Facebook Makes a Deal with App Maker Zynga

Zynga has made some of the most popular apps on Facebook, such as FarmVille with its 75M users. With a total of 239 million monthly active users of their apps, Zynga has a significant proportion of Facebook users hooked. But they just about got unhooked: Zynga and Facebook were in a tense face-off over Facebook’s currency and the site’s cut.

Facebook is moving wholly to the Facebook Credits system, with the network taking a 30% of transactions with apps. A new agreement, announced today, has averted the war. The two companies have finally realized that they are interdependent, though I daresay Zynga needs FB a bit more than FB needs Zynga.

Facebook Remorse: Posting Online Could Cost You Your Job

Like most people in the service industry from time to time, Charlotte waitress Ashley Johnson got a bad tip recently. After a couple took a three hour lunch—forcing her to stay an hour past the end of her shift—and left a $5 tip, she vented on Facebook. A couple days later, her boss called her in. They had her Facebook post and informed her that she’d violated company policies on not making disparaging remarks about customers or casting the restaurant in a negative light.

Johnson was fired.

Foursquare Check Ins Growing Rapidly

While the numbers are nowhere near those of Facebook (really whose are anyway?) foursquare is experiencing some significant jumps in number of check-ins. This is a double-edged sword of sorts though since more and more people are discovering that when they have checked in they have essentially done everything they can do.

The Business Insider tells of the numbers that foursquare is reporting

Foursquare, the hot mobile “check-in” app, has basically doubled in usage over the last two months.
Responding to criticism for Foursquare’s recent downtime, the company said it’s now handling an average 600,000 “check-ins” per day.

That’s basically double the less than 400,000 check-ins per day in late March — just two months ago — and up about 5X from when it hit 1 million check-ins a WEEK in February.

Google Buys VOIP Service That Powers Some Yahoo, AOL Offerings

Google continues to plow forward swallowing up whatever it needs to do whatever it wants. Google will acquire Global IP Solutions Holding which will give it control of the voice over IP (VOIP) engine that sits behind offerings by competitors like Yahoo and AOL. The company makes processing software for voice and video over IP solutions.

If you are Google this is just another day in the world of M & A but for the rest of the world it’s another day in watching Google control just a little more of the things that others need to run their operations. Good for Google but for the others maybe not so much.

ZDNet reports

MySpace Wants to Become Your Privacy Buddy

OK, it’s 2005. Imagine you are the reigning social media champ, MySpace. You are the number one social networking site and you get all the great press. It appears as if there was no way to stop you. You even get purchased for some serious scratch from one of the premier media companies in the world, News Corp. Sure there are some bothersome startups around like those kids over at Facebook but this is a done deal. You are the king of the mountain. What can go wrong?

Fast forward 5 years. You are a social media also ran. You are white knuckling your existence. Those “kids” over at Facebook have not only passed you but they have basically made you obsolete. You are the butt of social media jokes and no self respecting person or company (unless you are promoting music) talks about their “presence” on your site.

Hulu Revamps; Asks Us to Target Ads to Ourselves

Last week, the popular professional video content site Hulu revamped its site and video player. While we’ve noted that Hulu appears to be struggling to support its content through ads alone, they may have hit on a way to net better ad rates: having users target themselves.

Before, users could us a thumbs up/thumbs down button on ads to indicate whether they liked them—but thenew system asks users to tell whether the ad is relevant—a very different question—with the “Ad Tailor”:

Additionally, sometimes Hulu will give you a survey instead of an ad:

Ad Tailor tries to improve ad relevance in another way. Occasionally, when you’re watching a video, we’ll also serve up a single or multi-question survey in place of an advertisement. Answer any single question and we’ll return you to your video immediately, and answer any multiple question survey and we’ll reward you with some ad-free viewing. Answering these questions is always optional, and any responses given will be kept confidential.

Google Actually Apologizes for Collecting Extra Personal Data

(Meanwhile, encrypted search is coming this week.)

Google recently realized they’d inadvertently been drive-by spying on WiFi networks. Part of the data collection was intentional: they meant to collect the SSID info and MAC addresses as they drove by in Street View cars—but they unintentionally went beyond that to collect whatever snippets of information were transmitted over non-passworded networks:

In that blog post [here], and in a technical note sent to data protection authorities the same day, we said that while Google did collect publicly broadcast SSID information (the WiFi network name) and MAC addresses (the unique number given to a device like a WiFi router) using Street View cars, we did not collect payload data (information sent over the network). But it’s now clear that we have been mistakenly collecting samples of payload data from open (i.e. non-password-protected) WiFi networks, even though we never used that data in any Google products.