Facebook: 1 in 10 Ticker Stories Could be Ads

Facebook has found a way to put more ads in front of more people. Why is that a bad thing?

The latest uproar involves Facebook’s move to include “sponsored stories” in the home page Ticker. The Ticker, which I still don’t have, is made to quickly deal with all of the boring notifications generated by your friends when they do something:

Susan bought a duck in Farmville. Grant listened to “Don’t Stop Believing.” Natalie commented on “Cute Puppy Plays with Baby” video.

Now, in addition to those updates, you’ll see things like Andrew, Carl and Corky like Triscuts – Sponsored.

In other words, more information that you could live without.

Marketers Look for an Alternative to the Holiday Hype

I love a bargain, but frankly, it’s only Wednesday and I’m already tired of hearing about Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals. I feel like I’m standing in the middle of a huge room with a 1,000 people around me, all shouting for my attention.

50% off! Free shipping! Gift with purchase! Our lowest prices of the year! Door open at 4 AM! (And worst of all) Doors never close!

As the LA Times says, Black Thursday is replacing Black Friday as more stores open for business on Thanksgiving. Walmart, CVS, Toys R Us, and here’s Old Navy proudly offering $10 off if you shop on turkey day.

It’s enough to make me want to pay full price.

Google Continues to Slim Down by Dropping More Offerings

Google continues on its year round spring cleaning as it decides to shutter more products and services.

I guess much of this can be contributed to what some might say is the “20% bloat”. The famous “20% time” that Google allows its people to work on anything they want for 20 percent of their work time has spawned winners and losers. Makes one wonder just how valuable that time is. Wouldn’t it be cool if Google simply concentrated on perfecting the existing REALLY important things they have and do (search, Google+, Apps, Gmail, local, mobile etc etc) so we could see just how good the company could be rather than the disparate pieces it currently is that Larry Page is running around cleaning up after?

Bing Uses Holiday Classic for Ads

Normally, there is not a lot of Bing news around these parts. This isn’t really news either but rather a little more insight into where all the money Microsoft dumps into online might be going (to the tune of losing over $2B last year) as they use a familiar group of characters for a holiday themed ad.

<a href='http://video.msn.com/?mkt=en-us&#038;vid=34c44600-6f0f-49b4-a0da-1d796871f2b9&#038;src=SLPl:embed::uuids' target='_new' title='Bing Originals: Bumble-Less'>Video: Bing Originals: Bumble-Less</a>

Will 2012 Be the Year of the App?

The numbers vary from day to day, and source to source, but best guess is that Apple has around 500,000 apps in the store. Android Market has approximately 300,000 active apps and the Windows Marketplace has 40,000. That’s a lot of apps.

According to the Millennial Media Mobile Mix for October, Music and Entertainment is now the number one category of apps. This is up over last year, when the category came in 4th and 5th. (They used to be counted as two separate categories.)

Last year, Games held the number one spot but have dropped to number 2, kicking Mocial down to 4th place. Holding steady at number 3 is Communications.

Millennial asked developers about their app plans for 2012 and here’s what they had to say:

LivingSocial Makes a Big Deal About Black Friday

Every day, LivingSocial offers heavily discounted prices on local restaurants, event tickets and services. On Black Friday, they’re doing away with the zip code, to present a list of national deals that they hope will make the holidays merrier for both their customers and their marketing partners.

Among the LivingSocial Black Friday deals are $25 for $50 worth of accessories at Verizon, $10 for $20 at OfficeMax, and Hearst magazine subscriptions for only $5.

Keeping in the holiday spirit, they’re also offering matching donations for Toys for Tots and Sketchers will donate a pair of shoes to charity for every one of their $20 for $40 vouchers sold.

On Cyber Monday, LivingSocial is sticking with the online theme, offering national deals on top internet sites. $25 for $50 at Bluefly.com, $20 for $40 at Red Envelope, and my favorite $10 for $20 worth of Skype credit.

Google News Now Spotlights Some +1’d Content

Google keeps inching its way toward the +1 being a go to social signal as much as a Facebook Like is. There is still a long way to go but as these +1’s get more integrated into existing Google features they get a little more juice.

The latest is the opportunity for things that have been +1’d by a Gmail contact or someone from a Google+ circle to show up in the spotlight section of Google News.

The blog post tells us

Over the past few months, myriad sites across the web (including Google News) have adopted the +1 button to help start conversations. But there hasn’t been an easy way for signed-in users to see what news articles your friends are enjoying — until now.