Facebook is removing sponsored results from search less than a year after the ad unit's introduction.
"In keeping with the goal of streamlining our ad products, starting in July advertisers will no longer be able to buy sponsored results," a Facebook spokesperson told CNET.
The failed unit, which let marketers target users during the search process, suggests that the company is still struggling to understand how best to monetize search attention, something that competitor Google mastered long ago. Sponsored results seemed to be modeled after Google's sponsored search ads. As a user typed in a query … Read more
There are times you want to treat a friend to a scoop of ice cream, but quickly getting a gift card into his possession isn't always possible. And you don't always know if your gift was actually used, since there's no alert mechanism to notify you when a gift card has been redeemed.
A free iOS app, called Vouchr, will allow you to create a gift certificate (of sorts) and let any of your Facebook friends claim it when they visit a location you've specified. Originally launched in a small beta just in Canada, it's … Read more
When an Apple rep initially contacted eBay about developing a proprietary app back in 2008, the latter hadn't even heard of the iPhone or Objective-C. But seeing the potential of mobile software, a number of eBay employees believed that developing a mobile app would profit the global commerce and payments leader in the long run. In early 2009, they began raising funds for the formation of a mobile-specific group and commissioned an outside company to build the first eBay app.
Many software releases later, the app has helped the largest online marketplace blast off into mobile commerce, as eBay'… Read more
Wrapp, the company that lets Facebook friends send digital gift cards to one another, has picked up $15 million from investors in the mobile manufacturing and mobile payments industries.
The money is going toward the development of the app's latest feature: brand pages. Users can now follow a brand for special deals for themselves.
"The whole idea with Wrapp is to build a win-win relationship between consumers and retailers," CEO Hjalmar Winbladh told CNET. Wrapp will start to add other features as well, he said.
The company is truly mobile first, according to Winbladh. Wrapp users access … Read more
SAN FRANCISCO -- Facebook's latest acquisition, Parse, announced on Wednesday evening that it has grown 25 percent since the social network bought it two months ago.
Parse CEO Ilya Sukhar told an audience at a World Wide Developers Conference event that the platform has grown by 20,000 apps since last month.
"We agreed to have Facebook buy us to accelerate our vision," he said.
Facebook bought developer platform Parse in April, letting the social network dip into the back end of thousands of mobile applications. More apps, more data.
Third-party apps are important to Facebook because … Read more
Parse is simultaneously shooting down naysayers and tooting its own horn with the announcement that it's now powering more than 100,000 applications, a 25 percent increase since being picked up by Facebook.
At the end of April, Facebook purchased 2-year-old Parse, a backend services provider for mobile-app makers, for a reported $85 million as part of an ongoing strategy to entice developers to incorporate Facebook hooks into their apps. The deal also had the potential to scare away future or existing customers worried that Facebook would abuse its power as the new landlord of their data.
But that … Read more
When Internet companies were recently accused of allowing the National Security Agency direct access to their servers, they strenuously denied it. But when AT&T was accused of allowing the NSA direct access to its network, it did the opposite.
Mark Klein, who worked as an AT&T technician for over 22 years, disclosed in 2006 (PDF) that he met with NSA officials and witnessed domestic Internet traffic being "diverted" through a "splitter cabinet" to secure room 641A in one of the company's San Francisco facilities. Only NSA-cleared technicians were allowed to work … Read more
Facebook has clarified its policy against nudity to allow for postmastectomy photos after a run-in with vocal breast cancer awareness advocates disgruntled by the social network's practice of removing photos depicting mastectomy scars.
In May, Scorchy Barrington, a woman with Stage IV breast cancer, petitioned Facebook executives through Change.org to end the company's practice of censoring photos of men and women who have undergone mastectomies. Barrington said Facebook was removing photos from the SCAR Project Page, which features photographs of young breast cancer survivors, and that Facebook had banned project founder and photographer David Jay from the … Read more
More than 900 kilometers from Stockholm, at the edge of Arctic Circle, Facebook's latest data center is churning through status updates, messages, photos, ads, and other output from among the company's 1.1 billion worldwide users, most of whom are outside the U.S.
The 290,000 square-foot facility in Lulea, Sweden, also known as the Node Pole, takes advantage of the abundance of water and cool climate to go more green. It relies on the relatively cheap hydro-electric energy available to power its servers and the icy Nordic air to keep them cool.
In addition, the Lulea … Read more