Today in Tech: Would you pay for Facebook messages?December 21, 2012: 5:30 AM ET
Also: RIM stock plunges 10% on new worries; Instagram reverts back to old Terms of Service.
Sometimes you need to message a non-friend, and today Facebook starts testing if it can make a little money and cut spam by asking you to pay to ensure the recipient sees that message. Facebook's also changing everyone's privacy settings into dynamic filters that let "relevant" messages through. These moves address Facebook's old settings that caused important messages to sometimes go unseen.
RIM falls, worries shift to BlackBerry service fees [THE WALL STREET JOURNAL]
But in a conference call with investors and analysts after the results were released late Thursday, Chief Executive Thorsten Heins said that RIM's service-revenue model would change significantly next year. RIM relies on service revenue—fees it charges customers for using the company's proprietary network—for more than a third of its revenue.
A new, tiered "menu" plan for those fees, which Mr. Heins said would debut next year, spooked investors. While Mr. Heins didn't detail the planned changes to the current model, they could jeopardize one of RIM's most stable cash generators.
"Going forward, rather than obtain permission from you to introduce possible advertising products we have not yet developed," Systrom explains in the post, "we are going to take the time to complete our plans, and then come back to our users and explain how we would like for our advertising business to work."
Can a troubled Zynga reinvent itself? [USA TODAY]
A crushed stock — down 85% from its all-time high — has very publicly cast a spotlight on internal strife and Pincus' management.
Underperforming games have led to layoffs, a talent exodus like no other, and an existential need to come up with new hits in different genres. Zynga in recent weeks slashed 150 jobs and took first steps in a major overhaul.
U.S. makes arrest in Olympus scandal [THE NEW YORK TIMES]
Prosecutors in New York said that the executive, Chan Ming Fon, received more than $10 million from Olympus for assisting in its accounting fraud.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation said Mr. Chan, 50, was a citizen of Taiwan living in Singapore. He was charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, with a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison. His lawyer was not disclosed.
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