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Facebook Makes Green Push

The Information Technology Industry Council (ITI) said today that Facebook has joined the Digital Energy Solutions Campaign (DESC)  in an effort to develop energy efficient computing systems.

"Our ongoing philosophy has been to improve the efficiency of our infrastructure and we continue to invest tremendous resources to improve our own operations,” said Jonathan Heiliger, Vice President of Technical Operations at Facebook.

Hulu Plus Improves Availability, Selection

Thanks to a sizable collection of updates, anyone who’s been wanting to try Hulu Plus can now do so, and anyone who hasn’t might want to reconsider his (or her) opinion.  This morning, Hulu made Hulu Plus more accessible, and, for some people, cheaper.

StumbleUpon Launches Discovery App For Android

StumbleUpon has introduced StumbleUpon App Discovery, a free beta feature of its Android app that suggests mobile apps based on users’ interests.

"Currently, discovering apps from the over 100,000 apps available in the Android Market is limited to keyword-based search features," said Garrett Camp, StumbleUpon CEO and co-founder.

"With StumbleUpon App Discovery, users can now find applications that are personally recommended to them and in many cases would previously have gone unnoticed."

Breeding Good Ideas and Fostering Innovation in Your Company

Innovation is running rampant these days. That’s why we’re seeing so many startups launching and so many acquisitions from bigger companies happening. The good ones come from good ideas, and everybody’s rushing to have the next great idea. But where do these ideas come from? How do they get started?

Location-Based Services See Light Use
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Four percent of online adults use a service such as Foursquare or Gowalla that allows them to share their location with friends and to find others who are in their area, according to a new report form the Pew Internet & American Life Project.

Location-based services such as Foursquare or Gowalla are significantly more popular with younger internet users; eight percent of online adults ages 18-29 use location-based services, significantly more than online adults in any other age group.

New York: Where It’s At for Startups?
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It’s an interesting time to launch a startup, which is why you see so many popping up all the time. Word from ad:tech NY is that New York has become the ideal place to start up a startup. "It’s a lot easier and cheaper to start a companies these days," says Linda Gridley, of investment banking firm Gridley & Company. "There’s just a ton of innovation going on."

Is Google’s Size Becoming a Problem?
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Is Google getting too big to maintain its position as the top player on the web? That is the basic topic of a great deal of discussion going around the Blogosphere as the company has lost a couple more high-profile employees in Kate Vale and Lars Rasmussen from Google Australia. 

Is Google getting too big? Tell us what you think

Considering Check-In App Strategies for Business

It’s been an interesting day for location-based services. Facebook of course made its announcements. Yelp announced it will soon introduce check-in offers

Google Mixes Promoted Tweets Into Real-Time Results
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Google has a market cap of almost $198 billion right now, and most of that money stems from the company’s ability to sell ads.  So congratulations are due to Twitter, which somehow sealed an ad-related deal whereby Promoted Tweets show up in Google’s real-time search results.

This is remarkable for two reasons.  Number one: this is the first time Google’s ever allowed ads straight from another network to appear in its search results.  Number two: a 50/50 revenue split is apparently taking place.

North Face and National Park Foundation Launch Facebook Deals Campaign

The North Face and the National Park Foundation, the official charity of national parks in the U.S., said today they are participating in the launch of Facebook Deals.

The-North-Face.jpg Beginning today, The North Face will donate $1 to the National Park Foundation for every individual who checks in at one of America’s nearly 400 national parks or a  North Face retail location.

Don’t Just Jump on the Social Media “Brand” Wagon
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At ad:tech, Cheryl Stallworth, CEO North America of Firefly, talked about a social media study the firm conducted in which it explored consumer expectation of brands. 

"The thing that was interesting is that when it comes to people who are fairly sophisticated….there are a lot of similarities around the world," she said. "Regardless of the level of market development, you find very, very sophisticated social media users."

Facebook Announces Single Sign-On, Location Upgrade, Deals Platform
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Following an introduction by Brandee Barker, Mark Zuckerberg kicked off this afternoon’s live Facebook event by talking about the mobile platform.  As of today, 200 million people are actively using the Facebook Mobile product across all platforms, he noted, which is triple the number that were using it last year.

Online Holiday Shoppers Plan To Spend More This Year

Online shoppers  plan to spend more on holiday gifts this year, with 66 percent indicating they will spend over $500, according to a new report  from PriceGrabber.

Last year, more than half (59%) of shoppers spent $500 or more on gifts. This year, the average amount that holiday shoppers plan to spend on gifts is $845.

