Let’s say you got Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation to vastly overpay for your upstart social networking site, thus giving you the option of cashing out and retiring early. You’d be probably be pretty proud of yourself, so much so that you’d scoff at all the poor suckers who still have to do real work for a living. And per BusinessInsider, that’s precisely what MySpace founder Tom Anderson did this week when he described himself on his Twitter feed as “the guy who sold myspace in 2005 for $580 million while you slave away hoping for a half-day off.” Anderson’s tirade was in response to criticism from one of his Twitter followers who mocked Anderson for not being “able to keep a social network alive.”
According to AllThingsD Specific Media has acquired Myspace from News Corp. for $35 million. Reportedly, Myspace’s CEO, Mike Jones, will remain for “an interim period,” and the social network will lay off half of its staff, or about 200 people. Myspace, which has seen a sharp decline in traffic over the years since it was acquired by News Corp in 2005 for $580 million, announced in January that it was laying off 47% of its employees. News Corp. will maintain less than a 5% stake in the company. More →
Erik Qualman from Socialnomics recently published a new video that shows the power of social networks today. The most stunning fact, to us, is that social media has surpassed porn as the top activity on the web. The video, which lists a number of compelling facts, also said that — in the United States — Facebook gets more weekly web traffic than Google. Similarly, 20% of all divorces are now being blamed on Facebook. Have you ever thought about taking a class online? This stat may pique your interest: a recent study revealed students who take classes online have out performed those that enroll in face-to-face instruction. Hit the jump for the video for plenty more on socialnomics. More →
Horrible news comes from AllThingsD’s NetworkEffect blog Friday morning, as rumors of massive layoffs sullied New Year’s Eve for a social networking pioneer. Myspace may soon find itself full of open space following the dismissal of as much as half of its staff, according to the report. Owned by News Corp., Myspace currently employs 1,100 people, most of whom are located in the U.S. No decisions have been made at this point, and the majority of employees have reportedly been given this past week off in an effort to save money. News Corp. is said to be pushing hard for “drastic cost-cutting measures” in light of the site’s tumbling traffic and revenue. In an effort to rekindle interest in the service, Myspace launched a major redesign about six weeks ago that features an increased focus on entertainment. More →
Social networking is huge these days, and there are a lot of choices. Buzz, Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, Loopt, Foursquare; the list goes on and on. While all these companies have a slightly different slant on social networking, they all seem to agree on one thing: mobile devices are the future. So we wanted to know… what is/are your mobile social networking client(s) of choice, what mobile OS do your run said client(s) on, and what would you change about that client/service if you could? Most of us here at BGR use Twitter, Facebook, and Foursquare, how about you? Hit the jump to vote!
This post is part of Samsung’s Mobile Trends content series. The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of Samsung or its partners.
Another day, another scandal involving social media websites. Today the Wall Street Journal is reporting that Facebook — along with MySpace, LiveJournal, Hi5, Xanga, Digg and Twitter — have been sending personal information about their users to advertisers without consent. Depending on how much information users opted to make public on their profile, advertising firms such as Google’s DoubleClick and Yahoo’s Right Media were able to obtain information as innocuous as the user’s ID to their hometown and occupation, all without the expressed consent of the account holder. Not surprisingly given what we’ve learned over the past few weeks, the WSJ said the worst offender is Facebook. Not only did it pass on information about the people that clicked on ads, but it also sent out information about the person whose profile the ad originated from. The WSJ had an assistant professor from the Harvard Business school evaluate code found on Facebook’s site and ultimately concluded that “if you are looking at your profile page and you click on an ad, you are telling that advertiser who you are.” Facebook was contacted about the matter, but claimed “we were recently made aware of one case where if a user takes a specific route on the site, advertisers may see that they clicked on their own profile and then clicked on an ad,” adding that “we fixed this case as soon as we heard about it.” For its role, MySpace said it is “currently implementing a methodology that will obfuscate the ‘FriendID’ in any URL that is passed along to advertisers.” Twitter simply stated that “this is just how the Internet and browsers work” when users click a link, and Digg denied any wrongdoing claiming it only passes on “information about the page that you are visiting, not you as a visitor” and that the initiating user’s ID is concealed. Both Google and Yahoo said they did not actively seek specific information about user IDs.
What do you think, folks? Does this confirm your worst fears about the ethics of the people running your favorite social media site, or is everything being blown way out of proportion? More →
While many tech geeks who fancy Verizon will be spending the majority of this week debating whether or not to pull the trigger on either the DROID or DROID Eris, today Verizon quietly started selling the LG Chocolate Touch, a non-smartphone with mass market appeal. Equipped with a 3″ touchscreen display and 3.2 megapixel camera, the Chocolate Touch also features support for VZ Navigator, V CAST Music/Video, Visual Voicemail and EV-DO Rev. 0 connectivity. Also of note is a convenience key that leads directly to social media sites like Facebook, MySpace and Twitter as well as the inclusion of Dolby Mobile technology, something which is claimed to deliver “audio quality that rivals MP3 players.” Of course with only 1GB of internal memory and no microSD card in the box users will be forced to drop some extra cash if they wish to listen to more than 250 songs, but at $79.99 on contract after a $50 rebate, what do you expect? More →
Life’s a bitch and so is karma, but AT&T is hoping to change that with the Motorola Karma QA1. A goofy looking dumb phone that bears an uncanny resemblance to the Somerset, the Karma is a media-centric device that has home screen access to both Facebook and MySpace as well as support for email, IM, MMS and threaded SMS. In terms of hardware, the quad-band EDGE/dual-band HSDPA Karma packs a sliding QWERTY keypad, 2.5-inch QVGA display, 2 megapixel camera, aGPS, Bluetooth 2.0 with A2DP, 3.5mm headphone jack and 100MB of internal memory with microSDHC support (up to 16GB). The Karma will be available online and in AT&T stores on the 28th of this month for $79.99 on a 2-year deal after a $50 mail-in rebate. Any takers?
