Archive for July 2009
In from the AP…In a first, but likely not last for Facebook, a retailer is setting up shop inside the popular social-networking site.
Flower and gift retailer 1-800-Flowers.com plans to announce Wednesday it has opened a retail store to let people shop for its products directly through Facebook.
The Carle Place, N.Y.-based company was already a pioneer in using a 1-800 number as its name. The company went online in 1991 and three years later it became the first merchant on AOL.
Now that it gets the majority of its orders online, CEO and founder Jim McCann calls mobile applications and the Facebook store a natural step. The company launched an application for the BlackBerry last fall, and one for the iPhone followed shortly.
Of course, there are still hurdles. It’s hard to find the company’s fan page on Facebook, for example, unless you remember to include the hyphens and the “.com.” This is something 1-800-Flowers.com says it is aware of. But to fix it, Facebook would have to tweak its search capabilities.
It’s difficult to put a dollar figure on Facebook’s benefits to businesses like 1-800-Flowers.com. But what is clear is that more and more companies are keeping up with their customers using social networks. There are roughly 300,000 active fan pages on Facebook, for businesses ranging from Target to McDonald’s.
Microsoft Corp. has finally roped Yahoo Inc. into an Internet search partnership, capping a convoluted pursuit that dragged on for years and setting the stage for them to make a joint assault against the dominance of Google Inc.
The 10-year deal gives Microsoft access to the Internet’s second-largest search engine audience, beefing up the software maker’s arsenal as it tries to better confront Google, which is by far the leader in online search and advertising.
While this may be good news for some, Yahoo’s stock still fell 11 percent, the biggest drop since November, after terms of an Internet-search accord with Microsoft Corp. were less favorable than analysts predicted.
Yahoo shareholders may be upset that the company isn’t receiving an upfront payment from Microsoft, which some analysts had expected to be as much as $3 billion, said Benchmark Co.’s Clayton Moran. Yahoo’s projected cost savings and the portion of revenue it keeps from sales of Web ads both fell short of some predictions, he said.
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The four largest record labels: EMI, Sony Music, Warner Music are working with Apple Inc. to increase sales of digital albums by promoting extra features such as videos and interactive cover notes according to an article from Bloomberg.com.
The project, codenamed “cocktail,” is designed to encourage consumers to buy more albums. Material packaged as digital “deluxe” albums, may be introduced by September. Apple wants to make bigger purchases more compelling by creating a new type of interactive album material, including photos, lyric sheets and liner notes that allow users to click through to items that they find most interesting. Consumers would be able to play songs directly from the interactive book without clicking back into Apple’s iTunes software, executives said.
The discussions mark a push to entice music fans into paying for additional material. U.S. album sales have fallen 45 percent since 2000, according to Nielsen SoundScan, the New York-based research firm. More than 8 billion songs have been sold through iTunes says Peter Oppenheimer, Apple’s chief financial officer, said on a conference call this month.
Last week, The Associated Press said it would put warnings against copyright violation on its articles and digitally track illegitimate uses. Now, there is a company that looks out for media companies by finding web sites, networks and blogs that reuses original content.
Attributor is the world’s premier web-wide content tracking and monetization platform. The service is for anyone who wants to know how, when and where their content is copied across the Web. For example, a media outlet gets to choose which content or titles they want to monitor through a secure file transfer, xml feed or other means. Then, Attributor scans billions of web sites, blogs and social networks on a continuous basis to find copies of content across the web looking for images, text and videos. If content is used on a site without permission from the original source, the company send removal notices to unauthorized sites, the companies hosting their content as well as the search engines and ad networks.
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