From the category archives:


On the third day of Facebook’s public trading, Lou Kerner spoke on Bloomberg TV, discussing the outlook for the company’s stock.


In the wake of Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram, Lou Kerner recently hosted a conference call and published a new deck profiling the deal. Robert Scoble, Peter Relan and Vic Singh (whose slides are below), participated in the call.

To listen to a replay of the call, dial 888-632-8973, or 585-295-6791 (if outside the U.S.), The replay code is 599-456-76#


Lou Kerner said Facebook’s IPO represents a divide between old guard and the new tech community. “The world’s never seen an IPO with as much global demand outside of Wall Street as there exists for Facebook,” Kerner said. “It can have a highly successful offering even if traditional, institutional investors are tepid.”

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The Facebook auction that took place on Wednesday cleared at a price of $31.25, flat versus last week, and implying a value of $77.2 billion.

Facebook had traded at its high of $31.50 for four straight weeks, beginning on March 9th, before moving down slightly.  The high price of $31.50 implied a value of $77.8 billion.

Figure 1: Facebook Shares Trading at $31.25, Implying a Value of Just over $77 BN

Source: Company data, Wedbush Securities, Inc.



Guest Post by Todd Marks, CEO viaPlace

Historically, games were always a social activity.  This began to shift in the 1970s, when arcade games became prevalent and with the introduction of PCs and game consoles, game play became a largely an individual experience.

Today, powered by technology advances and prevalence of social websites like Facebook, digital gaming is reintroducing the social experience into gaming and masses are embracing the shift.  AdWeek’s Mike Shields recently posited that the widespread adoption of social gaming is behind the demise of the soap opera, noting, “When Zynga… arrived on the scene in 2007, both All My Children and One Life to Live were averaging a 1.9 rating among women 25-54.  By 2011 the two shows were averaging 1.3 and 1.4 ratings respectively in that key viewer group. The drop is even steeper for other demographics.”

The newest trend is that digital social gaming allows users to digitize traditional games from the physical world and enhance the social nature of the games by leveraging mobile devices.

Our company, viaPlace, has built a framework to deliver Location Based Services, Augmented Reality, and Social Gaming to mobile applications.  We recently released “TAG”, a game of elimination that has traditionally been played across college campuses using low-tech devices like water guns. Players compete to find and “tag” assassination targets until there is only one player remaining. viaPlace transformed “TAG” into a high-tech game leveraging mobile devices using their digital cameras for the “tag shot.”

Within the game, players also utilize the foursquare check-in API to broadcast their current location at set intervals to help assassins hone in on their targets.  However, this is not just used to seek out potential Targets to “tag.”  By using a Game Wall that aggregates all player activity, locations and comments, TAG increases social engagement across all players both within the game, and in the real world.


Figure 1: Smartphone Usage Leading to a Revolution in Social Gaming

Source: viaPlace


The thirst for social mobile gaming is evident in the growing popularity of mobile games and of the platforms that support them.

Flurry, a mobile application analytics engine, reported in February that 26 million unique users play social mobile games more than 25 minutes a day on average.


Figure 2: Games Dominate iPad Apps

Source: Flurry


Additionally, mobile gaming networks such as OpenFeint enhance mobile games by providing social components via leaderboards and connecting gamers over the Internet.  Last month the network surpassed 73 million registered users, adding new users at a rate of over 4 million per month.  The company currently has over 4,000 combined titles for iPhone and Android including some of the best-selling mobile games of all time, such as Rovio’s Angry Birds which alone recently crossed 100 million downloads.

The biggest reason social gaming has leapt to mobile platforms is because the technology is finally there to support it, providing a better experience than the previous platforms.  Smartphones, in addition to mobile Internet connectivity, now include capabilities such as Augmented Reality, Location Based Services, Near Field Communication, Face Time Communication and Gyroscopic Everything, which have opened the door to a host of newer and cooler games users can play.   Eric Schmidt, Google’s former CEO, recently pointed out that Smartphone utilities are “Augmenting Humanity” with global mobile traffic growing 260% in 2010.

– Guest Post by Todd Marks, CEO viaPlace



This Week in Social Gaming

May 10, 2011

Share From the time we began tracking the social gaming sector in April 2010, the three largest developers in terms of aggregate MAUS have remained at the top.  Zynga has extended its lead growing users 7% since we began tracking in April 2010.  We also note, two weeks ago, John Schappert, left his position as [...]

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RENREN IPO 30 Times Oversubscribed

May 10, 2011

Share RENREN IPO 30 TIMES OVERSUBSCRIBED On Wednesday May 4, China-based social networking company Renren IPO’d to raise almost $750 million.  The IPO was priced at the high end of the range at $14 ($12 to $14), after the price range was revised 30% higher a week earlier due to high demand.   Renren’s net [...]

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Sponsored Stories – You’re the “Mad Men” now

May 10, 2011

Share Guest Post by Erik Ober, Founder & CEO Booshaka In January, Facebook quietly released what might become the most innovative and effective advertising product of all time — Sponsored Stories.  The new ad unit converts a user’s activity, such as “Liking” a page or using an app, into an interactive sidebar placement that can [...]

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Facebook Advertising Embracing the Second Internet Ethos

May 10, 2011

Share FACEBOOK DOMINATES DISPLAY ADS & INNOVATES PRODUCT TO REFLECT 2nd INTERNET ETHOS The Unilever campaign is an example of brands increasing experimentation with and utilization of social media.  This migration to social media platforms is reflected in Facebook’s sizable market share gains in display advertising impressions, with comScore reporting that in Q1 2011, Facebook [...]

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