Facebook is on its way to having a billion members, but it’s not always making friends everywhere it goes. Two young men, both aged 19 and in the most recent crop of Y Combinator startups, think they’ve found a gap in the market that has yet to be served that well by the social network: families.
Friends Reunited — which once laid claim to being the UK’s first social network before falling far behind the pull of Facebook — is relaunching this week as a “digital scrapbook” where users can collect their own pictures along with copyrighted photos, through a series of deals with image libraries.
The first two libraries to sign up, the Press Association and photographic archive company the… → Read More
Palo Alto-based Who’s Near Me Live, abbreviated as WNM Live, is a two-year-old company that’s found moderate success by launching first on Windows Mobile and Windows Phone, before porting its mobile app to the iPhone, where it arrives today with a more limited feature set. The service, essentially a location-based chat similar in some respects to the newly acquired Yobongo, now boasts 400,000… → Read More
I’m interrupting your tech news flow to tell you about a nifty little tool you’ll probably want to bookmark for later. It’s called Bliss Control, and it comes from the same folks that brought you the email notifications management utility called Notification Control(and seriously – check that one out, too, if you get too many social media updates in via email. Inbox savior!).
Tribesports, a young, London-based startup, is attacking perhaps the most rabid of all those interest-based subgroups: Sports enthusiasts. The startup launched last year with the goal of motivating sports buffs to connect online to improve in their sport of choice offline.
It’s turning into a battle of apps at SXSW – the sheer number of location-based networking apps hoping to emerge from the conference as this year’s breakout hit is nearly overwhelming. What’s worse, the apps are often so similar in nature, it’s hard to discern the advantages of one over another.
Is the app for business networking or making new friends? Does it use check-in data from other… → Read More
At the 2010 TechCrunch Disrupt San Francisco, Benchmark Capital Partner Matt Cohler took to the stage to talk about the state of the venture capital industry. In so doing, Cohler said that he thought too many investors were becoming focused on risk mitigation, which can often deter investors from going after companies that may be building something really big, trying to change the world — but… → Read More
Back in March of last year, we wrote about how video curation seemed to be growing up, or at least taking some strides forward. Its progress being evidenced in part by a young startup called ShortForm, a social network for video jockeys. Or, better said, ShortForm is attempting to let all those video enthusiasts out there create and curate their own personalized channels of web video, pulling that… → Read More
Microsoft is officially launching So.cl, the social networking service it teased back in July. And it turns out, it’s not meant to be Microsoft’s version of Facebook, but a social networking service for students built on top of Facebook. The service is launching out of Microsoft Research’s FUSE Labs division, and is still being dubbed “experimental.”
Social networking service Tagged, Inc. announced it has acquired the social game network hi5 today, doubling Tagged’s monthly active users to 20 million. The combination will also increase the total number of registered users to 330 million, up from 100 million.
According to The WSJ’s report, the deal’s terms were not disclosed, but include the hi5 website and user base. → Read More
Sometimes, reporting startup news can make a person feel old. Case in point: Woozworld, the virtual world maker for tweens, is launching a social networking service called WoozIn, which I’m saying with a straight face. I swear. WoozIn. It’s essentially a Facebook-lite/virtual world mashup that allows prepubescent youth to share, comment and like their friends’ updates, pictures, videos and more… → Read More
Earlier this month, the Q&A-cum-social-networking service Formspringlaunched its first ever user Directory, with the intent on better highlighting the most popular users within a given category like “Music,” “Sports” or “Fashion.” Today, the company is expanding its focus on connecting users based on interests, and is rolling out an update that will allow users to click on any tag in their… → Read More
The L.A.-based startup nProgress is launching a new social discovery app ntro this morning, backed by over $1.7 million in funding from Jarl Mohn, Gordon Crawford, Kevin Wall, Activation Media Partners, Baroda Ventures, SV Angel, Jeff Pulver and Richard Crowell. The app, available now for iPhone and Android, is meant to connect you with others around who you may know through mutual friends or… → Read More
Unthink, the social networking platform whose marketing campaign involves a lot of Facebook bashing, has reached 100,000 registered users, the company is now reporting. As you may recall, the site quickly crashed after TechCrunch sent its usual heavy stream of traffic to the network, and it took Unthink over a day to recover.
