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Last May, Mark Zuckerberg donned his trademark “hoodie” and strode through the main entrance of the Sheraton Hotel, where the lobby was flooded with network reporters, cameraman and journalists. The media flurry surrounded not just the Facebook founder but also would-be investors.
But here on the 36th floor of the Midtown Manhattan Mandarin Oriental hotel in the lush Time Warner Center just off Central Park West, I am the only reporter in sight, writes Arash Massoudi. Read more
In its SEC filing, Twitter admitted that “users outside the US constituted 77 per cent of our average MAUs [monthly active users] in the three months ended June 30, 2013″. Just who are the 77 per cent? And can Twitter make money out of them?
General Motors’ pullback from Facebook ads in May became a touchstone moment for doubts about the social network’s business model, just before it went public.
But as we report in today’s FT analysis of the growing turf war in the social networking market, GM has been spending money on Twitter for two years – and is now “beyond experimenting” with ads there. Read more
Common wisdom has it that when it comes to the web, China goes its own way. For big western sites there are China equivalents: for Google, there’s Baidu. For Facebook there’s Renren. For eBay, there’s Alibaba. And for Twitter, there’s Sina Weibo. Isn’t there?
In terms of numbers, yes. China has over 300m users on the Sina Weibo service – Twitter is banned in China. But hang on. According to a recent report, the most active users of Twitter worldwide are in… China. Not the US. How come?
Fed up with labouring in the shadow of Silicon Valley, two Hollywood studios have belatedly woken up to social media with the launch of two new ventures that take advantage of their own in-house technology.
Dreamworks Animation, the studio behind the Shrek and Kung Fu Panda films, today launches Ptch, a mobile app that lets users create 60-second movies using pictures and video shot with their smartphone – and then share them via social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Google+. Read more
Shopping on Facebook for apps will soon be easier with the App Center, a new application storefront for users to buy and discover content. The social networking company announced the App Center this week following an amendment to its S-1 filing that claimed it does not “currently directly generate any meaningful revenue from the use of Facebook mobile products, and our ability to do so successfully is unproven”. The timing of the App Center news did not go unnoticed by commentators who noted Facebook’s push to conquer mobile. Read more
These are busy times for Facebook. At the start of the week, the social networking company introduced a new feature for members to show their organ donation status. But the big news came on Thursday, as the social networking company announced that it would set a price range for its stock of $28 to $35 a share when it debuts on Wall Street later this month. It also released an IPO roadshow video. Read more
David Abraham, head of the UK’s Channel 4, used the FT’s Digital Media Conference in London on Thursday to let loose a new hybrid on the broadcast landscape: a linear TV channel shaped by online social media. Plumbing word of mouth to shape programming is “a kind of reverse [programming guide],” he said. Read more
This week, Path, the social networking app, faced criticism for storing users’ information after Arun Thampi, a developer, discovered his iPhone’s address book was uploaded to Path’s servers without his permission.
While Dave Morin, CEO of Path, apologised in a post and vowed to delete the contacts from Path’s servers, tech commentators debated how iOS developers and Apple should deal with access to user data. Read more
For many commentators, the filing raised questions about whether Facebook can continue this pace of accelerated growth. Read more
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
It isn’t news to say that Facebook is good for sharing content. Indeed, if this weekend’s debate is anything to go by, some people are coming to think the site promotes oversharing to an annoying degree.
But quite why the viral effect in Facebook is so strong has been difficult to understand in detail. In spite of its best efforts to nudge users towards looser privacy settings, navigating Facebook still feels like a set of small networks for friends rather than one large network.
Facebook is close to a settlement with the US government over how it uses its members’ personal information, The Wall Street Journal reports. The settlement would require the social network to obtain users’ permission before sharing data in a way that is different from how they originally agreed the data could be used, people close to the negotiations told the WSJ. Read more
Well, that was fast. Just 48 hours after the FT flagged a loophole that “resharing” on Google+ could in a couple of clicks make a “limited” post visible to anyone, Google has announced a fix will be in place early next week. Read more
As my colleague David Gelles wrote earlier today, Facebook has finally announced its long-expected location service, Places. It’s only available in the US so far but the rest of the world should be getting it through Facebook’s iPhone app and touchscreen site in the next few months.
Places provides very similar a service to the “check in” function provided by Foursquare – which turned down a Facebook takeover earlier this year – but with Facebook’s trademark simplicity and clean design. The main enhancement is that Facebook users can tell the site when their friends are with them at a bar or school, in the same way they can tag them in photos.
It’s a big moment for Facebook, but also for the check-in itself, which alongside the Like button is quickly becoming one of the internet’s most common ways to interact. As well as Foursquare, Gowalla, Yelp and other location-based services, you can now check-in to the TV show you’re watching (through Miso) or even the dinner you’re eating (thorough Foodspotting). Read more
Last year the Marine Corps banned employees and service members from accessing sites such as Facebook and Twitter from Department computers, citing concerns that lax protection on social networks might allow malicious code to infiltrate government computers. The move was part of a broad reassessment of how the Pentagon and troops were engaging with an increasingly open web.
Now the Department has released a new policy that allows service members to access social media sites “from nonclassified government computers, as long as it doesn’t compromise operational security or involved prohibited actives or Web sites.” Read more