Tech News Roundup: New products and close up on social users
I know what you’re hankering for. You want your search and social news, dontcha? Arienne blogged key sessions at SES New York 2011 for your enjoyment, so you’ve plenty to fill up on there if you haven’t already. If you’re in the mood for more news, I can offer free delivery on today’s week-in-tech roundup.
Product releases and updates
It was a good week for new releases as Mozilla, Yahoo, Bing and Google rolled out features and products. Mozilla’s Firefox 4 browser was out in the wild, sporting fancy features and gaining more than 7 million downloads in its first 24 hours. The anticipated browser boasts serious boost to speed, enhanced privacy and security settings, and support of advanced development technologies including HTML5.
Also ramping up performance and features, an update to the Bing mobile app allows for support of HTML5 standards, location-based search results, real-time data, improved shopping and image search, app search, a reorganized movie search, enhanced weather updates and current transit info for major cities in a slick new interface.
Yahoo released a real-time updating search suggestion box that displays suggested search terms as users type, called Search Direct. It’s similar to Google Instant, but does not update the full results page as users type—just a list of up to 10 predictive search terms and 3 results. The new feature leans strongly toward serving results from Yahoo services.
Google Analytics got a new look and feel, though the new version is still in testing. Users can sign up for the closed beta, which includes multiple dashboards and the ability to view multiple segments without using “All Visits.”
Laws and regulations
Google found less success in its legal battle to create the largest universal library with Google Books. A United States Circuit judge in New York City cited anti-trust concerns and a need to involve Congress when rejecting a proposed $125 million settlement between the Internet giant and U.S. authors and publishers.
Another legal standoff is brewing between Internet audience measurement companies Nielsen and comScore. Nielsen Company is suing comScore in federal court, claiming more than 30 comScore products violate 5 Nielsen patents. A Nielsen statement cites the company is seeking to protect its intellectual property rights. This is the first patent suit comScore has faced.
Major news in the mobile sphere this week was of course AT&T’s purchase of fellow wireless carrier T-Mobile USA for $39 billion. The deal would add 34 million customers to AT&T’s network, surpassing Verizon as largest wireless operator. While the acquisition is sure to face scrutiny by the FCC for reducing competition in the wireless market, AT&T is hoping that promised expansion of its high-speed wireless technology under the merger will sweeten the deal for regulators.
Advertising and social users
Good news for online marketers: by 2015, web advertising will make up 25 percent of local ad spend, predicts media research firm BIA/Kelsey. Rising interest in local deal sites, increased use of mobile and tablet computing devices and growing awareness of online advertising opportunities by small- and medium-sized businesses have positioned online ad spend for growth.
And new research has been released regarding the true face of social media users. A report on Twitter users, “Twitter Users: A Vocal Minority” by eMarketer, significantly downgrades the number of users on the service from hundreds of millions to tens of millions based on duplicate accounts and actual active users, among other factors. The report also examines the value of Twitter as an ad platform, the service’s demographic mix and the most accurate usage metrics.
In an unofficial but interesting analysis of the Facebook audience, one user polled his friends to find out the value of engagement on the site. His conclusion, based on a loose experiment with his Facebook friends and analysis of popular brands on the network, was that 10 percent of a given user’s friends will see an update, and just 1 percent will Like it.
Of course, if more than 1 percent of you care to Like or tweet this post, I won’t be disappointed that we’ve undermined his research.