Florida Kid’s “stupid App”

How a Florida kid’s “stupid app” saved his family’s home and landed him on the main stage at Facebook

From PandoDaily


Michael Sayman is not your average tech entrepreneur. For one thing, he’s 17 years old and started making money off iOS apps at the age of 13, rivaling even Mark Zuckerberg’s babe-like founder status. He taught himself to code using online tutorials he found via Google.

For another thing, he lives in Florida. His school doesn’t understand what he’s doing and his parents didn’t entirely appreciate his work until he started helping them pay their mortgage when the recession hit.

Oh, and Mark Zuckerberg personally chose Sayman to be featured at this morning’s f8 developer conference, shortly after his own keynote. Sayman appeared alongside a few other (adult) programmers in a video on the main stage about mobile app development.

Sayman sits on the Pando couch, his round cheeks and freckles — not to mention a mouth glistening with orthodontic work — making him look even younger than his already infuriatingly young age. If his enthusiasm were any more infectious it would require a warning sticker. Instead he wears a blue hoodie with the Facebook logo emblazoned on the front. He pokes his hand into one of the pockets: “Hold on I’m checking something. This will only take a second,” Sayman says. He pulls out his phone and starts scrolling through the iOS app store. He gasps.

“I just beat Garageband and Line. My app is more popular than Line!” He puts one palm on his face and bends over his phone, reading further. “I’m beating Starbucks, Luminosity, Fitbit, Lyft…oh my gosh,” he trails off, overcome with excitement. “It’s number 123 in the overall app store ratings!”

On the eve of his introduction to the Silicon Valley tech world at Facebook’s f8 conference, Sayman had one thing on his mind: His beloved app, 4Snaps. Two days ago, he released a huge update to the software, the shining jewel among all the apps he has built since he was 13.

4Snaps is a multi-user photo game, where players are given a word like “twerk” or “hungry” then take four photos so their friends can guess the term. For example, one might take a picture of a hairbrush and a tooth to help someone guess “toothbrush.” The road to 4Snaps’ success was long and rocky for Sayman, and its current skyrocketing adoption is by no means the end.

What’s Behind Facebook’s ‘Sponsored Stories’

This was in the NYTimes

One Day, Nick Bergus came across a link to an odd product on Amazon.com.

He found it irresistibly funny and, as one does in this age of instant sharing, he posted the link on Facebook.

Within days, friends of Mr. Bergus’s started seeing his post among the ads on Facebook pages, with his name and smiling mug shot. Facebook – or rather, one of its algorithms – had seen his post as an endorsement and transformed it into an advertisement, paid for by Amazon, reports Somini Sengupta of The New York Times.

Companies pay Facebook to generate automated ads, called sponsored stories, when a user clicks to "like" their brands or references them in some other way. Facebook users agree to participate in the ads halfway through the site’s 4,000-word terms of service, which they consent to when they sign up.

With heightened pressure to step up profits and live up to the promise of its gigantic public offering, Facebook is increasingly banking on this approach to generate more ad revenue. The company said it did not break down how much revenue comes from such ads. Its early stock market performance – down 22 percent from its offering price – is likely to increase the urgency.

But this new twist on advertising has already proved to be tricky. Users do not always realize that the links and "likes" they post on Facebook can be deployed for marketing purposes. And Facebook has already agreed in principle to settle a class-action lawsuit over the practice in California.

The Times’s technology reporters and editors asked several of their Facebook friends who showed up in such ads what they thought of the practice. The responses have been compiled in a blog post , where readers can also discuss their own feelings on being featured in sponsored stories.

Brains can’t handle all our Facebook friends

Facebook, Inc.
Image via Wikipedia

WE may be able to amass 5,000 friends on Facebook but humans’ brains are capable of managing a maximum of only 150 friendships, a study has found.

Robin Dunbar, professor of Evolutionary Anthropology at Oxford University, has conducted research revealing that while social networking sites allow us to maintain more relationships, the number of meaningful friendships is the same as it has been throughout history.

Find the entire article at TimesOnline http://technology.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/tech_and_web/the_web/article6999879.ece

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