Facebook To Simplify Privacy Controls

In the late 90’s, there was periodic uproar over privacy issues coming from then developing internet marketing practices.  A decade later, some of the old lessons are still being revisited, some of them relearned.

Amid growing concern and outrage from users over privacy controls, Facebook announced Wednesday that it will implement a much more simplified privacy management environment for its users.

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Zynga Hooks Yahoo

Last week Facebook and Zynga resolved their differences and signed a five year deal to expand their partnership. This week, Zynga made sure it won’t be solely dependent on Facebook’s audience to power its social games.

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By the Numbers: New PC Sales Data

Consumer demand for mobile PC’s (defined as laptops, tablets and netbooks) is on the rise.   According to research from Gartner, global shipments jumped 43.4%  in the first quarter, their highest in eight years.

With average prices down (off 15.7% year over year), increased consumer demand (as opposed to professional) was a key driver.

Asus and Acer, both pushing several inexpensive products, saw the largest growth rate among manufacturers.  The companies’ shipments were up  113% and 48% respectively.

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Facebook Passes 500million Users

In February, Facebook notched more than  400m active users.  According to comScore data reported by the WSJ, the social network hit half a billion in April.

According to ComScore, worldwide Facebook had 519m visitors in April.   That staggering achievement was sufficient to make the social network the fourth largest web property in the world.  Google, at 921m was the largest followed by Microsoft at 728m and Yahoo at 588m.

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Facebook and Zynga Mend the Fence on Farmville

In recent days, multiple reports claimed wildly popular  social gamer Zynga was locked in a high stakes game of chicken with Facebook over the social network’s planned virtual currency, Facebook Credits.  Even with the two companies’ obvious needs for each other – seven of Facebook’s ten most popular games in April came from Zynga’s portfolio and the majority of Zynga’s revenue sources from Facebook derived users – the chatter was of a possible divorce.

Facebook was reportedly trying to lock Zynga into a long term revenue sharing deal.   Possibly exclusivity.  Zynga, some reports claimed, was resistant and threatening to bolt, maybe even start a social game network of its own.

The fight’s over now.   Click to Read More

Smartphone Use Pushing Mobile Data Demand Skyward

Smartphone use (particularly iPhones) is addictive and contagious.  Sit down in a public place – a coffee shop, a bar, a book store – and chances are you’ll see someone whip out their phone.  Within minutes, sometimes just seconds, someone else will follow.   I’ve been out with friends and seen three out of five people at a table all “plugged in.”   They were texting, gaming, checking emails, scanning news.   Funny thing is, not one of them was actually using the phone to talk.

Phones have become our anytime, all-the-time, information portals and the trend isn’t slowing down.

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Apple to Shut (reinvent?) Lala

Lala Shut by AppleIn December, gas tanks of Apple watchers got a surprise dose of high octane when reports surfaced the company was buying online music service Lala. Some immediately speculated that Apple had plans to create a "cloud" friendly iTunes. Others chimed in on the possibility of Apple using Lala’s intellectual property and license relationships to offer an iTunes music subscription package.

Now, just a few months removed, rumor engines are spinning again on news Apple will shut down the public face of Lala’s services a week before the start of Apple’s World Wide Development Conference.

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