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Taking on LinkedIn, News Corp. Is Planning a Social Network of Its Own

This week's need-to-know social-media news.

News Corp., the parent company of the Wall Street Journal, announced this week that it plans to create a social network for finance-minded professionals. The network, called WSJ Profile, is expected to be a platform for discussion of financial matters among Dow Jones customers. The network could become a competitor to professional networking site LinkedIn, according to a report from News Corp.-owned British paper The Times.

News Corp. also intends to create an instant messaging service allowing customers to discuss business privately with one another. The messaging service will compete with Instant Bloomberg, the chat tool available on the Bloomberg Terminal, a computer system used widely in the financial industry.

It seems likely that WSJ Profile will be more of a forum to talk about finance than a real competitor to LinkedIn, according to SocialTimes. WSJ Profile will become available to customers sometime next month. -- The Times of London and SocialTimes

Tumblr adds sponsored posts.
As expected, web advertisements have arrived on Tumblr in the content stream. Tumblr is limiting the number of ads each user sees to four per day and distinguishing them from other content with a small dollar sign in the upper-right corner. This advertising push follows the microblogging service's recent sale to Yahoo for $1.1 billion. Tumblr generated just $13 million in revenue last year, but the ads seem designed to prove how lucrative the platform's 300-million-member audience can be. -- VentureBeat

Report: Google+ customer referrals are the most valuable.
A new report that analyzed $5 million in online purchases suggests that Google+ referrals are the most valuable to merchants. While Facebook has the lion's share of social revenue overall, and the average order value is highest on Tumblr, a referral from Google+ is valued the most, at an average of $10.78 to merchants. By contrast, a Facebook referral is $2.35 and a Twitter referral is $1.62, the researchers found. Also notable: the average sharer of these online goods was a male between the ages of 25 and 34. Merchants, adjust your marketing strategies accordingly. -- SocialTimes

LinkedIn commits more deeply to multimedia.
First LinkedIn enabled multimedia content such as photos, documents, slideshows and other files on users' profile pages. Now it is bringing the same rich media to status updates. The new feature will become available over the next few weeks. "Whether it's a thought-provoking presentation about the future of big data or it's a picture of an inspirational quote, or perhaps it's an infographic showing the top trends impacting your industry, the possibilities are endless for what you can share on LinkedIn to add a richer and more visual component to your professional discussions," said Itamar Orgad, senior product manager at LinkedIn. -- TheNextWeb

Social-media sensation Grumpy Cat will be the next Garfield.
As if her famously unhappy face wasn't already everywhere, social-media sensation Grumpy Cat -- the frowning feline that won the 2013 Webby Award for Meme of the Year -- has landed a film deal. "You read all of the memes and the comments, and one is funnier than the next," co-producer Todd Garner told Deadline.com. "We think we can build a big family comedy around this character." Grumpy Cat has already appeared on television shows including Today, Good Morning America and Anderson Cooper Live. This week, she also made an appearance at publishing industry trade show BookExpo America to promote her new book, Grumpy Cat: A Grumpy Book (Chronicle Books, 2013). -- Deadline and USA Today

Brian Patrick Eha is a freelance journalist and former assistant editor at Entrepreneur.com. He is writing a book about the global phenomenon of Bitcoin for Portfolio, an imprint of Penguin Random House. It will be published in 2015.

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