Ten technology companies to watch out for in 2013
Which start-ups will make it big this year and can web dinosaurs like MySpace be revived?
TECHNOLOGY shaped 2012 in ways that few could have imagined last January and this year looks set to be just as exciting. Will Leap Motion's motion sensor change the way we interact with computers? Will internet dinosaur MySpace successfully reinvent itself? Will Apple buy FourSquare to improve its mapping software? The Los Angeles Times has put together a list of 10 companies to keep an eye on in 2013. Here they are in alphabetical order:
FourSquare: It's a make-or-break year for the location-based social network. It showed signs of slowing last year but it retains loyal users and valuable location data. Rumour has it that Apple is considering buying the company to improve its mapping software – but any discussions are yet to be confirmed.
Instagram: The online photo-sharing service was bought for $715m by Facebook last year. In December it came under fire for introducing a policy change that would have enabled it to use its customer's photographs for advertising purposes. But it has since backtracked on the idea.
Leap Motion: The motion-controlled software and hardware company has recently secured $30m in funding and a partnership with Asus to produce computers with motion sensor technology. Leap Motion CEO, Michael Buckwald, 25, has said the company is "ready to make 2013 the year of the new interface".
MySpace: This former star of the internet has had a makeover. Its new owners debuted a redesign last year with a bigger focus on artists and music collections, which was received positively in the blogosphere. Time will tell whether it can make a comeback.
Pinterest: The photo and link sharing site has over 23 million users who 'pin' images and URLs onto their digital scrapbooks. It received $100m in funding from an investment group led by Rakuten Inc in May, which valued Pinterest at $1.5bn. Analysts speculate that it might go public or be bought out by another tech company in the future.
Square: The app that enables users to make and accept credit card payments via their iPads, iPhones and Android phones made headlines last year when it announced a partnership with Starbucks and received a $25 million investment from the coffee chain. Last week Starbucks announced it will start selling Square mobile card readers in 7,000 stores for $10.
Tumblr: The social network popular among young users and creative types made $13m in revenue last year and this year it has its sights set on $100m. The company, last valued at $800m in September 2011, was founded by 26-year-old David Karp who recently graced the front cover of Forbes magazine.
Twitter: The micro-blogging site has doubled its monthly active users, from 100 million in October 2011 to 200 million in December 2012. Max Wolff, a senior analyst at Greencrest Capital, told Bloomberg that it could be worth $11bn if/when it floats on the stock market in 2014.
Viddy: Known as Twitter for videos, Viddy has amassed more than 40 million users, including Justin Bieber and Rihanna, since its launch less than two years ago. Analysts predict the trend for uploading and sharing short videos, no longer than 15 seconds, will continue in 2013.
Yahoo: The internet corporation looked to be doomed in the first half of 2012. But Marissa Mayer came on board as CEO in July, redesigning the company's email service and photo-sharing service Flickr. Yahoo's earnings were up in the third quarter and are expected to be up again in the fourth.