Around the valley: Facebook shares fall on Instagram exodus; what Netflix’s Facebook lobbying cost; luxury real estate market picks up

Silicon Valley tidbits:

• After a steeper drop earlier this morning, Facebook shares are down more than 1.25 percent to $25.72 as of this post on a report that Instagram — the photo-sharing service it bought earlier this year for $1 billion — lost 25 percent of its users after a change to its terms of service made people think Instagram would sell user photos. It went from 16.4 million daily users a couple of weeks ago, when it changed its TOS but backtracked immediately, to 12.4 million this week.

“[We are] pretty sure the decline in Instagram users was due to the terms of service announcement,” AppData told the New York Post.

Update: The AppData report is being disputed by Instagram and others. See Biz Break. (End update)

• As previously mentioned on GMSV, the Senate late last week approved updates to the Video Privacy Protection Act that will allow Netflix viewing habits to show up automatically on Facebook news feeds. The long-sought capability cost the Los Gatos company more than $1 million in lobbying costs over 2011 and 2012, according to OpenSecrets (via The Next Web, which points out that Netflix’s political action committee’s stated goals also include lobbying for net neutrality and against bandwidth caps).

“We plan to introduce social features for our U.S. members in 2013, after the president signs” the bill, a Netflix spokesman told Talking Points Memo earlier this week. Netflix users in Canada and Latin America, where the VPPA was not an issue, have had Facebook integration since last year. Some privacy advocates in the U.S. have expressed reservations about the pending move.

• And finally, a heartwarming tale about the real estate market in the San Francisco Bay Area: Deep discounts on ultra-luxury digs are prompting tech gazillionaires to snap up properties worth tens of millions of dollars. High-profile buyers this year in the Bay Area include Yammer founder David Sacks, developer Jay Paul, Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey and Zynga CEO Mark Pincus, according to Bloomberg.


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  • andrew

    Yammer? I know he sold it to Microsoft, but does anyone actually use it? Curious.