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Digital News Roundup: August 9, 2010

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Today’s Monday roundup features headlines from the Microsoft-Yahoo search alliance, the Federal Trade Commission’s Guides concerning blogger-marketer relations, Facebook and more. Get the full scoop in our summary below.

Yahoo Readies Transition to Microsoft adCenter

This week Yahoo took to its blog to share more information regarding its search alliance with Microsoft. The deal between the companies, first announced last July, stipulated that Yahoo Search Marketing accounts would eventually be transitioned to Microsoft’s adCenter platform. Per Yahoo, this transition is coming “soon.”


Here is some of the latest information on the transition from Yahoo:

Account management: Self-serve advertisers will need to create new adCenter account or link an existing adCenter account to a YSM account. By the end of August advertisers will notice an adCenter tab within YSM – and at this tab Yahoo will outline the steps necessary to link the accounts. Advertisers with a Yahoo account manager will get “direct assistance.”

Interim budgeting: After creating an adCenter account, ads will be eligible to serve on Bing immediately. This means that advertisers will manage both the new adCenter account and the existing YSM account at the same time “until ad serving for Yahoo traffic transitions to adCenter.” Given this, Yahoo urges advertisers to plan to budget accordingly.

Organic search: Natural results within Yahoo will be powered by Bing beginning later this month. Yahoo previously posted some tips for ensuring marketers are making the most of this new SEO landscape. Expect more analysis of these organic search implications on the 360i blog as the transition takes hold.

For more information, read our full Report on the Microsoft-Yahoo Search Alliance, or check out the Yahoo Transition Center, which houses materials to help advertisers learn more about the changes.

FTC Provides Clarity to its Guides for Endorsements

Last October, the Federal Trade Commission updated its Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements & Testimonials in Advertising for the first time in nearly 30 years. The changes addressed new scenarios created by the evolving digital landscape – namely how personal bloggers should approach disclosure when it comes to their affiliations with marketers and PR professionals.

Since that time the FTC has welcomed questions from the public on the updates, and it recently answered some of the most common questions on its website. In the new article, the FTC debunks the myth that bloggers can be fined up to $11,000 for failing to comply to the guides (in fact, advertisers will be the focus should enforcement measures are needed); maintains that bloggers are not being held to a “higher standard than traditional journalists;” and says that though there is not one right way to disclose (e.g. utilizing specific language), a single disclosure on the homepage of a website is not sufficient.

To learn more, read our complete summary of the key takeaways and our initial POV on the announcement from last fall.

Traditional Continues to Go Digital: Major Media Outlets Joining Tumblr

While most major media outlets have jumped on the Twitter and Facebook trains, a handful are finding a new niche in the New York-based blogger service, Tumblr. On Monday the New York Times reported that Tumblr, which boasts 6.6 million users, has caught the eye of media outlets including The Atlantic, Rolling Stone, The Huffington Post, Life, and, of course, The New York Times.


While Tumblr might not have the same reach as platforms like Facebook or Twitter, Tumblr allows for a more conversational tone amongst readers and allows blog posts to be shared and re-shared easily with the simple click of a button.

David Karp, Tumblr’s 24-year-old founder and CEO describes Tumblr as “a space in between Twitter and Facebook” where it’s “less about broadcasting to an audience and more about communicating with a community.” It will be interesting to see how a blogging platform like Tumblr (which does not generate revenue) will resonate with digital savvy readers for these major outlets.

The Answer is Facebook Questions

Ever wanted to crowdsource 500 million people? Well, maybe not all of them, but with the new Facebook Questions feature that is slowly being rolled out, Facebook users will now have the opportunity to broadcast questions to friends and other Facebook users who have expressed interest in topics that you tag.


Image via Mashable

Facebook Questions will give users the opportunity to add pictures or polls to the questions they are asking. Users can also “follow” topics to receive notification updates when people add new answers. Users without a specfic query can go to the “Questions About” drop-down menu and peruse other peoples questions about “Everything.”

With the new Questions feature Facebook seems to be getting in on the social search movement, which includes services like Aardvark and Mahalo Answers. Given Facebook’s large, global footprint (compared to similar platforms) it will be interesting to see how consumers use the feature — and what opportunities (if any) will emerge for marketers as a result.

-Katie Wall contributed to this report.