Facebook tests charging users to send certain messages

The loading screen of the Facebook application on a mobile phone is seen in this photo illustration taken in LavignySAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Facebook Inc unveiled a test on Thursday that charges users to send certain types of messages through the social network, the latest example of the company looking for new sources of revenue and profit. Until now, Facebook's messaging system sends the most-relevant messages, including those from users' Facebook friends, into an Inbox and siphons off less-relevant messages, such as potential spam, in an "Other" folder. "Today we're starting a small experiment to test the usefulness of economic signals to determine relevance," Facebook said. …

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REVEALED: The Full Story Of How Facebook IPO Buyers Got Screwed

Mark Zuckerberg black and white

The Facebook IPO in May was a disaster.

Hyped up as the must-buy of the decade, the stock faltered as soon as it opened, and the shares then crashed more than 50% over the next few months.

IPO buyers got demolished. Facebook’s reputation took a dive. Lawsuits and recriminations commenced.

The main problem with the IPO was that investors paid way too much for the stock. 

Most of the responsibility for this decision, unfortunately, lies with the investors themselves. No one made anyone pay $38 a share for Facebook.

But some of the fault lies with Facebook, Facebook’s bankers, and some idiotic IPO information-disclosure rules.

During the IPO roadshow, sophisticated institutional investors got important negative information about Facebook that small investors didn’t get. This made the institutions much less enthusiastic about Facebook than some less-informed small investors turned out to be.

I wrote about the unfairness of this in the wake of the IPO disaster last spring. But now, thanks to an investigation by Massachusetts securities regulators, we have the blow-by-blow details on how small Facebook IPO buyers got screwed.

The Massachusetts “consent decree” tells the behind-the-scenes story of how the negative information about Facebook was shared with some investors and not others. It also shines a light on many aspects of the IPO process that still aren’t well understood:

  • The story reveals, for example, that analyst “estimates” for companies going public aren’t really “estimates” but company guidance.
  • It emphasizes just how big an information advantage sophisticated investors have over small investors.
  • It makes a mockery of the fiction that investing is “a level playing field.”

The investigation also reveals that some IPO rules should be changed immediately. I’ll explain how at the end.

But first, the full story about how Facebook IPO buyers got screwed.

At the beginning of an IPO, company managers meet with research analysts to teach them about the business. Sometimes, the company gives “financial guidance,” the way some public companies do.

Mark Zuckerberg did not attend this meeting, but Facebook’s CFO David Ebersman did.

CFO Ebersman gave the analysts a very specific forecast for Facebook’s performance. This forecast was never shared with small investors.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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Facebook considers letting users pay money to message people they don’t know

Watch out, Facebook (FB): Your reputation for shadiness could soon approach MySpace levels. The Verge reports that Facebook is now testing out a new system in which “people will pay to get in touch with those they aren’t Facebook friends with.” In other words, the creepy guy that keeps trying to “friend” you on Facebook could soon be able to pay an as-yet-undetermined amount of money and get to send messages directly to your inbox. The Verge says that Facebook may be considering this new option as both a monetization tool and as a way to reduce spam by erecting a monetary barrier for people who send out notices about Viagra and Rolex watches through the social networking platform. On
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Facebook considers letting users pay money to message people they don’t know [updated]

Watch out, Facebook (FB): Your reputation for shadiness could soon approach MySpace levels. The Verge reports that Facebook is now testing out a new system in which “people will pay to get in touch with those they aren’t Facebook friends with.” In other words, the creepy guy that keeps trying to “friend” you on Facebook could soon be able to pay an as-yet-undetermined amount of money and get to send messages directly to your inbox. The Verge says that Facebook may be considering this new option as both a monetization tool and as a way to reduce spam by erecting a monetary barrier for people who send out notices about Viagra and Rolex watches through the social networking platform. On
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Doodle Roulette: An In-Stream Facebook Game

A drawing game with sass, Doodle Roulette introduces a new level of interaction to the Facebook gaming world.San Francisco, CA (PRWEB) December 20, 2012 The team that built the Baby Gaga Facebook App has launched Doodle Roulette, a drawing-based Facebook game that can be played through user’s comment stream. Incorporating concepts of Pictionary and roulette, Doodle Roulette challenges players on both sides of the game with a variety of words options and pop culture references. …
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