Breaking News: Facebook just agreed to acquire Instagram for $1Billion

Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...
Image via CrunchBase

Posted by Nameet Potnis

15 minutes ago Facebook has agreed to acquire Instagram. Mark Zuckerberg just shared the following update on his Facebook Timeline.

I’m excited to share the news that we’ve agreed to acquire Instagram and that their talented team will be joining Facebook.

For years, we’ve focused on building the best experience for sharing photos with your friends and family. Now, we’ll be able to work even more closely with the Instagram team to also offer the best experiences for sharing beautiful mobile photos with people based on your interests.

We believe these are different experiences that complement each other. But in order to do this well, we need to be mindful about keeping and building on Instagram’s strengths and features rather than just trying to integrate everything into Facebook.

That’s why we’re committed to building and growing Instagram independently. Millions of people around the world love the Instagram app and the brand associated with it, and our goal is to help spread this app and brand to even more people.

We think the fact that Instagram is connected to other services beyond Facebook is an important part of the experience. We plan on keeping features like the ability to post to other social networks, the ability to not share your Instagrams on Facebook if you want, and the ability to have followers and follow people separately from your friends on Facebook.

These and many other features are important parts of the Instagram experience and we understand that. We will try to learn from Instagram’s experience to build similar features into our other products. At the same time, we will try to help Instagram continue to grow by using Facebook’s strong engineering team and infrastructure.

This is an important milestone for Facebook because it’s the first time we’ve ever acquired a product and company with so many users. We don’t plan on doing many more of these, if any at all. But providing the best photo sharing experience is one reason why so many people love Facebook and we knew it would be worth bringing these two companies together.

We’re looking forward to working with the Instagram team and to all of the great new experiences we’re going to be able to build together.

Indian Government gets ready to ‘spy’ on Blackberry users emails and BBM

Blackberry’s highly secure BBM service could now be open to Government scrutiny. Back in March 2008 the government of India had asked Blackberry to allow them to intercept emails sent over Blackberry’s servers to monitor unlawful activity.

If recent reports from India Today are to be believed, the government will soon be able to do just this. Unnamed Indian officials were quick to point out to India Today that their forthcoming ability to capture and crack BBM messages will be used strictly to intercept communication only from handsets of people suspected of criminal or terrorist activity.

Close on the heels of a 12% cut in prices of its handsets in early April 2012, Blackberry has been bucking the international trend, and has posted considerable sales in India. Trak.in, in their latest research report states “While OEMs such as Nokia and Blackberry have traumatic global challenges, they are expected to continue to be significant in India given their strong brand presence, distribution network and consumer affinity in India.”

What remains to be seen is whether the government’s snooping on Blackberry’s secure servers gives Blackberry’s Enterprises users a shiver.

blog maverick

I hear it all the time from people. “I’m passionate about it.” “I’m not going to quit, It’s my passion”. Or I hear it as advice to students and others “Follow your passion”.

What a bunch of BS.  “Follow Your Passion” is easily the worst advice you could ever give or get.

Why ? Because everyone is passionate about something. Usually more than 1 thing.  We are born with it. There are always going to be things we love to do. That we dream about doing. That we really really want to do with our lives. Those passions aren’t worth a nickel.

Think about all the things you have been passionate about in your life. Think about all those passions that you considered making a career out of or building a company around.  How many were/are there ? Why did you bounce from one to another ?  Why were you…

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One of the most innovative Pinterest Campaigns so far by Kotex

Red Pinterest logo
Red Pinterest logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For brands trying to get their heads around Pinterest, here’s a clever engagement of the site’s users by Kotex. For a Kotex campaign called “Woman’s Inspiration Day,” Israeli agency Smoyz targeted 50 “influential” Pinterest users, studied their Pinterest boards, and then made handcrafted gifts for those users based on the items they liked most. The results: 50 gift boxes, 694,853 total impressions—thanks to the users pinning images of the gifts themselves on the site. Pretty labor intensive, but smart. Any brand message centered around female self-expression could do well on Pinterest, if the tactics don’t overwhelm the target.

Via Adverblog.

 

What do you think?

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Funding a Start-up in India to be classified as Taxable income!

A recent clause in India’s 2012 Budget proposes taxing Indian start-ups 30% of the amount invested by Angel investors by terming the investment as income.

The Memorandum of the Finance Bill 2012 states
“It is proposed to insert a new clause in section 56(2). The new clause will apply where a company, not being a company in which the public are substantially interested, receives, in any previous year, from any person being a resident, any consideration for issue of shares. In such a case if the consideration received for issue of shares exceeds the face value of such shares, the aggregate consideration received for such shares as exceeds the fair market value of the shares shall be chargeable to income tax under the head “Income from other sources. However, this provision shall not apply where the consideration for issue of shares is received by a venture capital undertaking from a venture capital company or a venture capital fund.”

Where does this leave entrepreneurs who get Angel funding pretty early in the start-up life cycle when perhaps the only assets they have is a great idea on its way to execution?

In the Hindu Businessline, Mr Saurabh Srivastava, co-founder of Indian Angel Network, explains: “An angel investor may invest Rs 1 crore in a company that has no revenues and no profits and the tax official, unless otherwise ‘persuaded’, would tax the company at 30 per cent for no reason at all and convert an investment into income.”

Possible ways of working around this clause are suggested by Deepak Shenoy, who is a co-founder at MarketVision. He says, ” If you are a founder, you could use a sweat equity approach or use convertible debentures or since the law applies only to companies, you might be able to start a Limited Liability Partnership. Read his in-depth analysis here.

On a similar note, the U.S is mulling passing the “Entrepreneur Access to Capital Act,” (Pdf Link) which allows entrepreneurs to raise up to $2 million from individual investors without having to be approved by securities regulators. You can read more about this on his blog here.

I have rarely seen online petitions change anything in India, yet I am hopeful and have signed a petition. If you would like to do the same, you can do so at http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/no-startup-tax/

What do you think about the proposed law?

The Story of ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’

Keep Calm and Carry On was a propaganda poster produced by the British government in 1939 during the beginning of the Second World War, intended to raise the morale of the British public in the event of invasion.
The poster was rediscovered in 2000 and has been re-issued by a number of private sector companies, and used as the decorative theme for a range of other products. There were only two known surviving examples of the poster outside government archives until a collection of about 20 originals were brought in to the Antiques Roadshow in 2012 by the daughter of an ex-Royal Observer Corps member.
Here is a video that explains how and where the poster was rediscovered and its rise to fame.