New Chrome-Like Look to Google Toolbar for IE

Google sure knows how to make the best of a situation. While Internet Explorer continues to lose ground in the browser wars, Google has added features to their Toolbar 7 for Internet Explorer that can make an IE user’s Google experience look a lot like as The Next Web puts it, a mini-Chrome.

The biggest introduction to the toolbar is Google Instant. Here is Google’s video overview from their blog post

The bottom line here is that despite the once huge advantage that Microsoft had to make all of their IE users make Bing their search engine of choice, they are losing that battle as well as their browser market share continues to erode. Now, Google is making their toolbar act so much like Chrome that maybe people will want to give it a try. This does not bode well for Microsoft no matter how you try to spin it.

Where Do Consumers Go for Product Reviews? Not Social Media

Going online to research a product before you buy it is something nearly everyone does at least a few times a year. People look up everything online, especially high-tech items, clothing, cars, and even DVDs and CDs. And you can bet that what they read online is influencing which item they buy and who they buy it from.

But where do people look for information? Lightspeed Research has the answer.

As you can see, social networking lands at the bottom of the list, which doesn’t bode well for all those brand “likes” on Facebook.

Naor Chazan, Marketing Director, Americas at Lightspeed Research says,

“Despite their role in our digital lives, social networks don’t yet seem to be the place where Word of Mouth is delivering its full power.”

Google Makes Move to Use Mobile IDs for Tracking

According to ClickZ, Google is getting ready to offer behaviorally targeted ads on their network of iOS and Android applications. To do so, they’ll have to begin tracking the “device identifier” which are unique to every mobile phone.

The article states that other companies already tap into this mobile-app cookie system, but Google has been reluctant to go there due to privacy issues. Apparently, they’re reluctant no more.

A Google spokesperson told ClickZ,

“Over time, we’ll be able to enable things like frequency capping, spam filtration, improved conversion measurement and serving ads based on topics of interest, all of which will help us display the most useful in-app ads; minimize the number of irrelevant in-app ads shown; and improve in-app advertising for users, advertisers and developers.”

Google Map Maker Rolled Out in US

Google Maps is pretty interesting to watch and sometimes difficult to keep track of for those of us who have other things to do in life. Today, the Google Lat Long blog tells about Map Maker which is a way for people to help Google build out their map experience with local information that end users feel is important. Check out the video for the Map Maker overview.

The blog post goes on to say

Today we’re opening the map of the United States in Google Map Maker for you to add your expert local knowledge directly. You know your neighborhood or hometown best, and with Google Map Maker you can ensure the places you care about are richly represented on the map. For example, you can fix the name of your local pizza parlor, or add a description of your favorite book store.

Twitter to Take TweetDeck?

It’s no wonder that Twitter has told developers that the future is not in developing third party apps to manage Twitter activities. It’s no wonder because it looks like Twitter is about to buy TweetDeck for about $50 million which is reportedly $20 million more than Twitter’s sudden soon to be rival UberMedia was offering.

SAI reports

We had asked sources close to the situation about the TweetDeck-UberMedia deal a few weeks ago, and we were told both companies were still talking.

Apparently Twitter saw an opportunity to swoop in and trump the deal.

Why would Twitter want to get TweetDeck away from UberMedia?

TweetDeck is one of the more popular independent third party Twitter applications out there. It accounts for around 13% of all tweets sent out, and is generally the preferred app for Twitter “power users.”

Facebook Courts Ad Agencies

Facebook has gotten real big, real fast. Apparently they have gotten big enough organically that are turning some of their sights to the industries that can help them with the application of the platform. It’s more than just numbers when you go after building relationships with ad agencies. Now it’s about money.

By deciding to educate the professionals working on the behalf of brands through the Facebook Studio, Facebook is doing the right thing by courting the group that will likely take Facebook to the next level from a marketing tool perspective. Of course, that doesn’t mean they will do the best or most creative work but ad agencies own the relationships with major brands and major brands mean cash.

AdAge reports

Geolocation Users Want Connection Not Coupons

We know that social media users love their coupons and deals, but according to a new study by White Horse, this is not their primary interest when using a geo-location based social network tool.

Take a look at the chart below. You’ll see the “connecting to other people I know or could meet” was the primary reason for using a geolocation service. 41% of the people chose that answer with the next highest (21%) going with “Finding a place liked by people I trust.” Getting discounts and winning virtual prizes rated very low on the scale.