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Yahoo turns the switch off on Deals, Kids, Upcoming and other features in an effort to tighten focus
Yahoo has decided to take some advice from rival Google and cut the ambilical cord to some services that have been underperforming. This morning the once king of search announced that it would be shutting down several features that have not performed well as of late.
Yahoo Deals, Yahoo Upcoming, Yahoo Kids, Yahoo SMS Alerts, and the feature phone versions of Yahoo Mail all will see their lives come to an end April 30th. Older versions of Yahoo Web Mail will also see a shut down during the week of June 3rd. The shutdowns come as Yahoo CEO Marissa Meyer restructures the company and refocuses their goals into something profitable.
Yesterday, an Indiegogo fundraiser setup by someone using the name "Jackal Anon" raised $54,668 to set up a dedicated news site for Anonymous. The campaign originally needed $2,000 so this $54,668 is just a little bit more than was required.
YAN will see some content move away from Twitter and Tumblr, where Anonymous' usual announcements and article links were posted. YAN's mission is also set to be more integrated with the news cycle, where they are "to report, not just aggregate the news". Anonymous' video has stated:
Our goal was to disseminate information we viewed as vital separating it from the political and celebrity gossip that inundates the mainstream.
Twitter has expanded its advertising options available to advertisers. According to Twitter, the company has added the ability for advertisers to target users based upon keywords used in a user's recent tweets. Twitter says that this is "an important new capability -- especially for those advertisers looking for signals of intent -- because it lets marketers reach users at the right moment, in the right context."
This new feature is similar to Google's advertising offers in that they can reach users that are using certain words. Google offers the ability for advertisers to have ads shown when keywords are used in a search query.
An interesting application of this new option would be a local concert venue geotargeting tweeters who post about an upcoming band. Twitter notes that users shouldn't see much of a difference on their side. The only change will be the promoted tweets will be more targeted.
Amazon has opened a specialty store for consumers over the age of 50. Amazon is calling the new store the "50+ Active and Healthy Living Store." The new store features hundreds of thousands of items that are important for older consumers, some of which are too embarrassing to purchase in stores.
The new store, browsable here, looks to capitalize on the growing market of older consumers. The AARP expects that 45 percent of the US population will be aged 50 and older by 2015. Amazon wants to make sure they have a specialized place to shop.
After all, a large portion of the 50+ category have Amazon accounts and enjoy shopping online.
YouTube is celebrating VHS' birthday right. The social video sharing website has added a "Tape Mode" to select videos that causes the video to look like it is being played from a VHS. While watching a 1080p video as if it were from a VHS might not be the most pleasant thing to do, it certainly is a great way to celebrate the VHS turning 57.
Tape Mode is only available on select videos and is somewhat hard to find. You can experience Kmart's "Ship My Pants" video in full VHS quality here.
Not too long ago, the video tape was the media of choice for living rooms around the world. In celebration of the 57th birthday of the first commercial video cassette recorder, check out a fun VHS mode for the YouTube player to relive the magic feel of vintage video tapes.
Check out tape mode and let us know what you think. Should this be a permanent YouTube feature?
If you're like me, you love watching all YouTube videos in 720p or 1080p - but what about technology from yesteryear - VHS? YouTube are now marking the 57th anniversary of VHS with a tape-shaped button on select videos.
Clicking this button will put a filter over the content, giving you horrific flashbacks to the quality of video from years ago. There's no official list of compatible content, but there looks to be a nice amount of videos on YouTube's native channel ready for some VHS lovin'.
A study conducted by AV-Test, an independent German testing lab, found that Bing returned over five times as many links to malicious sites than Google did. The study, conducted over 18 months, found out that malware sites are still appearing as top search results, even with all of the work Google does to keep them from appearing.
The entire study examined around 40 million different websites that were returned from seven different search engines. Google did quite well in the study, returning just 272 malicious results in 10 million. Bleko did even better, though not by percetnage. Bleko returned just 203 out of three million results.
Bing, on the other hand, returned a massive 1,285 malicious results out of 10 million. Yandex was one of the worst offenders, returning 3,330 malicious results out of 13 million pages.
Unfortunately, the creators of malicious websites are using search engine optimization tricks, causing malicious websites to sometimes be the top returned result. Just remember to be safe when searching the web.
Google has obtained a new domain to use for URL shortening. YT.be is now in Google's possession and we imagine that it will be used to shorten links to YouTube videos. Currently Google uses Youtu.be for shortened links that point to YouTube videos, but characters are becoming increasingly important.
YT.be is currently redirecting to Google's goo.gl URL shortening webpage. Google acquired the new URL from a Belgian Internet entrepreneur who originally purchased the domain in May 2003. Purchase price has not been disclosed.
It's unlikely that Google would opt to use YT.be for anything other than YouTube issues for many reasons. The most obvious reason would be branding issues, which is the same reason Google only uses g.co for Google websites.
Google will likely start using YT.be to shorten YouTube URLs soon.
Google has introduced a new tool that Facebook and other sites with lots of personal information should take note of. Called Inactive Account Manager, the new tool allows you to decide what to do with your data after your death or inability to access Google's services.
Like the name implies, the tool keeps track of how long it has been since you last logged in to a Google service. Once it passes a certain threshold set by each user, Google will either delete the data, allow someone else to access it, or something else. Before the inactive period time is up, Google will warn you with a text message and e-mail.
For example, you can choose to have your data deleted - after three, six, nine or 12 months of inactivity. Or you can select trusted contacts to receive data from some or all of the following services: +1s; Blogger; Contacts and Circles; Drive; Gmail; Google+ Profiles, Pages and Streams; Picasa Web Albums; Google Voice and YouTube. Before our systems take any action, we'll first warn you by sending a text message to your cellphone and email to the secondary address you've provided.
The Inactive Account Manager can be accessed via your Google Account settings page. I'll now patiently wait for Facebook to introduce a similar feature.
Targeted advertising is big money these days. eBay must have been feeling a little left out, as the company just announced that it will begin sharing the browsing habits of its users with third party advertisers.
This is similar to what Google, Amazon and Facebook already do, and is the reason that you get loads of ads about that new car you just looked up or the flight price you just researched. eBay says that marketers will not have full control of your data, but eBay itself will sell targeted advertisements to those companies.
In an interview, Stephen Howard-Sarin, eBay's head of digital display in North America, said:
"We're now commercializing that capability for the benefit of other marketers who want to reach shoppers. If you're an agency and it complicates your life because we've got a unique pool of data that you don't have, tough. It would be shortsighted of us to give that data away."