Crowdsourced ad platform Trada closes new round of funding

Paid search and Facebook ad marketplace Trada has raised an additional $9 million in an inside round of funding from Google Ventures and Foundry Group, the company announced today. Trada serves small- to mid-sized advertisers by crowdsourcing targeting and creative options from its community of optimizers and designers that specialize in campaigns for Facebook, Google, Yahoo and Bing.

The Boulder-based startup began as a marketplace for paid search, but expanded into Facebook advertising in November. Advertisers come to Trada with a budget and campaign goals, which the company will help define based on current pricing estimates, for instance average cost per fan within a particular demographic. Trada’s community of optimizers, as they’re called, develop copy and make targeting recommendations. A group of designers produces image variations. The client can have final approval on all creative and targeting.

Rather than taking a percent of an advertiser’s budget or charging a monthly fee, Trada and its ad specialists are compensated on a performance basis. For example, an advertiser’s goal is to gain Facebook Likes and it is willing to pay $2 for each new Like an optimizer brings to the page. If an optimizer finds an ad target and creative permutation that results in Likes for $1.50, the optimizer keeps the difference. Of that $0.50 margin, 10 percent goes to the designer ($0.05) and 25 percent goes to Trada ($0.12).

With this model, Trada and its specialists have incentive to bring down costs, but they benefit more when there is greater disparity between a client’s target CPA and the price optimizers get. Some advertisers might be concerned Trada’s goals don’t necessarily align with their own. However, if advertisers have previous experience with search or Facebook ads, and they know what CPA delivers a return on investment, then Trada can be a good solution. The client does not need to pay for designers or stock photography, nor do they have to write dozens of variations of copy and manage complex campaigns.

On the Facebook ad side, Trada works with clients who are spending a minimum $25,000 per month. It will typically run thousands of ad combinations over the course of the month. So far, the company has seen half of its clients running lead-generation campaigns driving to a site off of Facebook. The other half has been interested in campaigns to increase Likes on their page. Trada says it is capable of managing Facebook’s relatively new Sponsored Story campaigns, as well.

With its latest round of funding, Trada is looking to hire more designers and extend the marketplace approach that has been successful for the company on Facebook to other types of graphic-based advertising, beginning with search retargeting. The company expects to be profitable by the end of the year.

Appssavvy Raises $7.1M for Social Game Ad Platform

Appssavvy, a New York-based startup focused on activity-based display advertising, has raised $7.1 million in a Series 1-A round that included AOL Ventures among previous investors True Ventures and The New York Times Company. StockTwits CEO Howard Lindzon and Scott Kurnit, founder of and now AdKeeper, have also invested in appssavvy, which released the adtivity platform in September.

The developer is perhaps best known for its brand-to-game content integrations with major social game developers like Zynga. Because the model is based largely on branded virtual goods — like a Coke bottle in FarmVille that revives withered crops — appssavvy is able to quickly and naturally work its way into major social games, effectively turning that game into an ad platform for the brand. Beyond that, however, appssavvy also uses its adtivity platform to serve interstitial ads that related to the experience the user is having in social or mobile apps. For instance, certain ads will appear to users that are completing a level in a game, while users who just made a purchase in a shopping app will see something else entirely.

Appssavvy initially raised $3.1 million in 2008. The company has moved away from selling traditional in-game banner ads, claiming that activity-based media like its adtivity platform delivers engagement four to eight times above industry average.


Facebook Roundup: Greenpeace, JavaScript, Marketing, Buddy Media and More

Facebook, Greenpeace Agree on Energy Policy – Facebook and Greenpeace have come to an agreement this week on the promotion of green or renewable energy the social network uses to operate. [Photo via Facebook]

Facebook Updates JavaScript - Facebook announced in a blog post this week that JavaScript SDK changed to OAuth 2.0.

Involver Reports Facebook Marketing Adoption – Involver reported this week, in infographic form, that businesses are adopting Facebook as a marketing tool at faster rates.

Facebook Compiles Top Political Articles of 2011 – In a note on the U.S. Politics on Facebook page, the social network listed the most popular political news articles of the year based on Facebook shares, posts and use of social plugins.

