What you need to know - Monday 12/13/10

Katie Gatto · December 13, 2010 · Short URL: https://vator.tv/n/14c3

Fab.com raised $1.75M; Dell buys Compellent for $820M; CityVille hits 22M monthly active users

Fab.com, formerly Fabulis, a social network targeted at gay men, has raised $1.75 million in series a funding.  Investors in this round include First Round Capital, The Washington Post Company, Baroda Ventures and Zelkova Ventures.

Dell announced that it plans to buy Compellent. Compellent is a provider of storage solutions and automated data management tools for cloud environments. The purchase price will be $27.75 per share, or a total purchase price of about $820 million.

Twitter released the list of  top trends on Twitter for 2010. The Gulf oil spill and FIFA World Cup were the two most popular topics. In total 25 billion tweets were sent in 2010.

 

iYogi, the world's largest independent remote consumer tech support company, announced Monday it raised a  $30 million round of funding. The round was led by Sequoia Capital India. Other investors included Canaan, SVB Capital Partners, SAP Ventures and Draper Fisher Jurvetson.


CityVille has reached over 22 million monthly active users. This is only eleven days after the launch of the game. To give you some perspective, if CityVille were an actual city, it would be the second largest in the world at this point.

ComScore has reported that the seasonal e-commerce retail spending for the first 40 days of the November – December 2010 holiday season has totaled more than $21.95 billion.  These numbers represent a 12% increase when compared to the same period last year.

Openleaks, a direct competitor to WikiLeaks, is launching Monday.  The new site is being founded by WikiLeaks alumni.

Groupon is partnering with ChicagoShopping.com in hopes of expanding the reach of its daily deals in the Chicago area.

Gawker Media sites users had their passwords  compromised over the weekend. The hack was carried out by a group called Gnosis, and effected sites such as Gawker.com and  Gizmodo.

 

Dave McClure, founder of 500 Startups, turns the classical Silicon Valley approach on its head. The venture capitalist tells our own Bambi Francisco that he's more interested in investing in startups with realistic expectations than startups with high-risk, low-probability homeruns.

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Twitter

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What is Twitter?

Twitter is an online information network that allows anyone with an account to post 140 character messages, called tweets. It is free to sign up. Users then follow other accounts which they are interested in, and view the tweets of everyone they follow in their "timeline." Most Twitter accounts are public, where one does not need to approve a request to follow, or need to follow back. This makes Twitter a powerful "one to many" broadcast platform where individuals, companies or organizations can reach millions of followers with a single message. Twitter is accessible from Twitter.com, our mobile website, SMS, our mobile apps for iPhone, Android, Blackberry, our iPad application, or 3rd party clients built by outside developers using our API. Twitter accounts can also be private, where the owner must approve follower requests. 

Where did the idea for Twitter come from?

Twitter started as an internal project within the podcasting company Odeo. Jack Dorsey, and engineer, had long been interested in status updates. Jack developed the idea, along with Biz Stone, and the first prototype was built in two weeks in March 2006 and launched publicly in August of 2006. The service grew popular very quickly and it soon made sense for Twitter to move outside of Odea. In May 2007, Twitter Inc was founded.

How is Twitter built?

Our engineering team works with a web application framework called Ruby on Rails. We all work on Apple computers except for testing purposes. 

We built Twitter using Ruby on Rails because it allows us to work quickly and easily--our team likes to deploy features and changes multiple times per day. Rails provides skeleton code frameworks so we don't have to re-invent the wheel every time we want to add something simple like a sign in form or a picture upload feature.

How do you make money from Twitter?

There are a few ways that Twitter makes money. We have licensing deals in place with Google, Yahoo!, and Microsoft's Bing to give them access to the "firehose" - a stream of tweets so that they can more easily incorporate those tweets into their search results.

In Summer 2010, we launched our Promoted Tweets product. Promoted Tweets are a special kind of tweet which appear at the top of search results within Twitter.com, if a company has bid on that keyword. Unlike search results in search engines, Promoted Tweets are normal tweets from a business, so they are as interactive as any other tweet - you can @reply, favorite or retweet a Promoted Tweet. 

At the same time, we launched Promoted Trends, where companies can place a trend (clearly marked Promoted) within Twitter's Trending Topics. These are especially effective for upcoming launches, like a movie or album release.

Lastly, we started a Twitter account called @earlybird where we partner with other companies to provide users with a special, short-term deal. For example, we partnered with Virgin America for a special day of fares on Virginamerica.com that were only accessible through the link in the @earlybird tweet.

 

What's next for Twitter?

We continue to focus on building a product that provides value for users. 

We're building Twitter, Inc into a successful, revenue-generating company that attracts world-class talent with an inspiring culture and attitude towards doing business.

Zynga

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Zynga is the largest social gaming company with 8.5 million daily users and 45 million monthly users.  Zynga’s games are available on Facebook, MySpace, Bebo, Hi5, Friendster, Yahoo! and the iPhone, and include Texas Hold’Em Poker, Mafia Wars, YoVille, Vampires, Street Racing, Scramble and Word Twist.  The company is funded by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, IVP, Union Square Ventures, Foundry Group, Avalon Ventures, Pilot Group, Reid Hoffman and Peter Thiel.  Zynga is headquartered at the Chip Factory in San Francisco.  For more information, please visit www.zynga.com.

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Dave McClure

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