News Picks: Twitter’s SocialAds Network; Skype vs Fring; Microsoft Tablets To Rival iPad

An overview of some of today’s ad/tech news

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Twitter’s SocialAds Network
Twitter is launching SocialAds, a video ad network forked out of its TwitVid. SocialAds allows you to buy your followers and re-tweets (RT) but also provides social analytics. This could be the explanation of Twitter’s simultaneous announcements of its Smallthought acquisition and URL shortener launch as well as rumored trial of a “You Both Follow” feature. According to MediaPost, the pricing model is that of price-per-action, meaning that impressions that do not result in actions won’t be charged for. “Bidding begins at one dollar per follower and seventy-five cents per retweet, with higher bids receiving better placement on ad units,” the report said, noting that SocialAds doesn’t require viewers to retweet or follow brands. It is understood that a private alpha testing yielded over 400 followers to one participant in less than an hour, with 2% of users who “were shown an ad followed a brand.”

One can bet that the chirpy company will be banking on its Twitter Places (which integrates local data layers from Foursquare, Gowalla, Localeze and TomTom) as well as other upcoming such Annotations (or tweet tags, metadata) to provide geo-specific and vertically-targeted ads.

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Skype vs fring
Still in video but in video calling this time, Skype is making waves by blocking the mobile-over-internet communication service provider and partner fring from its platform. In a statement posted on its website, fring said it is “being forced to stop its 4 years of Skype interconnectivity following threat of legal action.” According to the company, Skype is getting nervous as fring now provides the technology for free two-way video calling on iPhone 4, dubbed FaceTime. Owners/users of the iPhone 4 can make the free calls to friends using the iPhone, Android and Nokia devices over 3G and Wifi.

fring is notably also providing technology to GoogleTalk and Twitter but Skype “is refusing to allow fring to restore connectivity” to its platform.

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Microsoft’s Tablets vs iPad
Remaining in the realm of competition, PaidContent reports that Microsoft’s “tablets are coming” and this, “within the year,” as CEO Steve Ballmer named 21 partners he said are set to launch tablets with Windows 7. TechFlash and ZDNet reported Ballmer, who was speaking at the Worldwide Partner Conference, as saying that the devices are intended to be “consumer-oriented” and meant to be “manageable with today’s enterprise IT solutions.” So while iPad is for play, would Microsoft’s future tablet be for play AND work too?

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