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Net Briefs - September 2013

Posted on 7.31.2013

Website Magazine editors and contributors keep their digital fingers on the virtual pulse of the technology industry. Each month within the pages of Website Magazine's print edition, we feature a few of the most important developments - those which carry the potential to positive (or negatively) influence the success of Internet professionals.

Review six recent 'Net Briefs from Website Magazine's September '13 issue below now and make sure to access our daily coverage on Website Magazine's 'Net Features channel every day!



Google’s Product Listing Ads have changed the digital face of advertising — at least for mass merchants. AdGooroo’s list of the top-20 Google PLA advertisers by impressions placed Walmart in the number-one spot with 408 million PLA impressions. And, even though lesser-known brands like health and beauty supplier and industrial product supplier (whose sister companies include Tiger Direct and Comp USA) made the list, the disparity between the number of impressions from companies in the top half of the list compared to the bottom portion were in the hundreds of millions. For more information, visit


In an update that comes straight out of the Twitter handbook, Facebook has announced support for hashtags making it easier for its more than 1 billion users to organize content and follow social memes. This feature is particularly helpful for businesses, because when audiences click on a hashtag, a stream of relevant mentions appear. This allows brands to gain more visibility for posts with relevant content.


In just 12 months since Microsoft acquired Yammer, the enterprise social network has grown by 55 percent to approximately 8 million registered users. In addition, user activity, which is measured by messages, groups and files shared, has roughly doubled year over year. As further evidence of its success, paid networks have grown more than 200 percent in the same period. Microsoft has also begun integrating Yammer into Office 365, and, according to the company, is planning to integrate social features further into its most widely used business software products and platforms like Office, Dynamics and Skype. Microsoft expects these integrations to lead to greater connections between products and better experiences for users.


Local review site Yelp is helping businesses drive real-world conversions with its new transaction platform that enables users to place orders directly from a Yelp listing. The Yelp Platform is being introduced one category at a time, starting with food delivery and pickup. Consumers can currently order food directly from select restaurants supported by and Eat24. Although the feature currently only works with a few restaurants, it will eventually be available across the U.S. Plus, other categories will be added to Yelp Platform in the coming months — just another way local platforms like Yelp are driving conversions.


A new Janrain study reveals that when it comes to social login, Google is the second-most popular option, placing it behind Facebook, yet residing in front of both Twitter and LinkedIn. In Q2 of 2013, 46 percent of audiences logged into sites via Facebook, while 34 percent chose Google. While it is important to note that consumers may be averse to signing into some sites with certain credentials, for example using LinkedIn to sign into a B2C site. Don't underestimate the power, or popularity, of Google as it positions itself firmly in the social landscape.


The death of Google Reader has brought life to Digg and has awakened interest in AOL for 'Net professionals, as the companies have launched replacement feed aggregators, respectively dubbed Digg Reader and AOL Reader. Digg’s service allows users to view content in either list or expanded view, leverage keyboard shortcuts to move between articles, save articles to platforms like Pocket and Instapaper, Digg posts and more. Conversely, AOL’s service enables users to customize their dashboard layouts, organize content with tags and offers an API that allows developers to create their own applications. Digg Reader provides an iOS app, with an Android app expected to roll out within the next few months, while AOL teases that it will also be releasing mobile apps soon.

Editor's Choice: Feedly

Looking for a reliable Google Reader alternative? Check out Feedly one of the Web's most exciting new RSS readers. See what else is should be in your productivity toolbox at

Today's Top Picks for Our Readers:
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