Facebook & Google Tools help in tracking earthquake victims

People can now find and track friends and relatives stranded in the areas affected by the tragic earthquake in Nepal using Google’s People Finder tool or the Safety Check tool by Facebook.

Using Google’s People Finder Tool, visitors can either look for someone or share information about someone in the affected areas.  The People Finder tool, which functions as a missing persons database was first introduced in January 2010 after an earthquake hit Haiti. It uses a database of missing persons fueled by crowdsourced information from individuals and organizations to help people check the status of friends or relatives after a disaster.

Facebook’s Safety Check feature, which it rolled out last year in October, asks users in an area affected by disaster or tragedy if they are safe. Contacts can also find friends in the area, and in turn get notified about their status. “If you’re in one of the areas affected by the earthquake, you’ll get a notification asking if you’re safe, and whether you want to check on any of your friends,” Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote in a post.

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Google Introduces Movie Making Feature on Google+

googleOn Tuesday, Google introduced a new technology with which users can create polished movies, complete with music soundtracks, from collections of home videos and photos that they post on the Google+ social network. The feature automatically analyzes home videos that users take on their smartphones and have uploaded to Google+, automatically producing short movies. The technology combines the best clips of similar videos, adds music, and mixes in related photographs.

Other new features include incorporating SMS text messages into Google’s messaging service and new location-sharing capabilities.

According to Google, around 300 million users visit the Google+ web page every month, up from 190 million “in stream” users in May. The company noted that its users upload 1.5 billion photos to Google+ every week.

“We want to be more than just a lightweight sharing service. We want to be the archive of your life,” Google+ Vice President of Product Management Bradley Horowitz said on the sidelines of an event in San Francisco to announce the new features.

Google has rolled out a number of photo-centric features for Google+ this year, which take advantage of the company’s computing horsepower. On Tuesday, it showed a slew of new features that touch up snapshots with better lighting and focus, and even erase unwanted bystanders from pictures.

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70% of worldwide mobile ad revenues dominated by Google and Facebook

Mobile Advertising

Google and Facebook will combine to control close to 70 percent of worldwide mobile ad revenue share in 2013, eMarketer reports.

The overall mobile ad market is expected to grow 89 percent to $16.65 billion worldwide this year, eMarketer forecasts. Google is on pace to claim 53.17 percent of the market, up from 52.36 percent a year ago, thanks largely to continued growth in mobile search traffic and the expansion of its YouTube monetization efforts. Facebook is expected to surge from 5.35 percent global mobile ad share in 2012 to 15.8 percent this year: Last month, the social network announced that mobile ads now generate 41 percent of its total revenues, up from 30 percent in the first quarter of this year.

Pandora Media follows a distant third at 2.37 percent, declining from 2.71 percent in 2012 and 2.99 percent in 2011. Last week Pandora reported second quarter mobile ad revenues of $90 million, more than half of the streaming music service’s total quarterly revenues.

YP.com will capture 2.27 percent of the global mobile ad market in 2013, slipping from 2.86 a year ago, while Twitter will grow from 1.57 percent in 2012 to 1.85 percent this year. Millennial Media  is next at 0.72 percent, falling from 0.82 percent in 2012. Other firms make up the remaining 23.82 percent of the market.

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Google Launches Product Listing Ads in India

googleYesterday search engine giant Google launched a new ad format ‘Product Listing Ads’ in India. This new ad format will to provide users information like images, price and brands of products, which will help people shop better both online and offline.

Product Listing Ads are search ads that include richer product information, such as product image, price, and merchant name, without requiring additional keywords or ad text. Whenever a user enters a search query relevant to an item in your Google Merchant Center account, Google will automatically show the most relevant products along with the associated image, price and product name.
As per an official statement, Product Listing Ads will appear on shopping-related queries on Google.co.in. This feature will initially be placed on the right-hand side of the search results page above text ads, and it will be labeled as ‘sponsored’.

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Google Made $4.61 Billion in Mobile Internet Ad Revenues Last Year- eMarketer

googleAccording to eMarketer’s first-ever figures on worldwide digital and mobile advertising revenues at major internet companies, Google earned more than half of the $8.8 billion advertisers worldwide spent on mobile internet ads last year, helping propel the company to take in nearly one-third of all digital ad dollars spent globally.

The report found that after making nearly half a billion dollars worldwide on mobile ads last year, Facebook—which had no mobile revenue in 2011—is expected to increase mobile revenues by more than 333% to just over $2 billion in 2013, and account for a 12.9% share of the global net mobile advertising market.

eMarketer estimates that Google made $4.61 billion in mobile internet ad revenues last year, more than triple its earnings in 2011. This year’s mobile revenues will be up a further 92.1% to $8.85 billion.

Twitter is also expected to see its worldwide mobile ad spending share increase this year to about 2% of the total, eMarketer estimates. However, eMarketer estimates that Twitter will have a higher, 3.6% share in the US.

As per the report, combined, three companies—Google, Facebook and Twitter—account for a consolidating share of mobile advertising revenues worldwide, as other players, such as YP, Pandora, Apple and Millennial Media, see their shares decrease, despite maintaining relatively strong businesses growing at rapid rates.

eMarketer found that across all digital platforms, Google continues to reign as not only the largest beneficiary of digital ad spending in the US, but worldwide as well. The search giant made $32.73 billion in net digital ad revenues in 2012, equivalent to nearly 31.5% of total worldwide digital ad spending that year. This year, Google will increase revenues faster than the overall market thanks to continued monetization of YouTube and growing adoption of mobile advertising, eMarketer believes, leading to a gain in share of the total digital advertising market. The search giant is foolowed by Facebook, with $4.28 billion in net digital ad revenues, or 4.11% of the worldwide market. Its share is also expected to grow this year, to 5%.

