Weekly Digital News Roundup: June 25 – June 29
AOL in Deal With Microsoft to Take Over Display Ad Business
- According to the New York Times, when the deal for Verizon to buy AOL was announced last month, executives from both companies said AOL was an appealing acquisition because of its advertising technology. On Monday, AOL showed some of the value in announcing a deal with Microsoft.
- Under the agreement, AOL will take over management and sales of display, mobile and video advertising that appears on Xbox, Skype and other Microsoft products in the United States, Canada, Japan, Brazil and five European countries. The move takes Microsoft largely out of the display ad business while giving AOL access to some of the web’s most popular destinations.
- In turn, Microsoft’s search engine, Bing, will power search results and search advertising on AOL websites. The arrangement could lift Bing, long a second fiddle to Google, which is being displaced as the search engine of choice on AOL sites. AOL said that it will extend job offers to about 1,200 Microsoft workers in sales, marketing, engineering and other areas. Both companies insisted there would be no job cuts because of the deal.
Facebook says your rainbow profile pictures won’t be used to sell ads
- According to Mashable, your Facebook News Feed was likely flooded in color over the weekend, thanks to two interns who built the rainbow filter during an internal hackathon recently. More than 26 million Facebook members — including celebrities like Leonardo DiCaprio and Arnold Schwarzenegger — rainbow-ified their profile pictures in support of LGBT rights, following the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that legalized gay marriage nationwide.
- If these numbers are any indication, it’s evident Facebook continues to closely track and collect data about user activity. But reports have called out Facebook for possibly implementing the tool as one of its research experiments to learn more about its users and ultimately serve its advertising platform. While tracking was never denied, the company says the tool’s intention has nothing to do with ads.
- While Facebook said ad targeting may not be on the company’s radar for the rainbow filter tool, Nicole DeMeo, chief marketing officer of global mobile marketing company glispa, said there is a place for all types of data when it comes to marketing, including profile picture updates that support the LGBT community.
Google releases Street Views of more than 200 California destinations
- According to the LA Times, Google continues to expand Street View, releasing virtual tours of more than 200 new locations in California. The company announced that users can explore wineries, beaches and redwood forests with Street View, including Quintessa Winery, Silver Strand State Beach and Big Basin Redwoods State Park.
- “What better place to venture this summer than sunny California?” Street View program manager Deanna Yick said in a blog post announcing the new Street View locations, which will give people “a peek of what awaits you along Route 101.”
- Just last week, Google announced that it had released its first vertical Street View, of the climb up El Capitan in Yosemite National Park.