• Let's Make A Deal: Facebook's Groupon-Killer
    Having only recently launched its location-based Places feature, Facebook is reportedly testing a "Deals" service with which businesses can offer incentives to users whenever they check-in to a physical store. All Facebook, which broke the news, calls the development "HUGE," suggesting that "Deals" could immediately have a big impact on the hotly-contested local business market.   "Facebook plus Groupon?" ReadWriteWeb asks. "Considering how much profile and social data a Facebook Places check-in can carry as a payload, this sounds a whole lot more valuable to retailers than a Groupon deal. This ...
  • Last Founder Exits: Hurley Officially Out As YouTube CEO
    Chad Hurley this week said he officially plans to step down as CEO of YouTube, and take an advisory role. Yet, as MediaMemo notes, Hurley hasn't been managing day-to-day operations at YouTube for some time. "The video site is already under the day-to-day control of Google veteran Salar Kamangar, and industry insiders have been speculating that Hurley would step out for more than a year," it writes. Admitting as much, Hurley said in a statement: "For the past two years, I've taken on more of an advisory role at YouTube as Salar Kamangar has led the company's ...
  • AOL Names New News Head
    Jonathan Dube has been named senior vice president and general manager of AOL News & Information, Reuters reports. Dube, who most recently served at ABCNews.com, will take the lead on AOL's news and content division, which includes the tech, finance, and sports group. Dube will report directly to David Eun, president of AOL Media & Studios, and the man seen to be leading the company's original content charge behind CEO Tim Armstrong. "Equal parts journalist and business strategist, Jonathan is adept at building online content partnerships and creating exceptional user experiences," Eun said in a statement. Just ...
  • Facebook Gets Personal With 'Friendship Pages'
    Facebook this week debuted a new feature that lets users log interactions between themselves and friends, or between any two friends. "Friendship Pages" will display posts on friends' walls, events to which both RSVP'd, and photos in which both are tagged, among other interactions. According to CNet, "It's another feature, like the redesigned Facebook Groups, that highlights the intimacy of real-world connections projected through Facebook, something that has been obscured as the massive social network has grown far beyond 500 million users around the world." Facebook engineer Wayne Kao is being given most of the credit for ...
  • Report: AOL Planning Another Redesign
    AOL is planning to unveil yet another homepage redesign next week to more prominently feature original news, entertainment and other content. That's according to The Wall Street Journal, which couches the redesign as an attempt to counter "steep declines in ad revenue and traffic to its sites." The new site, which AOL plans to begin rolling out next week, will display more articles as well as pictures and online video, sources tell The Journal. It also expected to feature different types of content based on the time of day a consumer is visiting. "For instance, visitors could ...
  • Groupon Self-Service Deals Open For Business
    Groupon has released a Merchant Center for Groupon Stores, its new self-service platform for businesses to set up virtual storefronts to promote and run their own deals. "What's interesting," as Mashable notes, "is that the implementation of the product indicates that this will compete with the likes of Facebook, Foursquare, Gowalla and Google when it comes to attracting small business attention." While there are no up front fees, Groupon plans to take a 10% commission for non-promoted deals, and 30% for promoted deals -- compared to its standard commission of at least 50%. Of note, merchants only ...
  • Crowley: Give Social Influencers 'Referrer's Fee'
    Foursquare founder Dennis Crowley reportedly thinks the next big development in social networking will come from algorithms that can determine how influential recommendations or updates are based on the response they garner from others. "Once that happens, [Crowley] said, marketers will be able to reward the most influential users for mentioning them," reports Forbes' Mixed Media blog. If, for instance, your movie endorsement - via Twitter, Facebook, or another social platform -- drives ticket sales at Fandango.com, "You should get some kind of referrer's fee," Crowley said during a panel discussion this week. "I bet that exists ...
  • Does Google TV U-Turn Mean It's Done?
    Though it's too early to count Google out of the Web TV race (right?), the search giant has reportedly shifted its Google TV initiative to YouTube. "Industry observers speculated that the move was a response to recent negative reaction to the new Internet television service among major media companies, but it appears the change happened several weeks earlier," reports the San Francisco Chronicle -- which broke the news. Always up for a scandal, Business Insider asks, "if Google's move is a sign that it's already giving up on Google TV" -- ...
  • Mint Lays Bare Local Spending Patterns
    Personal finance platform Mint.com just launched a new feature that might be as useful to marketers as consumers. Dubbed Mint Data, the feature aggregates anonymous spending data from Mint's more than 4 million users to deliver what it calls "an unprecedented real-time economic index." Mint Data breaks down spending habits across more than 300 U.S. cities by category, specific business and as an overview of the city itself. "Now, we have enough users in enough cities across America to give a distinct, anonymous look at the country's economy down to the city level," Mint Founder Aaron Patzer tells ReadWriteWeb. ...
  • 'Cutting The Cord' Or Just Cutting Back?
    Comcast lost 622,000 cable subscribers in the first 9 months of the year -- 275,000 in last quarter alone -- according to TechDirt. So, does the decline demonstrate that consumers are finally cutting their cable cords in favor of the Web? Hardly, insists the cable giant, which, according to TechDirt, blames the losses squarely on a bad economy. Same difference (!), says TechDirt. The fact that money issues drove consumers away from cable, "doesn't change the fact that they were cord cutters," it notes. "One of the reasons why people will cut the cord is that cable TV ...
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