believe it is unethical to pick a scapegoat to talk about the privacy concerns,” i-Free Innovations said in a statement published by the Wall Street Journal. “We see this wave of negative as a serious misunderstanding of the apps’ goals, purpose, abilities and restrictions.”

Check-in service Foursquare blocked Girls Around Me, which used Foursquare and Facebook data to automatically pinpoint the location of specific women near users, saying the app’s access to its API was shut down because it violated its policy against aggregating user data across venues.

i-Free Innovations added that the app used publicly available information and provided the same functionality as many other apps.

Angry Birds cartoon series to launch autumn 2012

Popular video game Angry Birds will be flocking to screens as an animated series this fall, Rovio Mobile said at the MIPTV conference in Cannes.

“We’re going to roll out a weekly animation series later this year of short-form content,” the Guardian quoted Nick Dorra, Rovio’s head of animation as having said at the conference.

The series will consist of 52 weekly, short-form animations up to three minutes in length.

“We’re going to roll it out on all possible devices,” Dorra said.

An Angry Birds movie, however, may not hatch until after 2014.

Pinterest’s growth slows down – ComScore

The explosive growth of Pinterest, the service that allows members to “pin” images, videos and other content to their online pinboards, is slowing down – way down, data by ComScore suggests.

ComScore’s figures show that Pinterest’s unique user growth slowed from an 85pc rate between mid-January and mid-February, to a rate of 18pc between mid-February and mid-March.

Earlier this year, comScore reported that with 11.7m users, Pinterest was the fastest site in history to break through the 10m unique-visitor mark.

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