Developers Attend Social Games Hack at Facebook – Developers GameHouse, Tien Len, Attributor and took home prizes for the most innovative hacks at Facebook Games Hack, an event aimed at educating developers on Open Graph integrations.

Other Announcements:

Ticketfly Raises $12M -  Ticketfly reported this week that the company released an integrated in-app Facebook app to allow vendors to sell tickets right on Facebook.

Buddy Media Launches Power Your Connections Contest – Buddy Media launched the Power Your Connections Illustrator contest this week, inviting artists to design their own interpretation of the art of connections, as in social media connections. The prize is $5,000, a feature in Buddy Media’s campaign and a showcase at SXSW.

Airline to Let Passengers Choose Seatmate Using Online Profiles – KLM Royal Dutch Airlines is launching “meet and seat,” a way to view Facebook or LinkedIn profiles of the people you could sit next to on your flight.

Interview: Veteran Product Lead Josh Elman on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter — and Joining Greylock

Josh Elman has been in the trenches of product development since mid-1990s, with his resume reading like a who’s who of major web companies today. He started at Homestead and RealNetworks in the 1990s, and went on to hold key product roles at LinkedIn, Zazzle, Facebook and most recently Twitter.

But after 15 years building products, he recently became a principal at Silicon Valley venture firm Greylock Partners. We sat down with him recently to get his take on where Facebook and Twitter are going, and to learn more about his own plans now that he’s an investor.

Inside Facebook: If you were abandoned on an island for the rest of your life, would you rather be stuck with Mark Zuckerberg, Evan Williams or Jack Dorsey?

Josh Elman: Um, wow that’s a great question. I’d probably choose Ev. Ev, Zuck and Jack are great entrepreneurs, and I have massive respect for all three. But I’ve spent most of the most time with Ev and would love to spend more. Of the three, I feel closest and most stylistically connected to him. And I’d add Reid Hoffman to this list too — and should note that I’m happy to be working with him again.

IF: It’s 2011, and despite all the years of speculation about Facebook and Twitter killing each other, they are obviously coexisting now. But having worked at both companies, what do you predict for them (and other social platforms) in the future — let’s say in the next 5 years to keep that question somewhat focused?

JE: The way that I think about a lot of the opportunities in communication is: Where do we turn to as humans to find out what we care about in the world? In the past it was maybe newspapers, TV, radio. Now it’s mobile, iPads, computers, TV — we’re turning to all these different screens. But we really want an emotional connection to people we care about, to be more informed, and to be more able to react to conversations that are important and interesting around us.

There are three streams of important information. One of those, I think, is direct messages to me. That’s mostly email. I don’t know a single person who doesn’t do this (though I’m sure there are some) — the question of whether Facebook and Twitter can do to replace it gets asked a lot less now.

The second stream is what is happening with the people I love and care about. It’s obvious that Facebook has become that for everybody. When you want to know what’s going on with a friend, you have these incredible emotional moments on Facebook. You see them change jobs, celebrate their kids, share funny or important links.

The third stream is the world: What should I know about and care about? Everyone wants to know what’s happening. I think that Twitter is really redefining what that experience means. For example, recently there was an earthquake, and a lot of folks turned to Twitter to both share what happened and to verify what happened.

And for a lot of folks, there is a fourth stream — your work/professional stream. There are a lot of companies working on different facets of this between LinkedIn for your professional life, Google Apps, Salesforce, Asana, and more for your productivity. And email is still a huge component here.

IF: Right, that’s today, but all these companies are in some ways getting into each other’s turf.

JE: Think about it this way. If your favorite Italian restaurant hires a Japanese chef, who then starts doing Japanese noodles, you still wouldn’t go there for Japanese noodles unless it was the best Japanese noodles ever. You’d still want to go to an Italian restaurant for Italian food, or go to a Japanese restaurant for the noodles.

The specialized graphs of Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn make them each incredibly long-term defensible businesses.

Twitter is so focused on staying simple, real-time — like Mac is so much simpler than Windows. Facebook, while some people say it’s too complex, has grown to more than 800 million people worldwide. It’s clearly not too complex.

Humans will go to whatever is best, most visceral.

