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Posts Tagged ‘MySpace’

Advertisers to Spend $1.7 Billion on Social Networks in 2010

Posted Wednesday, August 18th, 2010

Mashable, 17th August 2010

The latest numbers from eMarketer project that advertisers will spend nearly $1.7 billion in the U.S. on social networking sites in 2010. Worldwide, spending will hit $3.3 billion according to the report.

The numbers represent a significant bump up from estimates published by the research firm at the end of last year, when it projected $1.3 billion would be spent on the space in the U.S.

Not surprisingly, eMarketer sees about half of that money (in the U.S.) going to Facebook, with MySpace continuing to see a smaller share of the pie. Separately, the firm estimated that Facebook’s 2010 revenue would hit $1.2 billion in a report published last week.

Earlier this month, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg said that some of the social network’s biggest advertisers had boosted ad spending by 10x this year; a trend that’s apparent in the eMarketer report.

Check the site for chart: http://mashable.com/2010/08/16/social-networking-ad-spend-2010/


Google Adds Facebook’s Fan Page Updates to Real-Time Search

Posted Sunday, February 28th, 2010

Inside Facebook, February 24th, 2010

Google said it would be adding public updates from Facebook Pages, last December, and now the integration is live within its real-time search updates, the company says, although we’re not seeing anything yet. To be clear, as of now, only information provided by Page owners will appear. So shared links, status updates, multimedia, etc. but not users’ comments on Pages.

It’s not clear what volume of new material is going from Facebook to Google as a result, although Facebook’s self-reported numbers say that 3 million Pages are currently “active.” Out of that number, half are local businesses, 20 million people become Page fans each day, and more than 5.3 billion fans have been created (this means the total number of fans across all Pages, counting each fan separately for each Page). Given the size of Pages, we can assume Google is parsing billions of updates from the feature.

Google has been making a big push to include more information from other sites in its real-time results, with Facebook rivals Twitter and MySpace already appearing, along with many others. However, as Search Engine Land has confirmed, Facebook investor Microsoft is currently getting more for its Bing search engine: publicly available personal status updates from Facebook users. And yet, those don’t appear to be live yet.


Google Launches Real-Time Search

Posted Friday, February 12th, 2010

We knew it was inevitable, and now it’s here: Google has just launched real-time search integrated into search results pages.

Mashable, January 31st

Google real-time search updates as stuff is happening around the Web — for example, live tweets, Yahoo Answers, news articles and Web pages now stream in on the actual result pages for your query. It works on mobile too (at least iPhone and Android for now).

MySpace and Facebook Deals

That’s not all, though. Google’s announced that they’ve inked partnerships with both Facebook() and MySpace() to pull in data in real-time. For Facebook, that means public Facebook Pages, and for MySpace, it means any stream data that is publicly available. This is on top of the partnership that the company announced with Twitter back in October.

Live Within Days

Google says the features aren’t available to everyone yet, but will be within the next few days. However, all users can see it now via a “Hot Topics” feature that’s been added to Google Trends. Click on any trend, then click a “Hot Topic,” and you’ll see the new “Latest Results” area of Google search results. For example, you can currently see real-time updates for the Tiger Woods story.
http://mashable.com/2009/12/07/google-real-time-search/

Staying in Front of the Inevitable

For some time, it’s been clear to us that search has been moving to real-time, but until now, Google was seemingly falling behind Twitter(), and even perhaps Bing() (who inked its own search deals with Twitter and Facebook earlier this year).

Now, with one sweeping stroke, Google has grabbed the lead in the real-time search space, and it appears that Facebook and Twitter have both conceded that they aren’t going to outbuild Google when it comes to search. These are significant strategic decisions for all of those involved that will dictate much of where these companies head in the years to come.


Facebook’s Road to 350 Million Users

Posted Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009

Mark Zuckerberg’s note about Facebook’s latest privacy changes also contained an announcement about another important milestone for Facebook: 350 million users.

Mashable, 2nd December 2009

It’s a flabbergasting number, but even more amazing is the speed with which Facebook has managed to achieve it, trouncing its competitors, including the once mighty MySpace, in the process.

Back in August 2008 – less than one and a half years ago – Facebook has had 100 million users. It took about 5 months to reach 150 million, and after that Facebook has been adding another 50 million users roughly every three months, going from 150 million to 350 million in less than one year.

chart: http://mashable.com/2009/12/02/facebook-350-million-users/

And despite its humongous size, Facebook is still growing when it comes to traffic. After a short summer slumber, Compete’s stats show solid growth for Facebook in October.

