Facebook is thinking big with its new releases this week. The social network unveiled several new features at the company's f8 developer conference in California, including an expansion of Facebook Connect that adds social aspects of Facebook to partner sites, without any work for users.
This new feature, called “instant personalization,” is a way to access your social graph in more places online. But if users don't particularly want to know their friends' opinions on new sites — or if they have privacy concerns — opting out will become increasingly tricky.
Facebook isn't just a social network. By almost every reasonable standard, it is officially the winner of the social networking wars. While other popular social networks, including MySpace, may not disappear into the void completely, Facebook has left them in the dust.
But the war to become the world's dominant online social network is just one battle in a larger war that seeks to shape the future of the web. And Facebook is gearing up for battle.
Facebook advertising has been clearing its name over the last year. Increasingly, social ads are starting to gain some traction. Facebook's self-serve advertising platform is on track to bring in $1 billion in revenue this year.
And according to Nielsen, Facebook ads are very effective — if you already have a large following that is willing to help with publicity.
Meet the newest billion-dollar internet startup: Groupon. Russian firm Digital Sky Technologies, which has provided big funding for other big startups in the social space, namely Facebook and Zynga, has led a $135m investment in the young but profitable Chicago-based startup. The valuation: a cool $1.2bn valuation, which some observers believe is still "cheap."
Groupon is attracting a lot of attention these days, and for good reason. The U.S.-based group shopping service has fueled a worldwide gold rush in the group shopping space.
Social media. ROI. They often seem like two pieces from two different puzzles. And for good reason: it can be hard to quantify the value delivered by a single 'friend' or human interaction.
But for major brands, figuring out the ROI of a social media initiative is something that realistically has to be done if social media is to prove itself worthy of larger investment.
Facebook has announced a new safety centre, claiming that "Safety is Facebook's top priority". But as I revealed just over a month ago, there are big problems with Facebook's procedures for reporting abusive content on groups, pages and forums.
And here's the proof. The content I complained about as part of that blog post is still live - comments which include racist language and false accusations of murder.
Austin's music, film and tech festival SXSW came and went this year with much fanfare and documentation. One of the parties following along was Pepsi. The soft drink makers spent its second year tracking social media at SXSW with something called Pepsi Zeitgeist.
Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and Flickr updates were all sent to Pepsi's tracking interface, built by Slash7. The results from the event show both the potential for listening in on social media and how much room for growth there is in this burgeoning medium.
CNN has a big problem: its ratings are dropping. Big time. A New York
Times article this week pointed out that CNN's main hosts have lost
almost 50% of their viewers over the past year.
And while CNN's viewership is plummeting, its competitors are gaining
viewers. Several FOX News hosts have registered year-over-year
viewership gains in the range of 25-50%. And lest you think the drop in
CNN's viewership is primarily the result of demographics or political
preferences, CNN is even being beat out at certain hours by MSNBC and
CNN's lightweight news channel, HLN.
Social media is here to stay, and despite the fact that questions still
linger over the role of SM and its ROI, major corporations,
many which are often slowest to adopt new technologies, are increasingly
embracing a more social internet.
But that doesn't mean that the world's largest companies are ready to
promote their social media efforts on their homepage. According to an
AdAge article by B.L. Ochman, six in ten Fortune 50 companies aren't
promoting their social media accounts on their homepages.
Social media provides an ideal place for the irate consumer to let off steam. But with brands increasingly monitoring social media channels, it can feel impossible to have a moan without someone annoyingly interrupting and appearing to offer help.
When is it right to offer help and what are the best ways to do it?