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2013
Google Bestows Gmail Users In India With Google+ Hangouts Feature
February 8, 2013 at 1:37 pm 0

Mumbai, India - At last, users of Gmail in India have one more reason to cheer. In a fresh move to influence the growing markets, Google has extended Google+ Hangouts to all Gmail users in India. Making the announcement on its official India blog, Google stated that Gmail users will be able to initiate a one to one video chat with any other Gmail user and would be able to add up to 9 users at once after they sign up for Google+, Google's social networking service. (more…)
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2013
Google Adds 38 Ski Resorts To Google Maps In The US And Canada
February 8, 2013 at 1:31 pm 0

Mountain View, California - Get ready to grip some edges and hit the soil for a day of snowboarding or skiing at your favorite winter destination. Just in time with winter in full swing for ski season, Google this week bolstered its library of ski resort maps, announced that ski run and chairlift maps for 38 resorts have been added to Google Maps, helping skiers plan their trip to the mountains and navigate their way around the slopes once they get there with a little more ease. (more…)
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2013
Yahoo Strikes Global Advertising Alliance With Google To Put Ads On Finance, News Sites
February 8, 2013 at 5:49 am 0

Sunnyvale, California -- Struggling to re-establish its popularity among the masses, Yahoo! Inc., the biggest U.S. Web portal, today announced a non-exclusive deal with Google that will see advertisements from the search giant appear on its new partner's web properties for users around the world as it seeks to boost sales from the content on its pages.

Ahoy! The world of online advertising is in a tizzy... Yahoo confirmed that it has formed a new partnership with Google, specifically discussing contextual advertising, and in this case display contextual advertising.

Yahoo welcomed Google's Adsense and AdMob networks to both its own properties, and “certain co-branded sites.” The ads will appear on Yahoo's sites for finance, news, sports and autos, Sara Gorman, a spokeswoman for the company, said in an e-mail.

As a matter of fact, this basically interprets to targeted advertising in which online ads displayed on Yahoo's digital properties better relate to what the user is looking at currently as well as past search and content patterns.

The company now spearheaded by Yahoo Chief Executive Officer Marissa Mayer plans to get more users engagement on a dozen of its top sites, she said during a call with analysts last month. The partnership with Google, her former employer, could help Yahoo boost revenue from those pages, said Mark Mahaney, managing director at RBC Capital Markets in San Francisco.

“I assume they would not be doing this if they did not think they can better monetize their traffic,” Mahaney, who rates Yahoo shares outperform, said in an interview. “There should be a near-term positive.”

Additionally, the alliance could be good for both companies, providing Google with additional real estate on which to run its ads and netting Yahoo more ads that it can use to fill its many Web properties, which include Yahoo Sports and Yahoo News.

The deal comes seven months after Mayer, formerly one of Google's top executives, took over the CEO job at Yahoo. Yahoo emphatically said that while this is a global deal, it is a “non-exclusive” agreement too. That means the company could be inking similar deals in the future.

Surprisingly, it is not unusual for competing search engines to forge alliances. However, there was no mention of Yahoo's broad search and advertising partnership with Microsoft, though that deal has not paid off for Yahoo as well as it had hoped.

Yahoo did not disclosed a ton of additional details, but here is a snippet with a little more of the nitty-gritty from today's blog post announcing the agreement:

“By adding Google to our list of world-class contextual ads partners, we will be able to expand our network, which means we can serve users with ads that are even more meaningful,” Yahoo said.

Significantly, for our users, there would not be a noticeable difference in how or where ads appear. More options simply mean greater flexibility. We look forward to working with all of our contextual ads partners to ensure we are delivering the right ad to the right user at the right time.

But more importantly, it will be interesting to see what percentage of the newly partnered ads end up being delivered to mobile devices, a key growing market segment for Yahoo.

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2013
Google Upgrades AdWords To Boost Mobile Ad Campaigns
February 8, 2013 at 4:34 am 0

Mountain View, California -- Relentlessly striving to embellish its declining ad business with new strategy, Google Inc., operator of the world's most popular search engine, on Wednesday made colossal changes to its AdWords program, the core product that fuels its search business, that could help advertisers customize their placements on mobile by such factors as type of device, time of day and geographic proximity, ultimately transforming mobile clicks into a bigger cash cow.

