Yahoo Blocks Wall St. Protest Emails, WikiLeaks Blamed For Al Jazeera Boss Wadah Khanfar’s Departure, Facebook’s New Features

This and more important news from your Fast Company editors, with updates all day.


Spotify Hits 2M Subscribers. Spotify’s CEO Daniel Ek has just confirmed that his streaming music service has just passed two million subscribers, with around 400,000 joining since the brand expanded to the U.S. recently. That’s a 20% growth jump in just three months, and means the service has actually doubled its subscriber base over the last six months. The firm is rumored to be partnering with Facebook to help drive its social music business imminently. –KE


–Updated 2 p.m. EST

Yahoo Blocks Emails Related To Wall Street Protests. Yahoo admitted to “inadvertently” blocking emails that contained the link this weekend. The group, OccupyWallStreet, organized a “Tahrir-style” protest of public spending cuts and bank bailouts this weekend in Manhattan, which was attended by 500-700 people. Many people who tried inviting their friends via email to the event found they couldn’t do so, and received an automated message from Yahoo explaining that it was due to “suspicious activity” on their account. Yahoo responded from their  main Twitter account, explaining that this was due to their spam filter settings, and “not intentional.” —NS

Pandora Redesigns Website, Gets More Social. Pandora, the personalizable streaming music service, unveiled a redesign today including a host of new features that make it bigger and more social. There’s more artist information, better control, a new station creation station, and more sharing options. It’s the latest in a series of changes the service has been showing off this year, starting with its social integration announced in July, something others like Rhapsody and Spotify are making a big push for as well. —NS

–Updated 10:22 a.m. EST

WikiLeaks Cable Leads To Resignation Of Al Jazeera News Director. Wadah Khanfar was forced to step down after a WikiLeaks cable indicated that he had modified the news organization’s coverage of the Iraq War. The New York Times reports that a member of the Qatari royal family will replace Khanfar. Khanfar is first on Fast Company‘s 2011 list of the 100 Most Creative People in Business. Read his full profile here. —NS


–Updated 8:00 a.m. EST

Apple Event Due October 4th. According to “sources” close to the situation, AllThingsD is reporting that Apple’s next press event, presumed to be mainly for the refreshed iPhone lineup, is now scheduled for October 4th–a little later than some had been expecting. The information from inside Apple also reveals that new Apple CEO Tim Cook is to take a starring role, stepping in to Steve Jobs’ shoes to deliver his first big public appearance. –KE

–Updated 6:20 a.m. EST

Political Ads On Twitter. Twitter is going to allow political advertising on its social network this week for the first time. It’s not allowing invasive in-stream ads, instead offering promoted tweets, trends, and accounts to political campaigners. The move is the latest development in Twitter’s year-long ad experiment, and comes just as spending begins to ramp up for the 2012 Presidential campaigns. –KE

–Updated 5:30 a.m. EST


Google Places Ad For Google+ On Homepage. Google‘s usually pristine original-flavor home page saw a striking robin blue arrow starting late yesterday. Clicking on it leads to your Google+ newsfeed if you have one, a reminder that the social netwok is now open to anyone. It’s worth noting, as The Next Web points out, that Google is a stickler for keeping its home page clear–that’s unless it really wants you to pay attention to something, like last month when for the first time it placed an ad for its daily deals site Google Offers there. —NS

Facebook Latest Updates: News Feed, Friend Ticker
 The social network’s new features include a Ticker which updates friends’ activity in real time, and a (re)designed news feed. As Mark Tonklelowitz explains on the Facebook blog, at every new visit, a top story will lead the feed, new stories and photos you’d find “most interesting” will be earmarked in blue. With more frequent visits, new photo posts will be bigger. Facebook’s f8 conference is tomorrow. And this is likely the first iteration of much bigger changes to come. —NS

On Facebook, Smirnoff and Baileys Ban Kids
Baileys and Smirnoff and other drinks makers have okayed a new code for digital marketing on social networks. As part of the new agreement they will restrict users below 18 from accessing official brand pages on Facebook and similar services. Also, the companies will limit the placement of ads to sites where more than 70% of the viewers are older than 18. Age-related information about their viewers will be picked up from registration details (like date of birth) that users provide when they first sign up. —NS


Updated 4:45 a.m. EST

Yesterday’s Fast Feed: Google+ Open To All, Personalized Sports Radio From ESPN And Slacker,”Minority Report” Ads In-Bound, Facebook’s “Want” Button, and more…