Gavin O'Malley, Jun 27, 2011, 11:51 AM
GSV Takes Stake In FacebookReuters

Investment fund GSV Capital Corp has reportedly taken a small stake in Facebook at a valuation of about $70 billion. "The investment fund said on Monday that it had bought 225,000 shares in Facebook at an average price of $29.28 each," Reuters reports. Perhaps more notable, however, are the circumstances under which the investment was made.

Ahead of what executives are calling an inevitable IPO, "Concerns about Facebook's white-hot growth have surfaced in recent months," writes Reuters. For one, a group of Facebook shareholders is trying to sell $1 billion of stock on the secondary market in a transaction that also would give the company a value of about $70 billion, Reuters reported in April.

Stull, "Everyone wants to get a piece of Facebook," writes 24/7 Wall St. "Shares have been sold by the company and shares have been sold by employees and insiders on private market exchanges." "At $70 billion, Facebook would be valued slightly below Amazon.com Inc, Cisco Systems Inc or Hewlett-Packard Co.," according to Reuters.

Facebook currently has about 2.4 billion outstanding shares, according to the latest data from secondary market company Sharepost. "Facebook is a one-of-a-kind business which has created enormous network effects," Michael Moe, GSV Capital's founder and CEO said in a statement. "With over 650 million people on its platform, or approximately 1/10 of the world's population, Facebook has established itself as a next generation social communications platform."

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  • Gavin O'Malley, Jun 27, 2011, 11:51 AM
  • The Intra (Social) NetNew York Times Social networking is taking over the American workplace, but neither Facebook nor LinkedIn is leading the invasion. Rather, "As social networks increasingly dominate communications in private lives, businesses of all sizes -- from tiny start-ups to midsize companies like Nikon to behemoths like Dell -- are adopting them for the workplace," reports The New York Times.

    Although it is difficult to quantify how many companies use internal social networks, NYT finds that a number of corporate software companies are offering various systems -- some free to existing customers, others that charge a fee per user. Salesforce.com is a top provider of corporate social networks, and claims that 80,000 companies now use its corporate social network, Chatter -- up from just 10,000 when it was introduced a year ago.

    Yammer, meanwhile, said its service is used by more than 100,000 companies, up from around 80,000 a year ago. Other providers include SAP, Cisco Systems, Socialtext, Jive Software and SuccessFactors. Read the whole story...
  • Data: Facebook Moves Past Microsoft In UK The Register Last month, Facebook surpassed Microsoft in the UK for the first time ever, while both sites continue to trail Google. In May, Facebook claimed the second spot by notching up 26.8 million visitors, The Register reports, citing data from UKOM/Nielsen. That bested Microsoft's 26.2 million users during the month, which divided their time between MSN, Windows Live and Bing.

    "Google remained comfortably ahead of the pack, with 33.9 million UK visitors in May," The Register writes. "Meanwhile, worldwide usage of Facebook has reportedly shot up -- even as around 6 million Americans recently unplugged themselves from the dominant social network. Facebook has yet to officially confirm that it now has 750 million users globally.

    Earlier this month, data suggested that that around 100,000 UK Facebook users had actually quit the service. That finding, put out by Inside Facebook's premium Gold service, prompted Facebook to challenge about the growth slump report. As The Register notes, however, Facebook has yet to offer up any contrary stats of its own. Read the whole story...
  • IOC Tells Athletes To Tweet AwayReuters The International Olympic Committee has determined that all athletes at next year's London Olympics can blog and Twitter away -- as long as it is not done for commercial purposes, Reuters reports. Any found posting X-rated content, however, could be booted from the Games.

    In guidelines released by the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) on Monday, the IOC "actively encourages and supports athletes ... to take part in 'social media' and to post, blog and tweet their experiences." Still, bloggers and tweeters must restrict themselves to "first-person, diary-type formats;" can't report on events in the manner of journalists; and must ensure their posts do not contain "vulgar or obscene words or images."

    Another no-no will be broadcasting video or audio taken inside the venues and the Olympic, although athletes will be allowed to post videos taken outside the venues. As Reuters notes, "The IOC gets much of its revenue from the sale of television and online media rights and is therefore highly protective of their intellectual property in that regard." Read the whole story...
  • HBO Go App Keeps Going And Going And... CNET This weekend, HBO expected to see the 3 millionth download of its HBO Go app, despite only recently debuting on May 2. There are 28 million HBO subscribers in the United States, so, as CNET notes, the 3 million downloads would indicate that roughly 10% of the company's audience has tried out the app. "That's pretty good when you consider not all cable providers offer it (you listening Time Warner Cable?)," CNet quips.

    To generate even more interest in the app, HBO was expected to dangle a carrot for "True Blood" followers this weekend, during the season premiere of the show. Those who downloaded the app, got to watch next week's episode directly following the season premiere. Bigger picture, "A big part of the app's success, beyond the slick way it organizes the material and the high quality of the stream, is the vast amount of content available," according to CNet.

    "This isn't Hulu Plus, which skimps on the number of back episodes it offers from popular shows." Indeed, HBO Go gives users access to everything in its vault, which conceivably risks sales of DVD box sets. Read the whole story...