Facebook’s frictionless sharing is a big opportunity to pivot from connecting people and more to connecting info. That’s going to be a change for the way that people use Facebook, and I’m not sure if that will ultimately happen. But it’s a great move in many respects — Spotify’s new integration means that I can see if Eric is listening to Bieber again, and jab him about it. When we launched Facebook Connect, we thought that Facebook wasn’t just going to be a social network site for communicating with your friends. It was that you were going to go to have all sorts of great experiences. On the phone, web, offline locations, wherever — it makes us more connected as people, and helps serendipity happen.

IF: What about Google+?

JE: I have huge respect for them. They’ve had a great launch and done something most people in the tech industry had doubts about — whether Google could launch a compelling social product.

But it’s still incredibly early to tell if it’s mainstream and able to tap into visceral elements like Facebook and Twitter. It’s enabling certain types of conversations between people — big conversations, real-time debates, it’s more similiar to what we’ve seen on indie blogs than Facebook or Twitter.

IF: It feels more public than Facebook, but private enough that you know your audience….

JE: Yeah, and the interface naturally enables that. Facebook doesn’t always have great topical discussion.

It’ll be exciting to see how Google+ expands to other services.

IF: How do Facebook’s latest f8 launches change what developers should focus on?

JE: They introduced probably the most important change since at least 2008 when they did a big shift from profile boxes to make the news feed central. The idea of the ticker is transformative. Now frictionless sharing creates way to share everything, naturally broadcasted without being too heavy or too spammy or too awkward. In the past, it’d be annoying. Now it lets you find out what your friends are doing at a much bigger scale — great insight into lots of friends.

You can start to build really compelling discovery, like with Spotify — seeing that ten of your friends listened to Bieber.

The launch creates new opportunities for every kind of vertical or business where people interact around certain thing would bring other friends in. Companies who take advantage of it first are going to get big benefits.

Overall, it’s better alignment between Facebook and developers — broadcasting what you actually do which gets more friends sharing , and even more discovery.

IF: How should developers be trying to harness the Twitter platform?

JE: Twitter’s platform has only gotten stronger because Twitter now has 100 million active users. Comscore shows much higher visits, not just users. So it creates even more opportunities to help people create, interact with, and consume more content through Twitter. Twitter has talked about curation, analytics, and a few other platform businesses.

But the thing about building for any platform is that the moment you start building for one, you need to remember you’re building your own company and business. If I were to go build this great new restaurant discovery app, I’d want to use Twitter to share more, as a source of content and amplifer. But I would be focused on restaurant discovery, not being “X for Twitter.” The same is exactly true for Facebook.

IF: How are you approaching this from the investing perspective?

JE: I’m brand-new to this side, and it’s quite a bit different than the operating side. A lot of what I’m doing is listening and helping teams that we’re meeting as well as in the portfolio in any way that I can. Through my career, I’ve always been super excited about creating networks of people that enable new forms of communication and connection. Whether that’s Linkedin or Zazzle (connecting designers and artwork with buyers), or Facebook or Twitter, I’ve always been compelled by helping the founders realize these huge visions and build and grow these networks and platforms.

A lot of people talk about specific spaces like “mobile” or “social” or “local”. In general, I think any new consumer experience is going to tie in key elements and work across all of those. It needs to be relevant when you check the service on your phone and relevant when you want to pull something up on your TV in the future.

At Greylock, we tend to look for two things — a great product that people will want to use in meaningful ways, and durable distribution that ensures the product gets in the hands of as many users as possible.

Mostly I’m looking for great teams of people with big visions and a deep understanding and excitement about the path it takes to build a long-lasting company.

[Photo via Greylock Partners]

Facebook Roundup: Privacy, Echo Nest, Music, Wal-mart, Ooyala, BrightApps and More

Echo Nest Points Out Flaws in Facebook Music – The CEO of Echo Nest, a music industry service provider, published a blog post this week outlining technical problems with Facebook’s music sharing system. It criticizes errors in how Facebook IDs songs that prevents music shared from one service such as Spotify from being played in a different service such as Rdio.

