Select Twitter advertisers can now use the Lead Generation Card to sign up new customers.
Twitter aims to turn the tweet stream into a more efficient marketing channel with the addition of a new Twitter Card that lets people quickly sign up for advertiser offers or promotions inside tweets.
Twitter Cards, also known as expanded tweets, are a 1-year-old feature meant to keep information network users glued to their streams. Cards bring rich media from partners to tweets so that when people click to expand a tweet, they can view and interact with photos, videos, content snippets, and product information without needing to leave Twitter.
On Wednesday, the company added a Lead Generation Card that lets marketers use Twitter to collect the names, Twitter names, and e-mail addresses of customer prospects, no forms required.
With the new card, advertisers can entice Twitter users to sign up for offers through expanded tweets. People need only click a single button to accept an offer and share their e-mail address directly with an advertiser. Twitter said the process is secure.
Twitter has been testing the feature with a small number of brands including Priceline and New Relic. The company said that it’s only making the Lead Generation Card available to its managed clients to start, but added that a global launch is coming “soon.”
CNN’s Human to Hero series celebrates inspiration and achievement in sport. Click here for videos and features.
(CNN) — Zoe Smith’s petite frame should fool nobody — she’s a weightlifting warrior.
If the 19-year-old isn’t employing her immense physical strength to lift more than 120 kilograms — easily double her own weight — she’s smiting Twitter trolls who are foolish enough to take her on.
“I suppose there is the stereotype that women who lift weights are butch,” she told CNN’s Human to Hero series about the online attacks she has faced.
“Or my favorite one is lesbians, which is a ridiculous kind of thing to say because I don’t understand how lifting weights could make you a lesbian. But anyway, it’s not me who thinks these things.”
Smith may stand at just five foot three inches tall but tenacity courses through her veins, evident by a debut performance at the London Olympics that cemented her status as Great Britain’s preeminent weightlifter.
She equated the noise that greeted her British record lift of 121 kg in the 58 kg category to the tumult that was lavished upon one of her favorite bands, Muse, at one of their Wembley Stadium gigs.
And though that cacophony saluted her strength, mental fortitude has been just as valuable in her battle to convince people that lifting weights was her destiny — even her mum and dad.
“At first everybody was like ‘What are you doing?’ when I told them I had started weightlifting, even my parents actually,” she said.
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“It wasn’t the fact that they thought it was like a ‘boy’s sport,’ it was the fact they were paying for me to do gymnastics and I was spending all my time in the weights gym! So they weren’t best pleased. But then I think my dad came in first and saw me lifting.
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“I think I was only doing high pulls, so from the floor to about (shoulder height) on about 60 kilos and just being curious about it I think my dad picked it up when no-one was looking and his face went white as a sheet.
“He wasn’t quite himself the whole way home and I overheard him say to my Mum, ‘I’ve just seen what she’s lifting!’ “
If her dad was shocked then, he’ll surely be flabbergasted by now.
Smith has gone to conquer a multitude of British records since taking up the sport, in her two chosen disciplines: the snatch and the clean and jerk.
In 2010, at 16, she became the first Englishwoman to win a medal at the Commonwealth Games, taking home the bronze, and added silver at the World Youth Games the following year before hitting the big stage at London 2012.
Her experience in India for the Commonwealths gives an indication of the dedication her sport requires.
“I think I had, in the past couple of days prior to that, just an egg and a glass of water — this is the extreme measures we have to go to in order to cut weight for our category,” she said.
“It was boiling hot and I felt I was going to die. But had I been on form I probably could have won. Bronze wasn’t bad, I’m hoping to go back next year (in Glasgow, Scotland) and get the gold.”
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Smith had always set her heart on appearing in the Olympics, but by the time she was 12, she’d grown to realize it wouldn’t be in the field of gymnastics — her first love.
Her coach planted a seed that she might have a far better chance of making it to the Olympics if she swapped the high bars for the dumbbells.
And despite the switch perplexing her family and friends at first, the idea stuck.
“I was powerful but not very graceful so I would never have made it as a gymnast,” Smith said. “I was always good at tumbling and stuff but I could never get to grips with beam bars — I was terrified of stuff like that.
