Facebook (FB) - Get Report acquired Masquerade, a startup that developed one of the most popular apps in the App Store that alters and enhances users' faces when taking a selfie video or photo. Groupon (GRPN) - Get Report tanked after a UBS analyst cut its rating in light of substantial pressure from rivals Facebook and Alphabet's (GOOGL) - Get Report Google.
Twitter (TWTR) - Get Report fell sharply after an RBC Capital survey found advertisers will spend less on the micro-blogging site. Meanwhile, Google issues a steep price cut to its Pixel C tablet and also joins forces with Facebook to help design data-center equipment.
Facebook acquired Masquerade for an undisclosed sum. The app allows users to create filters over video and photos they shoot when accessing the app. Users can swap faces and add animated features to their face when using Masquerade.
"We're excited to join forces with Facebook and bring the technology to even more people. Within Facebook, we're going to be able to reach people at a scale like never before. For starters, we'll be able to bring our technology to Facebook's audience of nearly 1.6 billion people. This is a scale of audience we never imagined was possible," Eugene Nevgen, Masquerade CEO, said in a statement.
Masquerade will operate as a standalone company within Facebook and continue to provide its free app to users, as well as integrate some of its technology in Facebook, according to a Business Insiderreport.
In addition to acquiring Masquerade, Facebook's Oculus also announced that, starting Thursday, people who use an Oculus-powered Samsung (SSNLF) Gear VR can play games against each other, using Oculus' new social media features. Users will be able to search for others on the Oculus platform using their real name or Oculus username.
Facebook ended the day at $107.51, up 1.5%.
Groupon tanked 10.3% to close the day at $4.11, on a day when the broader markets advanced.
The group buying site was hammered after a UBS analyst cut the company's rating to a sell from neutral and issued a $3.20 price target, according to a Barron'sreport. UBS noted that while the company has shown some signs of progress, "there is still a long road ahead in strengthening the company's positioning in the local ad and/or local eCommerce market," according to Barron's.
The analyst pointed to how Google and Facebook have the three characteristics that are needed to capture the local e-commerce market, which is expected to grow to $60 billion. The characteristics include a large and established mobile user base, demonstrated local product innovation and having the benefit of a large scale, Barron's noted.
Twitter took a hit after an RBC Capital Markets survey found a large number of advertisers were planning to reduce their advertising on the social media micro-blogging Web site, according to a CNBCreport.
The survey of 2,000 advertisers found that only 32% planned to increase their ad spend on Twitter during the next year, a figure that was lower than the previous year, according to Investors Business Daily. Of all the companies in the survey, Twitter was the only one that incurred a decline in expected advertising growth, the report stated.
Twitter fell 3.7% to end the day at $17.66.
Google is apparently looking to prime the pump on its third-party Android app development, slashing the price on its Pixel C flagship tablet.
The price tag on the tablet was cut to $349 from its previous $500, after Google released its Android N developer preview, noted ZDNet. The price cut is labeled as only available to developers, which hints at Google's hope that Android app developers will use the Pixel C to evaluate their apps' performance.
That said, an Arstechnicareport states it appears Google may actually be selling the Pixel C to just about anyone. Folks wandering over to Google's developer site to get the discounted price are not required to show any credentials that prove they are a developer.
In addition to the price cut, Google also caught the market's attention when it joined the Open Compute Project Foundation for the first time. The non-profit organization, founded by Facebook in 2011, aims to take server farms and have them operate as energy efficiently as possible, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Google plans to provide server rack designs as part of its contribution to the project.
Google's parent, Alphabet, rose 1.7% to close at $725.41.
This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.