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Facebook CFO out, Facebook looking for CFO with public company experience

Facebook has just confirmed that CFO Gideon Yu has just left the company. Facebook praised YU’s contributions to the company. Yu, 39, previously worked for Google, YouTube, and served as Treasurer and Senior Vice President of Finance at Yahoo. Yu has been with Facebook for just about two years to date.

Facebook said in a statement, “We have retained Spencer Stuart to lead our search for a new CFO and will be looking for someone with public company experience.”

With Yu leaving and Facebook looking for a CFO with public company experience, it is fueling speculation Facebook is heading for an IPO.

Facebook up to now has raised just over $450 million in funding. The WSJ is reporting that an internal person familiar with Facebook’s financials said the company expects revenue in 2009 to increase more than 70% year over year, but declined to say how much the company previously earned. The same person also said Facebook had positive earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) for the past five quarters. The person also said they expect Facebook to be cash flow positive in 2010 for the first time.

Facebook is expected to reach 200 million registered users within the next few days.

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MySpace to launch Facebook Chat in browser competitor


The News Corp owned MySpace social network has struggled to reign as the top social network in the U.S., only to be recently overtaken by Facebook.

Facebook continues to experience exponential growth and continues to innovate. Facebook firstly launched its Facebook Chat feature, allowing friends to easily chat straight from their Facebook profile, or though a supported IM client such as Digsby (PC), and Adium (Mac). Read the full story

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Facebook Announces Major Changes, New Homepage, to Fight Twitter, New Facebook BlackBerry App Sighted


Facebook has announced very significant changes today in its home page design, profile pages and the news activity streams. The most important change is the fact that Facebook has embraced the Twitter model by allowing people to become fans on public pages without the 5,000-friend limit.

Currently, many companies and celebrities are using Twitter to easily connect as there are really no limitations, some accounts have in excess of 170,000 friends. Read the full story

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Z-Commerce Lets Developers Make Facebook Apps Paid Subscriptions

Z-Commerce (developed by Zuora) is a new service launched at DEMO 2009 that lets Facebook app developers by-pass the existing Facebook app monetization model that only includes ad revenue, to making the apps exclusively subscription-based with a fee by using Z-Commerce that leverages the Facebook API.

In a blog post Zuora blog post, Tien Tzuo, writes:

At Zuora, we imagine a world where every Facebook user pays some developer one dollar, per month, for some application that they found valuable. That’s 2 billion dollars a year that Facebook developers could be making.

The problem is, very few (and I stress, very few) people would actually be willing to pay for an app on Facebook, in fact, most apps are, well, useless. It is estimated less than about only 1% of Facebook developers actually make a decent return from the 50,000 existing apps on Facebook.

Nevertheless, this could be an option if someone thinks his or her app will be the next big thing. As Facebook continues to struggle to generate cash, I would expect it to offer different monetization methods for developers, which could pose a significant risk to VC backed Z-Commerce, where Facebook could even ban the service.

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Facebook Investor Explains Why Facebook Twitter Acquisition Never Happened

facebookFacebook investor Peter Thiel recently did an interview with BusinessWeek and gave his view of why Facebook never acquired Twitter. He said that the deal would have mainly been done with Facebook stock, but the valuation of the Facebook stock is arbitrarily questionable. As Facebook is a private company, it chooses to keep its financial positions, well, private. Twitter was made aware that the Facebook valuation was between $8 billion to $9 billion, but Twitter was made aware that Facebook employees were in fact trading stocks at more than half of that value. More recently, uncovered in court documents from the ConnectU v. Facebook case, Facebook apparently values itself at $3.7 billion, a valuation substantially less than Microsoft’s $245 million investment at a $15 billion Facebook valuation in October 2007. Twitter was founded in Mar 2006 and has received up to $55 million in VS funding to date.

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Mark Zuckerberg Hosts Facebook Privacy TOS Conference Call

facebookFacebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg today at 11am PST hosted a telephone conference about the new changes to the Facebook terms of service, and the new program to allow Facebook users to actually create privacy policies.

