Google’s Answer To Facebook’s Oculus Rift Is Cheap “Cardboard”

Google Cardboard VR Goggles I was blown away when I recently strapped on the Oculus Rift headset and experienced the potential of virtual reality (VR). Facebook saw that potential and spent roughly $2 billion on the company earlier this year. At last week's Google I/O, the company introduced its answer to Oculus Rift and may have largely undermined Facebook's move to dominate the virtual-reality future of the internet. The image at right is Google's cardboard headset. It uses a smartphone, some open-source software and a few other bits of inexpensive hardware to create a low-cost VR headset. The company introduced [...]


Facebook To EU: Please Review Our WhatsApp Deal

WhatsApp Usually, companies don't want to be subjected to regulatory scrutiny. However this time, it appears, Facebook is actively soliciting antitrust review of its roughly $19 billion WhatsApp acquisition from the European Commission. As explained in a Wall Street Journal article the strategy appears to be an end run around individual country regulatory authorities, seeking to avoid antitrust investigations in multiple nations. Facebook has reportedly indicated that it faces potential antitrust review in the UK, Spain and Cyprus. Interestingly, because there are few revenue implications from th [...]


Facebook Steps Into Fitness Tracking With Moves App Acquisition

Moves_-_Activity_Diary_for_iPhone_and_Android Facebook is set to purchase ProtoGeo Oy, the Helsinki, Finland-based company behind Moves fitness app, announced the start-up in a blog post. The latest app to join the Facebook portfolio, Moves tracks user's daily activity on iPhone and Android phones. According to the company, the Moves app has been downloaded more than 4 million times since launching in January 2013. The acquisition gets Facebook into the booming fitness tracking market and allows it to bypass the need for development of a separate wearable. Research firm Canalys says 16 million smart bands shipped in 2013 and esti [...]


Facebook Buys Virtual Reality “Platform Of Tomorrow” Oculus For $2 Billion In Cash And Stock

Oculus VR Facebook has just acquired "the platform of tomorrow." The company announced this afternoon that it was acquiring Oculus -- the company behind the Oculus Rift virtual reality (VR) gaming headset and platform -- for $2 billion in cash and stock: Facebook today announced that it has reached a definitive agreement to acquire Oculus VR, Inc., the leader in immersive virtual reality technology, for a total of approximately $2 billion. This includes $400 million in cash and 23.1 million shares of Facebook common stock (valued at $1.6 billion based on the average closing price of the 20 trading day [...]


What Does The WhatsApp Deal Mean For Brands?

social-comms-facebook-600x450 Unless you’ve been hiding under the digital equivalent of a rock, or perhaps living in China, it’s almost certain that you’ve heard by now about Facebook buying mobile messaging app WhatsApp for $19 billion. There has been a huge amount of discussion and speculation about why Facebook spent more than it cost to put men on the moon to buy a product built off the back of open source software, but as WhatsApp is an ad-free product, it’s more important to think about what broader lessons the purchase has for brands and marketers. First is the fact that WhatsApp’s founders have alwa [...]


Shrewd Or Desperate: Facebook To Buy WhatsApp For $19B In Cash And Stock

money-cash-600 It's mostly a stock transaction: $12 billion in Facebook shares and $3 billion more to retain WhatsApp employees over four years after closing. (It will cost Facebook only $2 billion if the deal doesn't go through). Beyond this, WhatsApp founder/CEO Jan Koum and his fellow workers will get an additional $4 billion in cash up front. That's roughly how much it was rumored that Facebook (and Google) unsuccessfully offered for Snapchat a few weeks ago. By comparison Facebook bought Instagram for about $1 billion. That seemed like a premium way back in 2012. Now it seems like lunch money by com [...]


