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BUSINESS
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.
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BUSINESS
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.
BUSINESS
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.
BUSINESS
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.
BUSINESS
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.
BUSINESS
February 1, 2012 | Nathaniel Popper and Jessica Guynn, Los Angeles Times
Facebook has filed papers for what's expected to be the largest initial public offering ever to come out of Silicon Valley and one of the largest in U.S. history. Ending months of breathless speculation, the 8-year-old social networking company has submitted registration documents with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that set a preliminary goal of raising $5 billion. Facebook is expected to be valued at $75 billion to $100 billion. Final pricing will not be set for months, and the size of the IPO probably will increase with investor demand.
BUSINESS
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.
BUSINESS
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.
BUSINESS
February 24, 2010 | By Jessica Guynn
In a battle to woo back Web surfers who are spending more time on social networking sites, Internet portal Yahoo has clinched a deal with Twitter to share content across both properties. Yahoo reached a similar agreement with Facebook in December, making it easier for users to share Facebook status updates and other information. Twitter offers millions of messages posted every minute. "The information in one single tweet can travel light years farther with this Yahoo integration," Twitter co-founder Biz Stone said in a statement.
BUSINESS
June 4, 2011 | By Bridget Carey
Entrepreneur Mykalai Kontilai's August purchase of the long-running public TV show "Nightly Business Report" came as a surprise. The San Diego-based Kontilai's background as a celebrity martial artists' manager and distributor of instructional television shows made him an unlikely buyer. And in the nine months since he bought the show from WPBT-PBS2 in Miami, Kontilai has revealed few details regarding plans for the 30-year-old weeknight business wrap-up show. But in a recent interview at the show's North Miami studio, Kontilai — who owns the show with partner Gary L. Ferrell under the corporate name of NBR Worldwide — spoke more about expanding the show's brand and audience.
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