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Chinese search portal Baidu (BIDU) has announced its plans to launch a new chat/instant messaging application. Named "Baidu Hi", the application has been in development for a year and the company is actively hiring staff to complete the product. The company notes that the product is currently in the internal testing stage. No date was provided for a public launch.
This news comes three months after Baidu launched branded search marketing result pages in an attempt to increase revenue for the company. Since November, Baidu’s stock has dropped from a high of $409.19 to yesterday’s close at $253.00, a drop of 39%.
Baidu.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:BIDU) has announced its plan to launch a new advertising product, "Brand-Link," which will generate a wide range of brand-specific content when Internet users search for the brand names that subscribe to this new product. A number of leading brand names are currently participating in a pilot for the model.
This follows my suggestion earlier this year that Google/Yahoo look into this type of advertising. When a person searches on Coke, Nike, Apple, etc., they could easily brand that page with a logo, info, advertising, etc. I believe we will see this in 2008 from Yahoo. Yahoo already has a bit of this with their sponsored shortcuts. This is an excellent opportunity for Yahoo to leapfrog Google. Why aren’t they doing this over building their wanna-be programs like Kickstart?
A Baidu search for a brand name that subscribes to Baidu’s Brand-Link will generate a wide range of brand-related specific content, including news reports, promotional announcements, product information and marketing campaigns. Baidu expects this product to generate increasing traffic and enhance brand recognition for its online marketing customers.
"Baidu’s new Brand-Link demonstrates that an innovative search engine can become an increasingly important channel for showcasing brand images," said Haoyu Shen, Baidu’s Vice President of Business Operations. "Baidu’s cutting- edge technology and focus on understanding our users allow us to develop the most efficient and relevant advertising products for our expanding base of brand advertisers. We believe that our innovative integration of search and brand advertising will provide an effective marketing means for our customers. Brand-Link represents the latest addition to Baidu’s existing suite of breakthrough Internet advertising products, including contextual advertising, behavioral targeting and Baidu TV," Mr. Shen added.