Posts Tagged Mark Zuckerberg
Facebook‘s stock shot up from $21.08 a share on the first day of trading in November to $28 a share at the end of the day Friday, its highest price since July. Zuckerberg, who owns about 504 million shares of Facebook stock, gained about $3.48 billion as a result!
When Facebook first went public at $38 a share in May, Zuckerberg’s shares were worth $19.1 billion. In the following months, the stock dropped to less than half that IPO price to $17.55 in late August, pushing Zuckerberg’s net worth down to $8.84 billion.
As of Friday, Zuckerberg’s net worth was $14.1 billion and will likely only continue to grow in December.
Facebook has bought Face.com, according to the latest from the company. Well, the Menlo Park based social networking giant certainly seems to be stacking up on its photo management tricks for users, considering the Instagram acquisition that was announced back in April this year.
The Israeli technology company being acquired by the SNS, is well known for its face recognition platform. It already has an iTunes application called Klik that lets users tag their Facebook pals in real-time. On the other side, the social network has been employing Face.com’s intelligence which allows members to tag photos without breaking a sweat, since December 2010.
“We love building products, and like our friends at Facebook, we think that mobile is a critical part of people’s lives as they both create and consume content, and share content with their social graph. By working with Facebook directly, and joining their team, we’ll have more opportunities to build amazing products that will be employed by consumers – that’s all we’ve ever wanted to do,” says the Face.com blog post announcing the acquisition.
Although the SNS has been tweaking its image tagging technology ever since the feature was released, it could obviously do with more fine-tuning. And here’s where we expect its latest conquest to offer more meaning to those who make a hobby out of sharing photos online. The precise terms of the latest agreement between the two involved parties aren’t out in the open as of now.
So what’s going to happen once Facebook acquires Face.com properly? We’re watching.
This past week, Google completed its acquisition of the hardware maker Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion, which could lead to the search giant’s making its own smartphone. But another software titan might be getting into the hardware game as well: Facebook.
Employees of Facebook and several engineers who have been sought out by recruiters there, as well as people briefed on Facebook’s plans, say the company hopes to release its own smartphone by next year. These people spoke only on condition of anonymity for fear of jeopardizing their employment or relationships with Facebook.
The company has already hired more than half a dozen former Apple software and hardware engineers who worked on the iPhone, and one who worked on the iPad, the employees and those briefed on the plans said.
This would be Facebook’s third effort at building a smartphone, said one person briefed on the plans and one who was recruited. In 2010, the blog TechCrunch reported that Facebook was working on a smartphone.
The project crumbled after the company realized the difficulties involved, according to people who had worked on it. The website AllThingsD reported last year that Facebook and HTC had entered a partnership to create a smartphone, code-named “Buffy,” which is still in the works.
Now, the company has been going deeper into the process, by expanding the group working on “Buffy,” and exploring other smartphone projects too, creating a team of seasoned hardware engineers who have built the devices before.
One engineer who formerly worked at Apple and worked on the iPhone said he met with Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive, who then peppered him with questions about the inner workings of smartphones.
It did not sound like idle intellectual curiosity, the engineer said; Zuckerberg asked about intricate details, including the types of chips used, he said. Another former Apple hardware engineer was recruited by a Facebook executive and was told about the company’s hardware explorations.
When asked Friday, Facebook did not deny or confirm that a project to build a smartphone existed, but pointed to a previous statement it gave to AllThingsD last year that said in part, “We’re working across the entire mobile industry; with operators, hardware manufacturers, OS providers, and application developers.”
For Facebook, the motivation is clear; as a newly public company, it must find new sources of revenue, and it fears being left behind in mobile, one of the most promising areas for growth.
“Mark is worried that if he doesn’t create a mobile phone in the near future that Facebook will simply become an app on other mobile platforms,” a Facebook employee said.
Facebook is going to great lengths to keep the phone project a secret, specifically not posting job listings on the company’s job website, but instead going door-to-door to find the right talent for the project.
But can a company that is wired as a social network learn how to build hardware? Mixing the cultures of hardware and software designers is akin to mixing oil and water. With the
rare exception of Apple, other phone makers aren’t very good at this.
The biggest names in consumer electronics have struggled with phone hardware. Hewlett-Packard tried and failed. So did Dell. Sony has never done very well making phones.
“Building isn’t something you can just jump into,” explained Hugo Fiennes, a former Apple hardware manager for the first four iPhones who has since left Apple and is starting a new hardware company, Electric Imp. “You change the smallest thing on a smartphone and you can completely change how all the antennas work. You don’t learn this unless you’ve been doing it for a while.”
He added, “Going into the phone business is incredibly complex.”
Facebook also faces hurdles, often of its own making, on mobile. Twitter, for example, is fully integrated into the Apple iPhone and allows people to seamlessly send Twitter messages with photos or article links. Facebook, which has had a contentious relationship with Apple, is still not integrated into iOS.
