Facebook (FB) - Get Reportcelebrated its 12th birthday with a "Friends Day" that included personalized videos for users and the news that the social media service has whittled down the famed six degrees of separation among people in the world.
The company said it had "crunched the Facebook friend graph" and determined that its 1.59 billion active users are connected to each other by 3.57 degrees of separation. In the U.S., that figure shrank to 3.46. Facebook said it used various statistical techniques and algorithms to calculate connections.
Facebook shares closed Thursday at $110.49, down 1.9%.
Snapchat has started running mobile app-install ads, the latest step in the company's "rise as a bona fide advertising player," according to Adweek. Other tech companies, especially Facebook, have used that ad format as a staple in building their mobile businesses, according to the website.
The move could improve the technology for building an API into Snapchat's platform to help brands measure and target their campaigns, Adweek wrote.
Apple (AAPL) - Get Report has been ordered to pay $625.6 million to VirnetX (VHC) - Get Report after a federal jury in Texas agreed that Apple's FaceTime, iMessage and VPN on-demand services willfully infringed on VirnetX patents. Apple filed for a mistrial before the jury had even reached its decision, according to Bloomberg News.
VirnetX soared by 47.3% on Thursday -- the most since 2009 -- finishing the day at $7.06. Apple closed at $96.60, up less than 1%.
Spotify's streaming music service has been integrated into Amazon's (AMZN) - Get Report Echo voice-controlled speaker, Re/code reported. The integration only works for the 20 million to 25 million paying subscribers, however, not the ones who use the free service.
Amazon stock, which has been battered this week amid reports of the Internet retailer's plans to open hundreds of bookstores, closed at $536.26, up less than 1%.
GrubHub (GRUB) - Get Report shares soared Thursday after the food-delivery service beat analysts' expectations for fourth-quarter revenue and issued a strong forecast despite increased competition from Amazon and Uber.
Sales rose to $100 million, a 36% jump from a year earlier, while net income advanced 5%t to $11.3 million. Analysts had expected a revenue figure of $99.4 million. The number of active diners rose to 6.75 million, and the company said it filled 241,800 orders a day.
GrubHub stock soared by 12.8%, closing at $21.53.
This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.