Amazon to Acquire Zappos

Internet giant Amazon.com will acquire Zappos.com in a deal worth more than $800 million, according to an official announcement today. Amazon Buys Zappos for $850 millionAfter growing into an e-commerce behemoth with a legendary customer service record, it comes as little surprise that Zappos was acquired by the likes of Amazon. There really is no better match when it comes to e-commerce, product, service, and technology.

This deal confirms the groudbreaking success that Zappos achieved through widely publicized corporate policies, happy employees, and impeccable customer service which often includes free next day shipping, and always a 365-days-a-year free-return-shipping guarantee. Amazon clearly gains from Zappos ability to literally obsess over customers, be inventive, and think long term (while growing year over year since being founded in June 1999.

Zappos will receive $807 million worth of Amazon stock and $40 million in cash as part of the deal. The purchase price could value as much as $920 million, assuming the deal is for 10 million shares (shares of AMZN opened today at $88.54), according to Sarah Lacy at Techcrunch.

The news comes on the eve of Amazon’s Q2 earnings call and on the heels of heated rumors of an Amazon / Netflix deal.

Huge story here. Watch the video below from Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, read the blog post by Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh and read the official Лаптоп Магазин р лаптопpress release. And let’s discuss!

Twitter: Autofollow ‘sends the wrong message’

no more autofollow on twitterJust got a mass e-mail from Biz Stone explaining why Twitter accounts with autofollow enabled (this was originally an option in user settings) will no longer be grandfathered in. And in fact, there will be no more autofollow accounts.

I’ve always been mixed on this, however, I now feel that it is in the service’s best interest to disallow autofollow’s across the board. Still this can be easily circumvented using other services, such as SocialToo, which accesses the Twitter API to enable auto-follows, and — much worse in my opinion — allow users to automatically send direct messages to new followers). There is even a website — http://www.twitterautofollow.com/ — devoted to listing accounts that had autofollow enabled.

Why does Twitter discourage autofollow?

“Namely, it is unlikely that anyone can actually read tweets from thousands of accounts which makes this activity disingenuous,” the letter reads. At the same time it is a mixed message to encourage the use of Twitter as a legitimate community-building tool, without making it easier for one to follow back followers. In the end, I grew very frustrated with the auto-follow concept, primarily due to the fact that a majority of new followers (on the @LiveEarth account that I administer) appeared to be complete fakes. Especially during the month that the account was featured as a suggested user.

I knew Twitter would disable autofollow soon enough. But the mildly defensive tone of the explanation was unexpected. What are your thoughts on Twitter etiquette?

Read the full text of the e-mail below:

Continue reading “Twitter: Autofollow ‘sends the wrong message’”