One Facebook employee said the phone project had been rebooted several times because Facebook originally thought it could figure out hardware on its own. The company has since learned that it needed to bring in people with previous phone-making experience, several people said.
So it is hiring hardware engineers to work with a phone manufacturer and design the shape, style and inner workings of a Facebook phone. Despite the difficulties, Facebook seems well positioned in certain ways to enter the smartphone market.
It already has an entire operating system complete with messaging, calendar, contacts and video, and an immense app store is on its way with thousands of highly popular apps. There’s also that billion-dollar camera app, in the form of Instagram.
If Facebook fails with its own team of engineers, it could buy a smartphone maker. The company took in $16 billion from its bumpy IPO.
It could easily scoop up an infirm company like Research in Motion, which is valued at less than $6 billion, and drop a beautifully designed Facebook operating system on top of RIM’s phones. HTC is upset with Google for buying Motorola, which is worth about $11.8 billion and becoming cheaper by the day.
Facebook would not necessarily challenge Apple if it enters the smartphone marketplace. Instead, it could be Facebook vs. Google, which makes the Android operating system, with both companies going after a huge number of buyers of lower-priced smartphones.
“When you offer an advertising-based phone, you’re targeting all the users on prepay that are budget-conscious of their communications costs,” said Carolina Milanesi, a vice president and analyst for the Gartner Group.
Milanesi said that at a mass market level, both companies could take the same approach as Amazon, offering low-cost hardware, like the Kindle, and subsidizing some of the costs through advertising.
After all, both Facebook and Google make their money through advertising. If the companies have the opportunity to continually put ads in front of people on a smartphone screen, you would think the only question left would be to pick the right ringtone that makes that ka-ching sound.
LONDON: Facebook may relax a ban on children under the age of 13 joining its site after finding that many kids, some with their parents’ permission and help, were already using it.
“There is reputable evidence that there are kids under 13 who are lying about their age to get on to Facebook,” Sunday Times quoted Simon Milner, Facebook’s head of policy in Britain as saying.
“Some seem to be doing it with their parents’ permission and help,” Milner said.
If the decision to lift the ban is implemented, a flood of new users are likely to sign up to the social network, which floated on the stock market last week for USD 105 billion last week.
The number of people with profiles – currently estimated at 900 million active users – would probably hit the iconic one billion mark, meaning that more than one in seven people in the world would be an active user of the site.
However, Milner said the decision to allow children to create profiles was still at a very early stage.
Milner said he will launch a debate about the minimum age in Britain when he appears next month at Wellington college, Berkshire.
“We have a strict under-13 rule because of legal issues in America,” he said.
“We apply the same rule all over the world. But a lot of parents are happy their kids are on it. We would like to hear from people what the answer might be.”
Supporters of the minimum age believe it helps shield children from cyberbullying and inappropriate contact with adults.
Past surveys in the UK have suggested that one in three British children has been the victim of abuse on the Internet.
The poll, commissioned by charity Beatbullying in 2009, also revealed that girls are up to four times more likely to face online bullying than boys, Daily Mail reported.
Some school bullies have even set up Facebook groups allowing dozens of people to band together to abuse classmates, it said.
Facebook has responded to criticism in the past by adding a number of safety features to the site to attempt to combat online bullying.
NEW YORK: Facebook’s billionaire founder Mark Zuckerberg updated his relationship status on his social networking site to ‘married’ – after he tied the knot with his long time girlfriend 27-year-old Priscilla Chan in a private ceremony at his California home. The surprising move came just a day after Facebook went public through one of the largest initial public offerings and its shares began trading on the Nasdaq. Zuckerberg wrote about the big event in his life on his Facebook timeline, with a status update that read, “Married Priscilla Chan” on May 19. The ceremony took place in Zuckerberg’s backyard at his Palo Alto home in California before fewer than 100 guests on Saturday. An accompanying picture shows a smiling Zuckerberg dressed in a simple dark blue suit, white shirt and wearing a tie. Chan is in an elegant sleeveless laced white wedding gown with a veil falling over her shoulders. A string of bulbs are hung in the background which is Zuckerberg’s backyard. The picture got over 131,000 likes within the first 30 minutes of Zuckerberg posting the status update. The couple met at Harvard and have been together for more than nine years. Chan’s Facebook page also had the updated relationship status with the message “married to Mark Zuckerberg.” The marriage capped an extremely eventful week for the couple. Zuckerberg celebrated his 28th birthday on Monday, May 14. Days later Facebook, which was founded by Zuckerberg in 2004 in his Harvard dorm, became went public through an IPO that pegged the value of the world’s most popular social network site at 104 billion dollars. The same week Chan graduated from the University of California, San Francisco. Chan studied medicine and is now a doctor of pediatrician. On her graduation day, Zuckerberg had written on his Facebook page, “I am so proud of you Dr Chan.”