• Microsoft Has A New Social Network
    And you thought the days of also-ran social networks were over. Having missed that particular memo, Microsoft has quietly launched an experimental social network dubbed So.cl, which encourages users to search for information about a particular topic, then compile the best results -- textual content, images and videos -- into a single post. Initially targeted to students, “It may end up being useful to that market, but it's unlikely to get traction as a mainstream social network,” according to ReadWriteWeb. The criticism only gets worse from there. “File this in the ‘we-try-it-out-so-you-don't-have-to’ category,” RWW adds. “So.cl is a derivative social ...
  • Facebook's Stock Trades Below IPO Price
    Casting doubt on Facebook’s fortunes, shares of the company were trading below its initial IPO price on Monday. What gives? “The initial estimates of the IPO selling range were in the $28-$35 range,” Forbes recalls. “Perhaps the range that was calculated before the final frenzy of the road show and the last week to the IPO is the natural support range? Maybe it is just that the raise in the target price plus the issuance of more stock into the IPO was the froth that is now being blown away?” Whatever the real answer, we’ll likely have to wait a ...
  • PayPal Reigns As Web Transaction King
    By far, PayPal is the biggest payment processor on the Web, according to new research from New Relic, a Web app performance management company. Overall, the eBay-owned service processes 60% of Web transactions, New Relic found after reviewing 65,000 payment transactions by 21,000 Web applications. During the test period, PayPal processed over 66,000 payments, more than three times as many as the nearest competitor, Authorize.net. Google Checkout came in fifth with just over 3400 payments. As VentureBeat notes, “Google does win, however, in the speed category.” In fact, “Google Checkout’s average payment processing time was a blistering .26 seconds.” In ...
  • Yahoo Nearing Alibaba Sale?
    Yahoo is reportedly almost ready to sell a large share of its stake in the Alibaba Group back to the company. The deal has yet to be officially approved by the boards of either companies, but sources tell AllThingsD that it is likely to be, and could be announced as early as Monday. It’s “a complex deal that is set to include a multibillion-dollar share buyback to investors of the Silicon Valley Internet giant and an eventual IPO of the Chinese company,” AllThingsD reports, citing source. If all goes according to plan, Yahoo will sell half of its roughly 40% ...
  • Why GM Dropped Facebook Ads
    Days after the news broke, we’re getting the inside story on why General Motors decided to stop spending ad money on Facebook. “GM's decision followed Facebook officials' failure to convince top marketing executives at the U.S. automaker of the benefits of Facebook's paid ads at a meeting that took place in the past few weeks,” reports Reuters, citing sources. Apparently, where Facebook officials really went wrong was by first focusing more on touting the social networking site's free pages. "It kind of backfires on them in a funny way," a source told Reuters. In the end, GM dropped its Facebook ...
  • Google's Schemer Gets iOS Boost
    Google’s recommendation service, Schemer, may not be well known, but the search giant is tying to change that. Along with an existing Android version, an iOS version of Schemer just hit the market, and, if Google gets its way, many an iPhone and iPad. Billed as a sort of concierge of cool, Schemer had some experts scratching their heads when it debuted late last year. “When it rolled out, many felt like this would be Google’s answer to Foursquare, but it seems more of a way to leverage the data it collects about people, places and things,” The Next Web ...
  • Pinterest Goes Abroad For Latest Investment
    In an unlikely pairing, Rakuten, Japan’s top e-commerce site, will reportedly lead the latest round of investment in Pinterest. The Tokyo-based Web giant will invest upwards of $50 million in a $100 to $120 million round, which values the super-hot social bookmarking site at $1.5 billion. But, why Rakuten? “While the latest round of funding for Pinterest has been the mostly hotly contested of late in tech circles, one source said Silbermann was looking for a global strategic investor and had talked to several large Asian companies,” AllThingsD reports. There are other investors in the new round, but they had ...
  • Verizon Promotes Tablets With New Data Plan
    Encouraging the spread of connected (and ad friendly) tablets, Verizon Wireless said it soon plans to offer shared data plans so customers can share their data allowance among different devices. Currently, customers have to sign up for a separate data plan for every device connected to the wireless operator's network. At an investor conference this week, Verizon Chief Financial Officer Fran Shammo said he expects the new offering to encourage more customers to connect more devices to its network. “One area where carriers like Verizon have been missing out is tablet computers, as consumers have been hesitant to pay the ...
  • Flipboard Keeps Edge With Audio
    Fighting for its title as a top tablet application, Flipboard debuted several new features, this week, including audio. Regarding multimedia-enabling capability, BBC News notes: “The move makes it the first mobile reader of its kind to do so.” Other social reading apps, including Google Currents, Pulse and CNN-owned Zite feature audio elements, but mainly through video links and YouTube clips tied to news stories.  The Daily, the paid social reading app from News Corp., offers spoken audio versions of select news stories, but Flipboard is the first to make sound ubiquitous. Flipboard readers will now be able to "flip" through content, while listening to ...
  • How Yahoo Flubbed Flickr
    Making a bad week worse for Yahoo, Gizmodo just published a 5,000-plus-word “exclusive” on how the Web giant managed to muck up its most promising property. “Until three years ago, of course Flickr was the best photo sharing service in the world,” Gizmodo reminds us. Fast forward to today, however, and “the photo service that was once poised to take on the the [sic] world has now become an afterthought.” What went wrong? In broad terms, what usually happens when a nimble, innovative startup is gobbled up by a behemoth, which doesn't share its values. "Yahoo was a good fit initially," Flickr ...
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