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Jan 28, 2015

Facebook to sell real-time Super Bowl ads, taking on Twitter

By Jennifer Saba and Alexei Oreskovic

(Reuters) – This Super Bowl Facebook is taking a page from Twitter’s playbook, for the first time during a football championship selling ads that target people based on what they are talking about in real time.

These include video ads that will play automatically on Facebook’s newsfeed, triggered by key words that members mention in their posts as they watch the American football game on Feb. 1.

Jan 27, 2015

Yahoo sets Alibaba stake spinoff plan, shares jump

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Yahoo Inc (YHOO.O: Quote, Profile, Research) plans to spin off its 15 percent stake in China’s Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (BABA.N: Quote, Profile, Research), responding to pressure to hand over to shareholders its prized e-commerce investment valued at roughly $40 billion.

Shares of Yahoo were up roughly 7 percent at $51.45 in after-hours trading on Tuesday, following the tax-free spin off announcement and earnings which just beat analysts forecasts even as its revenues slightly lagged estimates.

Jan 27, 2015

Snapchat adds news, entertainment content to messaging service

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Snapchat has partnered with CNN, ESPN and nine other media companies to feature videos and articles on its mobile messaging service, a move that heightens the competition with social networks such as Facebook Inc and Twitter Inc.

Snapchat’s new Discover service features individual “channels” for its various media partners that include five to 10 stories a day, according to Snapchat, which announced the move on its official blog on Tuesday.

Jan 27, 2015

WikiLeaks blasts Google for quietly handing emails to government

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – WikiLeaks criticized Google Inc on Monday, alleging that the company waited 2-1/2 years to notify members of the anti-secrecy group that it had turned over their private emails and other information to the U.S. government.

In a letter to Google, lawyers representing WikiLeaks said they were “astonished and disturbed” by Google’s actions relating to search warrants it received from federal law enforcement officials and asked for a full accounting of the information Google gave the government.

Jan 20, 2015

Facebook clamps down on fake news stories

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Facebook Inc said on Tuesday it has taken steps to clamp down on “hoaxes” and fake news stories that can spread like wildfire on its 1.35-billion member online social network.

The company said it had introduced an option to allow Facebook users to flag a story as “purposefully fake or deceitful news” to reduce the distribution of news stories reported as hoaxes.

Jan 20, 2015

Facebook report says it adds more than $200 billion to global economy

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – With 1.35 billion users of its Internet social network, Facebook Inc would rank as the world’s second-most populous nation if it were a country.

While its users may populate only a virtual country, Facebook says it generates a lot of real economic activity – $227 billion worth of economic impact and 4.5 million jobs in 2014, according to a new study by consulting firm Deloitte & Touche [DLTE.UL] that Facebook commissioned.

Jan 18, 2015

Exclusive: Facebook hiring spree hints at ambitions in virtual reality and beyond

SAN FRANCISCO/SEATTLE (Reuters) – Virtual reality goggles, drones and data centers are all driving a hiring spree at Facebook Inc (FB.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) that is set to swell its ranks as much as 14 percent in the near term, according to a review of job listings on the company’s website.

The Internet social networking company aims to add nearly 1,200 new employees, the outgrowth of aggressive investments that executives have said will define the coming year.

Jan 5, 2015

Facebook acquires voice recognition firm

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Facebook Inc (FB.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) acquired a company that makes voice recognition technology for wearable devices and Internet- connected appliances, the latest sign of its ambition to extend its reach beyond computers and smartphones.

Facebook said it acquired wit.ai on Monday, without providing a price for the deal. The 18-month old company, based in Palo Alto, California, makes software that can understand spoken words as well as written text phrased in “natural language.”

Dec 19, 2014

Google aiming to go straight into car with next Android – sources

SAN FRANCISCO/DETROIT (Reuters) – Google Inc is laying the groundwork for a version of Android that would be built directly into cars, sources said, allowing drivers to enjoy all the benefits of the Internet without even plugging in their smartphones.

The move is a major step up from Google’s current Android Auto software, which comes with the latest version of its smartphone operating system and requires a phone to be plugged into a compatible car with a built-in screen to access streaming music, maps and other apps.

Dec 18, 2014

Exclusive: Google aiming to go straight into car with next Android – sources

SAN FRANCISCO/DETROIT (Reuters) – Google Inc (GOOGL.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) is laying the groundwork for a version of Android that would be built directly into cars, sources said, allowing drivers to enjoy all the benefits of the Internet without even plugging in their smartphones.

The move is a major step up from Google’s current Android Auto software, which comes with the latest version of its smartphone operating system and requires a phone to be plugged into a compatible car with a built-in screen to access streaming music, maps and other apps. The first such vehicles will debut in 2015.

    • About Alexei

      "I write about Internet companies including Google, Yahoo and Facebook. I’ve covered technology and business for more than ten years at publications including TheStreet.com, CNET and The Industry Standard magazine."
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