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Location networking startup Plazes raises £1.8m

Plazes, a social networking site based in Berlin, has announced that it has raised £1.8m in a first round of founding led by Doughty Hanson Technology Ventures.

Plazes is a social network site with the added dimension of location tracking. Plazes automatically detects your location and connects you with people or places nearby.


Mobile networks 'mull new-build search engine'

European mobile phone networks could start their own mobile search service as they consider how to increase revenue from search advertising, according to a report.

The companies will use the 3GSM World Congress, the world's largest mobile industry exhibition and conference, in Barcelona next week to consider a joint initiative aimed at replacing lost revenue from falling access costs with that from on-the-move ads.


Google Earth takes local AdSense 3D

Google AdWords customers can now place sponsored local ads inside Google Earth. The new feature lets advertisers place contact details and a logo on a map marker in the 3D environment.


Viacom asks YouTube to remove 100,000 clips

Viacom, the parent company of MTV and Comedy Central, has requested YouTube to remove 100,000 clips of its programming.

Viacom had been negotiating with Google over a deal that would allow the clips to be shown on YouTube in return for a share of ad revenues, but pulled out of talks after failing to reach an agreement.


Bloggers get paid for video product placement

PayPerPost, the company that caused controversy by paying bloggers to write about clients' products, is to roll out the same model in the video blogging arena.

Advertisers in the network's client base will next week begin paying bloggers to create videos about their goods, according to a report.

They will also get to place their own messages at the start or end of clips, ensuring a positive message even if the blogger offers a bad product review.


TV leads to web as rebate hunters flock to search

Search engines saw an explosion in the number of Britons searching for Council Tax last week after a documentary showed how thousands may be elligible for a rebate.

Martyn Lewis of Moneysavingexpert.com appeared on TV to report how hundreds of users of his site's forum had claimed up to £1,000 because their homes were incorrectly banded.

That prompted an avalanche of search traffic form rate-payers Googling for more information, according to data from Hitwise.


BBC on demand service gets the go ahead

The BBC is set to move into the web TV market, after the BBC Trust gave its backing to the corporation’s on demand plans, despite opposition from Ofcom.

Viewers will be able to watch programmes online or download them to a home computer up to a week after they are broadcast, through the BBC’s iPlayer application.


AKQA sells majority stake to private equity firm

Congratulations to digital marketing agency AKQA, which has sold a majority stake to US private equity firm General Atlantic  for an estimated $250 million.

AKQA, which has clients including Nike, Microsoft and Coca-Cola, had hired Morgan Stanley last year to advise on a possible sale. Other interested parties reportedly included the WPP Group.


Emap buys mobile UGC firm Yospace for £8.7m

Emap's consumer media department has acquired YoSpace, a technology firm which specialises in user-generated content.

The deal is worth £8.7m, with a further £5.7m payable based on performance targets. YoSpace's clients include O2, Vodafone, Orange and 3.


'Silver surfers' prefer internet to DIY and gardening

Peter from YouTubeA survey carried out by AXA has found that retired people are browsing the internet rather then the traditional pastimes of gardening and DIY.

The AXA report, which looked at the online habits of retired people in 11 countries, calls these internet users 'silver surfers'. In the US, Canada, Australia and the UK, silver surfers are using the internet more than six hours a week.


10 online networks launch UK ad exchange

Ten leading online ad networks have this week launched a UK ad exchange in partnership with US company AdECN, with high hopes of revolutionising the buying and selling of inventory.


WTF is this new Technorati feature?

Normally an acronym for something else entirely, WTF ('Where's the Fire' in this case) is a new social media feature which has been added to Technorati.

Where's the Fire? borrows a little from Digg, (it's a Digg clone, according to Steve Rubel) and allows users to write an explanation of why a particular search topic or subject is important. Other users can then vote that explanation up or down.