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VKontakte founder fired after alleged ‘surveillance row’
The founder of Russia's biggest social networking site VKontakte has been fired following an alleged censorship and surveillance row with the Russian government, with claims that allies of President Putin have now taken over his site.

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Ubisoft’s Watch Dogs marketing stunt reveals what Facebook knows about you
To promote its latest digital espionage game Watch Dogs, Ubisoft has launched a site that scrapes publicly available information from Facebook to show users how much of their data is in the public domain… and how it could be exploited.

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What clients want from their agencies: Mobile marketing ‘changing ad relationships’
The rapid pace of mobile marketing innovation is changing the relationship between advertising agencies and their clients, according to new research.

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Google bots pass ‘human test’ by solving CAPTCHA puzzles
Google’s computers have solved the company’s own CAPTCHA technology used to detect whether a user is human or a spam bot.

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Top 10 myths about ‘typical’ YouTube users (infographic)
Just who is a typical UK YouTuber? Nearly one-fifth of those watching YouTube are watching less TV according to new research looking into the top myths and realities of users of the video sharing platform.

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UK businesses ‘neglecting online newsrooms’
Many UK organisations are fialing to get the most out of their online newsrooms, missing a trick in getting vital free ‘earned media’ exposure as a result, according to a new report.

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Google plans $50 ‘modular’ smartphone for January 2015 release
Google has announced that its Project Ara modular smartphone could be available by January 2015 for as little as $50.

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Digital or Disc? Music buyers prefer CDs, vinyl and cassettes over the Cloud
With Record Store Day last week (Saturday 19th April), research by ICM reveals that music lovers across the country are still buying their tunes in physical format with MP3 downloads seen very much as an add-on.

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Nokia to be renamed Microsoft Mobile?
The Nokia brand could be obsolete by the end of this year, as Microsoft’s takeover of the iconic mobile maker nears completion.

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Facebook lets users track friends with controversial location feature
Facebook has launched ‘nearby friends’, a feature that lets users track their friends location in real-time- causing a privacy stir in the process.

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Taco Bell uses Snapchat for Doritos Locos Taco launch
Taco Bell has premiered its newest Doritos Loco Taco on with a short movie on Snapchat, marking a first for the self-destructing chat app.

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Tesco plans online push to boost flagging market share
Tesco plans to increased sales at its UK business through online shopping, rather than bricks and mortar, as it announced a 3.6% drop in trading profit to £2.2bn last week.

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Most marketers ‘don’t know how to calculate ROI from their campaigns'
Nine out of ten (90%) global marketers are not trained to calculate return on investment (ROI), and 80% struggle with being able to properly demonstrate to their management the business effectiveness of their spending, campaigns and activities, according to new research.

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Most Brits shop online each week
60% of UK consumers shop online every week, with over half preferring to complete purchases while in bed via laptop or tablet, according to a new poll.

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Mobiles more important than sex? The weird stats that reveal the stat of the US economy
Forget GDP and inflation levels- the true way to measure the American economy is by monitoring the sales of lipsticks and the most popular hemline for skirts. This infographic from Finances Online lools at the strange ways of measuring economic growth.

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Currency confusion: UK consumers don’t trust (or understand) Bitcoin
Despite media hype around the future of Bitcoin and high-profile mobile payments providers such as Square and Stripe preparing to accept the virtual currency this year, new research warns of consumer distrust of the virtual currency.

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Unilever woos Indian villagers with free mobile music
Unilever is offering free Bollywood music to 350 million villagers in India, to promotion its Lifebuoy soap and Fair & Lovely skin cream products.

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Privacy poll: Banks ‘most trusted’ to protect data
People are more likely to trust banks to protect their data than politicians, security agencies, mobile phone companies or online and social media providers, according to the findings of a new poll.

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Social media vs search: Which ad format is growing fastest? (Infographic)
Ad revenue from Social (Facebook) ads increased 191% year-on-year in Q1 2014, while search advertiser revenue increased 12% according to a new report.

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Facebook ‘most marketing friendly’ social platform- report
UK marketers have rated Facebook as the most “marketing-friendly” social platform, beating LinkedIn and Twitter into second and third places, according to a new survey.

