theEweekly Wrap: Groupon, journalists and job losses
|Groupon loss||Group voucher company Groupon has revealed its first set of results since going public in November 2011. Unfortunately, the results for the last quarter show a net loss of $42.7m (£27m). Only 33 million Groupons were purchased during that time, which – along with extortionate tax expenses – was the company’s excuse for the poor performance. Meanwhile, the net loss for 2011 as a whole was revealed to be $350.8 (£221.5m), despite total revenue jumping by over 400 per cent to £1bn. Following the announcement, shares in the company fell 13 per cent to £13.50, almost as low as their sale price for the initial public offering.
The IPO in November was a high point for the company, with shares selling high, and total company value soaring to £11.4bn in the process – triple the £3.8bn that Google offered for the company in December 2010. It remains to be seen how the company will be valued following the disappointing financial results and drop in share price. In contrast, analysts estimate that the impending Facebook IPO could value the company at £48 to £63bn. There is a downside for CEO Mark Zuckerberg though – because he will earn an estimated £3.8bn from the 120 million shares set to be floated, he could face the largest tax bill in US history.
|Look before you tweet||UK media giants have this week clamped down on staff Twitter use. On Tuesday, reporters at Sky News were warned not to retweet any information or breaking news from rival journalists or sources. The change has been introduced because of the possibility that such information could be wrong. They were also advised to “always pass breaking news lines to the news desk before posting them on social media networks” – the reason being that in the past, the Sky Twitter feed has reported different information to other Sky platforms, or the news desk has had to learn the details of a story from Twitter.
The BBC followed suit on Wednesday with a blog post advising correspondents, reporters and producers on best practice. It said “when they have some breaking news, an exclusive or any kind of urgent update on a story, they must get written copy into our newsroom system as quickly as possible”. Fortunately, BBC journalists are equipped with a technology that allows simultaneous tweeting and newsroom transmission, so instant breaking news and live-tweeting ongoing stories is still possible. Within reason, of course – the BBC was criticised in 2011 for using unattributed photos from Twitter in its coverage of the summer riots.
|Nokia down but not out||Finnish mobile manufacturer Nokia announced on Wednesday that another 4000 jobs were being lost. The 2300 in Hungary, 1000 in Finland and 700 in Mexico are in addition to the 4000 Nokia employees in Denmark and the UK who lost their jobs in April 2011. This signifies the end of the company’s European manufacturing line, with the 4000 basic assembly jobs being outsourced to contractors in Asia.
The company’s latest phone is the Nokia Lumia, a Windows 7 phone developed in collaboration with Microsoft, which has sold 1.3 million units since November. On Monday, The Next Web revealed that the two companies were giving free handsets to developers in the Czech Republic, in an attempt to stir up interest and kickstart the app market there. Furthermore, StatCounter recently unveiled stats showing 40 per cent of the world’s mobile web browsing is done on Nokia handsets, beating iPhones and Samsungs to the top spot. So it seems that despite job losses across the globe, Nokia is still not what you’d call ‘struggling’.