Local social-app maker Foursquare has signed revenue-sharing distribution partnerships to target deals sites to its users' locations, the company will announce tomorrow and The Wall Street Journal is reporting tonight. We'd previously broken the news that Foursquare was in talks to strike such a deal with Groupon. That one is not finalized yet, but other partnerships with LivingSocial, Gilt Groupe, AT&T, Zozi, and BuyWithMe are.
How well does Netflix really know you? How far has Amazon crept under your pores in order to determine with arrant certainty that you would enjoy a little more Danielle Steel and a little less Tony Blair?
A vast-brained MIT professor insists that these brands know you about as well as your subway train driver.
Devavrat Shah, the school's Jamieson Career Development Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, furrows his brow at the relative pointlessness of asking humble, subjective souls to rate books, movies, and even cars on an absolute scale, such as a five-star rating system. … Read more
Among the most notable changes is more information about the Chicago-based social buying start-up's collection and use of mobile location information.
"In short, if you use a Groupon mobile app and you allow sharing through your device, Groupon may collect geo-location information from the device and use it for marketing deals to you (and for other purposes listed in the "How Groupon Uses Personal Information" section of the Updated Privacy Statement)." … Read more
eBay announced today it has agreed to acquire mobile payments provider Zong for $240 million in cash to bolster its PayPal platform and reach.
Zong provides a mobile payments platform that facilitates carrier-direct billing for digital goods and services. Users pay for their purchases by entering their mobile phone number and payment is billed to the customer's wireless service account.
The Menlo Park, Calif.-based company helped develop Facebook Credits and has partnered with many of the social gaming and virtual worlds' biggest companies, including Zynga, IMVU, Walt Disney's Playdom, and IAC's Zwinky.
The company claims a … Read more
A federal judge has denied Apple's request to immediately stop Amazon from using the term "Appstore" to describe its digital downloads storefront.
In an 18-page opinion filed today with the U.S. District Court for Northern California, Judge Phyllis Hamilton denied Apple's request for a preliminary injunction preventing Amazon's use of the term, which Apple claims it has trademark rights to. As expected, Hamilton ruled that Apple had not established the likelihood of confusion between the competing brands, but she also said she did not agree with Amazon's contention that the mark is purely … Read more
Amazon today announced a number of enhancements to its Amazon Cloud Drive and Cloud Player, including an unlimited music storage option and a Cloud Player for iPad.
For a limited time, Amazon customers who purchase a $20 annual Cloud Drive storage plan will receive unlimited storage space for their MP3 and AAC (.m4a) music files. Previously, Amazon Cloud customers automatically started with 5GB of free storage, upgradable to 20GB with the purchase of an Amazon MP3 album. Additional storage space could then be purchased in plans beginning at $20 per 20GB per year.
In comparison, Google Music Beta offers free … Read more
iTunes could put $13 billion in annual revenue into Apple's pocket in 2013, a Global Equities Research analyst predicts in a story published yesterday by the International Business Times.
Including sales in Apple's iBooks store and its App Store, iTunes could grow almost 40 percent over the next three years, said analyst Trip Chowdhry, who cited research showing that more publishers are supporting the ePub format used by iBooks versus Amazon's Kindle format.
Editors' note: This is a guest column. See Itamar Novick's bio below.
The social-networking war between Google and Facebook is officially on with the introduction of Google+ this past week. How ironic that it happened on the same week that Facebook's old nemesis, MySpace, was sold at a fire sale price to an advertising company.
For a social-media fanboy like me, it's all fun to watch. … Read more
Mobile payments start-up Square has acquired a $100 million investment from venture capital giant Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, valuing the company at more than $1 billion.
The company announced the investment on its Twitter feed. "To continue to empower everyone to accept payments anywhere, we've raised $100 million in our Series C Financing, led by @kpcb," the company tweeted. KPCB partner Mary Meeker will also be joining Square's board of directors.
The new round of financing has quadrupled the company's value in just six months when a $27.5 million round of funding led … Read more
Google is trying to have its finger in every pie, and it's this trying to be "all things to all people" that venture capitalist Jean-Louis Gassée derides as the "spray and pray" approach in a column headlined "Google's SOE (Strategy of Everything)."
"We'll shoot arrows in the dark and when the sun rises, we'll paint a target around the one that lands in a good spot," he says, mimicking how a strategist might explain the approach. "We'll declare victory and raise a second round … Read more