Wal-Mart Offers Localized Deals for Fans – Wal-Mart and Facebook have partnered to offer the retailer’s Facebook fans deals localized to its 3,500 locations in the U.S. Facebook is not working with other merchants in a similar way because of a lack of resources. We wrote about similar types of deals previously, when Facebook tested tools allowing corporations to administrate all the Places pages of the local instances of their business.

Ooyala Analyzes Facebook Videos – Ooyala recently released a video analysis tool, Custom Analytics with Business Dimension Reporting. The tool helps users segment audiences based on behavior on the Facebook platform.

Flowtown Acquired by Demandforce - Small business marketing firm Flowtown was acquired by Demandforce, a marketing solutions company.

BrightEdge Leverages Open Graph – BrightEdge released a new solution for Facebook Pages trying to improve their SEO, the S3 edition includes things like open graph tags, improved search rankings help, engagement measurement and more.

Other Announcements:

Buddy Media Opens San Francisco, Singapore Offices – Buddy Media has opened new offices in San Francisco and Singapore.

Votigo Launches Self-Service Platform, Offers – Votigo has launched self-service access to its social media promotions platform this week. As part of the promotion, the company is offering contest and sweepstakes apps for two cents to the first 2,000 businesses creating a promotion with the platform before the end of October.

Facebook Roundup: Political Action Committee, Security, Timeline, iPad, eBay, Buddy Media, and More

Facebook Forms a PAC – Facebook filed paperwork this week to start its own political action committee, which will allow the company to lobby its causes more effectively in Washington, D.C. The company registered the and domain names.

Facebook Addresses Logout Issue – Nik Cubrilovic wrote a post this week breaking down privacy issues that emerged on the platform in wake of the recent redesign.

Politicos Demand Facebook Investigation – A few lawmakers demanded an investigations into the lawfulness of Facebook’s cookie software this week.

Facebook iPad Designer Quits, Works for Google – Jeff Verkoeyen is a former Facebook employee who designed the company’s iPad app. Writing on his blog, he said the iPad app has been feature complete since May. He left the company to work for Google since there wasn’t any progress on releasing the app.

Facebook Sued Over Timeline - CNET reported this week that a trademark infringement lawsuit was filed again Facebook by a Chicago company, Timelines. The company claims that Facebook’s new design endangers its livelihood, and that Facebook has taken over the URL of its Facebook Page.

Facebook’s Katie Mitic joins eBay Board – Facebook’s Platform and Mobile Marketing executive Katie Mitic is set to join eBay’s board. [Image via]

Buddy Media Opens Two New Offices – Page management giant Buddy Media has just opened two more offices, one in San Francisco to be managed by  Carla Bourque who was hired from Six Apart, and another in Singapore to be led by Ken Mandel who was hired from the Yahoo! Asia Pacific ads team.

Facebook Prominent at NYC Ad Week – Facebook and other tech companies are set to be prominent features of Advertising Week in New York City next week.

FanBridge Launches “Social Digest” – Brand and musician relationship management company FanBridge this week launched “Social Digest”, an email marketing tool that automatically creates summaries of the top content published to a client’s social presences, and delivers it to subscribers in a form that increases open rates.

“Social Series” Premieres on Facebook – Warner Bros will release a “social series” called “Aim High” on Facebook on October 18. The show will be personalized to each viewer who adds their profile information. [Image via Facebook]

Socialbakers raises $2M – Social media analytics company Socialbakers raised $2 million this week led by Earlybird Venture Capital. The company is set to expand its social media monitoring with the funding.

Buddy Media Raises $54 Million Fourth Round That Could Further Fuel Facebook Marketing Consolidation

In a move that could accelerate the consolidation of ecommerce, marketing games, and Facebook Ads API companies into Page management giants, Buddy Media has raised a $54 million Series D round of funding. The funding comes from late-stage investors GGV Capital, Institutional Venture Partners, Bay Partners and Insight Venture Partners. GGV, Institutional Venture Partners and Bay Partners and values the company at $500 million.

Buddy Media now has capital to acquire developers that can help its brand clients produce a direct return on social media investment, engage their fans, and efficiently run high-performing ad campaigns. The funding will also go towards building out its sales, support, and product teams,  and opening more  international offices.

