Officials from the European Union’s central competition authority, the European Commission, sent detailed questionnaires to rival online messaging companies as part of the EC’s pending investigation of Facebook’s $19 billion deal to acquire WhatsApp, which was initially announced in February.
The Wall Street Journal
Facebook executives continued to respond to the controversy over the recent study by social scientists from the social network, Cornell University, and the University of California-San Francisco, in which the researchers randomly selected 689,003 Facebook users and tinkered with the number of positive or negative stories that appeared in their News Feeds to gauge the results of those users’ moods. But the latest to chime in, Head of Global Policy Management Monika Bickert, was not as apologetic as Data Scientist Adam Kramer, one of the study’s co-authors, or Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg.
Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg weighed in on the controversy over a study by social scientists from the social network, Cornell University, and the University of California-San Francisco, in which the researchers randomly selected 689,003 Facebook users and tinkered with the number of positive or negative stories that appeared in their News Feeds to gauge the results of those users’ moods.
Hoping to avoid dealing with antitrust investigations by several countries in the European Union regarding its $19 billion acquisition of cross-platform messaging application WhatsApp, Facebook requested that the EU’s central antitrust authority, the European Commission, conduct a review of the transaction, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Facebook has launched several initiatives aimed at boosting media companies’ presence on the social network thus far in 2014 — Public Content Solutions, aimed at providing its partners with dedicated technical and business resources to build out media solutions on Facebook and Instagram; FB Newswire, a project with social content discovery outfit Storyful to aggregate publicly shared content on Facebook, by media organizations and individual users, to aid journalists in their reporting; and the four new media-centric application-programming interfaces it announced at its F8 global developer conference in San Francisco last month — but the media industry took a shot across the bow in the form of a long rant posted on the social network by Director of Product Management for Ads and Pages Mike Hudack.
It may be too early to say that Facebook is cleaning up with its premium video ads, but the social network did land the Dove personal care product line from Unilever as a client, marking the first foray into the nascent sector by a consumer-packaged-goods company.
Facebook has become a virtual newsroom of sorts, with a recent study by the Pew Research Center’s Journalism Project finding that three out of 10 U.S. adults get at least some news while on Facebook, and 78 percent of Facebook users see news while navigating the site. Now, the social network is aiming to become an invaluable resource for journalists and media organizations, announcing that it teamed up with social content discovery outfit Storyful to launch FB Newswire.
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.
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.