• Facebook Rolls Out Gift-Giving Feature

    Marking Facebook’s latest ploy to turn popularity into profit, the social network is rolling out a gift-giving feature with which users can buy and send items to “friends.”

    “The gift service … will have hundreds of options with more added daily from partners such as Starbucks Corp. and 1-800-Flowers.com Inc.,” Bloomberg reports. “Facebook, which acquired gift-giving application Karma earlier this year, will share an undisclosed percentage of the revenue with partners.”

    “It’s a major undertaking for Facebook, tackling an entire new segment of online commerce and adding a brand new revenue stream to its business,” AllThingsD writes. “Perhaps ...

  • Pages Removes False Accounts

    Facebook business Pages are losing tens of thousands of fans, this week -- but not due a user exodus or a marked shift in tastes. Rather, the social network is in the process of removing fake accounts and Page Likes as part of a larger effort to improve site integrity.

    “Illegitimately created accounts are being deleted, and Likes gained from malware, compromised accounts, or deceived users are being removed,” TechCrunch reports.

    “Wednesday's purge comes nearly a month after Facebook announced plans to crack down on zombie accounts and likes, as part of an effort to guarantee authenticity across the ...

  • Google And Apple Compare App Metrics

    Giving Apple something to think about, Google just announced that its Play app store has hit 25 billion downloads.

    That’s “a little behind the pace of Apple’s App Store, which hit that mark in March of this year,” notes GigaOm. “Google Play also has 675,000 apps overall compared to 700,000 for the App Store.”

    The new figures “show that Google is closing the gap on Apple, which recently announced that 90% of the 700,000 apps in the App Store are downloaded every month,” The Next Web writes.

    “With Google’s larger market share and fast-growing Play Store, it ...

  • MySpace Rebuilds Social Network

    Like an old flame ready to rekindle the magic, MySpace just revealed a video that teases the future of the once-reigning social network. “According to the company, the fan and entertainment-focused service is being rebuilt ‘entirely from scratch,’” The Next Web reports.

    “If anything could benefit from a massive overhaul, it’s beleaguered social network Myspace,” writes WebProNews.

    “It’s been four years since MySpace has been relevant as a social network,” Marketing Land reminds us. “Despite the mass community exodus to other social networks, the new Justin Timberlake-led ownership team is still attempting to revive it.”

    “Fifteen ...

  • Facebook Taps Datalogix For Ad Tracking

    Facing greater pressure to generate ad revenue, Facebook has tapped data miner Datalogix to track whether users who see product ads on the site end up buying them in stores.

    With the tie-up, however, Web watchers think Facebook might be asking for trouble.

    Dubbing Datalogix “controversial,” Financial Times writes: “Facebook is gradually wading into new techniques for tracking and using data about users that raise concerns among privacy advocates.”

    That said, “the ‘holy grail’ of online measurement has always been tracking to offline sales,” Marketing Land reminds us. “Indeed, 95% of retail sales happen in stores and clicks ...

  • Facebook Charges Businesses For Offers

    As investors demand more profit out of Facebook, the social network has opted to start charging businesses to run Offers. The move turns “a previously free service into a potential revenue generator at a time when Wall Street is demanding new sources of growth and profit from the company,” Reuters writes.

    That’s right, what was free will soon cost merchants at least $5 on related ads to promote each Facebook Offer to a targeted audience of fans and friends of fans.

    “The advertising requirement shouldn’t come as any surprise,” according to TechCrunch. “Facebook is very focused on growing ...

  • Early iPhone 5 Reviews Ring In Praise

    Suggesting that we’re still living in the Age of Apple, early reviews of the iPhone 5 are in -- and they’re sparkling. 

    “The world’s most popular smartphone becomes significantly faster, thinner and lighter … while gaining a larger, 4-inch screen -- all without giving up battery life, comfort in the hand and high-quality construction,” Walt Mossberg writes in AllThingsD.

    “The iPhone 5 is the iPhone we've wanted since 2010, adding long-overdue upgrades,” proclaims CNet. This is the iPhone, rebooted. “The iPhone 5 is really nice,” John Gruber writes on his Daring Fireball blog. “But you don’t even ...

  • Twitter Debuts New Design

    Twitter on Tuesday rolled out a new look for profile pages, as well as a completely overhauled iPad app.

    “The biggest change?” asks Marketing Land. “Making Twitter more visual and engaging. In order to achieve this, Twitter has released a ‘timeline-y’ feel for profiles that feature a large image at the top.”

    “The most conspicuous feature is a dominant photo in the upper right that takes up some of the screen real estate once held by tweets,” GigaOm comments.

    As such, in Gizmodo’s humble opinion: “Your Twitter profile looks more like Facebook Timeline now.”

    “The moves to ...

  • iPhone 5 Pre-Orders Top 2 Million in 24 Hours

    Since its debut, tech analysts have chided Apple’s latest iPhone for being more evolutionary than revolutionary.

    Likely to quiet such criticism, Apple said Monday that iPhone 5 pre-orders topped two million in the first 24 hours -- more than double the record set by the iPhone 4S, last year.

    “The iPhone 5 might only be an evolutionary rather than revolutionary new smartphone, but that apparently has had no effect on the short-term consumer interest,” writes BetaNews.

    “We believe that consumer sentiment around the iPhone 5 is significantly better than it was for iPhone 4S despite the ...

  • Giving "Big Data" A Human Face

    Despite its profound impact on online marketing and other industries, “big data” is a difficult concept to conceptualize. “Massive rivers of digital information are a snooze, visually,” admits The New York Times’ Bits blog. Enter photographer Rick Smolan and his latest project, “The Human Face of Big Data.” As Bit reports, the effort “focuses on how data, smart software, sensors and computing are opening the door to all sorts of new uses in science, business, health, energy and water conservation … and the pictures are mostly of the people doing that work or those being affected.”

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