TechCrunch buys beta invite site

Internet news blog TechCrunch has announced it has bought InviteShare; an app that makes it possible for users to share invitations to private betas.

The idea behind the service, which only launched last month, is very simple - users register for the beta invites they want and share spare ones with others.


Nickelodeon to invest in kids' online games

Children's TV network Nickelodeon is to increase its investment in online games for kids - what is fast becoming a valuable market online.

The firm says it will invest $100m (£49m) over the next two years in improving and adding to its current online offering, including new subscription services, multiplayer games and virtual worlds.


Profits up by 50% for eBay

eBay has announced its second quarter results today, with net profits rising by 50%. Revenue for the auction site was up 26%, though the number of new listings fell by 6%.

The company's net income for Q2 rose to $376m (£185m) while eBay said that profits for the whole of 2007 are set to reach $7.45bn (£3.75bn).


Google expands print ad network

Google has continued its assault on traditional ad distribution by opening up its Print Ads service in the US.

The move, following trials of the system with a limited number of advertisers and publishers, will see Google brokering space in more than 225 newspapers.


Tips on blog directory submissions

Submitting your site to a range of blog and RSS subscription directories can be a great way to increase visibility, but there are some mistakes to avoid.

Jeff Behrendt at Search Engine Journal has written a very useful post that lists some of the common mistakes blogs make when submitting links to directories.

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Advertisers can 'buy' blog buzz, claims Nielsen

The level of 'buzz' around a product on the blogosphere is directly related to the amount of advertising that accompanies its launch, according to a study by Nielsen Buzzmetrics and BASES.

The study (pdf) looked at 80 products in various categories that were launched in the US between 2005 and 2006. It found that the 10% with the most buzz had average marketing budgets of around $20m.


Yahoo! revenue increases but profit falls

Yahoo! posted its second quarter financial results yesterday, reporting a decline in income from display advertising and lowering its guidance for the rest of the year.

The firm's profits dropped by 11% to $161m (£80.5m) in the three months, but revenues rose by 11% to $1.24bn (£605m).


Whole Foods chief apologises over forum postings

Whole Foods Market boss John Mackey has apologised for the renegade online PR campaign he conducted to boost his company’s image on financial messageboards.

In a statement, Mackey asked for shareholders’ forgiveness over his anonymous postings, which were uncovered last week and are now being investigated by the US Securities and Exchange Commission:


Facebook closes gap on MySpace

More people searched for Facebook in the UK last week than for MySpace; more evidence that the social network is rapidly closing the gap on its rival, according to stats from Hitwise.

Though MySpace still has a 41% larger share of UK visits than Facebook, the search stats point to the growing popularity of Mark Zuckerberg's site.


Cashback shopping scheme claims increased uptake

Cashback shopping website GreasyPalm says it has delivered £5m in cash rebates for its users since it launched in 2003.

Users of GreasyPalm earn cash rewards on the purchases they make through the scheme's 850 participating retailers, including Marks & Spencer, Tesco, and Lloyds TSB.


Auctioning4u to close its drop shops

Auctioning4u, the eBay service provider, has decided on a change of strategy and will be closing its existing eBay drop shops to concentrate on home collection.

Auctioning4u came to the decision after consulting its customers, finding that they preferred the convenience of having their items collected, rather than having to go to a drop shop.


Google to provide search for small businesses

Google is to make its custom search engine available for small businesses without ads.

The tool, which allows webmasters to limit queries to a certain set of documents, on one or more websites, will cost between $100 and $500 a year, depending on the size of the business.