Posts Tagged ‘MySpace’

‘Next year’s Twitter? It’s Foursquare’ by Pete Cashmore

November 24, 2009

We love Pete Cashmore’s insight into the future landscape of social media.

Next year’s Twitter? It’s Foursquare

By Pete Cashmore, Special to CNN, November 19, 2009 1:18 p.m. EST

Editor’s note: Pete Cashmore is founder and CEO of Mashable, a popular blog about social media. He is writing a weekly column about social networking and tech for CNN.com.

London, England (CNN) — As 2009 draws to a close, with Twitter undoubtedly this year’s media darling and Facebook continuing on its path to global domination, you may wonder which social-media service will become tech’s poster boy in 2010.

Among the Web’s early adopter set, the answer is nearly unanimous: Foursquare.

While the technology landscape is ever-changing, I’d argue that Foursquare already has aligned itself to become next year’s mainstream hit.

The Twitter connection

Birthed by the team that brought us the mobile social network Dodgeball (acquired by Google in 2005 and later shuttered), the location-based mobile startup serves a simple purpose: It lets an individual share his or her location with a group of friends.

Foursquare ventures beyond utility, however: It’s a virtual game in which participants earn badges for checking in at various locations; those that check in most become a venue’s “mayor.” By all accounts, this mechanism is as addictive as Twitter, Facebook or checking your e-mail on a BlackBerry.

Originally launched as an iPhone application and seeded by the young early-adopter set in cities such as New York and San Francisco, the site’s founders were able to leap from a ready-made springboard: Twitter.

With users’ “check-ins” being posted to the messaging service, Foursquare was able to gain a foothold in much the same way YouTube built its lead from videos embedded in MySpace pages.

The parallels with Twitter are numerous. As technology early adopter and popular blogger Robert Scoble wrote in September: “Go back three years ago. Twitter was being used by the same crowd that is playing with Foursquare today.”

The similarities don’t stop there: Twitter first took hold at Austin’s South By Southwest festival in 2007; Foursquare made its debut at SXSW 2009. Members of both founding teams have previously built successful social startups; both those startups were sold to Google.

The two companies share investors, too: Union Square Ventures is a backer, while Twitter inventor Jack Dorsey made an angel investment in Foursquare. Other notable investors include the founders of Digg and Delicious, and famed angel investor Ron Conway. Union Square Ventures’ Fred Wilson observed that Foursquare’s first round financing was “among the most competitive early round financings I’ve seen in a long time.”

Foursquare’s power play: Platform for developers, retailers

This week Foursquare debuted the singular piece that launched Twitter into the stratosphere: an API. This application programming interface allows third-party developers to build anything they desire on top of Foursquare’s location-based social network.

It’s been shown time and again that once these ecosystems gain momentum, potential competitors face an arduous task. From Flickr to Google Maps to Twitter and beyond, it’s clear that early critical mass — having enough users and applications to make a service invaluable — sets the stage for a landslide victory.

Google’s Android, entering the mobile platform wars long after the iPhone App Store had served up a veritable smorgasbord of apps to its army of users, is evidence of the chicken-and-egg problem that arises for new competitors: What’s the incentive for users and developers to switch to a smaller, less visible platform once a leader has emerged?

With the launch of its API, Foursquare looks set to capitalize on this “rich get richer” phenomenon before others can make a play. Foursquare is doing more than wooing users and developers, however: It’s also courting local bars and restaurants.

“Foursquare for Businesses” is a platform for retailers wishing to offer special deals to Foursquare users: Check in to frozen desert maker Tasti D-Lite at two venues in New York, for instance, and you’re eligible for a discount.

Competitors abound

Nonetheless, multiple players are vying for victory in the location-based services market. Between GowallaLooptBrightkite and Google’s Latitude, Foursquare will by no means have an easy ride. While Gowalla debuted an early version at SXSW 2009 alongside Foursquare, both Loopt and Brightkite have a head start.

