The Week We Searched For- July 8, 2011

Posted on Friday, July 8th, 2011 by Print This Post Print This Post

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Facebook unveils video chat- Facebook unveiled its long anticipated video chat service this week that’s powered by Skype. The new service is expected to enable users to call their friends from within Facebook. According to Facebook’s blog, “A few months ago, we started working with Skype to bring video calling to Facebook. We built it right into chat, so all your conversations start from the same place. To call your friend, just click the video call button at the top of your chat window.”

Zynga filed IPO paperwork- The online social gaming company Zynga filed its IPO prospectus this week. Initial reports valued the company at $10 billion. Zynga’s IPO announcement has already received criticism with many saying that Zynga is yet another overvalued social networking site. Others contest that Zynga has what it takes to make it. Here are a few perspectives on the IPO:

  • Evan Newmark authored a scathing critique of Zynga in his article “Mean Street: How Cy Twombly Is Like the Zynga IPO” in the Wall Street Journal. Newmark compares Zynga’s $10 billion price tag to the over-hyped value of the late modern artist Cy Twombly’s “canvases of pencil scribbles and paint splotches anointed with literary titles of a singular pretentiousness.”
  • Kevin Kelleher on the other hand thinks, “Zynga’s IPO may be just what the tech bubble needs.” In his piece, Kelleher argues that Zynga’s financial health and business model have what it takes to not only succeed on the open market, but also boost other web stocks.

Google shuts down Real Time Search- Google has suspended its real time search services. The decision coincides with the expiration of Google’s deal with Twitter, which has been the primary contributor to the service. Neither Google nor Twitter has stated whether the deal will be renewed. Relevant Twitter content will still be incorporated into Google’s organic search results. According to a statement from Google, “While we will not have access to this special feed from Twitter, information on Twitter that’s publicly available to our crawlers will still be searchable and discoverable on Google.” We should expect Real Time Search to reemerge at some point in the future, perhaps with a few Google+ additions.

Google’s blogger platform redesign- On Thursday, Google went live with its newly redesigned free blogging platform, Blogger. The new format is not only cleaner and more spacious than the original, but also has more tools embedded directly into the interface. Check it out:

Rumors of a Facebook music service surface- Mashable reported this week that a new music product called “Vibe” has been found within Facebook’s code. According to Mashable, “It seems clear that Facebook has something related to music downloading up its sleeve. Could it be an app for downloading your music and uploading it to the cloud? Could it be powered by Spotify? Or could it just be code that refers to a defunct or discarded product? Don’t bet on Facebook’s music app being called “Facebook Vibes,” though. There’s a reason why Facebook’s video chat product isn’t called “Facebook Peep.” Still, we know Facebook has a music product coming soon, and now we believe it will do more than simply play your favorite tunes.”

Apple’s App Store passes 15 billion downloads- Apple reported this week that its App Store passed the 15 billion apps downloaded benchmark this week. The current online store offers roughly 425,000 applications.

Bing to power Baidu’s search in English- According to Reuters, Microsoft and the Chinese search giant Baidu have signed a deal, in which Microsoft’s Bing search engine will provide English search results to Baidu users.

Google notifies for buying links- Since January, Google has been sending out webmaster tools notifications to sites selling links. This week Google began sending out notifications to sites that have “bad” inbound links, i.e., sites that seem to have purchased links.

Further reading:

  • Not one of the chosen few to have received a Google+ invite? Heather Sundell’s article will certainly make you wish you were.
  • Rumors of Facebook’s music service already have some wondering how Google+ will compete. Check out Eliot Van Buskirk’s piece “5 Ways Google+ Could Steal Music Fans From Facebook” on to learn more.
  • Jessica E. Vascellaro authored an piece in the Wall Street Journal today on Google’s push towards social with insights from Allen & Cos Media Conference.




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