Linkages

Booting Up: Twitter’s Verified Users Can Now Ignore Everyone Else

We're going to need some mouse ears. (Photo by Brian Harkin/Getty Images)

Samsung’s buttering up startups. What gives? [The Verge]

Sources say Twitter isn’t growing as fast as its own projections. Are you psyched for the IPO hysteria yet? [AllThingsD]

Speaking of: Thanks to new filtering options, verified users never have to see messages from the unwashed masses. [Twitter]

The founders of Google can no longer buy cheap fuel from the Pentagon to operate their private jet, which was part of an agreement to rent a decommissioned airfield from NASA. Sketch. [Wall Street Journal]

No more Facebook credits, apologies to any Facebook credits high-rollers. [TechCrunch]

Forget That Fake Money

New Deal with Zynga Shows That Facebook Wants to Keep Its Frenemies Close When It Comes to Real-Money Gaming

MarkPincus-S

Both Facebook and Zynga filed documents with the SEC today detailing the terms of a new, more lax partnership. The two-year-old contract between the once interdependent companies–just check out their IPO filings–was slated to expire.

Under the loosened agreement, Zynga is free of a number of obligations, including implementing Facebook credits on Zynga game pages and using Facebook as its exclusive social platform. Naturally Zynga is interested in establishing its own network, with the ability to own its own players and establish its own ad relationships. Zynga also no longer has to display Facebook ad units, for example.

But Facebook also got one (big!) thing: the ability to develop its own games. That might explain why Zynga stock is trading almost 13 percent down after hours.  Read More

It's Who You Know

As Banks Start Nosing Around Facebook and Twitter, the Wrong Friends Might Just Sink Your Credit

wonderful life

Let’s take a trip with the Ghost of Christmas Future. The year is 2016, and George Bailey, a former banker, now a part-time consultant, is looking for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage for a co-op in the super-hot neighborhood of Bedford Falls (BeFa). He has never missed a loan payment and has zero credit card debt. He submits his information to the online-only PotterBank.com, but halfway through the application process, the website asks for his Facebook login. Then his Twitter. Then LinkedIn. The cartoon loan officer avatar begins to frown as the algorithm discovers Mr. Bailey’s taxi-driving buddy Ernie was once turned down by PotterBank for a loan; then it starts browsing his daughter Zuzu’s photo album, “Saturday Nite!” And what was this tweet from a few years back: “FML, about to jump off a goddamn bridge”? Read More

Venture Capitalism

Live Gamer, a New York-Based Platform For Selling Virtual Goods in Video Games, Just Picked Up $8.5 M.

live-gamer-logo

Live Gamer, the robust e-commerce platform that helps publishers monetize video games, just announced an $8.5 million VC investment from Charles River Ventures and Kodiak Venture Partners, reports TechCrunch. According to its Crunchbase profile, that represents the company’s fourth investment round, bringing the company’s total funding to $36.3 million.

The startup, which is headquartered in New York City, already boasts high-profile partnerships to power micro transactions for gaming companies like EA, Sony, Real Networks, and THQ. Live Gamer’s platform lets publishers manage the merchandising and analytics of virtual goods. It also helps control support for in-game currency, payment gateways, virtual item gifting and more. Read More