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Charity auction to give your Twitter account star power

If you’ve ever wished celebrities such as actress Demi Moore or skateboarder Tony Hawk would follow you on Twitter, now’s your chance — but you’ll have to cough up some cash for the privilege. Get the full story »

Motorola scoops up location-based software firm

Motorola Inc. said Thursday it has acquired a company that develops location-based software for smartphone devices.

Terms of the deal with Aloqa GmbH, which has offices in Munich, Germany and Palo Alto, Calif., were not disclosed. Aloqa makes a mobile phone application that delivers content to a device based on where its owner is located. A person might receive discounts on local businesses or information about nearby events, Motorola said. Get the full story »

Twitter redesign adds video, photos, 2 panes

Twitter CEO Evan Williams discusses the new in San Francisco. (Robert Galbraith/Reuters)

A screen shot of new Twitter design. (Twitter)

Microblogging site Twitter, which is now signing up 370,000 new users daily on average, is redesigning its Web site to make it easier for its millions of users to navigate the service and discover new information.

The four-year-old company, which this month reported more than 145 million users, announced on Tuesday new improvements, such as embedded YouTube videos and other content, which is featured in a new two-pane layout. Get the full story »

Twitter gets its own ‘Tweet’ button

Twitter made it official Thursday when it rolled out its own “Tweet” button.

This is one in a series of moves to assume control of features that could help further propel the popularity of the service.

TweetMeme built the popular “Retweet” button, which Web sites install to encourage visitors to share links with one click. The button had generated 750 million impressions a day, according to TweetMeme founder Nick Halstead. Twitter is licensing some of the technology TweetMeme developed and TweetMeme will shift to a new product called Datasift.

Forrester: Most marketers should forgo Foursquare

From Ad Age | Forrester Research has released a new study stating that only 4 percent of online adults in the U.S. have ever used location-based mobile apps such as Foursquare, Gowalla and Loopt. — and only 1 percent update these services more than once per week. So despite the marketing world obsessing over these applications in recent months, the vast majority of Americans online are still in the dark about location-based apps.

LeBron James makes decision to join…Twitter?

LeBron James made a mid-afternoon arrival Tuesday at his annual skills academy at the University of Akron, while speculation swirled about his future and that of fellow free agent Chris Bosh. The biggest James news of the day, however, was that he is now on Twitter, with a confirmed moniker: @kingjames. His first tweet? “Hello World, the Real King James is in the Building ‘Finally’. My Brother @oneandonlycp3 gas’d me up to jump on board so I’m here. Haaaa”

Twitter to bolster user privacy in settlement

Microblogging service Twitter has agreed to a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission over charges it put its customers’ privacy at risk by failing to safeguard their personal information.

The settlement announced by the FTC Thursday stems from a series of attacks last year on Twitter, the three-year old phenomenon that lets people send short text messages to groups of followers. Under the agreement, Twitter is creating an independently audited security program, among other measures. Get the full story »

Twitter uses ‘Toy Story 3′ to test new feature

Twitter is testing a new potential money-making feature: Promoted Trends. The first promotion is “Toy Story 3″ from Disney’s Pixar.

Twitter, which allows advertisers to insert messages into users’ streams through a program called Promoted Tweets, is also exploring the idea of selling its trending feature, which highlights topics popular with its users.

The concept is simple: Advertisers insert their own trend to display on users’ home pages. A big yellow box alerts users that the topic is promoted, not organic. If you click on the link, it takes you to a search results page to see what people are saying about the film. Get the full story »