Small business community Manta grabs $44M

Manta, a website that connects customers and small businesses with company profiles, just raised $44 million. The company helps small businesses gain visibility and attract new customers, as well as create a community of small business owners.

pig snout

Oink security bug lets others download your content

After social mobile application Oink was shut down on Wednesday, the company behind the app, Milk, put up a “download your data” option so that users to grab their content one last time. It seemed, however, you could grab just about anyone’s content simply by typing in their user name.

Oink sent to the slaughter house after 4 months

Let the squealing begin. Oink, the also-ran mobile ratings application from Internet celebrity Kevin Rose’s startup Milk, is heading to the slaughter house after just four months of existence.

A 1-star review of Yelp’s advertiser agreement

Yelp’s advertiser agreement combines some of the worst elements of Yellow Pages, Aol and cell phone agreements. As with many such agreements, it’s very lopsided in Yelp’s favor. (See my analysis of the similarly lopsided Groupon merchant agreement.)

Rocky Agrawal

Twitter partners with AmEx to tackle local ad market

Twitter has announced a new partnership with American Express to allow small businesses to advertise on the popular social network. The program is due to launch in late March for American Express cardholders and merchants.

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Your address book is mine: Many iPhone apps take your data

Path got caught red-handed uploading users’ address books to its servers and had to apologize. But the relatively obscure journaling app is not alone. In fact, Path was crucified for a practice that has become an unspoken industry standard.

Dr. Evil

Google’s new social search: How far can you trust it?

Google’s new Search plus Your World product, announced yesterday, is making a lot of waves. The new search puts content shared by your friends in the Google+ social network higher up in search results than other content —  a move that’s raised antitrust concerns.

Tiny Review When Life Was Simple

Tiny Review iPhone app makes everyday photos into special moments (exclusive)

As photos become the new status update, we’re going to see big changes in the way people create, combine and consume words and images. The latest example is from a 500 Startups company called Tiny Review, which unites microblogging and social photo-sharing in its free photo storytelling app. And with a new update for the app out today, the Tiny Review craze is about to take off.

Tool Box

BestVendor is the utility belt for small business apps

Being successful in business is about knowing what your competitors know and being able to act on it. If you could find out what kinds of work tools are helping your competitors stay lean and mean, it could be a real leg up. You can’t just call up a competitor and ask. But a new startup called BestVendor is creating a Yelp-like recommendations network around work apps to make that kind of tool discovery possible.

Ness, the iPhone app that tells you where to eat, hooks up with Facebook

What’s for dessert? Turn to three month-old Ness for the answer, and its lovely-looking iPhone app will find you the best nearby spots, suited to your exact tastes. Today the application received its first update, and it now further personalizes and socializes the food discovery process.

yelp

Yelp’s IPO filing: no tricks, but big questions linger

Yelp’s S-1 for its upcoming IPO is a breath of fresh air. After five months of studying the S-1 of daily deals site Groupon, I’m glad to see local-business-reviews site Yelp come out with a reasonably clean document.Groupon tortured many accounting rules and made up some of its own (forcing it to amend its S-1 repeatedly and delaying its IPO), but Yelp seems to be playing by the books.

yelp balloon

Yelp brings on big bankers and solidifies plans for IPO

‘Tis the season for Internet company IPOs. Veteran local business review site Yelp has signed on bankers Goldman Sachs and Citigroup to lead its initial public offering at a valuation between $1 and $2 billion, the Wall Street Journal is reporting.

stoppelman

Yelp CEO: IPO window is still open, Yelp on track

Despite recent market turmoil and questions about public market stability, the window for new initial public offerings has not closed — and local discovery site Yelp is still on track for its IPO — Yelp chief executive officer Jeremy Stoppelman said today at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco.