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In Facebook Deal, Board Was All But Out of Picture (The Wall Street Journal)
On the morning of Sunday, April 8, Facebook Inc.’s youthful chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, alerted his board of directors that he intended to buy Instagram, the hot photo-sharing service. It was the first the board heard of what, later that day, would become Facebook’s largest acquisition ever, according to several people familiar with the matter. AllFacebook Zuckerberg negotiated with his Instagram counterpart down from an original $2 billion offer, asking Systrom whether he thought Facebook could one day be worth more than $200 billion, roughly the size of Google. Systrom agreed to the one percent or roughly $1 billion in stock. SocialTimes Normally a deal like this takes several days, if not weeks, to complete, and usually involves more lawyers and bankers than were present during the negotiations. Gizmodo It was a bold strategy, and one that smacks of the kind of approach a small start-up might take. It’s not, however, the way most people might expect a multi-million dollar public organization to conduct business. TechCrunch This just in: According to multiple sources close to the company, Facebook is eying an IPO on May 17th — depending on whether the SEC agrees that all the reams of paperwork (including those concerning its recent acquisition of Instagram) are in order. PRNewser The Ad Age Digital Conference continued Wednesday with a presentation from David Fischer, Facebook’s VP of business and marketing partnerships, whose presentation could be boiled down to this: “Your brand needs an always-on strategy.”

Spotify Announces Global Partnership with Coca-Cola (SocialTimes)
Emmanuel Seuge, head of global sports and entertainment marketing at Coca-Cola, explained that the deal was more of a strategic partnership than an advertising package. “The way we engage consumers needs to go beyond our logo,” he said. PCMag As part of the partnership, the beverage giant will launch an app on Spotify and integrate the streaming music service on its Facebook page. The New York Times / Media Decoder When stripped of marketing-speak, the bottom line appears to be that Spotify users can expect to encounter a lot of Coke branding soon, and Coke customers all over the world may soon be encountering Spotify branding — and maybe Spotify itself. Los Angeles Times Coca-Cola has been one of Spotify’s largest advertisers, and Wednesday’s announcement does not call for any changes in that arrangement.

Tim Berners-Lee: Demand Your Data From Google and Facebook (The Guardian)
Berners-Lee, the British-born MIT professor who invented the Web three decades ago, says that while there has been an explosion of public data made available in recent years, individuals have not yet understood the value to them of the personal data held about them by different Web companies.

Square’s Next Round Could Swipe a $4 Billion Valuation (AllThingsD)
Square is seeking to raise a fresh round of capital at a massive valuation of up to $4 billion, according to multiple sources familiar with the situation. If the company is successful, it will have quadrupled its worth since raising $100 million at a $1 billion valuation only 10 months ago. Cnet In November, Virgin Group founder Richard Branson gave Square even more cash, though the company did not disclose how much it received nor what its valuation was at the time. VentureBeat Square started out by offering a credit card reader that plugs into your phone’s headphone jack, letting individuals and small businesses accept card payments on the fly. More recently, the company launched a virtual wallet (“Pay with Square”) and register app for the iPad.