Facebook rivals seize new opportunities amidst privacy concerns

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It sounds like a kamikaze mission: an upstart with a meager number of users and no capital squaring off against Facebook, a social networking juggernaut with more than 400 million members and a $15 billion valuation.

But despite those odds, a handful of start-ups are eyeing the social networking industry with renewed interest.

The newfound infusion of confidence comes, in part, from the recent scrutiny focused on Facebook over revisions to its platform and privacy policy that encourage its members to make personal information accessible to anyone on the Internet.

“Right now is the perfect time for us,” said Leo Shimizu, co-founder of a company called, which he describes as a social operating system. “People are starting to understand the limitations of Facebook while we’re showing off a product with features that everybody is wanting and didn’t know existed.”

Full story: Social Networks Capitalize on Facebook Privacy Fears – NYT