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Consumers Getting More Comfortable with Mobile Shopping
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As you know, smartphone usage is on the rise, and that means more opportunities for businesses to sell to customers via their mobile devices. We often hear about how important mobile is to the marketing strategy and especially future strategies, but how much are consumers really into shopping from their phones?

As Companies Relax on Social Media, Threats Increase
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Even as social media has grown to be a much more widely accepted form of communication among businesses over the years, there is still plenty of data out there depicting the flaws and setbacks that can occur when social networks are used in the business environment.

Report Suggests More Revenue, but Less Advertisers for Google

AdGooroo, a competitive intelligence agency, has released a new report, which indicates that there as has been a decrease in active advertisers for Google, despite projected Q4 gains.

Consumers Expected to Spend $6.2 Billion on Mobile Apps in 2010

Gartner has released some research findings that indicate consumers will spend $6.2 billion in 2010 in mobile application stores. Meanwhile, advertising revenue is expected to generate $0.6 billion worldwide.

According to Gartner, mobile app stores will exceed 4.5 billion downloads in 2010, eight out of ten of which will be free. Gartner also forecasts worldwide downloads in mobile application stores to surpass 21.6 billion by 2013, and free downloads to account for 82% of all downloads in 2010 (87% in 2013).

Skype Sees Big Jump in International Calls

Skype announced that its share of international calling minutes has jumped by 50% year-over-year. This data comes from a new report released by research firm TeleGeography.

According to this report, Skype’s share of international calling minutes jumped to 12% from last year’s figure of 8%. Telegeography says that the volume of traffic routed via Skype is growing at an "astonishing" pace. The following graph shows the net increase in international phone and Skype traffic from 2005 to 2009.

Enterprises Seeing Increased Complexity at Data Centers

Symantec has put together its "State of the Data Center" report, which is the product of a survey of 573 businesses in 26 countries.

Opera: Facebook Most Popular Mobile Site in Africa
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According to Opera, Facebook is the most popular site on the mobile web in Africa. In addition, a report from the company shows a 5% jump in global mobile Internet users.

Opera Mini has garnered more than 41.7 million users worldwide showing a 5.3 percent jump compared to the previous month, according to the report. The number of page views in November went up 9.5% and data consumption increased 8.3% compared to October.

40 Million Reasons You Need a Mobile Web Presence
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Opera is reporting that usage of its Opera Mini mobile browser has jumped 11% in just a month, around the world. In addition, they say data transfers have gained 16%.

Walmart Wins Thanksgiving, Amazon Wins Black Friday
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You may have read about the online price wars going on this holiday season between Walmart and Amazon. It looks like both companies are doing quite well as a result (not that that is much of a surprise). According to data from Experian Hitwise, Walmart was the top retail site on Thanksgiving Day, and Amazon was the top retail site on Black Friday.

Online Ad Revenues On the Rise
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The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and PricewaterhouseCoopers released their latest Internet advertising numbers for the third quarter. According to the organizations, Internet advertising revenues reached nearly $5.5 billion for the quarter. That is an increase of 1.7% from the second quarter.

The numbers are still significantly down from the same period last year, but any increase is a good sign of things to come. There has been a 5.4% decline from last year.

Spam is Getting More Malicious
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Symantec has released two new reports for the month of November – the State of Spam, and the State of Phishing (both PDFs). The reports highlight a dramatic increase in spam that contains malware. On top of that, junk and malicious email now accounts for close to 9 out of 10 email messages.

New Twitterers Down, Tweets Up in October

Last month we looked at Twitter’s numbers for user registrations and total tweets for the month of September. We saw a small decline in new user registrations, but tweeting appeared to be on the rise again following the previous month in which tweeting declined.

The numbers for October follow a similar trend. The information was supplied by Matthew Daines, the lead developer of the Twitter app, Twellow.

Usage of Mobile Web and Apps Doubles in 2 Years
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According to AdMob, which claims it is the world’s largest mobile advertising platform, mobile web and application use has doubled over the past two years. In September, the firm received over 100 million ad requests from 14 countries, and over 10 million ad requests from 64 countries.

AdMob released its Mobile Metrics report for September, which highlights the rapid growth in usage of mobile web sites and apps on new devices in the past year.

Google and Bing Increase Share of Enterprise Search Traffic
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iCrossing has shared the findings from its Enterprise Natural Search Share Index. This is a look at natural search traffic to enterprise level sites, based on a large sample of Fortune 1000 companies across all major verticals.

Microsoft Sees 14% Decline, But Remains Enthusiastic
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Microsoft reported its quarterly earnings today with a 14% decline in revenue from the same period a year ago. The company reported revenue of $12.92 billion for the quarter.

Operating income, net income and diluted earnings per share for the quarter were $4.48 billion, $3.57 billion and $0.40 per share, which represented declines of 25%, 18% and 17%, respectively, when compared with the same period last year.

Does Size Matter in Display Advertising?
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Eyeblaster released its Research Global Benchmark report for 2009, which provides an analysis of the performance of different types of display ads like banners and rich media ads. The research found that while clickthrough rates for standard banners improved with an increase in size, size did not factor into the performance of clicks on rich media ads.

"In rich media, size is only one component of banner visibility on the site," says Eyeblaster.

Expectations Improve for Media Advertising Revenue
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MAGNA released its US Media Advertising Revenue Forecast today, and reports that although the economy continues to face challenges, expectations for the future have improved significantly during the past two quarters.

Study: Half of Traffic to UK Sites Comes from Online Marketing
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The AT Internet Institute conducted a study comparing investments in online marketing campaigns among France, Germany, Spain, and the United Kingdom. The firm’s findings are that the UK far exceeds the other three countries in this realm.

Report: Paid Search Spend Up 10%

SearchIgnite has released a report, which indicates that paid search spending in the United States was flat year-over-year in the third quarter, yet up 10% quarter-over-quarter. This comes largely from multi-channel retailers, who increased paid search spend by 40% in the quarter, according to the firm. This is despite flat conversion rates and average order value.

Coupon Site Reports Big Growth for Online Sales
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Ebates, a site that many big-name brands offer rebates and coupons through, released its online retail report for August, finding that online sales through the site grew 57% during the month, compared to the same time period a year ago.

The categories that showed the biggest growth were: department stores, baby % kids, books & magazines, apparel & shoes, and health & beauty. In fact, only one category covered by Ebates showed decline – home décor.

Phishing Down, But Probably Only Temporarily

Spam is rising as we get closer to the Christmas holiday season according to Symantec, although they do say that phishing is down. The company has shared some findings from its September State of Phishing report.

According to the report, there was a 45% reduction in phishing attacks between July and August. Symantec says this will likely be a short-term lull, however, reflecting the end of a particular toolkit attack on social networking sites.