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2013
Google Gobbles Channel Intelligence For $125 Million To Make Google Shopping Smarter
February 7, 2013 at 3:45 pm 0

San Francisco -- In its unending quest to take on Amazon, Google on Wednesday has snapped up Channel Intelligence, a data service that helps brands and retailers boost e-commerce sales, for $125 million in cash as part of an ongoing effort to improve on the Google Shopping experience. (more…)
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2013
Skype Version 4.5 Update For iPad Includes Automatic Call Reconnect, Additional Features
February 5, 2013 at 12:38 pm 0

 

New York - In a fresh move to popularize its service across various devices, the folks over at Microsoft on Monday released an update for its native Skype app for the iPad with a slew of new features including better connectivity, adding money from within the app, and a new sidebar for recent conversations.

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2013
Twitter Mulls Implementing Two-Factor Authentication To Fight Hacking
February 5, 2013 at 12:33 pm 0

San Francisco - After a sophisticated attack hit Twitter's users over the weekend, the micro-blogging firm is ramping up their efforts to implement a "two-factor authentication" option that would make it impossible for hackers or vandals to break into accounts - even if they acquired the passwords. (more…)
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2013
Facebook To Become More Transparent About Its Retargeted Ads
February 5, 2013 at 12:25 pm 0

Los Angeles - Last year, Facebook rolled out ads that used your Web surfing history to target you. But now, the popular social networking outfit Facebook has finally agreed to be more transparent about, well, the obvious: You are being tracked so advertisers can better aim at you, and you can opt out if you make the effort. The announcement came Monday as part of the company's agreement with the Council of Better Business Bureau. (more…)
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2013
Pinterest Testing New Look With Bigger Pins, To Keep Users Engaged
February 5, 2013 at 10:39 am 0

New York -- In a move to keep its users engrossed, the emerging social-networking site is mixing things up a bit to make its pins even more gripping. Pinterest, over the weekend showed off a new look that it will be testing out with a few select users. The update will roll out on Pinterest.com to “a small group of people,” Pinterest said in a blog post. Those who are interested in testing it out can request to be included in that group.

The changes are subtle but Pinterest is readying a test that will alter the inspirational site with a tweaked navigation, bigger pins, and an overall faster site experience, the company announced.

First, the experimental Pinterest look will roll out to a small group of people as the startup attempts to help its users get more information about pins they care about. “We made the navigation more intuitive, so it is faster to get to where you want to go,” Pinterest said.

On the other hand, it appears as though Pinterest is incorporating the features already present on its mobile apps, like drop-down menus on the top left for the various Pinterest categories (see below) rather than the smaller ones currently in the center on Pinterest.com.

As a matter of fact, the updates may be hard to spot for those who are not design enthusiasts, the aesthetic is easier on the eyes with a new gray gradient background behind all pins and the subtle changes will be an improvement for discovering new content on the site.

“Pins are bigger and we have added more information related to pins, so it is easier to find things you are interested in,” Vy Pham, software engineer at Pinterest, wrote in an official company blog post. “For instance, on each pin, you will see pins from the same board, other boards this pin was pinned to, and a whole slew of related pins.”

Pinterest tests bigger, bolder pins... (Credit: Pinterest)

“In addition to the changes you can see, we also made some improvements behind the scenes that we hope will make things faster.” With the redesign, Pinterest.com will also be testing its navigational elements contained inside a red-button drop-down menu on the left-hand side that offers members shortcut access to the feed, popular pins, and categories of pins. The structure replaces the current “Following,” “Categories,” “Everything,” and “Popular” links atop the homepage.

In fact, from the looks of it, Pinterest has opted for a design-driven approach to get people to explore pins with reckless abandon. Once the changes are previewed with a small group of users and Pinterest “works out the kinks, we will share it more broadly.”

Pinterest is testing a new navigation menu designed to make exploration more intuitive... (Credit: Pinterest)

Pinterest is a social network for clipping recipes, fashion finds, housewares, and other aspirational digital goods to collections called “boards.” The update preview comes shortly after Pinterest made its first acquisition--recipe discovery site Punchfork. Last year, Pinterest boasted what Nielsen reported is the largest year-over-year increase in total time spent on social media in the U.S. -- 1,698 percent.

Now, the San Francisco-based company is getting ready to mix things up a bit. So, if you are interested to join the test group, Pinterest is offering an early access to its new features. You can send your information here to get started.

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2013
Facebook Experiments Statuses With Emoticons
February 5, 2013 at 10:07 am 0

San Francisco -- If you are the kind of person who likes to send text messages using emoticons, then according to TechCrunch, Facebook just allowed a small number of its users post statuses this week that include small and colorful icons, similar to the emoticons people often use in text messages, emails and on Facebook chat, which could help the network gauge your interests in real-time.

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