Internet Marketing Weekly News Update #146 May 9, 2012

Bing looks to see if less is more with its search result format.
Bing has introduced a new, cleaner format for its search results, which seems to be in response to some complaints that Google has added so many different visual components that its results pages look cluttered. In fact, the new Bing results presentation looks somewhat like the old Google version.
Search Engine Land

Facebook Preferred Marketing Developers are attracting investment capital.
When Facebook launched its Preferred Marketing Developer program last month, it seemed to give the chosen app and ad management developers the inside track for attracting customers. The program has also helped those developers attract investment capital, with over $900 million flowing to those companies according to public disclosure documents.

Target acts on frustration with Amazon's competitive tactics.
Amazon has encouraged its customers to compare prices on Amazon before buying items they see at Target, through tactics such as a discount on items scanned on Target's shelves. In retaliation, Target has decided to stop carrying Amazon's Kindle reader. Target will continue to carry competing readers.
The New York Times

Congress asks for information on wireless carrier assistance with police inquiries.
Debates over privacy -- and the battle lines in Congress regarding the issue -- may heat up with Representative Edward J. Markey's request that eight cell phone companies provide details on their policies and practices regarding providing tracking information to the police. Some reports suggest it has become routine for wireless carriers to hand over information to the police regarding the activities of their customers.
The New York Times

Yahoo seeks a small business niche with marketing dashboard.
Yahoo's new marketing dashboard became widely available on May 2. The tool is intended to appeal to small business marketers with features such as search engine and directory listings, online reputation management, campaign tracking, and site traffic analysis.

A resume discrepancy may trip up Yahoo's CEO.
While Yahoo has been trying to find its footing with a reorganization and various new initiatives announced since Scott Thompson became CEO, the company may be sidetracked by revelations of an overstatement on Thompson's resume. That resume claims Thompson has degrees from Stonehill College in accounting and computer science, but it turns out Stonehill didn't offer a computer science degree when Thompson was there.
Marketing Pilgrim

Consumer Reports tracks the rise of Facebook privacy issues.
A Consumer Reports survey quantifies some of the privacy issues that can arise from Facebook usage. Based on its survey, Consumer Reports projects that 4.8 million people have posted information on when they plan to leave the house, which could be a tip-off to burglars. About 4.7 million have "liked" Facebook pages about specific health conditions, which could affect their health insurance. And 11% of households using Facebook have reported problems such as unauthorized use of a log-in or harassment, with a 30% increase in the number of affected households over the past year.
Consumer Reports

Marketers gain multiple, but short-duration, touchpoints with smartphones.
With U.S. smartphone users now numbering over 100 million, eMarketer looks at some of the characteristics of these users and what their habits imply for marketers. Smartphone users enjoy "snacking" with quick fixes of gaming, video or music to fill odd moments of the day. This tendency leads eMarketer to forecast strong double-digit growth for those types of smartphone content over the next few years, even after last year's explosive growth. This growth in turn creates new potential touchpoints for marketers who can sync up with the right types of content.

Smartphones may improve marketing to small businesses.
Just over half of small business owners say that companies do not market effectively to them, according to a study by Cargo and Inc. Magazine. Smartphones may be a potential channel for improving those efforts, especially where technology professionals are concerned, since IT personnel at small businesses report that a smartphone is the tool their employers are most likely to purchase on their behalf.

Tumblr offers some compelling stats for advertisers.
Tumblr has just started accepting advertisements, a development which should be of interest to advertisers as Tumblr is strong in terms of the average time visitors spend on the site each month. For this metric, comScore shows Tumbler behind Facebook, tied for second place with Pinterest, and well ahead of Twitter.

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