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Net Briefs - August 2015

Posted on 8.02.2015

Microsoft Leaves the Ad Game

Under the vision of CEO Satya Nadella, Microsoft is changing course - partnering with AOL to give the company control over its display ads division for the Microsoft portfolio across nine markets, including Brazil, France and the U.S. As part of the 10-year deal, Bing will power searches conducted on starting Jan. 1 (replacing Google). Further leaving the ad game behind, AppNexus will become Microsoft's exclusive programmatic technology and sales partner in 10 European markets.

Adobe Loves Stock Photos

Adobe is putting its Jan. 2015 Fotolia acquisition to good use, as the powerhouse expanded its portfolio with a service called Adobe Stock. The stock photo service provides 40 million royalty-free photos, illustrations and graphics. While accessible as a stand-alone service, designers are able to purchase photos (as part of a monthly package or individual downloads) directly within many Adobe products, like Photoshop CC. Due to the product integration, designers can even work on watermarked images until the purchase is approved. Once bought, all previous changes will be applied to the purchased image automatically within select Adobe design products.


Marketers still having trouble identifying a return on investment (ROI) for their brands' social initiatives are not alone. In fact, data from Simply Measured's 2015 "State of Social Marketing" report reveals that 60 percent of respondents identify ROI as their greatest social media marketing challenge. Despite this, the same report indicated that social media will account for 23 percent of marketers' total budgets by 2020.

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AWS Bolsters its Mobile Lineup

Through two separate announcements, Amazon Web Services (AWS) revealed its new Amazon API Gateway and AWS Device Farm. The Amazon API Gateway is a fully managed service for developing mobile and Web application backends that is able to handle all tasks associated with accepting and processing daily API calls, including traffic management and access control. The AWS Device Farm is an app testing service that enables mobile developers to test Android and Fire OS apps on real, physical phones and tablets.

Online Shoppers Up the Ante

Sixty-eight percent of U.S. consumers are shopping online at least once per month according to a recent study from Walker Sands Communications. What's more, 28 percent of these consumers make Web purchases at least once a week, indicating that consumers are becoming more comfortable with shopping online.

Rethinking CPC on Facebook

Facebook updated the way it measures cost-per-click (CPC) ads on its network in hopes of helping advertisers better understand how their campaigns perform against their objectives. Previously, CPC was measured as any click taken within an ad unit, such as a like, comment, share or click to a website. With the update, however, Facebook will measure clicks related to ad objectives, such as a click to visit another website or a click to install an app.


Pinterest's buyable pins make their debut:

Bing gives its video search design a makeover:

Mobile commerce is booming:

Twitter tests new shopping features:

Time to consider username and password alternatives:


See what has the 'Net community all abuzz with Website Magazine's #WebTechWatch series, a weekly roundup available online profiling both emerging and established technologies and some of the most useful solutions for today's Web workers. If you have a digital product or service you think deserves a mention, tweet @WebsiteMagazine with the hashtag #WebTechWatch.

+ Mentia: Insights and recommendations for social media content

+ ZenCastr: High-fidelity, Web-based podcasting platform for site owners

+ Flutter: Set up recurring tweets for dynamic content from the Web

+ Relais: Manage, control and optimize AWS instances

+ MapFig: An open-source mapping tool for websites

+ Coverr: Free videos for use in homepage backgrounds

+ Testfire (Editor's Pick): Get screen video and app logs for every iOS and Android bug. Push issues to JIRA, GitHub, Pivotal Tracker, Trello and FogBugz.

Today's Top Picks for Our Readers:
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