1. Instagram prepares to launch its Bolt messaging app, but only in 3 countries: Instagram today announced the launch of its Bolt app, but only to three countries: New Zealand, Singapore and South Africa. The new app lets you send one-tap photo and video messages to your friends. Read more here.
2. Apple acquires and shuts down the Swell podcasting app: Apple has confirmed its acquisition of Concept.io, the company behind the Swell talk radio app, as noted by 9to5Mac. Read more here.
3. Evernote integrates with FastPencil so you can publish your notes as a book: You know that incoherent jumble of notes you’ve been quietly working on in Evernote? Well, now it’s even easier to publish it as a book, through a new integration with self-publishing platform FastPencil. Read more here.
4. Flickr’s Marketplace program helps photographers license their work and find original assignments: Earning a decent wage as a freelance photographer can be tough. To help talented camera aficionados put food on the table, Yahoo today unveiled a new ‘Marketplace‘ service that will connect Flickr users with photo editors, designers and agencies. Read more here.
5. Medium finds a revenue stream with Re:form, a new collection of stories sponsored by BMW: Medium launched its first sponsored “collection,” a term used to describe one of its curated sections or publications, with BMW on its renowned blogging platform today. Read more here.
6. Twitter blocks prominent hacker account in Russia following government request: Twitter has blocked a prominent Twitter account in Russia following a government request, just one week after the company denied that it would clamp down on ‘extremist’ accounts in the country. Read more here.
7. Facebook to close up shop on its digital gift card service: According to Facebook, which spoke to Recode, the service is being shut down for good August 12th in favor of simply letting developers and companies offer their own online stores, complete with “buy” buttons for goods. Read more here.
8. Twitter rebounds from earnings slump with strong user growth and unexpected profit: Twitter has had a rough time during its early life as a public company. Its stock had sunk to about half it’s peak value after two quarters of disappointing numbers about slowing user growth and engagement. Read more here.
9. Palantir Acquires Social Polling Startup Poptip: Poptip, a startup that helps companies conduct social media surveys and analyze online conversations, just announced that its team will be joining Palantir Technologies starting on August 1. Read more here.