It was widely believed that Facebook paid $1 billion for photo-sharing site Instagram. But, we now know that’s not true. According a 10-Q quarterly report filed with the SEC this week, Facebook paid a total purchase price of $521 million worth of about 12 million vested shares of our Class B common stock and $300 million in cash. “Based on the time the shares were issued, it comes to about $715 million,” WebProNews reports.
In Germany, a number of tech giants -- including Google, Microsoft, and Nokia -- have formed an association to secure consumer privacy. The group just launched a Web site where people can have their homes, license plates, and personal images removed from mapping services, including Google Street View and Nokia Maps. As ZDNet reports: “The new service is part of a commitment voluntarily signed by the companies in the wake of Google and others' decision to start mapping services in Germany.”
Rewarder -- which you might call a wish fulfillment Web site -- just raised $7 million, led by Granite Ventures and Radar Partners. “Part Kickstarter, part TaskRabbit, part reverse-eBay, Rewarder allows users to post things they want and list a price,” GigaOm explains. “But it’s not local like TaskRabbit, and people post both physical items they want as well as tasks they want performed, so it goes beyond Kickstarter.” After year in beta, the company said users have posted $10 million worth of requests.
Ahead of what is widely expected to be a weak earnings report, Zynga has announced plans to cut about 5% of its work force, or 150 people. “Like other tech companies, Zynga is seeing its users quickly migrate to the mobile Internet, a transition that requires a new business strategy,” writes The New York Times’ Bits blog. “But Zynga also has some problems particular to itself, including a paucity of new hits. As part of its cost-cutting efforts, Zynga also plans to advertise less, Bits reports.
Thinking global, Yelp has agreed to buy Qype -- its biggest European rival -- for about $50 million in cash and stock. With Qype, Yelp will be able to boast 93 million monthly unique visitors and 32 million reviews, Yelp’s CEO Jeremy Stoppelman said in a blog post. Reasons TechCrunch: “That should help Yelp compete better against the likes of Google, which combines its search, listings, user feedback and maps into a powerful product to rival that of Yelp’s.”
The European Commission this week sent a formal complaint to Microsoft, accusing the company of failing to meet its browser commitments, and vowing to investigate whether it offered Windows users a choice over their web browser. “While a final decision has not been made, the Commission says that it has ‘informed Microsoft of its preliminary view that Microsoft has failed to comply with its commitments,’” The Next Web reports.
Though it may not turn the social Web upside down, Twitter is reportedly testing the term ‘like’ or ‘star’ in the place of the traditional ‘favorite.’ “Favorites have been a part of Twitter from very early on in the site’s history, and have been available to users from at least 2008 on,” writes The Next Web’s Matthew Panzarino. “I’m not a fan of either of the new terms … favorite suits me just fine, and it sets Twitter’s implementation of this kind of thing apart.”
Google this week is rolling out expandable results, along with some other improvements. “It's been more than a year since Google introduced expandable results into Google News, clustering related articles under a single headline and letting users expand the link to see more,” CNet notes. Along with a new layout -- which puts article images on the left and source information underneath article links -- searches will now reveal a multimedia bar showing related photos and videos.
Arguing that Instagram won’t get the last word on mobile photo sharing, TechCrunch looks at some emerging rivals. There’s Snapchat -- a mobile messaging app that only lets recipients see sent photos for 10 seconds before they disappear. “The app has reached a ranking of No. 20 on the overall free charts in the U.S. … and a source … tells us that Snapchat is seeing roughly the same number of photos shared per day as Instagram.” Cinemagram, meanwhile, is a cross between a photo and video-sharing app, and is ranked No. 10 on the free charts. Regarding the photo ...
Permira Advisers has agreed to acquire Ancestry.com for about $1.6 billion, Bloomberg reports. The London-based private equity firm will pay $32 a share for the family-history Web site, the companies said today in a statement. “The price is 41 percent higher than Ancestry.com’s closing price on June 5, the last day of trading before press reports that the company had hired a financial advisor for a possible sale,” Bloomberg writes.