For weeks, techies have speculated about Google Me, the company’s secret project to take on social networking king Facebook.
It looked like a product launch home run.
When Flipboard, a hot new social media iPad app, made its public debut on Wednesday it had all the key pieces in place: endorsements from influential tech bloggers like Robert Scoble (who declared Flipboard “revolutionary”), a $10.5 million funding round from big-name investors including some of the co-founders Facebook and Twitter, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and even Ashton Kutcher, and a slot to demo the product at this week’s Fortune Brainstorm Tech conference in Aspen, Colorado.
The social networking website of Mark Zuckerberg (pictured) is now worth $23 billion, close to the value of online shopping website Ebay, based on the price of a recent stock purchase by private equity firm Elevation Partners. Elevation purchased $120 million in Facebook stock from private shareholders, valuing the company at $23 billion, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters on Monday.
The news that Yahoo is spending $75 million to $85 million on an ad blitz has provoked a wave of disparagement in the blogosphere, with many critics slamming Yahoo for throwing more money away on an ineffective marketing strategy.