Facebook Reveals App Center DetailsFacebook has launched its new App Center and publicly discussed how the store is going to work. This will be one central store for finding both free and paid apps across Web, iOS, Android and the mobile web, along with app suggestions based on ratings and use by your Facebook friends. Some of the debut apps highlighted in Facebook's official announcement are Nike+ GPS, Stitcher Radio, Draw Something, Vevo, Hulu, Soundcloud and Pinterest.
Based on their statements from last month, developers will have the option to charge a one-time fee for apps in addition to the 'in-app purchases' that have become the standard for Facebook games. The company has also promised to only deliver "high-quality apps" to users.
QUESTION: Why has Facebook struggled so mightily in mobile? Predictions for how a standalone Facebook App Store will fare?
Anybeat Enters the DeadpoolSo-called "alternative" social network Anybeat has permanently shut down. Back in early May, Anybeat had announced that it was purchased by a competitor and would be shutting down. The homepage now redirects to a not-yet-released startup called AthElite. The site was pitched initially as a privacy-focused Facebook competitor (then known as Altly), and later pivoted into an "anonymous" social network after the launch of Google+. The site also included a discussion board called MingleWing utilizing Facebook Connect. The company sent the following statement to users: “It is bittersweet for us to announce that Anybeat is getting purchased by another company, that will be repurposing it to address a different type of community, and will not be operating Anybeat as is.”
Altly was initially backed with $1 million in funding from a variety of investors, including Draper Fisher Jurvetson.
But all is not lost! Anybeat CEO Dmitry Shapiro has joined the Google+ team as a group product manager. He was previously CTO of Myspace Music and founder/CEO of Veoh prior to working on Anybeat.
As for AthElite, it will be led by former MLB executive Nadia Silk. Last year the company filed with the SEC saying it planned to raise $600,000.
QUESTION: Thoughts on the concept of an "anonymous" social network in general? Is it a good idea that just wasn't executed properly here, or a turkey? What would you like to see Shapiro bring to the table at Google+?
Nasdaq Plans $40M Facebook Compensation Pay-OutNasdaq proposed Wednesday to earmark $40 million to compensate brokers for the problems the exchange group system's suffered during Facebook's IPO on May 18th. (This would include about $27 million in discounted transaction fees to firms affected by the event, along with cash payouts to brokers with unwanted trading positions.)
A number of Wall Street analysts, as well as Nasdaq competitors, dismissed the plan as a crass attempt to curry favor with big investors by essentially buying them off. As well, many brokers who lost big in the wake of the IPO problems complained that the promised payouts fall well below the $100 million or more that financial firms said they lost because of the technical problems. Others noted that these payouts would do little to assuage the damage done by the Facebook IPO to general investor confidence.
The planned payouts are subject to Securities and Exchange Commission approval. Nasdaq, for its part, defended the move, and also insisted that there was no legal requirement for them to do anything in the wake of the IPO disaster.
Problems with Nasdaq OMX exchange systems handling the May 18 opening of Facebook shares delayed the debut by 30 minutes and left brokers with millions of shares worth of unconfirmed trades. Firms didn't learn the results of their orders until more than two hours after the stock opened, and some were caught by surprise when they were notified by Nasdaq of unexpected positions in the social-networking company's newly listed stock. Nasdaq said it has hired IBM to review its trading systems.
SOURCE: Wall Street Journal
Samwer Facebook Clone StudiVZ Teetering on the BrinkThe German social network StudiVZ is reportedly in danger of shutting down due to rapidly declining traffic. The site - which was once Germany's largest social networking service - attempted a relaunch last year that didn't seem to take, and the traffic issues - along with the loss of nearly a third of the site's staff (who either resigned or quit, depending on who you listen to) - have fueled rumors that the end may be near.
The Facebook knock-off counts the infamous Samwer brothers as early investors. Current owner Holtzbrinck Digital bought the site for €85 million ($107 million) in 2007, and shortly thereafter turned down a buyout offer from Facebook. Facebook retaliated by launching a number of lawsuits against the company for cloning. There are reports that Holtzbrinck Digital may be planning yet another redesign this year in a last-minute attempt to salvage the site.
QUESTIONS: Was this inevitable? Is there going to be room for Facebook clones to operate in niche or national markets much longer, or is Facebook just going to push all of these competitors out barring real innovations and new ideas?
OK Cupid Hiding the HottiesOK Cupid has announced plans to begin showing people results based on their level of attractiveness. So individuals deemed "more attractive" based on the site's click data and algorithms will see other attractive people in their search results. Specifically, the site is using its "Quiver" and "QuickMatch" metrics - in which users are shown photos and segments of profiles and asked to respond quickly with a thumbs up or thumbs down - to determine how "hot" you are.
This is a separate measurement from the compatibility data the site currently uses to select matches, based on answers to questions.
QUESTION: From a practical standpoint, does this make sense, if the ultimate goal is finding two people who will be a good match?
SOURCE: Huffington Post
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