In our review of the year, Facebook and Google dominated our headlines
with weekly product development announcements. They played key roles in
the UK election - as digital political strategies step-changed - and
influenced the fortunes of every firm online. Social media strategies
became critical for consumer brands, with the digital media mix
broadening for most organisations into: sites, search, social and sales.
The Times launched its paywall (and lost most of its readers), while
Twitter explored ads for its digital revenue strategy. Apple entered the
ad market with $60m of pre-bookings for the launch of iAds, and both
online and mobile adspend set new records. Digital content strategies
embraced video - forcing firms large and small to look for video assets
- and YouTube reached new heights in audiences.
The key trends we predicted a year ago in mobile, social, privacy and
video all proved true, yet many firms still waste much of their budgets
by not having the right digital strategies in place. The ROI of digital
is often less than half what it should be in most organisations, and
that's why digital talent - the digital calibre of teams across a
business - will be just as critical next year.
Tell me what you're interested in reading about in 2011 by updating your
newsletter choices, here:
The best of success for your digital marketing strategies and talent
development in 2011.
Enjoy our review of the year.
Best from all @ Digital
Founder and Chief Executive
Digital Strategy Consulting
Facebook revamps facial recognition with 'Tag Suggestions'
Facebook has enhanced its face detection feature, with a new "tag suggestions" tool, helping users automatically tag friends across a series of photos. The new feature will begin rolling out to US users next week, according to Facebook Vice President of Product Chris Cox. When users are offered the chance to tag groups of your friends in an album, Facebook will utilize its facial recognition technology to group similar faces together and automatically suggest the friend they can tag them with. Facebook fills in the "Who is this?" box with its suggestion, leaving the user to click the "Save Tags" button to accept.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg named Time's person of 2010
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been named as Time Magazine's annual Person of the Year, marking him out as the figure it believes had the most influence on events in 2010. The 26-year-old billionaire was the subject of a 2010 film, The Social Network, charting Facebook's rise. Wikileaks founder Julian Assange earlier won a Time readers' poll on 2010's most influential person.
Yahoo! makes a further 600 job cuts
Yahoo! has announced the loss of 600 jobs, representing 4% of its workforce, as the internet media giant looks to boost its revenue as it looks to compete with the likes of Google and Facebook. The New York Times reports that the cuts will affect Yahoo!'s products division in the US, and the is still recruiting on a global basis. The latest cuts are the fourth round of redundancies in three years at the internet media firm. Yahoo! said the cuts are part of its strategy "to deliver differentiated products to the marketplace."
Twitter to open London office?
Twitter is set to open its first overseas office in London, according to a news report. The Sunday Telegraph reports that the US-based social-networking company will open an office in either the West End or the so-called 'Silicon Roundabout' area of Old street. "There were a few of us in London this week," a Twitter spokesperson told the Telegraph. "We are considering London and other European locations to create an initial and small presence in 2011." Representatives from the site are said to have looked at property in both the West End area of London as well as a neighbourhood the Telegraph calls "Silicon Roundabout." It gets that name because there is a high concentration of tech companies based there.
France to charge advertisers "Google tax" next year
France is set to introduce what has been dubbed a 'Google tax' on online advertisements on January 1 2011, parliament decided Tuesday. The tax on companies based in France would be amount to one per cent of the net amount spent on online advertising. The measure was dubbed 'Google tax' because it was originally conceived as a direct tax on the search engine and its competitors. The parliamentary commission has for some time been working on a deal for the 2011 national budget, which has already been approved by the two houses of parliament.
WikiLeaks founder arrested in London
UK police have arrested WikiLeaks founder and owner Julian Assange on an arrest warrant from Sweden, where he is accused of sexual crimes. The 39-year-old Australian was arrested in the morning after he voluntarily appeared for an appointment at a London police station. Earlier, Assange told a court in London that he would fight any attempt to extradite him to Sweden, where he faces allegations of sex crimes. The founder of the whistleblowing website that has released reams of sensitive U.S. diplomatic cables has denied the allegations. He has not yet been charged.
UK Government plans superfast broadband for all by 2015
High speed broadband will be available to every community in Britain by 2015 under plans announced by the government on Monday. A £830 million investment over the next seven years will see "digital hubs" created across the country in an attempt to ensure every home has Internet access. The hubs, which would be linked to the nearest exchange by fibre-optic connections, will bring "superfast broadband" to 90 percent of the population, the government hopes.
China hacked into Google after official 'Googled himself' - Wikileaks
The hacking of search giant Google was orchestrated by a senior Chinese official who searched for his name and found critical articles via the search engine, according to new documents released by the website Wikileaks. The attack, which took places ealier this year, resulted in Google walking away from a potential market of 400m internet users in China. The WikiLeaks report claimed the hacking was "100% political in nature", the Observer reported. Senior Chinese official Li Changchun searched for his own name, the cables allege.
