Newscast Media SAN JOSE—Google has made further concessions to address the
European Union (EU)’s anti-trust concerns over the world’s dominant search engine’s
online search and search advertising technologies, the European Commission said on
In its “improved commitments” proposal, Google has pledged that whenever it
promotes its own specialized search services on its web page, the services of three
rivals will also be displayed in a way that is clearly visible to users and comparable to
the way in which Google displays its own services, the Commission said.
The principle will apply not only for Google’s existing specialized search services, but
also to changes in the presentation of those services and for future services.
The latest anti-trust pledge from Google is a second improved offer aimed to address
regulatory concerns of the Commission that launched an anti-trust probe on Google’s
business practices more than three years ago. CONTINUE TO FULL ARTICLE>>
by Marc Bennetts
Newscast Media SAN JOSE — If you’ve ever used Picnik.com, a quick online solution for picture editing in the absence of photo editing programs such as Adobe Photoshop then you might understand how convenient and practical it is to have such online application.
Google, however, will shut this service down on April 19, 2012, in addition to other less known products such as:
- Google Message Continuity; an E-mail backup product for businesses.
- Needlebase; a data management platform, (June 1).
- Social Graph API; info. about public connections for developers, (April 20).
- Urchin–online web analytics, (March 31).
The criteria Google is using to make such decisions lies in “taking a hard look at products that replicate other features,” as Google’s blog reads, and seeing if they “haven’t achieved the promise we had hoped for or can’t be properly integrated into the overall Google experience.”
As for Picnik, acquired by Google in 2010, Google will have the Picnik team “continue creating photo-editing magic across Google products.” Google stated that users who previously subscribed for the premium service, the company will send a full refund in the coming weeks.
These changes may have caused a little bit more than frowns among numerous active users to which Dave Girouard, VP of Product Management at Google stated, “Changing products that people love is hard too. But we’re excited to focus on creating a beautifully simple, intuitive user experience across Google -an experience that will change the lives of millions of people.”
YouTube is also announcing that the older profiles will automatically be converted to the new, more annoying layout. These changes will automatically take effect on March 1, 2012, and users who already haven’t switched to the newer layout will then have to reorganize their videos.
Newscast Media AUSTIN, Texas — Search giant Google may be late when it comes to the social network scene but its new site, Google+, is growing much more rapidly than Facebook, Myspace and Twitter did in their early days, technology experts said Tuesday.
Andrew Lipsman, vice president for industry analysis at tracking firm comScore, said Google+, which was launched by the Internet search and advertising giant on June 28, had 25 million unique visitors as of July 24, making it the fastest growing social network ever.
During a panel discussion on Google+ hosted by Wedbush Securities, Lipsman said it took other social networks much longer to reach 25 million users: 22 months for Myspace, 33 months for Twitter and 37 months for Facebook.
“Obviously, this is a very strong growth trajectory,” Lipsman said. He cautioned, however, that Google “has a really large user base it can build off of” with its one billion users worldwide. And it still has a “really long way to go to be competitive with Facebook,” Lipsman said.
“Google+ is the fastest by a long shot but it’s important to realize that fastest may not always be best,” he said. “Sometimes, that slow build can lead to a strong network effect that pays long-term dividends.”
Most Google+ users — 6.4 million — are in the United States, followed by India with 3.6 million, Canada with 1.1 million, Britain with 1.1 million and Germany with over 920,000, according to comScore.
Lipsman said many Google+ users appear to also be users of Google’s email program Gmail and display a “very strong early adopter profile.”
He said the ratio of men to women is about two to one and that 60 percent of Google+ users are between the ages of 18 and 34.
In the United States, the highest numbers of Google+ users are in the tech-savvy cities of San Francisco and Austin, Texas, he said.
Steve Rubel, executive vice president for global strategy and insights at public relations firm Edelman, said Facebook is not “vulnerable immediately” to Google.
“I don’t see (Google+) taking significant share from Facebook in the next 18 months,” Rubel said. At the same time, “what we have seen is that over the years there’s never been a social network or community that has had significant staying power,” he said. “There’s always a shuffling every two or three years, a changing of the guard.
“We saw it with Myspace,” he said of the one-time social networking leader that has been eclipsed by Facebook and hemorrhaging users ever since. Rubel said Google was compelled to try its hand at social networking because Facebook is restricting the access of its search engine to Facebook content.
“What’s happening is more content is being created behind Facebook’s walls than ever before and a lot of that content is invisible to Google,” he said.
Rubel said it was conceivable that more content would be invisible to them in five or 10 years than what the search engine can see today when created on Facebook or inside apps.
In unveiling Google+, Google stressed the ability it gives users to separate online friends and family into different “Circles,” or networks, and to share information only with members of a particular circle. One of the criticisms of Facebook is that updates are shared with all of one’s friends unless a user has gone through a relatively complicated process to create separate Facebook Groups.
Newscast Media — Google announced that it has launched a blog geared toward small businesses. Today Google wrote, “We’ve received fantastic feedback about these posts, and realized that there’s a healthy appetite among small- and medium-sized business owners who want to know all about the latest web tools and tricks. Fortunately, we have lots more to share with you, too!”
The Google Small Business Blog will be a “central hub that brings together all the information about our products, features and projects of specific interest to the small business community,” Google wrote.
Rather than having to sleuth around in many different locations for details about templates for creating video ads on YouTube, tips for your employees using Gmail or how to respond to the business reviews on your Place Page, you can find all of this helpful information on the Google Small Business blog.