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Zynga Folds Hand on U.S. Real-Money Gambling (USA Today)
With CEO Don Mattrick fresh at the helm, Zynga is placing bets on the company’s ability to rejuvenate its social games business and to knock out some new hits — and won’t be playing its wild card for pursuing real-money casino games in the United States. But investors may not like the play, as the company’s stock dropped about 15 percent in after-hours trading shortly after it made the announcement during its earnings report on Thursday. Bloomberg “While the company continues to evaluate its real-money gaming products in the U.K. test, Zynga is making a focused choice not to pursue a license for real-money gaming in the U.S.,” the San Francisco-based company said in a statement. The shares had surged 48 percent this year on optimism that Zynga could use Web betting to revive growth amid a slump in gaming on Facebook. VentureBeat The San Francisco company slightly beat Wall Street expectations, but it continues to bleed users. This change is the first big one since Zynga got a new boss. It hired Xbox boss Don Mattrick as its new CEO on July 1, shifting founder Mark Pincus to chairman and chief product officer. Inside Social Games “It’s clear that the market opportunity around us is growing at an incredible clip. It’s also clear that today we are missing out on the platform growth that Apple, Google and Facebook are seeing. In short, we can do better,” said Mattrick. “Getting a business back on track isn’t easy and isn’t quick. We have a lot of hard work in front of us but I believe we can succeed as a team and Zynga can do this.” ars technica Despite all the bad news, at least one analyst believes that Zynga still has a future. “Zynga’s terrible performance isn’t unexpected,” Brian Blau, an analyst at Gartner Research, told ars technica. “They are clearly in a transition, one that will last well into 2014 as they revamp their business and try to salvage what they can. Zynga does have talent, resources, and a real chance, but they first must refocus on their core capabilities, make the transition to mobile, and build out their platform before we start to see improvement in their bottom line. Game companies have resilience, they can regain game players but they first must build that platform and launch new games.”
Google+ Local for iOS Will Be Pulled on Aug. 7 After Being Integrated into Google Maps (The Next Web)
Google+ Local for iOS, Google’s mobile search and discovery app, will cease to exist on Aug. 7, just over one year after it made its appearance on iPads and iPhones. According to an email from the Mountain View company, Google+ Local for iOS will no longer be available as a standalone app on mobile Apple devices. However, the app’s entire functionality will be merged into the Explore feature in Google Maps. Apple Insider The soon-to-be-deprecated Google+ Local was a standalone discovery app that, much like Yelp, allowed users to search for nearby businesses. Existing reviews, ratings and other saved assets will still be available on Google+ and will be transferred upon signing in to the Google Maps app. CNET In other Google news, the tech giant disclosed Thursday how much it paid for the Israel-based company behind the mapping app Waze: a whopping sum of $966 million. This price is in a financial quarterly report that Google filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission Thursday.
SoundCloud Adds Play Controls, History (SocialTimes)
Online audio platform SoundCloud Thursday in a blog post announced it has added new play controls. The new features also include a play history — users can select “previous” to return to music/sounds that were listened to earlier during the same SoundCloud session.
How to Create a Meaningful Tumblr Campaign (Mashable)
Brands are creating pages, photos and animated GIFs for Tumblr that are worth reblogging and that users are happy to share — despite the fact that they bear the mark of the “sponsored post” dollar sign. Here’s what some companies are doing.
How Is Social Media Driving Revenue? [Infographic] (AllTwitter)
Did you know that the likelihood of a consumer making a purchase increases when the user has a social connection with a brand or its products? This infographic from Social Annex takes a closer look at how social media is driving revenue.
4chan and Reddit Team Up to Get an iPad-Wielding Jerk Banned from His Gym (The Daily Dot)
An iPad-wielding Australian man has been banned from his local gym after he covertly captured photos of patrons working out and posted them to Facebook to mock them. The unidentified jerk from Queensland, the second-largest state in Australia, was kicked out after 4chan and Reddit users posted screengrabs of the man’s Facebook activity.
An Interview with Facebook’s Nick Grudin About Making Comic-Con More Social Than Ever Before (LostRemote)
Comic-Con in San Diego felt like a giant IRL social media chat about your favorite TV shows, movies comics and more. Among the many big players that participated this year was Facebook and Instagram (owned by Facebook).
LinkedIn Releases SlideShare Player for Infographics (LinkedIn)
Infographics are the long-legged cousins of the standard graph or chart: the ones you unfortunately didn’t have enough room to invite to your slide show. Thursday, LinkedIn released a new SlideShare player just for them.
The Complete Guide To the New Facebook for Business Page (AllFacebook)
Facebook’s efforts to simplify marketing and advertising on the social network took a giant leap forward with Thursday’s launch of the Facebook for Business page, a single destination for all of the information brands need to tap into Facebook’s vast advertising resources. One of the main goals of the Facebook for Business page is to continue the push the social network started when it announced an overhaul of its ad products in early June: Brands are being encouraged to look at advertising on Facebook by determining what their goals are, rather than by choosing from among its different types of ad products.