This is also eMarketer’s first estimate for revenues at IAC. The company, which also benefits as a large recipient of Google’s traffic acquisition costs (TAC) paid back to partners who provide search traffic, earns a respectable market share compared with other longtime players like AOL.

While both Google and Facebook are increasing revenues at faster rates than the overall digital ad spend market, dramatic increases in ad revenues are more difficult for companies with such high earnings. Twitter will post the fastest growth rate in worldwide ad revenues among the companies eMarketer analyzed, with a 102.2% increase expected this year after a 106.7% increase in 2012. That’s compared with 12.3% growth in total digital ad spending projected for 2013, and 20.4% growth estimated for 2012.

Overall, eMarketer’s forecast for digital ad revenues at select major publishers indicates that online ad spending, like mobile advertising, continues to consolidate among a few major ad sellers.

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Google Introduces New Design For Gmail, Adds Tabs

googleYesterday Google announced a new design for its popular email service Gmail. Announcing this, the company blog stated,” Today, Gmail is getting a brand new inbox on desktop and mobile that puts you back in control using simple, easy organization.”

The new inbox, which will be rolled out to users in the coming weeks, will sort mails under five different tabs by default. For desktop users, the new inbox features the ability to group mail into categories which appear as different tabs. Users can simply choose which categories they want. This structure aims to organize the inbox in a way that lets users see what’s new at a glance and decide which emails they want to read when.

Users can easily customize the new inbox – select the tabs they want from all five to none, drag-and-drop to move messages between tabs, set certain senders to always appear in a particular tab and star messages so that they also appear in the Primary tab.
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In the Gmail for Android 4.0+ and Gmail for iPhone and iPad apps, users will see their Primary mail when they open the app and can easily navigate to the other tabs. Users who aren’t comfortable with the new inbox, have the option to simply switch off all optional tabs to go back to classic view, or switch to any of the other favorite inbox types.

The desktop, Android and iOS versions of the new inbox will become available within the next few weeks.

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Google Adds 6 Indic Languages in Gmail On the Feature Phone Browser

googleOn Thursday, Google introduced six new Indic languages- Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Marathi, Tamil, and Telugu, in Gmail on the feature phone browser. Users can go to the settings in Gmail and choose their preferred language.

Announcing this, the company blog stated,” Indian culture is diverse, with more than 100 languages and thousands of alphabets used every day. Depending on where you are, you might hear anything from Gujarati to Bengali and Tamil to Urdu. If you’re a speaker of these languages and use a feature phone, communicating is about to get a little easier.”


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Google Launches Google Play Books Store In India

google-playGoogle has launched its Google Play Books store for users in India . The store offerings include books from authors such as Amish Tripathi, Devdutt Pattanaik, APJ Abdul Kalam and many international bestsellers.

The Google blog stated,”Books on Google Play is all about choice: we’re offering many titles and many ways to access and read them, so that your library is literally at your fingertips no matter where you are. You can choose from great titles from award-winning and diverse publishing houses at launch, not to mention the international publishers Google works with around the world.”

With Google Play, users will be able to discover, purchase and read books on their android devices, iPhones & iPads – they can purchase books in the Google Play Store and begin reading them instantly in the Google Play Books app. They can also purchase and read books on the Google Play store and read in the web browser of their computer.

“We’re happy to make it even easier for all Indian book lovers to discover and buy whatever they want to read, whether that’s the next bestseller, a new release from their favourite author or a well-loved classic. Whether you’re a bookworm or casual reader, we hope you find something great to read on Google Play,” the blog further stated.

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Around 30% Youtube India Viewers Access Videos On Mobile – Google Study

youtube-logoAccording to a recent online survey conducted by Google, around one-third of YouTube viewers in India access videos on their mobiles and spend over 48 hours a month on the website. The online survey was conducted on more than 2000 Indians.

The study revealed that almost two-thirds of the viewers on YouTube in India are under 35 years of age. The survey also revealed an emerging consumer class on YouTube, which it nicknamed ‘Generation C’ and represents a young, tech savvy group of youngsters.

The study said,”Generation C switches between devices 27 times a day, and Indian users watch nearly 30 percent of their YouTube videos on mobile. Smartphone owners spend one quarter of their YouTube time on mobile, while tablet owners spend about 20 percent.”

According to Google, increase in smartphone penetration in India will also lead to an increase in opportunities for brands to personally reach Gen C.

The study found that more than 70 percent of YouTube’s viewers in India are under the age of 35, while 72 percent have a college degree or higher. The survey also found that more than half of Indian YouTube users share videos on social networks and the same proportion also shares videos from YouTube on email. Around three quarters of the users visit the site mentioned the video.

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Google India Announces Mapathon 2013

google mapsWith an aim to create better maps for India, Google India has announced a mapping competition: Mapathon 2013.

Mapathon 2013 — which starts on February 12 and culminates on March 25, 2013 — is an India-wide   mapping contest open to just about anybody who lives in India. The Google blog stated,” We’re inviting Google Maps users from all over the country to help us create better maps for India by adding knowledge of their neighborhoods through Google Map Maker. And there’s something in it for everyone! The top 1000 mappers in India stand a chance to win Android tablets, smartphones, gift vouchers and Google merchandise.”

Google Map Maker, first conceptualized in India, is an easy-to-use tool that allows users to add more detail to Google Maps through a few simple clicks. Using Google Map Maker, users can select a specific area on Google Maps and add new information based on their own local knowledge or by referencing the satellite imagery on Google Maps.  With just another click, users can save and submit their input — and once the submitted edit has been verified, the new information will be added to Google Maps.

For registrations, users can visit this link.

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