Date Archives May 2014

Report: YouTube Buying Twitch for $1 Billion

Based upon their own projections, Twitch can’t maintain this rate of growth. 

Sources with Variety report that YouTube is nearing a deal to buy Twitch, the popular game streaming startup, for $1 billion. The deal is said to be an all-cash offer and will close “imminently,” according to Variety; The Wall Street Journal, however, has followed up with a report claiming that discussions are “early” and that “a deal isn’t imminent.” The move, if it succeeds, would effectively put one of the web’s most highly trafficked sites firmly in Google’s hands.

Presumably, this is why they are entertaining the idea of being bought out.

Facebook Building a New Snapchat Competitor

Yeah, good luck with that.

Facebook is taking Snapchat very seriously after its failed attempt to purchase the video and picture messaging app for $3 billion last year. Mark Zuckerberg is personally supervising an internal effort to build a competing “ephemeral messaging” app, according to a new report from the Financial Times. Details are slim on the video-messaging app, but, like Snapchat, it’d take just a few clicks to share videos and pictures that would disappear after one view. If the rumors are accurate, it’s being called “Slingshot” internally and it could be released as early as this month.

The Evolution of the $150 Cellphone

It’s features like these that remind me how far we’ve come.

Smartphones are an ever more important part of our work, our play, and our lives. They’re getting cheaper, and better — and soon, they’ll be cheap enough that everyone in the world will be able to afford them. One day soon, flip phones will finally die the death they so richly deserve.

Apple and Google End Patent Fights

“Apple and Google have agreed to dismiss all the current lawsuits that exist directly between the two companies,” the companies said in a joint statement. “Apple and Google have also agreed to work together in some areas of patent reform. The agreement does not include a cross license.”

AT&T In Talks To Buy DirecTV for About $50 Billion

That’s a lot of the green.

AT&T Inc is in advanced talks to buy satellite TV provider DirecTV for about $100 per share, or roughly $50 billion, a person familiar with the matter said on Monday.

The two companies are working toward a deal announcement as soon as within the next two weeks and hammering out final terms such as whether to have a break-up fee in place, the person said, asking not to be named because the matter is not public.

Apple Rumoured To Buy Beats Electronics For $3.2B

Well this came out of no where..

Citing sources close to the deal, The Financial Times on Thursday reported that an Apple-Beats tie up could happen as early as next week. The publication cautioned, however, that final details have yet to be hammered out and talks may ultimately dissolve.

Under the supposed deal, Apple would gain control of Beats’ audio hardware division as well as the firm’s subscription-based music streaming service. The Beats management team would report to Apple CEO Tim Cook.

.. unless you count this April Fool’s joke as a scoop.

Twitter Is Not Dying

I couldn’t agree more.

Twitter is not a social network. Not primarily, anyway. It’s better described as a social media platform, with the emphasis on “media platform.” And media platforms should not be judged by the same metrics as social networks.

Social networks connect people with one another. Those connections tend to be reciprocal. Facebook even checks in on you now and then to make sure you’ve actually met the folks who are sending you friend requests. As a social network, its chief function is to help friends, family, and acquaintances keep in touch.

Media platforms, by contrast, connect publishers with their public. Those connections tend not to be reciprocal. One Twitter user may be followed by millions of strangers whom she feels no obligation to follow back, any more than an evening news anchor feels the need to check in with each of her viewers every night at 6.

As someone who spends 70% of his workday on Twitter, I can tell you that lumping Facebook, Instagram and Twitter together as ‘Social Networks’ is shortsighted.

After Facebook Deal, Moves App Changes Privacy Policy

Moves, the fitness-tracking app recently acquired by Facebook, has changed its privacy policy to allow broader sharing of user data, including with Facebook.

As recently as Friday, Moves’s privacy policy said the company did not “disclose an individual user’s data to third parties,” without a user’s consent, unless compelled by law enforcement. The policy said it would stay in place even if Moves were acquired.

On Monday, the policy permitted a wider range of data sharing. “We may share information, including personally identifying information, with our Affiliates (companies that are part of our corporate groups of companies, including but not limited to Facebook) to help provide, understand, and improve our Services,” the policy says.

I call it the ‘Facebook effect.’