• What's Twitter Up To With AdGrok?
    Twitter is reportedly in talks to acquire keyword bidding platform AdGrok for somewhere south of $10 million. "It's still unclear where exactly they are in the closing process or whether this is a tech acquisition or an acqui-hire," writes TechCrunch. Backed by seed-stage start-up funding firm Y Combinator, AdGrok automates the process of bidding on contextual keywords on Google AdWords. "Perhaps Twitter could find some use in this for its own Promoted Trends/Tweets?" TechCrunch volunteers. Meanwhile, after first reporting the story, AdGrok co-founder Antonio Garcia-Martinez changed his title on his Facebook profile to Product Manager at Facebook. "I ...
  • App Discoverer Appsfire Finds $3.6M
    App discovery start-up Appsfire just raised $3.6 million in Series A funding from French investors Idinvest. Itself based in France, Appsfire works on both iOS and Android, and catalogs apps on a user's phone, while also suggesting apps on a live Appstream. "The funding signals the growing opportunity in app discovery, which is becoming a major issue for both consumers and developers," according to GigaOm. "With a sea of content available, there is increasing money flowing to start-ups that can help developers and publishers get their apps recognized and downloaded by consumers." The funding should help Appsfire grow ...
  • Google Starts Charging For "Location Extensions"
    AdWords advertisers will now be charged whenever consumers click on any part of a "location extension" -- including an address and phone number -- accompanying their ads. "In the past, clicking on a phone number via your mobile phone to call the advertiser or clicking on an address to bring up directions to the advertiser cost that advertiser nothing," notes Search Engine Land. Not anymore. Google says its will "begin to charge for clicks on directions in the same manner as clicks on your ad's headline or phone number." For AdWords campaigns with location extensions enabled, a "Directions" ...
  • Nielsen: Mobile Leaders Reach Stalemate
    Another day, another snapshot of the mobile market. The latest report comes from Nielsen, which finds that Apple, Google and Research in Motion have reached something of a stalemate. According to Nielsen, smartphones running Google's Android operating system are the most popular of all, but their share was no bigger in April than it was the last time Nielsen surveyed the field. "After having raced to the No. 1 spot in less than a year -- climbing from a 15% share in June 2010 to 37% in March 2011 -- Google held steady at 36% in the three month ...
  • Under Siege, Microsoft Board Has Ballmer's Back
    Under attack from hedge fund manager David Einhorn, Steve Ballmer was graced with the full support of Microsoft's board this week. Einhorn "accused Ballmer on Wednesday evening of being stuck in the past, launching the sharpest attack yet by a high-profile investor against the company's leadership," Reuters reports. "His continued presence is the biggest overhang on Microsoft's stock," Einhorn told a conference full of fund managers this week. In response, Microsoft's nine-person board, including chairman and co-founder Bill Gates, is supporting Ballmer, Reuters reporting, citing a single source. "Bill Gates is a ruthless capitalist," one fund manager tells ...
  • Google Makes Mail More Personal
    In its latest effort to improve email, Google just debuted a "people widget," which appears as a quasi-social networking profile alongside email messages. The widget reminds users about recent conversations they've had with contacts, whether they have play dates scheduled on Google Calendar, whether they're online right this minute, and other salient information. "The people widget surfaces content from friends, family and colleagues that is already available to you but may be hard to find and makes it easier to connect with them," Google said in a blog post announcing the feature. "Say what you want about Google, ...
  • Facebook Sees Future As Media Sharing Hub
    Key to the company's future, Facebook appears to have big plans for online content sharing. According to The New York Times, the company is working with all manner of media company to develop new sharing features. News broke earlier this week that Facebook is in discussions with music streamer Spotify to develop tools for users to show off and share they favorite music. "Facebook wants to do the same for other kinds of media, like video and news," reports NYT, citing sources. Experts and insiders, meanwhile, say that Facebook's "move into media was part of its ambition to ...
  • With Labels, Apple Ready To Rule Cloud
    To reinforce its upcoming cloud music service, Apple has reached agreements with three of the four top music labels and is close to signing the fourth, Universal Music, Bloomberg Businessweek reports, citing sources. Amazon and Google each recently unveiled cloud music services, but without the support of major music labels. With labels in tow, however, Apple could preview its cloud plans as early as next month. "The music industry will be watching to see whether Steve Jobs & Co. have discovered a way to quell the deep anxieties of the music biz while creating a flexible, easy-to-use service ...
  • Getaround Wins To Tech Prize
    It's safe to say more good things await Getaround. Having just gone public, the start-up, which offers a marketplace for personal car rentals, has now been named the winner of TechCrunch Disrupt NYC. For the honor, Getaround beat out 32 other start-ups, including runners-up Billguard and Sonar. "Getaround was a hit with the judges," TechCrunch writes, "with most of the judges wishing they could have invested in the company." Along with a ton of buzz -- and the "Disrupt Cup" -- Getaround gets another $50,000 to scale its budding business. So promising is Getaround's model, it was also ...
  • Magazines Take To Tumblr
    Though still hard to measure the direct impact of a Tumblr extension, ever more magazine editors believe it's worth their while. "A successful Tumblr targets a community that might not be familiar with the print publication or its Web site," editors tell Business Insider. "It hasn't been a huge traffic driver for us, but it has been, I think, key in bringing new people to Mother Jones as an organization and as a brand," Laura McClure, who helps run the publication's site, tells BI. "It's such a young audience overall and it's a different demographic from our usual MotherJones.com Web ...
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