Google began to include Google Plus updates in search results. Many, including Twitter, have criticized the move as anticompetitive. Twitter and Google attempted but failed to reach an agreement in 2011 that would have displayed Tweets in search results.
Hilton, Hyatt, Intercontinental, Marriott, Wyndham and two other major hotel chains have launched Roomkey.com, a direct booking engines for hotel rooms.Roomkey is an attempt to drive higher margin direct sales for these hotels, who are currently paying affiliate fees to partners who generate hotel room bookings.
Hulu will launch an original 13 episode series called Battleground next month. Netflix, Hulu and other over the top video companies have begun to differentiate commodity video streaming service with original content seeking to replicate HBO’s success on cable. Hulu announced $420M in 2011 revenue (+68%).
Microsoft announced 66M Xbox 360s sold and 18M Kinects. Separately, Microsoft’s Bing search engine surpassed Yahoo’s search market share for the first time, according to comScore, with 15.1% share compared to 14.5% for Yahoo.
Kindle users are borrowing 300,000 books per month using the Kindle Lending Library. The Library has 75,000 titles and is operated by Amazon.
comScore reported Tumblr grew to 18.8M uniques (+19%) in December while Pinterest grew to 7.5M uniques (+53%). FormSpring announced 4B cumulative answers since launch.
MineCraft, the indie runaway world building game, announced 20M users.
PopCap released a survey of its users indicating 48% of those who cheat in social games also cheat offline. These users admitted to stealing from hotels and cheating tax authorities.
The White House withdrew support for the controversial SOPA bill which would have threatened free communication of the Internet with onerous piracy compliance requirements.
Atlassian announced revenues of $102M (+35% y/y). Atlassian provides product management software. The company boasts 450 employees, 17,000 paying customers and more than 5M DAU.
eBay mobile purchases doubled in 2011, reaching $5B while PayPal mobile volumes surpassed $4B. eBay is forecasting $8B and $7B for 2012.
12% of iPad owners no longer use their laptop, according to a study by IDGConnect. 75% of those polled indicated they carry a laptop less. 67% of Americans polled use an iPad at work; of those, 93% use it for communication, and only 13% of those devices were supplied by employers.
Tango, the mobile video chat company, revealed iOS conversion-to-paid rates are four times greater than Android.
OnLive, the video streaming company, released a remote desktop application for iPads that allows users to control a laptop/desktop remotely. OnLive also released a GoogleTV client.
Symantec has acquired LiveOffice, a cloud email archiving company, for $115M. LiveOffice has 20,000 customers.
47 firms raised $18.2B in 2011 according to the NVCA, an increase of 30% y/y in dollars.
|Gidsy GmbH||Gidsy GmbH operates gidsy.com, a website where people can book and offer different kinds of activities. The company was founded in 2011 and is based in Berlin, Germany.||1.2||Index Ventures; SunStone Capital LLC|
|Thumbtack, Inc.||Thumbtack, Inc. provides a marketplace and review site for local services, such as handymen, tutors, or gardeners.||4.5||Javelin Venture Partners, MHS Capital Partners|
|Eyeview Digital Ltd.||Eyeview Digital Ltd. provides online solutions for online conversion and media interface. The company was founded in 2007 and is based in Tel-Aviv, Israel.||5.2||Gemini Israel Funds; Lightspeed Venture Partners; Nauta Capital; Innovation Endeavors|
|Made.com Design Limited||Made.com Design Ltd. designs and makes furniture. It provides side, cafe, coffee, and dining tables; cafe armchairs, stools, and barstools, as well as factory chairs; and outdoor furniture; and lighting products, such as floor, champagne floor, studio floor, large bow lamps. The company sells its products online. Made.com Design was incorporated in 2009 and is based in London, the United Kingdom.||9.29||PROfounders Capital; Level Equity Partners|
|Farfetch.com Limited||Farfetch.com Limited unites independent fashion boutiques online for customers to buy designer fashion brands worldwide. It helps to shop from boutiques in Paris, London, Como, Copenhagen, California, and New York. The company was incorporated in 2007 and is based in London, United Kingdom.||18.0||Advent Venture Partners; eVenture Capital Partners – BV Capital; Index Ventures|