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The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) said today starting April 1, advertising for "free credit reports" online will require new disclosures to help consumers avoid confusing "free" offers which often require them to spend money on credit monitoring or other products and services.

The FTC’s Free Credit Reports Rule will require new prominent disclosures in ads for "free credit reports." Any website offering free credit reports must include a disclosure, across the top of each page that mentions free credit reports, which reads:

FTC Makes
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The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) said today starting April 1, advertising for "free credit reports" online will require new disclosures to help consumers avoid confusing "free" offers which often require them to spend money on credit monitoring or other products and services.

The FTC’s Free Credit Reports Rule will require new prominent disclosures in ads for "free credit reports." Any website offering free credit reports must include a disclosure, across the top of each page that mentions free credit reports, which reads:

Xerox Sues Google, Yahoo
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Google and Yahoo get sued on a regular basis, often by tiny outfits with no chance of winning.  But now, the two companies are facing a much more serious lawsuit, as Xerox, which has a market cap of almost $8 billion and a genuine legal team, is taking them to court.

Social Media Makes National Pancake Day Huge for IHOP
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IHOP (otherwise known as the International House of Pancakes) is showing off today a great example of harnessing the power of social media for a tremendous marketing opportunity. Today is National Pancake Day according to IHOP (although apparently any day until March 9 is eligible to be called such, depending on where you live and if you celebrate this), and IHOP has used this to lure people in for some free pancakes.

American Red Cross Launches Social, “Go-To” Blood Site
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The American Red Cross has partnered with BusinessOnline to launch a new site for the American Red Cross at redcrossblood.org, aimed at ramping up blood donations across the country. The organization hopes the site along with some social interaction will do just that.

Zillow Adds Facebook And Twitter To iPhone App

Real estate website Zillow.com told WebProNews today it has updated its free iPhone App with new features to allow users to share property details via Facebook and Twitter.

Zillow also said it has added listings for homes for rent to its iPhone App. House hunters can set search filters by home price or monthly payment, and at the same time find both for sale and for rent homes within their price range.

Twitter Celebrates 50 Million Tweets Per Day Milestone
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Thanks to the Olympics, hockey sticks are easy to see this time of year, showing up during the actual games, on morning shows, and on talk shows.  One’s sort of shown up in a graph of Twitter’s growth, too, as the number of tweets per day has been increasing at an impressive rate.

Google Earth Comes to Android

Google has launched Google Earth for Android, which is currently only available for the Nexus One (which runs Android 2.1). Google calls it the fastest mobile version of Google Earth yet.

Along with the release, comes the Roads layer, which has been popular on the desktop version of Google Earth. The layer is meant to give users a better sense of where they are, with road labels drawn on top of satellite imagery.

Google Writes the Buzz Handbook 5 Tips at a Time
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Since the launch of Google Buzz, there has been a seemingly endless amount of chatter about the things that are wrong with it. Privacy concerns and other gripes have kind of taken center stage, even though Buzz usage was impressive pretty much right out of the box.

Tufts Brings YouTube Into The Admissions Process
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YouTube’s a site that’s been used by nonprofit organizations to address serious human rights issues.  It’s also a site that’s been used to exhibit children kicking adults in the crotch.  Now, in a move that sort of bridges the gap, Tufts University has started allowing applicants to post clips featuring themselves.

Amazon.com Tops In Brand Trust In U.S.

Amazon.com is the top performing brand in the U.S. based on "trust" and "recommendation," according to a new report from Milward Brown.

The report titled "Beyond Trust: Engaging Consumers in the Post-Recession World" was conducted in partnership with The Futures Company and introduces "TrustR," a new metric for understanding the relationship between consumers and brands.

Second Life Attempts To Make Rebound

You probably have forgotten about Second Life (the virtual world from Linden Labs), right?

 

Remember, that’s that virtual world that got a TON of hype back in 2005/6. It was on the cover of magazines. On CNN and other TV shows. It looked like it was going to be THE new thing of the decade.

 

What happened?

 

Well, a few things.

 

Chinese President Hu Jintao Joins Twitter Equivalent
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Although not directly related, a new development has added a layer of complexity (and perhaps humor) to the Google/China/censorship mess.  Chinese President Hu Jintao has signed up for an account on what appears to be the state-run equivalent of Twitter.

Google’s Annual Rev. From Typosquatting Put At $497m
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Most people regard typos as nuisances, just inconsequential mistakes that cause them to lose a second of time hitting the backspace key.  But for Google, typos may equal big business, as Benjamin Edelman and Tyler Moore have estimated that they make the search giant $497 million per year.

MySpace: Expect More Discovery Products

There has been a bit of discussion throughout the Blogosphere that MySpace is changing its direction, trying to differentiate itself from other social networks like Facebook. They reportedly have a new product strategy called "Discover and be Discovered", which would include a feature simply called "Discovery."

Not many details are known about MySpace’s forthcoming new direction, but the company gave WebProNews the following statement on the subject:

Running a Promotion on Your Facebook Page May Cost You $10K
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A Facebook Page can be a great way to build your fan-base, inspire engagement with customers/readers, and generally build upon your brand. However, if you want to do a promo on one, that’ll cost you.

Is it Becoming Less Critical For Businesses to Have Websites?
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I don’t think there’s any question that you need a web presence to survive in today’s business climate. But do you still need a traditional website, or has the web moved on in that regard?

Do you still need a website to be successful online? Share your thoughts.

comScore Launches Platform To Help Publishers Optimize Ads

comScore said today it has launched comScore Audience Advantage, described as a "digital audience optimization platform" that allows publishers to provide advertisers and media planners with the ability to reach their most valuable audiences.

What if Facebook Added a “Blog” Tab?
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Facebook wants to keep users on Facebook. So far, they are doing a pretty good job of that. More and more people are spending more of their online time on Facebook, not to mention, spending more time connected to the web in general (at least partially due to rising use of smartphones).

How much time do you spend on Facebook in a month? A week?
 Let us know.

Twitter Arranges for Free SMS Tweets in Haiti
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Twitter is offering free SMS tweets for Digicel Haiti customers. Twitter co-founder Biz Stone credits Director of Mobile Business Development Kevin Thau and the Twitter mobile team for arranging this service.

Links Not Always the Best Indicator of Relevance
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In a recent video uploaded to Google’s Webmaster Central YouTube channel, Matt Cutts talks about creating tags and categories on blogs for SEO purposes. Rather, he discusses how there’s not much point in creating them for this reason.

On average, how many tags do you include with your articles/blog posts? Let us know.

Google Distances Buzz From Facebook, Twitter
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The idea that Google Buzz poses no threat to Facebook and Twitter is perhaps a popular one; Buzz, of course, got off to a very shaky start due to some privacy missteps.  Interestingly, though, a Google exec claims to agree with the idea, stating that Buzz is supposed to serve a different purpose.

Facebook Investor To Put $1B Into Social Media

The Russian investment firm that’s contributed hundreds of millions of dollars to Facebook’s bank accounts is not even close to ending its involvement with social media.  According to Yuri Milner, who’s the CEO and founding partner of Digital Sky Technologies, his organization is interested in doling out another $1 billion.

Google’s DoubleClick Gets a New Look
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Google has announced a new release of DoubleClick for publishers, available in two versions (for large and small publishers). Along with the new release, Google has given the DoubleClick logo a makeover.