Salesforce.com Buying Buddy Media? | Facebook Shares Reach New Low | Twitter Speeds Up

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Buddy MediaSalesforce Set to Snap Up Facebook Friend Buddy Media for More Than $800 Million (AllThingsD)
Cloud-computing pioneer Salesforce.com is close to a deal to acquire Buddy Media, the five-year-old company that helps brands manage their Facebook presence. Sources say the two companies have agreed to terms that will value Buddy Media at more than $800 million, but that the transaction hasn’t closed yet. Fast Company Founded a little more than four years ago by Michael Lazerow, Buddy Media has raised $90 million in venture funding from the likes of Peter Thiel, Ron Conway and Institutional Venture Partners. VentureBeat Presumably, Salesforce could add Buddy Media to its long roster of services targeting the enterprise like Chatter and Force.com. It’s unclear how much crossover there would be with Salesforce-owned Radian6, another social media management service. BetaBeat An acquisition for Buddy makes sense. After Facebook’s bungled IPO, there was little room left for companies with offerings reliant upon Facebook to go public themselves. And judging from Buddy’s hiring of an “IPO-ready CFO” last August, an IPO was its preferred route. Forbes The deal would be a major validation for social media marketing, a still nascent but fast-growing segment of the online advertising market. A number of startups are in this field, such as Wildfire Interactive, Hearsay Social, Lithium and Vitrue, which was acquired last week by Oracle for $300 million. Last year, Salesforce bought Radian6 for $326 million.

Facebook Shares Plumb New Depths, Valuation Questioned (Reuters)
Facebook shares slid below $29 to a new low on Tuesday as nervous investors fled the company’s shares, concerned about the social network’s long-term business prospects and an initial offering price that proved too rich. Shares of the No. 1 social network fell 10 percent to an all-time low of $28.65, before closing at $28.84, or down 9.6 percent. Contra Costa Times On a positive note, Facebook scored a clear victory Tuesday night by winning permission to triple its 2,200-employee work force at its Menlo Park campus in the coming years. Despite concerns expressed by some local neighborhood residents and Atherton officials that Facebook isn’t providing enough community benefits, the Menlo Park City Council unanimously voted to allow the social media giant to proceed with its expansion plan, which includes constructing additional buildings on its campus at the corner of Bayfront Expressway and Willow Road, the former home of Sun Microsystems. AllFacebook Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin has been in the news quite a bit of late, mostly for his decision to renounce his U.S. citizenship, which was made public just days before the social network’s initial public offering. Now a citizen of Singapore but born in Brazil, Saverin turned to Brazilian newsmagazine Veja for a lengthy interview in which he addressed the citizenship issue, as well as other often-told stories about his parting from Facebook.

Tim Cook: Apple Will ‘Look at’ Killing Ping (Mashable)
Apple CEO Tim Cook acknowledged Tuesday that Apple’s social network Ping might have not been the best idea. “We tried Ping and I think the customer voted and said this isn’t something I want to put a lot of energy into,” said Cook in an interview at the yearly All Things Digital D Conference in southern California Tuesday evening.

Twitter.com Drops the Hashbang for Individual Tweet URLs, Makes it 5 Times Faster to View Timelines (The Next Web)
Twitter has posted a missive on its engineering blog that goes over a bunch of changes it has made to speed up the site. Among those are eliminating the much reviled “hashbangs” — the #! symbols you used to see in single-tweet URLs.

Bitly Moves into the Bookmarking Biz, Aiming to Stay Relevant (CNET)
Bitly is expanding its link-shortening service to include bookmark features, which will allow users to save and share links as the happy pufferfish — Bitly’s mascot — looks on. “We want this to be the single best place for you to save and share your links and to discover interesting things from your friends and the entire web,” the site’s blog reads.

The Rise of Social Media in China [Infographic] (SocialTimes)
It’s easy to assume that America is the hub of world social media — especially considering the origins of Facebook — but the truth is that recent surveys of Chinese Internet users have shown that 95 percent of them use social networks, putting it on track to become the biggest social media savvy country in the world.

Blackberry Maker Warns of Operating Loss, Layoffs to Come (AP)
Struggling BlackBerry-maker Research in Motion (RIM) warned Tuesday that it will have an operating loss in the March-June quarter and said there will be significant layoffs this year. RIM also said in a release that it has hired J.P. Morgan and RBC Capital Markets to help the company evaluate various strategies, including opportunities to partner with other companies and license software as well as other alternatives.

Man Convicted of Sending “Menacing” Tweet Gets Appeal Hearing (AllTwitter)
In one of the more bizarre legal cases involving Twitter to date, English citizen Paul Chambers is getting a second chance to appeal his conviction over a “joke” tweet. Chambers was convicted of sending a menacing tweet in May of 2010.

Justin Bieber and the Billboard Music Awards: A Tale of Dueling Hashtags (The New York Times/Bits Blog)
A lot can happen in the blink of an eye when you live your professional life in the social media world. Especially when your section of the social-media world includes some of the most popular artists online: Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Chris Brown, Rihanna, Justin Bieber… Especially Justin Bieber — and his 22 million Twitter followers.

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