The Week's Winners and Losers: Photo Tweets and Virtual Reality
Twitter (TWTR) -- Winner
There are limitations inherent with Twitter, and the 140-character cutoff is just scratching the surface. Twitter's had its monetization challenges because it's not as interactive with multimedia, but that's taking a step in the right direction this week with the hashtag hasher sprucing up its offerings for shutterbugs.
Twitter will now allow Twitter users to tag fellow users in photographs. Twitter will also let someone include as many as four photographs in a single post. We live in visual times, and while Vine and Twitter's original photo platform are decent, it's great to see the dot-com darling take things up a notch.
King Digital Entertainment (KING) -- Loser
There are tens of millions of Candy Crush Saga players on any given day, but apparently most of them would rather be matching candy pieces than buying into the game's developer.
Game creator King Digital Entertainment went public at $22.50 on Wednesday, and unlike many of the dot-com darlings that have pulled off blazing IPOs, the market spat the Candy Crush maker out. The stock opened lower and closed its first day of trading down 16 percent, at $19. It was easy to see this coming. Many key performance metrics had peaked at King during last year's third quarter.
Oculus -- Winner
Few figured that Facebook (FB) would rush into any big-ticket purchases after its $19 billion deal for Whatsapp, but then the social networking leader announced the purchase of Oculus for $2 billion.
Oculus is a virtual reality headwear maker that started drawing attention as a Kickstarter campaign. Critics have pointed out that the backers of that crowdfunding campaign that raised $2.5 million on Kickstarter will get nothing out of this deal. Like many Kickstarter projects, donations are made in exchange for tiers of perks. However, at the end of the day, it's a huge win for Oculus.
SeaWorld (SEAS) -- Loser
SeaWorld had to deal with the "Blackfish" documentary last year, but now it may have to deal with Blackstone. The company that took SeaWorld public last year -- Blackstone -- moved to sell another 15 million shares of the marine life park operator this week. It's the third time that Blackstone has unloaded a chunk of its stake, dating back to the initial public offering 11 months ago.
%VIRTUAL-article-sponsoredlinks%Blackstone's sale isn't necessarily a vote of no confidence, but it certainly wasn't comforting to see SeaWorld post a decline in attendance last year. SeaWorld hopes to draw crowds with a "Sea of Surprises" celebration commemorating the opening of first SeaWorld in San Diego 50 years ago.
Yum! Brands (YUM) -- Winner
Taco Bell went national with its breakfast menu on Thursday. The taco-shaped waffle may seem like a novelty, but there are about a half-dozen eggy concoctions that the Yum! Brands subsidiary is hoping will help it stand out in a niche that's dominated by McDonald's (MCD).
Taco Bell knows that it's competing against the burger giant. New commercials promoting the breakfast menu featuring real people named Ronald or Ronnie McDonald enjoying the menu. It's a very sneaky attack.
Motley Fool contributor Rick Munarriz has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Facebook, McDonald's and Twitter. The Motley Fool owns shares of Facebook and McDonald's. Try any of our newsletter services free for 30 days.