When it comes to social networks, history has shown that it’s hard to stay on top; sites like Bebo, hi5, and even MySpace, have all lost much of their former glory. But Facebook is getting bigger and bigger, with no strong competitor in sight. Will they become the Google of social networking, or is it just a matter of time until some new kid on the block takes away their users?


40% of People “Friend” Brands on Facebook

Posted Wednesday, November 11th, 2009

readwriteweb.com, November 10, 2009

see link to view charts: http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/survey_brands_making_big_impact_on_facebook_twitter.php

Digital marketing company Razorfish has just launched its third annual FEED survey of 1,000 “connected consumers.” The survey is focused on online consumer behavior. This year Facebook and Twitter feature prominently. 40% of respondents “friended” brands on Facebook, while 25% reported following brands on Twitter. What’s more, Razorfish found that consumers access brands on Twitter and Facebook mainly for deals and promotions.

Of those who follow a brand on Twitter, nearly 44% reported that access to exclusive deals is the main reason. On Facebook or MySpace, 37% said that access to exclusive deals or offers was their main reason for friending brands.

Over 1/4 of respondents reported having followed a brand on Twitter, which is encouraging news for companies wanting to use Twitter to promote themselves.

 43.5% reported following a brand to get “exclusive deals or offerings,” which again is a statistic that companies should take note of.

 An even higher percentage of respondents have “friended” a brand on Facebook – a whopping 40%. Considering that Facebook is a social network that started out as a way for college kids to network, this is a statistic that will make companies and organizations take note. If you want brand recognition on the Web, according to these statistics there’s a very good chance that Facebook is a place you want to be.

 A smaller percentage follow a brand on Facebook for exclusive deals or offers (36.9%) – but still a majority.

 Is this “connected consumer” crowd mainstream? Well, about 62% of the respondents still use Internet Explorer as their browser, with 30% on Firefox. So yes, they are.

It’s interesting then to look at what are the homepages of these people.

 While Google is unsurprisingly number 1 with 32.6%, Yahoo is close behind at 29.7%. MSN is still well used at 11.9%. We were most surprised that AOL is now only 7.9%. These statistics show that Yahoo remains a force among mainstream consumers, whereas AOL is slipping further behind.

We reported last week that smartphones have almost overtaken ‘feature phones’ as the cellphones of choice for consumers. Razorfish‘s survey shows that 56% of connected consumers now use a smartphone – i.e. one that has email and web capabilities.

 As with the ChangeWave Research survey recently, Razorfish puts Blackberry (29.5%) ahead of Apple’s iPhone (20.1%).

 Another illuminating statistic is the number of people who now get their news from Twitter and Facebook. While nearly 80% of respondents still access “traditional news web sites,” 33% get news from Facebook and 19.5% from Twitter. Only 27.3% get news from “alternative news web sites” – by which we presume they mean blogs.

 Overall, these figures from Razorfish show that Facebook and Twitter are now major places for brands to be; as well as online sites where consumers get at least some of their news.


The Rise and Fall of Online Advertising in 2009

Posted Thursday, November 5th, 2009

It will be the best of times and the worst of times.

cmswire.com, Dec 18 2008

Amidst the 2009 predictions for e-new year, there is a consensus that it will bring both financial ruin and success. Chances are that both will come true.

eMarketer released insights of the Internet‘s plight into the aught nines — and well, they’re kind of what you’d expect. Their senior analysts offered up their best guesses. Let’s take a look.

Online Advertising
David Hallerman opines that online spending will remain steady. Not only will video ad spending run “counter to overall economic developments, rising by 45% in 2009 to reach US$ 850 million,” but search marketing spending will grow by 14.9% in 2009, to US$ 12.3 billion also. He bases his speculation upon a sharp escalation of professional video content on the Web as a way for brand marketers to build their base and that search marketing is a measurable tool “so it will maintain its place in many budgets and increase in some others, as advertisers look for secure and effective methods to combat fear in an economic meltdown.”

Yet, despite all the online advertising, Jeffrey Grau predicts that online retail sales will start to feel the impact of the economic crisis and will only see minor increases in online sales. It’s not such a dramatic prediction given the current economic climate. Any e-commerce sales growth will be a result of “increased spending by consumers who have long been online buyers.”

While the increased revenue of online advertising is questionable, Lisa E. Phillips is confident that we’ll see an increase in multicultural marketing. With more and more African-American and Hispanic users out there, marketers will begin to cater to a wider market of consumers via “language- and culture-specific messages that evolve from their general market campaigns.”

Social Media
E-commerce will be a growing revenue stream for social network sites. Debra Aho Williamson says to “expect both MySpace and Facebook to enhance their self-serve advertising systems to allow consumers and businesses to buy and sell real-world goods and services.” The general online advertising decline will be social networking‘s gain, as smaller and niche social networks will go looking for bailouts and mergers from the bigger ones. Mergers and acquisitions are no longer for Wall Street only.

Traditional Media
Unfortunately, while traditional media will still linger into 2009, it will remain on the decline. Carol Krol maintains that “newspaper advertising will continue to decline in the new year more than any other medium.” With eMarketer estimating that US TV ad spending will decline 4.2% to US$ 66.9 billion in 2009, the economy’s impact will be at its greatest.

So there it is. Will 2009 be the year of a miraculous economic comeback or will it be a Darwinian model of survival of the fittest?


Curtain twitchers, the CIA and the rise of Facebook

Posted Thursday, October 1st, 2009

New technology and old-fashioned curiosity have made social networking so hot that everyone is cashing in. Nico Macdonald helps you sort the tweets from the bots

 Design Council

If everyone felt like Jerry Seinfeld, Facebook wouldn’t exist. The comedian observed: “As an adult, it’s very hard to make a new friend. Whatever group you’ve got now, that’s who you’re going with. You’re not interviewing, you’re not looking at any people, you’re not interested in seeing any applications.”

Yet, for most of us, the social instinct is deeply ingrained. So deeply that, by the age of seven, research suggests, two thirds of American children have an imaginary friend. Technology has made it possible for us to connect with real friends in undreamt of ways. When Tom Coates, a staffer in a London office of Yahoo!, needed a break, he decided the best way to round up some company was to post this message on Twitter, a hip social networking service: “I need to go for a walk to clear my head. Yauatcha for macaroons anyone?”

Social networking is such a phenomenon that many employers – even the CIA – now have Facebook pages and use the site as a recruitment tool. The agency plans to launch its own staff social networking site called A-Space.

The wisdom of friends: the psychological argument for using social networking sites full of ‘people like us’ is compelling. But how long with the fashion last? And what do sites need to do to increase their reach?
Asking all your friends if they’d like to join you for lunch would once have been impractical. But sites like Facebook allow us to gossip and curtain-twitch online, be bored by someone else’s holiday snaps without visiting their house, plan a business meeting and accelerate the getting-to-know-you process. Instead of taking months to realise that a new acquaintance, like you, can quote Seinfeld scripts verbatim, you can join a group of like-minded souls in minutes.

New technology, old-fashioned curiosity and a dollop of ‘wisdom of friends’ psychology have made sites like Facebook, MySpace and Bebo immensely popular. A 2007 survey found that 48% of American teenagers online visit social networking sites at least once a day and 72% use them to make plans with friends. In the network age, computing power is in the hands of more people and is tackling new challenges. We’ve moved from using computers as work objects to the widespread use of computing-enabled things – laptops, mobile phones, games consoles – to manipulate emails, diary entries, instant messages, contact information, URLs and blogs wherever we are.

Social networking is driven by significant technical developments and rapid social change. The current fears for – and of – teenagers – may explain why they have become core users of social networking sites, spending more time at home on the internet. As a rule of thumb, for every hour we spend on the web, we typically spend 23.5 minutes less with friends and family.

The culture of fear and decreasing trust have made some wary of encounters with strangers and reluctant to embark on deep personal relationships. Surveys show that a record one in four Americans say they have no close friends at all. Many prefer ‘safer’ relationships mediated, to an extent, via a screen, where they can connect with a wider circle of friends in a non-committal fashion. Consumer trends analyst Linda Stone calls this “continuous partial attention”, adding: “To be busy, to be connected, is to be alive, to be recognised and to matter.”

Cheaper travel and a more integrated global economy, where staff change jobs more often and are more likely to work abroad, have played their part too.

