• Nat Geo Taps Photo Sharing App
    Mobile photo sharing application Instagram has found its first major partner in National Geographic. "The partnership seems like an obvious one since Instagram is all about great-looking pictures, and National Geographic is known for great-looking pictures," reasons TechCrunch. "National Geographic makes a ton of sense as an initial partner," Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom tells TechCrunch. "Given that they're so visually oriented, it's a no-brainer that we're going to be trying some interesting stuff out with them over the next few months." According to Systrom, it remains to be seen exactly how National Geographic will use Instagram, but ...
  • Disney: Don't Count Out Google TV
    Despite some initial hiccups, it would be unwise to call Google's Web TV play dead in the water. Indeed, according to Reuters, Walt Disney -- one of several networks to recently remove its content from Google TV - is talking with the search giant about giving it another go. While the two companies remain far apart on piracy concerns, Disney's TV chief Anne Sweeney tells Reuters that ABC's online shows could wind up on Google TV. "It's fair to say there's conversation with Google," Sweeney told Reuters and the Reuters Media Summit. "More conversations are planned with ...
  • Is Google Gaga For Groupon To The Tune Of $5BN
    While respected analysts question the soundness of deal-based social buying, Google has reportedly offered a staggering $5.3 billion for industry leader Groupon. The deal -- which sources tell BoomTown could go down as early as Wednesday -- "will move the search giant instantly to the top spot in local commerce online and give it huge troves of data about consumer buying habits and merchant information across the globe." As such, "It is a killer move for Google--despite the high price-given it has long tried to enter the local advertising space, with decidedly ...
  • Can Jumo Transform Social Activism?
    Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes has officially launched Jumo, which he calls a social network for social activism. "The idea behind Jumo is to help people discover causes that matter to them and to their friends and, over time, deepen their ties to those causes," The Los Angeles Times paraphrases Hughes as saying. "That would realize an elusive goal for nonprofits and charitable organizations," according to the L.A. Times. "Social networking has yet to deliver on its promise of connecting individuals and nonprofits to raise money for causes more efficiently and less expensively than traditional means." According to ...
  • Report: Google's Social Play Delayed
    "Google Me" -- what many believe is the search giant's big social initiative -- is experiencing delays that have pushed its launch back to spring 2011, reports Mashable. "Google's big social play could debut in March or April, a far cry from earlier rumors that pegged a 2010 launch date," the tech blog writes. The project, which is reportedly very top-secret, is being led by Google's VP of engineering Vic Gundotra. Early rumors portrayed Google Me as "full, first-class social network" designed as a direct competitor to Facebook. More recently, however, Google CEO Eric Schmidt said the ...
  • Google Probed By E.U. Antitrust Regulators
    European Union antitrust regulators are probing Google for allegedly discriminating against competing services in its search results, and well as stopping websites from accepting rival ads, reports Bloomberg. "The European Commission said it's investigating whether Google's AdSense contracts prevent publishers from striking deals to place ads from other services on their sites," Bloomberg writes. "It will also look at allegations that Google limits advertisers' ability to move data such as key search terms from AdWords to another service." Earlier this year, several Google rivals, including Microsoft's Ciao from Bing, filed a similar antitrust complaint against the search ...
  • Wikileaks: Chinese Gov Behind Google Hack
    The Chinese government was indeed responsible for the hack on Google's Gmail system earlier this year, according to diplomatic cables captured by Wikileaks, and published this weekend by The New York Times. The revelation -- unearthed from the daily traffic between the U.S. State Department and some 270 embassies and consulates over three years -- is perhaps the most immediately relevant to the online business community. "China's Politburo directed the intrusion into Google's computer systems in that country, a Chinese contact told the American Embassy in Beijing in January," one cable reported, according to The Times. "The ...
  • Study: Brand-Loyal Smartphone Owners Ain't
    Sure to bring smiles to marketers' mouths -- and tears to their eyes -- a new survey indicates that smartphone owners feel little to no loyalty to their current brand. Indeed, 56% of smartphone owners in key global markets were keeping their options open about which phone they would buy next, with only Apple commanding a significant degree of loyalty, according to a new GfK study published by Reuters. "Loyalty with a handset is a lot more complicated these days in that people buy into experiences at the high-end level," analyst Ryan Garner tells Reuters. "If a ...
  • Data: Tablets Taking Place Of PCs
    From holiday wish lists to mounting sale statistics, the rise of tablet PCs is impossible to ignore. Citing new Gartner findings, GigaOm notes that tablet fever is cutting into PC sales. According to Gartner, worldwide PC shipments are on pace for 352.4 million units this year -- up 14.3% year-over-year, but down from projected growth of 17.9% just two months ago. Meanwhile, Gartner expects worldwide PC shipments in 2011 to hit 409 million -- a 15.9% increase over 2010, but down from an earlier estimate of 18.1% growth. "The rapid revisions suggest that the PC market, while ...
  • Google Groupon Acquisition A Done Deal?
    With huge implications for the future of ecommerce and Google itself, the search giant is rumored to have acquired Groupon for $2.5 billion. Vator News has confirmation from a single unnamed source, but provides no additional information or insight into the deal -- only saying that its report "falls in line with the recent string of Groupon acquisition rumors." "Whether or not this story plays out, my first thought was that the company is worth far more than $2.5 billion," writes Federated Media founder and Searchblog author John Battelle. "If, ...
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