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Microsoft Premieres Celeb Site, Wonderwall

No word yet on whether champagne supernovae were served at red carpet event.*

Microsoft’s latest last-ditch-looking effort actually looks pretty good, as BoomTown notes. Today they unveil a new celebrity site, Wonderwall, with subtle MSN branding, a cool layout and plenty of ad space.

wonderwall

The site was designed by BermanBraun Interactive. Its main showcase, shown above, is pretty cool—a side-to-side scrolling “wall” grid of celebrity photos with headlines. Mouseover the headlines and short story excerpts pop up. Click on these, and
what I can only assume is the eponymous “wonderwall” splits open to add the full story, also side-to-side scrolling, in the middle of the wall:

wonderwall-open

Below are short lists of recent headlines, features and celebrities.

Stalk Your Friends with Google’s Latitude

latitude-urhereSeriously—do you know where your friends are right now? Do you want to know? Because with Google’s new Latitude mobile app, you can access the GPS information in your participating friends’ phones. And lest you think Google is making it hard for you to keep tabs on your friends’ every move, they’re incorporating a boat load of other popular products:

  • Gadget on iGoogle (Latitude gadget for your personalized homepage)
  • Text messaging (SMS) through Latitude
  • IMing with Google Talk and Latitude
  • Emailing with Gmail and Latitude
  • Updating your Gmail/Gtalk status message on the go with Latitude
  • Uploading new profile photos on the go with Latitude (we have profile photos?)

Fake Social Media Profiles: The Biggest Online Threat of 2009?

ReadWriteWeb reports that security firm Aladdin released their Annual Threat Report today, one of the biggest online identity theft threats of 2009 will be fake social media profiles. I don’t expect that to surprise any of Marketing Pilgrim’s readers, I do, however, expect it to come as a surprise to most of our clients and the less “Web savvy.”

Evil people are heading out to popular social media sites and setting up fake profiles and abusing those profiles. They are pretending to be someone in order to create valuable connections, and in some cases, to hurt online reputations. Director of Aladdin’s Attack Intelligence Research Center, Ian Amit, says this type of identity theft can be “devastating, both on the personal level by creating difficulties in employment, ruining social and professional connections, damaging reputations; as well as on a financial level, such as stealing customers, corporate data.”

Women Over 55 Are Helping Facebook Takeoff

Yep, you read that headline right. According to MediaPost, women over the age of 55 are the fastest-growing user group on Facebook over the last three months. This is significant considering how rapidly Facebook has been growing these last few months (600k users a day!).

The study also reports several other statistics that marketers should take note of:

  • Women make up 56.2% of Facebook users—outnumbering men in almost every age group
  • 25% of U.S. Facebook users are over the age of 35—considering that Facebook started as a college platform, this is very surprising.
  • 45% of U.S. users are over the age of 26—this isn’t as surprising as you take into account that this is now about the average age of early Facebook adopters.

Facebook Not Selling Out–But Should They?

Methinks the Telegraph was hoping to spark controversy when they published this article yesterday:

Facebook is planning to exploit the vast amount of personal information it holds on its 150m members by creating one of the world’s largest market research databases.

In an attempt to finally monetise the social networking site, once valued at $15bn (£10.4bn), it will soon allow multinational companies to selectively target its members in order to research the appeal of new products. Companies will be able to pose questions to specially selected members based on such intimate details as whether they are single or married and even whether they are gay or straight.

And yes, were it true, that would definitely be . . . well, if not cause for alarm, at least attention-getting. Let me say it again: were it true.

Do You Have a Twitter Twin?

twitter

By Danny Brown

Perhaps it’s a sign that the site is reaching more mainstream popularity levels, but Twitter is fast becoming a haven for spammers. Accounts include semi-naked girls with just one link to an affiliate site to brands that use the service for nothing more sending direct messages to other users with a sales link.

Now it seems that the “power players” of Twitter are being targeted—yet it’s not directly at them. Rather, it’s using them instead.

This latest trick sees users that have a certain authority on Twitter—i.e., thousands of followers—be the lucky target of a fake account with their details. Their image and name is used to trick unsuspecting users into thinking it’s the real person. Normally it’s a play on the person’s name—underscores, dashes, numbers, etc.

Twitter is a Cash Cow in the Making

Cash CowWe have been talking a great deal lately about how Twitter should be monetizing their service. Most of this talk comes after news that Twitter secured $20 million in venture capital, to push its total valuation to $250 million. It wasn’t long ago that Twitter started looking for a product manager to define a revenue stream. This is a smart move for a company that has relied solely on venture capital from day one.

Andy recently wrote a post detailing his thoughts for a Twitter subscription program. This is an idea that even Twitter’s CEO Evan Williams has spoken about in the past.