Twitter Earns Itself a Candy Heart Phrase

You know those candy hearts everybody has around Valentine’s Day with the little sayings on them? Showing just how much of a stronghold Twitter actually has on pop culture, this year, one such saying that will appear on these candies is "Tweet me."

Microsoft Yahoo Deal Approval Gets Deadline in Europe

Remember that proposed Microsoft Yahoo search and advertising deal? It’s still awaiting regulatory approval, but it might be a step closer to its destiny soon, no matter which way it goes.

The European Commission has set a deadline for a decision on approval of Microsoft’s bid (via Reuters). The date is February 19, or exactly a month from today. The deadline was published yesterday within a list of other deadlines for other deals.

HubSpot Documents Decline In Twitter Growth Rate

This morning, HubSpot released a fresh "State of the Twittersphere" report, and in just about every respect, the news for the site is good, meaning growth has occurred since the last time HubSpot checked in.  The only potential problem relates to the rate of new user growth, which is rather slow.

Microsoft Changes Bing User Privacy Methods

Microsoft is making some updates to Bing privacy. The company sent a letter to the Article 29 Working Party, notifying them of its intention to make a change to Bing’s data retention policy. The company is reducing the amount of time it stores IP addresses from searchers to 6 months from 18.

Avast Software Added To Google Pack

At least in certain parts of the world, Google has revised its approach to connecting people with security products.  Avast Free Antivirus is now included in eight different versions of the Google Pack bundle of software.

Google Makes it Harder to Hide from a Bad Reputation

Google is now including reviews from more sources on its Place Pages for businesses. They’re no longer coming from just review sites. They’re coming from news sites, blogs, and more.

Bing Makes Out Well In Search Spend Report

A little bit of data from the Efficient Frontier Q4 2009 Search Engine Performance Report has been made available, and it’s completely un-shocking in that it shows search marketers are still more than happy to spend their money with Google.  The interesting thing, though, is that Bing seems to have gained a little ground on the search giant.

Employers Using Social Networks To Screen Employees

As social networking becomes increasingly widespread, more employers are using these sites to screen potential employees.

More than half (53%) of employers reported in a recent CareerBuildere.co.uk survey that they use social networking sites to research job candidates. Another 12 percent plan to start using social networking sites for screening.

How Google Rates Links from Facebook and Twitter

The first Matt Cutts Answers Questions About Google video of the year has been posted, and in it Matt addresses links from Twitter and Facebook, after talking about his shaved head again. Specifically, the submitted question he answers is:

Links from relevant and important sites have always been a great way to get traffic & acceptance for a website. How do you rate links from new platforms like Twitter, FB to a website?

Content Can Now Go Viral More Easily with Facebook

Over the past year or so, Facebook has made a number of moves, which bring more Twitter-like functionality to the social network. Some question why Facebook would want to become more like Twitter given that it is much more dominant in the social media space, but Facebook sees the growing-popularity of Twitter, and likely wants to make sure it offers everything users want, to keep them around for the long haul.