Facebook and Microsoft’s AOL Patents | YouTube and Twitter’s New Ads

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Facebook Acquires AOL Patents From Microsoft (paidContent)
Facebook announced today that it will pay $550 million to Microsoft for the right to 650 patents and patent applications. Microsoft acquired those patents and hundreds of others in a deal with AOL earlier this month. The New York Times / Bits The deal allows Facebook to bulk up its intellectual property portfolio ahead of the social networking company’s initial public offering, expected next month, and it is a further sign of the growing importance of stockpiling patents in the arsenal of any big technology company. AllFacebook Facebook is currently embroiled in a controversial patent-infringement lawsuit filed by Yahoo in March. Meanwhile, last September, AOL, Yahoo and Microsoft joined forces to challenge Facebook on the online display advertising revenue front. PandoDaily Another thing is astounding about this story: The ever-bumbling AOL has actually done something smarter than Yahoo, the purple dinosaur. AOL sold and licensed its patents for a cash injection of more than $1 billion. Yahoo wanted money too, but it chose to use its patents to extort that kind of cash out of Facebook via a conveniently timed lawsuit — with zero attempt at negotiations before hand.

How Dumb Money Will Lead to Twitter Ad Anarchy (AdWeek)
Twitter’s self-serve ads platform, which started rolling out a last month, is expected to give the company a much-needed revenue boost from thousands of expected new advertisers. But a new report predicts that Twitter’s revenue windfall could come with a potentially dramatic price hike for brands. Business Insider Twitter’s ad platform is making it more expensive for brands to advertise in 140 characters, though. A report by The GroupM says prices could be hiked up 137 percent. AllTwitter The report also notes that the new system runs the risk of individuals new to the game bidding too much for certain ad products, raising the price for others in the market.

Forty Percent Say Yes to In-Game Purchases (PCMag)
According to a new data from market research firm The NPD Group, four out of 10 people who have played a so-called “freemium” game have made an in-app payment. Freemium games are those which are free to pay, but offer upgrades like advanced features and functionality that you can pay for. Kotaku They found that while girls and women are, as expected, significantly more likely to play freemium games, male consumers are the ones more likely to pay real cash for virtual goodies. Investor’s Business Daily About 38 percent of the U.S. population ages 2 and older are currently playing some type of freemium game, NPD says. The study was based on an online survey of more than 6,400 people, conducted Feb. 27 through March 7.

YouTube Launches Advertiser Playbook, Gives Away $50 Million In Free Advertising (SocialTimes)
YouTube is making a major push to attract advertisers to the site and, to that end, are launching some new initiatives designed to help businesses get into the world of advertising on YouTube. The Huffington Post Google AdWords for video will offer several ways for a businesses’ advertisements to gain visibility and micro target users who show interest in their products or industry. To get the initiative rolling, Google and YouTube are offering $50 million in free advertising to help 500,000 businesses get into the online video world.

5 Things Learned From Reddit CEO Yishan Wong’s AMA (The Daily Dot)
Reddit’s new CEO, Yishan Wong, held his first version of a fireside chat on Friday. And from his AMA (“ask me anything”), it’s pretty clear that Wong, who was formerly director of engineering at Facebook, is pretty good at chatting. He’s smart, honest and funny—all useful skills, because, as we learned on Friday, he envisions Reddit becoming the platform for discussion online.

Yelp Brings Something Yummy to the State of Denmark (WebProNews)
Attention Dutch gourmands both green and seasoned: ready your palates and forks and save room for your typing skills because Yelp has announced that their network of customer reviews and rankings of restaurants and businesses are now available to your country. The Copenhagen Post Yelp’s vice president of marketing Miriam Warren said that, given the high penetration of smartphones and iPads in the country, Denmark was an obvious choice for a new website.

Facebook Reports Sales Growth, Indicates Shares Valued at $30.89 (Bloomberg)
Facebook Inc., the social network that plans an initial public offering, said sales rose 45 percent to $1.06 billion in the first quarter, a slowdown from the growth pace in the preceding period. Engadget As for that Instagram purchase, it looks like the widely reported $1 billion figure wasn’t entirely accurate — at least not when talking cold, hard cash. Only $300 million was turned over in immediately spendable currency, the rest of the deal involved 23 million shares of common stock.

Pinterest Rival Fancy Gets Fancier With “Match By Color” Visual Search (TechCrunch)
High-end design, fashion and travel-focused Pinterest rival The Fancy is rolling out several new features today, including a new slideshow option, the addition of four more languages and a new visual search engine that allows users to search for items with similar colors.

Google Joins The Lobbying Elite With Record Spending On Lawmakers In 2012 (The Verge)
Google’s now playing to win in Washington. Despite arriving late to the anti-SOPA party, the company is now heavily invested in lobbying and lawmakers after spending $5.03 million in the first quarter of 2012. Google is now spending at a level that, if sustained throughout the year, will vault it from being a group that simply “educates” Congress to one that actively aims to buy influence in government alongside the largest corporations in the country.