Want to Buy Facebook Shares? Too Bad

Facebook is a hot property, in case you haven’t noticed. Rumors of an IPO have run rampant for three years, but still there’s no news on that front. Meanwhile, Facebook is trying to clamp down on secondary sales of its privately-held stock—especially by employees, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Last week, Facebook announced a new employee stock policy:

The policy says employees who sell their shares could face disciplinary action or be fired, one of these people said. The new rule also leaves room for the company to open a trading window during which employees would be allowed to sell shares in the future.

Facebook spokesman Larry Yu said the company implemented the “insider trading policy to better comply with insider trading laws and to protect the interests of the company and its employees and shareholders.”

Can Kevin Rose Get Digg Out of the Hole Dug By Departing CEO?

Does anyone really care about Digg anymore?

It seems like I’ve asked that question before and now it appears that Digg’s original founder is asking himself that same question. I’m guessing he didn’t like the answer, because CEO Jay Adelson is out the door and Kevin Rose will once again assume the reigns of the social bookmarking site.

If you go by Adelson’s internal email…

Got some news. After five years, forty million users, and an amazing ride, I’ve decided to step down as CEO of Dig…The entrepreneurial calling is strong…

…you get the picture that he’s just ready to move on to something new. Whether you buy that or not will depend on whether you believe Digg is still a fresh and exciting company or mature and boring. Personally, I think it has the potential to be both at this point, so I’m not inclined to believe Adelson’s motives.

Google Buzz Privacy Reset Tomorrow

Google Buzz lived up to its name in its first week. After not fully testing the product, Google launched Buzz and forced all Gmail users into it without a way to opt out. Then we realized they were automatically sharing the list of people we chatted with and emailed most frequently. Finally, Google backed off many of these “features,” and made it possible to disable Buzz (and not just hide it). But there are still some privacy concerns, especially for people who joined Buzz before the privacy changes.

Mashable reports that Google will be issuing a “privacy reset” for Buzz tomorrow. The reset will automatically show all Buzz users the settings page the next time they click on the Buzz option in Gmail, to ensure they’ve set their privacy levels how they really want them:

Apple to Build a Search Engine? This Just In: Apple Has a Search Engine!

Some analyst predicts that Apple will build its own search engine and the soundbite feeds the blogging community for a week!

We’re also going to jump in–hey we have bills to pay too–but our take is a little different. First the prediction:

We believe Apple could utilize data unavailable to Google, data generated by the company’s App Store, to create a mobile centric search engine, which would be a unique offering to Google’s search engine…We believe the odds of Apple developing a search engine in the next five years are 70%…

<rolls up sleeves>

OK, first of all. Just because someone says “search engine” you shouldn’t immediately think of a web search engine such as Google.

Forget Click Fraud, “Ad Impression Fraud” is the Next Big Thing!

We all know that mainstream media is trying to figure out how to exist in a world of web impressions and not “in your hand” subscribers, but are they getting greedy?

That’s what Compete is suggesting, after discovering a disturbing practice that appears to inflate impression counts–which obviously leads to greater revenues for the media site in question. How does it work?

Take the often used “slideshow” that mainstream news sites are using these days. When you click on the “next” image, the page loads a new image, but also loads a new ad impression–even if that ad happens to be exactly the same.

Here’s how it looks:

OK, so far not to shady, right? Except Compete warns that some sites are automatically triggering the next image, even if the page is not the active browser tab!

Twitter’s New “Monetization Platform” Coming “Later this Month”

Remember when Twitter caused a stir among the development community, when it suggested you may never want to use a third-party app again?

Well, co-founder went CNBC and appeared to reveal just a little information about Twitter’s monetization model. When asked if Twitter was receiving a cut of the ads shown by third-party Twitter apps, Biz said “no” then went on to say:

We’re going to roll out something we think appropriate not just for Twitter users but also for the ecosystem when we develop this monetization platform, it’s not going to be just for us, it’s going to extend to all these apps that are out there that everyone is using.

Now, Silicon Alley Insider took this to mean that Twitter would create a model devoid of those annoying ads that are inserted into your tweet stream, but I’m not so sure.

Twitter to Unveil Advertising Platform Today?

Today, Umair Haque of the Havas Media Lab will interview Twitter CEO Evan Williams at SxSW. TechCrunch is poised to report—especially since they expect Twitter to unveil its advertising platform in the interview.

That’s not for certain, of course, but TC points to Twitter head of monetization Anamitra Banerji’s comment on Feb 27 that they’d have the platform ready “in a month or so.” (Two and a half weeks is apparently close enough.) They’ve put 2 and 2 together with GigaOM’s Matthew Ingram’s (Feb 23) report that Twitter is lining up major partners for a launch.

Twitter has long been excited over its coming ad offering. Back in November, founder Biz Stone insisted that “Everyone is going to love” their new advertising system. “It’s going to be amazing.”