The pace of Google's acquisitions is astonishing: Jambool, Social Gold
and social apps maker Slide all became GOOG, and there's clear interest
in visual search firm Like.com - the new frontier in search. Add to that
their PayPal integration with Android and its clear Google's focus today
is as much about social, apps, and the web on the move as it is about
Facebook matched the pace with the launch of their Q&A service and the
bedding in of CEOP, both of which are strategically core. Facebook
clocked up record access levels at work here in the UK, moved into top
place in India, and no doubt its stickiness will rise even higher as TV
networks like the UK's Channel 5 start to embed their top shows into
FB's TV on-demand platform. As Google gears up for Social, Facebook is
gearing up for Search and Video.
In the mobile space, the acceleration echoes the late 90s' Tipping Point
when the web mainstreamed. All brands we spoke with this month now put
mobile into the digital plan - even if only at small levels - and media
owners are finally seeing mobile as a core platform. Innovation from
device manufacturers continued - especially Nokia and Apple - while
BlackBerry's network came under the long-expected scrutiny by
governments across the Middle East and India, no doubt triggering a
massive loss of customers along the way.
As usual news headlines from our team are below, and full stories at the
end of the jumps.
Best from all @ Digital
Founder and Chief Executive
Digital Strategy Consulting
Games overtake email as second top online time killer - US study
Games have overtaken e-mail as Americans' number two
online time killer for the first time, according to new research, with
social networking coming top of the list. The study, from Nielsen
Online, found that of the nearly 24 hours of time that Americans on
average spent online during the month of June, 23 percent was on
social networks and blogs. That is up from 16 percent in the same
month a year earlier.
Brits spend half their time online or watching TV
Britons spend almost half their waking hours watching
TV or on the internet, with the rise of smartphones causing a dramatic
rise in digital media consumption, according to new research. The
study, from communications watchdog Ofcom, indicates that consumers
often multi-task while consuming media, with the average person
fitting an average of eight hours and 48 minutes of media into just
over seven hours each day.
Facebook takes on Google with Q&A service
Facebook has introduced Facebook Questions, a beta
product that lets users pose questions to the social network's
community. The new service introduced Wednesday appears as an "Ask
Question" button at the top of users' homepages.
Facebook updates mobile privacy controls
Facebook has simplified its privacy controls for users
who access the social networking using the Apple iPhone and other
mobile devices. The changes give mobile users the same privacy
settings previously available to those accessing the site via desktop
More than one billion Facebook hits 'from people at work'
Accessing and downloading content from Facebook and
YouTube while at work still accounts for more corporate web activity
and bandwidth usage than from any other sites, according to new
figures from managed security company, Network Box. Just over seven
per cent of all hits from business networks are to Facebook, with
Google the second most popular at four per cent. In the dataset used,
Facebook clocked up 98 million more hits (totalling 1,008,046,041) in
the second quarter of 2010 than it did in the first (which saw
909.710,076 hits), a rise of 10.8% in the quarter.
Facebook and AOL planning online ad alliance?
Internet firms Facebook and AOL are discussing a
strategic alliance aimed at boosting their online advertisement
business, according to a news report. The New York Post cited three
separate sources saying the the two companies have been talking for
several months about a partnership that would allow Facebook to tap
AOL in selling online advertisements. One possibility for AOL is being
named a "preferred media partner" to Facebook, a source told the Post.
Global Twitter usage: Indonesia, Brazil and Venezuela lead surge as
audience doubles in a year
The global audience to Twitter.com has doubled in the
past year, as the Latin American audience grows fourfold, according to
new research. The study, from comScore, found that in June, nearly 93
million Internet users visited Twitter.com, an increase of 109 percent
from the previous year, as the social networking site achieved strong
gains across all global regions.
Facebook's CEOP abuse button 'a success'
More than 200 Facebook users have reported suspicious
behaviour online since the launch of an anti-abuse application last
month, according to new figures. Investigators saw more than a
seven-fold increase in the number of reports from the social
networking site since the launch of the safety button aimed at
protecting children from bullying, suspected grooming and other abuse.