Groupon rejects Google deal, plans IPO instead
Shopping deal website Groupon has rejected a $6bn bid from Google, saying it is planning a possible public offering instead. The sale was expected to fetch up to $6 billion in a deal which had set tongues wagging on Wall Street about whether such a valuation represented good value for Google.
AOL 'mulls break up, then merger with Yahoo'
AOL is actively exploring a break-up involving a complicated series of transactions that may lead to a merger with Yahoo, according to a news report. AOL is actively exploring a break-up involving a complicated series of transactions that may lead to a merger with Yahoo, according to a news report. Sources familiar with the deal told Reuters that the plans are still in the exploratory stage and Yahoo has not been contacted.
BBC to launch paid-for iPlayer iPad app in US
The BBC is working on a version of its iPlayer to be launched in the US, in the form of a paid-for iPad application, according to a new report. The FT.com reports that the 'Global iPlayer', which is in pilot form until it passes scrutiny by the BBC Trust, will only be available outside the UK, where the broadcaster is allowed to charge for access to its content. BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the publicly-funded broadcaster, said that it would make the iPlayer available to iPad owners in certain target markets in the middle of next year.
Google to remove pirated material from search 'within 24hrs'
Google plans to crack down on pirated content, pledging to remove material which infringes copyright from its main search service "within 24 hours". In what could prove a very big blow to the activities of internet pirates, Google has announced a number of new policies designed to limit the accessibility of illegal content online. Measures include removing terms "that are closely associated with piracy" from appearing in its Autocomplete search function, and expelling groups in breach of copyright from its AdSense advertising program.
Japan approves Yahoo-Google search ad deal... despite Microsoft outcry
Japan's anti-monopoly watchdog has approved a tie-up between Yahoo Japan and Google but warned it will keep checking for possible violations. The commission said Thursday it didn't see any problems as long as the two companies continued to be separate and offered distinctive services. Yahoo Japan has said it plans to launch a search service using Google's search and advertising technology here by the end of this year. Online shopping mall operator Rakuten and Microsoft have both filed petitions with the commission to further investigate the search engine technology tie-up plan.
Murdoch to sell off Myspace?
News Corporation is reportedly willing to sell Myspace, the former social media market leader it bought back in 2005. MySpace COO Chase Carey told Reuters that the company is open to a sale, partnership, or some other option. "There are opportunities here to do 20 things... but that doesn't mean you're going to do any of the 20. If there's something there that makes sense you ought to think about it," Carey said.
NHS caught sharing users' health concerns with Facebook
The popular NHS Choices health website has been exposed automatically 'tracking' all Facebook users that visit, according to new research. The study, from Garlik has lead the online identify theft and fraud firm experts to call for third party tracking to be banned from all Government websites, particularly those carrying information on personal and sensitive topics such as health and benefits.
MySpace admits defeat? Former social media king syncs with Facebook Connect
MySpace, once the dominant online social network, has signed a 'mashup' agreement with Facebook to allow people to sign on to MySpace using their Facebook login. This means that the content they are engaging with on
MySpace will be automatically ported over to their Facebook profile page through Facebook Connect.
Google Googles: Mobile pics converted into web ads via product recognition
Google is running a test on its Google's photo recognition tool, that will display adverts to users based on pictures taken by their smartphone cameras. The 'offline marketing experiment' utilises visual search and optical character recognition [OCR] technologies to allow users to find out information about certain products.
Two speed internet? Government mulls charging bandwidth-hogging sites
Popular streaming sites such as the BBC, Youtube and LoveFilm could be forced to pay for the data traffic they generate under plans floated by the Government culture minister yesterday. Ed Vaizey has given his support to controversial plans for broadband access to be subject to a "two-sided" system.
No more bootleg Beatles: iTunes finally seals Beatles deal with EMI
Apple and music group EMI have agreed to sell The Beatles' back catalogue on iTunes, after a decade of legal wrangling. The Beatles were one of the few big names in music still not available through iTunes.
Facebook's new 'social inbox': Will it make email obsolete?
Facebook has launched a next-generation online messaging service that gives the user a Facebook.com email addresses, in a move seen as a shot across the bow of Google, Yahoo! and Microsoft. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg unveiled what he called a "convergent" modern messaging system that "handles messages seamlessly across all the ways you want to communicate."
The battle for your data: Facebook and Google in GMail contacts row
Rivalry between Google and Facebook is intensifying, with the world's two biggest internet companies locking horns over the export of user's contact data from GMail to Facebook, with Google even encouraging its users to file a complaint against the social network. Recently, Google blocked Facebook access to the GMail contacts API, saying that it would no longer let other services, including Facebook, automatically import its users' email contact data for their own purposes, unless the information flows both ways.
Ask ditches search for community answers
Ask.com is cutting 130 engineering jobs and outsourcing its search technology, as the internet icon finally concedes that it cannot compete with Google and Bing in the search market. In a move similar to Yahoo, which recently outsourced its search technology to Microsoft, Ask.com will stop working on its search algorithm and instead hire a third-party company to provide that technology.
iPlayer going global: BBC plans to charge overseas viewers
The BBC has announced plans to make its popular iPlayer online video platform available for International users, for a fee. The announcement was made by John Smith, Chief Executive of BBC Worldwide.
East End - the new Silicon Valley? Facebook and Google to invest in Olympic park
Facebook and Google will invest in the East End of London to help create Britain's own Silicon Valley, the Prime Minister has announced. David Cameron said he wants the proposed East London Tech City, which will encompass the Olympic Park, to become the global centre of technological innovation.
Facebook Mobile offers 'deals' based on user location
Facebook has launched a new 'deals' service on its mobile application, which send users special offers to users based on their location. The move offers advertisers another way to target Facebook users geographically, and the social network looks to boost its ad revenue. The service will initially launch in the US, and Facebook has not disclosed when 'Deals' will roll-out internationally.
Times paywall: Online reader figures revealed
News Corporation has revealed that 105,000 readers have paid to read
The Times and Sunday Times online and via mobiles, since both
broadsheet papers' websites went behind a paywall four months ago. The
media giant revealed a further 100,000 people have a joint
subscription to read the newspapers digitally and in print, the papers
Twitter tests ads in Tweet stream
Twitter has announced plans to include Promoted Tweets into the stream of user updates, and has begun testing user reaction to the service on the micro-blog's partner site HootSuite. In a blog post announcing the move, the company said it has reached the third step of a multi-part process.
Apple to bypass networks with own iPhone SIM card?
Apple has reportedly teamed with SIM-card manufacturer Gemalto to create a 'special' SIM card that could allow the company to offer telephony services direct rather than rely on third party carriers. According to a report on technology news site GigaOM, the move would let customers buy and activate iPhones directly from Apple's stores. They could also connect online via Apple's iTunes App Store.
Internet worth £100bn a year to UK economy
The internet is worth £100bn annually to the UK economy, comprising 7.2% of the gross domestic product, which is expected to reach 10% within five years, according to a survey commissioned by Google. The figure represents a higher proportion than the construction, education and transport industries.
Alan Partridge bounces back with Foster's funded webisodes
Cult comedy icon Alan Partridge is set to return next week in a series of short web videos funded by beer brand Fosters. The character, played by Steve Coogan, will appear on the Fosters Funny Website in a dozen 11-minute long episodes, beginning on 5th November. A trailer goes live on the site tomorrow (29th October).
Google admits to copying email and Wi-Fi passwords from Steet View cars
Google has admitted to copying household computer passwords and emails while gathering images using its Street View cameras, adding that it is determined to learn lessons from the mistake.
Android 'overtakes iPhone ad revenue'
Google's Android ad revenue has surpassed that of Apple's mobile devices, despite the iPhone accounting for more ad impressions, according to new data from ad network Millennial Media. The study found that while the iOS platform remains the forerunner in terms of total market share, Android ad requests have grown 1,284 percent since January of this year while requests on iOS have only grown by 18 percent in that time period.
Top Facebook apps caught 'leaking data to advertisers'
The top 10 applications on Facebook have all been transmitting user data, including access to people's names and, in some cases, their friends' names, to dozens of advertising and Internet tracking firms, according to a news report. The Wall Street Journal investigation found that the issue affects tens of millions of Facebook app users, including people who set their profiles to Facebook's strictest privacy settings.
Angry Birds comes to Android: GetJar App store crashes due to demand
Mobile app store GetJar has exclusively launched the full Android version of the popular Angry Birds game for free, funded by advertising. The move means GetJar becomes the first distributor of the game, ahead of the Android app store.
Police Tweet all 999 calls to protest Government cutbacks
Greater Manchester Police have completed a Twitter hashtag campaign, as a means of protesting Government cutbacks by revealing the sheer number of incidents they face in a single day. The project, which began at 5:00am Thursday last week, revolved around the Twitter account GMPolice tweeting every incident it deals with over a 24 hour-period, accompanied with the hashtag #GMP to help users search and share their comments.
Orange and T-Mobile customers share coverage with 'Everything Everywhere' brand launch
Orange and T- Mobile have finally unveiled their 'Everything Everywhere' brand, following the merger of the two mobile networks last year. The launch, dubbed the 'big switch-on' allows the company's combined 27 million customers to access coverage on both networks, and is backed by a £4m advertising campaign.
Google's 'driverless' cars complete US roadtrip- with a little help from humans
Google has developed cars that can drive themselves, testing seven such automobiles on 140,000 miles across the roads of America, in a move that could one day revolutionise the transport industry. Google said that the seven Google cars have driven 1,000 miles without any human intervention, apparently the 140,000 mile number includes occasional human control. These cars are a modified version of the Toyota Prius, and there is one Audi TT as well.
Internet Explorer use drops below 50% for first time
Internet Explorer's share of the worldwide browser market has dropped below 50 per cent, according to new data. According to StatCounter findings, in September, the Microsoft browser's market share was 49.87 per cent - down from 58 per cent this time last year.
