Articles of the Day


Facebook To Earn $35 Million From Virtual Gifts — Venture capitalist Jeremy Liew claims that Facebook will make about $35 million from the sale of virtual gifts this year, equating to roughly 10% of the social networking giant’s revenue. This is just an estimate, of course, as Facebook is a private company with financial details that aren’t easily scrutinized. That said, it has been widely reported that the company will make roughly $300-$350 million this year. The San Jose Mercury News first reported Liew’s analysis, which the paper says he came up with by crunching Facebook’s available data over the last several weeks. Earlier in the year, Liew pegged virtual gift revenue at $15 million, following a similar analysis over a seven-week holiday period. “Ten percent is nothing to sneeze at,’ said Liew, adding that his ‘ballpark’ estimate may be off by 25% or so.

WSJ.com Redesign and Relaunch Coming on Sep 16; May Start Charging Lot More For Tiers — The Wall Street Journal, which is basking in the glory of launching its luxury magazine supplement WSJ, also slipped in a reference to the relaunch of its real WSJ., meaning Wsj.com: after a year and change of redesign effort, it is being launched on Sept. 16 19, with “lots of wonderful gizmos” and a new design providing easier access to fr*ee content, according to Robert Thomson, managing editor of the Journal, speaking to AP. We also expect other DJ online brands like Marketwatch, Barrons.com and others to be better integrated within this relaunch.

JP Morgan Cuts Online Ad Outlook; Gap Between Search And Display Widens — JP Morgan internet analyst Imran Khan is lowering his online ad spend forecast into next year due to the worsening economy. Sensing that marketers are becoming more conservative with their ad spend, Khan expects that long-tail advertisers will shift toward performance-based advertising forms. Therefore, display ads will suffer more than search. And so, JP Morgan is lowering its ‘08 US display market estimate to $8.2 billion from $8.6 billion— or 14 percent year-over-year growth, versus its previous call for 20 percent growth. Looking to ‘09, the analyst is dropping its projected display forecast to $9.4 billion from $10.0 billion (representing 16 percent growth compared to his prior estimate of 17 percent gains.).

Google’s Chrome Already Ranks 12th, Per Hitwise — On Tuesday, the news of the launch of Google’s browser, dubbed Chrome, flooded the major news outlets, both online and off, adding a new competitor to the browser wars between Microsoft’s Internet Explorer and Firefox. In one day, Google Chrome reached the number twelve ranking in Hitwise’s “Computers & Internet – Software” category out of 2,553 Web sites. Additionally, the market share of visits to Google Chrome was higher than to Mozilla on Tuesday — ranked number 19 — but still fell behind the Microsoft Download Center. The average visit time for the day on Google Chrome was 2 minutes and 48 seconds.

Online Revs Also Falling For Newspapers — We knew things were bad for the newspaper industry, but we didn’t know they were this bad. The Newspaper Association of America on Thursday said that not only did print revenues fall precipitously in the second quarter, but online revenues also fell 2.4% to $777 million. Really? Online revenues? There may be a recession going on outside, but online ad revenues haven’t actually been falling anywhere, not even at AOL. As TechCrunch’s Erick Schonfeld notes, the common practice of bundling print and online ad sales probably has something to do with the declines, as advertisers trained to buy the entire bundle are probably abandoning the whole package due to budget cuts. “The advertising recession is in full swing, and no segment is safe any longer,” he says.

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