Entries by Seth Fiegerman

Blast from the past: Here's how TheFacebook pitched advertisers in 2005



"TheFaceBook enables students to search for people at their school, find students who share similar interests or courses, look up friends of friends, network and visualize their social network via photos."

That's how Kevin Colleran, Facebook's first advertising salesperson, explained the new social network in his first ad sales deck from April 2005, which he unearthed and made public this week

Facebook launched at Harvard in February 2004, and rolled out its first advertisements two months later. Mark Zuckerberg, the company's visionary and CEO, didn't care too much about ads early on, so it was left to cofounder Eduardo Saverin to broker a few small ad deals with t-shirt businesses and movers — places that might appeal to young college students Read more...

More about Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, Business, and Marketing

Alibaba revenues surge 54% in first earnings report as a public company



China's ecommerce giant is getting even bigger.

Alibaba's revenue surged by 54% to $2.74 billion in the September quarter thanks in part to strong growth in shoppers, the company announced in its first earnings report since its record-breaking public offering last month. The number of annual active buyers increased to 307 million for the 12 months ending Sept. 30.

"This means that a number of consumers that equals almost the entire population of the United States is shopping annually on our Chinese market places," Joseph Tsai, cofounder and vice chairman of Alibaba, said during the earnings call on Tuesday. He quickly pointed out that this number still represents just half of China's internet population and a quarter of its overall populace. "It highlights significant opportunities we have before us." Read more...

More about Stocks, Alibaba, and Business

No One Could Kill Twitter, Not Even Its Founders

  A few hours after Jack Dorsey learned he had been fired from his position as Twitter CEO, he reluctantly took a seat in the company's conference room and waited for an explanation from his cofounder and frenemy Evan Williams. Williams had clashed repeatedly with Dorsey over how to run the company and eventually worked […]

Instagram Direct Messaging: What's In It for Brands

  Whenever Facebook or Instagram introduce a product these days, there is an assumption that the monetization scheme can't be too far behind. But for Instagram Direct, a new set of private and group messaging features unveiled at a press event Thursday morning, making money off the feature may not be the ultimate goal. A […]

How Coinbase Became the Top-Funded Bitcoin Startup

  Less than two years ago, Brian Armstrong had to struggle just to explain the idea of Bitcoin to investors. On Thursday, his startup announced that it had raised what may be the largest funding round to date in the Bitcoin space. Coinbase, a startup that provides a digital wallet for Bitcoin transactions, revealed that […]

Shopify Raises $100 Million to Tackle Offline Commerce

  Shopify, an ecommerce platform that helps small merchants set up stores online, announced Thursday that it has raised $100 million in a Series C round of funding to expand into the world of offline retail Seven years after launching, Shopify now serves as a platform for 80,000 active online stores, which collectively have processed […]

Netflix Knows You Better Than You Know Yourself

  Some businesses would love to get basic information like your name, age and gender to better understand how to market to you in the futureNetflix could care less Netflix used to place an emphasis on collecting these types of biographical details about its users, but it eventually decided the data wasn't particularly useful. "It […]

YouTube Ad Revenue Expected to Top $5 Billion This Year

  YouTube's business may growing even faster than previously thought The video streaming service is projected to generate $5.6 billion in global ad revenues this year, according to analysis from eMarketer, based on an analysis of data from other researchers, investment banks and company reports. That's up from a projected $3.7 billion in global ad […]

Bitcoin Prices Plunge After China Cracks Down on Currency

  The price of bitcoin surged to $1,000 last month, but it dipped far below that mark just as quickly. Baidu, China's largest search engine, announced this week that it would no longer accept the digital currency as a form of payment, triggering a steep drop in the price of bitcoin. The announcement, which was […]

Twitter Adds First Female Board Member, Marjorie Scardino

  Twitter has appointed its first female board member: Marjorie Scardino. Scardino has a strong media background, having served as CEO of The Economist Group and more recently, as CEO of Pearson, a role she held for nearly 16 years, helping to grow Pearson into a leading publishing and education company. She stepped down from […]

Andy Rubin's Next Big Thing at Google: Robots

  Forget Amazon drones; Google is working on robots that could one day deliver items to customers. The New York Times reports that Google has acquired seven robotics companies in the United States and Japan to help build a "new generation" of robots that would potentially be able to automate the electronics assembly process or […]

Square Acquires Viewfinder to Help Grow Its Engineering Team

  Square has acquired Viewfinder, a photo-sharing and group messaging app, the two companies announced Tuesday. Terms of the deal were not immediately disclosed. Viewfinder launched on iOS earlier this year with the goal of building intimate conversations around photos that might otherwise only exist in one's smartphone camera roll. The app organized photos by […]

Social Media Drove Just 1% of Black Friday Online Sales

  Black Friday online sales hit another record this year, according to the latest data from IBM, but social media played a relatively small role — at least when measured directly IBM found that just about 1% of purchases and traffic on ecommerce websites for Black Friday and the week as a whole were directly […]

Bitcoin Tops $1,000 for the First Time

  The price of bitcoins topped $1,000 Wednesday on Mt. Gox, the second largest exchange by volume, marking the first time its price has hit four digits. Bitcoin first hit $100 in April and quickly doubled that same month. The price has increased fivefold in the seven months since, but it has also experienced significant […]

Apple Awarded Additional $290 Million From Samsung in Patent Trial

  A San Jose jury ruled on Thursday that Samsung owes Apple an additional $290 million in damages for infringing on several of Apple's patents, according to multiple reports. Apple was previously awarded just more than $1 billion in damages from Samsung in a closely watched patent trial last summer, but the judge in that […]

Report: Spotify Is Now a $4 Billion Company

  Spotify may be the latest startup to join the $4 billion valuation club. The music streaming company has reportedly secured $250 million in new financing, valuing it at more than $4 billion, according to The Wall Street Journal. Spotify previously raised $100 million almost exactly a year ago at a $3 billion valuation Spotify […]

You Can Pay for Your Next Uber Ride With PayPal

  Uber now gives customers the option to pay for their rides using PayPal, the two companies announced late Monday. Uber is the first company to integrate PayPal's mobile SDK into its app, which lets users pay for rides via PayPal without having to log in to their PayPal account repeatedly. This partnership is intended […]

Study: Only 55% of Marketers Satisfied With Twitter

  Twitter has succeeded in attracting marketers to the social network, but it still has a lot of work left to appease marketers as it prepares to become a public company. The majority of large marketers (60%) now use Twitter for various business objectives, putting it ahead of competitors like LinkedIn and YouTube and second […]