All of these services, I’d argue, lack the highly addictive game play that appears to have Foursquare users hooked.

Google is undoubtedly the 800-pound gorilla, but the fastidiously numbers-driven search engine has proven time and again that it cannot grasp social-networking dynamics — from Orkut to Friend Connect (its Facebook Connect competitor) to its failure to turn Google Video into a YouTube competitor.

One company may unwittingly squash Foursquare in its infancy: Twitter itself. The very service that propelled Foursquare to prominence is rapidly building out its location-based features, with a location API that directly challenges Foursquare. Twitter already has the critical mass of users and ecosystem of eager developers. If it executes correctly, the service could leave Foursquare in the dust.

In Foursquare’s favor: Young, fast-growing startups such as Twitter often find their engineering teams overstretched simply trying to achieve scale. Twitter has added less than a dozen new features since launch as preventing frequent downtime has become its greatest challenge.

Meanwhile, the overlap in investors means the Twitter-Foursquare relationship is unlikely to turn sour. Foursquare may network its way to the top in 2010 or find itself lost in an increasingly competitive landscape. Early adopters are betting on the former.

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‘Which social net works?’

September 30, 2009

This is an interesting video of Jon Gibs, Nielsen Online’s VP, Media and Agency Insights, discussing the social networking ecosystem and online advertising with Fox Business.

Click here to see the video

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Social networking and blog sites capture more internet time and advertising

September 28, 2009

Source: NielsenWire

“Americans have nearly tripled the amount of time they spend at social networking and blog sites such as Facebook and MySpace from a year ago, according to a new report from The Nielsen Company. In August 2009, 17 percent of all time spent on the Internet was at social networking sites, up from 6 percent in August 2008.

‘This growth suggests a wholesale change in the way the Internet is used,’ said Jon Gibs, vice president, media and agency insights, Nielsen’s online division. ‘While video and text content remain central to the Web experience – the desire of online consumers to connect, communicate and share is increasingly driving the medium’s growth.’

Among those taking note of this trend: advertisers. Estimated online advertising spending on the top social network and blogging sites increased 119 percent, from approximately $49 million in August 2008 to approximately $108 million in August 2009 – all despite a recession. Share of estimated spend on these sites has doubled, from 7 percent of online ad spend in 2008 to 15 percent in 2009.”

Picture 1

Read full press release.

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If YouTube were a country…

September 23, 2009

Check out these statistics on popular sites from the Econsultancy blog:

(Keep in mind that these facts were posted in July 2009, and numbers have changed since then, but like the blog said, “they’re a great way of demonstrating the impact that social media is having in the digital landscape.”)

YouTube

  • If YouTube were a country, it would be the third most-populated place in the world.
  • 20 hours-worth of video is uploaded to the site every single minute.
  • comScore recently announced that the site had surpassed 100m viewers in the USA alone. They also reported that this US audience consumed over 6bn videos at the beginning of this year.
  • According to Youtube themselves, over half of users visit the site at least once a week

Facebook

According to Facebook’s internal statistics:

  • The site has more than 250m active users globally
  • More than 120m users log on to Facebook at least once each day and more than 30 million users update their statuses at least once each day. Combined, more than 5bn minutes are spent on the site on a daily basis.
  • The average user has around 120 friends on the site.
  • More than 50 translations are available on the site, with more than 40 in development.
  • Mobile is a big issue, with more than 30m active users accessing the site through mobile devices. It’s well documented that users who access Facebook through mobile devices are almost 50% more active than those who don’t.

MySpace

  • Although now overtaken by Facebook, MySpace is the second largest social network, experiencing in excess of 60m unique users each month.
  • MySpace apparently reaches 30% of UK adults aged 15-24 – it’s been suggested that it’s as common to have a MySpace account in the UK as it is to own a dog.
  • According to Knol, MySpace has more than 115m active monthly users globally with, on average, 300,000 new people signing up to the site every day.

