Why Renren Shares Popped

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of Chinese social networker Renren (NYS: RENN) have popped upwards of 12% today, bucking the broader market sell-off, on news that the company is partnering with Japan's SnapDish.

So what: SnapDish is a food photo app that allows users to share pictures of food through mobile devices -- including Apple iOS, with a Google Android version in the pipeline. SnapDish has been downloaded about 120,000 times in Asia.

Now what: It may seem odd for such an announcement to prop up Renren's price so much, but keep in mind that just yesterday Facebook announced that it was acquiring popular mobile photo-sharing app Instagram for a hefty $1 billion, so there's obviously some value in social networks hooking up with social photo services. SnapDish's 120,000 users might not compare to Instagram's 30 million, but it's off to a strong start. I certainly consider this move a bit frothy, but that's what you get when you combine the buzzwords "China," "social media," and "photo sharing" on the heels of yesterday's news.

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