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Groupon to Replace CEO Andrew Mason (SocialTimes)
Andrew Mason will no longer be the chief executive of Groupon, the company announced on Thursday. Stock in the daily deals business had fallen more than 20 percent after the company’s fourth-quarter earnings failed to meet analysts’ expectations, according to The Wall Street Journal. The Wall Street Journal Co-founder Eric Lefkofsky will join Ted Leonsis, vice chairman of the company, and serve as co-CEOs on an interim basis. Mason was already in the hot seat late last year when reports emerged that the company explored the possibility of replacing him as CEO, but ultimately decided to keep him on board. It looks like Mason wasn’t satisfying Groupon’s needs, even while on a short leash. The New York Times/Dealbook Here’s an excerpt from a letter Mason sent to company employees on Thursday, which he posted online “since it will leak anyway”: “After four and a half intense and wonderful years as C.E.O. of Groupon, I’ve decided that I’d like to spend more time with my family. Just kidding – I was fired today.” CNN Mason will take home a severance package of $378.36. He was making only $756.72 per year. NPR Mason, well-known for his open and joking personality, later compared his tenure at the company to a charmed session of playing the video game Battletoads. And he asked for suggestions for “a good fat camp to lose my Groupon 40” — a request he later said had met with sufficient responses, via his Twitter feed.
Facebook Officially Announces Acquisition of Atlas Solutions from Microsoft (AllFacebook)
Ending weeks of speculation, Facebook Thursday confirmed its acquisition of the Atlas Solutions ad-serving business from Microsoft. AdAge initially reported the deal earlier this month, and talk heated up again Wednesday, with AdAge reporting — correctly, as it turns out — that the deal would be announced Thursday. CNET Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The companies also didn’t disclose the number of employees the deal affects, but Facebook noted that Atlas’ employees will remain in Seattle. Forbes The way Facebook is describing the potential benefits makes it quite clear that it hopes Atlas, which is used by advertisers and agencies to place ads on websites and measure their impact, will help it prove Facebook ads do in fact work – a point I made in December when rumors started heating up. Facebook has spent much of the past year or so on many initiatives with measurement firms such as Nielsen and comScore and issued dozens of case studies trying to show just that.
The Vatican Deleted All of Pope Benedict XVI’s Tweets (VentureBeat)
In a strange social media move, the Vatican has deleted all of the tweets sent from Pope Benedict XVI’s @Pontifex account to make way for a new pope. Benedict XVI was the first pope to use Twitter to communicate with his flock (though, of course, he’s the only one to hold the pontiff position since Twitter’s founding), and he urged Catholics to use Twitter to spread the “Good News.”
Viddy App Update Lets Users Shoot 30-Second Videos (AppNewser)
Video-sharing app Viddy has totally revamped its iOS app in the latest update, adding new video effects, new music tracks and the ability to create videos up to 30 seconds long. Besides being able to make videos that are twice as long as before, Viddy 2.0 also lets you pause recording so that you can essentially do edits in the camera while you are filming (like Vine).
Taking it to the Home Turf: YouTube Adds AirPlay Competitor to its iOS App (GigaOM)
YouTube just released an update to its iOS app that adds the ability to send videos directly from an iPad or iPhone to Google TV devices. The AirPlay-like feature was first rolled out as part of YouTube’s Android app in November, but YouTube has long said that it wants to bring the technology to additional platforms to allow frictionless sharing of content in the living room.
For B2B Brands, Facebook Delivers Traffic, Twitter Delivers Leads [Study] (AllTwitter)
A new study has revealed that while Facebook is the premier source of social media-originated traffic, Twitter is far and away the leading source of social leads for small and medium-sized business-to-business (B2B) brands. Some 82 percent of social media B2B leads come from Twitter, compared to just 9 percent for Facebook and LinkedIn equally.
‘Harlem Shake’ Protests Spring Up in the Middle East (The Daily Dot)
In America, the Harlem Shake is just a craze to cure office boredom, but in the Middle East, it’s becoming political. An event on Facebook is circulating seeking participants to perform the viral dance in front of ruling party Muslim Brotherhood’s headquarters next Thursday.
Dropbox Users Complain of Spam Emails Reminiscent of Last Year’s Data Leak, Company is Investigating (The Next Web)
A thread on the Dropbox forums is filling up with reports of users getting sent spam email to addresses that have exclusively been used for the service. The uptick in spam has grown beyond just a few users, sparking some comparisons to last year’s data leak.
Don’t U Dis Txtspeak; it’s a ‘Linguistic Miracle,’ Says Professor (AllThingsD)
Columbia linguistics professor John McWhorter thinks texting, with its abbreviations and odd constructions and novel usage, is “a linguistic miracle happening right under our noses.” “A whole new language has developed among our young people doing something as mundane as batting around when they’re using their little devices,” he said in a talk at the TED conference in Long Beach, Calif.