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Zynga Slashes Outlook, Shares Tumble (The Wall Street Journal) Zynga rattled Wall Street Thursday by cutting its financial outlook thanks to difficulty winning audiences for the social games company’s new titles, helping send its shares plummeting after hours. Shares of Zynga fell 19 percent to $2.28 in after-hours trading, which would represent a new low. VentureBeat Mark Pincus, the chief executive of the San Francisco social gaming giant, said in a press statement and memo to employees that the company was weak in the “invest and express” category of games, or the Ville genre of games. He said the company expects to report revenue of $300 million to $305 million in the quarter and a net loss of $90 million to $105 million. AllThingsD Pincus, however, doesn’t want his employees freaking out (at least, not more than they already are). The CEO sent out a conciliatory yet upbeat letter to his troops, rallying them not to lose hope. ars technica Most notably, the company took a write-down of $85 million to $95 million on the value of OMGPOP, makers of Draw Something — more than half of what the company paid for it earlier this year. That means Zynga drastically overpaid for the smaller gaming company. TechCrunch If you look at the cash, short-term and long-term investments Zynga has on its balance sheet (which add up to just over $1.6 billion), the market is giving the company an enterprise value of between $100 million to $200 million beyond. Scary times indeed!
Facebook Tops 1 Billion Monthly Active Users (AllFacebook)
Facebook officially reached 1 billion monthly active users Sept. 14 at 12:45 p.m. PT co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg revealed in a post on the social network’s Newsroom, as well as in an interview with NBC’s Matt Lauer, and in a cover story for Bloomberg Businessweek. The Huffington Post Zuckerberg admits that the claim to 1 billion users is based on an estimate, not a true count. “Doing data analytics at this scale is a big challenge, and one of the things you have to do is sample,” Zuckerberg said. “So it’s funny, we were all sitting around watching us get to a billion users but it was actually just a sample of the users. It’s like you’re not going to try to pull a billion rows from a database, so you’ll pull a sample and project out.” CNN Fresh off the news that it’s reached a huge milestone — 1 billion users — Facebook on Thursday rolled out a video comparing the social network to other things that bring people together. Like airplanes. And bridges. And chairs.
Another Milestone for Twitter as @LadyGaga Becomes First User to Reach 30 Million Followers (AllTwitter)
Music megastar Lady Gaga has become the first Twitter user to reach 30 million followers on the network, passing the total late Wednesday. Gaga was also the first Twitter user to reach 10, 15, 20 and 25 million followers, and accumulated her latest million, whom she refers to as her Little Monsters, in 31 days.
YouTube Amateur Users Alienated by Pros Flocking to Video Site (Reuters)
YouTube’s thriving amateur core now feels squeezed out by the site’s sweeping transformation from user-generated clips to more professionally produced content, posing a potential dilemma for Google’s long-term ambitions in online video. The influx of cash, celebrity and structure has left many small “YouTubers” — the bedroom pundits and aspiring guitar heroes who helped make YouTube popular — feeling alienated and shunted aside.
On Twitter, PBS Stands Up to Romney After ‘Big Bird’ Quip (CNET)
Proving a point that Twitter made that the microblogging service gives brands a powerful way to build loyalty and find new customers, PBS Thursday purchased a promoted tweet tied to one of the hottest terms to come out of last night’s presidential debate, “Big Bird.” According to BuzzFeed, the purchase comes as a response by the network to Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s suggestion that he would cut funding to PBS as a way of reducing government spending, despite his personal affinity for Big Bird, one of the main characters on the hit PBS children’s show “Sesame Street.”
Tumblr Has an Official Analytics Tool (SocialTimes)
Tumblr is one step closer to building an advertising business within the cozy blogging community known for single-subject blogs and animated pictures. Union Metrics, the social analytics company behind TweetReach, has secured access to Tumblr’s firehose to create the social network’s first official analytics platform.
Facebook Scans Your Private Messages, Likes Pages for You (The Daily Dot)
A representative for Facebook has confirmed that the site intentionally adds a like to each page you share via private message, but a glitch in the system caused like counts to go up by two (instead of one) for each link shared. Facebook says a fix for the miscounting issue — but not the scanning of messages — is in the works.
Cubes: Inside Newsweek & The Daily Beast (mediabistro TV)
The mediabistroTV crew headed over to Manhattan’s West Side recently to check out the gleaming Frank Gehry-designed IAC building, which is home to Newsweek and The Daily Beast, among dozens of other IAC brands. NewsBeast’s senior columnist and CNN contributor John Avlon takes you into the belly of the Beast, which is home to the magazine, the website, a daily Web series and a lot of free food.
Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg to Pen a Book About Her Life in Leadership (The Next Web)
Could Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg’s next move involve her writing her first book? According to the Hollywood Reporter, it’s already happened and will be published starting next year by Alfred A. Knopf.