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Samsung plans Android Wear watch and Tizen smartphone this year
Samsung plans to launch an Android Wear smartwatch alongside its Gear range, with addition plans to launch an ‘Android-less’ smartphone running on its own Tizen operating system.

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Tumblr gets ‘visual analytics’ to measure brand blog success
Tumblr is teaming up with visual marketing platform Curalate to let brands measure their reach and success on the blogging platform.

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Sky adds ‘tweet to record’ function with #WatchOnSky hashtag
Sky has launched a new tool that lets customers who follow the broadcaster’s Twitter account record or watch Sky TV programmes when they see the #WatchOnSky hashtag appear on Tweets.

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Facebook planning ‘e-money’ banking service?
Facebook is planning to offer banking services to its users, The Financial Times has reported this week.

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West Ham and Selfridges get first .London domain names
Football Club West Ham United, Selfridges and the London School of Economics, have become some of the first owners of a .London domain.

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Magnum celebrates 25th anniversary with 'biggest party on the Internet'
Unilever is marking the 25th anniversary of its ice cream brand with a £13m marketing campaign, including an online competition.

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IAB defines 1 second glimpse as an online ‘ad view’
The Internet Advertising Bureau UK has unveiled its guidelines for ‘viewable impressions’ for online display ads, defining an ad as ‘viewable’ if half of it appears in the browser for one second.

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Google Play catching iOS for app revenue
Apple’s App store still leads the way in terms of global revenue, but Google’s Play Store is catching up, according to new research.

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Twitter boosts social data targeting with Gnip buy
Twitter has bought long-time partner and social data provider Gnip, as the social network looks to boost its targeting abilities for advertisers.

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Google admits emails are scanned for ad targeting
Google has updated its terms of service, explaining to users that their incoming and outgoing emails are automatically analysed by software to create targeted ads.

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Video viral of the week: Heart-warming Thai insurance ad gets 6 million views
Bangkok-based insurance firm Thai Life used a longform YouTube video to tell a heart-warming tale of an unsung hero who never gets rewarded for his acts of kindness. Or so it seems. See why it’s our video viral of the week below…

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Right to reply: IAB’s viewability guidelines don’t go far enough
The Internet Advertising Bureau set out it’s new ‘baseline standard’ for display ad impressions this week, stating that 50 per cent of the pixels in a display banner must be visible for a minimum of one second to qualify as an impression. Andrew Goode, Chief Operating Officer at Project Sunblock comments on why the IAB’s guidelines on viewability don’t go far enough.

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US Airways sorry for Twitter porn blunder
US Airways has apologised after a pornographic photo was sent from its official Twitter account in response to a customer complaint.

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Google links ad clicks to in-store purchases with cookie tracking test
Google AdWords has teamed up with a number of advertisers to test ways to track whether consumers who click on their ads online follow up with in-store purchases, according to a news report.

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Google outbids Facebook for fleet of Wi-Fi drones
Google has outbid Facebook to buy a company that manufactures high-altitude drones, part of the technology giant's efforts to bring internet access to far-flung corners of the world.

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Local US markets ‘shape brand loyalty for youngsters’
The local market can be a major factor for Americans under 35 in determining their brand loyalty, according to new research from Nielsen.

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Butlins becomes first UK holiday brand to reach 100,000 fans on Facebook
Butlins has reached the milestone of 100,000 ‘likes’ on its Facebook fan page, making it the first domestic holiday company to do so.

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Top World Cup marketing tips: Getting Ready for Rio 2014
With the football World Cup in Rio offering a fantastic potential revenue boost, Tim Axon, Head of Gaming, Maxymiser, insists betting companies need to get their mobile Big Event Betting strategies in shape - and fast. Trying out new content and ideas at Cheltenham and the Grand National could be the key to re-engaging customers, increasing average customer value and transforming overall online performance in 2014.

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Google to block paid-search keyword data
Google is planning to encrypt paid-search keyword referral data, meaning advertisers will no longer see the terms people have used to arrive on their sites via paid clicks on AdWords ads.

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Facebook clamps down on News Feed spam
Facebook is taking new additional steps to improve the quality of what people see in the news feed, clamping down on posts that use underhand ‘link-baiting’ techniques to entice users to click ‘like’.

