Source Match Internet News
Facebook on Thursday began rolling out a feature allowing users of its mobile app to use smartphone location to discover friends near them. The optional "nearby friends" feature "helps you discover which friends are nearby or on the go," said product manager Andrea Vaccari in a blog announcement. "If you turn on Nearby Friends, you'll occasionally be notified when friends are nearby, so you can get in touch with them and meet up," Vaccari said. "For example, when you're headed to the movies, Nearby Friends will let you know if friends are nearby so you can see the movie together or meet up afterward."
By Dan Levine SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - A U.S. judge on Thursday rejected a request by patent consortium Rockstar to transfer patent litigation from Google Inc's home turf in California to Texas, according to a court ruling. Rockstar, which counts Apple Inc as an investor, outbid Google and paid $4.5 billion for thousands of former Nortel Network Corp patents as the networking products supplier went bankrupt in 2011. Last year, the consortium sued several handset manufacturers whose phones operate on Google's Android operating system, which fiercely competes with Apple mobile products.
By Gerry Shih and Yimou Lee SAN FRANCISCO/HONG KONG (Reuters) - Weibo Corp executives on Thursday toasted the Chinese social media firm's debut at Nasdaq's New York headquarters. Hours earlier in Beijing, Charles Xue, a Chinese-American venture capitalist and prominent Weibo user, celebrated a different kind of coming-out: his release after eight months in jail. The timing of the two events, though coincidental, highlights the fundamental challenge for Shanghai-based Weibo: progressing from being a microblogging phenomenon in China to becoming an entrenched member of the international social media industry. Now, as Weibo celebrates its warm reception on international financial markets, its conflicts with censors at home raise the question of whether the firm known as the "Twitter of China" may eventually be derailed by government interference.
By monitoring the number of times people look for flu information on Wikipedia, researchers may be better able to estimate the severity of a flu season, according to a new study. Researchers created a new data-analysis system that looks at visits to Wikipedia articles, and found the system was able to estimate flu levels in the United States up to two weeks sooner than the flu data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention were released. The new system examined visits to Wikipedia articles that included terms related to flulike illnesses, whereas Google Flu Trends looks at searches typed into Google. The research team wanted to use a database that is accessible to everyone and create a system that could be more accurate than Google Flu Trends, which has flaws.
By Alexei Oreskovic and Tanya Agrawal SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Shares of Weibo Corp rose as much as 41 percent in their U.S. debut on Thursday, sweeping aside concerns that censorship in China will hurt the growth of the country's Internet sector and broader worries about the outlook for tech-sector stocks. Investors are watching the biggest debut of a Chinese Internet company in years, hoping for clues as to demand for the highly anticipated IPO of far larger e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd . Sina Weibo's early gains came after the owner of a Chinese Twitter-like messaging service priced its shares at the very bottom of a target range of $17 to $19, and cut its offer to 16.8 million American Depositary Shares from 20 million. "People had concerns that there's some competition over there and that engagement on Weibo may be challenged in the future, but I think Weibo is still a social media platform, that people still use it every day," said Henry Guo of JG Capital.
By Gerry Shih SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Twitter Inc took a significant step Thursday towards broaden its advertising business by offering mobile ads urging people to install apps on its social network as well as through MoPub, the mobile-advertising network it acquired last year. As the mobile app economy grows, app developers have been willing to pay increasing amounts to advertise on major sites like Facebook to boost their app downloads. Twitter said Thursday it could reach 1 billion unique mobile devices through its MoPub network, which places ads inside of hundreds of apps. Twitter, which acquired MoPub last year for roughly $350 million, reaches a more limited audience of 240 million users through its own Twitter.com Web site and mobile apps.
By Alexei Oreskovic SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Google Inc's first-quarter revenue fell short of Wall Street targets and margins narrowed as the price of its ads continued to decline, underscoring the challenges Internet companies face as the world shifts toward mobile devices. Shares of Google were down 3 percent to $539.80 in afterhours trading on Wednesday, after initially sliding roughly 6 percent on the news. The number of "paid clicks" by consumers on Google's ads increased by 26 percent in the first quarter, disappointing some analysts who had hoped for stronger volume growth. And the average "cost per click" declined 9 percent, extending a downward trend as mobile advertising, typically cheaper than traditional online ads, make up a bigger slice of its business.
(Reuters) - China's Weibo Corp, a Twitter-like messaging service company, raised a less-than-expected $286 million after it cut the size of its U.S. initial public offering amid a selloff in technology shares and concerns about slowing user growth. The offering comes ahead of the much-anticipated IPO of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, which holds stake in Weibo. Weibo, controlled by Web portal company Sina Corp, sold 16.8 million American depositary shares (ADSs) at $17 each, the company said on Thursday. At the offer price, Weibo is valued at $3.46 billion.
By Alexei Oreskovic SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Google Inc's first-quarter revenue fell short of Wall Street targets and margins narrowed as the price of its ads continued to decline, pushing its shares sharply lower. Shares of Google were down 5.7 percent at $525 in after-hours trading on Wednesday. The number of "paid clicks" by consumers on Google's ads increased by 26 percent in the first quarter, disappointing some analysts that had hoped for stronger volume growth. "It's an average quarter from a great company," said BGC Partners analyst Colin Gillis.
