Google Developing “Me Too” Commenting Platform?

Remember the days when we looked to Google as a leading innovator in the online space? We still do to some degree but there is a crowded field of competitors that has been beating Google to the punch in many areas. As a result, the search giant is starting to come off as a “me too!” player as of late with Google+ being the biggest example.

Of course, anything developed to help push the Google+ experience to the world will carry the ring of “me too!” as well. The latest rumblings are that Google is developing a third party commenting platform that would compete against Facebook. This is an interesting development to us here at Marketing Pilgrim since we just moved to the Facebook platform ourselves.

The Next Web reports

Google Now Buying More Ads In Order to Sell More Ads

Google’s move to a more traditional company has been interesting to watch. The began as the nimble new kid on the block that took the Internet by storm by doing what other search engines couldn’t. In its quest to organize the information on the Internet Google has gone through the process of going public, adding oodles of employees, growing at meteoric rates and finally has become public enemy #1 to many. One famous band from Google’s area of the world put it well singing “what a long, strange trip it’s been”.

One last indicator that Google is moving on in its maturation is its increased need to advertise its services. The Wall Street Journal reports

After years of touting the superiority of online advertising, Google Inc. is taking a decidedly different approach to promote itself in areas where its rivals dominate.

Google Play Goes into Hard Sell Mode

Google Play was officially released earlier this month but I only just got my first look at it thanks to the bright red NEW logo in my Google Gmail bar.

I had forgotten about the new initiative, so I clicked the button and was promptly confused.

Is this an entertainment magazine? An online store? A review site? And look, it says Android Apps! I’m an iPhone users so does that mean none of this is for me?

If I was your average consumer, I might have closed the page and moved on. But I’m a journalist, so I decided to research this whole colorful mess. Turns out, this is Google’s new one-stop entertainment shop / cloud service / social sharing site.

FTC Releases Final Consumer Privacy Recommendations

If you have some free time today, the FTC just released a new 112 page report on marketing and consumer privacy that you might find interesting.

The report title is almost as long as the report. It’s called “Protecting Consumer Privacy in an Era of Rapid Change: A Proposed Framework for Businesses and Policymakers.” Note the word “proposed.” This report doesn’t establish any new laws, but they are rather firm in their “suggestions.”

Think of it as a parent who “suggests” that a teen be home at a reasonable hour. They might look the other way if the teen come in after midnight once or twice, but if it becomes a habit . . .

Here’s FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz in the parent role;

Twitter’s Self Serve Ads On a Slow Roll

In the age of “promote first to test the waters then wait until whenever to actually do something” we have the latest entry by Twitter. It has been over a month since Twitter and American Express announced their quest to get 10,000 small businesses to sign up for the program.

Well, today we get a press release, a blog post and a video all promising that things are actually happening finally … but slowly. Here’s the video.

In fact you can still be part of the 10,000 eligible businesses if you want (not getting the response hoped for maybe?). Here’s the press release call for more sign-ups.

American Express is offering $100 in free Twitter advertising to the first 10,000 eligible cardmembers and merchants who participate in this rollout. Companies interested in participating can still register via http://ads.twitter.com/amex.

Pinterest Clarifies Terms of Service, But Does it Matter?

Every major website has a lengthy Terms of Service policy, but how many people actually read them before signing up? Sure, they all check the box saying they did it, but I’d estimate that 98% of those people are lying.

Take Pinterest, the wildfire of the internet world. Their original Terms of Service policy included this:

By making available any Member Content through the Site, Application or Services, you hereby grant to Cold Brew Labs a worldwide, irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, transferable, royalty-free license, with the right to sublicense, to use, copy, adapt, modify, distribute, license, sell, transfer, publicly display, publicly perform, transmit, stream, broadcast, access, view, and otherwise exploit such Member Content only on, through or by means of the Site.

Japanese Court Orders Google to Suspend Autocomplete Feature

Google’s international legal team sure must be hopping these days. Between the European Commission trying to impact the company regarding privacy (at the behest of Google’s competitors no less) and continued privacy concerns in all four corners, Google has its hands full.

Now add to the list some trouble in Japan. A Japanese district court has ordered the search giant to stop using the autocomplete feature on the search engine based on the ruling in a case where a man claims his reputation was damaged by these results.

The Japan Times reports

The Tokyo District Court approved a petition demanding that Google Inc. suspend its autocomplete search feature for Internet browsers after a man alleged that it breached his privacy and got him fired, his lawyer said Sunday.

As one might suspect, Google is not exactly running to flip the off switch on this feature based on this incident. The article goes on to say