Twitter Ads Service Now Available for All U.S. Businesses

Following three years of partner testing, Twitter has announced the general availability of its advertising services for U.S. businesses. Kevin Weil, Twitter’s senior director of product for revenue, made the announcement on stage yesterday during the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in New York City. The launch of Twitter Ad services could increase company revenue in preparation for an anticipated IPO. Continue reading Twitter Ads Service Now Available for All U.S. Businesses

Google Joins FIDO Alliance: Hopes to Replace Passwords

Google has joined a consortium of technology companies that plans to make online accounts more secure. The FIDO Alliance, which was founded in part by Lenovo and PayPal, launched a set of technology standards earlier in the year that could reduce reliance on passwords. The group hopes hardware can have more of a role in authenticating users, and has been working on different ideas such as security chips and voice recognition. Continue reading Google Joins FIDO Alliance: Hopes to Replace Passwords

Facebook CEO Plans to Launch Political Advocacy Group

News that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is reportedly in the process of co-organizing a political advocacy group made up of top leaders in technology is expected to be announced in the coming weeks. The group would push for federal legislation on issues like immigration and education, according to sources familiar with the matter. Zuckerberg plans to raise $50 million to launch the group with his former Harvard roommate Joe Green. Continue reading Facebook CEO Plans to Launch Political Advocacy Group

New IDC Study: Will Microsoft Purchase Netflix and LinkedIn?

  • A study from IDC predicts that Microsoft may consider purchasing Netflix and LinkedIn next year in an effort to cash in on “the convergence of mobile computing, social networking, cloud services, and big data analytics.”
  • “Look for Microsoft to buy a content/media cloud, like Netflix, to provide a marketplace for its apps and content,” says Frank Gens, senior VP and chief analyst at IDC.
  • Gens refers to the platform built on mobile computing, cloud services, social networking, and big data analytics as the “3rd Platform.”
  • “The industry’s shift to the 3rd Platform will accelerate in 2012, forcing the industry’s leaders to make bold investments and fateful decisions,” predicts Gens. He suggests companies including Apple, Microsoft, HP, SAP, RIM and others will face “crossroads moments” next year.
  • Is Computerworld blogger Preston Gralla convinced? Not really. “Building an app store directly into Windows can serve the same purpose. If the price is right, buying Netflix might make sense. But I don’t expect the price to be right.”

Groups Take Sides in Battle Over Proposed Internet Censorship Bill

  • Nine Internet giants (Google, eBay, AOL, Facebook, Yahoo, Zynga, LinkedIn, Mozilla and Twitter) have joined forces to place full page ads in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Washington Post and The Washington Times expressing their objection to the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the PROTECT IP Act.
  • The measures protect against copyright infringement by requiring “technology companies and Internet service providers to block access to any website that the entertainment industry believes ‘engages in, enables or facilitates’ copyright infringement,” reports Digital Trends.
  • The proposed pieces of legislation “have strong bipartisan support in Congress, as well as backing from the Motion Picture Association of America, a variety of Hollywood union organizations, and even Master Card and Pfizer.”
  • In a related post, The Next Web reports that the Business Software Alliance (BSA) supports SOPA and commends Congress for “curb[ing] the growing rash of software piracy and other forms of intellectual property theft that are being perpetrated by illicit websites.”
  • Member of BSA include Adobe, Apple, Dell, Intel, Microsoft and 24 other tech companies.

New Report: 40 Million Mobile Users Access Social Networks Daily

  • The number of Americans who use social networks has grown 37 percent over the past year, according to comScore.
  • In August for example, 72.2 million Americans accessed social sites or blogs via mobile devices.
  • “Nearly 40 million U.S. mobile phone users, which accounts for more than half of the mobile social media audience, use social sites while on the go nearly every day,” reports Computerworld. “As a result, mobile devices are an increasingly important part of the burgeoning social media market.”
  • The new comScore study also indicates the number of mobile users who accessed Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn increased by at least 50 percent for each service in the past year.

API Marketplace: Cabana Exchange Helps Make Feature-Rich Web Apps

  • DIY HTML5 mobile apps anyone? Take a look at the video on ReadWriteWeb to see how quickly it can be done using Cabana.
  • LinkedIn CEO Reid Hoffman, speaking at the Web 2.0 Summit, suggested that the next stage of the Web will involve creating apps and mobile UIs on top of our existing collective data.
  • “Some people believe that a big part of that could come in the form of technology platforms that anyone can use to create those apps and UIs,” reports ReadWriteWeb.
  • Mobile Web app creation platform Cabana now offers the Cabana Exchange API marketplace for app builders to add third party data and functionality.
  • The post cites partners such as SimpleGeo for location data, and API service Mashery whose exchange will include APIs from Klout for social rankings, Qwerly for profile discovery, FanFeeder for sports statistics, Rotten Tomatoes for movie ratings, and for contact info.

Nielsen Report Details the Rise of Social Media: Companies Take Note

  • Americans currently spend more than 22 percent of their online time engaged with some form of social media, indicates a new report from Nielsen.
  • According to the research company’s “State of the Media: The Social Media Report,” these networkers spent 53.5 billion minutes on Facebook in May of this year (following Facebook was Blogger, Tumblr, Twitter and LinkedIn).
  • With 70 percent of users now shopping online, social media has become a crucial tool for many companies, says Nielsen executive Radha Subramanyam. “Social media is becoming increasingly mainstream,” she notes, and as a result, “there’s a need for companies to engage even more strategically in the space” than they already do.
  • It is interesting to point out that in regards to the Facebook tracking, 62 percent of the visitors were females. Additionally, while more women than men were reported to watch video clips on blogs and social networks, men streamed more videos and spent more time actively watching them.

Quixey Search Engine Targets Social Media Apps

  • Quixey is an app-specialized search engine funded by former Google CEO Eric Schmidt.
  • The service hopes to make it simpler for social media users (developers and consumers) to find applications and widgets for social networks.
  • Last week, Quixey got closer to that goal when it added Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Foursquare integration.
  • The engine also indexes and categorizes tools and apps based on social chatter, blog posts, reviews and other third-party descriptions of their function. The search technology bypasses the clutter by efficiently mining data and app-related keywords.
  • Quixey co-founder Tomer Kagan explains: “A lot of apps on Facebook [for example] don’t even have a description attached — just a name. From a search perspective, if all you have to work with is like three words, it’s extremely difficult.”
  • The Mountain View, CA startup has raised $400,000 in seed money from Schmidt’s Innovation Endeavors.

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