MySpace

Tim Bradshaw

At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Rupert Murdoch has been tweeting his ruminations about the “digital tornado” unleashed by the innovations presented.

The News Corp chairman said the technologies unveiled at CES were more innovative than ever, “some great, all disruptive”, and suggested Facebook might join the “big three” of Apple, Google and Amazon, who were “dominant and now growing… Plenty of others good, but not in same league.”

That seemed to prompt more than a few jibes about MySpace, which News Corp bought for $580m only to sell it for $35m six years later, from Mr Murdoch’s many critics on Twitter.

With typical candour, the media mogul admitted that the company “screwed up in every way possible”: Read more >>

Tech news from around the web:

  • Google has announced changes to its search algorithm to combat ‘content farms’ – sites that that gaining top listings in spite of having ‘shallow’ or ‘low-quality’ content. ‘Our goal is simple: to give people the most relevant answers to their queries as quickly as possible,’ Google writes in its blog. ‘This requires constant tuning of our algorithms, as new content—both good and bad—comes online all the time.’

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Tech news from around the web:

  • Spotify, the European music streaming service is ‘a few weeks away’ from inking a deal for US rights to songs from Universal Music Group, the world’s largest music company, people familiar with the talks have told Reuters. However, Spotify could end up launching without Warner Music Group, the number three music label group, says one person close to the talks.

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From the FT:

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David Gelles

Richard Waters

  • A Tennessee hospital has confirmed it carried out a liver transplant on Steve Jobs, Apple chief executive.  The Methodist University Hospital Transplant Institute in Memphis said Mr Jobs was “the sickest patient on the waiting list at the time a donor organ became available. Mr Jobs is now recovering well and has an excellent prognosis.”
  • Intel and Nokia unveiled plans to work together to create a type of mobile computing device beyond today’s smartphones and netbooks. The move takes Intel a step further towards a breakthrough into the highly prized mobile phone market. Nokia typically works with potential suppliers on joint research for several years before deciding to adopt a particular technology.

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Richard Waters

  • After reported intervention by the US State department, Twitter delayed a scheduled maintenance outage so that its service would be available to help disseminate the message from protesters in Iran. With journalists there operating under increasingly heavy restrictions, the micro-blogging service has come to play an important role.
  • How do you salvage a former internet star that has been flirting with irrelevance? Sack nearly a third of the staff. That was the first move by new MySpace CEO Owen Van Natta on Tuesday as he tried to bring entrepreneurial drive back to the social networking site.

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David Gelles

Social networking sites are doing wonders for third-party businesses, allowing them to market and interact with customers as never before. And many application developers are generating serious revenue through games hosted on sites such as Facebook. But the social networks themselves are not making nearly enough money from this activity.

That’s the message from a new report entitled “Follow the Money: An Analysis of Business Strategies and Dealmaking in Social Media”. Authored by Lauren Rich Fine, a former Merrill Lynch analyst who is now director of research for ContentNext Media, the report argues that social networking sites, and Facebook in particular, need to get much more aggressive about monetising their traffic. Read more >>

David Gelles

The incessant media focus on Twitter (we’re guilty, too), coupled with a parade of celebrity endorsers (from Oprah to Lance) has excited enormous public interest in the micro-blogging service.

Eager to see what all the fuss is about, millions of people around the world are signing up to send their first “tweets.” Unique users of Twitter grew by more than 100 per cent in March, and are now estimated at 14m.

But it turns out most of those users are determining that the fuss isn’t about all that much, after all. A full 60 per cent of new Twitter users fail to tweet again the following month, according to Nielsen vice president of primary research David Martin. Read more >>