Yahoo tabs former PayPal president to attempt turnaround.
Yahoo has hired Scott Thompson as its new CEO, replacing Carol Bartz. As head of PayPal, Thompson oversaw the growth of the user base from 50 million to over 100 million. Thompson has both a technology and a financial background, which should be useful in Yahoo's situation, though critics point out that like Bartz, he lacks a strong media background.
Search Engine Watch
Major websites could go dark to protest SOPA.
Google, Twitter, Amazon and Facebook are considering coordinated downtime to protest the Stop Online Piracy Act, a bill proposed in Congress. The move is designed to make a point by being disruptive, though the biggest impact might be on the companies' own marketing clients and shareholders.
Google demotes Chrome's search ranking for violating promotional guidelines.
Google has taken the unusual step of penalizing its own Chrome browser by lowering its ranking in search results for terms including "Chrome" and "Internet browser." The move is in reaction to two outside marketing agencies that violated Google's quality guidelines by paying bloggers to post reviews of the product.
Search Engine Journal
Android strong in mobile ad demand.
Activity on the Jumptap mobile ad network indicates that Android devices generated 52.7% of the advertising demand, giving Android a clear lead over iOS, at 22.1% as of November 2011. BlackBerry was a surprisingly close third at 20.9%. Apple's iOS holds the edge in click-through rates, at 0.72%, higher than the network average of 0.65%. Other rates included Android at 0.64%, Symbian devices at 0.56% and BlackBerry at 0.48%.
Yahoo takes a significant step forward in original content.
Yahoo has announced that it is partnering with Tom Hanks to produce and run an original series called Electric City. The series, which will consist of about 20 installments lasting 3-5 minutes in length, marks Yahoo's strong desire to diversify away from search.
Corporate social media accounts show signs of inefficiency.
Large companies have embraced social media enthusiastically -- perhaps too enthusiastically for their own good. A study by the Altimeter Group found that the average large U.S. corporation had 178 corporate-sponsored social media accounts, led by an average of 39.2 Twitter accounts.
Strong growth rates give m-commerce a foothold in retail.
Although starting from a small base, the expansion of mobile shopping has been impressive enough to quickly bring the dollars involved into significant territory. Mobile commerce sales grew by 91.4% in 2011 to reach $6.7 billion, and a forecast of 73.1% growth in 2012 would bring them to $11.6 billion.
Social campaigns can motivate brand advocates.
While people who like a brand would seem to already be converts to that brand's message, social media campaigns can motivate these advocates to more specific actions. A study found that advocates were much more likely to buy and recommend a product after being exposed to a social media campaign for that product, and that those favorable influences tended to have a lasting impact.
Demographics challenge stereotypes about gamers.
Men may have been quicker to embrace gaming, but surveys show that women are rapidly catching up. The percentage of women using Xbox or PlayStation consoles has been rising sharply, and women represent about half of the online gaming audience.
Social media still behind as a source of product information.
While a number of companies have made a concerted effort to commercialize social media, the channel still trails other sources of information -- such as traditional media and word of mouth -- when it comes to introducing new offerings. On a related note, most people still do not mention brands on Facebook, though when they do, it is more likely to be positive than negative.