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Facebook Registration Plugin for WordPress Launched
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Last week, Facebook launched a new registration tool for site owners. With this, users can quickly sign up for new sites with their Facebook profiles. The tool goes beyond the simple log-in feature of Facebook Connect, and lets users more easily fill out forms based on the information that they’ve already shared with Facebook (such as email address, name, birthday, phone number, etc.)

Remembering What Facebook Has Done Since the Beginning of 2010
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2010 has been a huge year for Facebook – arguably the company’s biggest yet. CEO Mark Zuckerberg was named Person of the Year by Time magazine, a Hollywood movie about the founding of the company was released in theaters, and attracted a great deal of critical buzz. The company launched the "open graph", possibly the most important feature the company has ever implemented, as it connects nearly the entire web to Facebook itself. Then there was the messaging product, the privacy fiascoes, and much more. 

Baidu’s Twitter Imitation Collects 1 Million Users
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An apples-to-apples comparison may not be possible here, given that Twitter used to keep its stats private, time’s passed, and Twitter and a service called Baidu Talk operate in different markets.  But Baidu Talk, Baidu’s Twitter-esque product, is doing quite well, apparently racking up a million users in a rather short period of time.

Google Combines Webmaster Resources In a Single Page
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Google has put together a new collection of resources for webmasters. This includes a page that provides all the different ways the company wants you to contact them if you want to tell them about a page you want to remove from search results, tell them about spam, tell them when you’ve fixed issues on your site, etc. 

They’ve also collected various articles from their sites and put them with this information. 

Salesforce Chatter Mobile Goes to BlackBerry
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Salesforce released Chatter Mobile for Blackberry. Chatter, if you’re not familiar with it, is the company’s social product, that’s often been referred to as a "Facebook for the enterprise."

Millions Lose Their Skype Connections [Updated]
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Update 3: Now CEO Tony Bates has provided further explanation and apologies

Update 2: Parkes provided another update on the issue today:

Hitwise Finds Visits To Social Networks Surging
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Out of a desire to say "hi" to old friends, reconnect with family members, or perhaps get a moment away from visiting relatives, it looks like lots of people are signing into social networks this month.  Indeed, Hitwise relayed some UK-specific stats today, and the increase has been sharp enough that Facebook might top Google in traffic on Christmas.

Facebook Passes Yahoo In Number Of Video Streams Referred
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Facebook defines itself as something that "helps you connect and share with the people in your life," and now more than ever, it looks like folks are sharing videos.  Brightcove and TubeMogul determined yesterday that Facebook passed Yahoo in terms of video streams referred during the third quarter.

To be clear: the difference wasn’t large, and Google’s still in the lead by a huge margin.  Bing and Twitter aren’t entirely out of the running, either.

Android Market Gets AT&T Direct Carrier Billing
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Android users who are also AT&T customers should no longer have to worry about pulling out a credit card and typing a long sequence of numbers every time they want to buy an app.  Late yesterday, Google introduced an AT&T Direct Carrier Billing option for this audience.

Steve Jobs Named Financial Times Person of the Year
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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg got a lot of press for being Time’s Person of the Year, but the Financial Times has someone else in mind. And no, it’s not Juilan Assange. 

YouTube Partners Treated To $1,000 Shopping Sprees
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YouTube videos that look like and sound like they were shot with $40 cell phones and tin cans on strings are about to become much more rare.  YouTube announced this afternoon that it’s going to let 500 YouTube partners conduct shopping sprees on its dime, only the actual total should be closer to $500,000.

Google Sends Android to Near Space
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Google sent seven of the new Nexus S phones into "near space" via weather balloon to do some exploring. The phones were equipped with Google Maps for Mobile, Google Sky Map, Google Latitude, etc. 

Does Google have too much time and money on its hands? Perhaps. A publicity stunt for these products? Maybe. It’s pretty interesting either way.

Here are a couple videos showing off the experiment:
 

Google Raises $1 Million in Charity From Chrome Extension
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Last week, Google launched a Chrome extension in which every tab users opened would contribute to charitable donations to The Nature Conservancy, charity: water, Un Techo para mi País, Doctors Without Borders, and Room to Read for planting trees, providing clean water, building sh

CityVille Poised To Pass FarmVille As Top Facebook Game
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In the tech community, a lot of people profess to dislike Facebook games such as FarmVille and CityVille.  They’re snubbed due to requiring little thought or skill, and viewed with suspicion since users are encouraged to spend real money.  But there’s no denying their popularity, and it looks like CityVille is about to take the crown.

A few days ago, bloggers noticed that CityVille was closing in on Farmville – long Facebook’s top game – in terms of monthly active users.  Now it looks like a changeup is imminent.

Google Buying NY Office Building For $1.9 Billion
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An odd rumor that circulated in late October has now been confirmed.  Search and advertising giant Google is getting into real estate, signing a contract to buy an extremely large office building in New York City for about $1.9 billion.

Microsoft Said to Be Launching New Windows for ARM Soon
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In a recent article, we asked if Microsoft could compete with the iPad? Well, it would appear that they may be trying in more ways than one. 

Nielsen Names YouTube Top Mobile Internet Video Channel
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To mark the end of 2010, Nielsen published a document called "The Top Trends for 2010" this morning, and it’s an interesting read, even if most of the lists don’t fall within the scope of this site’s coverage (FYI: "frozen novelties" were the top consumer packaged good on the basis of unit volume growth).  But one thing that is relevant is the fact YouTube was crowned "Top Mobile Internet Video Channel."

Google Fends Off Android Trademark Suit
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While a rose by any other name would smell as sweet, Google will not have to see if the same concept applies in the case of its mobile operating system.  A judge has thrown out an Android trademark lawsuit and given Google the right to continue using the word "android."

Motorola Acquires Media Sync/Streaming Company Zecter
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Motorola Mobility, which is obviously part of the larger Motorola company, has acquired a company called Zecter.

Zecter is a company with synchronization and streaming technologies for on-demand digital media consumption. Motorola explains, "Zecter’s solutions connect users to their content seamlessly and instantaneously, giving them simple, on-the-go access to music, video, photos and documents from their smartphones, tablets, PCs and web-portals."

The Top Web Properties and Gaining Web Trends
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comScore released its monthly update on the traffic activity at the top web properties for the month of November. 

Former Googler Spells Out Support For Company

The man who created Gmail and came up with Google’s "don’t be evil" motto has been a bit tough on the company in recent days.  Two examples: he gave Google better odds of landing on the moon than succeeding with social, and described Chrome OS as doomed.  But late yesterday, Paul Buchheit made it clear that he believes the company as a whole "is still awesome."

Facebook Gives Users More News Feed Options
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Facebook is now giving users a way to better filter their news feeds so they can really see the content they want. In the past, users have been able to choose whether they want to view "top news", which is a collection of updates that Facebook has deemed most important for you to see based on various algorithmic factors, or "most recent", which just showed you everything in reverse-sequential order. 

Google Has a New Social Experiment
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Update 2: Google has now officially announced Shared Spaces, saying: 

Google’s Matt Cutts Talks Facebook/Twitter Links’ Influence on Search Ranking
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We recently looked at how Google and Bing use links on Twitter and Facebook for organic ranking, following an informative piece from Danny Sullivan on the matter. Google’s Matt Cutts has now addressed the subject a bit more in a new video uploaded to Googles’ Webmaster Help Channel