Today in Tech: Startup perks!

July 7, 2011: 3:30 AM ET

Fortune's curated selection of the day's most newsworthy tech stories from all over the Web. Sign up to get the newsletter delivered to you every day.

From left: Skype CEO Tony Bates, Mark Zuckerberg. Photo: Mason Cohn

* During Facebook's big product launch event yesterday at its Palo Alto headquarters, Mark Zuckerberg announced some interesting new stats: users are sharing twice as much content now as they did the same time last year, with its 750 million users -- yes, 750 million -- sharing 4 billion items a day. Zuck and crew also unveiled three products: group messaging, a new full-sized buddy list design and Skype-powered video chat. While all are welcome additions, it was the last feature which made the biggest splash. So far, it's almost everything it ought to be: easy-to-download and easy-to-use, with some pretty stellar video quality. No group video chat a la Google + "Hangout," though. (Fortune)

* It's just over a week old, but according to Search Engine Land, Google + appears to be off to a good start, at least if anecdotal evidence is anything to go by. The Web site already has 1,000 followers. (In comparison, it took the site 17 months to achieve that via Google Buzz.) Meanwhile, tech blog Mashable has 9,000 followers to its name. (Search Engine Land)

* According to The Wall Street Journal, Apple ordered components for a new iPhone it's planning to launch by the end of September. If sources are to be believed, the newest model will closely resemble the iPhone 4, but offer a thinner and lighter design along with an 8-megapixel camera. (Wall Street Journal)

* Popular European music streaming service Spotify is officially coming to the U.S., though no word yet on time frame or pricing yet. Sign up here for an invite to see what all the buzz is about. (The Next Web)

* Hulu CEO Jason Kilar reports the number of paid Hulu Plus subscribers will pass 1 million come end of summer. According to Kilar, that beats the video streaming service's original expectations of hitting that milestone by the end of the year. Hulu also still expects to pull in half a billion in revenues for 2011. (All Things D)

* Another look at startup perks. Apartment-swapping startup Airbnb offers wine-and-cheese mixers, file-syncing service Dropbox has a rock room with guitars and drums, and Zynga serves up free gourmet lunches and dinners using ingredients like wasabi oil and pinecone syrup. (Yes, seriously. ) (Wall Street Journal)

* Mobile payments have taken off in the last few years, so much so that Juniper Research anticipates the space to grow from $240 billion this year to $670 billion worldwide in 2015. (GigaOm)

* Why Latin America is Netflix's next big market. (GigaOm)

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About This Author
JP Mangalindan
JP Mangalindan
Writer, Fortune

JP Mangalindan is a San Francisco-based writer at Fortune, covering Silicon Valley. Since joining in 2010, he has written on a wide array of topics, from the turnaround of eBay to the evolution of net neutrality. A graduate of Fordham University, Mangalindan has also written for GQ, Popular Science, and Entertainment Weekly.

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