Facebook responds to OpenSocial

Facebook is to make its developer platform available to other social networks, allowing brands to port apps to other sites that adopt the same standards.

The move forms a response to Google's OpenSocial project, which aims to create a common standard for developing and delivering social network apps.


Paramount to sell movie tickets through banners

Tailgate Technologies has found a new use for its transactional banners - selling tickets for Paramount's new movie The Kite Runner.

Consumers can use the banners to search for local cinemas that are showing the movie and complete purchases without leaving the host site.


Google to add blogs to Universal Search

Google is reportedly set to add blogs to its Universal Search results, posing another SEO challenge/opportunity for online marketers.

Marissa Mayer, the firm’s search products and user experience VP, told eWeek that its search listings would start to include blog pages from this week or next.


Email delivery rates continue to fall - DMA

The Direct Market Association (DMA) has urged email marketers to focus more closely on deliverability after its figures showed another drop in delivery rates in the second quarter of the year.

The group’s latest stats suggest that delivery rates fell to 68% for acquisition emails and 80% for retention emails in the period, continuing the drops seen in Q1.

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Ordnance Survey API nears launch

The Ordnance Survey’s long-awaited API has moved a step closer to launch, with the organisation preparing to announce an alpha release later today.

The 'OpenSpace' platform has been in the pipeline for at least a couple of years and will reportedly now be fully unveiled sometime in 2008. 


Mahalo adds social features to search engine

Human-powered search engine Mahalo has launched new social features to encourage users to create a profile and communicate with friends on the site.



Etailers cashing in on social shopping

Social shopping communities have become increasingly popular for online shoppers when researching their Xmas purchases, according to stats from Nielsen Online.

Nielsen's analysis (pdf) of the 1,000 most influential blogs (ranked by number of inbound links) finds that gift recommendations are dominating holiday discussions on these sites.


Bebo readies third party app platform

Bebo is reportedly set to become the latest social network to open up its development platform to third parties.

According to Mashable, the new platform will be launched tomorrow and will apparently be compatible in some way with Facebook, allowing developers to port their applications to Bebo.

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Can Xmas email marketing ever not be tacky?

A simple Santa hat, some holly or a bit of tinsel hanging off the corporate logo is often the most companies do to make their email marketing festive. 

They are missing a trick.


Q&A: Omniture's Neil Weston on the Google threat

Neil Weston Analytics firm Omniture has had an industrious few months, making a series of buyouts to boost its offering in the ‘online business optimisation’ space.

These include reporting supplier InStadia, site optimisation vendor TouchClarity, A/B and multivariate testing company Offermatica (finalised this month) and most recently Visual Sciences, one of Omniture’s main rivals at the top end of the market.

We spoke to the company’s EMEA general manager and senior vice president Neil Weston about future challenges and opportunities in the sector, including concerns over the acquisitions’ potential impact on innovation.

We also asked about the pros and cons of Google’s assault on web analytics - its strategic threat for suppliers, as well as how many customers Omniture has picked up from Google's product.


Online shoppers spend over £750k in a minute

The UK's online shoppers reportedly spent £767,500 in just 60 seconds at 1.09pm yesterday, breaking previous records.

Yesterday was also expected to become the country's biggest ever online shopping day with up to £370m being spent, according to payment processor Retail Solutions.


Search listings have significant branding impact - study

Occupying the top of organic and paid search listings can not only pay off in terms of performance marketing – it can also have a big impact on consumers’ perception of brands, a new study has found.

Conducted by eyetracking firm Enquiro Research, the tests discovered “a significant correlation” between search marketing efforts and brand affinity, brand recall and purchase intent.