Published on Friday, September 7, 2012

O'Leary, fakes and Facebook shares

We are nearing the end of the Paralympic Games and with 81 medals and counting, Great Britain is on course to smash their target. So before we get geared up for another golden weekend with our extraordinary Paralympians, take a break from all the sports mayhem and check out the latest news in social media.

~· The chief executive of Ryanair has hit back at a passenger who criticised the airline on Facebook for making her pay €300 (£236) to print out five boarding passes for her and her family on their way back from their holiday. Over half a million 'likes' later, Michael O'Leary has lambasted Ms McLeod for failing to print off the boarding cards herself and has dismissed Ms McLeod's request for compensation or a gesture of goodwill.

~· The highly anticipated launch of the new iPhone 5 is nearly upon us and speculation continues to grow over what new features the technology giant will introduce to the market. The latest gossip circulating the tech world is that the phone will feature various software upgrades including Facebook integration and a brand new Apple app which will challenge Google Maps. Hailed as "the most beautiful powerful mapping service ever", the new app is set to include information derived from real-time iPhone user stats and 3D imagery. Apple fans will have to wait until 12th September for the official unveiling to discover the full design of the new smartphone.

~· Following on from Twitter's lead last week to cull 'fake followers', Facebook has decided to crack down on fake 'likes' by inputting measures to help combat the growing amount of 'likes' gained by malware, compromised accounts, deceived users, or purchased bulk Likes. Technical teams at Facebook have expanded their systems to specifically "identify and take action against suspicious Likes". The new systems hope to allow pages to produce more relevant and interesting content and to give brands a more accurate measure of their popularity and demographics.

~· When Facebook shares were floated on the stock exchange in May, the company made history by becoming the largest IPO to date with a value of $104 billion. Four months later Facebook has had to deal with drastic share cuts from major banks including Bank of America Merrill Lynch who cut their target from $35 to $23. Following suit, Morgan Stanley, the main adviser on Facebook's initial public offering, cut its share price target from $38 to $32 and another advisor, J P Morgan, cut its target from $45 to $30. The recent movements in share price have been made due to an increase in consumers using mobile devices instead of computers. This has triggered concerns about Facebook's ability to increase advertising income. Quick to quash rumours that large quantities of stock might flood the market, Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg, has committed to retain his 23% stake for at least a year.

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