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Categories: social networks

LinkedIn Boards the Twitter Train

Posted by: Rob Hof on November 09

These days, it seems that everyone wants to be pals with Twitter, the microblogging phenom. On the morning of Oct. 21, Microsoft announced a deal for its Bing search engine…

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 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 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…

Jeff Weiner Moves Up to CEO at LinkedIn

Posted by: Rob Hof on June 24

Six months after joining LinkedIn as interim president in a management shakeup, former Yahoo executive Jeff Weiner has just been appointed chief executive of the business networking firm. His appointment…

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…

IMVU Investment Highlights Continued Strength in Social Networking

Posted by: Cliff Edwards on January 22

Pundits says the downturn soon will cause a massive shakeout in the overcrowded social networking industry as funds dry up and advertising dwindles. That makes it all the more interesting…

More Adults Joining Social Networks, Pew Says

Posted by: Douglas MacMillan on January 14

Some 35% of online adults now have at least one profile on a social networking site, more than quadruple the amount that did in February 2005.

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…

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…

LinkedIn Stockpiles More Cash

Posted by: Aaron Ricadela on October 23

Professional networking site LinkedIn is storing up more cash for the winter. The company, which commands some of the highest ad rates on the Web, announced on Oct. 23 it’s…

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…

Digging Into Slowing Social Networking Numbers

Posted by: Rob Hof on January 31

Social networking sites, at least in the U.S., are seeing a slowdown in both new members and time spent on the sites, according to numbers my colleague Spencer Ante got…

Social Networking Platforms: What a Mess

Posted by: Rob Hof on December 12

OK, maybe it’s a glorious mess—all these platforms that began with Facebook last May eventually will shake out into something really useful. But I can’t imagine that widget developers are…

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,…

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…

Skype and MySpace Link Up

Posted by: Rob Hof on October 16

It’s such a natural that some blogs had predicted in recent weeks it should happen: eBay’s Skype and News Corp.’s MySpace are going to share their DNA, as it…

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…

Flock: Social Network Aggregator?

Posted by: Rob Hof on September 17

I’ve occasionally used Flock, the Web browser you’ve probably never heard of, but hadn’t had a compelling reason to do so regularly. Today at TechCrunch40, Flock CEO Shawn Hardin demonstrated…

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,…

LinkedIn, MySpace’s Friends Issues

Posted by: Olga Kharif on August 28

Users of LinkedIn and MySpace have encountered major problems with these sites recently. If these glitches aren’t fixed soon, users will leave.

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…

MySpace meets iTunes meets Google

Posted by: Steve Hamm on January 26

I had the pleasure this week of being the first reporter to write about a new Web site and search engine that could make online music even more fun than…

Social Networking’s Cable Television Era

Posted by: Rob Hof on November 24

That’s what I’m calling the crush of social-networking upstarts who are either aiming at ever-narrower communities, such as Dogster or the karaoke and photography groups on Multiply, or letting people…

This Old Space

Posted by: Rob Hof on October 05

It looks like MySpace is not just for teens after all. For better (broader audience) or worse (yuck, who are all these sketchy old guys here?), some 68% of people…


Posted by: Rob Hof on August 08

Suddenly, MySpace has a $900 million deal with Google that dwarfs the $580 million News Corp. paid for it. Is there now any doubt that social networks can make money?…

“Reality Television of the Internet”

Posted by: Rob Hof on May 15

That’s what Jon Gibs of Nielsen//NetRatings calls social-networking sites, which the market research firm today says attracted almost half of all Web users—led by MySpace, of course. There are certainly…

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…

“Tom Is Not My Friend”

Posted by: Rob Hof on March 30

Poor Tom Anderson, the cofounder of MySpace. (Well, not really poor, having sold to News Corp. last year for $580 million, but anyway.) It seems the most popular T-shirt…

MySpace: Your New Classifieds Service?

Posted by: Olga Kharif on March 07

Popular social network MySpace is ramping up its classifieds advertising efforts. I think it could prove to be a formidable competitor to current classifieds heavyweights: newspapers and sites like and


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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