By Jason Calacanis
A year ago SNS (social network service) Path.com launched as the anti-Facebook. With odd product choices like a 50-person friend limit and an iPhone-only release, the service created a lot of discussion.
I became a huge fan of the privacy-first Path because, as many of you know, I've had a slight problem with the way in which Facebook has flipped user privacy, with opting folks in to features they would never embrace.
The government had a problem with Facebook's approach as well, and just last week Zuckerberg admitted his track record was a disaster.
Facebook agreed to a 20-year, third-party audit.
It's worth reading the settlement.
Back to Path. The service was considered dead.
Facebook has acquired social guides service Gowalla for an undisclosed amount, a source close to Gowalla told CNN Money, which partnered with Gowalla back in 2010.
This is certainly an admission that despite a lot of effort, Facebook's mobile products are simply not as elegant an well-designed as those of Instagram, Gowalla and the new Path. Gowalla, which is known for superior design and UX, partnered with Facebook in August 2010 when Facebook launched Places.
As part of the acquisition...
[ Image courtesy of fotopedia.com via creative commons license. ]
When Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced Facebook's New York engineering office earlier today, the Big Apple saw its startup cred go up more than a few notches.
Facebook's first East Coast office for engineering is set to open in early 2012 with long-time engineer Serkan Piantino heading it up. No word yet on how many engineers it will hire, but 15 positions are currently open. Facebook will join -- and compete with -- top New York born-and-raised startups like Tumblr, Etsy, Kickstarter, Gilt Groupe and foursquare.
New York-based Hunch co-founder Chris Dixon, whose company eBay just acquired, tweeted, "Congrats to Serkan & Facebook. Awesome guy & great for NYC.
Gilt Groupe retweeted Bloomberg's note, and Foursquare appears to have...
Like Groupon, LivingSocial isn't afraid to go mass-market with its daily deals. It sold 1.4M $10 for $20 at Amazon deals, selling out in 29 hours in January. The Washington, DC-based company topped that performance by selling out its 1M $10-for-$20 Whole Foods deals in September in 14 hours (about 70K deals per hour).
You'd think $13 for $26 worth of McDonald's Big Macs and large fries that never expires might be similarly popular (LivingSocial is promoting the deal as a holiday gift), but its customers are lukewarm at best, buying just 268K out of 1M available deals as of 1pm PT today with 13 hours still remaining. We're not surprised that LivingSocial extended the deal, which started yesterday, to today.
LivingSocial customer and serial entrepreneur Kevin Rose tweeted yesterday that LivingSocial -- a company he "enjoyed" -- sold out with the McDonald's deal, later adding, "Last @LivingSocial tweet: we all make our own decisions, I get it.. I just expected more from them, it doesn't always have to be about the $."
Travel recommendation network Tripl lets you add trips, recommend people to see worldwide and earn points based on how global you are.
Sweden-based Tripl went live in September but recently revamped its service with the addition of profiles that feature a bio line, trip timeline, showcase of services like Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr, and passion and interest tags.
When you first sign up, Tripl asks you to...