“They needed a girl for the weightlifting club to take part in a competition to make up a full team so I gave it a go and I took to it quite quickly.”
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Junior British records had been tumbling throughout her teens but it was the limelight of London 2012 that thrust her into the public consciousness.
Though not yet 20, Smith radiates the twin characteristics that delight British sports fans — a mixture of bulldog and underdog.
Tenacious, driven, plucky and resilient, her makeup formed a potent cocktail that legions of followers in in the UK found irresistible.
But as is often the case with high-profile sporting stars, her achievements at the Games drew sniping in some quarters on social media sites.
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If they hadn’t realized while watching her delight the partisan home crowd, the trolls soon found out that Smith is not one to take a backwards step.
“Doing a sport like this I think you’re going to get a bit of stick but I’m quite good at handling that kind of thing,” she said.
“I’m really competitive and I like to win arguments. I never let things slide so I just have to take them up on it and say ‘Well, why am I a lesbian? Why am I butch?’ All this kind of stuff.
“They never have a real answer for it so until someone proves that it’s going to change me or the way I am, I am going to keep doing it.”
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Respected and admired for her display at the Games, finishing 12th in the overall competition, she was also lauded for the head-on way she tackled her detractors.
And her profile was such that many people have been in touch to ask how they can get into the sport.
So how does she look back on the experience of competing in her hometown Olympics?
“It was crazy,” she said. “I still can’t really put into words how I feel about it. Again I think I was really nervous, I didn’t have the best competition.
“I got the British record in clean and jerk which was good. And I just really enjoyed competing in front of a home crowd.
“It was terrifying and nerve-racking; I think I experienced every emotion available to mankind. It was a once in a lifetime experience and I would do it all again if I could.”
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That is a distinct possibility if her progress continues to climb. And Smith says she’ll be better prepared to deal with the size of the occasion when thrust into the cauldron of Olympic competition again.
“In the future I think I’m going to have to use that as a learning curve,” she adds. “Take what I did wrong from that experience, maybe be better prepared, and don’t put myself through hell a couple of days before.
“I’ve got the experience of competing on a major stage under my belt now; I can’t really use nerves as an excuse anymore.
“I’ve been there and done it, it’s not going to be such a fear of the unknown. It’ll be, ‘I’ve been here before, I know what I’m doing, I know what to do.’ “
Check out the activity feed to see how the people you follow are interacting on Twitter (besides their tweets). Click Discover Activity to see a stream of actions by those you’re following, including favorites, follows and more. It’ll remind you of Facebook’s News Feed, and it’s a great way to discover new content and users to follow.
2. Favorite Related Tweets
It’s a safe bet that most Twitter users would like more followers. To help the process, you should search for keywords that are relevant to your interests (and, if you’re a journalist or other content producer, links to your content). Then, favorite tweets that mention something you like — those tweeters may just follow you back.
3. View Verified Users’ Replies
When Twitter users are verified, their replies and mentions don’t show up in their default feed. Go to their profile pages and click “All” above their tweets to view more of their interactions.
4. Add and Subscribe to Lists
Making lists is an easy way to keep track of tweets when you’re following a large number of people. Go to Me Lists to categorize the users you follow in any way you want. You can also subscribe to other users’ lists by going to that particular user’s profile and clicking Lists, then Subscribe. In apps like TweetDeck, you can make each list a separate column.
Would you like to see someone’s tweets without following them in your main feed? Add them to a list, but note: They can see the lists to which they’ve been added.
5. Create User Widgets
Create a user widget for your website by going to the Gear Icon Settings Widgets Create New. The widget will display your tweets, and you can customize how it looks.
You can also create widgets of other users’ tweets, which is handy if you’d like a publication or company’s stream on your website. Go to a specific user, click the icon with a person’s silhouette (next to Follow/Following) and choose “Embed this Profile.”
6. Choose Themes With Themeleon
Twitter integrates its profile design settings with Themeleon, a theme designer by COLOURlovers. If you’re bored with the default backgrounds and don’t have any of your own photos to use, use Themeleon to find something that pops with your personality.
Go to Gear Icon Settings Design “Check out Themeleon.”
