An overview of some of today's ad/tech news.
Search & Social
Ask.com is both going back to its original Q&A format as well as moving forth into social search by launching what it calls the beta version of "new Ask.com" site, focusing on its proprietary technology designed for Q&A. "Now available on an invite-only basis...the capability to pose questions to real people is now possible for those complex, subjective and/or time-sensitive queries that, no matter how advanced, computers simply can't address," Tony Gentile, senior vice president of product, and Lisa Kavanaugh, senior vice president of technology said in a blog post. Ask accounts for 3.6% of the U.S. search market, according to comScore's June ranking.
Search-powered bookmarking service historious has launched, offering to aggregate all the bookmarks and to facilitate getting back to previous bookmarked pages without having to resort to filing/classifying them. The tool keeps track of all the bookmarks users 'historify' and enables to search them back via just the words that are remembered on the content, the company said in a blog post.
The Walt Disney Co has acquired social game startup Playdom for a reported $763.2 million, the New York Times said. According to the daily, Disney will make an initial payment of $563.2 million. The deal then provides for $200 million in additional payments, should Playdom achieve "unspecified growth thresholds." Playdom is the third social gaming platform on Facebook with 42 million active players.
Twitter's @Earlybird has clinched a new deal that will offer followers a 20% rebate on JetBlue flights taking place between September 7 and November 17. This is the first time @Earlybird is entering an agreement in the travel industry. Launched two weeks ago, the profile has since attracted over 100 000 followers.
Facebook is testing a "delete account" option on a few number of profiles, The Next Web reported. So far, quitting Facebook meant just disabling the profile with an open possibility to reactivate it again when the user decides to. The delete feature is currently limited to a few accounts only,as confirmed by the social site: "...we are constantly testing new ideas, including the placement of various features. One of these recent tests included variations of the delete account option for a very small percentage of people."