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Categories: Facebook

Google Search Guru Singhal: We Will Try Outlandish Ideas

Posted by: Rob Hof on October 02

Inside Google’s search quality group, Amit Singhal runs the core ranking team, which is responsible for those algorithms you hear so much about. The team ran some 6,000 experiments last…

Google’s Udi Manber: Search Is About People, Not Just Data

Posted by: Rob Hof on October 01

Udi Manber, Google’s vice-president of technology for core search, joined the company almost four years ago after stints running’s A9 search project and serving as chief scientist at Yahoo….

Can Google Stay On Top of the Web? An Inside Look

Posted by: Rob Hof on October 01

Google’s search engine is often described as a black box thanks to the veil of secrecy the company places over the mathematical formulas that determine what results we see in…

Facebook Climbs Toward Profitability

Posted by: Douglas MacMillan on September 15

Facebook dominates the social networking landscape when it comes to membership and mindshare, but many have speculated that the company’s focus on user growth has strained its ability to ever…

Facebook Takes Aim at Twitter, Buys FriendFeed

Posted by: Rob Hof on August 10

Anybody who was still wondering if Facebook had noticed the rapid rise of Twitter need wonder no more. Today, Facebook announced it’s buying FriendFeed, the news- and information-sharing service founded…

Facebook: Boomers Keep Coming

Posted by: Douglas MacMillan on August 07

Researcher iStrategyLabs just released new numbers on Facebook user demographics, and one figure stands out: the number of members who are 55 and older grew 25% in the last month…

Facebook Flight? No, Graduation Season

Posted by: Douglas MacMillan on July 07

As more baby boomers take to the world’s most popular social network, the average age of Facebook users has risen steadily. But the site’s bread and butter, kids in college…

Facebook To Introduce New, Simpler Privacy Settings

Posted by: Rob Hof on July 01

Facebook today introduced a test of new ways for its members to set and adjust their privacy settings for any piece of content they post on the site. The changes…

Facebook and Users: Peace at Last?

Posted by: Douglas MacMillan on April 23

Weeks after the dust settled in the controversy over Facebook’s terms of service, the episode is getting a neat and happy ending. Or is it? In the first instance of…

Does Facebook’s Business Plan Include Premium Memberships?

Posted by: Douglas MacMillan on April 09

The world’s largest social network sometimes gets flack from bloggers and industry pundits for not having much of a business model. It’s true that for now, Facebook is more focused…

Facebook COO on Gideon Yu’s Departure

Posted by: Douglas MacMillan on April 09

Facebook has yet to provide a clear explanation for why Gideon Yu resigned as Facebook’s chief financial officer on Mar. 31. In a statement issued that day, the company said…

Facebook COO: Never a “Substantive Change” to Terms of Service

Posted by: Douglas MacMillan on April 08

In an interview with BusinessWeek editor-in-chief Stephen Adler, held this week at New York’s 92YTribeca, Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg insisted that updates the company made to its terms…

Facebook Ousts Chief Financial Officer Gideon Yu

Posted by: Spencer Ante on March 31

Very surprising news out today in Silicon Valley. Facebook has let go of its chief financial officer Gideon Yu, reports the Wall Street Journal. Facebook spokesman Larry Yu confirmed to…

Chastened Facebook Tweaks Home Page Design Again

Posted by: Rob Hof on March 24

The past three weeks since Facebook’s site redesign was announced haven’t been kind to the social networking phenom. Many users complained vociferously about the new design, which was intended to…

Will Facebook Replace Twitter?