7. Advanced Search
Can’t find what (or who) you’re looking for? Try Twitter’s advanced search, through which you can search for exact phrases, tweets with specific locations, sentiment (positive or negative) and more.
Use more than 20 keyboard shortcuts to make your Twitter experience quicker and more efficient. Shortcuts include “G H” for returning to the homescreen, “R” for reply and “G U” to go to a specific user.
Find all of the shortcuts by going to the Gear Icon Keyboard Shortcuts.
Twitter trends help you stay updated on what people are talking about around the web. You can change the list to reflect trends in your own country or state, worldwide and even trends tailored to your interests and those you follow.
On the bottom-left of your screen, go to the Trends box and click “Change.”
11. Find Friends in Email Contacts
Not sure which of your friends are tweeting? Combine Twitter with your email contacts to discover more friends and business contacts who are using the social network.
Go to Discover Find Friends Search your address book for friends.
12. Add Multiple Accounts in Mobile
You can tweet from multiple accounts in Twitter mobile. On your profile page, tap the button with the silhouettes, then tap the plus sign in the top-right. Enter your second username and password, and now you can toggle between the two accounts.
13. Tailor Suggestions Based on Web Browsing
Twitter can use information from your web searches to give you a more personalized experience. Click on the Gear Icon Settings Account Personalization, then check “Tailor Twitter based on my recent website visits.”
For example, if you visit sports websites, Twitter will suggest various athletes and teams followed by other Twitter users who visit the same sites.
14. Download Twitter Archive
In late 2012, Twitter launched the option to download an archive of your tweets, starting from your very first tweet. Your tweets download as an offline HTML web file. You can search through them, see graphs of your activity and click on various dates.
Go to Gear Icon Settings Account Your Twitter Archive Request Your Archive. Note: You won’t get the archive immediately, but you’ll be notified when it’s available for download.
Since its launch in 2006, Twitter has evolved from SMS-based status updates to one of the most popular social networks out there. The platform has more than 200 million active users, and odds are you’re one of them — but are you using it to its fullest potential? How can you get the most out of your Twitter experience?
We put together 14 tips and tricks for the social network you thought you knew — how to tailor your trends and suggestions, how to add a Pocket button for easy saving, and even how to gain more followers. You’ll be a Twitter pro before you know it.
Do you have any other tricks for Twitter power users? Share your knowledge in the comments below.
Pandora is expanding its social media footprint with a new Facebook Timeline app.
The social network add-on allows users on mobile devices and the Web to automatically publish their listening activities to their Facebook Timeline, making it easier for people to share their favorite music with friends.
“Music is a central part of many people’s lives and at Pandora we recognize that it can be both an intensely personal experience and a highly social experience,” Pandora CTO Tom Conrad said in a statement. “For those who want to share, Pandora’s new timeline app serves as another platform for music exposure and discovery, which benefits listeners, artists and advertisers.”
To get started, just open Pandora in any Web browser or an Android or iOS device, and when prompted to “Publish to Facebook,” click the blue button to sync the feeds. Users can personalize exactly what they share using options that include stations they’re listening to, as well as specific tracks and artists they like. Activity will appear in the News Feed, Activity Log, and Music section of the Timeline. A Pandora listener’s Facebook friends can also access a shared radio station by clicking on the story.
Pandora is no stranger to social features, already offering ways to share online radio stations on the popular social network. So what’s different? According to Conrad, “today’s update makes sharing effortless.”
“This means it’s easier than ever to discover new music from friends’ listening activity in your Facebook News Feed or by checking out the music section on their profile,” he said in a blog post, adding that Facebook’s new Music section also includes a dedicated radio collection.
The Internet radio company promises that all users who add Pandora to their Facebook feed will have full control over what information is shared; all settings can be adjusted at any time on the Pandora site or via Facebook’s Application Settings Page.
The Facebook news comes shortly after the company introduced Pandora Premieres, a new station that provides users with on-demand access to early album releases. The feature kicked off Tuesday with the latest records from former Credence Clearwater Revival frontman John Fogerty and British singer-songwriter Laura Marling.
All tracks featured on the albums are available for unlimited listening until the record hits shelves, at which point Pandora will swap it for another artist’s new work.
