Wednesday, August 24, 2011
  • Gavin O'Malley, August 24, 2011, 12:05 PM
  • Ticketmaster Gets Social With Facebook Betting big on word-of-mouth marketing, Ticketmaster this week is launching enhanced Facebook connectivity. The company hopes to "reduce the estimated 40% of live event tickets that go unsold," Fast Company reports. Using an interactive seat map, fans can now choose their exact seats instead of relying on Ticketmaster to determine the "best available" options. "Now you can have an even more customized ticket search," Fast Company explains.

    "By connecting to Facebook while you browse for seats, you can see where your friends have purchased tickets. The friends who have tagged their seats, that is." Positioning itself as a "more innovative and fan-focused company," Fast Company says the initiative was driven by one statistic: "Each time a [Ticketmaster] ticket buyer shared with Facebook friends that he was attending an event ... that alert generated $5.30 in additional ticket revenue."
    ,br> Once users have connected to Facebook from Ticketmaster's site, a list of friends who are attending a particular venue appears on the left. The venue's seat map displays Facebook flags in the sections where friends are sitting. Read the whole story...
  • Newest Yahoo Mail Lures 100M Users Debuting a few months back, it's now safe to say that the latest version of Yahoo Mail was a hit. According to Yahoo, the service just surpassed 100 million monthly active users. What accounts for the success? Well, new features include integrated notifications and messages from Facebook, Twitter, Zynga and other email providers within a single interface, i.e., it got very open and very social.

    As TechCrunch notes, Yahoo also made the mail client speedier, more customizable with 50 themes, and improved its search function. Within the new Yahoo Mail, users can also use IM clients from Yahoo, Facebook, and Windows Live. Rather than resting on its laurels, Yahoo now plans on adding even more features -- apparently inspired by customer feedback -- including putting the message toolbar at the bottom of messages, and the ability to switch between paginated and infinite scrolling views.

    Yahoo had close to 90 million accounts in May. Still, Techcrunch adds, "The email service is facing increasing competition from other clients like Gmail and Microsoft Hotmail and is losing some of its market share." Read the whole story...
  • Facebook, Twitter To Fight Gov. Censorship Facing the first true threats of censorship from the Western world, Facebook and Twitter appear ready for a fight. "The major social networks are expected to offer no concessions when they meet the home secretary, Theresa May, at a Home Office summit on Thursday," the Guardian reports.

    In the wake of riots and looting across England, government ministers have called for a ban on social networks during times of civil unrest. Prime Minister David Cameron has also asked that suspected rioters be banned from social networks. The home secretary is expected to explore what measures the major social networks could take to help contain disorder -- "including how law enforcement can more effectively use the sites -- rather than discuss powers to shut them down," according to the Guardian.

    In their defense, however, Facebook and Twitter are expected to strongly warn the government against introducing emergency measures that could usher in a new form of online censorship, the Guardian reports. Read the whole story...
  • Is China's Renren A Win-Win For MSN? Microsoft's MSN this week announced a partnership with Chinese social-networking site Renren. The goal? "To cooperate in areas of instant messaging and social networking," according to Reuters. The strategy? "The two companies will cooperate on providing universal log-in access to both platforms and cross sharing of photos and status updates," Reuters writes.

    The specifics? The agreement will see a significant level of integration between the two platforms. Said Renren's chief operating officer Liu Jian in a statement: "Renren's alliance with MSN network is in the spirit of a win-win situation." Seeking success where others (i.e., Google) have found failure, Microsoft has recently focused it global expansion efforts on China.

    Last month, the software giant said it would partner with Baidu to provide the Chinese Web-services company with English-language search. By the numbers, China is a very attractive market for any tech company. As Reuters notes, it's the world's largest Internet market by users with around 480 million "netizens," while around 230 million of them use social networking sites, and 385 million of them use instant messaging. Read the whole story...