Whatsapp is Free

Whatsapp, the popular messaging service owned by Facebook, announced that it will drop its $1 annual subscription fee, and instead make money on helping build business relationships between consumers and companies. This strategy is identical to Facebook’s evolution of Messenger, which now incorporates customer service capabilites, mobile payments, and other non-chat services. Whatsapp founder Jan Koum noted that the company will … Continue reading Whatsapp is Free

Local E-Commerce

My wife and I are moving into a new apartment, and so we’ve been busy doing all sorts of new apartment things: finding a painter and handyman, purchasing appliances, choosing an Internet provider, hiring a mover, and so on. At almost every step, we’ve used our iPhones – and more specifically, Facebook – to do … Continue reading Local E-Commerce

Who Would Buy Yahoo?

After I wrote my post about Tumblr’s hidden value the other day, Ben Schenker and I got into a conversation about if Yahoo! might present an appealing takeover target, similar to Verizon’s acquisition of erstwhile internet behemoth AOL. It’s hard to imagine, but AOL also seemed equally improbable. Despite its somewhat dated brand image, it’s still … Continue reading Who Would Buy Yahoo?

Tumblin’ Dice

There’s been some hubbub lately about the potential tax implications of Yahoo’s planned spinoff of its 15% stake in Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba. Those shares, worth about $25 billion, would account for the lion’s share of Yahoo’s $29 billion market cap at close of trading on Monday. This math got me thinking about Yahoo’s other big acquisition … Continue reading Tumblin’ Dice

Fifteen Seconds

Facebook has decided to shorten Warhol’s “Fifteen Minutes of Fame” to “Fifteen Seconds,” thanks to the new video functionality added to Instagram, which allows the user to take up to fifteen seconds of video – a full nine seconds longer than Twitter’s Vine app, and certainly one giant leap for mankind. That said, we would … Continue reading Fifteen Seconds