Facebook and Securities Fraud?

Seems like Mark Zuckerberg is experiencing a serious dose of ‘when it rains, it pours’ these days. The scrutiny that he and the Facebook bunch is facing for their privacy concerns has become a true thorn in the side of the biggest social networking player on the planet. Many have said that it is unfair to continually put Zuckerberg in the cross hairs but reports of movies being made and more of late has put him in a less than flattering light. I see it as the price of fame and fortune in a world gone silly over any kind of celebrity but that’s just my take.

Google Gearing Up to Fight for AdMob

Although Apple’s conveniently doing all it can to tout iAds, Google may still be facing an inquiry from the FTC as the search giant looks to buy its way into the mobile advertising market. Google announced its acquisition of AdMob six months ago, but it looks like the regulatory committee has its sights on Google as final approval has not been forthcoming.

But Google’s not about to give up. The $750M (in stock) acquisition is that important to the company—or perhaps it’s the reported $700M kill fee built into the agreement, the amount Google will have to pay if the deal doesn’t go through.

Yeah, I’d spring for the mobile advertising company for the extra $50M, too.

Facebook, MySpace Expanding Mobile Offerings

Both MySpace and Facebook are working on pushes to expand their offerings to mobile users—but it looks like they’re heading in opposite directions this time. While MySpace is working on bringing its platform to Android users, Facebook is offering a stripped-down version of its site for those on limited-bandwidth plans.

As announced at Google I/O, the search giant’s developer conference, MySpace will be offering a developer kit to allow Android users to access their MySpace accounts within an app:

The developer kit provides access to login capabilities, meaning that users can login to MySpace without leaving the app.; Status updates, allowing users to update their mood or update their profile; Friends lists; and Photo and video upload functionality. Access to the SDK is free, and is the same tools that MySpace developers use in house to create their own applications.

Is Online Advertising in India on the Upswing?

India. It sits in South Asia, tantalizing you with its 1.18 billion people. You know that with a growing service economy, decent Internet access and a ton of English speakers, there must be opportunities you can cash in on. It turns out you could be right.

Indian portal Rediff.com as just published a press release in which Ajit Balakrishnan, chairman and CEO, states

This past quarter, January-March 2010, has sent signals that the online advertising market in India is starting to recover after nearly three consecutive quarters. Advertisers in the Finance, Education, IT products, Electronics among categories who had stayed away or reduced their online budgets during the past three quarters are now back. This is reflected in our India Online advertisement revenues for the quarter increasing 29% on a year-over-year basis and 15% on a sequential basis. This increase in revenues is despite us foregoing all ads on our home page.

ESPN Joining Social Gaming Party

While I realize that many of our readers are not sports fans (your reactions to some of my sports themed posts in the past are a clear giveaway on that front) I feel it is important to share with you that ESPN is joining the social gaming fray.

Why is it important? As far as brands go, ESPN is one of the strongest ones on the planet. You don’t have to watch SportsCenter to know what ESPN does. It’s just one of those that things that can either make people react with excitement or a full roll of the eyes. Either way, ESPN is a business and everyone knows about it.

So why would a brand that is cemented in the American psyche turn to producing games for social networks like Facebook and others? I suspect it’s because they are smart. Mashable reports

Worldwide Mobile Phone Sales Up 17% in Q1

Whether it’s the real year of mobile or not doesn’t matter much really. Although we like to try to pinpoint these types of ‘movements’ by some magical moment in time where the switch was suddenly turned on it’s not how it happens. What does happen is year over year signs and hints appear saying that shifts are truly taking place and we just slide into a new era of communication regardless of what name we give it.

A study by Gartner shows that in year over year numbers there was increase worldwide in number of mobile phones purchased. In fact that number was up 17%. In these uncertain economic times it is of interest to see what people view as essential beyond the obvious food, clothing and shelter. Apparently, having a mobile phone is pretty high up the food chain.

Yahoo Buys Associated Content and $5 Per Article ‘Journalists’ Celebrate

It looks like Carol Bartz has decided that the way for Yahoo to survive is to add to the proliferation of content that is being produced for the sole purpose of garnering search traffic. That ‘content’ is often just glorified keyword wrappers that do little to actually help a reader but plenty to sucker them into an advertising trap. Oh happy day. The deal for Yahoo to purchase the content factory Associated Content was reported yesterday and is said to be for $100 million. Just imagine how many $5 dollar articles can be sourced with that kind of money!

Associated Content is well-known for its producing content on the cheap. Some might even say it is infamous for its concern for high quality ‘reporting’. Advertising Age reports