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Forecast Puts Facebook’s 2010 Ad Revenue At $1.6 Billion
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An investment bank that’s been around for over 90 years believes Facebook ads are going to make the social network a whole lot of money in 2010.  In fact, Cowen and Company predicted that the sum will exceed $1.6 billion.

That’s significantly larger than the last credible estimate to cross anyone’s desk.  Joseph Tartakoff recalled late yesterday, "It was only last month that eMarketer said Facebook’s ad sales for the year would likely total $1.2 billion."

Google Turns Failed Phone Store Into Android Gallery
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Google has launched a phone gallery to display Android devices that "deliver the best Google experience today". The gallery can be found at google.com/phone. You may recognize the URL as the former destination of Google’s failed phone store. 

Google Adds Instant to More Search Types, Countries

Google announced some new features for Google Instant. They haven’t released it for the browser or for mobile yet, but they have added some desktop functionality. 

First off, they have added keyboard navigation, so you can use Google Instant without touching your mouse, should you choose to do so. The navigation lets you scroll through Google’s search suggestions to bring up more instant results. 

Facebook Likes Just Officially Became More Important to Search
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Facebook announced a few Platform updates, including updates to the Live Stream Plugin, "liked" articles appearing in search results, and improvements to real-time updates.

2 Million Sites Have Added Facebook’s Social Plugins Since f8
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Today at the Web 2.0 Expo, Facebook announced that in the five months since f8, the company’s developer conference where it unleashed its Open Graph initiative and social plugins, nearly 2 million websites have added social plugins. Facebook tells WebProNews, major sites in the media, sports, entertainment and commerce industries that have added social plugins, include:

- Media: WSJ.com, WashingtonPost.com, Gawker blogs, CNN, Bloomberg, FORTUNE, Fox News Channel, and Daily Beast

Microsoft Joins Yahoo In Criticizing Google Instant
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Many people laughed when Microsoft chose to call Bing a "decision engine," but the logic behind that name was apparent today when Microsoft exec Yusuf Mehdi spoke at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference.  Mehdi indicated that he thinks Google Instant represents a step in the wrong direction.

Brick and Mortar Retailers Will Benefit from Online Inventory Listing
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Earlier this month, Google announced that it was making public its documentation for Local Shopping inventory for Google Merchant Center. This is a feature that lets retailers let consumers know about what they have in stock. Milo.com is another site that based upon a similar principle, and it’s doing pretty well. 

Facebook Has a New Feature for Page Exposure
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Update 2: Facebook has now officially launched the Page Browser. They have added a couple of features as well. Here’s the announcement.

Update: The page appears to have been removed. This may just be a feature that Facebook is testing. We’ll update when we learn more. 

Popular Posts and Blog’s Stats Gadgets Now Available for Blogger Blogs
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Blogger announced today that two gadgets have graduated from the experimental "Blogger in Draft" status to full-on gadgets. These are Popular Posts and Blog’s Stats. They can now be added to any blog from the Gadget Directory. 

"Both of these gadgets take advantage of the traffic data that is being collected by Blogger Stats and provide an easy way for you to pass that info on to the readers of your blog," says Blogger’s Brett Wiltshire.

Sysomos Finds 71 Percent Of Tweets Go Unacknowledged
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Marketers, businesspeople, and needy types shouldn’t get too concerned the next time one of their tweets seemingly goes ignored.  According to new research from Sysomos, about seven out of every ten tweets fail to earn replies or retweets.

Tweetbeat Launches for Following Events Without Hashtags

Kosmix announced Tweetbeat today. A representative for the company tells WebProNews this product will "change the way that we observe and participate in live events forever." A bit dramatic perhaps, but it did just go live and provides tweets about major events, in real-time. 

It’s dubbed as a way to keep up with live sports, headline news, TV shows, conferences, etc. The company tell us it is significant because:

-  It bubbles up the most important/talked about events happening on Twitter

LinkedIn Announces Signal, New Stream-Sorting Feature

LinkedIn has announced a new beta product called LinkedIn Signal, which the company describes as a new way to view, search and sort your stream of status updates and news. 

LinkedIn Signal comes with five main features: filtering by  browsing only relevant status updates from your stream, search for keywords, topics or people across the stream, getting an auto updated real-time stream with rich content, find trending links across any relevant topic, and  seeing who’s shared any of those trending links. It also lets you save real time searches. 

