Internet Marketing News Update #222, February 18, 2014

Newsfeed organization: old media transforms into new with Trove.
The Graham Organization, which sold the Washington Post to Jeff Bezos, has emerged with a new app that combines search algorithms with a form of crowd-sourcing to help users organize news stories on topics of interest. While the product, called Trove, starts with an ordinary search algorithm, it tries to match decisions users make about prioritizing stories with those of other people who have prioritized stories on the same topics, to provide a more on-point flow of stories in the future.
The New York Times

A potential privacy nightmare for Google.
A software developer in Israel has posted a video demonstrating how flaws in Google's Chrome browser can be used to activate a computer's microphone to spy on conversations, even when the browser is not active. The developer only publicized this vulnerability after getting no satisfactory response when he contacted Google last September.
The New York Times

Facebook share of retail referrals slips.
Though Facebook may still be growing, it is having trouble defending its share of retail referrals against faster-growing competitors like Twitter and Pinterest. Facebook is still far and away the leader in retail referrals, but according to Adobe, its share in that category dropped by 2% year-over-year, to 69%.

AOL makes an acquisition to beef up ad targeting capability.
AOL recently spent $90.7 million on Gravity, a firm which provides detailed user analysis to better help advertisers choose the right targets and contexts for their ads. AOL and Gravity claim that Gravity's tools help publishers and brands increase engagement by 240%, but even with this new capability AOL is still playing catch-up compared to sites like Facebook which already have sophisticated tools of this sort.

Widespread growth expected in B2B 2014 content marketing spending.
A survey of B2B marketers by Advertising Age found that three-quarters of them plan to increase their content marketing budgets this year, compared with just 1.3% who are decreasing those budgets. Meanwhile, B2B marketers continue to come up to speed in mobile marketing, with the percentage employing that tactic increasing by 5.6% last year to 38.6%.

Super Bowl social buzz reaches a diminishing return.
Online sharing of Super Bowl content may be hitting the wall in terms of overall growth, with a 1% increase this year compared to last year's game. However, advertisers still found impressive gains in some segments: sharing on mobile devices was up 67% from 2013, and sharing on Facebook increased by 42.9%.
Media Post News

Pinterest bans paid pins.
To combat the over-commercialization of its site - especially where Pinterest itself is not getting a cut - Pinterest has changed its terms of use to ban advertisers from paying people to pin their products, or offering incentives such as sweepstakes to generate artificially high pin totals.
Marketing Pilgrim

Yahoo integrates Yelp reviews into search results.
Seeking to differentiate its search results, Yahoo has signed a deal to incorporate Yelp reviews into its local search results. Yahoo is fighting to regain lost share in the search market, with its percentage of searches now down to 10.8%.
Search Engine Journal

Facebook's lead in site referrals is growing quickly.
Facebook is the leading social media site in terms of referring traffic to other web sites, accounting for 15.44% of such referrals as of December, 2013. Perhaps what's more remarkable than its current share is the rate of growth: that December figure is up from 10.37% in September. Pinterest has the second biggest share at 4.79%, and Twitter is the only other referral source accounting for more than 1% of traffic, with a share of 1.12%
Search Engine Journal

Microsoft's new Excel offers clues to the company's future.
Microsoft's new version of Excel will not carry the usual 1.0 or 2.0 type of designation, since it will be a subscription service with minor updates occurring frequently online rather than major updates being sold as new software. The business and technical aspects of this model are seen as especially significant since this new release was the last project overseen by Satya Nadella prior to him becoming the company's CEO.
The New York Times

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