Keeping in contact, avoiding cowboy plumbers
The functions social networking best supports are, in a nutshell or seven:

Familiarisation and maintaining contacts. From status updates and edited profiles you build a rounded picture of an individual. People you know may share this with you – to varying degrees – if asked. Essentially, human knowledge is being connected by the network (rather than embedded in it – the goal of so many past computing visions).
Swapping, sharing and storing of ‘objects’ – photos, movies or songs – online. We can be told when something of interest has been uploaded.
Group discussion, which is moving to social networking sites. Contributors’ real names and pictures can be displayed and you can check their profile.
Finding and hiring skills. The self-employed already use sites like LinkedIn to get in touch with businesses and customers regardless of location.
Online or internet-enabled applications which allow us to manage tasks, meetings and diaries. You can, for instance, open up your diary to contacts.
Campaigning. You can network with people with the same ideology. But the likes of Facebook can’t, by themselves, reinvigorate the democratic process.
Searching the web. Social networking can reveal, filter, enhance or shape the data we find when searching. We can link, recommend or rate almost anything and form an opinion influenced by our knowledge of the contributor or the number of recommendations. In a world full of cowboy plumbers – or so reality TV shows would have us believe – we might be relieved to find one implicitly recommended because they’re linked to someone we know. Friends or contacts are acting as ‘trust engines’, and by answering, friends build their relationship with you and increase their kudos with others.
While Google focuses on computer science, engineering and performance, Yahoo! has focused on what Bradley Horowitz, vice president of product strategy, calls “better search through people”, buying bookmark-sharing tool del.icio.us and photo-sharing site Flickr and developing such services as Yahoo! Answers.

Junk mail, smart address books and over-engineering
Social networking sites need to improve. As Facebook’s personal profile – which includes favourite music, TV shows, films and books – is completed manually, it is of limited use and soon out of date. Profiles would be richer if they drew on actual activity, such as the music we buy or play. Artificial intelligence-based tools could help others access a user’s locally stored information. There is a risk of over-engineering, though. An element of a profile or relationship can be extracted or inferred but do we want to share it with everyone? Giving users visibility on – and control of – what they share is a design challenge. Already LinkedIn lets you ‘View my profile as others see it’.

Sites need to be accessible and to hand, as easy to use as a stapler. Modern mobiles and smart phones like the iPhone have feature-filled browsers. A site such as Jaiku offers a dedicated application for modern Nokia devices that identifies your geographic location to your circle of friends. You could have a smart address book that tells you if a contact you plan to call is busy or abroad. Giving physical form to such ideas is the Availabot, a pop-up figure that stands up on your desk when the contact it represents comes online and falls into a flaccid heap of despair when s/he goes away.

Exhaustion, Rupert Murdoch and evolutionary psychology
The subtlety of human relationships can’t be over-estimated. We finesse what we tell different people, even lie. There is a danger that concerns about privacy, and scares based on extraordinarily rare – but shocking – abuses of social networking tools, may deter people from using these sites. Worries over security, time wasting and other abuses has led employers to block access to Facebook.

On a practical level, there is a danger of exhaustion. Coates says: “The amount of sites using social networks is so substantial that [registration] is no longer something people will go through again for no obvious reason.” Sites could be integrated as an external service to other sites. If LibraryThing could access your Facebook profile, it could show you books your friends liked. Profiles could be abstracted so they can be ‘applied’ to any site or service. So far, this has had little success, but as social networking profiles are made easier to edit and when this approach presents a competitive advantage, the ‘abstract’ approach may flourish.

Rupert Murdoch’s strategy for MySpace raises another issue. MySpace plans to run a TV series about showbiz wannabes as it strives to persuade users to linger longer, so they can be targeted by ads. If these sites are not full of user- generated content but have content developed by professionals, does that extend their appeal or fatally undermine it? Facebook has announced it will start targeting ads based on user profiles. Will users be deterred by advertising or welcome it? Concerns about privacy have been heightened by Facebook’s plan to allow (user-controlled) elements of profiles to be indexed by Google.

Historically, human relationships have built over time from face-to-face encounters, in which we use body language and other cues to assess honesty. By contrast, the ease with which we can indicate friendship with social networking allows us to appear to have a cohort of friends. There is some science behind Seinfeld’s gag. Evolutionary psychology suggests we are hardwired to remember no more than 150 people. These smaller, more intensely focused groups have often been responsible for scientific, technical and intellectual breakthroughs. The trajectory of social networking is in our hands. Will we, as a society, take these services seriously – or be satisfied to play online with our new ‘friends’?


