Is the addition of faces on Google one step towards Facebook?
Google is testing a navigation bar which has more of a social media look and feel to it, with personalized information including a user's picture. This might not be much in itself, but it could be a step towards a rumored Google project that would take the search giant more into the social media space.
Search Engine Watch
Facebook continues excellent growth across several usage metrics.
Final 2010 figures from comScore show that Facebook's massive size has not slowed the social media giant's growth in many measures of usage. Year-over-year for December, the number of total unique visitors was up 38 percent. Average daily visitors was up even more, at 69 percent, as the average usage days per visitor also climbed, by 23 percent. The only figures close to a plateau were average minutes per usage day, up 6 percent, and average pages per usage day, up 1 percent.
Search Engine Land
Mozilla's Firefox adds to the ranks of do-not-track features.
Mozilla has joined the list of search engine providers that have launched or announced features to prevent advertisers from tracking user browsing behavior. There are lingering concerns about the effectiveness of these measures. For example, the Firefox feature informs advertisers that the user does not wish to be tracked, but relies on compliance by those advertisers.
Android was the big gainer in mobile device market share in 2010.
Overall growth in the mobile device market helped mask some significant market share losses by leading players in 2010. 2009's leading and second-place operating systems, Symbian and Research in Motion, saw unit gains last year but market share losses of 9.3 percent and 3.9 percent, respectively. Android leapfrogged into second place as its market share soared from 3.9 percent to 22.7 percent.
Internet video expected to continue steady growth.
Changing viewing habits are increasing the options -- and complexity -- for advertisers. According to eMarketer, the number of people in the U.S. viewing video online at least once a month rose from 130.8 million to 145.6 million last year, and is expected to reach 158.1 million this year. Online video viewership is expected to continue to rise both in absolute terms and as a percentage of the U.S. Internet audience over the next four years as well.
Facebook may be poised for deep inroads into email.
Facebook Messages, a service which consolidates email, texting, and chat, may be positioned to capture a huge share of future email traffic. Though user behavior has yet to show an overwhelming migration towards Facebook Messages, a reported 350 million Facebook users have signed up for the service.
A bill to regulate behavioral tracking has been introduced in Congress.
Even though online advertising industry groups have tried to head off legislation with voluntary efforts to limit behavioral tracking, a bill which would give consumers the right to opt out of advertiser tracking programs online has been introduced in the House of Representatives.
Apple announces a charge to publishers for subscriptions to iPad-based publications.
Apple has made a bold and unexpected move to stake out a broader claim to revenues related to the iPad. It will charge publishers a 30 percent fee on subscriptions purchased via iPad's app, even if publishers charge for those subscriptions outside of the app.