We’ve been hearing about Samsung introducing a 12 megapixel camera phone since the beginning of this year and this morning the device that many of you have been praying for has been announced in the M8910 Pixon12. With specs that include a 3.1-inch AMOLED touchscreen display (Samsung claims it has a contrast ratio of 10,000:1), quad-band GSM/EDGE / dual-band HSPA (900/2100MHz), Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth 2.1, FM tuner with RDS and 150MB of internal memory that’s expandable to 16GB via microSD, it appears that the Pixon12 is by no means a one trick pony. It has pretty much all of the features that are expected from a high-end phone these days. Back to that 12 megapixel shooter…
If Samsung’s claims are right, it’s able to take a new pic after a 2 second respite while it saves the large image file and can shoot 720 x 480 videos at up to 30 fps. Other than that, features like Smart Auto and Touch Auto-Focus as well as easy uploading to Facebook, Picasa, Flickr, MySpace, Photobucket and Friendster through Samsung’s Share Pix make up the big selling points for the device. Pricing for the Pixon12 has yet to be announced, but we do know that it will be available in Europe come the end of June before it begins to make its way to other markets in August. Say what, Satio? Yeah, that’s right.
Today Nokia announced three new devices that it hopes will makes serious inroads in emerging markets. While they certainly aren’t much to write home about from a phoneaholic’s perspective, they are definitely interesting in that they place particular emphasis on entertainment and social media. Nokia seemingly feels the time is right to thrust mobile internet and social networking upon the up and coming masses and we’re more than eager to see how it works out. Provided data costs are reasonable, Nokia’s effort could certainly provide a means of low-cost entertainment that is well placed in emerging markets. Hit the jump for more details on the 2720 fold, 2730 classic and 7020.
Not happy to let the T-Mobile Sidekick be the only device to keep its name, T-Mobile has, as you all know, released the update to the Sidekick LX named… the Sidekick LX. Similarities don’t end there, however. We’ve covered the device a little bit but we’ve now got a unit of our own and in addition to some unboxing photos, here are some of our continued first impressions:
The screen is possibly the best screen we’ve seen on a mobile device. RIM really nailed it with the Bold and 8900 but we think the ‘kick take it one level further. Anyone who has used a Sidekick before will obviously be right at home. The main navigation buttons like Jump, Back, Menu, Cancel are all in the same positions and the trackball makes navigating really simple. What about the keyboard? Any real ninja (not you fake ninjas) will know that the Sidekick holds the title for best mobile QWERTY. Ever. It’s not debatable and you will be banned for making a comment that says otherwise. So how is the LX’s keyboard? Fan-friggin-tastic! Really, really awesome. The thinness of the device is much appreciated nowadays but we really wish they’d step it up in the application department. Apple’s App Store approval process makes T-Mobile’s Catalog approval system look uncivilized and down right stupid at best, plus, it’s not like there are any great tools to develop applications with either on the Sidekick. At the end of the day it’s about the OS and we’re not sure Danger’s OS cuts it.
Covet your costly and feature-rich touchscreen phones as you wish but in this day and age, forking over big bucks for a phone just isn’t always the smart way to go. While this may be one of the facts of life, carriers such as Orange are doing their best to deliver feature-rich handsets at low prices. One such device is the newly announced Orange Vegas. Available in both black and pink, the dual-band GPRS touchscreen device features a 2.4-inch display, 1.3 megapixel camera, FM radio, MP3 playback, 128MB of internal memory and support for a microSD card up to 4GB — all packed into a handset that weighs 84g. The price? A totally affordable £48.50 ($71 USD) on pay-as-you-go. The best part? When a Vegas user tops up his or her account with £10, it comes along with 300 free texts, a £10 credit and unlimited access to Bebo, Facebook and MySpace. Something tells us this thing will sell pretty darn well. The only thing we might take issue with is the choice of name — Vegas is anything but cheap and sensible.
Last night T-Mobile held a private launch event for the upcoming Sidekick LX and your pals at BGR just couldn’t stay away. After all, T-Mobile most definitely knows how to throw a party. Amidst a packed house, terrific food and drinks, a handful of arcade games and a great soundtrack, the new Sidekick LX emerged and we got to enjoy some solid face time with the orchid-colored messaging machine. First things first — the display… is… ridiculous. You can stare at “854×480 resolution” on the spec sheet all you want but until you hold it in your hand you really can’t appreciate just how crystal clear and vivid the F-WVGA display on this bad boy is. Once you manage to avert your focus from the screen, you can move on to what is undoubtedly the most solid Sidekick built to date. Danger/Microsoft and Sharp did a fantastic job on the new LX; it’s slim and sleek, the rubberized feel is perfect and the keyboard is big and inviting. But we don’t want to get too deep into it right now — you know a full and thorough review is on its way. So without further ado, click through to enjoy some hands on pics of the unit complete with a first look into the LX’s social networking integration (Twitter, Facebook and MySpace) and a little taste of AIM image transfer.