Twitter is expanding on its Nielsen deal to develop social TV ratings through an acquisition of Bluefin Labs, a firm specializing in statistics for television networks. The acquisition, says Twitter, will allow the social network to create "innovative new ad products."
Second-screen apps seem to be on the rise these days, but in the case of Twitter, people are more than likely already using it while watching TV. The question is, how much money will this bring Twitter through advertising?
The offer from Twitter, according to The New York Times, was for $525 million. Instagram's CEO, Kevin Systrom, agreed to the buy-out, but changed his mind before selling Instagram to Facebook without allowing Twitter to make a counter offer.
What's interesting is that Systrom had stated while under oath to the California Corporations Department that Instagram had never received another formal offer. None of the parties have commented on the Times article that brought this information to life, but it could mean we might be in the throes of an intense legal battle shortly.
Read More | NY TImes
Skype might still be in a holding pattern from Microsoft's May announcement that it was acquiring the company for $8.5 billion, but that hasn't stopped Skype from picking up a brand-new purchase of its own. The company announced today that it is planning to acquire GroupMe, a group text messaging and conference calling service that's just a year and change into its existence.
The actual cost of the acquisition and other terms of the transaction won't be disclosed, according to Skype's announcement.
"The acquisition of GroupMe complements Skype's leadership in voice and video communications by providing best in class text-based communications and innovative features that enable users to connect, share locations and photos and make plans with their closest tie," reads Skype's statement.
AOL said Sunday night that it will acquire The Huffington Post for $315 million, which will place Arianna Huffington at the helm of all of AOL's media properties as editor in chief.
Boards of both companies have approved the transaction, AOL said in a press release. About $300 million will be paid by AOL in cash.
With the move, Huffington will oversee all of AOL's editorial content, including Engadget, TechCrunch, MapQuest, and other properties.
Although The Huffington Post is private, the site records 25 million unique visitors per month, generating an undisclosed number of pageviews. The site also generates 4 million comments per month, according to AOL. Combined, the AOL properties will deliver 270 million visitors per month around the world, with 117 million in the U.S., AOL claimed.
IAC on Tuesday announced that its popular dating site, Match.com, has acquired smaller rival OkCupid for $50 million.
In a statement, Greg Blatt, chief executive of IAC, said OkCupid was the "best" and "fastest-growing site" in 2010.
"We know that many people who start out on advertising-based sites ultimately develop an appetite for the broader feature set and more committed community, which subscription sites like Match.com and Chemistry.com offer, creating a true complimentary relationship between our various business models," Blatt said.
Following a week of rumors about a Groupon buyout, it seems now that Google could be buying the small company for $2.5 billion, according to internal sources. While neither company will comment on rumors, VatorNews quotes an internal source that confirmed the news to them. This would be a big deal for the small company since it could then use Google's intensive data on maps, locations and userbase, which could allow them to expand past the current select list of cities that they cover. Also, the acquisition makes sense for Google as they've been trying to grow Google Places, and compete with the likes of Facebook.
Read More | VatorNews
Late Friday afternoon, the Drop.io blog posted an announcement saying that they had sold most of their technologies and assets to Facebook. Included in the deal is the fact that the site's creator Sam Lessin will also move on to Facebook. This most likely means that Facebook is looking into easy file sharing for one of its future services. The site allowed users to create an account, and freely store data on the web where they could then share it with other users.
Of more interest to us, however, is the part where the actual Drop.io service will be shutting down on Dec 15, and all data deleted. This means everyone who used the site will need to download their data if they need it. This is a chilly reminder that any cloud-based service can shut down at any point, taking all your data with it. Just earlier this year Yahoo! shut down Geocities and they simply went ahead and deleted decades worth of user data.
As we rely more and more on web services, it's worth keeping in mind that no one cares about our files more than we do.
Read More | Drop.io blog
The social media Internets are all up in arms this afternoon with the news that FriendFeed has been acquired by Facebook. The full details were announced on the FriendFeed blog, and according to the press release, “all FriendFeed employees will join Facebook and FriendFeed’s four founders will hold senior roles on Facebook’s engineering and product teams.”
A lot of the recent Facebook feature additions have been borrowed from, or inspired by, FriendFeed, so the move only makes sense. It brings Facebook directly into the real-time web scene, as they take aim for Twitter.
There is a lot of speculation right now as to what exactly will become of the FriendFeed product, since there is quite a bit of overlap between what FriendFeed does and what Facebook does. Fans of FriendFeed fear that all the features will be rolled into Facebook, while FriendFeed ceases to exist. All we know for now is that “FriendFeed.com will continue to operate normally for the time being. We’re still figuring out our longer-term plans for the product with the Facebook team.” Kind of ominous, I know.
Still, if handled right, Facebook may become the standard for both connecting and real-time sharable status updates. Full press release after the cut.
It has just been announced that Amazon has purchased the vastly popular Internet shoe retailer Zappos for $850 million. The sale, confirmed in a letter sent from Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh to his employees, was for $807 million in Amazon stock, plus $40 million in cash and restricted stock.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has also given some feedback on the acquisition as part of a video that he put out today, embedded above.
You can check out the full press release, after the break.
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