Twitter drops Earlybird deals to launch 'Promoted Accounts'
Twitter has introduced its latest efforts to monetize its popular micro-blogging platform,, with a new scheme called Promoted Accounts that will let companies pay to be included in Twitter's "Who to Follow" lists. The company also said it will phase out its @earlybird deal feed in
favour of its promoted products platform.
AOL buys TechCrunch in '$40m deal'
AOL has bought TechCrunch for a reported amount of $40 million, as the struggling Internet giant looks to boost its audience and ad revenue with one of the most influential blogs in the technology industry. AOL Chief Executive Tim Armstrong joined TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington onstage Tuesday to make the announcement at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco.
Blackberry unveils iPad rival 'Playbook'
Blackberry maker Research In Motion unveiled its much anticipated tablet computer that it hopes will challenge Apple's iPad . The tablet, named BlackBerry PlayBook, has a seven-inch screen and dual facing cameras.
Blockbuster files for bankruptcy protection as online rivals soar
Blockbuster has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the US, as the one-time market leader in DVD rentals struggles to keep up with online competition such as Netflix and LoveFilm. The move will mean Blockbuster will be able to keep its stores and kiosks open as it reorganises.
Twitter revamp adds pics and video to feed
Twitter is set to launch a new version of its
micro-blogging platform, incorporating pictures and video posted by
users into its feed. The popular social network is hoping the revamp-
the first major update in its four year history, will encourage users
to stay on the site for longer, ramping up its appeal to advertisers
in the process.
Project Canvas to launch Web TV next year as 'YouView' brand
Project Canvas, the on-demand TV service backed by BBC
ITV, BT and Channel 4, has officially re-branded as YouView, and is set
to launch as a beta test in the first quarter of next year. The site
aims to bring video-on-demand programming and services to Freeview and
Online piracy: Copyright holders and ISPs to bear cost of Digital
The UK Government has outlined its plans to enforce
its new Digital Economy Act, aimed at cracking down on online piracy.
Under the new scheme, copyright holders will pay 75 per cent of the
costs associated with tackling online copyright infringement, while
internet service providers will shoulder the remaining burden.
Facebook 'social metrics' help advertisers target your most clickable
Facebook has launched social metrics, a new tool that
helps marketers understand the benefits of adverts that include social
context from people's friends on Facebook. There is now a new column
called "Social %" in the Ads Manager, which shows the percentage of ad
impressions that were delivered with social endorsements.
Time spent online: Facebook overtakes Google in the US
US web users are spending more socialising on Facebook
than searching with Google, according to new data from comScore. In
August, people spent a total of 41.1 million minutes on Facebook,
comScore said, about 9.9 percent of their Web-surfing minutes for the
Google debuts 'Instant' predictive search results
Google has launched 'Instant' search results, a new
service that starts predicting results as soon as users begin typing.
As internet users begin a word, Google's homepage will move instantly
to a page of results that is updated as each letter is typed.
Apple debuts music-based social network Ping
Apple made its first foray into social networking on
Wednesday with the introduction of Ping, a 'social music discovery'
service with that runs alongside the latest version of iTunes. The
service was unveiled by chief executive Steve Jobs, who touted the
site as aiding "social music discovery, and comes as part of iTunes
10, which Apple released today. Ping is like Facebook and Twitter
meets iTunes, Jobs said at a San Francisco press event. It's a "social
network all about music and built right into iTunes," he said.
Google takes on Skype with free web calls
Google has launched a new tool that lets its US-based
Gmail users make free calls to one another via the web. The new
feature increases the search giant's competition with Internet phone
providers like Skype.
watchdog gets tough on web advertising
Companies in the UK will soon have to ensure content
on their websites and social network pages comply with rules set out
by The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), or face being 'named and
shamed' as part of a new initiative. From March next year, the rules
covering misleading advertising, social responsibility and the
protection of children will apply in full to all online marketing by
all sectors, businesses and organisations, regardless of size.
Google debuts 'priority inbox' for Gmail to cut through e-mail clutter
Google has added a new tool called "Priority Inbox" to
its Gmail service, designed to help people wade through their
overflowing e-mail inboxes. The feature uses formulas developed by
Google engineers to automatically figure out and highlight which
incoming messages are likely to be the most important to each Gmail
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Wikileaks publishes thousands of documents from war in Afghanistan
Online whistleblowing site Wikileaks has published
over 75,000 documents containing classified information about the
current war in Afghanistan. The documents cover the period from
2004-2009 and reveal a number of inconsistencies with official reports
which have emanated from the White House and the US military.
Wikileaks posted the documents yesterday and also leaked them directly
to the Guardian, The New York Times and Der Spiegel,
all of which have run stories based on their contents.