Twitter

  • Over the past twelve months, Twitter’s year-on-year growth rate has broken the 1000% barrier.
  • The company holds exact numbers close to their chest, but it’s estimated that Twitter currently has between 6 – 10m global users and this is growing rapidly.
  • According to a recent report on Twitter usage by Sysomos, 5% of Twitter users account for 75% of all activity and that 72.5% of all users joining during the first five months of 2009.
  • The same report found that over 50% of all updates are published using mobile and Web-based tools, other than Twitter.com’s own website.
  • It also found that Tuesday is the most active day for Tweeting, followed by Wednesday and then Friday.
  • Hitwise recently reported that one out of every 350 website visits in the UK is via Twitter, but barely 5% of users currently go to an online retail service through the medium.
  • Not really a stat, but still quite a cool piece of info: Twitter is now officially a term.

Check back tomorrow for more stats from Econsultancy!

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Today is Lose-A-Palooza!!

September 15, 2009

Today, just by mentioning or acknowledging Weight Watchers’ Lose for Good campaign via blogs, TwitterFacebook and MySpace, you can help the fight against hunger!

Reread our post on this great cause for more information, check out the Lose for Good website, and get tweeting, blogging, and messaging!

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Weight Watchers uses social media to fight hunger

September 12, 2009

Weight Watchers has set out to help the fight against hunger through their Lose-A-Palooza event on September 15th, 2009. This ‘one-day online social media event’ hopes to raise awareness for their Lose For Good™ campaign.

‘For every accepted mention or acknowledgment of “Lose For Good” made on September 15 via blogs, Twitter, Facebook and MySpace, Weight Watchers will make an additional donation—up to $25,000—for just one day of social media activity.  This donation is on top of the $1 million Weight Watchers is hoping to donate to Share Our Strength and Action Against Hunger as part of the 2009 Lose For Good campaign.’

This is the second year of the campaign, which promotes healthy living and the fight against hunger. Last year, 4 million pounds were lost by Weight Watchers members and online subscribers, 1.5 million pounds of food were donated by members, and $1 million was donated by Weight Watchers to Share Our Strength and Action Against Hunger.

This is a great example of a company using social media to get people involved with their brand and a great cause. Go to the official Lose For Good and Lose-A-Palooza websites for full details.

Lose_a_Palooza

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Quick stats on your favorite networking sites

July 31, 2009

Gotham Magazine compiled this fun information in their recent issue:

Slogans:

Number of Users:

  • Facebook – >175 million
  • Twitter – est. at 93 million
  • MySpace – 130 million
  • LinkedIn – >36 million
  • ASmallWorld – 400,000

When it Launched:

  • Facebook – 2004
  • Twitter – 2006
  • MySpace – 2004
  • LinkedIn – 2003
  • ASmallWorld – 2004

Who it’s Aimed at:

  • Facebook – It’s not just for college students anymore. People over the ago of 30 are the fastest growing members.
  • Twitter – Have to know what everybody’s doing? Get instant updates from all your BFFs on your computer or phone.
  • MySpace – When it launched, it was very popular with musicians and artists. It’s since morphed into a broad networking community.
  • LinkedIn – “Experienced professionals from around the world, representing 170 industries and 200 countries.”
  • ASmallWorld – “An existing international network of people who are connected by three degrees of separation. Members share similar backgrounds, interests and perspectives.”

Famous Users:

  • Facebook – Michael Phelps, Lil’ Kim, DJ AM
  • Twitter – Britney Spears, John Cleese, Lance Armstrong, MC Hammer
  • MySpace – Martin Scorsese, Diablo Cody, Leonardo DiCaprio (it has 600 celebrity bloggers)
  • LinkedIn – Executives from every Fortune 500 company
  • ASmallWorld – Ivanka Trump, Melissa George, Elizabeth Banks

Special Feature:

  • Facebook – Friends can check out your page to see the thoughts, photos and videos you’ve posted.
  • Twitter – You can search other people’s Twitter comments to see what everyone’s tweeting about.
  • MySpace – Millions of songs can be listened to on the site.
  • LinkedIn – Lists thousands of jobs around the country; you can see whether you have a connection at a company that’s hiring.
  • ASmallWorld – The members’ marketplace lists luxury goods like used Rolex watches and vintage Ferraris.

