Social games company Zynga is adept at converting its current players to its new games, just as smoothly as some of the top video game franchises like Call of Duty, according to a new 21-page report by the game tracking service and social network Raptr.
President Barack Obama made a return visit to the country’s high-tech cradle on Monday for a town hall event hosted by LinkedIn Chief Executive Jeff Weiner.
Facebook unveiled new features that center on the way users listen to music and watch TV, offering tie-ups with the likes of Spotify and Hulu, as it attempts to make media an integral part of its service. The features, which also include ways for users to spiff up profiles in a magazine, photo-heavy style, were introduced on Thursday during Facebook’s annual f8 developers’ conference in San Francisco by Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg.
Google has opened up its Google+ social network to anyone who’d like to give it a whirl, after a successful three-month run as an invite-only service. The company also rolled out a slew of new features for Google+, including integration of its flagship search engine into the platform, and expanded its Hangouts video-chatting feature to enable mobile use on its own Android-based smartphones. Support for Hangouts on Apple’s iOS mobile software is “coming soon”, Google promised in a blog post. Users will soon have the option to broadcast their Hangouts sessions beyond the nine allowed participants as well by opening them up to live viewing by anyone. Want to record a chat for posterity? Well, that’s coming soon too.
For years, connecting with people on Facebook has been a consensual act.
Gina Bianchini — the bubbly, well-connected former CEO of social network Ning — is back in the social media game after a 18 months as entrepreneur-in-residence at venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz.
Her new venture is called Mightybell and essentially is a back to basics type of social media start-up which aims to help users create step-by-step, day-to-day actions which friends and others could follow.
For example, if you’re exploring a new hobby you could follow an expert or enthusiast and read their blogs, status messages, see their photos and watch videos on how they achieved a particular goal.
“Mightybell seeks to offer creators, instigators, bloggers, organizers, operatives, entertainers, artists, teachers, guides, and everyone’s alpha friend a simple way to take new social technologies and turn them into better, more compelling experiences for people in the real world. It’s the obvious next step in social media,” said Bianchini in a statement.
Mightybell launches in beta form as an iPhone and Web-based application.
The start-up, of just 9 people so far, raised $2.1 million in seed funding led by Floodgate and First Round Capital as well as “a handful” of angel investors.
Facebook’s first-half revenue roughly doubled to $1.6 billion, underscoring the world’s largest social network’s appeal to advertisers, a source with knowledge of its financials told Reuters. Net income in the first half of 2011 came to almost $500 million, said the source, who wished to remain anonymous because privately-held Facebook does not disclose its results. Facebook’s stronger results come as investors have pushed its valuation to roughly $80 billion in private markets, with many industry observers expecting the world’s No. 1 Internet social network to go public in 2012.
Zynga is famous for making games about farm chores but now that it is on the brink of its IPO, it is trying something different. In the most complex game Zynga has released so far on Facebook, players in Adventure World need to unlock clues and puzzles to find the last city of gold, El Dorado. Reuters spoke with Nabeel Hyatt, the general manager of Zynga Boston about why this is a new direction for Zynga, which is not known for World of Warcraft-type quests. Zynga bought his company, Conduit Labs, last summer and now he leads the team that made the game hitting Facebook in a few weeks.