Twitter Confirms New Investment Round, But Has It Already Peaked?


This post is by Frederic Lardinois from ReadWriteWeb


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




twitter_bird_apr_09.jpgTwitter just announced that the rumors were indeed true and that it has just closed a “significant round of funding” from a group of five investment firms. While Twitter didn’t disclose the actual amount it received today, the Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that Twitter was going to close a $100 million round which would put Twitter’s valuation at around $1 billion. At that time, however, the assumption was that up to seven firms were going to be part of this deal. Chances are that today’s round is slightly smaller than the rumored $100 million.

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Has Twitter Peaked?

At the same time, though, the latest data from Hitwise shows that visits to Twitter’s main domain have slowed down markedly over the last few weeks. This number doesn’t take users into account who access the site from third-party applications, but it does show that a smaller number of users is going to the main site, which indicates a slowdown in new user adoption. Hitwise’s Bill Tancer also found that fewer users are searching for Twitter on search engines. Hitwise’s Clickstream report also shows a drop-off in new users that are coming to Twitter since April.

twitter_marketshare.pngIn April, of course, Oprah famously joined Twitter and the hype cycle around the service was in full swing. It looks like normality might be setting in now and growth is indeed slowing.

The question, of course, is if this is just a temporary slowdown or part of a larger trend. Maybe everybody who was going to join Twitter has already joined and the rest of the potential users are simply happy to use Facebook instead?

For now, we want to congratulate Twitter on closing this round, which will give it a chance to improve its technology and grow its team. At the same time, though, we also hope that Twitter will finally release some details about how it plans to make money in the long run and validate this valuation.

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More Ads Are Coming to Google Maps


This post is by Frederic Lardinois from ReadWriteWeb


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




google_maps_logo_jul09.pngSoon, you may start seeing company logos dotting the landscape on Google Maps. While Google has experimented with different types of ads in Google Maps on and off over the years, it now looks like Google is going to make another push to monetize Google Maps. While the details about this project are still quite hazy, it seems like Google plans to launch this program in at least the US and Australia in the next few weeks.

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A Google spokeswoman told the Sydney Morning Herald today that “one area in which we are looking to experiment is showing some easily recognizable brands and logos on the map to help people more easily find what they are looking for, but this is still in experimental form and we don’t have any further details to share right now."

maps_ads_japan_sep09.pngCurrently, as far as we can tell, the only market where Google already offers these ads is Japan, where logos for companies like 7-Eleven and McDonald’s appear on the maps. Kit Eaton from Fast Company wonders if the new ads will be contextual and generated based on user input. Judging from the ads that appear on the maps in Japan, these logos will appear on the map, no matter what the user is looking for. At least on the maps in Japan, these logos are very small and don’t get in the user’s way – though they definitely add more clutter.

Microsoft’s Bing Maps already offers a slightly more sophisticated advertising package where certain sponsored listings are highlighted with a business’ logo when a user performs a relevant search.

Just yesterday, Google also launched a new layout for the Place Pages on Google Maps that shows details about a business such as opening hours, images, and reviews.

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Google Sends Cease and Desist to CyanogenMod Android Hacker [News]


This post is by Kevin Purdy from Lifehacker


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CyanogenMod, the maker of custom-built ROMs for “rooted” Android phones, has been sent a cease and desist letter by Google, specifically regarding his inclusion of Gmail, Google Maps, and other apps built by Google for its partner phones. The man himself tells the Android and Me blog that his project, with at least 30,000 downloaders, is “probably dead,” but that he’s arguing his case with the big G. There are, of course, other custom ROMs around, but CyanogenMod gave us five reasons to root and a speedier, backed-up phone. Here’s hoping Android maintains the open approach to phone software it promised from the beginning. [Android and Me via Gizmodo]






WSJ: Twitter Will Raise Another $100 Million in VC Funding Today


This post is by Frederic Lardinois from ReadWriteWeb


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




TwitterAccording to the Wall Street Journal, Twitter is about to close a $100 million funding round from as many as seven investors, including T. Rowe Price, Insight Venture Partners, Spark Capital, and Institutional Venture Partners. Even though Twitter has yet to actually make money, these investors are valuing Twitter at about $1 billion. The Wall Street Journal, which is relying on information from an anonymous person “close to the deal,” states that the deal could close today and would be Twitter’s third and largest round of VC funding to date.

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Rumors about this new round started to appear about one week ago, though at the time, the actual amount was rumored to be around $50 million. Around the same time, we already wondered a bit about Twitter’s $1 billion valuation, which seems somewhat disproportionate to Twitter’s current revenue stream. While companies around Twitter are using the ecosystem that Twitter has created to make money, Twitter itself still hasn’t announced how it plans to make money.

twitters_new_money.pngThis kind of valuation is going to give Twitter a long runway before it actually has to make money, but at the same time, it also makes it unlikely that anybody is going to acquire Twitter in the near future.

We will obviously keep an eye on this developing story and will update it once we get more information.

Image used courtesy of Flickr user tao zhyn

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