Posted by: Douglas MacMillan on March 16

Like many reporters and editors here at BusinessWeek, I’m on Twitter. And occasionally, I use it to conduct informal polls about a topic I’m writing on. What I’m writing and…

SXSW: Facebook’s Morin on Twitter

Posted by: Douglas MacMillan on March 16

Earlier this month, Facebook senior platform manager Dave Morin shot an e-mail to TweetDeck founder Iain Dodsworth, asking him if he could build a new version of his program…

SXSW: Facebook Holds a New Carrot for Developers

Posted by: Douglas MacMillan on March 15

Last year, Facebook ticked off a good chunk of its third-party development community by redesigning its home page. Their “apps,” widgets like games and photo tools that users can…

LIVE: Mark Zuckerberg Lays Out Facebook’s Next Moves

Posted by: Rob Hof on March 04

I’m heading to Facebook this morning for a briefing with CEO Mark Zuckerberg and others on the company’s latest product developments. One of them will be the next step for…

Facebook: Not in the Clear

Posted by: Douglas MacMillan on February 27

You can’t please all the people all the time. But has Facebook, in opening a public “comment period” on its new and improved, proposed terms of service, assuaged the groups…

The Complaint Almost Filed Against Facebook

Posted by: Douglas MacMillan on February 18

Even after bloggers and consumer rights groups kicked up a cloud of suspicion around changes Facebook quietly made to its service agreement in weeks prior, the social networking site didn’t…

Drafting a Facebook Bill of Rights

Posted by: Douglas MacMillan on February 18

After a revision to its terms of service contract landed Facebook in hot water with users, CEO Mark Zuckerberg this morning issued a mea culpa and pledged to come up…

Facebook Announces Top Applications

Posted by: Rob Hof on December 09

Facebook has just announced the first five winners of $225,000 each in cash grants from the $10 million fbFund. The list was narrowed down from a list of 25 finalists… One Ring to Rule All Social Networks?

Posted by: Rob Hof on December 01

With what looks to be a fair amount of fanfare, a company virtually unknown in the U.S. is aiming to disrupt the fast-growing social networking business. Tonight, Rio de Janeiro-based…

Will Facebook’s Apps Contest Jumpstart Its New Advertising Strategy?

Posted by: Rob Hof on November 11

Facebook has just launched a new voting application that will allow its members to cast votes on which of 25 selected new applications should win funding from its $10 million…

LIVE: Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg at Web 2.0 Summit

Posted by: Rob Hof on November 06

Mark Zuckerberg, the still impossibly young CEO of social network phenom Facebook, is onstage at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco, interviewed by conference leader John Battelle. Here’s what…

Facebook in a Suit: LinkedIn Launches Applications Platform

Posted by: Rob Hof on October 28

More than a year after Facebook electrified the Web community with a platform for running applications on top of the social network, LinkedIn is announcing its own platform. And…

Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg: Big Opportunity for Brand Advertising Online

Posted by: Rob Hof on October 06

I never would have thought magazines like BusinessWeek and fast-rising social networks like Facebook have much in common. But during an interview with BusinessWeek editor-in-chief Steve Adler today at the…

Brand Marketers Keep Spending Online

Posted by: Catherine Holahan on September 15

With Wall Street in crisis and a recession looming, it follows that marketers would slash budgets—particularly for newer forms of brand promotion such as social network advertising. Not so,…

F8: Facebook Is The Portal 2.0

Posted by: Catherine Holahan on July 23

When Facebook announced plans to make their social network portable, I envisioned some sort of toolbar sitting in the corner of my browser, alerting me to friend updates. The…

Live From Facebook F8: Mark Zuckerberg

Posted by: Rob Hof on July 23

I’ll be doing my best to liveblog from the very crowded, very loud Facebook F8 developers conference in San Francisco. Mark Zuckerberg is due onstage shortly. You can also see…

Big Loss: Matt Cohler Leaves Facebook

Posted by: Spencer Ante on June 19

Published by Creative Capital on June 19, 2008. Today, Facebook announced Matt Cohler was leaving the company to become a general partner at Benchmark Capital. My colleague Rob Hof already…

Another Departure from Facebook

Posted by: Rob Hof on June 19

Another high-profile executive is leaving Facebook: Matt Cohler, a nearly four-year veteran who has been vice president of product management. He’s heading to Benchmark Capital as a general partner starting…

Facebook To Overhaul User Profile Design

Posted by: Rob Hof on May 21

Facebook is about to do a big redesign of the face that its users present to their friends and the public. (Sample of the feed page below.) Right now, the…

Facebook Pulls Out of Google Friend Connect

Posted by: Olga Kharif on May 16

Google’s new Friend Connect initiative is in trouble. On May 15, Facebook effectively pulled out of the Google Friend Connect service, which links social networks and traditional Web sites. That puts Google’s social networking plans in jeopardy.