Old Spice viral ads break records with 5.2m YouTube views
The Old Spice channel became the most viewed on
YouTube last week, after the men's grooming brand recorded more than
5.2 million views for its viral marketing videos in less than three
days. The brand's Twitter followers grew from 3,000 to 48,000 during
Google wins landmark Adwords copyright case
The European Court of Justice has ruled in favour of
Google in a decision that could have wide-reaching implications for
online advertising. Judges have confirmed that using other companies'
names as online advertising keywords is not an infringement of
European trademark law. This news will be a major boost to Google's
revenue-generating Adwords service.
Facebook to launch PayPal-style 'Credits' in September
Facebook is set to launch a virtual currency, called
"Facebook Credits" in September, letting users trade virtual and
physical goods through the social network. Facebook Credits will
become the default online currency for the company, and will use a
similar system to that offered by eBay's online payments firm PayPal.
Google gets lifeline in China: Govt. renews license
The Chinese authorities have renewed Google's license
to operate a website in the country, averting a potential shutdown of
its flagship search page in the world's biggest Internet market.
Twitter turns to affiliate marketing: offers daily deals via
Twitter has launched an advertising feature for
morning people, dubbed Earlybird, letting advertisers offer users
exclusive deals on products and events. In a blog post, the company
officially announced EarlyBird, which aims to inform users of special
promotions that are unique to Twitter and the account. Advertisers who
pay Twitter to distribute the offers via @Earlybird will determine the
availability and pricing.
Trust saves 6 Music, cuts online budget by 25%
The BBC Trust has rejected the BBC's plans to close
the digital radio station 6 Music, but has backed proposals to shake
up news provision on BBC local radio and cut 25 per cent of the
funding for the BBC website. The Trust, which is the ruling body of
the BBC, has also backed the case for closing the Asian Network
digital radio station.
Foursquare rejects Yahoo bid for $20m funding boost
Foursquare has raised $20 million in a second round of
funding, ending speculation that the location-based firm would accept
a bid approach from Yahoo. The company has chosen to take the
additional venture capital money rather than pursue takeover talks
with internet giant Yahoo, which is believed to have made an informal
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
Project Canvas gets green light from BBC Trust
Project Canvas, the online TV project involving BBC, ITV, BT, Five, Channel 4 and TalkTalk given approval from the BBC Trust, providing the project sticks to certain agreements. The news follows the go-ahead by the Office of Fair Trading last month.
Times loses market share after online paywall and registration - research
The Times has seen its market share halve since introducing required registration for its online content, according to the latest Hitwise data. Robin Goad, Research Director, Hitwise UK takes a closer look at Rupert Murdoch's latest web gamble...
AOL sells Bebo 'for just $10m'
AOL has sold Bebo to privately owned investment firm for an undisclosed sum, just two years after buying the social networking site. Criterion Capital Partners, a private investment firm, announced that it had bought the business, but did not disclosure the amount paid.
Twitter tests 'Promoted Trends' with Toy Story 3
Twitter is testing a new 'Promoted Trends' tool with Pixars upcoming new movie Toy Story 3, as the micro-blogging site seeks new ways to turn its popularity into cash. Twitter already allows advertisers to insert messages into users' streams through a program called Promoted Tweets, is also exploring the idea of selling its trending feature, which highlights topics popular with its users.
Google takes on Rightmove, enters UK property market
Google UK has expanded into the UK property market by adding additional property search functionality to Google Maps. The service is being run in partnership with a number of estate agents, alongside Zoopla and Trinity Mirror. Tools which allow for detailed search for property went live yesterday on Google Maps.
BP buys Google 'oil spill' keywords - a slick PR stunt?
British Petroleum (BP) has purchased Google and Yahoo search terms in order to influence consumers' views on the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Matthew Whiteway at Greenlight, takes a closer look at BP's latest attempt at damage limitation as the slick spreads...
New iPhone ad platform gets $60m in pre-bookings
Apple's new iPhone 4 will be the first smartphone to run the company's iAd mobile ad network, with 17 advertisers already lined up to target app users on the move. During his keynote, Steve Jobs, Apple CEO, announced that Apple's iAd mobile advertising network for the iPhone and iPad would debut July 1 with 17 advertisers. The service - which will offer advertising inside mobile apps, initially on the iPhone and iPod Touch - promises to combine the emotion of TV advertising with the interactivity of internet advertising.
Social networks 'now more popular than search engines in the UK'
Social networks now receive more UK Internet visits than search engines, with Facebook leading the move towards a more community-driven web, according to new research. The study, from Experian Hitwise, reveals that during May, social networks accounted for 11.88% of UK Internet visits and search engines accounted for 11.33%. May was the first ever month that social networks have been more popular than search engines in the UK.
Government lays adspend details bare in new transparency drive
Detailed information about public spending over the last two years was published on Friday as part of a new government drive for greater transparency. The Treasury said it had taken an "unprecedented step" by publishing data from the Combined Online Information System (COINS) for 2008-09 and 2009-10, describing it as "the most detailed UK public expenditure data ever released".
