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PR Newswire's Business Technology Round-up, 23rd November 2012

LONDON, November 23, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --

Pikture launches social marketplace, Black Friday online sales begin and EchoStar satellite launched

Pikture.com, an innovative social site allowing users to tag and purchase their favourite items, has officially launched this week, becoming the world's first exclusive social marketplace

Visitors to the website will be able to download a browser plug-in, enabling them to bookmark their favourite items for later viewing, as well as allowing them to organise items into various shareable wish lists that can be viewed by friends and family. Users can then like, dislike or comment on an item, whilst also being presented with the option to purchase it directly from the retailer's website. 

The site's innovative discovery feature keeps users up-to-date with the latest trends, by using bookmarked items to create a personal suggestion list of newly released or similar products. The add-on is free and also acts as a price comparison tool for savvy shoppers. 

Online sales during the annual "cyber Black Friday" are expected to top $1billion this year, up an impressive 20% from 2011. Black Friday sales have become a lucrative business for online retailers, with some of the biggest brands offering exclusive discounts during the 24-hour sale period.

More than 1,000 retailers are expected to take part in the event this year, offering sizeable savings on everything from clothing to electrical goods. A number of the world's biggest brands are set to offer major discounts on a variety of items over the next 24 hours, with Apple, Dell, Amazon and Sony all offering significant price reductions.

EchoStar, a global provider of satellite broadband services, has launched its latest EchoStar XVI satellite, following a successful partnership with satellite manufacturer Space Systems/Loral.

The purpose-built satellite launched from the Baikonur Space Centre in Kazakhstan, a further step in a long-term joint initiative between the two companies. The new satellite has been fully leased to the US cable DISH network, allowing EchoStar to bolster its range of available services in the United States. 72 Space Systems satellites are now in operation, with the latest model expected to remain in operation for a minimum of 15 years.

According to Space Systems CEO John Celli, the state of the art EchoStar XVI will "provide a broad range of Direct-to-Home services in the United States". 

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