• Report: Apple Losing Key Marketing VP
    Allison Johnson, Apple's vice president of worldwide marketing communications, is leaving the company, reports Digital Daily. According to sources, Johnson is co-founding a new marketing and communications firm with former Facebook PR exec Brandee Barker. "Beyond that, the details are slim," Digital Daily writes. "The new firm doesn't yet have a name or a client list, although presumably answers site Quora and social buying service Groupon, two of Barker's current clients, would sign on with the venture. While Johnson's exit is notable, "there's no dearth of marketing and communications talent at Apple." At Apple, Johnson has managed global ...
  • Can Facebook Credits Become Common Currency?
    Could Facebook establish its virtual Credits as a real-world currency? "At first blush, this seems like a crazy idea," admits Bloomberg Businessweek's Ben Kunz. "Facebook would need to overcome consumer privacy concerns, expand its Credits into a payment system that works everywhere, and surmount regulatory hurdles to handle businesses such as deposits and mortgage servicing." Yet, as Kunz explains, the idea becomes less far-fetched in the context of mobile payments. "The next payment platform is no farther than that glass gadget in your pocket," he insists, noting the emergence of services like Square, which help merchants process accept ...
  • Facebook Letting Friends Become Fans
    Instantly turning a Facebook user's friends into fans, personal user profiles on the social network can now be converted into official business Pages. The "Profile To Business Page Migration" tool, so-called, will help people who either created a personal profile for a business before Pages existed, or accidentally started accumulating fans as friends instead of Likes, according to Inside Facebook. "The migration tool should come as exciting news to business owners struggling with the decision of whether to continue a profile with its limited capabilities, or start a Page from scratch with zero fans." Migration should prove especially ...
  • Google Promises 1-Gig Web Connections
    No doubt, greater access to faster Web connections has fueled a digital bacchanalia for publishers, advertisers and consumers. To keep the party going, Google is planning to slowly roll out a 1-gigabit, fiber-optic connection nationwide. First Stop: Kansas City, Kansas, which Google hopes to hookup by 2012. "Think what you're going to do with a gigabit; 1,000 megabits," Patrick Pichette, Google's chief financial officer, said this week before a packed auditorium at Kansas City's Wyandotte High School. "Speed is like oxygen; when you have it, you take it for granted. Once you don't have it, you realize it's ...
  • Microsoft Files Antitrust Complaint Against Google
    Kicking a competitor where it hurts, Microsoft said it will file a formal complaint against Google with European antitrust regulators. Calling the move "somewhat ironic," CNet reminds us that Microsoft itself has been the subject of several antitrust probes in the United States and abroad. "Still, irony has no place in antitrust doctrine," notes The New York Times. "Microsoft's complaint must be weighed on the merits, as part of a wide-ranging antitrust investigation of Google, begun last year and led by Europe's competition commissioner, JoaquĆ­n Almunia." "The shoe, as the say, is now officially on the ...
  • DailyCandy Does Deal "Roundup"
    Women's lifestyle publisher DailyCandy recently unveiled The Roundup, which will regularly highlight 75-to-100 daily deals. It's "the latest offering meant to help position it in the current 'quick click deals' landscape, yet set it apart at the same time," writes paidContent. "It's also intended to help buttress DailyCandy's Wb site and remind readers that it's not just an e-newsletter, though that still is where its identity lies." According to Beth Ellard, SVP and GM for DailyCandy: "Users love to go through large scale round-ups, which is what the gift guides are, because it's filtered and therefore so easy ...
  • What's Google Worth?
    What's Google's total economic value to publishers, advertisers, and consumers? Just shy of $120 billion, says the search giant. In order to estimate Google's value to publishers and advertisers ($54 billion), Google's Chief Economist Hal Varian multiplied the value of a click on Google by total clicks, and then subtracted that number by the cost of a click times total clicks. To calculate the value of Google to users, Varian cited the "A Day Without A Search Engine" study, which plotted the time spent by students searching for the answers to questions in a library against that ...
  • Microsoft Still Bearish On Tablets
    Craig Mundie, Microsoft's global chief research and strategy officer, isn't sold on the long-term viability of tablet computers. Rather, the smartphone, "as it emerges more, will become your most personal computer," Mundie said at a conference this week as reported by The Sydney Morning Herald. It's fair to call Mundie's forecast wishful thinking given that Microsoft has been left in the dust by Apple, which is experiencing great success with tablets, as well as Google, which is considered to have a bright future in the category. "Mundie's comments about tablets go some way toward explaining why the software ...
  • Google: Gmail Getting "Better Ads"
    Google says it's about ready to roll out "better ads" in Gmail. As such, the search giant plans to serve fewer -- but more relevant and useful -- ads by better predicting which topics appear to be important to individual users. Reports CNet: "One of the tools that Google plans to use to accomplish this is its Priority Inbox, a feature launched last August that is designed to help clear the clutter from users' in-boxes by filtering out e-mail deemed less important." Google said it's planning a gradual rollout of the changes, with only a few users presently ...
  • Google Launches In-App Billing For Android
    Adding fuel to the ongoing app boom, Google just launched in-app billing for the Android Market. Until now, "One of the biggest gripes Android developers have about the ecosystem has been ... it's taken ages for it to support in-app payments," reports TechCrunch. Calling the move "a big deal," MobileBeat says it facilitates a "free-to-play business model, where users can use an app for free and then pay real money for virtual goods in small transactions." What's more, "The system basically gives developers equal opportunity to make money, whether they're on Android or Apple's iOS mobile ...
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