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[qi:109] U.S. web users tripled the amount of time they spent on social networks in August from the same month last year, according to Nielsen. And advertisers took note — estimated online advertising spending on social networks more than doubled over the same period. Around 17 […] Read more »

Similar-site.com is a new search engine that lets you find web sites akin to one you’re interested in by pulling up a list of sites with matching web tags. For example, if you input gigaom.com into the search box on similar-site.com, it will bring up a […] Read more »

Google is releasing an API for Google Sites, a product that lets you create and share web sites easily, to developers today, continuing an effort by the search giant to get businesses to adopt its products. Because the Mountain View, Calif.-based company plans to add features […] Read more »

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After Samasource, a non-profit that pairs people in the developing world with tech work, presented at the fbFund Demo day, a handful of investors in the audience raised their hands and said they’d donate to its cause. The non-profit provides computer-based work for women, youth and […] Read more »

Twitter is close to securing $100 million in new funding, the Wall Street Journal is reporting. Mutual fund T. Rowe Price and private equity firm Insight Venture Partners are said to be the new investors in the micromessaging site. Spark Capital and Institutional Venture Partners, who […] Read more »

As the web rapidly moves toward real-time information, the future of the web is box computing, in which you can power up a netbook or mobile phone and immediately pull up a search box without opening a browser or waiting for your operating system to boot […] Read more »

Dating-focused startups are being lauded by both VCs and bloggers alike these days. At the DEMO conference this week, startups Intelius and Gelato showcased dating-focused products that are intended to equip love seekers with tools to vet potential matches based on their online reputations. Earlier this […] Read more »

Cuil, a company of ex-Googlers that developed a search engine of the same name, released a new streaming feature today that displays real-time search results in a box on the site. It’s intended to help you watch the conversation about your search term unfold on the […] Read more »

Thing Labs, San Francisco-based startup that makes social networking applications, released today an API called Let’s Be Trends that lets developers procure information about trending topics on Twitter. The move comes on the heels of the private beta launch of Thing Labs’ Twitter application — Brizzly […] Read more »

Mozy, the online backup service from EMC-owned Decho, and broadband provider China Telecom said today they’ve forged a partnership to bring cloud-based services to China, opening up another revenue stream for China’s largest broadband provider. Financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed. The two will offer […] Read more »

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Yahoo outlined its new global branding campaign today, dubbed “It’s You!”, which is focused on the personalization of its homepage and products. The campaign, which has a budget of more than $100 million, includes tag lines that will be featured on the homepage such as “It’s […] Read more »

Twitter-focused applications are sprouting up everywhere these days — among them TweetDeck, Twhirl and Kutano — and they’re proving to be popular. Some 27 percent of Twitter users said they primarily access the micromessaging network using such apps, according to an inaugural study released today by […] Read more »

At long last, Facebook is finally on its way to putting its Beacon troubles to rest. Following a class action lawsuit filed by 20 disgruntled Facebook users in August of last year, the social network said Friday that it has agreed to a settlement. Though the […] Read more »

Adobe partnered with Gigya, a social widget maker, to offer a new service that lets advertisers and developers easily share their Flash-based applications across social, mobile and desktop platforms. The service, available today and called Flash Platform Services for Distribution, will enable developers to track and […] Read more »

MySpace said today that it’s rolling out a new feature in beta that lets U.S. users sync status updates in their Twitter feed and profile page on the social network, symbolizing MySpace’s efforts to piggyback off of the micro-messaging service’s growing popularity. The syncing function will […] Read more »

Updated: When it comes to burgeoning social media sites, DailyBooth, a Y Combinator startup, has captured the attention of users and VCs alike. The startup’s web site prompts people to take photos of themselves and post them on a message board with a note. DailyBooth’s fast-growing […] Read more »

Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey during a talk today at Webster University in St. Louis outlined his next venture, which he hinted may be focused on health care and financial services, according to the Wall Street Journal. Dorsey, who is now the chairman of Twitter’s board after […] Read more »

[qi:031] People are spending less time on communication sites that are focused around email and instant messaging, according to an analysis released today by the Online Publishers Association, a trade organization, a decline it attributes to the rising popularity of social networks such as Facebook, MySpace […] Read more »

Seesmic has unveiled new features to its desktop application, which helps you manage your Facebook and Twitter accounts, including the ability for users to set up a column to follow Facebook Fan pages, making it easier to keep track of favorite celebrities, sports teams and brands. […] Read more »