Facebook Buys Israeli Mobile Analytics Company Onavo

Onavo Facebook has acquired Israeli startup Onavo. TechCrunch first reported the news, which was confirmed by a company blog post. The acquisition price wasn't announced but speculation puts it between $150 and $200 million. There are essentially two aspects to Onavo: consumer-facing apps that help users manage data and save money and an app-analytics business. The company's consumer-facing apps have been around since 2011. They compress data to make plans go further; they also provide visibility on data usage to mobile subscribers: By compressing your data, Onavo Extend can increase the power o [...]


With Acquisition Facebook Now Speaks “Jibbigo”

Jibbigo As widely reported yesterday, Facebook has acquired Mobile Technologies (MT) and its translation app "Jibbigo." There are a wide range of potential applications of the technology for a global site and platform such as Facebook. They extend to translating real-time communications in Messenger, translating News Feed and even ads. Facebook's long-term vision for MT probably goes well beyond these relatively straightforward translation scenarios. In a sense this is another "Facebook is a mobile company" play. But it's far from mobile only. The technology can be used in PC and "offline" contexts [...]


Facebook Feature Phone App Crosses 100 Million Threshold

Facebook-Home-Logo The Facebook experience for developing markets (e.g., India) is called Facebook for Every Phone. It launched in July 2011 and was the product of the company's acquisition of Snaptu. This morning, the company announced that the smartphone app-like experience for feature phones now has 100 million users around the world. According to data released by Facebook in Q1, the company has more than 750 million mobile users around the world, and mobile now contributes more than 30 percent of ad revenue. Last week, Reuters reported that June mobile traffic was up in the US and UK, 18 percent and 22 pe [...]


Google’s $1 Billion Waze Acquisition To See Antitrust Review

waze-featured It will probably just be a formality; however, Google confirmed this weekend that its proposed acquisition of social mapping platform Waze will undergo US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) antitrust scrutiny. Waze's revenues are minimal; but, the acquisition price is surely what got the FTC's attention. In addition, Waze becomes one fewer potential mapping challenger in the marketplace. According to the Wall Street Journal, the FTC "is expected to focus on whether Waze would have become a head-to-head competitor with Google, whose Google Maps software is the dominant digital mapping and naviga [...]


Instagram Video: What About Vine, Monetization And Porn?

vine-instagram-200px Danny Sullivan captured the stats, the announcement and offered an initial "hands on" impression of the new video-recording feature on Instagram. My initial reaction, having just downloaded the iOS update, is that it works as advertised. It's simple, has several very nice features (image stabilization isn't yet available for Android) and will probably be quickly adopted by millions of people. One immediate question is: how will it impact Vine? Vine has seen significant adoption and is being used extensively by brands and marketers because of its Twitter connection. While Instagram video [...]


Facebook’s Parse Tool Will Strengthen App-Developer Ties

Facebook + Parse In a Facebook "whiteboard" session today at the company's headquarters, it introduced press and analysts to its recently acquired mobile app development platform Parse and its former CEO Ilya Sukhar (who heads the Parse unit of Facebook). Sukhar seems like he could be Mark Zuckerburg's first cousin. For those who've never heard of Parse, it was a two-year-old startup acquired in April by Facebook. It's now part of the suite of tools Facebook offers for developers (Facebook Platform). Parse's mission was/is to take the complexity out of developing native mobile apps for multiple platforms (i [...]


Facebook Likely In Talks To Buy Social Navigation App Waze

Facebook Mobile -iphone iOS devices Will Facebook acquire social traffic and navigation app Waze? TechCrunch ran an article today claiming that three Israeli papers, Calcalist, Ynet and The Marker, have reported that Facebook is in talks to acquire the company in a billion-dollar deal that would help further grow Facebook's mobile efforts. According to the article, a private source confirmed the deal along with a price range of $800 million to $1 billion, although a spokesperson from Facebook and from Waze both said they will not comment on rumors or speculation about the business. Waze uses crowdsourcing technology to let [...]


