Weekly Digital News Roundup: July 17-21
Facebook, Twitter Try Ecommerce
- According to Ad Age, on Wednesday, both Facebook and Twitter made critical moves in their efforts to transform their platforms into formidable spaces for online commerce.
- In the morning, Facebook unveiled a new test click-to-purchase product. Members on desktop computers or mobile devices will be able to click a “buy” button to make purchases through advertisements or other posts on the site.
- Twitter, that afternoon, said it planned to acquire CardSpring, a San Francisco-based startup that allows developers to write applications for credit cards, discount coupons and other payment systems. Its platform is aimed at linking e-commerce with brick-and-mortar sales. Online shoppers can collect sales offers, synch them with their credit card and then collect them at stores. For Twitter, the company offers an existing payments infrastructure that is not built solely around impulse purchases.
Microsoft to cut up to 18,000 jobs
- According to USA Today, Microsoft confirmed it will cut up to 18,000 jobs over the next year, part of the tech titan’s efforts to streamline its business under new CEO Satya Nadella.
- In a statement released Thursday, Microsoft says about 12,500 of the professional and factory positions will be cut as part of its $7.2 billion acquisition of Nokia’s handset business.
- Nadella, who replaced Steve Ballmer in February, says the “vast majority” of employees affected by layoffs will be notified within the next six months. They will also earn severance and job transition help in many locations. All cuts will be completed by next June.
Google Struggles With Mobile Ads
- According to the New York Times, Google faces a persistent headache: Consumers are increasingly moving from desktop computers to smartphones and tablets, where the desktop advertising formats of old are not as alluring because of the screen-size restrictions of mobile. And as mobile ads increasingly become a larger part of its business, Google is less able to charge the same premiums that it has for its lucrative desktop ad business.
- Thursday’s earnings release for the second quarter, which ended in June, provided more evidence of this problem. The price that advertisers pay each time someone clicks on an ad — or “cost per click,” in Google talk — dropped 6 percent from the year-ago quarter.
- Despite Google’s continuing mobile dilemma, its advertising competitors are still small in its rearview mirror. Google accounted for nearly 32 percent of online global ad spending in 2013