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Foursquare Gets a Big Financial Lifeline and Revamps Its App

Foursquare improves its search features, LinkedIn gets a news reader, Tumblr puts the kibosh on Storyboard and more social-media news.
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This week's need-to-know social-media news.

Things may not be so bleak for Foursquare after all. Although the company reportedly generated $2 million in revenue last year -- leading industry analysts and others to believe it was in deep financial trouble -- it has raised a further $41 million from investors, buying Foursquare breathing room to expand. "This allows us to get closer to being able to prove that there's a real business here," says Dennis Crowley, the company's founder and chief executive.

Part of that plan, it seems, is to focus more on users searching for places, not just checking in.
This week, Foursquare released an improved version of its iOS app, featuring a universal search bar and a map that highlights interesting places nearby and displays the locations of a user's friends. The search bar is important because the lion's share of Foursquare's revenue comes from ads on its search engine. -- and

LinkedIn buys news reader Pulse for $90 million.
The acquisition of Pulse is expected to help LinkedIn become "the definitive professional publishing platform," wrote LinkedIn's Deep Nishar in a blog post. Pulse is already a well-regarded news reader with 30 million users, and LinkedIn plans to continue supporting it while working with Pulse employees to develop future products. With the opening left by the demise of Google Reader, a new, LinkedIn-powered Pulse could achieve even greater market share. --

Tumblr ends Storyboard amid executive power vacuum.
Tumblr's Storyboard, an experiment in editorial feature production that launched last May, ended abruptly this week. Founder David Karp offered little explanation for the site's closing, though he did say that Storyboard's three-person team will be leaving the company. Meanwhile, reports say that a handful of senior executives have left the company, most recently Blake Matheny, Tumblr's vice president of engineering. Sources told Betabeat some of the departures were related to Karp's "unpredictable" management style. -- and

Twitter says 'no' to in-stream payments service.
A payments startup called Ribbon introduced a feature this week that allowed Twitter users to make one-click payments from within the Twitter stream. But Twitter quickly shut down the function, which made use of its so-called Twitter Cards -- expanded versions of tweets that provide more detail. Twitter did not comment publicly on the issue, but Ribbon said in a blog post that it would "actively work on finding a way to enable" in-stream Twitter payments, and reminded everyone that it continues to offer in-stream payments on Facebook. --

One man's crying children go viral.
Sometimes the simplest things are the most universal and, hence, the most shareable. Reasons My Son Is Crying, a Tumblr blog that features photos of two tearful boys with wry captions explaining the reason for each crying incident, was suddenly everywhere this week. The site's popularity was driven by Reddit and culminated in an appearance by the blog's creator, Greg Pembroke, and his two sons, three-year-old William and 21-month-old Charlie, on Good Morning America. The crew also visited Tumblr's New York City headquarters, where Charlie's picture was snapped by Brandon Stanton, the photographer behind Humans of New York--