Rumor Mill: Microsoft & Google Vie for Facebook’s Hand in Marriage

image The New York Post is bold in its prediction that Facebook will announce which suitor will win its hand in marriage, in the next 48 hours.

It seems it’s a two-horse race with Google and Microsoft both vying to buy a 5-10% stake in the social network.

The Post suggest Google’s trying to run-up the price to try and scare off Microsoft. It doesn’t appear to be working…

…Microsoft is hanging tough, despite recent comments by CEO Steve Ballmer that social-networking sites were “a bit faddish.” One source said the Redmond, Wash.-based company is “willing to give any valuation possible” to keep Facebook away from Google.

Google Ads on Facebook: Via Developers

It’s no secret: Facebook’s platform might be the social networking development of the year. But so far, not very many have successfully built careers on developing third party apps for the site. Google might be doing something to change all that.

Venture Beat reports that:

Google is actively recruiting third-party developers with applications on Facebook to run Adsense ads within applications pages, VentureBeat has learned.

These aren’t just any old Adsense ads, according to our sources — developers have been inserting plain-vanilla Adsense into Facebook applications since the developer platform launched in May. Now, Google is specifically building this network for advertisers who want to be on Facebook, and will let advertisers run their ads across all Facebook apps that sign up for it.

GPhone: Low Cost, Low Tech?

The highly-touted, much-rumored GPhone may (or may not) actually be a reality—but it may not take the form we’re all expecting.

Ever since the rumor first began late last year, the GPhone is portrayed as the next-gen iPhone. We all hoped, however, that it would be the cheaper alternative. However, USA Today reports today that the GPhone may go another route: low cost, low tech.

Aside from the most recent infamous leaked pictures (which confirm the low cost/low tech theory), USA Today cites Google’s recent acquisitions of Jaiku and Zingku as evidence of this direction. (Okay, the didn’t really cite the photos. But they should have.)

Platform Possibilities: Bebo, But Not MySpace

More platform rumors are flying this week. After the success of Facebook’s platform, it seems like everyone and their social network is scrambling to get their own version out. We’ve already seen rumors about Google’s and MySpace’s intentions. Today, the MySpace rumors are called into question and Bebo rumors start.

Bebo logoBebo: Assuring Its Dominance
Read/Write Web reports from “a couple reliable sources” and “a Bebo investor” that the most popular social networking site in the UK, Bebo, is working on a developer platform, which it plans to call a “platform API.” RWW notes that with the rumored launches, the “‘platform wars’ will be well and truly on.”

Has Google Started Using AdWords / AdSense Data in Ranking Organic Results?

I would have sworn up and down that Google organic listings operated without any integration of Google AdWords or AdSense data. Every engineer I’ve see talk about the subject has said as much and even the AdWords help documents stated this was the case. That was until now.

Jeremy Mayes noticed that Google has deleted the documentation. It used to be located here. You can still see the page in Archive.org.

Quote from Archive.org Page:

Will participation in AdWords or AdSense affect my listing in Google’s free search results?

Google’s advertising programs are independent of our search results. Search results display on the left side of our results page; ads appear on the right and in the colored box at the top.

MySpace Platform to Rival Facebook’s?

TechCrunch is sharing more developer platform rumors this week. Last month, Michael Arrington predicted a set of new APIs from Google which will lead to a “Google Platform,” analogous to Facebook’s (only more open, of course). Now he says that MySpace is planning its own developer platform.

The MySpace Platform would work very much like Facebook’s. As TechCrunch puts it, the platform:

will essentially be a set of APIs and a new markup language that will allow third party developers to create applications that run within MySpace. Developers will be able to include Flash applets, iFrame elements and Javascript snippets in their applications, and access most of the core MySpace resources (profile information, friend list, activity history, etc.). Applications will need to be hosted on MySpace servers.

Facebook Rumor: A New MySpace

Facebook is working on a platform for bands that will be launched later this year. This was reported on paidContent.org. They said that the rumor was started yesterday morning.

According to the rumors, Facebook will offer more to bands than MySpace does. They will let bands and labels to create pages, and let them embed custom widgets to market their events and music.

Widgets are hot right now with popular widgets selling for thousands just weeks after they are launched. The most popular widget on Facebook is iLike. Sources say the widget will be like that plus there will also be an iTunes widget for listening to clips from songs. Later you’ll be able to buy music too. Instead of being busy and being flashy, the Facebook pages will be more no-nonsense. Facebook is contacting music labels to gather support for the service.