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Google Glass goes on sale... for one day only
Google Glass is going on general sale in the US for one day only in what could be the biggest test to date of public desire for the wearable computer.

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“We must be big time now!” Apple bans music app Bloom from iAds network
Streaming service Bloom.fm has claimed that Apple has unfairly blocked it from its iAd advertising platform, suggesting it is now seen as a rival to iTunes.

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High speed internet "culture shock" for Mogadishu
Residents on the Somalian capital Mogadishu have been experiencing a form of “culture shock” since fibre optic services launched over the last week, an Internet provider has told the BBC.

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Online ad revenue overtakes TV for first time in US
US online ad revenues hit a record $42.8bn in 2013 billion, exceeding broadcast TV advertising ($40.1bn) for the first time, according to new data from the IAB.

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IBM boosts ad tech with Silverpop acquisition
IBM has bought personalised ad technology firm Silverpop for an undisclosed sum, as the software giant looks to take on rivals such as Oracle and Salesforce in growing marketing automation sector.

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European shoppers to double mobile spend this year: Brits lead the way (infographic)
Mobile shoppers in Europe are set to spend £19.8 billion in 2014, almost twice as much as last year’s spend of £10.7 billion according to new research.

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Global digital ad trends: HTML5 to overtake Flash on mobile devices as interactive video ads grow
HTML5 standard banners are on the rise as interactive video ads are beginning to see global take up, according to a new report looking at global digital ad trends.

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Facebook ditches integrated mobile messenger with separate chat app
Facebook is making a major push towards mobile messaging following its $19bn purchase of WhatsApp, replacing the chat features in its existing apps with a standalone version.

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Catastrophic Heartbleed Bug affects two-thirds of the internet'
In one of the biggest global web security risks yet seen, a huge flaw in network protection software may have let hackers steal the user data it’s meant to guard, leaving around two thirds of the entire internet (and most of its users) at risk.

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Twitter ads ‘get more clicks than Facebook’ -study
Businesses spent twice as much on Facebook ads than Twitter ads last year, but Twitter ads produced better results, according to a new report.

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No work emails after 6pm- French labour deal bans after hours requests
Workers in France will now be protected from receiving emails from their boss after 6pm, following a new union deal.

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Display adspend versus time spent online (infographic)
One third of UK display ads are served on social networking sites, but only gets a fifth of a uses time online, according to these infographics from Microsoft.

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Sesame Street goes digital with $4 subscription
Sesame Workshop, the non-profit educational organization behind Sesame Street, has launched Sesame GO, a web-based video subscription service.

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Video viral of the week: Evian baby takes on Spider-Man with SnapChat teaser
Evian has continued its hugely successful dancing babies series with a new ad featuring Spider-Man, as the new superhero movie hits the cinemas. See why its our video viral of the week below…

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Condé Nast Britain uses ‘native programmatic’ ads from RadiumOne
Condé Nast Britain has signed a deal with RadiumOne that will see it using a 'programmatic native' approach - using RadiumOne's technology to programmatically extend the reach of its titles' content and sponsorships to reach connected audiences across all platforms and devices.

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Twitter gets Facebook-style revamp
Twitter has updated its profile pages, with a new look that resembles its closest rival Facebook, as the newly-listed social network looks to boost user engagement and ad revenue.

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Digital ad spend hits record £6bn: Tablets drive new growth
Over one in four British consumers now owns a tablet, as advertisers spent a record £6.3 billion in 2013 to reach people surfing the internet across an increasing array of devices, according to the latest Internet Advertising Bureau UK (IAB) Digital Adspend report, conducted by PwC.

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Guest comment: Google Glass, it’s not just about the utility
Google Glass has got an image problem before even going on sale- but can a new partnership with RayBan make the augmented reality eyewear shake off its ‘Glasshole’ connotations? Tunde Cockshott, creative consultant at marketing and technology consultancy, Amaze, discusses the potential of Google Glass as it looks to fuse fashion with technology.

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AppFlood mobile RTB platform links Eastern and Western brands and publishers
Global mobile advertising network AppFlood has launched a mobile Real-Time Bidding (RTB) platform in China.

