We all got punked.
WhoDat.biz, the silly site claiming to be Kanye West’s newest startup, is not in fact affiliated with the rapper. Everyone from The Washington Post to Ars Technica to BuzzFeed to our very own Betabeat got swept up in the WhoDat madness–which is probably exactly what the unknown architects behind WhoDat wanted.
404s and Heartbreak
Have you ever thought, “Domain lookup tool Whois works well as a service, but I wish it had a little more SWAG?” Or perhaps, “I like Whois, but it just doesn’t yell at me in caps lock enough.” Luckily Kanye West has you covered, with the launch of his new startup, WhoDat.biz (no it’s seriously called that though).
With more than 11 million users Pinterest is the current King Kong of sites featuring curated collections of images of doilies and Quaker-style furniture (among many other things). The Fancy may have trumped Pinterest in one respect–businesses can profit directly from items posted on the site. This differs from the current model used by Pinterest which monetizes content through affiliate links:
Merchants need to claim items already posted on the Fancy site in order to sell there. Right now, the startup will only accept one merchant per item. Eventually, like Google, it will list many merchants who sell an item. If no merchant claims an item, users still need to travel to a third-party site in order to make the purchase.
Joe Einhorn launched The Fancy in 2011. High profile backers include Ashton Kutcher and Twitter’s Jack Dorsey sits on its board. Until today, though, it was a lesser-known Pinterest competitor and like that site unprofitable. Business Insider, however, says The Fancy’s users are “highly engaged” and the site is more “male-focused” than Pinterest.
UPDATE: Federal Prosecutors Shut Down File Sharing Site Megaupload for Piracy Violations
UPDATE 2: Megaupload Lawyer: Swizz Beatz Was Merely ‘Negotiating to Become the CEO’
With all the blackouts and SOPA? PIPA? NOPA! chanting yesterday, we missed this exquisite gem of a revelation: Swizz Beatz, husband to Alicia Keys and producer-in-residence at NYU, also happens to be the CEO of Megaupload.com. [Ed note: Megaupload's lawyer now says Mr. Beatz was only negotiating to the CEO.]
For the uninitiated, Megaupload is a service that lets users send and share large media files. It also happens to the site Betabeat used just last night to watch a, um, free version of the latest episode of “New Girl” since the ad-supported version was unavailable on Hulu. Under SOPA’s strict guidelines, we believe the punishment for such impudence is being drawn-and-quartered.
After a long sabattical from his Twitter account, Kanye West returned to the internet last night with a flurry of thoughts in 140 characters or less. The big news, he is forming a new company, DONDA. It’s not entirely clear what the mission of the company is, but it seems like the tech set can get involved: