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theEweekly Wrap: Crackdowns, CTRs and copycat app stores

In support of social The government’s claim that social media helped organise the riots in Manchester and elsewhere has been refuted by academics from the University of Manchester. An analysis of more than 2.6 million riot-related tweets for Reading the Riots – an investigation by the Guardian and the London School of Economics – has concluded that Twitter at least was not to blame. The findings are likely to prove embarrassing for prime minister David Cameron, who even went so far as to suggest at the time that the government could shut down social media sites to “stop people communicating via these websites and services when we know they are plotting violence, disorder and criminality”.

Professor Rob Procter of the University of Manchester, who led the academic team running the research, commented: “Politicians and commentators were quick to claim that social media played an important role in inciting and organising riots, calling for sites such as Twitter to be closed should events of this nature happen again. But our study has found no evidence of significance in the available data that would justify such a course of action in respect to Twitter.”

Interestingly, the research also named the top 10 Twitter users during the riots, based on @ mentions. Manchester’s very own @gmpolice squeaked in at number 10 with 8,904 mentions – although that’s still a fair distance behind riot response coordinators @riotcleanup (40,960), Guardian reporter @paullewis (30,031) and – err – @piersmorgan (20,412).

Click through ruckus If there’s one thing that divides SEO people, it’s Bing. Search marketers are sharply divided about whether it’s even worth bothering with Bing, given that Google accounts for more than nine out of ten searches in the UK. One thing that usually counts in Bing’s favour is higher click-through-rates (CTRs). However, a new study from US agency Slingshot SEO suggests that even that advantage isn’t a given. A Tale of Two Studies: Google vs Bing Click-Through Rate found that the average CTR for the number one position on natural Google search results stands at 18.2 per cent, while for Bing it’s just 9.7 per cent.

CTRs typically differ considerably depending on various factors, such as whether the searcher is looking to buy or simply to find out more information. Nevertheless, the overall message is clear – a top listing in Google will generate an awful lot more visits than a top listing in Bing.

As if that wasn’t bad enough for Bing, the researchers also made another discovery. Every month, approximately 117 million people search for ‘google’ in Bing.

Microsoftware Microsoft has announced plans for a new app store on its forthcoming operating system, in a move that bears an uncanny resemblance to developments over at Apple. The company plans to offer a ‘Windows Store’ on its forthcoming Windows 8 operating system, just under a year after Apple introduced an app store for OS X.

For the majority of apps built on the platform, developers will receive 70 per cent of the revenue generated with Microsoft taking the remaining 30 per cent – exactly the same split as on the App Store. However, if an app hits the magic number of $25,000 (£16,000), developers get to keep 80 per cent from that point on.

In an official Microsoft blog post, Ted Dworkin, partner program manager for the Windows Store, said: “We intend to offer the industry’s best terms, so that the best apps make developers a lot more money on Windows than on any other platform.” Platforms like the App Store, for example.

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