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AOL launches Engadget in the UK
AOL has launched the UK edition of Engadget, as the ten year old technology publisher reaches 10.27 million month unique visitors.

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Right to reply: Windows XP RIP- the challenges for business
A significant chapter in the history of the PC comes to an end today as Microsoft ceases "Extended Support" for Windows XP, meaning there will be no new security updates from the vendor. However, millions of PCs are estimated to be running Windows XP as support comes to an end, and this can only mean that some consumers, businesses, and public bodies will be at increased risk from computer malware and security exploits until they upgrade or replace their XP systems. Richard Edwards, principal analyst for enterprise mobility & productivity software at Ovum comments…

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Twitter to launch 15 new ad units- report
Twitter is planning to launch 15 new types of ad products, including in-stream downloads for mobile games and click-to-call buttons for local businesses, according to a news report.

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Amazon turns kitchen into shopping cart with ‘Dash’ wand
Amazon has launched a new barcode scanner device, called ‘dash’, that lets users scan and orders groceries from the comfort of their kitchen.

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Google ‘Android TV’ platform plans revealed?
Google is planning to launch Android TV, its latest attempt to break into the living room that will provide a complete platform for media, apps and games, according to a new report.

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Twitter offers free ‘pinned tweets’ for high-profile users
Twitter is giving high profile users the chance to ‘pin’ tweets to the top of a user’s stream for free-offering a new way of publicising announcements on the social network.

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Gmail tests ‘snooze button’ for important emails
Google is testing a Gmail update that will; incorporate a ‘snooze’ feature, helping users ensure they don’t miss important emails, according to a new report.

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Yahoo to make own web TV shows
Yahoo is reportedly set to make its own TV shows, taking on the likes on Amazon and Netflix as internet firms look to rival traditional broadcasters in the battle for video ad dollars.

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F**k. That’s Delicious: Vice debuts youth food web channel ‘Munchies’
Vice Media has teamed up with production company FremantleMedia to launch ‘Munchies’ an online TV channel devoted to food, with a youth twist.

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Game of Thrones: The social media version
As the fourth season of popular HBO fantasy series gets underway, this video from Hootsuite reimagines the warring houses as social media platforms.

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Pinterest revamps pin tracking tools for brands
Pinterest is offering a new way for businesses to track their pinned links by adding further support for Google Analytics on the social scrapbook.

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Google takes ‘in-depth articles’ search to UK
Google is taking its in-depth article search tool to the UK after an initial launch in the US last year.

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Right to reply: Branded content is the Cara Delevingne of the marketing world
At this month’s Advertising Week Europe ITV’s Group Commercial Director Simon Daglish was quoted as saying “90% of content is crap”. Carla Faria, UK Solutions Director, Say Media looks at why branded content creation is best left to the experts.

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World Cup social media trends: England and Germany lead for fan engagement
If the World Cup were decided by social media fans, then England would once again need to beat Germany on penalties to win the tournament, according to new research.

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App store trends: How do promoted price drops affect revenue?
Games with price drops that are featured on the Apple App Store grow revenue by an average of 437% in 7 days, according to new research.

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Luxury store Achica begins ‘1:1 personalised customer experience’ online
Members-only luxury lifestyle store ACHICA is embarking on a new digital drive to bring a one-to-one level of communication with its customers, via a long-term partnership with communications technology firm Sailthru.

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Mozilla co-founder resigns after gay marriage controversy
The boss and co-founder of Firefox browser maker Mozilla is stepping down following controversy stirred by his support of a California bill to ban gay marriage.

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Vine takes on WhatsApp and Snapchat with messaging feature
Vine, Twitter’s six second video platform, has expanded into mobile messaging as the trend for chat apps such as WhatsApp and SnapChat continues to grow.

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Top tips: Testing should not be testing – 4 ways to get the most from your optimisation team
Website testing is an increasingly important function of digital and online business which allows marketers to tweak the look and function of their website pages until they’re fully optimised, to encourage visitors to click through or otherwise engage with the site. Matt Althauser, European GM of website optimisation software platform Optimizely, looks at how to get the most from your website testing team.

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How women and men use social media and mobile (infographic)
Men and women differ in using social media and their mobile devices, with women far more likely to ‘like’ or follow brands for discounts and offers, according to this new infographic from Finances Online.