Facebook buys semantic search platform Chai Labs - report
Facebook has reportedly bought semantic search
platform Chai Labs, as the social network looks to boost its search
capabilities. According to a report from Kara Swisher at Boomtown,
Facebook has bought the US firm for around $10m.
Social media catching search in terms of visits
Online retailers should not rely on search to drive
business, with the latest quarterly survey from IMRG and The British
Population Survey showing that the use of social media has increased
fourfold in the last two years. The IMRG/BPS Internet Access and
Online Shopping in Britain report for the second quarter of 2010 shows
that internet users visiting social networking and blogging sites have
grown to 48.9%, a four-fold increase over the same period in 2008.
Facebook takes on Foursquare with 'Places' app
Facebook's 500 million-plus users will soon be able to
track friends' whereabouts across the US. The new "Places" feature
begins rolling out on Wednesday to some users and goes across the US
within weeks. The tool help users share where they are, figure out who
is in the vicinity, and check out happenings and services within the
50 social media campaigns of all time
From small companies to global organisations, social
media campaigns are playing an increasingly important role in brand
marketing and now a Social Media Campaign Hall of Fame table has been
published. This list runs down the most successful. memorable and
controversial social media campaigns of all time.
Fashion retailers claim social media branding top spots
Fashion brands have a significantly stronger social
media presence than other UK retailers, by actively embracing various
platforms for the benefit of both the customer and the business,
according to a new survey. Having measured the fundamental rise of
ecommerce over the past decade with its eRetail Benchmark study,
eDigitalResearch is now monitoring retailer's social media as part of
its benchmark activity, assessing brand's presence over several
different sites and their efforts to engage in two-way dialogue.
Most marketers don't know who Biz Stone is - survey
Marketers are still in a muddle when it comes to
social media with almost one fifth thinking Twitter founder Biz Stone
is a business publication, according to a recent survey conducted by
Emailvision at the Online Marketing Show. When asked to clarify who or
what Biz Stone is only 11 per cent identified him correctly as the
founder of social networking site Twitter.
Gulf nations ban BlackBerry web functions over 'security issues'
Saudia Arabia and The United Arab Emirates are both
banning some of BlackBerry internet-based functions over 'security
issues'. BlackBerry owners in two Gulf states will soon have their
handsets' functions restricted under a ban imposed by the countries'
BlackBerry opens its traffic to government monitoring
Research In Motion has agreed to allow Indian security
agencies to monitor its BlackBerry services after the government
raised concerns over the smartphones' messaging technology. The news
follows the United Arab Emirates' threats to cut off BlackBerry
services as authorities could not access encrypted data. RIM later
pledged to satisfy both the needs of customers and governments.
Google to integrate PayPal into Android phones?
Google has been in talks with PayPal about using the
popular online payment system with its Android smartphone software.
The talks between the search giant and the eBay-owned firm include
utilising PayPal's mobile technology to collect payments for
applications via Android smartphones.
Google debuts voice search for Android phones
Google has released the latest voice based control
applications for Android-based smartphones. The voice based action
program aid users to direct commands to their smartphones and thus
enables to write texts, e-mails and even find road directions. The
application works with 12 commands including calling, texting,
browsing and GPS navigating.
in 5 Brits 'shop online at least once a week'
Over two in five (42.6 percent) of Brits are now
shopping online at least once per week and the average shopper is now
spending £71 per month on online goods, according to new research. The
report announced by eCommera, a provider of ecommerce trading
solutions, adds weight to the latest IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales
Index showing growth for the British online retail market is
continuing to climb.
Shoppers 'moving faster than retailers towards mobile web'
Too few retailers have a solid mobile presence today,
however, 41% plan to have a transactional mobile site or application
in place within the next year, according to new research. The study,
from the Association for Interactive Media and Entertainment (AIME),
the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) and the Interactive Media in
Retail Group (IMRG), indicates that while mobile commerce is still
very much at the consideration stage, the majority of retailers
surveyed expect mobile commerce to be part of their main strategy
within the next 12 months.
