Facebook Named Most Searched-For, Most Visited Site Of 2010

Earlier this month, Time magazine named Mark Zuckerberg "Person of the Year," and now, although Experian Hitwise isn’t in the business of handing out such titles, it looks like Zuckerberg’s site has become the online equivalent.  Experian Hitwise announced late yesterday that Facebook was both the most visited site and most searched-for term of 2010.

Skype Takes Video Calls to the iPhone, iPad & iPod Touch

Skype has launched a new version of its iPhone app that features video calling – a bold move considering Skype is fresh off a major outage issue, and that this will directly compete with Apple’s new FaceTime feature of the latest iPhones. 

Hudson Square Research Labels Google, Yahoo “Buys”

Anyone who’s looking to invest a little Christmas money might want to listen up.  While we’re neither backing nor attacking this advice, Hudson Square Research has initiated coverage on Google and Yahoo, labeling them both a "buy" and setting price targets significantly above the stocks’ current prices.

Experian Hitwise Finds Holiday Retail Traffic Consistently Up

As we wrap up 2010, there’s still more evidence online retailers came out of the holiday shopping season in good shape.  Experian Hitwise shared data indicating that retail traffic has been up on a year-over-year basis for the better part of two months.

The differences haven’t always been huge; on both Christmas and the day after Christmas, Experian Hitwise recorded just a three percent change in the market share of visits to its "Retail 500" category between 2009 and 2010.

Google Joins Effort To Deter Violence In Sudan

An upcoming election in Sudan is widely expected to be marked by violence, but thanks to the actions of Google, Harvard, the UN, and a group called Not On Our Watch, it’s possible the situation won’t get too bloody.  In an effort to discourage hostilities, the organizations have banded together to support satellite surveillance of Sudan.

Sears and Kmart Launch Movie Download Service

Sears has launched a new online movie download service called Alphaline Entertainment. It lets customers of Sears and Kmart download movies the day they’re released on TV. 

Report: 7 Trillion SMS Messages Will Be Sent in 2011

ABI Research, which released a study on Mobile Messaging Services, is saying that over seven trillion SMS messages will be sent in 2011. That’s worldwide, from about 4.2 billion mobile subscriptions.

ABI says SMS is being increasingly regarded as something of a commodity by users, due to falling delivery costs and high competition. 

PayPal Plans China Expansion

Different estimates put China’s population in the neighborhood of 1.3 billion people, and soon enough, PayPal intends to start helping them do business worldwide.  PayPal will open an ecommerce hub in Chongqing with the local government’s blessing.

This won’t be a simple matter of encouraging people to use the online payment system when making purchases and accept it when making sales.  Instead, it looks like the company means to interact with merchants in a number of ways, presumably earning their respect and loyalty in the process.

Skype Talks Outage and Prevention of Future Outages

Last week, millions of Skype users lost their connections and experienced various other issues with the service. Though the outage didn’t last much longer than a day, the sheer number of those affected created a huge blunder for the company. 

It didn’t take long for Skype to go on damage control mode, however. CEO Tony Bates himself jumped on the Skype blog a few times to provide updates, explanations, and of course apologies:

eBay Mobile Holiday Sales Up 166 Percent

Earlier this month, eBay released two separate statements saying that mobile sales rose over a very short period.  Now, the company’s opened up a third time on the subject, and it turns out mobile sales for the complete holiday shopping season (defined by eBay as November 25th through December 25th) grew by an impressive 166 percent.

That 166 percent was measured on a worldwide basis year-over-year, and helped eBay record $230 million in gross merchandise volume.  The company may be able to report a pretty profitable fourth quarter as a result.