Social Networks Finding New Growth With APIs

Business Week is reporting plans by many social networking sites to open up their network to content developers, in an effort to grow their user base.

[Facebook], MySpace.com, LinkedIn, Friendster, and Google’s orkut are expected to…open their code to third-party developers this year as well—promising to kick off a spurt of innovation in social networking.

Virgin Mobile is among the many company’s licking their chops, at the thought of tapping into these mega-networks. Having access to an API (application program interfaces), many companies will be able to launch mashups and tools that will satisfy the growing needs of many social network members, as well as helping the networks grow their existing user numbers.

Google’s Evil Master Plan Revealed in Video?

Googlezon has long been the benchmark video for spreading fear about the power of Google. Now comes a new entrant, “Master Plan – about the power of Google“.

It’s a sobering video, suggesting that Google is collecting far too much information about you and perhaps sharing it with the CIA.

Hat-tip Brian

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Belgian Court Confirms Earlier Google Ruling; It’s All About the Money

A Belgian court has upheld an earlier court ruling, preventing Google from displaying items from Belgian newspapers.

The case was brought by Copiepresse, which manages copyrights for Belgium’s French- and German-language newspapers…Copiepresse argues that versions of news articles stored on Google can be seen on its service even after the articles are no longer freely accessible on a newspaper’s Web site.

One silver-lining for Google. The court reduced the fine for violation from around $1m a day to just $25,000. That probably didn’t make Copiepresse too happy, as they were hoping the fine to be substantial enough to bring Google back to the negotiation table.

…Copiepresse would still consider allowing Google to display extracts from the Belgian newspapers for a fee, although said it was up to Google to initiate contact.

PayPerPost Even More Transparent (& Obnoxious)

PayPerPost logoPayPerPost launches it new “Disclosure Badges” today—what they consider to be a “new standard for Word-of-Mouth (WOM) transparency.” The badges are small graphics to appear in the paid posts.

The badges are designed to enable “readers to not only see who is sponsoring the content, but also to benefit from links and other information provided by the sponsor,” according to the press release. The Disclosure Badges accomplish this through an ad unit called a BubbleAd, which is optional to sponsors.

Hover your mouse over the BubbleAd and it opens up into a “thought bubble” with details on the post’s sponsors and products. Sponsors can customize their BubbleAds to include images, text and links. PayPerPost didn’t say how long you have to hover before the ad appears. I’m thinking Snap Preview meets advertising I probably didn’t want to see in the first place.

Wikipedia on Life Support; Would You Miss It?

Jason “I love SEO” Calacanis brings to light, news that Wikipedia has only enough funds to last 3-4 months. He believes that a few hard-core Wikipedians are being stubborn, by not considering advertising on the site.

I find it really ironic that a certain percentage (and I’m not gonna give percentages anymore) of the Wikipedia core team feel that they should decide for the entire Wikipedia audience the advertising policy….What happen to consensus people…80% of people would opt to see an advertisement and the vocal minority that controls Wikipedia with an iron fist/IRC channel will block it.

Thoughts? Would you be happy to have Wikipedia continue, even if it meant ignoring tolerating some ads? Would you even miss Wikipedia if it went away?

Yahoo Inks Mobile Advertising Deals in 18 Countries; Intel, Pepsi Sign-on

Ok, so unlike the Google/Vodafone announcement, news that Yahoo has signed some big name companies to deploy mobile ads to 18 countries, is significant.

Yahoo said it has signed up major advertisers including Hilton’s Embassy Suites, Infiniti, Intel Corp., Nissan, Pepsi & Co, Procter & Gamble Asia-Pacific and Singapore Airlines will be initial advertisers on Yahoo’s mobile advertising system.

While Google’s making deals to add maps to cell phones, Yahoo’s actually signing deals that will bring an immediate increase to the bottom line. Sure, you can argue that adding Google Maps to Vodafone, will bring greater exposure for Google and could lead to ads on those maps, but Yahoo’s deal will see immediate monetization of mobile content.

Vodafone Customers Getting Google Maps for Mobile

One of the world’s largest mobile phone networks, Vodafone, has just announced a deal with Google that will see Google Maps integration for European mobile phone customers.

Google Maps for mobile, a downloadable java application, is expected to offer customers in selected markets easy-to-use maps and local listings, as well as local search and navigation capabilities. Customers will be able to enjoy unlimited use of Google Maps for mobile, subject to Vodafone data tariffs.

Ok, so it’s news. I’d assume that our readers would want to know about the deals Google is making, but is it really that big of a deal? It’s starting to feel overkill to keep posting every single deal that Google makes. There’s no financial details disclosed, so we don’t even know if this is a significant partnership or not.