The holidays are finally upon us, and with that comes a look forward to the coming year. Read on to find out how the world of Internet marketing is changing as we head toward 2013.

Google, Facebook, Dell, and Intuit Take on Patent Law

A group of some of the most powerful technology companies in the world have joined together to argue that technology patents should not extend to abstract ideas. CLS Bank International has attempted to patent a financial intermediation system, and several technology giants are trying to claim that it should not be valid due to its abstract nature. Google, Facebook, Dell, and Intuit have brought the case to the US Court of Appeals, and many think they have a strong case, since the federal court already turned over an Apple patent for touch screen devices earlier this year. This could mean a big change in the way companies approach patent filing.

Mobile Web and Social Media Continue to Grow

A recent report filed jointly by NM Insight and Nielsen demonstrates that the mobile web and social media networks are continuing to gain ground in the online world. Consumers now spend 30% of their total time on mobile devices, as opposed to only 20% of their time on personal computers. Additionally, the total amount of minutes spent on social media increased worldwide to 121 billion minutes, which is an increase over the 88 billion minutes of 2011. This is confirmation of a trend that e-commerce businesses need to be aware of – sites now need to be designed with the mobile web and social media in mind.

Instagram Oversteps its Bounds

Instagram, the most popular photo-sharing network in the world, has run into a few legal issues recently due to a change in their terms of use. A new proposed policy would have enabled them to share user data, images posted on Instagram, an online actions with advertisers and third parties. The move was one of the first major critical backlashes the site received from its otherwise loyal user base, and was reversed quickly. Whether this affects Instagram long-term or changes the overall approach to Internet privacy in the future remains to be seen.

LinkedIn to Update Profile Appearances

LinkedIn, a worldwide directory for professionals, is undergoing a new change that will include a new profile layout. Among these changes is new space for headlines and summaries, which will give visitors a brief synopsis of who you are. This is a chance for business owners and professionals to connect with many new people by putting their best foot forward. In designing your new LinkedIn profile, you should approach the new look as though you are building a resume, with something eye-catching right off that will get your message across and draw visitors to read on.

There is only one more week left in 2012, a year which has seen some major developments in terms of advertising, social media, and information sharing. Come back next week as we look at the year in retrospect.

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