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SecondMarket Buyers Itching for Pinterest, Klout and ZocDocSecondMarket had more than $558 million in transactions in 2011, representing a 55 percent year-over-year growth
SecondMarket is a private market dominated by sales of stock by former employees at consumer Web and social media companies
The company reports that buyers are still most interested in getting shares from regular targets like Facebook and Twitter
However, there’s been an increase in demand recently for emerging targets including Pinterest, Practice Fusion, ZocDoc, Klout and Kickstarter
QUESTION: What do f*ture IPO prospects look like for companies like Pinterest and Klout? Will the outcome of Facebook’s IPO have a big impact? Will we see a glut of tech companies looking to go public assuming Facebook shares remain hot after their initial debut?
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Amazon Ponders Taking On NetflixJeff Bezos is rumored to be weighing a move to beef up Amazon’s video-streaming service
Bezos is said to be considering launching a standalone, subscription-based operation
Currently, Amazon’s Instant Video comes free with Amazon Prime and includes movies and television shows
A standalone subscription service would put Amazon in direct competition with Netflix
The new rumor comes nearly one year after Amazon launched Instant Video
In July 2011, Amazon paid CBS around $100M for 2,000 hours of TV shows, as well as signing content deals with Fox, Disney and NBCUniversal
Amazon Prime has an estimated 7-8 million subscribers, compared to Netflix, which has 20 million streaming subscribers
QUESTION: How will Amazon differentiate their service from Netflix’s? Is it all about making the right content deals, or are there opportunities to bundle with other Amazon services and attract subscribers?
SOURCE: New York Post
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Competitors Build a Tool to Add their Content Back Into Google SearchGoogle’s recent move to promote its own social network on its search engine wasn’t popular with its competitors--so they’re fighting back
A weekend coding effort, led by Facebook’s Blake Ross (former co-founder of Firefox), yielded a browser bookmarklet called "don’t be evil" that rewrites Google’s personalized search results to include content from other social networks
Ross said engineers from Twitter and Myspace also helped out with the bookmarklet
The group launched a Web site, focusontheuser.org, that allows anyone to install the bookmarklet in Chrome, Firefox and Safari
After you do a normal Google search with personalized results turned on, you can click on the bookmarklet to get an updated version of the results that includes links to Flickr, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Myspace, Quora, Tumblr, Foursquare, CrunchBase, FriendFeed, Stack Overflow, GitHub and Google+
QUESTION: Search that include social network results isn’t a huge issue today, but it could be down the road. How important is it that Google allows this? Or will this be a good opportunity for search competitors to step in?
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FBI Targets Twitter and Facebook for Future Intel GatheringAccording to official documents, the FBI is looking for a development team to build an app that scrapes and maps out social media data
The resulting data will be used for surveillance, monitoring terrorism and cyber crime, as well as utilizing social media as first response tool during emergencies
The FBI states, word for word, in the report that "social media is rivaling 911 services in crisis response and reporting"
It also reveals that, "intelligence analysis will often use social media to receive the first tip-off that a crisis has occurred, collect details of the crisis on scene through eyewitnesses, detect probably directions and timeframes the crisis is taking and can even serve as evidence for investigation"
In the case of many emergencies, Twitter has already emerged as the best way to glean information through first response reporting
The majority of tweets are already public, but are not currently organized by a third-party service, as the FBI now states they are planning to employ
QUESTION: Should the FBI rely on social media? Is it a violation of our privacy if we’ve already make our tweets and profiles public?
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Twitter is Now Able to Censor TweetsTwitter said Thursday that it has made changes to its network that will allow it to remove tweets in a specific country if required to do so by law
The company assured users that it will try hard to avoid having to do so because "the tweets must flow"
This new feature will allow for more precise geographic control over what gets removed, so that if a particular tweet is ruled to be illegal in Germany, for example, it can be deleted only for users in that country
The company also revealed that it has been deleting tweets for some time, but only in extreme cases involving links to clearly illegal content such as child pornography
Twitter says that, when it does delete a tweet, it will be as obvious and transparent as possible about what has been deleted and why
That transparency could include posting an official response in place of the removed tweet, or by filing the details with Chilling Effects, a global censorship clearinghouse
The company says that it will not accede to just any request for removal, regardless of whether it comes from a government
QUESTION: While Twitter has long been an outspoken proponent of free speech, will this new policy mean the beginning of all manner of conspiracy theories about what tweets it is or isn’t withholding — and on whose behalf it is removing them? Will users be able to trust that vital information--such as what was exchanged during the Arab Spring--isn’t being censored? What happens when someone posts a tweet that disparages Turkey’s prime minister, something that is a crime under Turkish law?
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