theEweekly Wrap - Haiti, Apple search engine, paywalls and Bill Gates

Internet donates for Haiti disaster The internet rallied in support of the victims of the Haiti earthquake this week, pledging millions of pounds to help support those affected by the disaster.

Various social media campaigns were created in order to raise funds for the disaster, while Google directed users to appropriate organisations accepting donations via a link on its homepage. The company also promising to donate $1 million to those involved in the disaster relief campaign.

Those located in the disaster area have been using Twitter to request information about the whereabouts of relatives or employees, while charity organisations have been relaying news regarding the status of aid drops and medical facilities through uploads on the service.

Poison Apple Apple, a company famous for its menagerie of touch-screen gadgets and computers, could get into the search game, according to an industry expert.

Jonathan Yamis, employee with marketing research firm Ovum, predicted the company would enter into the search market in the near future. His predictions came after rumours circulated that Apple would drop Google as the default search engine on the iPhone handset.

Whatever Apple decides to do in the future, it will be facing a tough challenge, particularly in the paid search stakes; it was revealed this week that three out of every four paid clicks happen on Google. Search advertising agency, which manages more than $750 million in annual digital spend, revealed the statistic in its latest quarterly report.

Another kick in the paywall It's been an interesting week for those involved in the paid news debate.

Earlier in the week, internet news site TechCrunch released data which suggested that 44 per cent of Google News visitors in the US do not click through to a third-party site.

Users, TechCrunch argued, preferred to 'graze' snippets of news, rather than read an entire article on a third-party site.

Later in the week, the third annual News Users report stated that 75 per cent of users would use a different website for their news if their current choice introduced a paywall. Only 10 per cent said they were willing to pay for an online subscription.

This news fell on deaf ears over at the New York Times as the American newspaper announced it could begin to move to a paid subscription model in the near future.

Opening the flood gates Bill Gates, the philanthropic founder of Microsoft, caused headlines this week after opening up a Twitter account.

Gates, now working for a number of charities, began tweeting on Tuesday and amassed over 100,000 followers in under eight hours. Currently, he is followed by over 301,000 individuals.

Ben Parr, editor of Mashable said:

"The last time we’ve seen a new Twitter user with this kind of momentum was Oprah when she first joined. Mr. Gates is not only the world’s richest man, but one of its most popular it seems. His legacy as an entrepreneur and a philanthropist are far from forgotten."

For those who are interested, Gates' first tweet read: "Hello World. Hard at work on my foundation letter - publishing on 1/25".

News in 140 characters

66% of online marketers plan to invest in social media over the next 12 months, according to research from Alterian.

Google released its latest earnings report. The revenue for the quarter jumped 17% year-over-year to $6.67 billion.

45% of search queries on Bing are either abandoned or result in an immediate re-query, the search engine revealed this week.

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