Buddy Media has grown to become the largest of the Facebook Page management companies, helping brands run and promote their presence on the social network. The company succeeded by raising funding and scoring big name clients early, and now boasts hundreds of high profile clients, a team of over 200 employees, and European headquarters in London. Buddy Media raised a $23 million round in October 2010, part of which likely went to acquiring social ecommerce and analytics developer SpinBack in May.

An IPO could be in Buddy Media’s future as it recently hired Dennis Morgan as its chief financial officer, who helped led corporate finance for Yahoo! as it completed over $5 billion in acquisitions. GGV partner Jeff Richards will join the company’s board of directors, alongside Facebook’s first sales executive Kevin Colleran, who joined last month. The CEO of consulting firm MediaLink, Michael Kassan, will become Buddy Media CEO Michael Lazerow’s special advisor.

With time, Facebook has incorporated more native Page management functionality, and free tools have proliferated. Low and middle-tier Page management companies may face commodification of their services. However, Buddy Media’s focus on enterprise-level solutions is proving lucrative as the world’s biggest brands require advanced tools to apply the marketing spend they’re shifting shift to social.

Capital for Acquisitions in Ecommerce, Games, and Ads API

With plenty of cash on hand, Buddy Media could hire new product teams or acquire developers so it can widen and strengthen its service offering in verticals that emerging as important to Facebook brand presence.

It already acquired SpinBack, whose technology lets brands encourage sharing of ecommerce products and purchases, and track additional sales generated by these shares. Still, it could look to purchase a full-fledged ecommerce store, or the developer of apps that let users pay for purchases with Facebook Credits so clients can process sales from their Page a make a direct ROI. Potential targets include Beetailer, Zibaba, and Moontoast. Page management competitor and prevalent consolidation force Vitrue recently partnered with ecommerce developer Milyoni to gain access to these types of technology.

Marketing-focused game development is becoming more important to Page management as brands look to drive sustained engagement, exposure, and sharing. There are plenty of small game design houses ripe for acquisition that could bring their suite of games as well as their team to Buddy Media. GamesThatGive, which makes games that trigger charity donations when played, was acquired by Vitrue last month, and we believe this type of consolidation will become more common in the next year.

Perhaps the most important decision Buddy Media will have to make with its new funding is how to integrate with the Facebook Ads API, which lets tool and service providers programmatically access Facebook’s ads system to create, buy, manage, and track large scale advertising campaigns. Facebook ads help brands gain fans for the Pages, and the new Sponsored Stories ad unit is triggered by Page content and fan interactions, so having a combined Page management and Ads API solution is optimal for clients. Ads API tool and service providers can earn millions of dollars by taking a percentage of a brand’s total spend.

With the Ads API out of beta and now publicly available, Buddy Media could build its own team and develop an Ads API tool. Alternatively it could acquire one of the smaller brand-focused Ads API developers such as Brighter Option, GraphEffect, or This would follow the trend of consolidation between social marketing and Ads API, as Experian acquired Techlightenment in January and Efficient Frontier acquired Context Optional in May.

One day, Facebook’s native tools may be good enough and brand marketing departments may become sophisticated enough to reduce the need for third-party Page management solutions. But for now, by buying or building out tools critical to a brand’s Facebook presence, Buddy Media can continue to sign  big clients as they wake up to social media and redirect marketing spend their from TV and search.

Facebook Roundup: China, Paul Adams, Video Calling, Badgeville, Don Dodge, and More

China Will Not Invest in Facebook – China’s Investment Corp is not set to invest in Facebook stock, according to a report, since the CIC sees the company as overvalued.

Facebook’s Paul Adams Blogs About Google, Book – Paul Adams, Facebook’s current Global Brand Experience Manager Paul Adams and Google’s former Senior User Experience Researcher wrote a blog post where he addressed why he left Google, why his book “Social Circles” was blocked by Google, his upcoming book “Grouped” and his current work on advertising at Facebook.

Facebook Denies Stealing Video Call URL – A company that had its own video calling service, Samuday Web Technologies, is claiming that Facebook shut down it’s video chat app and it’s URL so it could launch their own product at that address. Facebook’s comment on the issue via ZDNet was:

“The app was disabled by an automated system for a policy violation that was not related to the URL of the app,” a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement. “The developer’s appeal was manually reviewed; the violation was confirmed, and the appeal was denied. Two months after the initial disabling of the app, Facebook acquired the URL.”

