• Rumor Only: Saudi Arabian King Courting Facebook
    By now, you may have heard the one about King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia offering to buy Facebook for $150 billion to prevent the social network from facilitating further social unrest in the Middle East. No, it's not true, but the attention the rumor generated this weekend -- making it into Iran's Tehran Times -- speaks to the surreal nature of recent world events. Indeed, who could have predicted a few years ago that Facebook would now be valued at upwards of $50 billion, and be partially responsible for overturning Middle Eastern governments, while threatening the stability of others? ...
  • And The Oscar Goes To: Oscar.com
    Coinciding with the Oscar's telecast on Sunday, Oscar.com offered a glimpse into the promising future of multichannel, consumer-controlled event coverage, paidContent confirms. Though not without its glitches, the Web extension "played opposite the telecast about as well as Geoffrey Rush did Colin Firth in Best Picture winner The King's Speech," exclaims paidContent's Andrew Wallenstein. Wallenstein took in the awards show with the browser-based view known as All Access rather than the Backstage Pass view, which assembled the same video feeds for iPod, iTouch and iPad. "Even though All Access cost $4.99 (Backstage Pass was a more economical 99 ...
  • Can SocialEyes Make Video Chat Social?
    With the help of Facebook Connect, a new startup named SocialEyes is trying to make video chat "truly social," reports GigaOm. What does that mean? "The San Francisco company is building a video messaging platform that tries to move beyond largely one-to-one or group chatting experiences and looks like something Facebook would make it if went after video chatting." And what does that look like? The service, which will exist as a standalone site as well as a Facebook application, lets users maintain multiple chats throughout the day, while also tapping Facebook's social graph for conversations. "Users can ...
  • J.P. Morgan After Tenth Of Twitter
    An investment fund led by J.P. Morgan is in talks to acquire a sizable stake in Twitter, the Financial Times reported on Sunday. According to sources, the fund is seeking a 10% share for $450 million, which would value the top microblogging platform at $4.5 billion. Similar to a fund recently set up by Goldman Sachs to invest in Facebook, JPMorgan's Digital Growth Fund was established this month to give wealthy clients access to popular private tech companies. Citing a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, FT.com reports that the fund has raised $1.22 billion to date, while sources ...
  • Facebook Enhances 'Like' Reach
    In a bid to increase its already-daunting online footprint, Facebook has augmented activated Like and Recommend buttons to publish full news feed stories -- instead of one-line Recent Activity stories. "The change gives more prominence to outbound links in the news feed and on a user's wall, and so will increase referral traffic and draw more sites to add the Like button," writes Inside Facebook. "In other words, when you hit that 'Like' button to express your thumbs-up approval of a particular site or story, Facebook will now post an update to your wall that includes a ...
  • Will YouTube Bring Movie Service To UK?
    Despite reports to the contrary, NYPost.com is reporting that YouTube is entertaining the idea of bringing a movie subscription service to Europe. "The search giant, which has been in talks with Hollywood studios for months, is looking to launch the streaming service first in Europe, in particular the UK, before expanding to the US," writes the NYP. Such a move would put YouTube in direct competition with Amazon -- which just acquired UK streaming movie service LoveFilm -- and likely Netflix as well. Google has put aside $100 million for content deals with studios and other top content ...
  • AOL: Getting Worse Before It Gets Better
    It's conceivable that AOL will one day be a profitable business -- just don't expect that day to come anytime soon. No, due to continued weakness in search and contextual advertising, AOL said in 10-K filing released this week that it expects ad revenues on its own properties, as well as its third-party networks to "decline significantly." As PaidContent notes: "The hope has been that its string of acquisitions -- most recently and notably the $315 million it paid for The Huffington Post -- will help turn things around at some point this year." Arguably, AOL's problem is ...
  • Will Google Let Everyone Know Your Name?
    Imagine a day when any stranger with a smartphone can snap your picture on the street, and immediately learn you name, along with all manner of personal information and history. Based on recent patents published by Google, that day is coming sooner than you think. The most recent patent, as Computerworld notes, involves using facial recognition and social networking combined to give visual search results. "Other patent filings have recently become public, suggesting Google has been working all along to apply visual query technology to searching for faces," it writes. Meanwhile, Google's recent patent filing for User Interface ...
  • Report: MySpace Headed For Auction Block
    Despite its uncertain market position, MySpace apparently have its fair share of suitors. Indeed, since News Corp. brought in Allen & Co. to help unload MySpace earlier this month, it has received "early interest" from about 20 parties, "and expects to receive more inquiries as the process develops in coming weeks," Reuters reports. Sources tell Reuters that the investment bankers from Allen & Co. plan to begin talking to interested parties in mid-March. But, who's looking to buy the defeated social network? Mostly private equity and venture capital firms. Also, as Reuters suggests, "Possible strategic interest could come from ...
  • Mossberg: Xoom A Worthy IPad Rival
    Walt Mossberg, the king of consumer tech reviews, has reached a verdict regarding Motorola's new Android-powered Xoom tablet. And?! "I consider [the Xoom] the first truly comparable competitor to Apple's hit iPad," Mossberg concludes in AllThingsD. Part of the credit goes to Honeycomb, which Mossberg calls "an elegant new version of Google's Android operating system designed especially for tablets." After testing the Xoom for about a week, Mossberg goes so far as to say that the Xoom beats the first-generation iPad "in certain respects." For one, Mossberg believes the Xoom has a more "potent" processor than the current ...
« Previous Entries