By Ayai Tomisawa TOKYO (Reuters) - Some Japanese Internet companies are getting a boost from foreign investors as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pushes for an elusive strength his country's firms are not known for - high returns. After a slow start, the index is attracting attention after Japan's Government Pension Investment Fund, the world's largest pension fund, adopted the JPX-400 as a benchmark for some of its passive stock investments.
HONG KONG (Reuters) - Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. is expected to file the prospectus for its U.S. initial public offering next week, sources said on Wednesday, moving closer to what could be the biggest-ever listing by a technology firm. Alibaba's documents could be filed as soon as Monday, added the sources, who couldn't be named because the plans aren't yet public. The IPO could be worth more than $16 billion, surpassing the previous record for a technology share sale set by Facebook Inc in 2012, Reuters previously reported. ...
SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Baidu Inc, China's leading internet search provider, has launched a mobile payment and wealth management platform after its main domestic rivals launched similar products. Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, through its mobile payment arm, Alipay, launched Alipay Wallet in January 2013, which included a money-market investment product, Yu'e Bao, marketed as a high-yielding substitute for traditional bank deposits. Tencent followed in August with WeChat Payment, a payment and investment platform linked to its popular WeChat mobile messaging app. ...
Twitter Inc said on Tuesday it bought social data provider Gnip for an undisclosed amount, signaling that it would take on a new role of packaging and selling data, a service in demand by business and government. The social media company said separately that it hired a Google executive to lead its consumer product development, filling a position that had been vacant since January. Investors reacted positively to the news, sending Twitter shares up more than 11 percent, the biggest gain since the day it went public in November. Twitter said in a blog post that the Gnip deal allowed it to burrow more deeply into the 500 million tweets sent daily on its network.
By Jennifer Saba NEW YORK (Reuters) - Reddit, a website with a retro-'90s look and space-alien mascot that tracks everything from online news to celebrity Q&As, is going after more eyeballs, and advertising, by allowing members of its passionate community to post their own news more quickly and easily. Reddit, majority owned by Conde Nast parent Advanced Publications, last month rolled out a new feature that lets users of the nine-year-old site post live updates, allowing them to report in real time. The live updates allow selected users, dubbed "reporters" by Reddit, to instantly stream unlimited posts during the course of an event such as the conflict in the Ukraine, an earthquake in Los Angeles, or a game played in real time, without having to refresh the page. "Reddit members are doing amazing things with very minimal tools and were hitting some barriers," said Erik Martin, general manager.
By Dominique Vidalon PARIS (Reuters) - Carrefour, the world's second-largest retailer, plans to revive its e-commerce operations in Brazil this year after shutting the business down in 2012 as part of a broader group restructuring. Chief Executive Georges Plassat revealed the plan at the annual shareholders meeting on Tuesday. He also told investors that Carrefour wanted to boost its local profile in Brazil, its second-largest market after France and an emerging country it has earmarked for expansion. ...
By Soham Chatterjee and Nivedita Bhattacharjee BANGALORE/MUMBAI (Reuters) - Staff left India's second largest IT services exporter Infosys Ltd at an unprecedented pace in the last quarter, worrying its management and raising investors' concerns about its ability to win lucrative contracts even as it posted a higher-than-expected net profit for the period. Infosys, however, appears to be having a particularly difficult time with staff as it undergoes a restructuring aimed at lifting growth to match rivals including sector leader Tata Consultancy Services Ltd and third-ranked Wipro Ltd. The attrition rate, currently bigger than its two rivals, is the highest ever seen and "more than we are comfortable with", Chief Executive S.D. Shibulal told a briefing after the company posted a 25 percent increase its net profit for the fourth quarter that ended March 31. The company's annualized staff attrition rate stood at 18.7 percent at the end of March, the company said, up from 16.3 percent at the end of the same quarter last year and in line with the rate of staff exits in the previous quarter.
By Orhan Coskun ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Twitter will close some accounts in Turkey but will not for now set up an office there as the government wants, a senior Turkish official said late on Monday after talks over a dispute which saw the government ban the site for two weeks. Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's government blocked Twitter and YouTube in March, drawing international condemnation, after audio recordings, purportedly showing corruption in his inner circle, were leaked on their sites. The Twitter block was lifted 11 days ago after the constitutional court ruled that it breached freedom of expression, a decision Erdogan has since said was wrong and should be overturned. YouTube remains blocked in Turkey.
ANKARA (Reuters) - Social media firms operating in Turkey must open representative offices in the country, Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek said on Tuesday after Ankara held talks with Twitter aimed at resolving a dispute which led to a two-week ban on the site. Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's government blocked Twitter temporarily in March, drawing international condemnation, after audio recordings purportedly showing corruption in his inner circle were leaked on their sites. YouTube remains blocked. ...
By Jim Finkle and Louise Egan BOSTON/OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada's tax-collection agency said on Monday that the private information of about 900 people had been compromised as hackers exploited the "Heartbleed" bug, and security experts warned that more attacks will likely follow. The breach allowed hackers to extract social insurance numbers, which are used for employment and gaining access to government benefits, and possibly some other data, the Canada Revenue Agency said.