Badgeville Raises $12M in Series B – Badgeville, website gamification platform which we wrote about previously, raised $12 million in Series B funding led by Norwest Venture Partners, bringing their total funding to $15 million. The company also added Tim Chang of Norwest and Tom Peterson of El Dorado Ventures to their board. For more on the company’s ongoing changes, check out this infographic.

Facebook Says Sponsored Stories Perform 2x Better Than Standard Ads - David Fischer, Facebook’s Vice President of Advertising and Global Operations told Fast Company that its Sponsored Stories ad unit that converts user behaviors into sidebar ads perform, on average, two times better than it’s standard ad unit, and that there hasn’t been significant user backlash.

Don Dodge Helps Users Export Facebook Friends to Google+ - Google’s Don Dodge wrote a blog post this week that walks Facebook users through how to export the email addresses of their friends using Yahoo! mail and then import them to Google+. The guide to the migration process could fuel tension between the two web giants, and Facebook may look to shut down exporting through Yahoo! to protect itself from Google’s new social network.

TripAdvisor Acquires Where I’ve Been - TripAdvisor, developer of several Facebook apps including the once massively popular Cities I’ve Visited, has acquired fellow travel experience sharing app Where I’ve Been. The acquired app once had over 116,000 daily active users but since November it has plummeted to just 3,000 DAU.

AT&T Begins Selling HTC Status Phone with Facebook Button – The HTC Status is the first mobile phone with a dedicated, physical Facebook button for sharing currently viewed content or one’s locations. The device’s carrier, AT&T, is now accepting pre-orders for the Status.


SortPrice Adds Flash Sales Features to Facebook Platform Ecommerce Suite - SortPrice, an ecommerce tool set for websites with Facebook integrations, has added a new flash sales feature to its product. It allows clients to list specific products at a discount for limited time, and displays users a countdown to the end of the sale.

ShortStack Provides Free Services to Pages Under 2K – ShortStack’s “Surprisingly Free” plan offers the company’s tab design apps and non-database driven widgets free to businesses with anywhere from 100 to 2,000 fans. This includes the ability to run contests and sweepstakes, create landing Pages, play videos, display a photo gallery, show reviews, and integrate online shopping and blogs inside a tab.

AlertSite Reports Facebook is Fastest Social Network – AlertSite reported its results from the Q2 Web Performance Index, noting that Facebook’s fastest response time was .7 seconds, replacing YouTube as the most reliable social networking site.

 OneRPM Launches MP3 Facebook Ecommerce Solution for Musicians – This week, OneRPM debuted its Facebook ecommerce tool for musicians. It allows them to sell music from their Facebook Page, accept payment within Facebook or through PayPal, and gain fans through Like-gates.

Facebook Roundup: Sharing, AT&T, Buddy Media, Fusion-io, iOS5, Bing Mobile, Iran, Jobs, The White House, and Iran

ShareThis: 56% Of Sharing Is Via Facebook – ShareThis, the maker of a sharing widget available on a variety of web sites, conducted a study finding that 56% of all content shared online goes through Facebook.

Facebook, Tech Companies Back AT&T, T-Mobile Merger – Facebook, along with Yahoo and Microsoft, filed letters supporting the acquisition of T-Mobile by AT&T mostly because of how the merger would affect wireless broadband.

Buddy Media IPO? – It would appear that Page management giant Buddy Media is set for an IPO based on the hiring of former Yahoo-er Dennis Morgan as CFO.

Facebook Likes Flash Servers, Fusion-io’s IPO Shows – Fusion-io’s IPO this week for $1.8 billion revealed some interesting data about Facebook, specifically that the company accounts for 52% of flash memory chip maker Fusion-io’s revenue in the first quarter.

Apple Builds Facebook Integration into iOS5 – Apple’s new iOS5 for iPhones and other mobile devices allows users to add Facebook handles into the entries in its native Contacts app.

