Friday is the perfect opportunity to take a moment and look back at the most important and interesting business and technology developments of the week – those that will influence you in the future and likely are impacting some aspect of your Web enterprise right now. This week, let’s look at 15 key developments in the world of Web business.
- The Open Commerce Ecosystem of Ebay Arrives
Ebay has been the talk of the Web this week with its X.commerce effort, which aims to connect developers with merchants to create a complete commerce operating system. A few of the integrations announced at the Innovate Developer Conference include those with Facebook (integrating Open Graph functionality through Magento and GSI), Adobe (integrating its digital marketing platform), Kenshoo (which automates digital marketing campaigns) and online bookkeeping tool Outright.
- The Value of Real-Time Search Data
URL shortener bit.ly played its trump card this week – an immense set of real-time data. The company released a reputation monitoring service for enterprise customers based on its search technology which weighs results by cross-platform social engagement. Bit.ly joins several other vendors in the real-time search and analytics space including Topsy and Google.
- Google+ Closes in on Twitter
The Google+ network/platform has surpassed the 40 million user mark, inching ever closer to the 100 million active users of Twitter but still quite a distance from Facebook's 800 million users. Revenue was up 33 percent year-over-year, and quarter revenues were just short of $10 billion for Google, but questions remain about its ability to foster social communities.
- Can Anyone Save Yahoo? Comscore Search Data
Comscore reported that Google’s share of the search market increased a half percentage at the expense of Yahoo – which fell to its lowest search volume levels ever. Perhaps an Alibaba acquisition isn’t such a bad idea, after all. While Yahoo! has a strong foothold in the display advertising market, the network might have seen better days.
- Let’s Take it Offline
Mobile payments company Square, which offers apps that allow merchants to process and manage credit card transaction with a swiping device that plugs in to the headset/microphone jack, announced that it is now processing 2$ billion in payments volume per year. Square also announced that it is dropping several requirements for new Swype merchants.
- Jumping on the KickStarter Bandwagon
Crowdfunding service Kickstarter has seen 1 million people sign up and offer financial support for projects listed on its site. Kickstarter also indicated that of those who have backed projects 89% of them have supported at least one idea that was successful.
- Search Ad Spend Rebounds
SEM and software provider Covario released its global spend search ad spend analysis which indicated that PPC spending was up 26 percent from the previous quarter and 24 percent versus the same period last year.
- A Local Vibe from MapQuest
MapQuest unveiled Vibe this week, a local search/mapping tool which identifies neighborhood-level hot spots. MapQuest Vibe profiles more than 50,000 neighborhoods, 27,000 cities and 50,000 hotspots in the U.S., reaching 98 percent of the population.
- Ad Boosters from GreyStripe
Mobile advertising network GreyStripe released several new industry-focused and social ad units this week dubbed Ad Boosters. The customizable “boosters” allows advertisers to direct users to take specific actions. A retail booster, for example, could include a “Find Store” button, a coupon or buy now button. This is somewhat similar to the way that Google has introduced the +1 button on its display ads.
- Foursquare Gets Real with Radar Notifications
It seems as if the hottest new trend on the Web is in real-time data retrieval, and now location-based social media service Foursquare is hopping on the bandwagon. Earlier this week they announced Radar, a new real-time feature that will sends notifications to users when they're close to businesses that fit into their "to-do lists", or any other Foursquare lists to which they've subscribed. This tool will be especially useful for driving relevant customers to local businesses when they're in a city or area that they're not familiar with.
-Location-based Marketing with Hootsuite
HootSuite acquired location-based marketing tool Geotoko this week. This geo-aggregation tool collects audience information from check-in tools like Facebook Places and Foursquare. The integration of this tool with HootSuite will especially help multiple location brick and mortar businesses better understand audiences, based on data such as location, sentiment and demographic. With this data, businesses will be able to reach out to consumers with specific offers, promotions and campaign adjustments.
- Google Commerce Goes Mobile
Just two years after Google Commerce was launched, this week Google announced Google Commerce Search for mobile. According to Google, the launch of Google Commerce Search for mobile came about after consistently finding an increasing number of shopping queries from mobile phones. Timberland is one of the first Google Commerce for Search customers, and claims that since its mobile-optimized website launched, mobile sales have grown 20 times faster than desktop sales.
- LinkedIn Acquires IndexTank
Linked acquired hosted search service IndexTank this week, which will integrate its technology with LinkedIn’s search. IndexTank’s real-time search technology already powers many searches, such as Reddit.com, Twitvid and Spoke. Currently, LinkedIn claims that it will release key components of IndexTank as open source software, which will allow others to run the IndexTank API.
- Microsoft and Skype Seal the Deal
Microsoft finally made it official with video/chat software application provider Skype after being in talks to buy the company since May. The software giant finally closed the deal and purchased Skype for $8.5 billion. For now, Skype will operate as an independent division, with their offices and employees remaining and over time it will be integrated into Microsoft products like Xbox Live and Windows Live.
- Facebook Friendly
Facebook, the reigning King of social media, recently acquireded the startup friend.ly, the company behind a popular social question-and-answer service featured on the social network. Friend.ly will still exist and operate as a standalone service on the site, while the company’s team will begin focusing on new projects at Facebook.