Accelerating Digital Brands: Could we help your team achieve more?
It's never mattered more. The web, search,
email and social media have become the critical tools every firm has
to get right. Yet most digital strategies deliver less than half their
We've spent ten years helping agencies, brands, business services and
governments find the right digital strategy for them. From building
new online entertainment sites to finding new ways to connect with
customers, we're front-line practitioners who share our knowledge and
skills with others.
Not only do we help companies get this right we also coach their teams
to build their knowledge and intuition. Email the trainers at
email marketing brands: Amazon, Tesco and M&S lead the way
New research from the Internet Advertising Bureau -
the trade association for digital marketing - suggests that email
marketers should look to Amazon, Tesco and Marks and Spencer for
inspiration when planning their email campaigns. Around a quarter of
consumers cited one or more of the three big brands as those they'd
'most like to hear from' via email, citing easy navigation and
simplicity as the biggest draw in emails from marketers.
affiliate marketing sector to drive £4.62bn in online retail sales
The affiliate marketing sector will drive an estimated
£4.62bn in UK online retail sales during 2010, according to a report
published this week by Econsultancy. The Affiliate Marketing Buyer's
Guide 2010, the most comprehensive report available on the UK's
digital performance marketing industry, estimates that the sector grew
by 8% in 2009 and will expand by a further 12% in 2010.
helps public sector and charities get more out of search marketing
In order to help charities and public sector
organisations increase their visibility online, the Internet
Advertising Bureau - the trade body for digital marketing - has
launched a Search Marketing Toolkit to educate the market about how to
use search more effectively.
Virgin Media files complaint about 'anti-competitive' Project Canvas
Virgin Media has lodged a complaint with Ofcom, aimed
at halting the BBC-backed video-on-demand service Project Canvas. The
cable giant says the project, which is developing common standards for
net TV in the UK, is anti-competitive. BT, Channel 4 and ITV are
partners alongside the BBC.
Online video: TV still king in US, Asians rely on mobile video
People in China watch half as much television each day
as Americans, but they are more likely to catch video on computer or
mobile phones, according to new research. The study, from Nielsen,
looked into the technology habits of some 27,000 online consumers in
55 countries in March.
Channel Five broadcasts TV shows on Facebook
Channel Five has made a deal with Facebook that means
its TV-on-demand platform, 'Demand Five', will be embedded into the
social-networking site. The deal will see Channel Five become the
first broadcaster to show television programmes through Facebook, and
apparently it will be launching in the next ten days.
to put 88-year back catalogue online
The BBC is planning to create a complete online
broadcast history of the corporation dating back to its foundation in
1922, as part of its 'Genome Project'. Starting this process,
thousands of back copies of the Radio Times are being studied in a bid
to compile a list of every BBC programme broadcast in its 88 years.
Companies making the news
Google Wave to close down following lack of demand
Google Inc. will end development of its Wave service,
which lets users share images and documents, because customers were
slow to adopt the technology. Google launched the real-time web
collaboration tool at its annual I/O developer conference last year.
Microsoft 'may object' to Yahoo! Japan deal
Software giant Microsoft has said it is "evaluating
its options" after Yahoo! Japan announced it is to move away from a
deal with the firm and instead work with Google. As part of the new
agreement, Yahoo! Japan will be able to utilise Google's search
capabilities but the announcement of the deal came after Yahoo! Japan
had already spoken about a potential team-up with Microsoft.
Rightmove lets users 'draw-a-search' to find properties
Property website Rightmove has introduced an
innovative new search tool to its website. Draw-a-Search allows people
to sketch out their own search shape on a Google Map and perform
property searches on that specific area. The tool works by connecting
a series of points together to form a shape covering the exact area
that the home-hunter would like to search in. These shapes can then be
saved to receive property alerts when relevant homes in that area
become available, and even be shared with others on Facebook and
Google buys social app maker Slide for $180m
Google has bought social widget maker Slide, for a
reported $180m, as the search giant looks to expand into the lucrative
apps market. The deal gives Google a team of developers with extensive
social networking experience.
