December definitely belongs to Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook. First he gets interviewed by Lesley Stahl for 60 minutes, next, Time magazine selects him as Person of the Year 2010 , making him the second youngest person to be given that honor . Facebook also announced major changes to coincide with the interview. You can read more about the profile changes here.
Facebook is expected to make $2 billion in 2010 .Founded in 2004, It will reach $2 billion faster than Yahoo and at almost the same pace as Google. Yahoo, founded in 1994, posted revenue of $1.6 billion in 2003 and $3.6 billion in 2004. Google, founded in 1998, reached $1.5 billion in 2003 and then $3.2 billion in 2004. It’s no surprise , that Google is losing a lot of talented employees to Facebook
The other big news was Google’s offer for Groupon. Google offered Groupon Inc, a Chicago based internet coupon service with more than 35 million users over $6 billion in a straight acquisition. Groupon’s Chief Executive Officer , Andrew Mason, declined the offer , citing concerns about the strategic direction the company would take under new management. It is being speculated that Mason also was concerned about what could happen to merchant relationships and his employees .
Yahoo confirmed that they will be closing down Buzz. Their official statement cited the following
“Part of our organizational streamlining involves cutting our investment in underperforming or off-strategy products to put better focus on our core strengths and fund new innovation in the next year and beyond. We continuously evaluate and prioritize our portfolio of products and services, and do plan to shut down some products in the coming months such as Yahoo! Buzz, our Traffic APIs, and others. We will communicate specific plans when appropriate”
The latest comScore data for November was released highlighting the search market share for November. Bing’s share reached an all time high of 11.8%. Google retained its market leadership with a 66.2% share of all searches in the U.S. Yahoo’s share was 16.4%. Read here.
Yahoo laid off 600 employees (4% of their workforce) as a part of an ongoing strategy to best position themselves for revenue growth and margin expansion and to support their strategy to deliver differentiated products to the marketplace. This is the second time in the past three years that Yahoo has laid off employees during the holiday season. An estimated 1,500 employees were let go in December 2008.
Google launched its long awaited digital ebooks program , called Google ebooks. Their plan as per this project is to scan and make searchable over 130 million books that currently exist in a print version. There are also plans to open a bookstore according to Google’s product management director Scott Dougall. This will put Google in direct competition with online bookstores like Amazon and Barnes & Noble. A key difference is that Google eBooks can be read on any device that can access the internet.
Google also released the top searches of 2010 through its Zeitgeist. The fastest rising searches of 2010 included Chatroulette , ipad , Justin Beiber , twitter and facebook amongst many others. The full list of trends can be reviewed here.