MediaFile

Why is Facebook worth ten Twitters?

Twitter is reportedly in talks with private investors for another round of investment, one that would value the company at $3 billion. My first thought was: Only $3 billion? In this time of irrational web 2.0 valuations?

After all, Facebook’s reported value is $41 billion, according to Bloomberg. As fast as even Facebook is growing, that figure—up from $30 billion a few weeks ago—is hard to justify, given that the company’s revenue will be between $1.5 billion and $2 billion this year. But even so, at Facebook’s $30 billion valuation, it’s ten times bigger than Twitter. So why would Facebook be worth ten Twitters?

For one thing, Facebook has worked out a solid business model, targeting ads to its members in an effective way. Twitter is at an earlier stage in the process of developing a business plan. It recently hired a new CEO, Dick Costolo, to ramp things up. Since then, it’s announced a few initiatives aimed at exploring new revenue streams.

Twitter has stumbled in its efforts to monetize its popular information network. The company has close to 200 million accounts pumping out a 100 million tweets a day. But it’s had mixed results in making all that traffic pay. New features like sponsored tweets and trends are generating revenue without alienating users. But other endeavors are rubbing software developers the wrong way.

Twitter co-founder Evan Williams acknowledged the company’s sometimes ham-fisted actions with developers at the Web 2.0 conference. Developers of apps that allow people to access Twitter feeds on smartphones were unhappy with Twitter’s move this spring to buy the maker of Tweetie, allowing Twitter to offer its own app. “We’ve learned a lot about having an ecosystem and working with third-party developers and we’ve screwed up a lot of that,” Williams said, even as Twitter announced a couple of new changes that may not sit well with developers.

LinkedIn’s secret anti-Facebook weapon: Keg Stands

BeerKeg LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner has two words that reassure him that his professional social network is not threatened by Facebook: Keg stands.

Weiner took a moment to explain the ever-popular college tradition of imbibing beer directly from the tap of a keg while being suspended upside-down by drinking mates during his talk at the Web 2.0 conference in San Francisco on Wednesday.

“While many of us in college probably were at parties having a good time, doing things like keg stands, or being exposed to keg stands, I don’t know that many of us would look forward to having a prospective employer have access to picture of those events,” Weiner said.

RockMelt’s secret social Web browser makes debut

The Web has evolved drastically during the past two decades. But the Web browser remains much as it has since it was first created.RockMeltScreen

That’s the premise behind RockMelt, a new browser that bills itself as having been built from the ground-up for the realities of today’s Web 2.0 world, in which interacting across social networks is as important as viewing Web pages.

The new browser has been under development in “stealth” mode for two years and has been the subject of much speculation, particularly since one of the company’s main investors is Marc Andreessen, the man credited with creating the first mass-market graphical Web browser.

Yahoo revamps email with social sheen

Social networking services like Facebook have become a key form of communication, but Yahoo believes there’s plenty of room left to improve good old email.

On Tuesday, Yahoo Inc <YHOO.O> began to roll out a new version of its Web-based Yahoo mail product that boasts faster performance, new capabilities, and yes, even more social networking features.

Yahoo had provided a sneak peek at its improved email product at the company’s “Product Runway” event last month. Beginning on Tuesday, you can try out a beta YHOOMailNewtest version of the new Yahoo Mail for yourself.

How much will Google TV cost?

Almost five months after telling the world about its television aspirations, Internet search giant Google is providing more details on its forthcoming Google TV service.

The first devices featuring Google TV, from Sony and Logitech, will be available this month, Google said in a blog post on Monday.

Google also listed a variety of media and technology companies whose content and services will be available on Google TV, including HBO, Netflix, Twitter and music video website Vevo.

Nielsen Says – In: social networking; Out: email

INTERNET-SOCIALMEDIA/PRIVACYAnyone with a Facebook account knows how addictive social networking can be. But a new report by analytics firm Nielsen illustrates just how central social networking has become in the Average Joe’s day-to-day life.

Nearly a quarter of Americans’ online time is now spent on social networks, according to Nielsen. And all that time spent on Facebook, MySpace and Twitter is coming at the expense of traditionally popular Web activities, particularly email.

Email accounted for 8.3 percent of Americans’ online time in June, down from 11.5 percent a year earlier.

Too much of a good thing: Flipboard launch hype overwhelms service

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.

But the company appears to have overlooked one key checklist item: server capacity.

FlipBoardThe hype that Flipboard created for its new product was so great that the company was quickly overwhelmed by the resulting crush of demand. As users downloaded the app and attempted to use the service’s social networking features late on Wednesday, they were greeted with a message telling them the service wasn’t available and asking for patience.

Friday’s Media and Technology Roundup

Fans scramble for Apple’s iPhone upgrade-Reuters

“Apple fans lined up overnight by the hundreds outside stores in the United States, Europe and Japan to snap up the latest iPhone, setting a new benchmark in the fast-growing smartphone market,” writes Franklin Paul, Marie Mawad and Sachi Izumi.

Twitter settles privacy charges with U.S.-Reuters

“Microblogging service Twitter has agreed to a settlement with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission over charges it put its customers privacy at risk by failing to safeguard their personal information,” reports Sinead Carew.

Broadband spurs new businesses and ideas in Kenya-Reuters

“When Kenyan graduate Roy Wachira, 25, set out to start his first business, he turned to the Internet, whose growth in the east African nation is spawning opportunities unthinkable even a year ago,” writes Duncan Miriri.

Does Twitter Need DST Dollars?

Russian investor Yuri Milner has a voracious appetite for Web companies, having plowed hundreds of millions of dollars buying stakes in companies like Facebook and Zynga, and buying instant messaging service ICQ outright.

And he’s not finished.

In an interview with Britain’s Sunday Telegraph, Milner, the CEO of Digital Sky Technologies, said he was eyeing a few dozen Internet companies around the world for new deals.

TECH-SUMMIT/TWITTERWhile Milner declined to name any specific investment targets, he pointedly refused to rule out buying a stake in Twitter, according to the article.

Twitter’s Costolo: not quite footloose and fancy free

You’d think fast-racing Twitter would keep one eye firmly fixed on the rearview and side mirrors.

With the Internet landscape littered with also-rans — from pets.com to AskJeeves.com to a Facebook-steamrolled MySpace — you’d imagine the one thing overnight Internet microblogging phenomenon Twitter would fear the most would be to get displaced by an up-and-comer with the same alarming speed.

Not so. Chief Operating Officer Dick Costolo insists no one at the company he has worked at for less than a year worries about two theoretical guys in a garage dreaming up the next social networking sensation.