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Social Networking

December 29, 2003 | Joseph Menn, Times Staff Writer
If there's one place where knowing the right people is as important as it is in Hollywood, that place is Silicon Valley. There, schmoozing with a chief executive can lead to more than a job; it can land you an introduction to a venture capitalist who will make you a CEO in your own right. So it was only a matter of time before some elbow-rubbing entrepreneur started thinking about how to put social networking on the Internet and sell it. That, plus founder Jonathan Abrams' desire to meet more women, is pretty much how the now-ubiquitous Friendster Inc. began its public life in March.
December 16, 2010 | By Jessica Guynn, Los Angeles Times
Who knew 140 characters could be worth so much? Twitter Inc., the social networking sensation, raised $200 million from investors Wednesday. That placed the value of the San Francisco Internet company at $3.7 billion, nearly four times its valuation a year ago. Gartner Inc. analyst Ray Valdes said the valuation reflects rising investor interest in hot Internet companies. "The valuation is not outlandish," Valdes said. "It reflects their growth and the time we are in. " Twitter, one of the Web's most popular social networks and increasingly a pop culture phenomenon, lets users send 140-character messages, or tweets, to followers.
November 7, 2007 | Jessica Guynn, Times Staff Writer
Facebook Inc. wants to turn the members of its popular online hangout into champions of the brands that advertise there. Trying to mine its commercial potential, the social networking site Tuesday unveiled an advertising strategy that piggybacks on one of its most powerful features: the news feed, which shows users a streaming list of what their friends are doing. Facebook hopes the news feed also will help users promote its advertisers.
February 11, 2010 | By Ben Fritz and Jessica Guynn
In the latest blow to what was once the jewel of News Corp.'s digital empire, MySpace Chief Executive Owen Van Natta unexpectedly exited Wednesday after less than 10 months on the job. Van Natta's departure comes as the media conglomerate struggles to reshape MySpace, a former giant in social networking that has been overtaken by Facebook and confronts new challengers such as Twitter. MySpace's rapid decline also illustrates the perils of placing big bets on digital media, where websites can quickly rise and fall by the mouse clicks of fickle users.
January 12, 2011 | Dawn C. Chmielewski and Jessica Guynn, Los Angeles Times
Rupert Murdoch, the head of media giant News Corp., was brimming with confidence when his firm's Myspace was the reigning social networking site three years ago, noting it was "not just looking up friends," as rival Facebook was doing. Now Myspace could use some friends. Hobbled by dramatic declines in advertising revenue and monthly visitors, Myspace announced a sweeping restructuring Tuesday that will result in the loss of 500 jobs worldwide, or about 47% of the workforce at the Beverly Hills company.
May 30, 2012 | By Jessica Guynn and Ryan Faughnder, Los Angeles Times
SAN FRANCISCO - For teens, it has been an essential rite of passage: They turn 13 and join Facebook. Since she signed up three years ago, friend requests and status updates are as much a part of Meera Kumar's life as homework and exams at Menlo School, the elite private school in leafy Atherton, Calif., where she's a 16-year-old sophomore. But when her kid sister Anika turned 13 last year, she gave Facebook a pass. "I guess I haven't been that interested in it," said Anika, who prefers sharing photos with friends on Instagram via her iPhone or video chatting with them onGoogle+.
May 27, 2011 | By Jessica Guynn, Los Angeles Times
Facebook Inc. fired back at a New York pellet salesman who claims he's entitled to part of Mark Zuckerberg's stake in Facebook. In a court filing, the Palo Alto company alleges that Paul Ceglia doctored a 2003 contract with Zuckerberg that he says entitles him to as much as half of Zuckerberg's stake in Facebook. Last month, Ceglia filed an amended complaint in U.S. District Court in Buffalo, N.Y., that included excerpts from alleged email exchanges between him and Zuckerberg that he said supported his claim.
March 26, 2010 | By Jenn Garbee
After unpacking takeout from a nearby diner, Eileen Funke knocks on the glass doors of several group work spaces flanking the communal lounge at the Writers Junction, a membership-based office that opened recently in Santa Monica. "Lunch is here," announces Funke, whose self-appointed duties as co-owner and general manager include orchestrating occasional group lunches. Poet Ashaki Jackson emerges from one of the designated "quiet" rooms, where talking and cellphones are not permitted, and settles into the dining chair next to Funke and Alyss Dixson, a former Paramount Pictures production vice president-turned-novelist.
May 11, 2012 | By Jessica Guynn, Los Angeles Times
SAN FRANCISCO - California is one step closer to becoming one of the first states to ban companies from asking job seekers and workers for their user names and passwords on Facebook and other social networking websites. The state Assembly on Thursday passed a bill sponsored by Assemblywoman Nora Campos (D-San Jose) that would make anything workers designate as private on social networks off-limits to employers. The bill, which passed the Assembly without a dissenting vote, now goes to the California Senate.
May 22, 2010 | By Jessica Guynn, Los Angeles Times
Facing growing protests over its handling of users' personal information, Facebook plans to make changes to the privacy settings available on the world's largest social networking website. But the steps, to be unveiled as early as next week, may not go as far as critics would like. Lawmakers, regulators, privacy watchdogs and some Facebook users have unleashed a storm of criticism of the Internet company since it launched a program that shares user data with three third-party websites.
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