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Snapchat Turned Down More Than $3B from Facebook (USA Today)
Facebook has dangled more than $3 billion in cash to woo Snapchat, the popular photo-messaging app used by younger audiences, amid growing signs of waning interest among teens in the world’s largest social network. The Los Angeles-based company, founded by 23-year-old Evan Spiegel, recently turned down the offer because it’s currently being courted by multiple investors, according to a source familiar with the matter. The Wall Street Journal Chinese Internet giant Tencent Holdings had offered to lead an investment that would value Snapchat at $4 billion. Snapchat has no sales and no business model — but it does have a smartphone app that delivers hundreds of millions of messages, mostly from teenagers and young adults, that disappear in 10 seconds or less. The New York Times The company has in recent months become one of the most sought-after businesses in the tech industry, getting attention from top Silicon Valley companies and venture capital firms, as well as international technology companies. In the past, several start-ups found even greater success by passing up a billion dollars or more, including Facebook and Twitter. CNET “If you look at it solely from a monetary perspective, yes, they’re absolutely foolish,” Altimeter Group principal analyst Brian Solis told CNET of Snapchat’s rumored decision to reject the Facebook bid. “I don’t know who’s going to give them more than that — or that they’re going to generate more than that in terms of revenue.” Forbes The kids who are losing their passion for Facebook are pretty much exactly the same ones who are flocking to Snapchat by the millions. While it has never revealed its user count, my colleague J.J. Colao says it likely has around 26 million users in the U.S., if the results of a recent Pew survey are anything to go by. More impressive, 26 percent of adults between the ages of 18 and 29 say they use it.
Vine for Windows Phone App Launches (AllTwitter)
Vine has officially launched Vine for Windows Phone, making Twitter’s popular six-second video loop app available on iPhone, Android and Windows. Vine for Windows even has unique-to-Windows features.
$1.2M Heist Doesn’t Bode Well for Bitcoins as Secure Currency (SocialTimes)
One of the biggest concerns with bitcoins of late has been the insecurity and raiding of online wallets. According to a list in BitcoinTalks Forum, there have been more than 30 Bitcoin heists of varying levels of severity since 2011.
LinkedIn Kicks Off its Pulse Integration (AllThingsD)
For the world’s largest professional network, content is king. No surprise, then, that LinkedIn has fully integrated social newsreader app Pulse into its mobile and Web properties.
How Facebook Helps Amazon Make Shopping Social (AllFacebook)
Yet another large retailer boosted its Facebook integration just in time for the holiday shopping season, as Amazon announced new social sharing capabilities in an email to its customers. Amazon customers who connect their accounts with their Facebook accounts can now discover when their friends have reviewed items they are browsing, or added those items to their wish lists, among other features.
Facebook and 22 Universities to Give CompSci Students Academic Credit for Open Source Projects (VentureBeat)
Facebook announced Wednesday that it has partnered with MIT, Stanford, University of Waterloo, Carnegie Mellon, University of California, Los Angeles and many other colleges to pair up computer science students with open source projects that need help — for academic credit. There’s no additional cost, a Facebook representative told VentureBeat, and the classes are small: just four to 10 students per school.
Teaming Up with Bravo on Curated Playlists for Shows, Spotify Makes Big Social TV Splash (LostRemote)
Spotify and Bravo have announced a collaboration leading up to the premieres of The Real Housewives of Atlanta, The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, Vanderpump Rules and Thicker Than Water. The partnership will make Bravo Spotify’s first U.S. TV partner to develop custom playlists for specific shows. The partnership is already getting tons of buzz.
Twitter Opens its Advertising Doors to Small Businesses in the U.K., Ireland and Canada (The Next Web)
Twitter Wednesday announced that small- and medium-sized businesses in the U.K., Ireland and Canada will now be able to make use of its self-serve advertising platform. Twitter’s suite of ad products include Promoted Tweets, Promoted Accounts and Promoted Trends.
SoundCloud Turns 5, Creators Now Upload 12 Hours of Audio Every Minute (GigaOM)
SoundCloud celebrated its fifth birthday Wednesday, and the Berlin-based startup marked the occasion by revealing an interesting usage data point: SoundCloud users now upload 12 hours of audio every minute, according to a blog post penned by the company’s CEO Alex Ljung. That’s impressive, but also shows that audio still isn’t as ubiquitous as video on the web.