iFive: Twitter Worth $4.5 B, White iPad 2s, Apple Supports Small Business, Groupon Enters China, Facebook “Like” Now “Shares”

A new week is here–and it’s already packed with news and innovation. Here’s a quick jump on what’s happening:

1. Social media is hot, hot, hot–if you didn’t believe it, check this: Financial giant JPMorgan and angel investor Chris Sacca have joined to buy around 10% of Twitter–directly from current shareowners. They spent $450 million on shares, which values the tiny social media firm at around $4.5 billion. Twitter’s not even looking for a new round of VC funding–the financiers merely saw immense promise worth the effort.


2. It’s Apple week again, with the iPad 2 refresh due to be revealed Wednesday, so rumors are coming fast: New leaked parts suggest something surprising–Apple may be poised to announced a white iPad 2 alongside the black one. Fascinating, since the white iPhone 4 has been so delayed by technical errors it’s not arrived yet. Oh, and for an iPhone 5 rumor check this: Edge-to-edge, 4-inch screen hardware may have leaked.

3. In other Apple news, it’s thought the firm will reveal a new hands-on support network for small to medium businesses this week dubbed Joint Venture. This will see special support at Apple Genius Bars and a dedicated support line for companies deploying Apple hardware in their enterprise–from Macs (with MS Exchange support approved by Apple) to iPads. It also confirms our thoughts on Apple’s push to enterprise markets.

4. Happily moving forward with the same confidence that allowed it to reject a multi-billion dollar takeover deal from Google, Groupon is opening its doors in China now, with Tencent Holdings, China’s biggest Net company is among its financial backers, and the goal of the firm is obvious: Grab as much as possible of the roughly $80 billion online-spending market of a booming China.

5. Facebook’s tweaking it’s ubiquitous “like” button with a whole new, powerful angle–it’s now effectively a “share” button. Instead of merely relaying to your friends that you “liked” a website or service, the event will now result in a thumbnail and tiny extract of the target page in your news feed, and the ability to comment. Since “like” is way more successful than “share,” it’s a big move by the social media firm to sew up more mindshare.

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