That Cash Sure Is Burning a Hole in Ballmer’s Pocket

Posted by: Rob Hof on May 07

After deciding not to spend $22 billion or so of its cash to buy Yahoo, now there’s word in Kara Swisher’s Boomtown blog that Microsoft is interested in buying the…

New Facebook Features On the Way: Privacy Controls, Chat

Posted by: Rob Hof on March 18

Tonight or early Wednesday morning, Facebook’s 67 million active members will have new ways to control their privacy on the social network. They’re welcome additions for many people on Facebook…

Facebook and Intel: A Tale of Two Frenzies

Posted by: Rob Hof on January 15

These companies couldn’t be more different: Intel, the big chipmaker whose stock in trade is billions of silicon chips, and Facebook, the online social network whose business is—well, not very…

Scoble, Facebook and Plaxo: Whose Data Is It?

Posted by: Rob Hof on January 03

Uberblogger Robert Scoble’s Facebook account has been suspended for his use of a service from contact-management firm Plaxo that combed through his 5,000 (yes, 5,000) Facebook “friends” for emails and…

How Long Will Advertising Remain More Effective Online Than Off?

Posted by: Rob Hof on December 26

A new study by Simmons, a unit of Experian Research Services, indicates that people who view TV ads online are way more engaged with those ads (and with the content,…

Mark Zuckerberg Breaks Silence to Apologize

Posted by: Rob Hof on December 05

Faced with a firestorm of protest over a part of its month-old ad strategy that raised some members’ privacy hackles, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg finally broke his silence today to…

Will Email Really Be the Next Social Network?

Posted by: Rob Hof on November 14

That’s what Saul Hansell suggests in his blog post about Google and Yahoo leveraging their email systems to create social networks. On the surface, it makes a lot of sense,…

The Facebook Backlash

Posted by: Rob Hof on November 08

Wow, for an announcement that was supposed to explain how Facebook is worth $15 billion, the company’s Social Ads debut the other day sure got a lot of negative reaction—not…

Facebook Declares New Era for Advertising

Posted by: Rob Hof on November 06

As I write, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is announcing its long-awaited ad strategy. One piece is Beacon, a system that will let the social network’s members reveal their purchases, eBay…

Confirmed: MySpace Joining Google’s OpenSocial

Posted by: Rob Hof on November 01

Now, it’s getting interesting: News Corp.’s MySpace is joining Google’s just-announced OpenSocial program. That’s Google’s shot at one-upping Facebook in the race to get outside software developers to create programs…

Google’s OpenSocial: Take That, Facebook!

Posted by: Rob Hof on October 30

Google has just announced its long-expected blast back at Facebook, whose social applications platform has taken off like wildfire since its debut in May. Google tonight outlined plans for a…

Another $500 Million for Facebook? OK, This Is Getting Ridiculous

Posted by: Rob Hof on October 25

And I don’t mean ridiculous for Facebook, which might as well take any money that’s green. But I can’t understand why two hedge funds would invest an additional $500…

Microsoft Nets Piece of Facebook

Posted by: Rob Hof on October 24

OK, the deal’s done: In one of the most anticipated tech deals in recent years, Facebook just forged a deal with Microsoft Corp. that values the privately held social networking…

Take That, Facebook: MySpace to Open Up to Outside Applications

Posted by: Rob Hof on October 17

MySpace CEO and cofounder Chris DeWolfe just announced officially at the Web 2.0 Summit minutes ago that it will indeed open up its platform to outside developers’ widgets, as rumored…

Mark Zuckerberg: Financing “Almost Wrapped Up”

Posted by: Rob Hof on October 17

On the $15 billion question of the moment, that being the valuation Facebook is believed to be seeking in a private funding, Mark Zuckerberg had some brief but interesting answers…

Web Startups: Silicon Valley’s New Components

Posted by: Rob Hof on October 11

I just took a stab at figuring out what’s up with some of these seemingly crazy Web valuations and buyout deals, from $10 billion-plus for Facebook to (and I really…

