Is Facebook considering a PayPal-like service?

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If reports by the Financial Times and TechCrunch are to believed, Facebook wants your money.

The Financial Times reported this week that Facebook is looking into adding electronic money transferring to its ecosystem.

Stories say that the social network is only “weeks away,” from getting properly approved in Ireland for a service that would let user store money on Facebook and use it to exchange money with friends and pay for goods — similar to PayPal.

This process would allow Facebook to become an “e-money” institution and make it so its European users can send money throughout the continent. Financial Times notes that Facebook has discussed partnering with a few London-based startups that specialize in money transferring services via desktop and mobile: TransferWise, Moni Technologies and Azimo. It would also require Facebook to hold €350,000 and segregate funds equal to the amount of money it has earmarked for this service.

But why is Facebook reportedly getting into this market?

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Facebook strengthens U.S. Hispanic marketing capabilities

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Facebook has decided to tap into the growing Hispanic market by assisting businesses with new tools to reach this demographic. In the U.S., 23 million Hispanic users are active on Facebook every month, and the company wants brands to have the strength to reach out to these people.

Facebook told Inside Facebook that Alexandre Hohagen, Vice President of Facebook Latin America, has moved to Miami to assume the additional responsibilities for the U.S. Hispanic market. Christian Martinez, previously Vice President of Network and Interactive Sales at Univision, has joined to run ad sales for the U.S. Hispanic market in Miami.

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Top 25 Facebook pages: India

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India is one of the fastest-growing regions in terms of Facebook membership. Wondering what pages Indian users like the most? PageData has the answers.

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What do Facebook users in Brazil like?

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Brazil is one of Facebook’s fastest-growing countries — and a growing part of its advertising plans for the future.

Wondering what Brazilian Facebook users like the most? Thanks to PageData, we found out.

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Examining Facebook’s motivation for translation

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Facebook’s mission has spread far beyond Menlo Park, Calif. Mark Zuckerberg, the company’s CEO and Co-Founder, wants to connect the world. Not only is he a driving force behind Internet.org, the plan to bring Internet access to those in lesser-developed countries, but Facebook has also stepped up its translation services by acquiring startup Mobile Technologies, makers of translation app Jibbigo.

Ofer Shoshan, the CEO of One Hour Translation, applauded Facebook for the move and feels that more major brands on the site should look into translation service as the social network grows internationally.

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China’s firewall cracks: Facebook allowed in free-trade zone of Shanghai

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Monday night, Facebook Co-Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg posted the above photo to his timeline, showing a map of Facebook friend connections around the world. One commenter pointed out that China looks quite dark.

That may change soon. According to the South China Morning Post, Beijing is lifting the Internet firewall that has prevented residents from legally accessing Facebook and Twitter — but only within the free-trade zone of Shanghai. This decision will also allow residents to view the website of The New York Times.

Previously, such websites were deemed too politically sensitive and have been banned since 2009, but now it appears that Facebook has a foothold into China — and its 1.35 billion residents (roughly 590 million of whom are online). A Facebook representative confirmed to Inside Facebook that the company is aware of this news, but declined to comment further.

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Facebook platform news: SPMD SHIFT expands into Europe

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SHIFT is still in high gear with its recent announcement that it will expand in Europe and open a London Office.

The Facebook Strategic Preferred Marketing Developer has had a host of news lately including the launch of its Media Analyzer, unveiled late last month.

SHIFT, which is based in Los Angeles, also has offices in Chicago, New York and Facebook’s former stomping grounds, Palo Alto.

SHIFT CEO James Borow commented on the company’s growth:

As social continues to gain a larger share of the overall ad budget for marketing campaigns across the globe, we want to provide marketers the technology they need to efficiently manage, advertise and analyze their marketing initiatives in real-time. We currently work with 10 out of the 20 top global advertisers, therefore our expansion into Europe is a natural progression.

Casey McDevitt, SHIFT’s director of international sales, will be charged with leading SHIFT’s new international operation.

 

Facebook PMD Hearsay Social raises $30M in Series C funding

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Hearsay Social, a Facebook Preferred Marketing Developer in pages and apps, announced Thursday that the company has raised $30 million in Series C funding, led by existing investors Sequoia Capital and NEA. This brings the company’s funding to $51 million.

Hearsay Social plans to use this latest investment to accelerate growth within the insurance and financial industries, ramping up product development, customer success, expanding into international markets, and boost staffing.

CEO Clara Shih commented on the latest round of investments:

From day one, our mission has been to deliver success for sales organizations in the social media era. We are humbled by these recent milestones and, above all, thank our customers for their vision and partnership.

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Facebook European director departs for White Star Capital

ChristianHernandezNot long after losing its advertising and growth chief for Asia, Facebook said goodbye to its director in Europe. Christian Hernandez, who headed up Facebook’s Euro and Pan-European divisions, announced that he is leaving the company to join business partner Eric Martineau-Fortin in the growth of White Star Capital.

Hernandez commented on his career change in a public Facebook post:

Some 1,350 days ago, I walked into Facebook for what has been one of the most amazing rides of my professional career. I have been able to work with and learn from some of the most amazing minds in tech, and have loved working alongside companies seeking to innovate on top of the Facebook Platform and see them scale globally.

The timing, however, is now right to put my passion for entrepreneurship and working with early-stage startups to use in a new way. In a few weeks I will leave Facebook and join my longtime friend and investment partner Eric Martineau-Fortin to scale out White Star Capital.

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Facebook partners with mobile carriers to offer free data for Facebook messaging

messengerFacebook today announced partnerships with mobile operators around the world to provide free or discounted data access when subscribers use Facebook messaging.

The social network has arrangements with 18 mobile operators in 14 countries to provide special pricing for usage of Messenger for Android, Messenger for iOS and Facebook for Every Phone. Facebook recently updated its feature phone application to be optimized for chat and added a number of new features to Messenger, including voice messaging and the ability to create a Messenger account without a Facebook profile.

The social network is making a big global push for its messaging service this year. As the company seeks its next billion users, messaging is going to be a key feature that draws people in. With so many alternatives — from SMS and email to apps like WhatsApp or WeChat — Facebook has a lot to compete against. Now, it’s hoping that subsidizing usage by partnering with mobile providers will give it an edge in emerging markets.
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