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9 Biggest YouTube Stars


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Justin Bieber has become the first person in history to get 2 billion views on YouTube according to social media monitoring company Famecount.

It seems only fair that Bieber should be the one to break this record, since his career may never have been possible without YouTube. According to a Billboard profile, the Canadian teen began posting videos of himself singing cover songs at age 12. The videos were discovered by a talent scout, Bieber was signed to Usher’s record label, and four years later he’s so famous that a lock from his formerly floppy hair sold for over $40,000 on eBay earlier this year.

YouTube has long relied on user-generated content, like that of the young Bieber, but that may be changing. On Friday, Google’s video site announced that they would be adding 100 new video channels with original content paid for by YouTube. Celebrities who are already signed on to make videos include Madonna, Amy Poehler, Shaquille O’Neal and Deepak Chopra.


Firefox With Bing Search

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Microsoft and Mozilla have teamed up to create a new browsing option: A version of the popular Firefox browser will be available for download with Bing as the integrated search engine.

Mozilla announced the partnership in a blog post, describing the new browser as “a customized version of Firefox that sets Bing as the default search engine in the search box and AwesomeBar and makes the default home page.”

The Bing team, in a blog post, said they are “excited to make it even easier for members of the Mozilla Firefox community to use Bing.” Members of the Mozilla Firefox community who do wish to use Bing can download it here, at


5 Barter Sites to Swap Your Stuff

A newspaper illustration depicting a man engag...

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Post from Mashable authered by Todd Wasserman.

The stock market might be on an up-and-down rollercoaster ride, but one type of startup that’s currently on the rise is barter sites — online operations where people can reuse, recycle or trade goods and services. Whether that has more to do with tighter family budgets or a trend toward greener purchases, a new-ish wave of entrepreneurs and philanthropists are attempting to exploit the apparent opportunity by launching sites where consumers can either trade their stuff for other things, get rid of unwanted items without clogging landfills, exchange their goods for money or do a little bit of each.

Of course, Craigslist has long existed as a hub for this type of activity and eBay is a great place to unload your stuff for cash. But Craigslist has a fair amount of baggage attached to it, in part because of its use as a resource for prostitutes and johns, and eBay usually requires shipping, which means you’ll get less for items than you could otherwise.


5 Services For Building Websites on a Budget

Image by Marc_Smith via Flickr

Post from Mashable , Authered by Kelli Shaver

This post originally appeared on the American Express OPEN Forum, where Mashable regularly contributes articles about leveraging social media and technology in small business.

There’s little doubt that a custom-designed and developed website is ideal for business. A trained professional can help you optimize your site for good search engine rankings, custom-tailor the look and feel to appeal to your target audience, reinforce your company’s image and ensure that your content is easily accessible and the user experience enjoyable. However, large web-development budgets often just aren’t possible, particularly for small businesses or entrepreneurs who are just getting started. In these cases, a number of web services exist to allow you to grow your company’s presence online, often in just minutes. We’ll take a look at five of them below.


MySpace Released Skype-Powered Calls … In 2007

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How soon we forget. MySpace, the mostly-abandoned, Justin Timberlake-owned social network of yore, was the first to ink a VoIP deal for member-to-member calling — more than three-and-a-half years before Facebook.

This little tidbit of truth was dug up by none other than MySpace co-founder Tom Anderson, who was also quick to point out that the “place for friends” also had one-on-one video chat in 2004.

In the Mashable archives we find that on December 11, 2007, MySpace released a feature that would allow its members to Skype via MySpace IM with a single click (sound familiar?), albeit without the video functionality of today’s Facebook release.


Microsoft Acquires Skype for $8.5 Billion

Image representing Skype as depicted in CrunchBase

Image via CrunchBase

After rumors that first Facebook and then Microsoft were in talks to acquire Skype, the latter announced that it has acquired the VoIP giant for $8.5 billion in cash.

Skype will be integrated into Microsoft devices and systems such as Xbox and Kinect, Xbox Live, the Windows Phone, Lync and Outlook, Microsoft said in a statement. The company has pledged to continue supporting and developing Skype clients on non-Microsoft platforms as well.

The deal, which was spearheaded by Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer with assistance from Charles Songhurst, the company’s head of corporate corporate strategy, was completed Monday evening, AllThingsD reported earlier.

The acquisition is an expensive one for Microsoft. Not only is it the largest price Microsoft has paid for a company in decades, Skype is not yet profitable. Despite revenues totaling $860 million last year and operating profits of $264 million, the company lost $6.9 million overall, according to documents filed with the SEC. And the company carries $686 million in debt.

Much of the company’s appeal rests in its largest user base of 663 million, 145 of which use Skype monthly (Update: Microsoft says Skype has 170 million regular users), and 8.8 million of which are paying customers.

There is one clear set of winners here: Skype’s investors. A group including Silver Lake, Index Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz and the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) Investment Board purchased the company from eBay for $2.75 billion in September 2009.

In August, Skype filed for an IPO but put plans on hold after Tony Bates joined the company as CEO in October. Bates will take on the title of president of the Microsoft Skype Division and report directly to Ballmer.

Source -:

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