More Than Half Of Americans Do Online Research Before Making A Purchase
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More than half (58%) of Americans conduct online research about the products and services they are considering purchasing, according to a new report from the Pew Internet & American Life Project.

Google Talks Hyperlocal Mobile Ads

Google has hyperlocal search ads for mobile search, which the company has highlighted today in a post on tis Mobile Ads blog. Google specifically discusses a use-case from Rent-A-Car. 

In the scenario described, someone has car trouble and is able to quickly find a nearby car rental place from the side of the road as they simply enter "car rental". 

Gmail Gets a Long Overdue Setting

Google is launching a new option in Gmail that lets users turn of conversation threads. This is a feature that was innovative when Google released its popular email service years ago, but not everyone has been a fan of this style of email communication. 

I’m not sure why it’s taken Google so long to offer a setting to turn the feature off, but better late than never, I suppose, for those who aren’t fans. 

Rand McNally Launches iPhone App
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Rand McNally has launched a free new iPhone app called “Explore America” that offers snippets of travel content, photos and videos, destination information and a daily quiz.

Explore America users will receive a “daily adventure,” which includes a description of an interesting place in North America, a locator map, and up to five photos showing the location and information about the area.

 

Google Renews Flu Prevention Efforts

Don’t wait until you’re sick to search for terms like "flu" and "flu shot" this winter.  By adding a few tips and a flu shot finder to its results page, Google’s taken special steps to help ensure that people who search for the words won’t get sick in the first place.

The tips, which you can read for yourself below, consist of simple, common-knowledge stuff.  Still, their prominent placement could help drill them into people’s heads, and the link to Flu.gov may also come in handy.

Skype Announces Deal with Avaya

Skype announced that it has entered a new agreement with Avaya, a provider of enterprise communications systems, software, and services. The deal is to deliver real-time communications and collaboration solutions to businesses of all sizes. 

What Adobe Scene7 Update Means for Marketers and Developers

Adobe’s mobile plans are not just about Flash. The company announced an upgrade to its Scene7 offering, which has implications for both marketers and mobile developers. 

Scene7 is a rich media service that lets retailers create an online catalog with video and 3D modeling (among other things). The new version includes support for mobile sites and apps, and provides expanded offerings for delivering content across mobile devices including iPhone, BlackBerry, and Android. 

Twitter to Replace Account Verification System with Something New

There have been several pieces of interesting news regarding Twitter. For one, the company stopped verifying accounts, as it has done for celebrities and companies  for some time. The company is working on a new system to replace this. 

Details about this new system remain a mystery, but Twitter says it will be better. The company’s support team posted the following tweet (hat tip: The Next Web):

Mobile Video Booming In Europe

The number of people viewing video on mobile devices has increased 66 percent in the past year to 12.1 million mobile consumers in the EU5 (U.K., France, Germany, Spain and Italy), according to a new report from comScore.

The U.K. and Italy each have 2.7 million mobile video consumers, up 75 percent from July 2009 in the U.K. market and up 55 percent in the Italian market. Spain has the fastest growth, with mobile video consumption up 90 percent in the past year to 1.7 million subscribers.

Steve Ballmer On Schmidt: “We’re His Best Competitor”
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Last week, Eric Schmidt stated in an interview that Bing, not Apple or Facebook, is Google’s biggest competitor.  Now Steve Ballmer has responded, essentially agreeing and indicating that Bing will continue to innovate and pose a threat.

Microsoft’s CEO told Sharon Pian Chan with respect to Schmidt’s comment, "He’s right! . . .  We’re his best competitor, and we’re a very good competitor and we’re going to do a very good job."

Google to Offer Interesting New Display Ad Formats

While you may not tend to think about display ads when you think about Google, the company seems to be working hard to change that. Google says display advertising is at the heart of what it is doing these days, and that 99% of its top 1,000 clients are running campaigns on the Google Display Network. 

Facebook May Count Skype as Weapon Against Google
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According to Kara Swisher at All Things Digital’s BoomTown, Facebook and Skpe are preparing a new "deep integration partnership". This would include integration of SMS, voice chat and Facebook Connect.