San Francisco Chronicle
Sending its stock tumbling on Wednesday, Zynga reported a second-quarter loss, with adjusted earnings and revenue below Wall Street's modest expectations. The online social-game maker said it lost $22.8 million during the quarter -- down from $1.4 million year-over-year. As SFGate.com reports, the company behind Facebook games such as "CityVille" and "FarmVille" also lowered its outlook for the year because of delayed games, reduced expectations for the "Draw Something" game it recently purchased, and what it called a "more challenging environment on the Facebook Web platform."
Stop us if you’ve heard this one before, but, yes, Facebook is reportedly working on a smartphone with HTC. “The companies had intended to release the device as early as the end of this year, and pushed back the timetable to give HTC more time to work on other products,” reports Bloomberg, citing sources. The social networking goliath is also reportedly developing an iPhone-friendly mobile operating system for the would-be device with the help of a team of former Apple programmers.
The Next Web
With the latest version of Microsoft Office, users will be able to connect to their LinkedIn account with a single click, and no need to download any additional software. “Considering that most of Microsoft Office is geared toward professional use, it would make sense that a LinkedIn integration is placed front-and-center,” The Next Web writes. Logical or not, the close integration is obviously a boon for LinkedIn. Last week, Microsoft hosted the Consumer Preview of its Office 15 productivity suite, which will be known as Office 2013 when it reaches the market.
The New York Times
Facebook and other social media services let users download files with all their data. Though not currently in that camp, Twitter plans to join in and let people save each and every tweet. So Dick Costolo, Twitter’s chief executive, tells The New York Times’ Bits blog. Writes Bits: “The demand for a way to reach back in time and trawl through the thousands of messages [users] have posted to the site has become high enough that Twitter executives decided to devote some of its engineers to building a solution.”
Despite the best efforts of Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, a partnership with HBO doesn’t appear to be in the cards. “Consumers who dream of watching HBO hits like ‘The Sopranos’ or ‘Game of Thrones’ by streaming to TVs using their Netflix accounts shouldn't hold their breath,” Reuters writes. Hastings made the suggestion of a possible partnership earlier this week -- soon after which HBO shot it down.
In an effort to curb crude behavior, YouTube is now urging users to use their full names when they comment on, or upload videos. Google’s popular sharing platform is also asking users if it can display the identity they’ve associated with their Google+ accounts, if any. As Wired reports: “YouTube’s move toward real names was foreshadowed last month, when a YouTube product lead told developers at the Google I/O conference that the video service was planning some unspecified changes to its commenting system, widely regarded as a Hellmouth of crude abuse.”
The New York Times
With their futures riding on further audience engagement, you’d think Silicon Valley would be pushing people to spend ever more time with their gadgets. (Just glue that phone to your palm!) As The New York Times reports, however, some tech leaders are expressing concerns about the potential addictiveness of our shiny super-connected, real-time, endlessly-updating, incessantly-engaging devices. “The concern, voiced in conferences and in recent interviews with many top executives of technology companies, is that the lure of constant stimulation -- the pervasive demand of pings, rings and updates -- is creating a profound physical craving that can hurt productivity and …
Nextdoor, a social network for neighborhoods, has raised $18.6 million -- from Benchmark Capital, DAG Ventures, Greylock Partners and Shasta Ventures, among other investors -- at a reported valuation of more than $100 million. Since Nextdoor opened to the public last fall, the site has grown to more than 3,600 neighborhoods in the U.S., roughly doubling in size every three months, Nirav Tolia, Nextdoor co-founder and CEO tells Bloomberg. Currently, connecting users based on geographical proximity is not one of Facebook’s strong suites -- a fact that Nextdoor is obviously trying to exploit.
Asana -- a maker of workplace-collaboration services started by Facebook co-founders Dustin Moskovitz and Justin Rosenstein -- just raised another $28 million in capital lead by Founders Fund along with existing investors Benchmark, Andreessen Horowitz and Mitch Kapor. Among professionals, “Asana’s goal is to make people work and communicate better together,” pandodaily explains. What will ultimately set Asana apart from other enterprise software companies, according to pandodaily, is a deep-seated aversion to being acquired.
Stoking excitement around its new tablet, Google just released a one-minute Nexus 7 commercial. Dubbed "Camping," the remarkably traditional spot features a father and son camping and exploring the woods. Along the way, the pair relies on the Nexus 7 to find their way through the woods, search locations on Google Maps, and play games in their tent. “Google's Nexus 7 promotion comes at a time when the company's tablet is selling like gangbusters,” CNet notes.