(CNN) — There’s fresh evidence that American teenagers may be growing weary of Facebook.
They don’t like the fact that their parents, grandparents and other adults are also there, diluting Facebook’s “cool” factor. They complain about their friends’ oversharing, and about too much “drama” on the site. And they’re increasingly flocking to other social platforms, such as Twitter.
These are some of the findings of a new Pew Research Center survey of U.S. teens’ social media use. Released Tuesday, the survey finds that teens are sharing more personal information on social media, but are also taking a variety of steps to manage their privacy online.
But it was the Facebook stuff that generated the most headlines. According to Pew, focus-group discussions with teens revealed “waning enthusiasm” for Facebook for the reasons cited, including feeling “drained by the ‘drama’ that they described as happening frequently” on the site.
“The stress of needing to manage their reputation on Facebook also contributes to the lack of enthusiasm,” the survey said.
The Pew survey found that 24% of online teens now use Twitter, up from 16% in 2011. Other social platforms such as Tumblr, Instagram (which is owned by Facebook), YouTube and Snapchat also have seen big growth among young users in the past year.
“Those teens who used sites like Twitter and Instagram reported feeling like they could better express themselves on these platforms, where they felt freed from the social expectations and constraints of Facebook,” the Pew survey said. “Nevertheless, the site is still where a large amount of socializing takes place, and teens feel they need to stay on Facebook in order to not miss out.”
Facebook has 1.1 billion users worldwide and remains the most popular social network among U.S. teens.
A Facebook spokesperson declined to comment specifically Wednesday on the Pew report but pointed to statements by CFO David Ebersman in a recent conference call about quarterly earnings, in which he emphasized Facebook’s popularity among users under 25.
“We continue to have really high penetration rates among that age group, both in the U.S. and globally, and … younger users remain among the most active and engaged users,” Ebersman said. “Younger users are extremely active users of Instagram as well.”
Facebook executives maintain that teen use of their social network has remained steady. They argue that Facebook is not losing users to other platforms — instead, they say, more users are visiting other social media sites in addition to Facebook.
“The urban legend (that Facebook is losing younger users) flows more often than not from surveys people have done of younger users that indicate that they’re using other social services … much of the concern stems from the assumption that this is a zero-sum game, and that’s not how we see it,” Ebersman said. “We think the overall amount of time spent on services that enable you to connect and share is growing and will continue to grow.”
Jeff Hancock, a professor of communication at Cornell University and a frequent social media analyst, mostly agrees.
“Facebook’s attraction to youth is based in part on being connected, but also on being an ‘ingroup’ and ‘cool’ thing. To the degree that the cool of Facebook wears off, we should see some migration of teens to other platforms,” he said.
“People are unlikely to fully leave Facebook but simply to diversify their tools for accomplishing social interaction. Instead of Facebook being the Walmart of social media, it will become just one platform in a big ecology, including photo sharing with Instragram, broadcasting with Twitter, etc.”
Pew’s findings are based on a nationally representative phone survey, run by its Internet American Life Project, of 802 teens ages 12-17. It was conducted between July 26 and September 30, 2012. Pew also conducted two online focus groups of teenagers ages 12-17 in June 2012.
Pew found that the typical (median) teen Facebook user has 300 friends, while the typical teen Twitter user has 79 followers.
CLEVELAND (AP) – Indians closer Chris Perez deactivated his Twitter account following two rough outings, and after receiving a slew of negative comments.
Perez took down @chrisperez54 on Monday, not long after the two-time All-Star gave up a ninth-inning home run to Seattle’s Endy Chavez. It was the second straight poor performance by Perez, who allowed back-to-back homers in the ninth on Saturday. The Indians won both games.
Several fans sent Perez harsh comments and there were a few profane remarks made toward him following Monday’s win, which completed a four-game sweep by the first-place Indians, who entered Tuesday’s game against Detroit leading the AL Central by 2 1-2 games over the Tigers.
Although he was one of the AL’s top closers last season, Perez became a target for some fans when he criticized them for not supporting the Indians. Perez has always been active on Twitter, posting a daily favorite song and interacting with his followers.
In a statement released through the team, Perez didn’t specify his reason for deactivating his account.
