Mobile Internet: A Necessity or a Luxury?

A recent Nielsen study suggests that mobile Internet is no longer just a luxury, it’s a necessity. “The mobile platform is becoming more and more a part of people’s lives,” said Jeff Herrmann, vice president of mobile media for Nielsen. “The primary use of these services is communication and convenience.”

The study reports that 71% of U.S. consumers plan to use some sort of mobile data service daily. I’m actually really surprised that number is so high. Even more surprising is that 29% of  non-users plan to engage mobile Internet services over the next two years.

What exactly are users using mobile Internet for?

  • 71% are using data services to connect to the Internet
  • 61% are using data services for email
  • 56% are using data services for multimedia messaging services

A Little Bird Tells Us a Twitter Search Update is Coming

It’s been more than four months since Twitter co-founder Biz Stone revealed new features that would soon come to the micro-blogging service. Today we learn that Twitter is ready to start–or "commencing to begin" as one of my in-laws likes to say–adding "search" front and center on a users’ homepage.

…we’ve placed Search and Trends into the signed-in home pages of a limited set of accounts to get a better sense of how it works for folks before we release the feature completely into the wild. Most people will not see this test, just a small, random subset.

Here’s how it looks:

What I find puzzling is how Twitter approaches the roll-out of new features–there’s just no method to its madness. There are so many great features, that users practically beg for, but we’re often left with either a feast, or in this case, a famine.

Yahoo Starts to Include Images and Video in Search Ads

According to the New York Times, Yahoo plans to announce today that they will be including video and images in their paid search ads. Traditionally, Yahoo’s main source of ad revenue came from display ads but the shift in that market had an effect on them in the 4th quarter of last year when display ad revenue was down 2% but search was up 11%.

We all know that Yahoo is looking for a piece of the pie that Google has at the parent’s table while Yahoo is left at the kid’s table looking for scraps regarding paid search revenue. This effort shows that there is still some fight in them. Will it work? Who knows these days.
Below is an example cited in the article for Pedigree dog food.

LinkedIn Traffic Continues to Grow

By David Lindop

It’s pretty rough out there in the job market at the moment. Budgets are getting tighter as credit is harder to secure, and many companies are weathering the storm by locking down recruitment and laying off staff. Perhaps this goes some way to explaining why the professional networking site LinkedIn has seen its U.S. unique visits shoot up by an impressive 22% over the past month according the all-knowing comScore.

6.3 million unique visits in December 2008 rocketed to 7.7 million in January 2009—driving up the average time on site by over 100%.

Let that sink in for a minute—Americans spent double the amount of time revising their resumes and networking with professional contacts than the previous month!

Google Analytics Integrates Telephone Leads and Live Chats

The Google Analytics team gave out advice on how to track telephone leads and live chats using Google Analytics in a blog post today.

Google teams up with Mongoose Metrics to allow users to track offline phone calls. Mongoose Metrics provides toll free numbers extremely cheap. GA is able to track calls to the toll free number by assigning that number to a hidden web page on your site containing your GA tracking code. Jeff Gillis from the GA team explains how it works:

When a phone call to the tracking number is connected, the technology will place a web browser visit to your hidden tracking web page and in this way insert the phone call event back into your Google Analytics account. Each phone call generates a unique visit which is clearly labeled inside of Analytics

Boring Couple Lose Google Street View Lawsuit; Go Back to Being….Boring

It seems the Boring couple who sued Google for $25,000–claiming Street Views invaded their privacy–will have to return to a life of obscurity. They just lost their suit.

I know we’ve already picked on them for a) their name and b) filing a public lawsuit to protect their privacy, but it appears the U.S. District Court for Western Pennsylvania agreed that the couple’s suit was ridiculous, stating the Borings "failed to state a claim under any count."

Let’s set aside for one second the irony of the Borings going public to protect their privacy. As CNET highlights, there’s a somewhat scary statement buried in Google’s response to the lawsuit.

"Today’s satellite-image technology means that…complete privacy does not exist," Google said in its response to the Borings’ complaint.

Facebook Does an About Face

Yielding to pressure from it seems like just about everyone, Facebook is saying that it will make facebook1changes to the recent changes in its Terms of Service (TOS) (in other words going back to how it was). The WSJ covers the ‘event’ in their online edition.

The original change was hammered hard in the blogosphere and traditional media outlets. As can happen with news of this nature its rapid spread and the building intensity was enough to have Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg post on his blog:

Going forward, we’ve decided to take a new approach towards developing our terms. We concluded that returning to our previous terms was the right thing for now. As I said yesterday, we think that a lot of the language in our terms is overly formal and protective so we don’t plan to leave it there for long.