Welcome to this week’s edition of “The Week in Tech,” where we recap some of the most interesting technology and mobile stories from the past week.
This week we cover Twitter’s latest experiment, Uber’s busy week, Google targeting children, and Steve Ballmer’s resignation from the Microsoft board.
Twitter now shares your favorited tweets with others
What’s the difference between a retweet and a favorited tweet? Now, absolutely nothing.
Twitter is running yet another experiment to keep users more engaged with its service. Now when you favorite a tweet or follow someone, your followers will see this activity in their timelines. Yup, that means you’ll also see your followers’ activity in your timeline. As if your feed needed to get more crowded.
Experimentation is fine, but the social network is changing the definition of a core user action, and tweeps are not happy.
Have you seen these in your timeline? What do you think about this new feature?
Uber has a busy week
Uber has been busy launching new products and hiring big guns.
On Tuesday, Uber launched a service called “Corner Store,” where you can order everyday items like toothpaste, toilet paper, and grooming products and get them delivered to your home. The company is testing the service in Washington, DC.
Speaking of DC, Uber hired ex-Obama campaign adviser David Plouffe as Senior Vice President of Policy and Strategy. Plouffe will lead the company’s charge in working with local transportation regulators across the world to steal all of their cab drivers’ business. 🙂
Finally, Uber launched an API, allowing third-party app developers to integrate its ride-hailing technology into their apps.
It’s been a good week from one of the hottest startups around.
Google to allow kids younger than 13 to create accounts
Google is navigating some complex waters by offering accounts to children under the age of 13.
There is currently nothing to stop children from acting as adults and creating accounts on products like Gmail or YouTube. But Google wants to formalize a process that allows parents to set up accounts for their kids and control their access to these services and the data that is captured about their usage behavior.
Google has to tread lightly here, as COPPA, the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, is very strict about how information about children under 13 years of age is collected. But this obviously is a move that opens up the doors to increased usage and thus revenue growth.
Steve Ballmer resigns from Microsoft board
The passing of the torch is now really official at Microsoft, as Steve Ballmer has resigned from the company’s board of directors.
Current CEO Satya Nadella has already proposed major changes at Microsoft, many of which move the company away from Ballmer’s “devices and services” motto to becoming the “productivity and platform company for the mobile-first and cloud-first world.” Now that Ballmer has resigned from the board, Nadella has full responsibility, for better or for worse.
Ballmer has more important things to do, like go nuts at LA Clippers rallies.
What do you think of these stories? Have you read other interesting mobile and technology stories this week that are worth mentioning? Feel free to add your thoughts to the comments.