“The decision to deactivate my Twitter account was a personal choice I made in order to maintain the greater focus on the success of the team this season and our shared goals moving forward,” he said. “We have an extremely positive and supportive group of players, coaches and staff members in our clubhouse and I want to participate in activities and routines that contribute positively to the culture we’re building here.
“Out of respect for my teammates, I want to minimize any potential off-the-field distractions so this is the only time I will comment on this topic. Thank you for your understanding.”
Perez was not in Cleveland’s clubhouse before pregame batting practice and he did not speak with reporters after leaving the field.
Indians manager Terry Francona was aware of Perez’s decision to abandon the social media site.
“I don’t know if it’s a good idea or a bad idea,” he said. “I understand his reasoning was to focus more on what we’re doing. I thought his thought process was really good. I don’t think I’ve looked at a Twitter in my life. I don’t even know if I know how. But I like his reasoning. I’m cool with it.”
Francona wasn’t with the Indians last season, but he knows Perez was a polarizing figure. Francona contacted Perez shortly after he was hired by the Indians and said the hard-throwing 27-year-old has been great to deal with and focused this season.
“Terrific and more,” Francona said. “His level of communication with me has been fantastic.”
Perez, who recorded 39 saves in 2012, is 2-0 with a 2.25 ERA and six saves this year.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Twitter is booming as a social media destination for teenagers who complain about too many adults and too much drama on Facebook, according to a new study published Tuesday about online behavior. It said teens are sharing more personal information about themselves even as they try to protect their online reputations.
Teens told researchers there were too many adults on Facebook and too much sharing of teenage angst and inane details like what a friend ate for dinner.
“The key is that there are fewer adults, fewer parents and just simply less complexity,” said Amanda Lenhart of the Pew Research Center, one of the study’s authors. “They still have their Facebook profiles, but they spend less time on them and move to places like Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr.”
In the poll, 94 percent of teens who are social media users have a profile on Facebook — flat from the previous year. Twenty-six percent of teen social media users were on Twitter. That’s more than double the figure in 2011 of 12 percent.
“Facebook just really seems to have more drama,” said 16-year-old Jaime Esquivel in an interview.
Esquivel said he still checks his Facebook account daily but isn’t using it as regularly as in the past. He sees teens complaining on Twitter, too, so Esquivel has been using the photo-sharing service Instagram more often, posting a couple of pictures each day and communicating with friends. Facebook purchased Instagram last year.
In what may be a concern to parents, more than 60 percent of the teens with Twitter accounts said their tweets were public, meaning anyone on Twitter — friend, foe or stranger — can see what they write and publish. About one-quarter of kids said their tweets were private and 12 percent said they did not know whether their tweets were public or private.
Teens are also sharing much more than in the past.
More than 90 percent of teen social media users said they have posted a picture of themselves — up from 79 percent in 2006, the poll said. Seven in ten disclose the city or town where they live, up from about 60 percent over the same time period. And 20 percent disclose their cell phone number — up sharply from a mere two percent in 2006.
Even so, Parry Aftab, an attorney and online child safety advocate, says kids seem to be exercising more caution about their posts.
“They are sharing. This is their life,” Aftab said in an interview. “But they tend to be sharing personal stuff far better than they ever did before.”
The poll suggested teens are also taking steps to protect their reputations and mask information they don’t want others to see. For example, nearly 60 percent of teen social media users said they have deleted or edited something that they had published. Just over half the teens have deleted comments from others on their profile or account.
The researchers surveyed 802 parents and their 802 teens. The poll was conducted between July 26 and September 30, 2012, on landline and cell phones. The margin of error for the full sample is plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
While the tech industry at large seems to increasingly litigious, Twitter is forging a new path: it’s limiting itself to defensive patent litigation unless the patent’s inventor approves offensive action.
Twitter has for the first time applied its Innovator’s Patent Agreement (IPA) on a “pull down to refresh trigger” patent that was awarded by the US Patent and Trademark Office on Tuesday.
Under the terms of the IPA version 1.0, the inventor, Loren Britcher, who is now a former Twitter employee, can refuse permission for the patent to be used in offensive litigation — even if it’s sold to another company.