Now the number of visitors to the site is doubling daily, including… → Read More
Social discovery service Banjo, which launched its cross-platform mobile application for iPhone and Android earlier this summer, has just introduced a new way to keep track of where your friends are and what they’re doing: automatic friend alerts. Unlike the alerts you see on Foursquare, which ping you every time a friend checks in somewhere, this friend alerting feature works across social… → Read More
There’s a new concept for social networking services taking root, and it’s not about re-creating your offline social graph on the Web, like Facebook does today. It’s about discovering the people who are nearby you now – the ones you probably would like to meet.
This type of discovery mechanism is already being made possible by a number of services, including the checkin apps like Foursquare… → Read More
Social groupware platform GROU.PS just introduced several new features, the most notable of which is a Facebook template called “theBook” that lets you create your own private network with the same look and feel as Facebook.
According to GROU.PS founder Emre Sokullu, the use of the template has already increased the engagement rates within groups by over 50%. → Read More
Heyzap, a monetization and distribution platform for online casual games, announced today that it’s going mobile. Launching a social discovery application for mobile games on Android, the startup will be bringing the 1.6 million users it has already accumulated on its social gaming platform over to mobile.
Dog lovers, this one’s for you. According to the Humane Society, there are 77.5 million owned dogs in the United States, and nearly 40 percent of households own at least one dog. And all of them are TechCrunch readers. Obviously, this is a fairly sizable demographic — just imagine if they could vote. Though these high numbers may not be surprising to the canine-inclined, what may be surprising is… → Read More
Editor’s note: This is the first of a three-part guest post by venture capitalist Mark Suster of GRP Partners on “Social Networking: The Past, Present, And Future.”
Online Social Networking 25 Years Ago: CompuServc, Prodigy & The Well
Listening to young people talk about social networking as a new phenomenon is a bit like hearing people talk about a remake of a famous song from my youth as… → Read More
Editor’s note: Marc Benioff, chairman and CEO of salesforce.com, really loves Japan. And if you are a startup founder or tech executive, he thinks you should too. He explains why in this guest post, culled from observations from his most recent visit.
Thousands of people lined up last week to buy iPads. And, if you didn’t notice them, it’s because they were in Tokyo.
Social networks are a dime a dozen. Many of them focus on the social, or the networking, independent of other aspects that might bring people together. It’s no big surprise that many of these social networks fail, or only reach specific niche audiences. As such, it was with a bit of skepticism that I approached Scitable.com, a social network for science research and education from the folks at… → Read More
Over-sharing the minutiae of your life is already difficult, so why complicate things with Twitter, Facebook and Foursquare when you only need one service to rule them all? That’s where Google Buzz comes in and makes annoying your friends with news about your snacking habits that much easier. → Read More
Vodafone today launched Vodafone 360 (its replacement for Vodafone Live) which brings together mobile phone contacts, social networking accounts, email, IM, etc. so they can be accessed seamlessly on phone or PC. It currently covers Facebook, Live Messenger and Google Talk. Twitter will be added soon. Vodafone has also added a range of new apps, games, music and mapping services as part of the… → Read More
Social networking site Bebo has made the leap into Europe, teaming with local media partners to gain a foothold in France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands — markets in which Facebook, MySpace and Netlog are already active players. AOL’s People Networks division announced yesterday that the site will use IP-based geo-targetting to provide services in the user’s first… → Read More
This is a little off-topic for CG at least, but I’m actually amazed at the audacity of Motrin in drumming up their little social networking play aimed at Mommy bloggers. The video itself looks like they took something from column A that could cause pain (“Baby slings!”) and added a body part (“Backs!”) and got Motrin. The easiest equivalent to this I can think of off… → Read More
Announcing FederalContractor.us, a social network for federal contractors. Yes, you read that correctly. You know, when reality TV started getting really big, many thought that it’d only be a matter of time before people started realizing that they were watching the same premise over and over and over again. However, it seems that there’s no end in sight for reality TV. Every week, there’s… → Read More
Traditionally, booze and social networking have always gone hand in hand. During the 20th century, men and women would leave their homes and visit drinking locations called “bars” and “pubs.” There they would imbibe various beverages and, if the fates intervened, would go home with each other for coffee and perhaps a moment or two of Bible study. Those, friends, were simpler times.