Friendster founder launches social-news app, but will it fly?

Friendster founder Jonathan Abrams has launched a news-filtering service called Nuzzel that is powered by social-networking activity. But while his previous ventures have been early to the market, his new offering suffers from the opposite problem — the market is already saturated with similar services.

Foursquare goes into monetization mode with promoted updates

Location-based social network Foursquare is rolling out its long awaited promoted updates, an advertising product that allows local and national businesses to push out specials, news and pictures to Foursquare’s more than 20 million users. It’s the start of Foursquare’s big monetization push.

Get Quick and Easy iPad App Recommendations With Forage

Last week, Hunch co-founder Chris Dixon released a cool little web app called Forage that taps into your Twitter account using the Hunch recommendation API to provide personalized YouTube playlists based on who you follow on Twitter. Today, there’s a version that recommends iPad apps, too.

Will Social News Make People Use LinkedIn More Often?

In its latest attempt to build social-networking features into its business, soon-to-be-public LinkedIn today launched a news recommendation service called LinkedIn Today, which it hopes will function like a specialized Twitter for business networks. But will it convince people to spend more time on the network?

StumbleUpon Funding Another Sign of Its Rebirth

Stumbleupon, which was reborn as a recommendation-and-discovery service in 2009 after an earlier ill-fated acquisition by eBay, produced another tangible sign of that rebirth today with the news that the company has landed a Series B financing round of $17 million from a group of funds.

Recommendation Is Still the Holy Grail For News

What news consumers really need is some way to filter all the information they can pull in and have new content recommended to them, but despite some new entrants like News360, social networks like Twitter and Facebook have so far proven to be the best solution.

Dining Out With Your iPhone for Valentine’s Day

If you haven’t looked at your iCal recently, we’re less than a week away from Valentine’s Day and if you haven’t made your dining plans yet, time’s running out. Pull out your iPhone and let’s look at apps that will help you with your culinary plans.

LBS Startups Should Forget Check-Ins and Just Tell Me Where To Go

Local recommendations are becoming a key feature for location-based apps as they look to provide useful suggestions for users. Recommendations represent one way location services are moving beyond check-in, helping them transition from broadcasting a user’s current location to assisting them in finding their next one.

Can Hunch’s Algorithm Improve Your Gift-Giving Skills?

Hunch, a startup trying to build a “taste graph” of people’s like and dislikes that can act as a recommendation engine, has partnered with to make suggestions about what kinds of presents your Facebook friends might like, based on their Facebook profiles.

Hunch's Redesign Puts It Right in Facebook's Sights

Hunch, the hot startup from Flickr co-founder Caterina Fake and angel investor Chris Dixon, has redesigned the service to focus on recommending products such as magazines and books, rather than answering questions about specific topics. But the new focus could put it squarely in Facebook’s sights.