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Net Briefs - July 2013

Posted on 5.31.2013

What's hot, trending and popular on the Web? Each month Website Magazine editors aggregate, curate and publish the most interesting and meaningful stories to your Web success.

Here's what's important to know from the Web world as seen in the July, 2013 issue of Website Magazine:



Google+ in Focus

Several new products and product updates were announced at Google's I/O event for developers in mid-May and some will prove quite essential for Internet professionals. The company introduced improvements to Google Maps including several search improvements, released a streaming music service (Google Music All Access) that competes directly with Pandora and Spotify, retooled its still new Google Now offering, and even managed to find time to rework Google+, as well. Google’s social network has been redesigned to offer a multi-column, responsive layout that emphasizes the activity stream and presents a new feature called related hashtags, which analyze the content of posts to suggest related items.


In an effort to recruit more enterprise customers, Amazon Web Services recently launched a certification program to help individuals delivering cloud-based solutions gain (and demonstrate) proficiency and skill with cloud services on the AWS platform. To be certified, professionals must pass an exam, administered at one of the 750 Kryterion testing centers around the world. The first available exam is for the "AWS Certified Solutions Architect, Associate Level" certification, which tests skills for technical professionals and solutions architects involved in the design and development of applications on AWS. Additional role-based certifications, including certifications for Systems Operations (SysOps) Administrators and Developers, will follow later this year.

Yahoo Ads Go In-Stream

Taking a page right out of the playbooks of social media powerhouses Facebook and Twitter, Yahoo recently announced two new native ad unit formats that will be included within its newly redesigned homepage news feed. The Stream Ads offering will appear to visitors as sponsored posts and will be accessible on desktops, as well as smartphones and tablet devices via the new Yahoo mobile application. Yahoo acknowledged that data gathered from the new formats could be refined and personalized for individual users. The other new ad format from Yahoo is a (more) traditional billboard-style ad that sits atop the front page for an entire day.


According to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, the social networking giant currently has no plans to add an advertising option to Instagram, the image-based social media site that Facebook purchased last year. Right now, Instagram is actually growing faster than Facebook did when it was the same age. Zuckerberg seems to worry that integrating ads and commercializing the product too early could stunt that growth and upset its loyal users. However, while many may appreciate an ad-free Instagram, several big brands are not on board. They are requesting that Facebook start putting ads on the service sooner, rather than later, especially as Facebook begins to beef up its own mobile advertising options.

LinkedIn is Growing Up

As part of its massive redesign project, LinkedIn has announced a handful of upgrades to the site’s profile pages. Users are now able to add images, videos, résumés and presentations to their personal profiles, as well as comments and likes from other users. The enhancements are all part of the social network’s attempts to become one of the Web’s premier destinations for job searching, in addition to its current role as a professional networking tool. Aesthetically, the retooled experience will also help users add a bit of personality to their individual profiles that will more clearly show off their unique skills and experiences through images, videos or presentations that display past accomplishments.


Popular CRM platform Zoho has released a new Card Scanner application for iOS designed to help users save the time it takes to enter contact information manually. Users can automate the whole data entry process by taking a picture of a business card and automatically storing that information into the Zoho CRM SaaS platform or as a contact in Card Scanner. The app can even put a face to a name if a scanned business card includes a Twitter handle, as that user’s profile picture will be integrated as well. Card Scanner is also multilingual and can scan business cards in English, French, Spanish and German. An Android version of the app is coming out soon.

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