Those may have been the drones Facebook was looking for, but they now belong to Google. The Wall Street Journal reported that Google will acquire Titan Aerospace, a near-orbital, solar-powered drone manufacturer that the social network was reportedly in talks to acquire last month, with an eye toward using its Solara 60 unmanned aerial vehicles to help provide Internet access to unserved parts of the world, starting with Africa, as part of the Internet.org initiative.
The Wall Street Journal
King.com broke 300 million month active users on Facebook Wednesday, according to AppData. That puts the newly public company at more than triple the MAUs of Zynga on the same platform. So far, King.com’s debut on the New York Stock Exchange has been rocky: Shares closed trading Wednesday at $19 each, more than 15 percent lower than the offering price.
This week brought news that social gaming company DianDian Interactive, otherwise known as FunPlus, raised $74 million in a series-B round. It’s the largest funding round for a social gaming company in nearly a decade.
Facebook Co-Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg participated in a $40 million funding round in Vicarious, which describes itself as “a secretive artificial-intelligence company,” according to The Wall Street Journal’s Digits blog.
Don’t worry, be happy. And according to a study of more than 100 million anonymous U.S. Facebook users and more than 1 billion of their posts — conducted by Facebook and researchers at the University of California San Diego and Yale University — your happiness might spread to your Facebook friends.
Facebook turned to The Wall Street Journal to fill a position based on further intertwining the social network with news, as Editor of Emerging Media Liz Heron announced — appropriately, in a Facebook post — that she is leaving the Journal to join Facebook.
Facebook Thursday began the rollout of a new, Twitter-like feature called Trending, which it began testing last August, adding a list of topics that have “spiked in popularity” to the right-hand side of users’ News Feeds. The social network said Trending began rolling out Thursday in the U.S., U.K., Canada, India, and Australia, adding that it is also testing a mobile version of the feature.
Last June, when Facebook introduced Video on Instagram, the buzz prior to the press event also focused on the possibility of the social network creating a news reader-type product, based on RSS feeds, to take advantage of the demise of Google Reader, and The Wall Street Journal reported later that month that Facebook was working on a mobile news reader that would enable users with mobile devices to see content from other Facebook users and publishers in a visual format created for their devices, referred to internally as Reader. Now, according to a report by Re/code, the social network will reveal a Flipboard-like news-reading service “in the coming weeks,” known as Paper, rather than Reader.
“Wouldn’t it be fun to build a billion-dollar business in six months?” That question, posed by Facebook Co-Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg to Director of Engineering Andrew Bosworth in May 2012, during a walk around the social network’s campus in Menlo Park, Calif., sparked the company’s overhaul of its advertising infrastructure, and it marked just one of the anecdotes included in a wide-ranging, detailed story for The Wall Street Journal by Evelyn M. Rusli.
An acquisition offer of more than $3 billion is nothing to sneeze at, but photo-messaging application Snapchat sneezed, turning down an all-cash offer from Facebook, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal’s Digits blog.