Twitter Rolling Out Retweets, Rolling Over Trends Spam

Remember Twitter’s plans to make “retweeting” an official function?

Sure you do, the mock-ups looked like this:

Well, Twitter just announced the following:

We’ve just activated a feature called retweet on a very small percentage of accounts in order to see how it works in the wild. Retweet is a button that makes forwarding a particularly interesting tweet to all your followers very easy. In turn, we hope interesting, newsworthy, or even just plain funny information will spread quickly through the network making its way efficiently to the people who want or need to know.

So keep your eyes peeled, because you might be one of the lucky ones!

PS. If you’re not seeing the retweet option, Twitter has a consolation prize for you. It’s cleaning up the spam in trending topics.

All Your eCommerce Are Belong to Google

Google CrownI think every single one of us could share a frustrating online shopping experience, especially one about trying to find a product you know a retailer offers, but doesn’t show up in their search results. Google wants to make it easier for all of us with their new enterprise offering, Google Commerce Search.

To participate, you submit all your data to Google Merchant Center and Google Product Search (via data feeds, direct uploads or the API), and then customize the look and feel of your search engine with Google. Although Google doesn’t mention this in the documentation, I can only assume you have to do something to incorporate the Commerce Search into your site (probably replacing your old search engine). (Oh, and PS, it starts at $50k/yr.)

Google Falls Short for MySpace

myspaceThere years ago, Google and MySpace signed a search deal. Google agreed to provide web, vertical and internal search and contextual ad sales for MySpace and other Fox Interactive Media properties and pay them $900M (guaranteed as long as Fox met its traffic requirements) in shared advertising revenue over the lifetime of the deal. But it looks like this year, the last of the deal, Google has fallen short.

But, says MySpace execs and owner Rupert Murdoch, that’s because Fox has failed to meet its traffic requirements. Meaning traffic is down on MySpace, just a few short years after they fell into the “Trough of Disillusionment” in the hype cycle (translation: the MSM turned on them).

New Twitter Notifications Save Index Finger Blisters

blisterIf you’ve ever suffered a blister on your index finger, from constantly clicking the “home” or “refresh” button on Twitter.com, I have good news for you!

This:

Screen shot 2009-11-04 at 9.25.44 PM

Is coming to your Twitter homepage. According to Twitter:

We’re starting a limited test of notifications on twitter.com for when you have new tweets. So if one of the folks you follow has tweeted since you loaded your homepage, you’ll get a little notice saying “1 new tweet” that, when clicked, will display the new content.

Along with the recent launch of Twitter Lists, this seems to be yet another tactic to get Twitter users to stay engaged. Something that others have suggested is starting to drop off:

Add Your Own News Topics to Google News

Screen shot 2009-11-04 at 9.05.13 PMGoogle News just added a neat new feature that can help you keep track of news that’s of interest to you, alongside the rest of the day’s regular news item.

Clicking the new “Add a Section” link brinks up the following page that allows you to add pre-programmed news modules, or build your own. When you build your own, you’ll be presented with the following options:

  • Section title: The title of your section. This will appear in your Personalized Google News Homepage.
  • Search terms: Keywords that define your section. Be relevant and creative, and be sure to separate your keywords with a comma. For example, if you’re interested in news about entrepreneurship, you may want to include several phrases such as “startup”, “entrepreneur”, “venture capital” and “innovation.” We make it easier for you to enter these phrases as you type by suggesting related keywords to add.

Google Gives You Fewer Passwords

Data portability is just all the rage these days. Google, Facebook, MySpace, OpenID, et al. have spent years creating services where you can use a single login and password to access email, network or make comments.

Now Google’s taking it one step further with something called “hybrid onboarding.” When you receive an email invitation in a Gmail account to join another service, including Plaxo, Facebook and more, instead of being prompted to create yet another username and password, you’re given the option to sign in with your Google account:

goog hybrid onboard

On the surface, this seems like it might be less secure—after all, isn’t Google sharing your Gmail username and password in this sign up? Not so, Google says:

Google Friend Connect Gets Personal

google angel haloGoogle Friend Connect can help convert any site into a Google-supported social network. In addition to allowing members of your site to send each other private messages, now Google is bringing its personalization home to your site with Friend Connect.

The shared interests that draw people to your site can make it easier for you as a site owner to appeal to them—but not just through your website. Google Friend Connect adds new capabilities for webmasters to communicate with their users in personalized ways, specifically with:

Send custom newsletters: The new “Newsletter” section of your account lets you create, send and manage newsletters. And with the help of “Interests,” you can either send out newsletters to all your subscribers, or send out custom newsletters to different segments of your subscribers, based on the interest responses they submit.