TECH CRUNCH - Oct 30 - The partnership will involve Twitter sharing its data with IBM for integration into IBM’s enterprise solutions, including the Watson cloud platform. The deal means IBM will gain access to the Twitter “firehose,” allowing businesses to incorporate insights gained from the social network into their decision-making processes. The two companies will also be teaming up to build enterprise applications to improve business decisions across industries and professions, beginning with apps and services for sales, marketing and customer service.
TECH CRUNCH - Oct 30 - Days after Facebook revealed that WhatsApp, its $18B acquisition, posted an overall loss for H1, Line, a rival app with 500M registered users, announced that its revenue doubled YOY during Q3 '14. Line, which does not reveal its overall profit/loss figures, says it made $192 M in Q3. That figure is 104.2% higher than in Q3 2013. Line has 170M monthly active users.
Mark Brooks: Line makes money from selling virtual goods in their games, and advertising in the form of promo messages.
MASHABLE - Oct 29 - Facebook posted earnings of $0.43 per share and topped $3B in revenue for the first time, a gain of ~50% YOY. Much of that was thanks to its success on mobile. Mobile ads accounted for ~$2B in revenue, or two-thirds of Facebook's total ad revenue. Facebook now has 1.35B monthly active users, up 14% YOY. There were 864M daily active users in the quarter.
TIME.COM - Oct 29 - WhatsApp, the mobile messaging platform, which had 450M users when the FB acquisition was announced, posted a loss of $232M in the first six months of 2014. The company’s primary revenue source is a $0.99-per-year subscription fee that only kicks in after the first year of use. WhatsApp generated $15M in revenue in H1 2014. Most of the company’s massive loss came from stock sales and issuing stock options to employees.
WSJ - Oct 28 - Chinese social-network company Renren is planning to sell some noncore businesses to become profitable and is considering potential investment opportunities in the U.S. and Hong Kong. Renren was once described as the Facebook of China. Despite having 214M monthly active users on its platform, Renren hasn’t been steadily profitable since its inception in 2005
TECH CRUNCH - Oct 28 - Twitter reported its Q3 financial performance, including revenue of $361M, up 114% from a year ago. Twitter generated 85% of its revenue from mobile advertising. Twitter also reported that it had 284M average monthly active users during the quarter, up 23% YOY.
TECH CRUNCH - Oct 27 - Anonymous messaging app Whisper has suspended its editor-in-chief Neetzan Zimmerman and other staff members after Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller wrote a letter summoning Whisper execs to an in-person meeting to discuss the app’s privacy practices. The Guardian has written several articles accusing the app of breaching user privacy and reporting that members of Whisper’s staff showed the Guardian how its database could locate users within 500 meters of their location, including those who had asked not to be tracked. Zimmerman shot back on Twitter that the accusations were “vicious lies.” Whisper accused the Guardian of quoting staff who were not aware they were on the record. It seems that Whisper is readily admitting how it tracks user info but the Guardian is inferring this is a common practice outside of Whisper’s claims to only use this info in “extreme law enforcement cases.” Whisper had admitted earlier that it hands certain information over to the Department of Defense and other government organizations.
TECH CRUNCH - Oct 24 - Rooms is Facebook’s first product that allows users to ditch their real name. Rooms lets them set up a mobile-only in-app discussion space about any topic, customize the look and moderation settings, set a screen name for the room, and choose who to invite to share text, photos, videos, and comments with others in the Room. It’s a bit like forums inside an Instagram-style vertical feed. Rooms was built by Josh Miller and his team from Branch, which Facebook acquired in January.
LA TIMES - Oct 25 - Pascal Lorne created Let, a social network for teenagers. Six months ago, he urged young users of Vine, Twitter and YouTube who had large followings to try Let. The response was underwhelming, and Let was about to fail. He was soon saved by two young stars on YouTube: Jake Boys and Jack Dail, who discovered the app on their own and brought with them thousands of users. Let is on track for 1M users by the end of the year. The app has raised $600K in seed funding.
MASHABLE - Oct 26 - Twitpic has reached an agreement with Twitter to give them the Twitpic domain and photo archive, thus keeping the photos and links alive. Twitpic, a service that allowed users to attach photos to their tweets, said in Sep that it would be shutting down. The reason was that Twitter opposed Twitpic receiving a trademark for its name. If Twitpic didn't withdraw its trademark application, Twitter said it would revoke Twitpic's API key, making the service useless.
WIRED - Oct 26 - Hemanshu Nigam, the former chief security officer of MySpace who now runs online safety consultancy SSP Blue, estimates that the number of content moderators runs to 100K. That is about twice the total head count of Google and 14 times that of Facebook. This work is increasingly done in the Philippines where moderators can be hired for a fraction of American wages ($300 - $500 a month). Whisper, a mobile startup (valued at $200M) that lets users post photos and share secrets anonymously, works with outsourcing firm called TaskUs. Michael Heyward, Whisper’s CEO, sees moderation as an integral feature and a key selling point of his app. Whisper practices “active moderation,” when every single post is screened in real time; many other companies moderate content only if it’s been flagged by users, which is known as reactive moderating. Given that content moderators might very well comprise as much as half the total workforce, it’s worth pondering just what the long-term psychological toll of this work can be. Employees are given psychological tests to determine their mental baseline, then interviewed and counseled regularly to minimize the effect of disturbing images.
by Adrian Chen
See full article at Wired
READ WRITE - Oct 23 - Twitter has announced a new developer toolkit aimed at helping developers build and make money off apps on the Twitter platform. Called Twitter Fabric, the bundle of services includes Twitter's Crashlytics app crash detecting service, and MoPub, the ad exchange network.
SILICONBEAT - Oct 22 - 23andMe, the biotech company company that sells personal DNA kits, partners with the Israel-based ancestry research company MyHeritage to enable people to discover their heritage based on genetics testing and documented family history.
CNET NEWS - Oct 20 - Facebook claims DLA Piper and other law firms knew Paul Ceglia was lying about his ownership stake in Facebook, but went forward with the case anyway. That's the crux of a lawsuit filed by Facebook against DLA Piper, one of the world's largest law firms.
BUSINESS INSIDER - Oct 20 - Facebook’s ex-CTO and creator of the Like button, Bret Taylor, said there will probably never be a “Dislike” button — despite many calls from users for one. He explained that a Dislike button would draw too much unwanted negativity. While some people might use it to express sympathy, for example, it could also encourage cyberbullying.
SNW - Oct 20 - Mark Brooks, Publisher of Social Networking Watch, will be hosting a panel on marketing strategy and crowdfunding, and speaking about the state of the wearables industry at the GLAZEDcon London event this Wednesday 22nd October. It brings together the most inspiring and innovative executives in Wearables, Internet of Things, government, gaming, health and fitness, and lifestyle industries to discuss the future of wearable technology. Mark believes the social networking industry needs to learn and share and work with wearable technology companies. You can register at https://glazedconlondon.eventbrite.com and get a discount using discount code: GlazedSpeaker.