Interpublic sells half of Facebook stake; The Guardian
Interpublic Group, the US marketing services giant that owns ad agency networks including Lowe and McCann-Erickson, has sold half of its stake in Facebook for $133m. Michael Roth, the chief executive and chairman of IPG, said the “ubiquity” of Facebook has now reduced the strategic value of the investment, while admitting the value of the stake has skyrocketed.
The Takeaway: Is Facebook losing its cache in the business world? Maybe a bit, but since IPG only owned less than 1% of Facebook, it’s not likely this will have a monumental impact.
Google falters in search ‘success rate’ study; TG Daily
There’s no denying Google is the leader in online search, but a new study says only two out of three Google searches lead users to what they’re looking for. Surprisingly, only 67.6% of searches performed through Google were successful, according to the Experian metric. Meanwhile, Bing had a success rate of 80.0% and Yahoo was at the top of the charts with 81.4%.
The Takeaway: There is certainly something to be said about the large disparity between the success rates, but it’s unlikely anything will change soon. After all, Google still powers 66.1% of all online searches. The next closest competitor, Yahoo, only grabs 14.5% of the market.
TwitPic Founder Attempts to Pull Rug from Under Twitter; The Register
The creator of Twitpic, the photo-sharing system sitting atop Twitter, has launched his own Twitter clone. Heello [sic] launched last week and looks surprisingly like Twitter, in layout and function. It refers to “tweets” as “pings”, and “followers” as “listeners”, but otherwise has little to distinguish, or recommend, itself, so much so that some are suggesting its just a complicated protest against the overriding power of the establishment.
The Takeaway: Heello, unsurprisingly, also has a picture-sharing service built in, but other than that the differences are hard to spot: Heello puts the profile on the left (while Twitter puts it on the right), and Heello has a picture of a cloud in the background, but take a look at Heello’s Twitter feed and it’s hard to tell where you are. In social networking the barriers to entry are almost insurmountable, as Google has repeatedly demonstrated, but incumbents do tend to become moribund when competition is lacking.
Google guns for Apple with Motorola; USA Today
Google’s $12.5 billion cash deal today for Motorola Mobility highlights growing rivalry with Apple as the search giant moves to further integrate its software on smartphone and tablet devices in compelling ways for consumers.
The Takeaway: The Motorola deal, if approved by regulators, could help Google implement its software across Motorola devices. Analysts say this may even help improve the quality of apps and bring it in tighter competition with Apple’s App Store. That could be particularly welcome for Android’s limited apps for the tablet market, where Google needs to play catch-up with Apple.