Google Acquires Jambool And Social Gold
Google has reportedly acquired Jambool and Social Gold
in a move to add expertise to is rumoured forthcoming new social
network. According to a report by the Wall Street Journal on Monday,
Google has purchased San Francisco-based Jambool, along with its
online payment system Social Gold, for $70 million.
MediaMind expects to raise $73m after going public
MediaMind Technologies, the digital advertising
company, formerly known as Eyeblaster, has filed an initial prospectus
with the Securities and Exchange Commission to take the company
public. The Company's shares will begin trading on August 11, 2010 on
the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the trading symbol "MDMD."
Google to buy visual search firm Like.com for over $100m?
Google is reportedly set to buy Like.com, a visual
search and e-commerce firm, for more than $100m. Reuters quoted a
report in Techcrunch saying that Google wants to experiment with a new
kind of search technology that appears to be getting traction.
Like.com, which was founded by Munjal Shah and Burak Gokturk in August
2004, raised nearly $50m and started applying computer vision and
learning technology to online fashion purchases.
Times loses 1.2 million online readers after paywall
Visits to the websites of The Times and The Sunday
Times have dropped by 1.2 million since May 2010, according to new
data. The statistics, from ComScore, indicate that the websites of The
Times and The Sunday Times dropped from 2.79 million in May 2010 to
1.61 million in July 2010.
Disney and Warner Bros accused of 'spying on web users'
A number of high profile companies, including Disney
and Warner Brothers, are being sued in the US for using a company that
allegedly tracks the online activity of web users illegally. The
complaint, filed last week in California, alleges that Disney, Warner
Bros. Records, Ustream and others have installed illegal codes on
millions of computers with the purpose of tracking the online activity
of their owners.
targets classified ad dollars with launch of 500 local sites
AOL is to launch an additional 500 websites under its
'Patch' brand this year, part of a broader effort to remake itself as
a destination for users seeking maps, reviews, and other local
content. AOL has launched 100 of these local sites so far and plans to
spend more than $50 million to initiate hundreds more this year.
Google tests universal search for Gmail, Docs and Sites
Google is testing a universal search feature that will
let users search their e-mail, presentations, spreadsheets and
documents. Google Apps Search is a new Gmail Labs feature that
"extends search with Google Docs and Sites results," according to the
feature's description. When activated, the "Search Mail" button
changes to "Search Mail and Docs" with results displaying the 20 most
recent e-mails, alongside the 20 related Google Docs or Sites as well.
These are displayed below the Gmail search results. In addition to
universal search functionality, Apps Search also includes a second
feature: "Did you mean?" search suggestions. Whenever queries contain
typos, Google will provide a suggestion for the search it believes the
user meant to perform.
Google retains US Internet search share in July
Google's share of U.S. Internet searches was
essentially flat at 71.4% in the four weeks ended Aug. 1 from a month
earlier, according to new research. Among the top four categories,
Bing notched strong growth across the board from a year ago, while
Google's searches grew for automotive, shopping and travel, but fell
4% for health.
Unilever unveils first 'crowd-sourced' Peperami ad
Covent Garden-based creative agency BPL has produced
the first crowd sourced advert for Unilever's Peperami brand. The TV
ad which is for the new bite size Peperami Nibblers product line
features the Peperami character "Animal" and introduces the Peperami
Google hires 200 Ireland staff to boost location tools
Google is all set to hire 200 employees for Google
Dublin office, as the search giant looks to expand its location
The move will see the creation of a new operations centre in the
Republic of Ireland's capital, where new the employees will work on
the group's location-based products such as Google Local and Google
Maps. The centre could lead a challenge to Facebook Places, as Google
pieces together some sort of social network.