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Research in Motion has had a major hurdle in the way of selling its smartphones over the past few years: it's called the iPhone. The Blackberry may have sold 6.7 million smartphones in the third quarter of last year, but that was a record quarter, and Apple shipped 6.9 million iPhones in the first quarter of its existence.
The other problem is that the iPhone has incredibly high user participation rates online. There are many more conversations about the iPhone happening on the web than the iPhone, which RIM is tring to fix.
As the Blackberry maker learned last year, 76% of consumers don’t think companies tell the truth in advertising, while 78% trust the recommendation of other consumers. According to Brian Wallace, Director of Global Digital Marketing for RIM, money spent on advertising and an appealing website was effectively wasted: “we were where our customers were not.”
Many businesses are interested in employing social media to their benefit but there are a number of challenges that make social media a challenging proposition.
One of them is making social media sustainable. As exciting as it can be to start using Facebook, Twitter and other popular social media websites, excitement usually wears off real fast and many businesses struggle to sustain their social media efforts.
There has been a lot of discussion about who Twitter should sell to and why, but according to Twitter investor Fred Wilson, the company may never end up on the block. He says that the reason Twitter said no to $500 million from Facebook last year is the same reason that the company has not found another buyer. The company may simply be better off going it alone.
Speaking at the CM Summit in New York on Monday, venture capitalist Wilson said that Twitter CEO Evan Williams made a few key points to convince his coworkers that they didn't want the Facebook money last year.
A big chunk of the 'Facebook economy' doesn't belong to Facebook: it belongs to individuals and companies who have built Facebook applications.
By some accounts, the revenue generated from these apps will surpass Facebook's own revenue this year. So it's no surprise that Facebook is looking to do more to take direct advantage of the ecosystem it's built.
Andrew Keen is a former entrepreneur who has since recanted his enthusiasm for Silicon Valley and come out as an outspoken opponent of Web 2.0. Keen is no stranger to controversy. His 2007 book “Cult of the Amateur” argued against the wisdom of crowds and he is known for incendiary commentary, like the time he likened Web 2.0 to a communist society or when he told Stephen Colbert that the Internet is worse than Nazism. In case you were wondering, here’s his definition of blogging: “It’s all about digital narcissism, shameless self-promotion. I find it offensive."
Keen now writes at The Great Seduction, twitters @ajkeen, and speaks on a variety of topics. This week, Keen wrote that Facebook’s infusion of $200 million from Russian investors signaled “the final act of the Web 2.0 tragi-comedy.” Econsultancy caught up with him via phone while he was in Alabama this week (“studying the natives”) to discuss the death of Web 2.0 and what comes next.
Have you ever wondered how close (and mutually influential) the social network friendships are? If you're an online marketer, you more than likely have; especially when Facebook opened up for ads a few months ago.
Even the Old Testament could use a little help from new media. Starting this week, Pope Benedict XVI is on Facebook.
Facebook users will not be able to friend the pope or throw sheep at him, but they will be able to sign up for personalized daily messages at www.pope2you.net.
The new website provides access to the Pope's dedicated YouTube channel, an application that sends messages from Pope Benedict via Facebook, and Vatican news sent straight to the iPhone.
When you delete a photo that you had uploaded to a social network, what happens?
You might expect that it's deleted. After all, why would Facebook, for instance, want to store that old photo of you and Aunt Hilda any longer than it has to? Even you don't want that photo.
Facebook may have 75.5 million monthly visitors, but the world's most popular social network is not getting by on advertising alone. This month, estimates for total revenue from applications will be roughly equal to Facebook's profit through advertising. And it seems like Facebook is looking for cash in on that lucrative market.
According to AdAge:
Facebook is testing a payments system with some of its developers that would enable one-click buying of virtual goods and services on the Facebook platform, with Facebook taking either a percentage of the transaction or a flat fee. In addition, Facebook is testing a service to allow users or advertisers to buy and trade "credits" or a virtual currency to facilitate commerce. Spokesman Brandon McCormick said three tests of the system will commence in the coming weeks.
Speaking at a conference today, Twitter co-founder Biz Stone told the audience not to expect to see ads anytime soon on the popular microblogging platform.
"There are a few reasons why we're not pursuing advertising--one is, it's just not quite as interesting to us." Stone said.
We've looked at how charities are using Twitter before; The Dog's Trust is one good example of how causes can be promoted on the site. Another is LearnAsOne, which will be aiming to Tweet from a community in Zambia.
LearnAsOne is a charity that has launched a project to build a community school in Zambia, and will be using Twitter, and its blog to promote the scheme and encourage donations, as well as showing people how their money is being spent.
The charity was set up by Steve Heyes; he is out in Zambia now and will be documenting the project for the next two weeks. I've been asking Steve about his use of social media.