Twitter’s video-sharing application Vine has taken the mobile world by storm. It is one of the most popular apps for the iPhone and has accumulated more than 13 million users since being released in January. Feeling threatened by its rival’s success, TechCrunch is reporting that Facebook will update Instagram to support video later this week. Earlier reports suggested that the feature would be similar to Vine and allow users to create and share simple videos between 5 and 10 seconds in length. Video support is seen as the initial step for Facebook to finally monetize Instagram’s more than 100 million monthly active users. Facebook is expected to announce Instagram’s video support at a press event on June 20th.
It seems social networks still have a long way to grow. Forbes has come out with its annual list of the fastest-growing tech companies and has found that social networks LinkedIn and Facebook grew faster than any other companies over the past year. Forbes has now named LinkedIn the world’s fastest-growing tech form for two years in a row, which the publication attributes to the social network’s strength in “recruiting tools, advertising and subscriptions.” The list, which is generated from data on companies’ 12-month sales growth, three-year average sales growth and estimated earnings per share growth, also shows that Apple is still the third-fastest growing tech company in the world despite perceptions that the company’s growth has stalled in recent quarters, and Facebook sites in the No.2 spot.
Google’s reputation for shady shenanigans hasn’t hurt its image with the American public. A new poll from The Washington Post finds that 83% of American adults have a favorable opinion of Google, while 72% say the same for Apple and just 60% say the same for Facebook. One of the most intriguing findings from the survey showed a significant drop in Apple’s favorability among adults under the age of 30, which dropped from 81% last year to 71% this year. Meanwhile, Facebook actually saw its overall popularity rise year over year, as its 60% favorability rating represented an increase of two percentage points from the 58% favorability it registered in last year’s poll.
Just a little more than a year ago, Wall Street’s IPO hype machine went into overdrive pushing Facebook as the next Google or Amazon — that is, a company destined to branch out from its original mission to conquer a large segment of services on the Internet. But now that Facebook has been public for more than a year, its prospects becoming a Google or Amazon-style behemoth seem much more distant, Reuters reports. To be clear, there’s little chance that Facebook will be like MySpace, which saw its user count completely crash over the span of a year in 2010, but there’s also little sign that the company’s ambitions to challenge Google in the search realm will ever bear any fruit. More →
Facebook’s Home overlay certainly hasn’t been met with an overwhelmingly positive response so far, and now the company is letting users know that it’s okay to shut it off for a little bit if they find it annoying. In a post on its Facebook Mobile page, Facebook says that “if you need some alone time, simply turn off Home and use your phone as usual” with whatever version of Android you have installed on your device. In the comments under its main post, Facebook points to a step-by-step-guide that explains exactly how to disable Home or uninstall it completely. Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg last week admitted there were several flaws with Facebook Home that the company is working to address but emphasized that Facebook is committed to sticking with the service and making it work better with users’ Android devices.
Facebook is currently the biggest social network in the world by a healthy margin, but how long will it hang on to that crown? Acclaimed music industry analyst and former major label consultant Bob Lefsetz is widely known for his insights in the music industry, but his opinions and analyses reach beyond music from time to time. In his latest ”Lefsetz Letter,” a periodic newsletter Lefsetz has penned for more than 25 years, the analyst discusses Facebook and the tendency for young people to look elsewhere for their social networking needs. More →
Sure, Facebook Home has been flooded with one-star reviews on Google Play and its first flagship phone, the HTC First, will likely go down as one of 2013′s biggest bombs. That doesn’t mean Facebook plans to abandon Home anytime soon, however, and AllThingsD reports that Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg on Wednesday defended the company’s first attempt at creating a Facebook-centric overlay of the Android home screen. More →
It had been reported that Facebook was looking to acquire social navigation company Waze for between $800 million and $1 billion. The talks were said to have hit a major roadblock in recent weeks, however, as Facebook was reportedly interested in shutting down Waze’s research and development center in Israel and transferring employees to the United States. According to AllThingsD, the talks have dissolved in recent days and the billion-dollar deal may no longer be on the table. The latest report reiterates earlier claims that Waze was uncomfortable having its employees transferred to work at Facebook’s headquarters in the United States. A deal with Waze would help Facebook continue its push into mobile, while complementing its already popular photo and messaging applications.
Interest in social mapping and navigation provider Waze is reportedly heating up, with Google and several other “large tech companies” currently holding talks with the Israel-based company. Bloomberg on Friday reported that Google is considering a bid that exceeds Facebook’s earlier offer, which reportedly fell between $800 million and $1 billion. Earlier rumors suggested Facebook and Waze’s negotiations had stalled due to a disagreement over whether or not Waze’s Israeli research and development center would remain open. According to a follow-up from Israel-based newspaper Calcalist, which first broke the story that Facebook was in talks to acquire Waze, Google may face some trouble if it’s serious about a possible deal — Facebook and Waze have reportedly just signed an agreement that prevents Waze from negotiating with other companies for the time being.
BGR exclusively reported last week that HTC’s First, also known as the “Facebook phone,” will soon be discontinued at AT&T. Sales during the phone’s first month of availability totaled less than 15,000 units according to our source, and AT&T has given up hope that things might turn around. According to a new report, AT&T isn’t alone. More →
When you’re a tween or teen who just has to repost that great porn GIF you just found, Facebook really isn’t the place to do it. It’s not that porn GIFs are any less appreciated by Facebook users, of course, but rather that young users are often tracked by their parents on the world’s top social network. As a result, a recent Pew Research study found that teenagers are moving away from Facebook and finding a new home on Tumblr. More →
It’s pretty fascinating that Facebook and Google debuted new messaging paradigms within six weeks of each other. Facebook Home’s one key feature is the prominent placement of its “chat heads” messaging alerts on the home screen. Google is launching a new messaging app particularly focused on group messaging. The debuts of these two initiatives fit within the same timeline: a sudden realization in 2012 that smartphone messaging had started evolving, followed by the feverish development of a new product that would finally launch in the spring of 2013. Facebook and Google are very much on the defense here. So what happened in 2012 that suddenly awakened these slumbering giants? More →
College graduates would love to land a job at Google, Apple or one of the many startups in Silicon Valley. But according to a survey from Universum Global, there are quite a few students who would prefer the rainy days in Washington over working in the golden state. The American Student Survey asked students from five different fields of study — business, engineering, IT, natural sciences and liberal arts — about their ideal company to work for. Companies such as Google and Apple unsurprisingly topped the charts in almost all categories, however there were some surprising results: Microsoft consistently outranked both Facebook and Amazon. The company ranked higher than Amazon in all fields of study and even higher than Apple in IT. Students found Microsoft more appealing than Facebook in almost all categories as well, with the exception of liberal arts.