Facebook Buys Atlas From Microsoft, Seeks More Proof Of ROI For Its Advertisers

facebook-like-featured Facebook confirmed its long-rumored acquisition of Atlas from Microsoft. Rumors of the acquisition first surfaced in December. And yesterday, AdAge reported the acquisition would be announced today. No price was mentioned, but TechCrunch speculated that the figure was considerably less than $100 million. Microsoft acquired Atlas when it bought aQuantive in 2007 for more than $6 billion, which was Microsoft's largest acquisition at the time. Redmond essentially wrote off the full value of the acquisition a year ago. The primary value of Atlas for Facebook is in proving ROI and attri [...]


Are New Terms Driving Instagram Users Away Before Marketers Can Reach Them?

instagram-featured If you go by my Facebook and Twitter feeds, you'd think Instagram is finished -- users are packing their bags (downloading their photos using services like Instaport) and migrating to other services like Snapchat or even the venerable Flickr. This because the Facebook-owned photo-sharing service announced changes in its terms of service due to take effect in January, with some of those changes designed to allow advertisers access to the audience. Is everyone leaving Instagram before marketers get a chance to engage with them? Not likely. Since this latest Facebook-related-change panic (FR [...]


FTC Okays Facebook’s Instagram Purchase; What’s Next?

facebook-instagram-logos Facebook officially owns Instagram. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) voted unanimously to approve the deal after reviewing potential antitrust issues. From the organization's news release: The Federal Trade Commission has closed its nonpublic investigation of Facebook's proposed acquisition of Instagram, Inc., without taking any action. Accordingly, the deal may now proceed as proposed. The two companies announced the deal in early April and reports pegged the value at $1 billion in cash and stock. Facebook has since gone public, its stock price is about half of what it was on open [...]


Facial Recognition Company Face.com Acquired By Facebook

facebook-logo It's been rumored that Facebook was in talks to buy Face.com for $80-100 million.  Today, the deal became official via a Face.com blog post -- however no details on the acquisition cost have surfaced.  The posts stated that they will be officially  joining the Facebook team to continue working on the project. Face.com offers a public API that aides in the tagging users via facial recognition.  In addition to the Face.com technology, they've created  a mobile app Klik that helps tagging friends to Facebook while on -the-go. The acquisition is a complete acquisition so the talent an [...]


Rumor: Facebook To Buy Facial Recognition Company Face.com For Up To $100 Million

While Facebook's stock price continues to drop, the number of acquisitions is steadily increasing.  From Instagram to Karma, Facebook has been busy the last few months, and according to TheNextWeb, rumors have been swirling that another acquisition could be underway. Face.com, a facial recognition tool, is the alleged acquisition target.  Deeming itself "The world’s largest and most accurate face recognition platform," Face.com works seamlessly to tag users' friends on Facebook and has a mobile app entitled KLICK, and a Facebook app, Photo Tagger.   Tech blog, Newsge [...]


Mark Zuckerberg Bypassed Facebook Board, Bankers & Lawyers During Instagram Deal

mark-zuckerberg-featured While Mark Zuckerberg only owns 28% of Facebook, he still maintains 57% of voting rights.  Zuckerberg flexed this power freely during the Facebook-Instagram deal, reaching a deal in just 3 days without consulting outside sources.  The Wall Street Journal reports that Zuckerberg and Kevin Systrom, CEO of Instagram, worked out the deal over three days of negotiating in Zuck's 7 million dollar home in Palo Alto.  Absent from the deal were lawyers, bankers, and the Facebook board. [caption id="attachment_10194" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO - Photo C [...]


Facebook Acquires Instagram For A Reported One Billion Dollars

facebook-logo-square In a public wall post, Mark Zuckerburg announced that Facebook has purchased Instagram and that the Instagram team will be joining Facebook.  This is a unique acquisition for Facebook, as they are not only purchasing a leading application, but the entire user base as well.  TechCrunch reports that the Instagram price tag wasn't cheap either, coming in at "approximately $1 billion in cash and stock." We're excited to announce something very big: Instagram + Facebook bit.ly/Hslpv2 — Instagram (@instagram) April 9, 2012   The big question however is: Will Instagram merge into s [...]


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