• Google Maps For iPhone Getting Rave Reviews

    To Apple’s chagrin, Google Maps returning to the iPhone this week is getting more good press than a chimp in space.

    “Hallelujah!” The Atlantic exclaims.  

    “Call it an early Christmas gift from Google,” ABC News gushes.

    Fortune, meanwhile, can’t wait to tell readers about “10 cool things about Google’s new Maps app for iPhone.”

    Yet all the excitement only magnifies Apple’s failure to launch a successful mapping app of its own -- proving to some that, for all its successes, the company has serious Web service shortcomings.

    Indeed, Apple dropping its Maps contract with Google was ...

  • Instagram Disables Photo Integration With Twitter

    Instagram -- the Facebook-owned photo filtering and sharing service -- officially disabled photo integration with Twitter, this weekend. “While users can still post links to their Instagram photos on Twitter, they’ll no longer be able to view Instagram photos from within the Twitter stream across both the Twitter Web site and mobile apps,” AllThingsD reports.

    “Now when [users] share an Instagram photo on Twitter, only a link to the photo on Instagram’s site will appear on your timeline,” VentureBeat writes. “Sound the social alarm!” PCMag half-jokes.

    “In an appearance last week, Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom said he ...

  • Facebook May Buy Atlas Solutions

    Promising to reshape online advertising as we know it, Facebook is reportedly in talks to buy Microsoft’s Atlas Solutions ad-serving product.

    “[Facebook] has been conducting due diligence on the media measurement platform, part of its efforts to create its own advertising network for third-party Web sites to compete with Google’s DoubleClick,” AllThingsD reports, citing sources.

    “If completed, [the deal] would put Facebook one huge step closer to launching an ad network that could rival Google's in size and change the way advertising is done online forever,” writes Business Insider.

    “Facebook currently generates 86% of its revenue, which totaled ...

  • Instagram, Twitter War Commences

    Increasing tensions between Twitter and Instagram, Facebook’s photo sharing service has disabled the ability for Twitter users to properly display Instagram photos.

    “Welcome to the Photo Wars,” The New York Times’ Bits blog writes on the news.

    Addressing the move at a conference this week, Kevin Systrom, Instagram’s founder and CEO, said Instagram wants to take control of its content, TechCrunch reports.

    “Instagram's CEO wants people to use the new Web client on Instagram.com because he thinks it is a better user experience,” writes The Verge.

    “Over time, Instagram images will no longer display inline on Twitter.com ...

  • News Corp Shutters 'The Daily' App

    Perhaps ahead of its time, The Daily is calling it quits after less than two years of operation. Where did News Corp.’s iPad-based newspaper go wrong?

    “Our experience was that we could not find a large enough audience quickly enough to convince us the business model was sustainable in the long-term,” News Corp. head Rupert Murdoch explained in a press release.

    “The app was initially hampered by technical problems, but the Daily’s key issue was a conceptual one,” according to AllThingsD’s Peter Kafka.

    “Given the amount of free news available online, persuading people to subscribe to an iPad-only ...

  • LivingSocial To Cut Staff

    Throwing more cold water on what was once a white-hot daily deal space, LivingSocial is reportedly ready to cut about 10% of its workforce, or as many 400 jobs.

    “For the 5-year-old social commerce company, the long-rumored layoffs reflect a struggle to stabilize itself financially after a frenzied headcount expansion in 2011,” the Washington Business Journal reports.

    “The layoff shouldn’t come as much of a surprise following Amazon’s third-quarter earnings report, which blamed its $169 million loss on its stake in LivingSocial,” writes Mashable. “Amazon invested $175 million in the daily deal site two years ago.”

    “The daily ...

  • Will Yahoo, Facebook Consider A Search Alliance?

    Are Yahoo and Facebook in talks about forming a search alliance, or building a search engine together?

    Yes, reports The Sunday Telegraph, citing sources. “Marissa Mayer, chief executive of Yahoo, has held discussions with Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s chief operating officer, about how the two companies can work more closely together."

    Not true (!), reports Kara Swisher in AllThingsD, citing her own scoffing sources. “Yahoo is not anywhere near ending its search partnership with Microsoft,” she writes. “It would be nearly impossible for Yahoo to extricate itself from the long-term contract easily.”

    Not sure which report to believe,

  • Papa John's Sued For Aggressive Digital Marketing

    Putting aggressive digital marketing tactics on trial, Papa John's is facing a $250 million class-action lawsuit for spraying customers with illegal text messages.

    “The plaintiffs allege that Papa John's franchises sent customers a total of 500,000 unwanted messages in early 2010,” reports CNNMoney.com. “The pizza franchises sent the text blasts through a mass text messaging service called OnTime4U, which is also a defendant in the case.”

    “Some customers were getting as many as 17 messages a day, and they were even coming when they were asleep,” writes The Inquirer. “Let's face it, no one wants to buy 17 ...

  • Sinofsky Out At Microsoft

    Windows chief Steven Sinofsky -- who some assumed would one day replace Steve Ballmer as head of Microsoft -- is out. “Two weeks after Apple's stunning management shakeup, Microsoft has announced a shocker of its own,” writes CNNMoney.com.

    “His departure was a mutual decision,” reports The New York Times’ Bits blog, citing sources. Yet, “the departure raises questions about how Microsoft … will prepare itself for a new generation of leadership.”

    “Critically, Sinofsky was not ousted because of any issues with the launch of Windows 8 or the Surface,” The Verge reports, citing its own sources.

  • Priceline.com To Buy Kayak

    Realigning the online travel business, Priceline.com on Thursday agreed to buy rival Kayak for $1.8 billion in cash and stock. “A bomb just dropped in the online travel world,” Rafat Ali writes in Skift. Likewise, Forbes calls the move a “major shake-up” for the industry.

    If and when the deal closes, “Priceline will gain a great online and mobile team to build its portfolio and will put muscle behind the Kayak brand,” Ali adds.

    “The acquisition … could provide a new source of revenue for the company,” The New York Times’ DealBook blog writes.

    “Kayak adds a ...

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