Bing Adds “Klout” to its Search Results
The team behind Klout has made the startling discovery that the best place to go for advice might just possibly be another trusted human being. The site, which ranks and rewards the influence of its users through their social media activity, has just integrated with Bing to provide real answers in search results from people rated as Klout experts. Don’t expect any insights into quantum physics however – the answers are limited to 300 characters and so are better suited to issues like how to care for tulips.
The deal with Bing brings Klout’s results in from the search engine’s social sidebar where they have nestled since Microsoft bought a significant chunk of the company last September. Instead they now appear in the main search listings. Klout says it has so far collected 150,000 answers to questions harvested from Bing search results that have not provided satisfactory answers. Initially the answers will only be available to around 15 per cent of users. Clicking on an answer, shown in full in the results, takes users to the expert’s Klout profile.
It will be interesting to see if there is any response from Google which is spending millions on fighting legal challenges from Microsoft and others who claim it gives unfair prominence to results from its own services. The Klout answers are not flagged to show they come from a site in which Microsoft has an interest, but then the size of its stake has not been disclosed so it could be a tough case to argue.
Facebook’s Search for Revenue takes it to the Top
When you are trying to cosy up to the ad industry it pays to go straight to the top and Facebook has done just that by appointing the former president of the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising as its new head of European operations. Nicola Mendelsohn, currently executive chairman of ad agency Karmarama, will take over from Joanna Shields who now leads the government’s TechCity project. Ms Mendelsohn has a tough balancing act to perform – boosting Facebook’s ad revenue without making the experience so commercial that users lose interest and drift away. Facebook is obviously taking the challenge very seriously – it took six months to find the right person for the job.
Money Makes the Web go Round
Everyone’s trying to extract more money from the web these days and YouTube is about to jump on the bandwagon by introducing new channels which will only be available to paying customers. The video site is said to be on the verge of announcing a monthly subscription scheme which will offer a financial incentive to video makers who until now have had to rely on revenue from the ads attached by YouTube to their videos. It is thought the subscriptions will only apply to new channels, of which there are said to be dozens in the pipeline, with the vast majority of YouTube videos remaining free to all. These must be nervous times for the cable television industry.