LinkedIn Gives Company Pages a Facelift

LinkedIn is busy these days. They are almost the anti-Facebook, quietly growing and morphing as their stock climbs. I don’t know the fundamentals behind their stock but their turn from privately held to publicly traded company has been a much more pleasant ride than their social cousins at Facebook.

Yesterday was a day of announcements for the service. First was the real-time update feature addition and the updating of their mobile apps. Why stop there though? They also updated their company pages. Here is a look-see.

Amazon Goes After Apple with Updated Kindles

While Apple builds the buzz over their up-coming press conference, Amazon has slipped in with some big news of their own. CEO Jeff Bezos met with the press this morning to unveil a new line of Kindle Fires and a new Kindle e-reader and what I saw made me weak in the knees. I love my iPad but Amazon’s Kindle Fire HD is calling me with one feature I’ve been craving for a long while.

For the first time, Amazon shouldered its way into Apple’s space with a high end Kindle Fire HD model that retails for $499. This is well above the price points they were hitting and seems to go against the grain of Bezos statement:

“We want to make money when people use our devices, not when they buy our devices.”

Search Engine Smackdown: Bing Invites You to Bing It On!

Bing has always been aggressive and creative with their promotional strategies. They’ve run clever, pop culture commercials, paid out rewards for loyal usage, and they’ve even forced actors to use their search engine on TV as if it was a natural part of the show (sigh.)

Now, they have a new tactic. They’re out to prove that they really are the better search engine with a blind test they call “Bing It On!”

When I first saw the press release on it, I laughed over the concept of a “blind” search engine study. Well, Bing, if I can’t see the results, you have a 50-50 chance of coming out on top!

Google Maps Shows Off As Apple Prepares for iOS 6 Without It

With the imminent release of the iPhone 5 and iOS 6 looming Google is working to remind everyone of just how powerful Google Maps is. It will need to since it will no longer be powering the Maps app when Apple’s iOS 6 is finally rolled out next week with the iPhone 5 (at least that’s the rumor).

From the Google Lat Long blog we get

Maps keep our spirit of adventure alive by making it easier for us to explore the world around us. That’s why today, we’re making Google Maps even better with new turn-by-turn navigation with traffic conditions, biking directions, Map Maker and new Street View imagery in more locations globally. These improvements are part of our ongoing effort to build the best map we can — one that’s comprehensive, accurate and easy for you to use.

LinkedIn Adds Real-Time Notifications and Updates Mobile Apps

LinkedIn is like the kid on a baseball who isn’t very flashy but contributes in a real way and on a consistent basis. You don’t really notice the kid because he is not the fastest player or the most powerful hitter. Instead, he makes few errors, stays humble, knows his role and produces. That’s the role that LinkedIn plays in the social space. Not flashy but effective at what it does.

Part of that consistency has been upgrades that it makes on a pretty regular basis. They are not the big splash but they are good. Like yesterday’s real-time updates (which is the screenshot below).

From the LinkedIn blog we learn

The Written Word Stumbles as Photo Sharing Tops Link List on Twitter

Now that the whole world is walking around with a digital camera in their pocket, photo sharing is booming. According to Diffbot, photos are the most commonly shared item on Twitter.

Just look at this graph from eMarketer. There’s nothing coming close to images, including articles. Think about it. Twitter already reduces our thoughts to 140 characters, now bit by bit, images are replacing all the words. As a writer, I find that frightening, but I’ll bet the photographers are shouting, it’s about time!

Twitter usage is around 27.7 million right now but eMarketer thinks it will cross 30 million next next year. A nice number, but that’s still only 13% of the population and 16% of all internet users.

Smartphone App and Browser Usage Cross the Half-Way Point

It’s a real sign of the times when you can’t watch an hour of television without seeing a couple of cell phone or tablet commercials. These handy-dandy devices are no longer a luxury item, they’re rapidly becoming as common as that TV you’re seeing the ads on.

comScore just released their latest set of numbers in the July 2012 MobiLens report. Nothing startling, but there are a few interesting items to note.

Let’s start with the kinds of phones everyone is using.

Samsung and LG still rule for pure number of devices in hand but look at Apple. They’re the only one showing an appreciable rise in sales. Last year, they only had 9.5% of the business, coming in second to last after RIM. (Notice RIM is now off the chart.) Apple has now topped Motorola and is closing in on LG. Think they can best them by the end of this year? With more Apple announcements coming our way in about a week, it’s possible.