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Last Week’s 5 Biggest Technology Storylines: Facebook Inc (FB), Netflix, Inc. (NFLX)

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From Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB)‘s initial rollout of its redesigned timeline to Samsung’s launch of the new Galaxy S4, this was a big week in tech. Here’s what you need to know.

Facebook Inc (FB)

A music-discovery service from Twitter?
A visit to We Are Hunted’s website delivers disappointing news to fans of the music-discovery service, with a message reading, “We Are Hunted is not available at the moment.” Coincidentally, hours before the message appeared, CNET reported that Twitter had acquired the music-discovery service with plans to release its own standalone music app, to be called Twitter Music.

CNET’s unnamed insider asserts that the service could launch as early as the end of this month. The report says Twitter Music will suggest “artists and songs to listen to based on a variety of signals, and is personalized based on which accounts a user follows on Twitter. Songs are streamed to the app via Soundcloud.”

If rumors are true, Pandora Media Inc (NYSE:P)‘s competitive landscape is about to heat up. Beyond Twitter, Google and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) are both reported to be working on their own music-subscription services as well.

There’s more to Facebook Inc.(NASDAQ:FB)’s new timeline than a “cleaner look.”
While a cleaner layout may be the defining feature behind the way Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) is promoting its new timeline, investors can be thankful that there is more to the redesign than that. Available to a select few users on a random basis, the new timeline allows for greater customizability for users in the way their profile page is displayed and the type of content they want to browse in the news feed.

For instance, users can now differentiate between books they’ve read versus books they want to read, as well as movies they’ve watched and movies they want to watch.


Source: Facebook press release.

“The new design is all about making content richer and more immersive,” Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB)’s Julie Zhuo, director of product design, said to investors on March 7. Greater engagement and customizability, of course, is excellent for Facebook advertisers; with more detailed information from members and a more captive audience, advertisers can provide more targeted, relevant, and effective campaigns. The new timeline, therefore, looks like yet another point on the scoreboard for Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) CEO Mark Zuckerberg as he continues to build out Facebook’s competitive position.

Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) deepens its integration with Facebook
Also revealed in the March 13 press release from Facebook was Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX)’s deeper integration with the social-media company: “If you’re a movie buff, you can add your favorites to your movies section or use apps like Flixster and Netflix to share what you’re watching,” the press release stated.


Source: Facebook press release.

The statement was short and sweet, but it has huge implications for Netflix.

After a court ruling last December, Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) had been prevented from sharing users’ viewing data. But after a long legal battle, users can now link their accounts to Facebook and share their viewing data with their friends. This move brings Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) a significant step closer to Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB)’s more than 1 billion members.

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