Social networking for business is next big thing

Posted Thursday, September 17th, 2009

Social sites like Facebook, MySpace and LinkedIn feed the craving people have to find one another, exchange information, catch up and solve problems.

Commercial Appeal, June 8, 2008

But there’s more, and for business, this matters. In the back-and-forth of ordinary conversation, ideas pop up.

They may be about your product or ways you could do things better … or new products your customers could use if you were hearing what they had to say.

“Those conversations are going on online anyway, believe me. You want them going on in your foyer,” Barger said.

The idea, of course, is that if people are talking in your presence, you’re the first to hear what is being said.

And if it’s said on your site, the exchange can be cataloged and stored, giving you a tidy archive of correspondence.

Barger, president and chief executive of LunaWeb Inc. — a Memphis company that does Web design and Internet marketing — is speaking Wednesday on social networking at the Public Relations Society of America meeting at the University of Memphis Holiday Inn.

“It has gotten to be such an important part of a PR person’s job right now,” said Bob Phillips, chapter president and Thompson & Berry Public Relations account exec. “Listen, business is so competitive. Everyone wants to know as much as they can find out.”

Barger is likely to start his talk by reminding the audience that “business used to be a faceless entity behind a security guard at the corporate gate.

“A perfect corporation was a business entity that could be perfected with mass production and quality assurance. It was all mechanized, and not human,” he said.

Now, with the push to put a face on the corporation, companies are using professional photos of employees on their Web sites, for instance, and finding employees, such as Don Dodge at Microsoft, to blog in voices that are credible and, well, folksy.

Blogging opened up a dialogue that social networks expanded. Today, there are more than 200 social sites, excluding niche networks — sometimes called vertical sites — tailored to specific audiences.

LinkedIn is one of the best for connecting professionals. In Memphis, about 100,000 people have Facebook pages. Two years ago, the population was probably closer to 40,000, Barger said.

Everything changed last fall, when Facebook broadened its membership beyond its college core, and the universe changed overnight.

“Now all of sudden, Facebook is saying, ‘Business, we welcome you. Here is how you set up shop; here’s how you engage your client base,'” he said.

“Businesses tapping into social networks to expand customer base need to have a clear idea of what they want to achieve,” said Chelsea Dubey, account executive at RedRover.

“You need success metrics, such as: How many people use the site? How many prospect leads are generated?

Social networking just for the sake of social networking isn’t always a good investment. It needs to connect to other elements of your sales and marketing strategy,” she said.

When FedEx Corp. created NetFace in 2006, a social networking site for employees only, it did no promotion but sat back to see how quickly a community would form, said Nicole Heckman, manager of innovation research.

“We found it was much more viral than we expected,” Heckman said. “Over several months, we had 2,000 active users.”

People into social networking use the word “viral” to describe how quickly networks form and spread.

Some companies build in viral functions, giving users gifts for telling friends.

“One of the things I found was that it really did give employees a way to have a personal identity within a large organization,” Heckman said.

People were soon connecting in and outside work to talk with people who had worked on similar projects or simply to play flag football.

“It really doesn’t have to be a huge investment,” Heckman said. “We accomplished FaceNet with a team you could count on one hand. You do obviously have to have someone manage it, but it wasn’t someone’s full-time job.”

For people who think the networks are just for kids, the average new Facebook enrollee is in the mid-30s.

“Many of my friends that are older and less tech savvy could care less,” said Gwin Scott, president of business incubator EmergeMemphis.

For him and the startups he works with, social networking is a chance to attract like-minded people, plus it gives business a way to tap into audiences that aren’t watching as much TV or paying as much attention to other traditional media.

Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division rolled out a blog in January, frankly as damage control after the utility was rocked with leadership scandals and contributions to its Plus-1 charity fell to record lows.

“We had to look at taking a more creative approach to communicating with our customers,” said Glen Thomas, head of the utility’s public relations. “We had to take the blinders off to look at the different ways to reach our customers, interact with them and respond to them.”

When looking over the staff for a potential blogger, Thomas suggests someone already passionate about the subject area.

“The woman writing our blog would chastise us if someone had a plastic bottle in trash,” he said.

Oh, he also suggests frequent views of the blogs that tend to break news in Memphis so you’re not caught off guard when the media come calling.


 
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