Today in Tech: Facebook launching SnapChat competitor

December 18, 2012: 5:30 AM ET

Also: Why Meg Whitman may have taken things too far; Sprint becomes sole owner of Clearwire.

iconFacebook to launch its own SnapChat competitor app [ALL THINGS D]

Like Messenger and Camera, Facebook's new app is standalone and separate from the main Facebook app. After the launch, this will bring Facebook's app count up to four individual apps (five, if you count Instagram).

Hands-on with Facebook Nearby, A new local biz discovery feature that challenges Yelp and Foursquare [TECHCRUNCH]

Is it helpful?

Yes. Nearby is a truly mobile-first interface designed for browsing over typing. I've been very impressed by how well the relevancy-ranking algorithm works. I'm big into nightlife and so are my friends, so it was great to see Nearby pulling out local spots I'd dig like concert halls and outdoor bars.

By combining rankings and recommendations with Likes and check-ins by friends, I not only know a place is high-quality, but that's it's my style — something Yelp can't really do. I had no idea there was a Creole restaurant down the street from my apartment, but with four-stars and a Like from a good buddy, Nearby found me something I'm excited to try.

Whitman: One write-off to far [MONDAY NOTE]

But that's not what happened. In the aftermath of the Autonomy fiasco, Whitman blames everyone but herself and the current HP directors. First she points a finger at her predecessor, Leo Apotheker. Leo smiles and benignly lets it be known he is ready to help: "I will make myself available, however I can, to assist HP…"

(Apotheker has since assumed a more assertive stance in reminding everyone of the role that Ray Lane, HP's chairman, played in the Autonomy transaction: "No single CEO is ever able to make a decision on a major acquisition in isolation… and certainly not without the full support of the chairman of the board.")

Sprint becomes sole owner of Clearwire [GEEKBEAT]

This move is about one thing and one thing alone: Clearwire has 160mhz of spectrum in the 2.5ghz range that it is refarming from WiMAX to TDD-LTE. Like the aforementioned WiMAX network that the companies shared, Sprint could tap into this bandwidth for its data needs and use Clearwire's already established deployment plans.  This would give Sprint both more available bandwidth and a faster rollout.

Hulu's 2012: Revenue up 65% to $695 million, subscribers doubles to 3 million 28% more advertisers [THE NEXT WEB]

Some of the other numbers for Hulu's 2012 that stand out:

  • Revenue of $695 million, an increase of 65%
  • Subscribers were up 50% from 2M in April to 3 million in December and doubled from Q4 of 2011
  • Hulu now available from 320 million devices in the US not including laptops and desktops
  • Hulu and Hulu Plus titles grew by over 40%

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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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