BUSINESS WIRE - Dec 11 - MyHeritage, the family history network, is expanding into the Nordic countries. MyHeritage is investing millions of dollars to digitize Nordic historical content and has signed new agreements that will result in a wealth of Nordic historical records to be added during the next few years.
WIRED.CO.UK - Dec 10 - Foursquare had never worked as it should. Rather than automatically sending users tips as they moved from place to place, the app required them to "check in" every time they wanted information about their location. A new version of Foursquare, that began to roll out this fall, solved the problem. Users interact with the new app 60% more frequently than they did on previous versions.
CNET NEWS - Dec 10 - Twitter's shares gain 9.3% to close at $49.14. One of the reason may be the rollout of new advertising features. Twitter launched its tailored audiences program, which is a system designed to help companies target potential customers who have previously expressed interest in their brands.
TECH CRUNCH - Dec 9 - Twitter has signed a deal with Switzerland-based mobile software company Myriad Group to provide access to Twitter via mobile devices without using a mobile Internet connection, instead relying on a text-only transmission technology called USSD. USSD is short for Unstructured Supplementary Service Data, and it is technology that is built into even the most basic GSM phones.
At some point in the future we'll create an intelligence greater than our own. That's 'the singularity.' That AI will go on to create an even greater AI...etc. Then, great things happen, or otherwise.
I'll be soaking up the SU lectures and putting some thought into what the extreme future of Internet dating and social networking could and should be and will run these thoughts on SNW in February.
METRO.CO.UK - Dec 9 - Facebook users have been bombarded with requests from friends to join Circle a new social networking app that that lets you view what is happening near you, now. Creator Hawthorne Labs claims the app is for those who want real-time information and conversation about nearby crime, traffic and places to go and things to do.
PC WORLD - Dec 5 - Twitter and Deutsche Telekom have joined forces to develop software for Android. Users will be able to see Twitter messages on the homescreens of selected Android-based smartphones sometime next year. The collaboration will initially cover Germany, the Netherlands, Romania, Greece and Croatia.
CNET NEWS - Dec 6 - Snapchat has authorized the sale of 1.6M shares as "Series C Preferred Stock" at ~$34 a piece. The Series C allocation suggests that the company is nearing the close of its Series C round of funding and is raising ~$54.5M. In June, Snapchat raised $60M at valuation of $800M. The newly surfaced filing now suggests a valuation of $2 Billion.
heyUSA TODAY - Dec 5 - Apps for private sharing such as Whisper and Snapchat, which Facebook offered to buy for $3 B, have grabbed investors' attention. Heyday builds a journal of places users go with photos or videos they take on their iPhone. The information gathered is only for them to see. Heyday will offer a subscription version of its business that would model it after storage services Dropbox or Box. The startup has raised $2M.
TECH CRUNCH - Dec 5 - Twitter is ready to roll out retargeted ads fueled by browser cookies, sources confirm. The secret sauce of Twitter’s retargeting is the use of your account as a cross-device identity layer, allowing it to target ads on mobile based on where you’ve been on the web. Cookie retargeted ads could make sure the ads you see on Twitter are for things you actually want. Twitter’s bringing retargeting to mobile. But without cookies on mobile, you can’t retarget unless you can tie the identity of a mobile user to what they do on the computer. And Twitter can. It’s one of the few hugely popular services that individuals access from multiple types of devices.
STAR TELEGRAM - Dec 3 - San Francisco-based Nextdoor, launched in October 2011, has grown to 24K neighborhood websites. Information about crime is ~20% of each website’s content. Participants also use it to share information about events such as block parties or to suggest local businesses. Nextdoor plans to sell advertising to local businesses, but it’s currently backed financially by investors including Benchmark and Greylock Partners.
by Bill Miller
See full article at Star Telegram
WANT CHINA TIMES - Dec 2 - Renren Network saw its core social network decline in popularity and its gaming unit slow in response to the mobile trend. Baidu was to acquire Renren, dubbed the Chinese Facebook, for 12B yuan ($2B). The news was followed by the resignation of Wu Jiang, VP of Renren, on Oct. 25 and sick leave being taken by He Chuan, who was in charge of Renren's gaming unit. Renren's gaming unit accounted for ~50% of company revenues.
CNET NEWS - Dec 3 - People can still buy the DNA at-home testing kits, but they won't see any marketing for these products. 23andMe was issued an FDA warning letter two weeks ago. The government agency demanded the company stop selling its at-home testing kits "immediately" because they required regulatory clearance and were supposedly being sold in violation of the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.
TECH CRUNCH - Dec 2 - Facebook is looking to acquire Bangalore-based Little Eye Labs. Twitter has been eyeing up an acquisition of Bangalore-based Frrole, a big data startup that sifts through half a billion Twitter posts every month to offer insights about users. Facebook now has 114M users in India.
WASHINGTON POST - Dec 2 - Reggie Brown was a junior at Stanford when he approached Evan Spiegel with an idea: a text-messaging service that would delete photos automatically, seconds after they were received. It was a $3B idea. (Facebook reportedly offered $3B to buy Snapchat). Brown was ousted by Spiegel and their third collaborator, Robert Murphy. He's suing. The question is what it means to invent something - Idea, writing the code, or landing the first financial backer? In an industry in which some products succeed wildly while nearly identical ones flop, how does one calculate the alchemy that results in a $3B offer? "Reggie may deserve something for some of his contributions," stated Spiegel.