A summary of search related news items that occurred this week including T-Mobile blocking Twitter updates to cell phones was a technical glitch rather than on purpose, Ask-owned Bloglines unveils three new features, Microsoft has secured a $500 million advertising deal with MTV owned Viacom, the FTC gives the green light for the Google / DoubleClick deal to go through, and finally, Danny Sullivan and Barry Schwartz launch as Search Engine News application for Facebook.
- T-Mobile Blocking Twitter Was a Technical Issue – Late last week, it appeared that T-Mobile was blocking the ability for their subscribers from receiving Twitter updates. Turns out that it was not on purpose but rather a technical glitch between T-Mobile and Ericsson, the folks who serve Twitter’s SMS traffic. The official Twitter blog states that T-Mobile does not have a policy against Twitter—in fact, they like Twitter.
- Bloglines Unveils Three New Features - From Marketing Pilgrim, Ask-owned Bloglines has added the following new features to its RSS reader – 1. Save: Allows you to save posts including text and graphics (if made available by the publisher) to a “Saved” folder; 2. Photo Widget: Provides large thumbnails of images from your Flickr feeds. Previously, only the text description was available, so viewing Flickr feeds is better and faster; and finally 3. Blog View: A new option with the 3-Pane View that lets you see the full blog site versus just the feed article. You’ll see not only the article, but also other site features like Comments and left and right rail page elements, including ads.
- Microsoft Secures $500 Million Viacom Advertising Deal - Reuters is reporting that Microsoft has won an estimated $500 million, 5-year Internet advertising deal with MTV Networks owner Viacom, giving the software giant a boost against rivals Google and Yahoo. Microsoft will help Viacom place advertising on its network of entertainment Web sites in the U.S., such as MTV.com. Microsoft will also be the exclusive seller in the U.S. of remnant display advertising, which is ad space that Viacom has been unable to sell, company executives said on Wednesday. The deal replaces online ad firm DoubleClick, whose services Viacom currently employs among other partners. As part of the Viacom deal, Microsoft has also agreed to buy ads on the media company’s broadcast and online networks over five years and to help Viacom establish itself as a publishing partner on Microsoft’s casual Internet gaming sites. Hat tip to Andy Beal.
- Google / DoubleClick Deal get Green Light From FTC - In an official statement release by the FTC, it looks like the Google / DoubleClick merger will go through. “After carefully reviewing the evidence, we have concluded that Google’s proposed acquisition of DoubleClick is unlikely to substantially lessen competition … Because the evidence did not support the theories of potential competitive harm, there was no basis on which to seek to impose conditions on this merger. We want to be clear, however, that we will closely watch these markets and, should Google engage in unlawful tying or other anticompetitive conduct, the Commission intends to act quickly.” The European Council rejected the Google / DoubleClick deal last month, but will likely be reconvening in March to take another look.
- New Search Engine News Application for Facebook - Danny Sullivan and Barry Schwartz have launched a “Search Engine News” application for Facebook. Install and by default you’ll get the top headlines from Search Engine Land and Search Engine Roundtable combined, showing on your Facebook profile page. The application includes a thermometer that runs alongside the headlines, designed to show you what the two predict the day’s temperature in terms of search news will be. Additionally, they promise an application for iGoogle is coming. The Facebook application can be found here.