Linkages

Booting Up: Pinterest Raises $200 Million at a $2.5 Billion Valuation

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Pinterest completed a $200 million funding round that values the company at $2.5 billion. Valiant Capital Management is said to have led the round, with previous investors Andreessen Horowitz, Bessemer Venture Partners and FirstMark Capital also participating. [AllThingsD]

IBM is making a push into mobile, and plans to provide customers with software, data and security services on mobile devices. [NYT]

Calling all youth correspondents: the social network Pheed is said to be gaining in popularity, especially with teens. [Forbes]

Facebook isn’t the only tech company to catch heat for using stock option deductions to avoid paying corporate taxes. The Center for Tax Justice says LinkedIn has used the deduction to avoid paying federal taxes for the last three years. [New York Post]

Eduardo Saverin talked about life after the Facebook, the challenges faces the social media company he helped found, and his decision to move to Singapore. “No, I did not rescind my citizenship for tax purposes,” is what he says. [WSJ]

How White Was Your Valley

Among Internet Users, Black People Use Instagram and Twitter More Than White People

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The Pew Internet & American Life Project released a new survey on the demographics of social media users yesterday.  The nonprofit, nonpartisan “fact tank” says its findings are the “first reportable” survey that it’s put out comparing whites, African-Americans and Latinos on Pinterest, Instagram and Tumblr.

But if you’ve been paying attention to shifting demographics, the results shouldn’t surprise you. Read More

And Then He Pinned Me

Cops Now Pinning Mugshots to Pinterest Because the Police Can Be Aspirational Too

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Few social networks are as adroit at triggering man’s aspirational impulse as Pinterest. Of course, different people covet different things. In the case of police departments in fourteen cities–including Pottstown, Penn., Kansas City, Mo. and now Philadelphia–Buzzfeed reports that cops are using Pinterest to advertise what want to catch: criminals. Read More

Faux Outrage

Reports That Instagram Lost 25 Percent of Active Users Are Greatly Exaggerated

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“Rage Against Rules,” declares a bolded headline in The New York Post today, which collected stats from App Data to paint a portrait of a flailing Instagram. The Post claims that following the terms of service debacle, which supposedly had both normals and celebrities fleeing the app, Instagram’s total active users has plunged 25 percent.

The app reportedly peaked at 16.4 million daily active users the week of Dec. 17, but has decreased to 12.4 million as of Dec. 27. Read More

DIY Don'ts

50 Pinterest DIY Projects You Are Definitely Not Doing This Christmas

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Only someone on a five-day meth binge can muster this level of attention to detail.

The holidays are upon us! Time to trim the tree and drink some cocoa. For crafty types, though, this is basically the Olympics. This is the main event, the reason they’ve trained so hard for so long. Pinterest is therefore flooded with impossibly intricate, over-the-top DIY projects.

But other than a few twee over-achievers, no one is actually going to try these. You will be too busy drinking eggnog until you fall over and combing Kmart for last-minute gifts. Read More

Start Me Up

Seeking Pinterest Power Users? With HelloInsights, Science Inc. Wants to Help

Behold, the leaderboard!

Marketers know that Pinterest can drive a flood of acquisition-minded traffic. But hammering out a specific strategy is a different matter entirely, and the social network is only just emerging from the earliest, have-the-intern-run-it stages of social media popularity.

“The most followed people don’t necessarily equate to the most effective people,” HelloInsights CEO Kyla Brennan told Betabeat. Her company hopes to help, with its newly launched analytics platform. Read More

Goooood Morning Silicon Alley!

Best Tech Events This Week (Women 2.0, Angelhack, Uncubed, NY Tech Meetup, Funding Global Innovation, Feedback Forum, NJ Tech Meetup)

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This is a guest post from Gary Sharma (aka “The Guy with the Red Tie”), founder and CEO of GarysGuide and proud owner of a whole bunch of black suits, white shirts and, at last count, over 40 red ties. You can reach him at gary [at] garysguide.com.

Mayor Bloomberg and the NYCEDC recently launched a prototyping competition, where six lucky winning teams will get an opportunity to prototype new products while receiving studio space from sponsor NYDesigns and mentorship from industry leaders Shapeways, Adafruit Industries, and Honeybee Robotics. Alison Hodgson and Miquela Craytor from the NYCEDC will be at the Hardware Startup Meetup today to explain the competition and take any questions. Read More