“This promise stays with the patent: a signed copy of the IPA is kept in the public files for the patent where anyone can see it. We plan on using the IPA on all of our issued patents,” Twitter’s legal director Ben Lee wrote on the company blog.
Twitter published its first draft of the IPA last April in response to concerns that patents it files today could be used to block innovation by others in the future. The document was written so that inventors could retain control over patents’ use.
Several startups have followed Twitter’s lead by promising to adopt IPAs, including Jelly (a startup co-founded by Twitter co-founder Biz Stone), Lift, Stack Exchange and TellApart.
Twitter has published its IPA on GitHub for others to use, which, if widely adopted, could help fix a US patent system that some believe makes it too easy for patent trolls to attack companies in the business of making technology.
The Electronic Frontiers Foundation has long campaigned for patent reform in the US and believes that if IPAs were adopted it would lead to fewer lawsuits and more competition.
“We still need fundamental changes to the patent system to deal with the flood of low quality software patents and the explosion of patent trolling. But the IPA is a promising development and a great way to empower innovators,” said EFF attorney Daniel Nazer.
This story appears in the June 10, 2013 issue of FORBES magazine.
By Tomio Geron and Ryan Mac
Mark Zuckerberg in early April held a flashy press conference to launch Facebook Facebook Home, a new app for Android that turns a phone into an always-Facebook device. Its Cover Feed takes over the phone’s home screen with wall updates. Its Chat Heads messaging system has photos of your friends in cute circular icons that can be accessed from other apps.
Facebook Home was drubbed immediately by reviewers, earning 2.3 out of 5 stars in 17,000 ratings on the Google Google Play store. The app has dropped to below 300 in the most-downloaded rankings of tracking firm App Annie. Some are now wondering if the HTC HTC First, the new smartphone with Facebook Home preinstalled, will be discontinued. ATT ATT recently slashed its price from $99 to 99 cents.
Zuckerberg has a problem on his hands if the initial Home flop signals a struggle ahead at amassing more mobile real estate and users’ attention spans. Facebook got 30% of its $1.25 billion in ad revenue in the first quarter of 2013 from mobile, up from 23% in the prior quarter, but its arsenal is pretty much just its original app; a Messenger app and Poke (which don’t have ads); its mobile site; and Instagram (which also has no ads). It needs more tendrils into smartphones to reach younger users who are increasingly opting to hang out on newer social apps like Snapchat, WhatsApp and Path. On mobile, Facebook’s ability to wring ad revenue from users is hemmed in by Apple Apple, which doesn’t allow Facebook or anyone else to buy digital goods outside the App Store, and by Google’s widening footprint of apps such as Maps, Hangouts, YouTube, Google+ and mobile search.
The law of large numbers is catching up, too. Now at more than a billion users, Facebook grew 23% in monthly active users in the first quarter, down from 32% growth a year ago and 53% in June 2011. Most of its growth is coming from Asia and other developing markets, where monetization is much lower. For example, average revenue per user is $0.64 in Asia for Facebook, compared with $3.50 in the U.S. and Canada.
That’s why the news of Facebook’s potential acquisition of social navigation startup Waze makes complete sense. Waze is a free, ad-supported social network with more than 40 million highly engaged drivers who switch on the app for GPS turn-by-turn navigation. The service ingests streams of road condition data and spits out real-time traffic and road alerts. Facebook and Waze are meeting almost daily to discuss a deal that could be valued at up to $1 billion, according to sources close to the companies. Neither Facebook nor Waze, based in Israel, would comment.
Drivers who join Waze have profiles and can message each other, but they’re also tracked and can be fed targeted ads for nearby destinations, helping Facebook in its thus-far unsuccessful game of catch-up with Google in the local ad market. Waze is the kind of must-have service that Facebook needs if it’s going to extend deeper into users’ lives. A commuter in downtown Los Angeles is going to be more worried about how long it will take to get home on the freeway than about his high school friend’s fishing trip photos.
If Facebook ends up buying Waze, it will likely treat it in a hands-off manner, just as it has done with last year’s $740 million acquisition of photo-sharing service Instagram. That deal was also motivated by Facebook’s appetite for a huge base of users it didn’t own. Waze could just be another way of buying friends.