A summary of search and social media related news items that occurred this week including Google objects to a Microsoft/Yahoo merger and Microsoft fires back their opinion of that, MySpace opens up its platform to a select number of developers, social news site Mixx adds private mail and group message boards, Ask launches a social news aggregator called Bignews, and finally, Amazon quietly launches product Ads which allows Web merchants to buy cost-per-click ads which are then linked to specific product searches.
- Google Objects To Microsoft/Yahoo Merger & Microsoft Responds – Google is not happy about Microsoft’s offer to buy Yahoo. The company has stated so in an official statement suggesting that the move will hurt what it calls the underlying principles of the internet: “openness and innovation.” Microsoft responds to say it is open and that only the shotgun marriage it proposes to Yahoo will make a “credible” number two threat to Google. More analysis of the two opinions from Danny Sullivan at Search Engine Land.
- MySpace Opens Up Platform To Developers – TechCrunch reports that MySpace is holding an event in San Francisco on Wednesday with 250 application developers to ceremonially launch its application platform. Over the next month, developers big and small will have the opportunity to begin developing applications for MySpace using the company’s new, OpenSocial-based APIs. Until that month has passed, only a maximum of ten or so users will be able to install each app at a time, ensuring that the period is used strictly for development, testing, and feedback purposes.
- Mixx Adds Private Mail & Group Message Boards - Mixx, a Digg like clone (but better), is adding private mail and group message boards to its site. Members will be able to send mail to any other member, and block messages from any member as well. Every group will also have a message board to discuss a general topic not related to any one story. The only other major social news site that has mail is Propeller, which is owned by AOL. More at TechCrunch including a poll as to whether you think more social news sites should add private mail features.
- Ask Launches BigNews - Marketing Pilgrim reports that Ask has just launched a social news aggregation site they call BigNews. The difference of this service from others is that Ask integrates voting with what they call the “BigFactor.” It is like like Yahoo and Google News except broader as it it includes video, images, and blog posts related to each story. Janet Meiners provides more information in the original post including how voting works and her opinion of the new service.
- Amazon Quietly launches Product Ads - Amazon has launched a program called Product Ads, a service that allows any Web merchant to buy cost-per-click ads on Amazon which are then linked to specific product searches. According to TechCrunch, no formal announcement was made other than a blast e-mail to product marketers and the addition of a paragraph at the bottom of their advertising page describing how you can advertise with Amazon. Although it is a limited test for now (in the Electronics & Computers, Home & Garden, Tools, and Toys, Kids & Baby categories), Product Ads is a direct response to the encroachment of Google and product search engines like eBay’s Shopping.com.