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Elder Scrolls goes online: The new World of Warcraft? (infographic)
As popular fantasy game Elder Scrolls launches its first online version today, this infographic from creator Bethesda looks at some stats and facts about the game that could be the next World of Warcraft.

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Local crowdfunding project goes live
Localfunded.co.uk, a new crowdfunding platform, has gone live in the UK, designed to let people control what happens in their communities, and get exclusive rewards on local services, goods and deals.

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Ex-Google and AOL alumnus Kate Burns joins SHIFT
Marketing software company SHIFT has hired former AOL Europe CEO, Kate Burns, as managing director of its UK and European operations.

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Music marketing group Sonic teams with RadiumOne
Sonic, the music and lifestyle marketing and advertising group, has added a new premium level of service through partnering with programmatic advertising experts, RadiumOne.

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Top digital marketing data and case studies this week
Here are the top digital marketing data and case studies that caught our eye.

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Microsoft debuts Siri rival Cortana
Microsoft has developed a voice activated phone assistant feature called Cortana, a direct rival to Apple's Siri.

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Amazon takes on Apple and Google with Fire TV streaming device
Amazon is introducing a set top box that allows streaming of online video content in a bid to rival than other streaming services such as Apple TV and Google Chromecast.

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Microsoft finally taps into Internet of Things with ‘Windows for Devices’
Microsoft is set to launch a version of Windows aimed at the emerging Internet of Things movement, uniting connected devices such as appliances, sensors, and wearables under the Windows brand of operating systems.

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Apps ‘more popular than mobile web’ in US
US smartphone users are switching to apps rather than mobile browsers when surfing the internet, according to new research.

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10 reasons why people follow brands on Twitter (infographic)
Most Twitter users now follow a brand on the social network- but what drives real engagement with customers on a social network. This infographic from Twitter looks at why people follow brands and identifies major opportunity gaps waiting to be filled by brands that can develop engaging accounts.

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Google brings Nest ‘learning thermostat’ to UK
Nest, the home automation firm bought by Google in January, is launching in UK this week- under the claim it can bring home energy prices down by up to 29%.

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Top online marketing tips: Older consumers are catching up
Marketers need to wise up. Older, affluent consumers are increasingly important digital consumers as Kantar Media’s Geoff Wicken explains.

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The Rubicon Project begins trading on stock market
Advertising technology company The Rubicon Projecthas started trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the “RUBI” ticker.

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Sky posts DVDs to subscribers with ‘Buy & Keep’ scheme
Sky has announced a new ‘Buy to Keep’ service that lets subscribers buy a film through their set-top box to watch immediately, with Sky also posting them a copy of the movie on DVD to keep in their collection.

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Return Path ‘Email Diagnostic’ tool targets better Gmail inbox reach
Email marketing firm Return Path has launched a new analytical solution that helps email marketers combat declining inbox placement at major mailbox providers, including Gmail.

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Twitter expands in to social TV: buys SecondSync and Mesagraph
Twitter has bought two social TV firms as it looks to build upon its links with real-time TV events, giving the social network more clout with broadcasters and advertisers.

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5 digital challenges for the Chief Marketing Officer
More than half of global marketing leaders surveyed say they have greater responsibility for revenue growth and 61% say data acquisition is a top priority for 2014, according to new research by Deloitte and the ExactTarget Marketing Cloud, from salesforce.com.

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Kraft first brand to sign to Nielsen ‘viewability’ ratings
Nielsen has struck a global deal with Integral Ad Science who will power the ad viewability measurement within Nielsen Online Campaign Ratings, which currently provides demographic ratings for online ad campaigns.

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LinkedIn emails exposed in Chrome extension hack
The emails of LinkedIn members have been exposed via a browser extension that exposes contact details from the business-based social network.

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Top tips: Innovation, not cost, should drive customer experience
When it comes to customer service for brands, digital channels can often provide a cheaper alternative to standard channels- but companies that focus on cutting costs are missing the real advantages of digital. Mitesh Patel, Managing Director, Fifosys insists, after nearly a decade of economic travail it is now time for growth; it is innovation, not cost, that should be driving the customer experience and will deliver measurable rewards.

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