The FTC published a letter today that it sent yesterday to search engine companies, warning them that they were not adequately complying with its rules on differentiating paid search advertisements and organic search results.
Call Friends for Free with Facebook’s Messenger App (Mashable)
Now you can call your Facebook friends for free — if you’re an iPhone user, that is. The company has rolled out a new feature in the United States that allows Facebook Messenger app users to place voice calls with friends over the social network using their data connection or Wi-Fi.
Not to be left in the dust, Ask.com has recently released their new question and answer App Ask Around. The App, launched exclusively for the iOS platform on March 4th, 2011, combines the question and answer format with the possibility of local interaction. The question is: do we really need or want this kind of immediate locality?
Algorithmic search technology is out at Ask.com and question-and-answer is in, as Bloomberg reports that parent company IAC will slash 130 engineering jobs and pull out of the search-engine business to focus on the online Q&A part of the business.
The search unit will be based in Oakland, Calif., with the affected jobs in Edison, N.J., and Hangzhou, China, and IAC will invite 20 of the New Jersey engineers to move out West, Bloomberg reported.
Ask.com president Doug Leeds told Bloomberg:
(Google has) become this huge juggernaut of a company that we really thought we could compete against by innovating. We did a great job of holding our market share, but it wasn’t enough to grow the way IAC had hoped we would grow when it bought us.
“We’ve realized in the last few years you can’t compete head on with Google,” IAC chairman and CEO Barry Diller added.
Oct. 1 will be the end of the line for Bloglines, as Ask.com announced in a blog post that it will shutter the Web-based RSS reader and news aggregator to refocus on its Q&A business model and due to the emergence of social-media sites like Facebook and Twitter.
From the blog post:
Primarily, it’s about focus. Our focus here at Ask is on building out our Q&A offering. Our beta, released
in a very limited fashion at the end of July, is seeing steady community growth with an answer-to-question ratio of 2:1, which underscores the fact that people are motivated to provide answers. Another encouraging metric: On average, users who are active within the community are asking two questions per day. These early numbers build on the competitive advantage we already have in the marketplace — the fact that 30 percent of the searches on our site are already in the form of a question — and are further proof that Ask needs to continue its tight focus on delivering the best possible answers to users.