Digital Week in Review: Facebook’s Places Deals Hits Europe Amsive Digital Published: January 31, 2011 2 min read Categories: News Facebook’s Places Deals Hits Europe; The Wall Street Journal Facebook launched its Places Deals across five countries in Europe this morning with a range of deals including free XBoxes, discounts on cars, the inevitable Starbucks coffee and, for U.K. subscribers, a free day at the Alton Towers theme park. The Takeaway: Merchants could see a number of benefits from using the service. Not only does it deepen their relationship with their customers, it bridges the gap between their online presence and real-world shoppers. Google seeking smartphone app developers; USA Today Google is apparently stepping up its efforts to battle Apple in the smartphone market. The Wall Street Journal is reporting the creators of the Android mobile operating system plans to hire several developers to build mobile apps. The Takeaway: With the iPhone now on the Verizon network, the question still remains whether Google can still have a competitive edge in the smart phone market. Advertisers Benefit More From Top Ad Spots on Google Than Bing [Study]; Search Engine Watch People who use Google spend more time looking at the top three paid ads above the organic results than Bing users, according to the results of a new eye-tracking study from research firm User Centric. The Takeaway: It’s true what they say: every engine has something it it excels in over another one. Bing’s left pane is viewed longer than Google’s (2.9 versus 1.2 seconds). The study also found that only 25 percent of participants used Bing’s Quick Previews (called “flyouts” in their study) and that 67 percent had never seen one prior to the study, but Google still takes the lead in top paid ads. Twitter Shares Manifesto on Free Expression and Transparency; TMC In a blog post, Twitter co-founder Biz Stone and general counsel and former Google lawyer, Alexander Macgillivray, have emphasized that Twitter messaging services are trustworthy. They feel Twitter does a great job at relaying millions of messages and filtering out messages that are illegal or spam. The Takeaway: Twitter seems to be positioning itself as a leader in transparency and user rights after refusing to give up account details of Julian Assange last month. Will more social networks be following their lead?