Emotions Spread Among Friends Via Facebook – A new study by Facebook’s data scientist Adam D.I. Kraner found that emotions such as happiness or sadness are contagious when shared between friends using the Facebook news feed. Writing positive words such as “happy” and “hug”, and negative words such as “sick” in status updates can impact the emotions of friends for up to three days.

TopProspect Reports Top Tech Companies – TopProspect reported that more workers are flocking to work at Google, Facebook, Microsoft, LinkedIn and Apple while Microsoft, Yahoo!, Google, eBay, and Amazon are losing employees. Facebook is winning the talent war, though, with it gaining employees from most of the others tracked. It is poaching especially efficiently from Microsoft, from whom it gained 30.5 employees for each one it sent to the Seattle-based company.

Bing Mobile Enables Facebook Sharing – Bing for Mobile Browser,, just enabled some new social features, including allowing users to easily share some types of search results to Facebook, such as images and local business details. [Screenshot via Bing]

Facebook Expands Women in Computing Program – Facebook quadrupled, to 20, the number of Facebook Grace Hopper Scholarship recipients this year for female university students who excel in computer science. The scholarship includes full-paid trips to Facebook HQ and this year’s Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing conference in Portland, Oregon where COO Sheryl Sandberg will be the keynote speaker.

Postagram Launches Android App – Postagram, which allowed users to transform Instagram photos into postcards, has created an Android app that doesn’t allow users to actually take Instagram photos, but rather, make postcards from photos on their phone or Facebook accounts. The iOS version of the app can also now import Facebook photos. [Image via TechCrunch]

Facebook Activity Led to Arrest in Iran – One man in Iran was purportedly arrested for activities on Facebook, which is banned in that country. Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty reported that Houshang Fanaian was arrested for posting about his religion, which is banned in Iran.

White House Polls Facebook Fans -The White House announced this week the results of an informal Facebook and Twitter poll that found, among other things, 62% of users visit the Page on a weekly basis and about 56% share posts on a monthly basis.

France Bans Mentioning “Facebook” on TV, RadioDue to a law banning the promotion of commercial enterprise on news programs, French broadcasters are no longer allowed to say “Facebook” or “Twitter” on the airwaves unless the social networks are part of the story. Thus, saying “Like us on Facebook” is now forbidden.

Facebook Roundup: Palihapitiya Starts Fund, Safety, OnLive, PunchTab and More

Long-Time Facebook Exec Palihapitiya Leaving to Start Fund — He wasn’t just heading out the door for some frozen yogurt, he’s also starting a new fund called The Social+Capital Partnership. It will raise up to $400 million, and focus not just on investing in tech startups, but also health care, financial services and education, as TechCrunch reports. Palihapitiya joined Facebook in 2007, leading the platform in its early days as well as various monetization efforts, and has moved up within the company over the years — his current title is Vice President of Growth, Mobile and International, where he oversees growth initiatives, including mobile. The parting appears to be on a positive note, as Facebook says it is one of the investors in his fund.

Video: Facebook Safety Team – Facebook released a video this week highlighting the work of the company’s safety team.

OnLive Lets Users Play on Facebook – OnLive has created a universal wireless controller that, among other things, let users launch games from their own profile pages. The integration also allows users to use the “Brag Clip” option to share video uploads as Wall posts so your friends know when you’re playing.

PunchTab Raises $850K – PunchTab raised $850,000 this week from a varietiy of investors. The company allows publishers on the Facebook platform to award visitors points for checking into a site or blog daily, although doing so could be a violation of Facebook platform terms that prohibit developers from incentivizing users around core actions on the site.

A Look at Small Businesses on Facebook — Entrepreneur has a good run-down, here.

TrialPay Awarded Patents for “Alternative Payment Systems” – TrialPay has announced that it has been recently granted its fourth patent from the U.S. Patent Office. A list of their current patents can be found here.

Republican Candidate Pawlenty Using Sponsored Stories Ads — In a relatively sophisticated move, the former Minnesota governor has been using the Page Post type of Sponsored Stories ads on Facebook, as ClickZ details. It’s a relatively new format that so far has been yielding good results, according to Pawlenty-contracted agency Engage, who has been helping Pawlenty experiment with the encouragement of Facebook.

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