Digital Media

Snapchat rejected $3 billion buyout offer from Facebook

(Reuters) – Mobile messaging start-up Snapchat rejected an acquisition offer from Facebook Inc that would have valued the company at $3 billion or more, according to a Wall Street Journal report on Wednesday.

The active internet/technology adaptation rate is higher in teenagers than adults(see the infographic), Facebook is trying to acquire it’s way through where the teens are.

$3 billion was an investment towards the goal of staying connected with this generation in future, when they are budget holders.

Digital Media

Facebook launches Graph Search

Today we’re announcing a new way to navigate these connections and make them more useful. We’re calling it Graph Search, and it starts today with a limited preview, or beta.

via Facebook Newsroom.

With the help of the tremendous amount of data gathered of it’s users Facebook has been actualizing their social graph over the last couple of years. And it seems that they are finalizing a product that offers a competitive service to Google Search. I doubt the FB Graph will help us to find a Tennis court nearby, but it will help us who, in my network, likes to play tennis and also lives nearby. Screenshot-SearchBar-MyFriendsWho

#####Why would this work?

I am convinced this will be their USP in causing a dent to Google’s dominance in search. This is not the first time Google challenged with a different approach to search, we have seen Microsoft ‘trying’ it with Bing. I find the Search Graph to have a higher chance than that, as FB users are already spending tremendous amount of time on the site engaging with their friends’ or brand content.

#####Better contextual advertising offering?

I think so. Facebook shows us advertising that’s based on out interests, likes, hobbies and social network. And now with the added piece of current intention data gathered by search we will be seeing better targeted adverts on the platform.

Digital Media

Why Facebook needs to build a browser – NOT!

From Cnet‘s article article Why Facebook needs to build a browser.

Facebook could try to counter Chrome with Facebook integration in IE, but it wouldn’t be the game-changing move Facebook needs to put Google on the defensive. The only way Facebook can knock Google off its feet is to build its own browser and use its massive reach to promote it.
Currently there is a similar threat to smartphone camera applications by Instagram, who doesn’t get bundled with the users but the most engaged photographic content is still at Instagram because of the window they provide to the social graph.

Browser stats & extensions has nothing to do with where my 229+ other friends are, as well as 50+ photo albums. So it doesn’t matter what medium users interact with your service as they develop a heritage of usage and create connections with whatever matters to them during that time.


My stories in the FT this week



The FriendFeed 70x Exit


When Facebook acquired FriendFeed in the summer of 2009, it was widely-reported to be a fairly straightforward “acqui-hire” deal. The price was more complicated.

$50 million sounded good on paper, but it was believed that only a small amount was in cash, the rest was in Facebook stock. It was Facebook stock which was just valued at $6.5 billion thanks to the DST investment. Some felt that it was overpriced, and as such, not a great deal for FriendFeed.

Boy were they wrong.

Looking at Facebook’s just-released S-1, Alyson Shontell of Business Insider noticed that in August 2009 (the month of the FriendFeed deal), Facebook issued just over 11 million shares of Class B common stock to ten individuals and one entity — this is most definitely the FriendFeed team, their individuals investors, and probably their lead VC firm, Benchmark Capital.

Today, leading up to their IPO, Facebook is worth just shy of $100 billion. Those FriendFeed shares are now worth around $330 million as a result. In other words, their August 2009 acquisition has shot up just about 7x in value since that time.

Certainly, some of the players have since sold off those shares in subsequent Facebook raises or on the secondary markets and have done well as a result. But those that didn’t have been rewarded very handsomely.

A 10x exit on paper magically turned into a 70x exit. And counting, by the way…

Now I’ll use this opportunity to once again link to the first post I ever wrote for TechCrunch in April 2009, four months before the deal: You Will Be Using FriendFeed In The Future — But It May Be Called Facebook

Digital Media

Why Facebook is Hammering Nails to it’s Own Cuffin One Sponsored Ad at a Time.

There is a new interruption in town. They are called ‘sponsored story ads’, and they work very subtlely in order to take advantage of users’ interest in the content that mattered to them the most.

Avoidable (away from the immediate sight and quite) ads on content that is relevant.
That was what Facebook offered until 2012, everybody on this network knowingly or blindly accepted everything that was wrong about Facebook. Only for one single reason to find an interact with people that’s in our lives, and see what they are up to. This defined a new form of entertainment ‘sharing’ and browsing through what’s shared.

But what’s happening now is that at the top of the content that’s been made relevant to me by my network, I get to see a sponsored message. These advertisements are not presented very similarly to the content they are interested. So its very likely that users will be receiving the sponsored message (initially) considering it being from their social network. I understand the whole promise of ‘if someone likes a brand they would also like to hear from them’ This is why there are fan pages, if I care about a brand I still get to see what they have to promote or I can see their pages for more information. No one needs their news feed ‘estate’ to be sold because they liked a brand. Why would I like a brand if, they get in the way of me interacting with Facebook? (Seeing what my friends are up-to?)

Facebook now as the behemoth representative of what a social network is, now seeing the potential demand available in the advertising industry, and trying to benefit from it. It should have been the advertising industry who is learning to speak ‘Facebook’ not the other way around.


Sponsored Story Ads: is just a term to prettify the fact that “Hey, i am selling your time, and making money of it.” Ads are always paid for (means they are already sponsored), calling them ‘sponsored story’ is just the mere effort of putting a make-up on it.

Digital Media

Spotify Introduces App Finder

Having heard that the Spotify had something else left in their sleeves after marrying Facebook. I was a bit surprised and the views online indicated that they should be preparing web interface, because that’s where they should be going next… Disagree, a browser-only platform would completely be a wrong direction for Spotify as they already have apps installed on the operating systems where the browsers would reside. I congratulate Spotify for not causing redundancy in their ways of offering their service. They instead introduced an App Platform, (No, i don’t think this is an iTunes-killer feature.) which indicates to the interest in cultivating their own development ecosystem, instead of relying on what Facebook already has.

Ensuring a more superfluous user experience within your application/ hardware more and more relies on the users’ separation from their search (information, entertainment) on the Internet (see, Apple with iOS and OS, Amazon with their own Android App market…). This increases their level of immersion to the medium and engaging them with an offer that’s made believe to be stronger.

Spotify already has a strong presence in the space of having a developer eco-system with the help of web based apps. Seems to me that they are taking their engagement with these users a step further with the possibility of direct engagement with their apps.