Google 'testing Twitter feeds on Adwords display ads'
Google is testing a new tool that integrates Twitter feeds into display ads on its popular AdWords system, according to a news report. ClickZ's Douglas Quenqua reports that the online media giant has invited a few advertisers to test a new display-ad integration with Twitter.
Twitter bans third party ads, prepares commercial roll-out
Twitter has announced it will ban third-party paid tweets in order to better monitor its proprietary advertising service. In April, the microblogging platform unveiled the first phase of its Promoted Tweets service to disseminate information from businesses and organizations to wider user groups. In a blog post Monday, the company said it would now move to block third-party ad tweets that undermine its Promoted Tweets from its timeline.
ITV to stream England World Cup matches online - with dual screens
ITV has unveiled its World Cup coverage plans, include matches streamed live online and a 'dual screen 'platform that lets viewers chat and watch replays and stats simultaneously. ITV said the dual screen tool will be based on its popular multimedia coverage of the general election campaign.
BBC iPlayer gets personal... and starts linking to rivals
The BBC has unveiled a new-look iPlayer with a simpler interface, higher-quality streams and more personalised content. The media player will also link to content on rival platforms and let users share shows via Facebook and Twitter. The iPlayer beta is now live and the corporation expects to launch the full version by the end of June.
Facebook unveils privacy changes ahead of user boycotts
Facebook has unveiled a range of new privacy, as the social network responds to user comments and concerns about privacy. Protesters had been organising boycotts over accusations the site made it too easy for criminals and stalkers to see personal information because privacy settings were too complex.
Google-AdMob deal gets green light... thanks to Apple
Google has won approval for its $750m acquisition of AdMob, after rival Apple's own entry into the market doused fears the purchase would give the search giant a monopoly of the mobile ad space. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) said that Apple's purchase of the online mobile ad company Quattro Wireless in January would mitigate Google's dominance of the market as more people access the web through their phones and other mobile devices such as Apple's iPad.
Government plans for digital Britain: New ministers, superfast broadband and a review of the Digital Economy Act
The new coalition government has put two Conservative ministers in charge of its digital policies. Jeremy Hunt is in charge of the UK's broadband and Ed Vaizey is overseeing the implementation of the Digital Economy Act. Hunt, the Conservative secretary of state for culture, Olympics, media and sport, will oversee the rollout of high-speed broadband across the UK, the government said on Wednesday night.
Google lets viewers search via their TV sets
Google has officially unveiled its Google TV service in the US, which will enable users to search content on the web and download applications while watching TV. However, there are no plans for a UK launching the near future. The service will let viewers in the US search and view content from TV providers, the Internet, mobile applications and their own personal content library.
Google reconsiders facial recognition technology following privacy outcry
Google is debating whether it should launch its new facial recognition technology after criticism about its privacy settings. Speaking at a developers conference, Google CEO Eric Schmidt has said the search giant is still debating whether to launch the recognition technology following criticism from privacy campaigners who raised fears that it would be an ideal tool for stalkers and identity fraudsters.
Orange and T-Mobile merger creates 'Everything Everywhere' brand
Orange and T-Mobile have announced further details of their joint venture in the UK, to be called Everything Everywhere, creating the biggest mobile network provider in the UK with 30 million customers. The two brands will be kept separate, with 700 high-street stores in the UK between them and 16,500 staff.
Google imitates rivals with search results revamp
Google has updated the way it presents its search results, in a bid to make the information more relevant and simpler. The new layout includes features that are already being employed by its rivals such as Bing Yahoo and Ask. The changes include a touched-up logo, and a navigation panel on the page to refine queries with options to search specific categories such as news, images, blogs and video.
Over 100 jobs in doubt as I-Level goes into administration
I-Level, one of the UKs largest independent digital marketing agencies, has gone into administration after losing a large contract for government advertising. It is estimated that around £40m, or two-fifths, of I-Level's revenues came from the Central Office of Information until earlier this year. However, despite teaming up with media agency Starcom to tender for the renewed contract in February, the COI awarded its business to WPP's GroupM.
Facebook rated '12' in new UK film-style age classifications
Tibboh, a new internet service provider, has launched in the UK with film-style age ratings to protect youngsters from inappropriate content. ISP Tibboh has worked with the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) to categorise some three billion web addresses. However, thousands of new ratings will be added every day. Parents select the filter level they require - U, PG, 12, 15 or 18 - on behalf of their children. For example, popular social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and MySpace receive a 12 rating but online casinos and bookmakers' websites are slapped with an 18 certificate. News websites including the BBC, the Telegraph and the Guardian along with computer giants Apple and Microsoft have a "U" certificate, meaning they are suitable for all. Sky and Virgin Media however are rated PG, along with web browser Mozilla. Blogging hosts Blogger and Wordpress are given a "15" rating.
Facebook shuts Lite site after just seven months
Social network Facebook has shut down its Lite site
after running for just seven months. Facebook posted a note on its own
fan page thanking those who used Lite, which had been aimed at users
with slow or poor Internet connections, and stated that it had
"learned a lot from the test of a slimmed-down site".