Facebook to Let Us Be Choosier About Friends

Posted by: Rob Hof on September 30

In the works at Facebook, according to an official posting, is a way to “sort out your friends”—something many people have been asking about for awhile as older folks join…

Just a Few More Questions on Facebook

Posted by: Rob Hof on September 24

… in the wake of stories about Microsoft’s play for a piece of the company. There are probably perfectly good answers, but I don’t have them yet. Feel free to…

Facebook Still Dancing for Dollars

Posted by: Rob Hof on September 24

After failing to pony up enough money to buy Facebook a few months ago, Microsoft is now looking to buy just a piece, according to the Wall Street Journal (subscription…

Yahoo Tries Social Networking… Again

Posted by: Rob Hof on September 16

I just got an invite from Mike Speiser, Yahoo’s VP of community, to join its newest social network, called Mash. Actually, he created a profile for me, illustrating an interesting…

Yet Another Social Networking Invite. Kill Me Now.

Posted by: Rob Hof on September 12

Just got an invite to Yet Another Social Networking Service, called Quechup. I’d heard some buzz about it, so I decided to check it out. Ack, a dating site. Oh,…

Facebook Looking for Even More Funding?

Posted by: Rob Hof on September 11

So says Kara Swisher at, and I wouldn’t be surprised, despite the fact that it’s likely to do $150 million in revenues this year. You raise money when you…

Facebook Moves to Curb Bad Applets

Posted by: Rob Hof on August 28

It’s no secret by now that the frenzy by software and Web service developers to promote their applications on Facebook got a little out of hand. As Mike Arrington at…

Strangers as Friends on Facebook

Posted by: Rob Hof on August 14

What is it about Facebook that people will “friend” complete strangers, even providing their phone numbers? I’m not yet sure, but it’s clear that the service has somehow managed to…

Scoble Takes Over Facebook

Posted by: Rob Hof on August 09

Blogger Dare Obasanjo complains that Robert Scoble has taken over his news feed at Facebook, with half his update listings belonging to the uberblogger and and veep at online video…

Facebook Outage: Wakeup Call

Posted by: Rob Hof on July 31

Facebook, the rapidly growing social networking service, went down this morning, and despite a company statement that it was brought down to fix a bug, I still get this screen…

Facebook for $6 Billion? Wrong Question

Posted by: Rob Hof on July 12

Amid a rumor that Facebook is now worth $6 billion to somebody like Microsoft, I think John Battelle gets it right: Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t need anybody now. Through savvy moves…

Did Facebook Blow It?

Posted by: Rob Hof on February 05

That’s the question GigaOM’s Robert Young is asking. And from a couple of the answers in the post’s comment section, the answer doesn’t sound good for the social-networking service’s chances…

Web 2.0 Ads: Another Sign of a Bubble?

Posted by: Rob Hof on September 05

I wish Om Malik the best with his new tech news gig, and I bet he’ll find (or keep, I should say) a sizable audience. But I think even he…

A Billion for Bebo? Bubble, Bubble, Double Trouble

Posted by: Rob Hof on July 11

Mike Arrington at TechCrunch says the social-networking service Bebo has turned down a $550 million buyout offer—not far off from what News Corp. paid for MySpace. Bebo’s asking price: north…

The Next Social Networks Won’t Look Like MySpace

Posted by: Rob Hof on April 24

So says Marc Pincus, who knows something about social networks from his time at Tribe Networks. Marc wonders if the current online social networks will survive their members, well, growing…

Facebook for Sale; But $2 Billion?

Posted by: Rob Hof on March 28

So says our Steve Rosenbush in a story today. Apparently, the social-networking site turned down an offer for $750 million. Even that’s way more than the $580 million News Corp….


BusinessWeek writers Peter Burrows, Cliff Edwards, Olga Kharif, Aaron Ricadela, Douglas MacMillan, and Spencer Ante dig behind the headlines to analyze what’s really happening throughout the world of technology. One of the first mainstream media tech blogs, Tech Beat covers everything from tech bellwethers like Apple, Google, and Intel and emerging new leaders such as Facebook to new technologies, trends, and controversies.



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