Social Media Newsfeed: Zynga Folds Hand on U.S. Gambling | Google+ Local

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.

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ZyngaZynga 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.