CNET has the live coverage of the phone conference here.

You may remember recently there has been a lot of controversy surrounding the new Facebook terms of service agreements that essentially allowed Facebook to keep your user generated content indefinitely and use it however it wanted. Facebook has since reverted back to its previous terms.

PALO ALTO, Calif. – February 26, 2009 – Facebook today announced a new approach to site governance that offers its users around the world an unprecedented role in determining the future policies governing the service. Facebook released the first proposals subject to these new procedures-The Facebook Principles, a set of values that will guide the development of the service, and Statement of Rights and Responsibilities that make clear Facebook’s and users’ commitments related to the service.

Over the coming weeks, users will have the opportunity to review, comment, and vote on these documents. An update to the Privacy Policy is also planned, and this change will be subject to similar input.

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Bebo Changes Profiles, Adds LifeStream, New Features

beboAOL’s popular social network, Bebo, has introduced a bunch of new features including a revamped layout of user profiles. It has added LifeStream, which allows you to see all of your friend’s updates in a timeline format from various other online sites including Flickr, Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, and Delicious. LifeStream also easily lets you add events and media to your timeline. The new features make Bebo more open, letting you see what your friends are up to across various networks, similar to FriendFeed, however, no where near as comprehensive in terms of variety for support of many networks. Bebo also has SocialInbox, which essentially lets you display your entire friends’ feed to other non-Bebo members. Bebo also claims its new open features give it an edge over Facebook for simply being open. Facebook remains a private network, which could change in the near future, as more people want to stay up to date from friends on other networks from a centralized network.

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How to Install Facebook Connect Comments on WordPress

facebookFacebook has just introduced its first widget, the Facebook Comment box for Facebook Connect. Now, you can easily add the Facebook Comment system to your own site which offers a great opportunity for you to tap into the Facebook community as users have the option to make their comments appear in their news feed, potentially reaching thousands of people.

There are a number of other services online that offer advanced commenting such as Disqus and IntenseDebate (recently acquired by Automattic (the company the owns WordPress)). I’ve recently contacted IntenseDebate and they’ve told me there are no current plans to support Facebook Connect. They do currently support OpenID, but I do think the opportunity to tap into the Facebook community is a significant advantage, enough so to ditch all the other services…if you consider the other services such as IntenseDebate, all you are really getting is gravatars, reply to comments, and the comments karma feature which no one really uses anyway.

Now, if you would like to easily get Facebook Connect set up on your WordPress blog, you can easily do it with these simple steps. Read the full story

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Facebook Backs Down From New TOS

facebookFacebook has just announced the company is reverting back to its previous legal agreements from the new and highly controlling caveats introduced a couple of days ago that would have allowed Facebook to indefinitely store and use your data in any way it pleased. Facebook has now also introduced “Facebook Bill of Rights” which is simply a group for people to provide feedback and suggestions concerning the Facebook TOS. The Electronic Privacy Information Center EPIC was also close to filing a U.S. federal complaint with the FTC. Facebook founder Zuckerberg wrote in a new blog posting, “We concluded that returning to our previous terms was the right thing for now.”

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BlackBerry Internet Service 2.6 Coming March, BES 5.0 Coming Q2

rimBlackberry Internet Service 2.6 is set to launch in March and will bring many new updates. BIS 2.6 is expected to have better Gmail integration and the ability to use Gmail through IMAP as well. Unfortunately, only one-way sync of your Gmail account is still expected. Blackberry emails accounts (@carrier.blackberry.net) are still going to be capped at 32kb, and there will still be no attachments or HTML support. BIS 2.6 will cost less at $5 per month.

BlackBerry Enterprise Service 5.0 will be released in Q2 2009. Probably the most important new feature in BES 5.0 is the Mobile Voice System, which lets subscribers make cheap calls. Other features include the ability to change folders from your desktop email client from your BlackBerry, and save both emails and attachments to your external storage. BES 5.0 will also include push over-the-air updates for IT administrators.

Read the full story

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