Pros:

  • Facebook – You can reconnect with your best friend from second grade.
  • Twitter – A good way to quickly let everyone know what you’re doing or where you are.
  • MySpace – Still the best place to find out what your favorite bands are up to.
  • LinkedIn – Forget awkward cocktail parties- network with just a few mouse clicks.
  • ASmallWorld – Unlike other networking sites, it’s private- each member must be invited.

Cons:

  • Facebook – Your nemesis from second grade will find you.
  • Twitter – Messages can be no more than 140 characters long.
  • MySpace – Tries to do too much, including networking, karaoke, classifieds, videos, music and news.
  • LinkedIn – To use all the site’s features you need to have a business account, which starts at $25 a month.

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Putting your money where your word-of-mouth is

July 31, 2009

While many advertising channels have experienced their spending slow, in 2008, word-of-mouth advertising grew 14.2 percent. Spending behind this word-of-mouth marketing hit $1.54 billion last year, according to PQ Media. (The largest amount of marketing dollars—$832 million—was put toward word-of-mouth strategy and consulting.)

Word-of-mouth tactics include buzz, influencer, community and viral marketing. Marketers used Twitter, Facebook and MySpace to research consumers, and spending increased 26 percent in those channels.

“Brands value and invest in w-o-m,” said Patrick Quinn, CEO of PQ Media, in a statement. “Our research indicates that brands are allocating more of their budgets to long-term w-o-m campaigns, executing effective online and offline activities that resonate with consumers and their core groups. Despite impressive growth in the industry, w-o-m remains just a fraction of the overall advertising and marketing landscape. But, double-digit growth in this economic environment is a strong sign of an increasingly prevalent roles in the future.”

PQ Media is forecasting the w-o-m spending will increase another 10.2 percent this year despite the recession.

Check out this article written by Kenneth Hein for more information.

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The future of interactive marketing

July 23, 2009

As more and more companies consider online marketing initiatives, it’s not surprising to come across statistics like this from 77 Agency:

“One of marketing’s most powerful trends today is interactive marketing. This kind of interactive advertising not only allows consumers and prospects to actively participate in your marketing scheme, but with a strong interactive marketing strategy, you can significantly boost the effectiveness of your campaign and gain valuable selling time.

As a result, an increasing number of businesses are venturing out into the realm of social media and the recent numbers unveiled by Forrester Research give evidence to this.

The US Interactive Marketing Forecast 2009 to 2014 predicts that social media spend will increase to $3bn in five years time, but prior to that, it will be hitting $716m before the end of this year.”

It’s a matter of staying ahead of the curve and adapting to the needs of your customers. Technology today makes marketing more and more challenging, but it also opens up a world of opportunity for those who are aware and innovative.

Intelligence and strategy will yield poignant and effective results, as sites like Facebook and MySpace continue to harness a vast number of worldwide users, allowing businesses immediate access to broad consumer bases.

Top Social Media Sites (ranked by unique worldwide visitors November, 2008; comScore)
1. Blogger (222 million)
2. Facebook (200 million)
3. MySpace (126 million)
4. WordPress (114 million)
5. Windows Live Spaces (87 million)
6. Yahoo Geocities (69 million)
7. Flickr (64 million)
8. hi5 (58 million)
9. Orkut (46 million)
10. Six Apart (46 million)
11. Baidu Space (40 million)
12. Friendster (31 million)
13. 56.com (29 million)
14. Webs.com (24 million)
15. Bebo (24 million)
16. Scribd (23 million)
17. Lycos Tripod (23 million)
18. Tagged (22 million)
19. imeem (22 million)
20. Netlog (21 million)

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