Google Buzz Privacy Reset Tomorrow

Google Buzz lived up to its name in its first week. After not fully testing the product, Google launched Buzz and forced all Gmail users into it without a way to opt out. Then we realized they were automatically sharing the list of people we chatted with and emailed most frequently. Finally, Google backed off many of these “features,” and made it possible to disable Buzz (and not just hide it). But there are still some privacy concerns, especially for people who joined Buzz before the privacy changes.

Mashable reports that Google will be issuing a “privacy reset” for Buzz tomorrow. The reset will automatically show all Buzz users the settings page the next time they click on the Buzz option in Gmail, to ensure they’ve set their privacy levels how they really want them:

Apple to Build a Search Engine? This Just In: Apple Has a Search Engine!

Some analyst predicts that Apple will build its own search engine and the soundbite feeds the blogging community for a week!

We’re also going to jump in–hey we have bills to pay too–but our take is a little different. First the prediction:

We believe Apple could utilize data unavailable to Google, data generated by the company’s App Store, to create a mobile centric search engine, which would be a unique offering to Google’s search engine…We believe the odds of Apple developing a search engine in the next five years are 70%…

<rolls up sleeves>

OK, first of all. Just because someone says “search engine” you shouldn’t immediately think of a web search engine such as Google.

Forget Click Fraud, “Ad Impression Fraud” is the Next Big Thing!

We all know that mainstream media is trying to figure out how to exist in a world of web impressions and not “in your hand” subscribers, but are they getting greedy?

That’s what Compete is suggesting, after discovering a disturbing practice that appears to inflate impression counts–which obviously leads to greater revenues for the media site in question. How does it work?

Take the often used “slideshow” that mainstream news sites are using these days. When you click on the “next” image, the page loads a new image, but also loads a new ad impression–even if that ad happens to be exactly the same.

Here’s how it looks:

OK, so far not to shady, right? Except Compete warns that some sites are automatically triggering the next image, even if the page is not the active browser tab!

Twitter’s New “Monetization Platform” Coming “Later this Month”

Remember when Twitter caused a stir among the development community, when it suggested you may never want to use a third-party app again?

Well, co-founder went CNBC and appeared to reveal just a little information about Twitter’s monetization model. When asked if Twitter was receiving a cut of the ads shown by third-party Twitter apps, Biz said “no” then went on to say:

We’re going to roll out something we think appropriate not just for Twitter users but also for the ecosystem when we develop this monetization platform, it’s not going to be just for us, it’s going to extend to all these apps that are out there that everyone is using.

Now, Silicon Alley Insider took this to mean that Twitter would create a model devoid of those annoying ads that are inserted into your tweet stream, but I’m not so sure.

Twitter to Unveil Advertising Platform Today?

Today, Umair Haque of the Havas Media Lab will interview Twitter CEO Evan Williams at SxSW. TechCrunch is poised to report—especially since they expect Twitter to unveil its advertising platform in the interview.

That’s not for certain, of course, but TC points to Twitter head of monetization Anamitra Banerji’s comment on Feb 27 that they’d have the platform ready “in a month or so.” (Two and a half weeks is apparently close enough.) They’ve put 2 and 2 together with GigaOM’s Matthew Ingram’s (Feb 23) report that Twitter is lining up major partners for a launch.

Twitter has long been excited over its coming ad offering. Back in November, founder Biz Stone insisted that “Everyone is going to love” their new advertising system. “It’s going to be amazing.”

AOL Has a Boo-Boo on Its Bebo

“You would have to be stupid. You would have to trip to not succeed at this at some point.”

Those words may come back to haunt the former Bebo chief Joanna Shields, now that rumors are circulating that the social network is about to be dropped like a hot potato.

Back when AOL bought Bebo for $850 million, I was already speculating that the social network had slipped from its valuation high of $1.5 billion. Now it appears that the social network has lost users–down from 22 million a month to 14.6 million–and with it, it’s value to AOL.

What’s interesting is the predicament facing AOL. Due to some complex tax laws, it may actually make better financial sense for AOL to just shut Bebo down.

Yahoo CEO Asks, “Facebook, what’s their revenue?”–Er, About $1 Billion Carol

Yahoo celebrated its 15 year anniversary yesterday and Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz decided that it would be the perfect time to take a swipe Facebook.

When asked why Yahoo wasn’t as hot as Facebook, she replied: "Facebook? What’s their revenue?"

Oh no she didn’t!

Well, as if on cue, Inside Facebook comes up with some compelling calculations that suggest Facebook will hit $1.1 billion 2010.

First, their calculations for 2009–keep in mind these are simply guestimates.

Then, estimating revenues for ads, partnerships, virtual goods, and such, they come up with their 2010 prediction:

A wide variety of sources we spoke to expect Facebook to pass $1 billion in revenue this year, possibly reaching $1.1 billion. This is significant growth, but likely still the start of the hockey stick.