Twitter launches first-ever search ads
Twitter has launched its much-anticipated ad program,
as the micro-blogging platform looks to turn its growing popularity
into profit. The new service, named "Promoted Tweets," will allow
companies to place a less-than-140-character message at the top of
pages of search results.
Google adds site speed to SEO ranking factors
Google is to incorporate website speed as a factor in
how it ranks websites in search results. The search engine first
revealed its plans to include speed as a ranking factor in its
algorithm last December. Now website owners looking to improve their
search engine optimisation strategies may need to look at how quickly
their pages load as part of their digital marketing campaigns.
Digital Economy Bill: Broadband tax axed, illegal downloaders face lifetime web ban
The UK Government's controversial broadband tax has
been dropped, while illegal downloaders could soon be banned for life,
as part of a new bill rushed through Parliament this week. The laws
were passed in the final push to get the Government's Digital Economy
bill passed into law.
AOL looks to 'sell or shut down' Bebo
AOL is looking to sell Bebo and could shut down the
social network altogether, according to press reports. The move comes
as the internet company looks to shed loss-making divisions that it
considers will not make a significant contribution as it focuses on
content, advertising and consumer services.
Google reveals further plans for ultra-fast broadband
Google has revealed further plans for its forthcoming
high-speed fibre broadband network, and will announce the target
market for the first tests by the end of the year. The initial trial
will cover a group ranging from 50,000 to 500,000 people in the US.
The project, first announced in February, will provide 1GB networks in
targeted markets as a way of testing open broadband networks.
UK online ad spend grows 4.2% despite economic gloom
The UK internet advertising sector increased revenues
by 4.2% to £3.54 billion in 2009, up from £3.35 billion in 2008.
Surpassing industry forecasts, online grew last year despite a decline
in total UK advertising. Despite the economic outlook and its
devastating effect on the advertising industry, online has weathered
the storm. The results of the bi-annual IAB and PricewaterhouseCoopers
LLP advertising spend reflect the inexorable move of Britain's
population online as recognised by the Government's Digital Britain
Google wins AdWords trademark case
A European court has ruled in Google's favour allowing
advertisers using its AdWords system to use the names of other
companies as search keywords. In a landmark ruling this week, the
court ruled that this practice does not represent a trademark
violation. The court also went on to say that Google's AdWords program
is protected by a European law governing Internet hosting services.
"This is important because it is a fundamental principle behind the
free flow of information over the Internet," Harjinder S. Obhi, Google
senior litigation counsel for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa,
wrote in a blog post.
Google redirects Chinese users to Hong Kong site to avoid censorship
Google has begun redirecting its Chinese users to its
Honk Kong site, following an ongoing row with the government over the
censorship of its search results. The move has met condemnation from
the Chinese government , branding Google's decision as "totally wrong"
and in violation of its promise to abide by Chinese laws.
Lovefilm begins streaming movie rentals direct to TV sets
Lovefilm has struck deals with Sony and Samsung to
stream movie rentals directly to viewers TV sets via an internet
connection. The deal is expected to bring more than 2,000 films, to
the TV manufacturers' latest sets, which can be connected directly to
Facebook 'overtakes Google' as most-visited site in US
Facebook has become the most-visited site in the US
after overtaking Google, according to new data from Hitwise. The
popular social networking page toppled the search giant after
accounting for 7.07% of all US web traffic compared to Google's 7.03%.
However, the research did not include other Google services such as
Google Maps, Gmail and YouTube.
Apple sues Google's mobile handset maker HTC for 'copying iPhone'
Apple is taking legal action against phone
manufacturer HTC, the company behind Google's Nexus One handset and
other Android-based smartphones, for allegedly using patents and
technology seen in the iPhone. Apple claims the phone manufacturer has
infringed 20 iPhone patents, using the company's "underlying hardware
and architecture" for its own phone models.
sells affiliate network Buy.at to Digital Window
AOL has sold its affiliate marketing business Buy.at
to UK affiliate marketing network Digital Window for an undisclosed
sum. Digital Window (formerly known as Affiliate Window) has acquired
Newcastle-based Perfiliate, which runs Buy.at.
Orange and T-Mobile merger gets green light
The proposed merger between Orange and T-Mobile in the
UK has been cleared after the Office of Fair Trading withdrew a
request for an EC investigation. Having investigated the merger, the
EC decided that it could see no direct competition concerns relating
to providing services to end users, or consumers, or the wholesale
telecoms market. The European Commission has cleared the way for
T-Mobile and Orange to merge its operations in the UK after receiving
advice from a UK consumer body that it will "not now have an adverse
impact on competition within the UK".
to cut websites by half
The BBC is planning large scale cuts in its online,
television and radio services reports The Times. The plans have come
to light following Director General Mark Thompson's strategic review
of the broadcaster's remit and services, due to be published next
month following sign-off from the BBC Trust.