Jajah is privately launching in beta today a voice-over-IP solution that lets people make calls for free via micromessaging site Twitter and other Twitter-related desktop and mobile applications. This is another effort by Jajah to get its VoIP service onto a popular application; last year, the […] Read more »

[qi:012] Startups looking for VC funding need to make two things crystal clear when pitching to investors: One, how your company plans to distribute your product or services to the masses; and two, why it’s going to shake up the tech industry. That’s the advice offered […] Read more »

The real-time web helps us keep abreast of breaking news, but as we’ve written before, companies have struggled with how to present real-time news with older information in a balanced way. Three startups that presented this afternoon at TechCrunch 50 touched on solving that problem. It’s […] Read more »

AOL said at the TechCrunch50 conference this morning that it plans to release a host of AIM Lifestream products, including Mac and Windows desktop apps and mobile clients, on Sept. 22. AIM Lifestream marries the classic instant messenger system with support for social networks, such as […] Read more »

Facebook said today that its global audience has grown to 300 million users and that it’s cash-flow positive. The social network’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote in a blog post today that: Earlier this year, we said we expected to be cash flow positive sometime in 2010, […] Read more »

Aardvark, a San Francisco-based startup that touts a web-based answer service, today released a similar application for the iPhone that will let you ask friends in your social graph questions on topics, such as recommended restaurants or books, and receive answers directly from your Apple handset. […] Read more »

Gist, a free web service that provides a snapshot of information about your email contacts, is publicly launching in beta today. The web service pulls information about email contacts and the companies they work for from around 50,000 news sites and 20 million blogs and is […] Read more »

Google today launched a new feature that organizes articles on the web in a way that resembles print magazines, called Google Fast Flip. Marissa Mayer, the search engine giant’s VP of search products and user experience, who unveiled the feature at TechCrunch 50 this afternoon, explained […] Read more »

Morning panels at this year’s TechCrunch 50, which showcases 50 startups over two days, have wrapped up in San Francisco today, and so far we’ve seen big announcements from the non-startup world. Mint confirmed that it’s being acquired by Intuit, and Microsoft unveiled a visual search […] Read more »

Outright and Expensify, two startups focused on small to midsize businesses, are joining forces to help make tracking company expenses easier for employees. Outright, which makes free web-based bookkeeping software, today is releasing in private beta a version of its web site that incorporates Expensify’s API. […] Read more »

Social networks have been copying from one another for years, but the updates that Facebook, Twitter and Ning announced yesterday took such mimicry to new heights. At this point, however, dominance of the space ultimately depends on user base size. And from that perspective, Facebook, with […] Read more »

Today marks the eighth anniversary of 9/11, the bloodiest attack on U.S. soil in the nation’s history. No matter who you are or where you’re from, you’ll likely think back to where you were when you first learned about the planes hitting the Twin Towers and […] Read more »

INQ plans to release an Android-based phone by next year, company CEO Frank Meehan revealed, joining a small — yet growing — group of handset makers building phones on top of the Google mobile OS platform, including Motorola and HTC. Meehan told Om that the older […] Read more »

While smartphone sales have proliferated, netbooks are a burgeoning market that was put in the spotlight when Google announced its Chrome OS this summer. Though netbooks aren’t a new player in the tech space, it’s undeniable that consumers’ interest in these devices is rising — but […] Read more »

Facebook Mobile users are twice as active on the social network than web-only users and account for about a quarter of its entire user base. As a result, carriers have been asking Facebook to trim down the amount of data contained in its mobile web versions. […] Read more »

TweetDeck is launching a series of new features today further aimed at shaking off its image as a Twitter-focused app, according to CEO and founder Iain Dodsworth, including integrating MySpace into the eponymous desktop application. It began opening up the focus of its app beyond Twitter […] Read more »

Flickr, the Yahoo-owned photo-sharing site, has launched a free iPhone application that lets you shoot, upload and share photos and videos directly from the device. Given that it’s the camera of choice for Flickr users, many will find it a welcome addition. But a number of […] Read more »

MashLogic has received $2.5 million in Series A funding led by New Enterprise Ventures, according to the Menlo Park, Calif-based startup’s CTO and co-founder, Ranjit Padmanabhan. MashLogic makes a browser plug-in that provides contextual information about content on web pages, encouraging visitors to those pages to […] Read more »

FourSquare, the startup behind the popular LBS mobile application of the same name, has received $1.35 million in first round funding led by Union Square Ventures and including O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures. Union Square Ventures is also an investor in Twitter, which is launching its own LBS […] Read more »

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