Digital ad share expected to grow even as global ad forecast shrinks.
Global problems such as Mid-East unrest and the Japanese earthquake have led digital marketing company GroupM to reduce its growth forecast for 2011 global ad spending to 4.8 percent. The company had originally forecast 5.8 percent growth for 2011 back in December. The revision would bring global ad spending to a total of $505.8 billion this year, with digital advertising capturing 17 percent of that total.
Mobile adoption helps fuel Twitter to 200 million tweets per day.
Twitter reached the 200 million daily tweets milestone in the first half of 2011, reflecting extraordinary growth from the level of 2 million daily tweets being sent in January of 2009. Helping with the continued growth was a 182 percent jump in mobile usage this year.
Social wars heat up with Facebook's new video function.
Facebook announced some new functions, most notably the availability of videoconferencing to be provided via a deal with Skype. The announcement takes on added resonance in the wake of Google's announcement of a videoconferencing capability on Google+, and the recent acquisition of Skype by Microsoft adds yet another dimension.
Search Engine Land
Hulu Plus is gaining subscribers and programming.
Though dwarfed by Netflix and its 25 million subscribers, Hulu Plus is scratching out a foothold in the video programming market. So far this year, Hulu Plus has increased from about 250,000 paid subscribers to 875,000, while the number of TV programs and movies available via the service continues to grow rapidly.
Apple's iTunes reaches 15 billion apps.
Apple has announced that customers of its iTunes Apps Store have downloaded 15 billion apps, up sharply from the 3 billion figure as of this past January. The Apps Store now carries more than 425,000 applications, including 100,000 that are specific to the iPad. All of this has netted developers some $2.5 billion dollars, though to put that in perspective it comes to just 17 cents per download.
The New York Times
A new transaction places Twitter's value at $8 billion.
A new round of private financing is being done at a valuation that would imply that Twitter as a whole is worth $8 billion. This high value is based more on the potential of Twitter's 200 million subscribers than on actual profitability, as Twitter earns just an estimated $200 million, and is still pursuing break-even.
The New York Times
Bing gains foothold in China through deal with Baidu.
Microsoft's Bing search engine has gained a valuable presence in the Chinese market via a deal with Baidu, China's leading search engine. Under terms of the agreement, Bing will provide search results to English-language queries on Baidu, a combination that is expected to make it tougher for Google to compete in China.
Priceline wades into the daily deals fray.
The popularity of daily deals coupons has attracted a variety of competitors to the concept, and now Priceline has become the latest to challenge the likes of Groupon and LivingSocial. Priceline may be a natural for this space because its brand is already based on helping users find special deals, but Priceline is entering the business cautiously, with a limited roll out via a white-label provider.
Pharmaceutical companies continue their cautious approach to social media.
While pharmaceutical companies are huge advertisers, they've been wary about entering social media because the interactive nature of the format is not a natural fit with the regulatory and branding concerns of drug companies. However, Google has come up with an approach that allows pharmaceutical companies to control which videos are associated with theirs on YouTube; at the opposite side of the spectrum, Facebook seems poised to require drug companies to allow user comments on their sites.