Google Promoting Chrome via YouTube

CNET reports that there is a Chrome sighting over on YouTube. Google recently began showing display and overlay ads on YouTube, and now seems to be pushing their own product line. 

I think this raises a few questions as to Google’s 2009 objectives:

  1. Is Google going to put a greater focus on promoting their own products like Chrome? 
  2. At what cost is Google willing to promote their products? Technically it is “free” for them to promote on YouTube, but with every Google ad they show they miss the opportunity to make money off of someone’s ad.

CNET also reports that Chrome is being advertised on the Facebook Scramble Game.

So what’s Google saying about all this?

Facebook Twice as Big as MySpace?

At the rate Facebook has been growing these past two months, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that Facebook gets more traffic than MySpace. comScore’s latest report, however, claims that not only is Facebook bigger than MySpace, it’s twice as big!

Facebook vs MySpace

This comScore chart shows that in November, Facebook began pulling ahead of MySpace thanks to their 200 million unique visitors that month. Caroline McCarthy from CNET highlights a statement from MySpace regarding comScore’s findings:

We are laser focused on building a sustainable global business which we measure by profits and revenue–not just eyeballs. In a tough economic climate, our international revenue is up 30 percent year over year and we continue to focus on those markets with the strong monetization opportunities.

Do Fake Viral Videos Hurt More Than They Help?

With the rise in popularity of creating fake viral videos to promote products, we have to start wondering if they do more harm than good. This is a question Sarah Perez recently asked over on ReadWriteWeb.

Sarah presents the latest case of viral hoaxing, featuring a blonde woman claiming to be looking for the person she met in a cafe the other day. She establishes a connection with the viewer by talking about how she was drawn to him, but not in a creepy way. She is looking to return the jacket she left behind, and is asking for him to email her on the account she setup and gives out in the video.

The real purpose of the video is to create awareness for the jacket which is sold by the creator of the video, Witchery menswear.

Google Introduces Preferred Sites

In an effort to move more and more towards personalized results, Google began testing a new feature called “Preferred Sites” yesterday.

The idea behind Preferred Sites is that you can tell Google which sites you trust most and want to appear more often in your search results. Google will also recommend sites to include in your list based on your search history.

Google’s help page for Preferred Sites explains:

The preferred sites feature lets you set your Google Web Search preferences so that your search results match your unique tastes and needs. Fill in the sites you rely on the most, and results from your preferred sites will show up more often when they’re relevant to your search query.

Google Preferred Sites

Are Internet Threats to Minors Overblown?

A new study from the Internet Safety Technical Task Force (ISTTF) suggests that Internet threats faced by minors are overblown. According to the study, Internet and social networking sites aren’t as dangerous as we all think they are. Clearly Chris Hansen from NBC’s To Catch a Predator needs to give them a call.

I really don’t understand the merit this study has (or the point of it, for that matter). The report says, “Minors are not equally at risk online. Those who are most at risk often engage in risky behaviors and have difficulties in other parts of their lives.” I feel like we need Seth and Amy to break into a “Really?!?” session.

Since they’re not here, I’ll do it for them!

AOL Refocuses, Creates Two New Divisions

The New AOLIt seems like just yesterday I was using AOL for all of my Internet needs. Now as AOL continues to hang on by tooth and nail, they are forming to new divisions: People Networks and MediaGlow.

The People Networks division is pretty straight forward. Its primary focus will be AOL’s media properties Bebo and AOL Instant Messenger (does anyone still use a single IM client?).

AdWeek reports that the MediaGlow division will focus on the niche properties that AOL owns, like AOL Health and TMZ. AOL claims that these sites are what set them apart from their rivals Yahoo and MSN. I suppose they gave up on trying to catch Google.

EVP, and now MediaGlow President, Bill Wilson says:

Yahoo Has Eyes on Internet TV

Yahoo is finally doing what so many of us have been begging them to do: something Google hasn’t already done. According to BusinessWeek, Yahoo is working with Intel and television makers to bring TV widgets to home viewing.

Yahoo made the announcement last week at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Yahoo and Intel announced a range of televisions and related products that would be loaded with the software, in addition to hardware partners and TV-friendly sites.

So what type of widgets can you expect? Have you ever found yourself sitting in front of your TV, your laptop on your lap as you attempt to watch LOST while answering emails and twittering about the latest twist? Imagine the ease of doing all of those things right at your TV.