According to survey data, the average 2010 holiday shopper will make 57 percent of their holiday purchases online, 40 percent in brick-and-mortar stores and 3 percent from a mobile phone.

CEO Dennis Crowley “Bullish” on Foursquare for Local Merchants
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"Whenever I hear SMB, I think of Super Mario Bros," Foursquare co-Founder and CEO Dennis Crowley said today. But in all seriousness, he has tremendous pride in his service and its future use for local businesses (among other things). 

Speaking here at ad:tech New York, he compared Foursquare to a Google Analytics for people who walk in your door. "These are your best customers," he said. "The check-in is kind of a commodity."

Android Leaps Past 20% Market Share Milestone

It’s a good bet that the codename "gingerbread" causes employees at RIM, Apple, Microsoft, and Palm to flinch.  The latest stats from comScore show that Android is still on quite a roll even without help from a fresh version of the mobile operating system.

Below, you can see a chart comScore constructed to show how the mobile market changed over a three-month period.  Obviously, the chart represents bad news for everyone who doesn’t collect his or her paycheck from Google.

What’s the Blogging Picture Look Like This Year?
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Here in New York at ad:tech, Technorati President and CEO Richard Jalichandra gave his annual "State of the Blogosphere" address. This has historically been a chance to reflect upon the Blogosphere’s impact on the world, and that impact is just as great as it’s ever been. That’s obvious up front. 

9 out of 10 bloggers are reportedly talking about brands. Obviously that is important to consider in a time where opinions are easily swayed and conveyed (and shared) on the web through blogs and social media.

Google And Microsoft Partner With The Ad Council On Teen Internet Safety

The Ad Council has launched the “Internet Safety Coalition,” in an effort to educate teens about how to be smart about what they post and share online.

The Internet Safety Coalition members include big names such as Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, IBM, Verizon Wireless, AT&T, AOL, Comcast, the Interactive Advertising Bureau, MySpace and MTV Networks, among others.

Facebook Top Display Ad Publisher In The UK
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The UK online display advertising market for the third quarter of 2010 showed strong gains compared to Q3 2009, according to the latest report from comScore.

UK Internet users received more than 221 billion display ads during the third quarter, marking a 34 percent increase compared to a year ago.

UK Authority Rules Google Breached Data Protection Act

In the UK, the Information Commissioner’s Office has concluded its investigation of Google’s Street View privacy gaffe, and there’s good news and bad news for the search giant.  The bad, which arguably outweighs the good: it’s been judged guilty of a "significant breach of the Data Protection Act."

In a formal statement, the ICO said, "The Commissioner has concluded that there was a significant breach of the Data Protection Act when Google Street View cars collected payload data as part of their wi-fi mapping exercise in the UK."

Groupon Introduces Browser Deal App

Social shopping website Groupon has launched a new Groupon Browser App powered by Conduit.

The Groupon Browser App alerts users no matter where they are online, when new deals are available. Using location-based targeting, the app works directly in the browser and shows users “Today’s Deal.” The app allows users to share deals with others via email, and social networks such as Twitter and Facebook.

 

AOL Achieves Big Q3 Profits

Earlier this morning, AOL delivered its third-quarter earnings report, and while there were significant problems, the company was able to impress investors.  AOL’s stock is now up 6.05 percent, which is more than a decent way for it to start the day.

That increase is in part due to the fact AOL was able to report $563.5 million in total revenue, even though analysts thought the company would just report $557.0 million.  Also, thanks to the sale of Kayak and ICQ, AOL managed to report $171.6 million in profit – a 132 percent year-over-year jump.

Google Buzz Privacy Suit Settlement Announced
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The launch of Google Buzz did not go well, as you may remember.  Automatic opt-ins and privacy scares created quite a stir.  But Google’s putting the matter behind it, as the search giant has settled a class action suit by agreeing to create a privacy-centric fund.

Google is supposed to contribute $8.5 million to the fund, and according to an official release, most of the money "will go to organizations focused on Internet privacy education and policy, and will make additional efforts to educate users about the privacy aspects of Buzz."

Google Tests AdWords, Call Metrics Integration

When creating a form for customers to fill out, it’s easy for business owners to slip in a question asking who referred them.  Finding out how someone got a phone number is a more delicate matter, though (it’s important not to waste customers’ time or act like they called a private line), and AdWords call metrics represents Google’s potential solution.

EA In Five-Year Deal With Facebook

Electronic Arts said today it has signed a five-year agreement with Facebook under  which Facebook Credits will become the exclusive payment method for EA games on the social networking site.

As part of the agreement, EA will receive the same 70 percent revenue share for Facebook Credits as is standard for all developers on Facebook.