Over the past several years, businesses have flocked to social media.
Many have done so because they want to, and many more have done so
because they think they have to.
The increasing use of social media amongst businesses reflects the fact
that social media is important, even if its value can be somewhat
difficult to define and quantify. But social media is just a platform,
and realizing value from its use requires the right type of use.
What happens when Web 2.0 startups founded on principles of openness
and freedom grow up? If we're referring to Facebook and Twitter, the
answer is obvious: get a business model.
Unfortunately, finding a business model and implementing it
successfully can be hard to do, especially when you previously invited
third party developers to your 'open' platform and told them to keep
the change. So it's really no surprise that Facebook and Twitter, which
have collectively raised north of three-quarters of a billion dollars
in financing, are finding it necessary to pull the good old bait and
switch on developers.
The next version of the BBC iPlayer has been launched in beta today, with changes to the user experience, more personalisation, and integration with social networks.
The iPlayer is as popular as ever, enjoying its best month to date in April 2010, with 123m requests for TV and radio programmes. I've been taking a look at some of the new features.
Facebook has a long battered history with its customers. Users are so notoriously uppity about any minor change to Facebook's interface or settings that there's a satiric group on the site called I AUTOMATICALLY HATE THE NEW FACEBOOK HOME PAGE.
But Mark Zuckerberg's social network stepped in it when it launched instant personalization last month. The privacy settings that were unwieldy, confusing and obtuse. It's gotten so bad that the company's CEO penned an op-ed in the Washington Post to address the issue.
Starting tomorrow, new "drastically simplified" privacy controls will be available. But privacy problems at Facebook are likely to continue. That's because Facebook views privacy as a moving target defined by its bottom line rather than its commitment to users.
Rumors of Foursquare's acquisition may be greatly exaggerated. Speaking in New York on Monday at Startup 2010, Foursquare founder Dennis Crowley was busy making the case for his company staying independent.
Will the company sell in the near future? It's unclear. But to hear Crowley tell it, Foursquare doesn't particularly need a large organization to keep it afloat. In fact, he seems to think Foursquare would be better off not selling.
Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg may be the most successful 26 year-old technology entrepreneur in the world right now, but he sure isn't making it look easy. His company finds itself being attacked for its position on user privacy, and the attacks have turned personal.
While Zuckerberg's character has been called into question before, the increased scrutiny on Facebook seems to be producing a steady stream of facts that don't show Zuckerberg in the best light.
Since its inception, Facebook's approach to privacy has drawn ire from users. But those complaints don't often effect the sites popularity, which has skyrocketed since its debut as Harvard's online yearbook.
However, Facebook's latest expansion may actually have business repurcussions. Why? Because the site's growth has slowed. Perhaps Facebook is starting to hit a saturation point online, but if the various groups trying to get people off Facebook find success, Facebook could be in trouble.
Facebook may increasingly be on the receiving end of criticism related
to its stance on privacy, but the world's largest social network is
still one of the top places to reach consumers online.
With more than 400m registered users globally, Facebook is the world's largest
social network, and publishers looking to stay connected with their
users and acquire new users have plenty of Facebook tools at their
disposal to do just that. Here are seven of them.
Has online advertising rebounded from the recession? If not, things are definitely picking up. According to the Internet Advertising Bureau and comScore, digital advertising is performing better than last year. What's more? Display advertising is starting strong. The sector hit record revenues in the first quarter of 2010.
Which leaves a question: Have display advertising's woes been unfairly tied to the recession?
When JetBlue wanted to celebrate its 10th anniversary, it decided to
sell a limited number of tickets for $10. That's a tall order, so for
help with the difficult task of convincing consumers to buy $10 airline
tickets, it turned to TBG, a London-based digital agency that
specializes in Facebook marketing.
The result: JetBlue saw a "massive"
response from TBG's Facebook ad buy, revealing the secret of social
That secret: giving away stuff for free or at a significant discount is a great way to 'engage' consumers on social networks.