The Internet hoards are fickle, easily distractible masses – just look at the proliferation of Lolcats and the whole Rickroll phenomenon. We’re not passing judgment – who doesn’t like a well-played Rickroll? – we’re just saying. Turns out, the popular link shortening site bit.ly thinks the same thing, only they have numbers to back it up. That awesome link you posted on Twitter? It’ll see most of its clicks in less time than it takes to watch a Peter Jackson movie.
What do you expect to come up when you search for a term in Google or Bing? Page after page of relevant results, right? Wrong, buster – at least if you're a customer of an ISP that engages in search query redirection. Late last night, a report surfaced that reveals that several ISPs, with the help of a company called PaxFire, have secretly been hijacking your traffic when you search for a certain major keywords. Why? Revenue, of course. Is your ISP on the list?
Haters been hating on Google+. Sure, maybe it's just the Goog's attempt to draw advertisee eyeballs from Facebook, and okay, the invite system kinda sucks, and yeah, sometimes it feels like you're talking to yourself in a big, empty room. Those are all perfectly valid complaints. But G+ brings a lot of new things to the table, and despite the naysayers, an unprecedented number of people have been lining up to give the service a whirl. We're only one month in to the Google+ experience and 25 million visitors have already tested the waters.
In its "Do No Evil" quest to become the entire Internet, Google hit a milestone in May that no other website has ever hit before. Just when you thought that the company couldn't possibly attract new visitors simply because everybody and his sister already used the service – no one searches the Web anymore, after all, they Google it – the Internet giant became the first website to ever have 1 billion unique visitors in a month.
Google has announced today that Android owners that use their devices as GPS units will have another reason to smile. The free Google navigation service will now be able to route you around traffic jams in real time. No need to adjust any settings, the Google cloud servers will just spit out the fastest route automagically.
Twitter has been having more than its fair share of stability issues this last month. The web service has previously pointed to the World Cup as the cause, but many consider that passing the buck. Twitter has been working on a server upgrade plan during this period of high traffic, and the results are causing more downtime than users have seen in over a year. In order to deal with the network issues, Twitter today cut their API limit dramatically, from 350 per hour to 175.
The API limit puts a cap on how many queries an application can make via the Twitter API in a one hour period. This change effectively reduces the traffic Twitter is likely to see. About 75% of Twitter's total traffic comes in from the API. Even Twitter's branded mobile apps are being forced to deal with the caps.
The decreased rate of 175 is a relief to some; the API cap was slashed to only 75 for a few hours earlier in the day. Twitter's Matt Harris warns that it is entirely possible the limit will have to be lowered again for periods of time in the next few weeks. Are you a heavy Twitter user? Have you run into the API limit just like in the old days?
The FIFA World Cup kicked off today in Johannesburg, South Africa. Soccer's showcase event always puts viewership records in grave danger with its ability to elicit unprecedented frenzy. On the inaugural day of the tournament, news sites turned out to be the main beneficiaries of the fan fervor. According to content delivery firm Akamai, news sites around the world experienced vastly heightened activity on Friday as viewers flocked to them in record numbers.
Its Net Usage Index, which continuously monitors global news consumption, showed a steep climb in traffic around noon, when traffic peaked at nearly 12.1 million visitors per minute. Akamai has never before recorded such levels. The previous record of around 8.5 million vpm was set when Barack Obama won the presidential race.
The whole point of buying a GPS is so you don't have to worry about getting lost, but if you're cruising through unfamiliar territory with an outdated map, you could end up who knows where. For this reason -- and no doubt influenced by increasing competition from GPS-centric smartphone apps -- TomTom announced it is now offering free Lifetime Map Updates and Lifetime Traffic Updates.
"The nation's roads are changing every day, so TomTom is proud to offer Lifetime Map Updates on our portable navigation devices," said Tom Murray, vice president of market development for TomTom Inc. "This feature, in conjunction with TomTom's Lifetime Traffic Updates, offers our customers the assurance that they will always have the industry's most accurate maps and the real-time traffic information they need for hassle-free navigation."
Users of "select TomTom devices across the TomTom LX and TomTom XXL product lines" are eligible to download new maps every few months, which the company claims includes one million more miles than competing maps.
Need more evidence that Facebook rules the Internet? Try this one on for size. According to research firm Hitwise, Google blinked, and Facebook leapfrogged ahead of the search engine as the most popular destination on the Web.
Combined, the two sites accounted for 14 percent of all U.S. traffic last week, but individually, Facebook nudged ahead of the search giant by claiming 7.07 percent of the hits compared to Google's 7.03 percent.
This marks the first time Facebbok has ever been able to outpace Google for a week, and likely not the last. While the lead is small, Facebook continues to trend upwards, having grown from a little over 2 percent a year ago. Not only that, but Facebook's membership has more than doubled in the past year as well.
Not surprisingly, users are also spending more time on Facebook, logging on average almost 6.5 hours per week, compared to less than 2.5 hours on Google.
There is some good news for those of you still awaiting a true measure of Facebook's transcendence. The world's most popular social networking site generates 11 times more page views than first runner-up MySpace, according to Pingdom. Its monthly page view count is a truly vertiginous figure: 260 billion. Microblogging sensation Twitter is rated the fourth most popular social networking site on the planet in terms of page views.
Twitter's 4.4 billion monthly page views may make it look very small in comparison to the top three sites on the list – Facebook, MySpace (24 billion) and Hi5 (12 billion), but as correctly pointed out by Cnet's Caroline McCarthy, it is not the perfect yardstick for measuring Twitter's true reach. Social news aggregator occupies the tenth spot with 340 million monthly page views, twice as many as its rival Reddit.