December is here, and with it comes a slew of new Internet marketing news. As we move closer toward the New Year, there are many new changes on the horizon.

Google Plus Adds Communities

Google Plus, in a continued attempt to become a dominant force in the social media industry, has recently added Communities as a new features. Communities work similarly to Facebook’s Groups, allowing people to gather together based on their general likes and interest. The advantage of Communities on Google Plus over similar groupings in other social media formats is ease of access. Communities can be accessed directly from the Google Plus home page, making it easy for friends to meet and socialize through this feature. For e-commerce businesses, this means another way to reach many new potential customers.

Instagram and Twitter Begin to Show Signs of Incompatibility

Instagram, which was purchased earlier this year by Facebook, has traditionally meshed well with Twitter. That may no longer be the case, as pictures posted by Instagram users to Twitter have begun to appear too large, poorly cropped, or otherwise distorted. Twitter has acknowledged the issue, which can be traced to an incompatibility between Instagram and Twitter’s newest interface updates. Because the photo sharing community is now owned by Twitter’s largest competitor, many people are wondering if this might spell the end of Instagram on Twitter. If the problems consider, it may open the door for a new independent photo sharing community to arise, or it may spell serious trouble for Twitter.

FTC Orders Epic to Destroy Data

The Federal Trade Commission has forced Epic Media Group to destroy information collected through its specialized “history sniffing” technology. Epic has refused to admit wrongdoing in the case but has agreed to destroy all data and will not collect user information in the same way again. Epic’s data-gathering technology went far beyond what normal cookies and customer tracking software typically allow for, going so far as to collect medical information from some users. The intervention of the FTC indicates that even in the world of Internet marketing, there are limits to the data you should collect.

Twitter Extends Reach into Southeast Asia

Looking for a way to reach even more customers with your e-commerce business? Thanks to an agreement with advertising partner Komli Media, Twitter will now be able to sell promoted products and draw revenue from Southeast Asia. Southeast Asia represents one of the fastest growing social media markets in the world, and Komli has already put similar deals in place with Facebook and Zynga. This new development will allow e-commerce companies to reach further around the world and provide products and services to anybody who needs them.

The end of the year often brings with it a number of different surprises, not to mention an increasing amount of speculation on the future. Be sure to check back here as we approach the final weeks of 2012 and see what 2013 has to offer to those in the world of Internet marketing.

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