• Facebook's Next Big Move
    As if Facebook's dominance wasn't daunting enough, NetworkEffect details four projects that the social network should -- and likely will -- roll out. First and foremost, an ad network is a no-brainer for Facebook, which could easily monetize its countless widgets and integrations across the Web. What's more, "It could use its social graph to introduce targeted advertising and provide real competition to Google and other ad networks," the AllThingsD blog writes. Second, it's only a matter of time before Facebook starts facilitating payments for non-virtual goods. It's already busy connecting credit cards and PayPal accounts for many of ...
  • Google Tweaks Tackle Spam
    In the face of growing spam-related criticism, Google has tweaked its algorithm to hopefully give original content a leg up in its search results. As a result of the change, "Searchers are more likely to see the sites that wrote the original content rather than a site that scraped or copied the original site's content," Matt Cutts, head of Google's web spam team, wrote in a blog post. As The Next Web notes: "A common complaint about Google of late has been the increasing amounts of spam blogs and content scrapers that have been making their way into search ...
  • Does Tasty Labs Have The Answers?
    As if your companies-to-watch list wasn't long enough, Forbes is insisting that you add one more. "Tasty Labs wants to create a marketplace or forum in which people can state their needs and available talents," Forbes' Quentin Hardy explains. "By employing relationship and ratings algorithms, the idea runs, Tasty Labs can enable people to satisfy needs from 'a good place for a business dinner' to 'a great Perl programmer' or 'figure out schools selection' by getting tips from trusted sources." Tasty Labs founder Joshua Schachter, inventor of the Delicious social bookmarking service, says it's critical that question ...
  • Netflix Going Full Social
    Representing a strategic about-face, Netflix says it is now implementing "an extensive Facebook integration," in large part to encourage a segmenting of household accounts into multiple personal accounts. Netflix accounts have traditionally been affiliated with individual home addresses, but more screens per household -- along with more diverse offerings -- gives Netflix the opportunity to mine households for multiple accounts. "In addition to helping identify discrete people within a household, Facebook integration would presumably allow Netflix to help users do things like share their personal viewing history in their newsfeed and recommend videos to friends," writes AllThingsD's NetworkEffect blog. ...
  • Is Jumio The Next Big Thing?
    Despite knowing very little about Jumio, TechCrunch is predicting that the mobile payment platform provider will emerge as one of the hottest startups of 2011. Why? Largely because of its impressive advisory board, which includes such stars as former Google executive Zain Khan, former Amazon executive Mark Britto and Maarten Linthorst, CEO of CSI Communication Systems. "Khan, now turned private investor, is credited with building Google's infrastructure from scratch back in 1999," TechCrunch write. "Britto is the founder of Accept.com (acquired by Amazon) and board member of Bill Me Later (which was acquired by eBay)." Linthorst, meanwhile, ...
  • Twitter Takes Spam-Crushing Bing 'Principal Scientist'
    Twitter just poached Bing "Principal Scientist" Alek Kolcz, ReadWriteWeb is reporting. Still, "Microsoft is a giant pile of people with impressive titles," so, as the tech blog admits, "There appears to be some question about just how unique Kolcz is as Principal Scientist at Bing." That said, "He appears to have a special affinity for spam crushing, something Twitter must struggle with a whole lot," ReadWriteWeb notes. "As use of the service grows, so too will the importance of its search - especially given the very public nature of Twitter's data." Twitter now has a reported 362 ...
  • Twitter IS SO Testing Self-Serve Ad Platform
    Supporting a scoop published in Wednesday's Online Media Daily, ClickZ has confirmed that Twitter is in fact testing a self-serve ad platform for running bid-based ad campaigns. Indeed, Clix Marketing CEO David Szetela tells ClickZ that he's testing a Twitter ad platform, which lets him handle all aspects of a campaign without having to contact anyone at the micro-blogging leader. "The only human intervention he needs from Twitter, he said, is for someone to provide access to the platform." Through its @twitterglobalpr account, Twitter wrote Wednesday: "Reports that Twitter is testing a self-serve ad platform are ...
  • Hulu Obits Premature?
    Is Hulu living on borrowed time? While that might be an overstatement, the site's owners have grown increasingly uneasy about its business structure, and the lingering fear that free online video cannibalizes TV and paying audiences. "Its owners -- industry powerhouses NBC Universal, News Corp. and Walt Disney Co. -- are increasingly at odds over Hulu's business model," The Wall Street Journal reports. "Worried that free Web versions of their biggest TV shows are eating into their traditional business, the owners disagree among themselves, and with Hulu management, on how much of their content should ...
  • Facebook to Compete With Groupon?
    Facebook is testing a new "Buy with Friends" feature, which will initially let users share deals on virtual goods. And, while virtual commerce is itself big business, some are suggesting that the feature has even larger implications for the Groupon-led social commerce space. "I'm starting to wonder whether Facebook could bring something similar to non-virtual deals," writes VentureBeat's Anthony Ha. Discussing the feature at a conference on Tuesday, Facebook's commerce product marketing manager Deb Liu said more than 50% of users in a test program elected to share their purchases.As Forbes ...
  • Why Digital Music Has (Sort Of) Failed
    Forrester Research analyst Mark Mulligan is (sort of) sticking by his contention -- recently published in The New York Times -- that digital music has failed. "The problem with a quote like that of course is that it can mean many things to many people without further context," Mulligan writes in paidContent. What Mulligan really means is that "Digital music is at an impasse," and it has so far failed to reach three key objectives, including offsetting the impact of declining CD sales; generating a format replacement cycle and; competing effectively with piracy. "The simple fact is that current ...
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