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theEweekly Wrap

Twitter users stagnate – 10 years of Facebook – Apple removes last Bitcoin app

Twitter reports losses in fourth quarter

Twitter Inc's share price dropped on Wednesday after the company published the results of its latest growth.

Up until September, the number of Twitter users had been rising rapidly, but by December the company reported an increase of only 9m more users than quarter 3. The micro-blogging site has a total of 241m users around the globe, and while Timeline views were up by 26 per cent year on year, from third to fourth quarter in 2013, the frequency with which users were refreshing their feeds had dropped from 159bn views to 148bn.

Since Twitter's move to a public company last year, it has taken steps to encourage new users to engage with the site by making a number of changes to the interface. These included redesigning the mobile apps, the website and including multimedia previews within tweets.

Despite the company making a net loss of $511m (£313.25m), Dick Costolo, Twitter's CEO said:

"Twitter finished a great year with our strongest financial quarter to date... We are the only platform that is public, real-time, conversational and widely distributed, and I'm excited by the number of initiatives we have underway to further build upon the Twitter experience."
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How Facebook celebrated its 10th Anniversary

On Tuesday 4th February 2014, Mark Zuckerberg celebrates 10 years of the social network that made his name and reinvented social networking.

In 2004 a 19-year-old Zuckerberg spoke of where he saw Facebook going in the future: "When we first launched we were hoping for, you know, maybe 400 or 500 people...Now we're at 100,000 people, so who knows where we're going next... Maybe we can make something cool."

The site, originally aimed solely at university students, was designed to allow users to connect and share content with one another, and is how the site still operates 10 years on. To celebrate the Facebook team have compiled a video summary of each user's life so far on the site. Each Look Back video takes a combination of the user's most liked statuses, posts and photos shared, leading many users to note that Facebook has become the normal way by which we document our lives over the last 10 years.

In 2014 Facebook is the world's largest social network with 1.228bn users, and continues to grow rapidly despite research suggesting Facebook is becoming outdated amongst young people, there are still 757 million users viewing the site each day. In January, a group of Princeton University students used Facebook's search volume to estimate that use of the site will have decreased by 80 per cent by the year 2017.

However, the research did not take into account the 945 million users who connect via mobile apps, and 296 million of whom use their apps exclusively.

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Apple removes final Bitcoin wallet app

Apple has removed what is supposedly the last Bitcoin wallet app from its App Store.

This means that the virtual currency is now no longer available to iOS users, as Apple has either rejected or removed all Bitcoin related apps. The company behind the final Bitcoin wallet to removed from the App Store, Blockchain has a second open-source HTML5 Bitcoin wallet which iPhone users can access via their Safari web browser.

The Blockchain team released a statement regarding the action taken by Apple, and why the company believes Apple has removed Bitcoin wallets from its App Store:

" The Blockchain application is the same one that has been on the App Store for 2 years, with more than 120,000 downloads, no customer complaints, and a broad user base.

"The only thing that has changed is that Bitcoin has become competitive to Apple's own payment system. By removing the Blockchain app, the only Bitcoin wallet application on the App Store, Apple has eliminated competition using their monopolistic position in the market in a heavy handed manner."

The future of Bitcoin remains uncertain following the FBI shutdown of Silk Road and the subsequent increase in value of the currency from £124 in late October to £559 by Monday 5 November. However, as Bitcoin remains unregulated in Europe and the US, many companies are yet to accept it as a legitimate form of payment.

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