Bigmouthmedia merges with LBi
Search engine marketing firm Bigmouthmedia is to merge
with marketing agency LBi International, to create the largest
marketing and technology agency in Europe. The deal was made through
Bigmouthmedia's holding company Obtineo, a combination of
Bigmouthmedia and EU40m of new capital which will expand the combined
Microsoft forced to give IE users option to switch to rival browsers
Microsoft is to give IE users the option to switch to
rival browsers, including Firefox, Chrome, Opera or Safari, as part of
new competition rules. The move follows a legal agreement between
Microsoft and Europe's Competition Commission in December 2009.
SeeSaw launches TV site in UK
SeeSaw, a free online aggregation service
offering a selection of UK broadcasters' content, has launched after
completing beta tests. So far, SeeSaw has signed content partnership
deals with BBC Worldwide, Channel 4, Five and several major
independent production companies. However, the company could not ink a
deal with ITV.
iPhone misses out as Adobe brings Flash video to Android phones
Adobe has made long-awaited updates to its
Flash video player to support Google's Android phone platform, but
iPhone users will still miss out. Adobe, whose Flash software delivers
most video viewed online and made YouTube possible, also said it
believed Apple would eventually bow to market pressure and include
Flash on the iPhone and the new iPad tablet computer.
Yahoo ads target Nectar customers based on shopping habits
Yahoo has partnered with Nectar, Sainsbury's
loyalty card scheme, to provide targeted advertising for brands. The
program is called Consumer Connect, and mirrors a scheme called
Consumer Direct that Yahoo has been running in the US since 2003. The
aim is to combine Yahoo's online purchasing data and Nectar's consumer
spending data together to allow brands to target their digital
Google's Gmail privacy challenge: 'private' contacts become 'public'
social media friends?
Google is to make changes to the privacy
settings on its new 'Buzz' social network amid concerns over privacy,
after it emerged the network creates a profile for new users by
drawing on their Gmail contacts. Early users of Google Buzz had
complained that they found the settings too complicated, especially
the ones that relates to privacy.
Facebook ditches Microsoft banner ads - but makes Bing default search
Facebook is to ditch Microsoft's banner ads in
favour of its own, but is now using Bing to power its site search
engine, as the two companies overhaul their 2007 search ad deal. The
move comes as Facebook has made a number of changes to its social
network to mark its 6th birthday, with a new homepage layout that
focuses on status updates, games and chat.
Pepsi ditches Super Bowl TV ads for $20m social media charity giveaway
Pepsi is to ditch its iconic Super Bowl ads for
the first time in 23 years, putting its cash into a social media
charity project instead. The drinks brand has launched the Refresh
Project, an online cause marketing campaign that asks readers how the
company should give away its $20m grant money.
Facebook and Nielsen offer 'Brandlift' analytics to UK advertisers
Facebook and The Nielsen Company has launched
Nielsen BrandLift in the UK, a web analytics system that uses Facebook
polls to measure the effectiveness of online brand advertising. The
move follows the products US launch in 2009, and marks the first
product available outside the US from Facebook's and Nielsen's global,
multi-year strategic alliance.
Google in China: Hackers, politics, strategy and new security patches
for Internet Explorer
Google has stressed it wants to continue to
have a strong presence in the Chinese market, following its threats
last week to pull out of the country altogether, amid security
concerns and a sweeping cyber attack. CEO Eric Schmidt spoke to
analysts after the Q4 results were announced, saying Google remains
"quite committed to being in China." But he reiterated that it would
stop censoring its search results there, in "a reasonably short time
from now. We like the Chinese people and our Chinese employees. We
like the business opportunities there and we'd like to do that on
somewhat different terms than we have."
government data: Open access for developers at data.gov.uk
The government is today launching data.gov.uk,
a website it hopes will enable developers to create new applications
by offering free access to data collected by public bodies. The site
will offer reams of public sector data, ranging from traffic
statistics to crime figures, for private or commercial use.
Ford launches first 'Twitter car' with web apps
Ford has unveiled new technology that could
allow drivers to use Twitter, stream online radio and search the web
from behind the wheel. The technology, Called MyFord Touch, the system
is powered by Ford's SYNC technology and has been designed with
Microsoft. It was revealed last week by Ford's chief executive Alan
Mulally at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
Apple buys mobile ad network
Apple has acquired Quattro Wireless for a
reported $275m, as the iPhone maker looks to challenge Google in the
mobile advertising arena. Quattro announced the deal in a blog posting
Tuesday by Andy Miller, now vice president of mobile advertising at
Apple. "We are thrilled to let you know that Apple has acquired
Quattro," Miller wrote. "We want to share with you our excitement
about this news and what it means for our customers.
Google starts selling first-ever mobile handset 'Nexus One'
Google has finally launched its
much-anticipated smartphone, Nexus One, which aims to rival Apple's
iPhone. The device, made by Taiwanese company HTC, will be sold
through Google's website from today and initially be available on
T-mobile in the US followed by Vodafone in the UK in the first quarter