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Google to Improve Social Search with fflick Acquisition?

Update: Apparently the acquisition is more about YouTube. Interesting. Google’s official announcement here.

Facebook Credits To Become Universal Currency On Site
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A currency – whether real or virtual – is only as good as the extent to which it’s accepted.  So to increase the value of Facebook Credits (figuratively speaking), Facebook will soon make them a mandatory option in social games that use payments.

Users and developers shouldn’t react with too much dismay.  Other in-game currencies will be still be permitted, and Facebook intends to let developers keep 70 percent of the revenue from transactions that involve Facebook Credits.

Visualize Your LinkedIn Influence with InMaps

LinkedIn has launched a new LinkedIn Labs product called InMaps, which shows you what your network looks like in a visual way. 

Google Enables “Cloud Printing On The Go”
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Let’s face it: smartphone adoption isn’t close to universal, and the average non-student probably doesn’t print documents on a regular basis.  But today, Google launched Google Cloud Print for mobile documents and Gmail for mobile, an interesting service that introduces new options concerning when and where people can print.

What Does The New Business Model For Journalism Need To Be?

Think about the best article you read last year. The hard hitting, excellently researched, insightfully written article that you just couldn’t put down. Now think about how much money you spent to read it. Was it in a magazine you subscribe to? Or perhaps a website that you accessed and read for free?

Qwiki Opens Up to the Public
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Qwiki opened up to the public today in alpha form, after being in private alpha since launching in October. 

Qwiki was in the news last week, as it secured a new round of funding led by Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin, and now the world can see what all the fuss is about. 

Bing Makes Image Search More Interesting

Bing has introduced a new landing page style for its image search feature. Now when you go to Bing, and click on "images", you will be presented with a page that graphically displays the top 20  current image searches and images that accompany them. 

AOL Launches Highlights From Comedian’s Podcasts

AOL said today it is launching late night video programming featuring highlights from the podcasts of “The Adam Carolla Show,” “Kevin Pollack’s Chat Show,” and Kevin Smith’s SModcast Network.

“AOL Late Night” launches today at 10PM (ET) and will feature interviews with celebrities, actors, writers directors, comedians, and musicians.

 

Google Launches Keep My Opt-Outs Chrome Extension
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Google has launched a new extension for its Chrome browser, called Keep My Opt-Outs. It is essentially a Do Not Track mechanism that lets users opt out from receiving personalized advertisements as they browse the web. 

Orkut Turns 7

Sometimes, Google pulls out all the figurative stops when making an announcement, calling news conferences, issuing press releases, and putting notices on Google.com.  Today, there’s a blog post and a site-specific doodle to celebrate the seventh birthday of Orkut.

Business Wire To Tweet Every Press Release
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Business Wire said today it will begin to automatically tweet every press release to specific content categories.

“For those not yet tweeting the links to press releases, this provides added visibility to Twitter’s 106 billion accounts and 600 million search queries a day,” said Laura Sturaitis, Executive Vice President, Media Services & Product Strategy.

 

Foursquare Grows By 3,400% – Are You Part Of It?

Foursquare grew by 3,400% in 2010, according to the company, with total check-ins reaching 381,576,305 around the world (in every country) – plus one from outer space, when an astronaut checked in from the International Space Station in October.  It has 6 million users.

Twitter Ad Revenue Forecast To Triple This Year

Twitter’s efforts to generate ad revenue will kick into high gear this year and be quite successful, according to a new report.  eMarketer estimates the company will earn $150 million in 2011, up more than 333 percent from the $45 million it may have earned in 2010.

Obviously, that would represent a huge increase.  Then eMarketer thinks Twitter will achieve a repeat performance of sorts in 2012, upping its ad revenue by about $100 million again to $250 million.

Should Google Increase its 20% Time?
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Over the last year or so, there has been a lot of discussion around where Google stands as an innovator these days. Clearly, the company has innovated a great deal since it was born, but a lot of commentary of late could lead one to believe that the Google pool has become somewhat stagnant in this regard. 

JetBlue Launches Facebook Deal App

JetBlue Airways has introduced a new app on Facebook called “Go Places” that rewards people with TrueBlue points and discounts so they can earn free trips.

Users will be able to collect points and deals starting today through March1, 2011. Jet Blue says this is the first of a series of promotions it has planned for 2011 on Facebook Places.

 

JetBlue-Facebook

 

Google Gives Eric Schmidt $100 Million Sendoff
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Following the did-he-jump-or-was-he-pushed debates that surfaced last week, there’s good news for Eric Schmidt: vacating the role of CEO of Google will be more lucrative than working a normal job for a lifetime.  It turns out Google intends to give Schmidt an awards package worth $100 million.

Mozilla Introduces “Do Not Track”, Hopes to Make It Industry Standard
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Mozilla has proposed a "do not track" browser feature, which would allow Firefox users to opt out of any third-party ad-based tracking. Such a feature would work by transmitting a Do Not Track HTTP header with each click or page view in the browser.

Alex Fowler the Global Privacy and Public Policy Leader at Mozilla, writes on his personal blog

4 Ways to Improve Your Twitter Strategy

A few months ago my friend Dr. Ben Hanna led an extensive statistical study to discover the optimal tweeting strategy by running matched tests of tweets over a period of weeks. He uncovered some very interesting ideas that will help you get more out of every tweet!

President Obama To Answer Questions Via YouTube And Twitter
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YouTube is inviting users to submit questions to President Obama for an exclusive interview that will take place two days after the 2011 State of the Union Address.

Additional Facebook Data Center Lined Up In Oregon

Facebook users’ messages, likes, and photo uploads may at some point have (another) very tangible effect on Prineville, Oregon.  It’s starting to look like Facebook – which is already building one data center near the city – could also build a second facility.

To be clear: nothing’s been confirmed, and no timeframe’s even been hinted at.  But people have at least gone on the record.

Google Gives Small Businesses A Bunch of Free Resources, $100K in Ad Spend
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This year, Google says it is going to "help businesses, great and small, get the most out of the Internet." The company has selected five small businesses from different areas and given them $100,000 in AdWords spend for the year, along with free consultations with AdWords reps, and free wireless service for the year.

But that’s not all. They gave the businesses brand new laptops and smartphones,  free "green" environmental consulting, a year of free accounting and financial services, and a free webmaster.

Movable Type Goes To Japan

Six Apart, now a member of Say Media, is breaking up the band, at least to a degree.  The developers of the Movable Type social media platform have permitted Infocom to gain control of Six Apart KK, their Japanese subsidiary.

Part of the deal includes Six Apart KK gaining responsibility for the Movable Type service, a move that puzzled some members.

Hulu Recaptures Spot On List Of Top Video Sites

New numbers are out with respect to the U.S. online video landscape, and, to be perfectly honest, they’re quite similar to the old numbers.  But according to comScore, at least one noteworthy thing happened in December: Hulu made its way back onto a top ten list.

Hulu’s been on the edge as of late.  In October, it came in tenth among video sites in terms of total unique viewers.  Then Hulu, despite all the backing it’s received from ABC, Fox, and NBC, was absent from the November list.

Blogger Drops New Fonts

With a move that can only be described as “sheer brazenness,” Google’s weblog service, Blogger.com, has introduced a feature that may just be the tipping point between order and chaos in society: the introduction of 35 additional fonts to their blog service.

Perhaps “unleashing” captures the moment better than the word “introduction.”