social media

Hannah Kuchler

Facebook is facing a fresh legal challenge on whether it can use children’s images in adverts without the consent of their parents, its latest in a long line of privacy battles

If there were any remaining doubts that Twitter wanted to contrast its initial public offering with that of Facebook’s, consider the way the messaging platform is running its investor roadshow.

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

As Twitter’s IPO cranks into action, there is one big question that is puzzling beyondbrics and many others: where are the non-US users based?

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?

 

Tim Bradshaw

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. 

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+. 

Was Facebook’s IPO a flop? Following the social networking company’s rollercoaster week of trading, that was the question at the heart of much of the debate with tech commentators. 

Mark Zuckerberg in New YorkShopping 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. 

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

Richard Waters

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.