3 Buzzing Social Media Stocks: Facebook Rides Initiation, Yelp’s Sting Operation, LinkedIn Pushes for Media

Facebook (NASDAQ:FB): An initiation of coverage at Buy from Canaccord is helping Facebook shares trade even higher, as more sell-side firms continue to convert their opinions following Facebook’s fourth quarter report. The firm notes that Facebook’s global penetration is only about 20 percent, and sees upside from Instagram magnetization and the upcoming launch of the video ad product. The price target is set for $60.

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Yelp (NYSE:YELP): Nineteen companies have been caught writing fake reviews on websites such as Yelp in a sting operation orchestrated by the New York Attorney General, and will pay $350,000 in penalties. In what sounds like a script from a movie, the Attorney General’s office set up a fake yogurt shop in Brooklyn, and then sought help from firms that specialize in boosting online search results to combat negative reviews.

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LinkedIn (NYSE:LNKD): CEO Jeff Weiner is pushing for LinkedIn to grab a larger piece of the online media pie, pushing its assets beyond that of recruitment and job searches. Page views have shot up 69 percent from a year ago, although LinkedIn executives won’t call the company a media business since only about a quarter of its revenue comes from ads.

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