We Are Social’s Tuesday Tweakup #5

by Adam Bernstein in News

Facebook seek investment from Goldman Sachs
Goldman Sachs reached out to its wealthy private clients this week offering them the chance to invest in an ‘unnamed private company’ widely presumed to be Facebook. Those briefed on the deal said individuals would have to invest at least $2 million and wouldn’t be allowed to sell their shares until 2013.

The investment will bring in a total of $500 million for Facebook and values the company at $50 billion. Inside Facebook had some interesting thoughts on the deal – that it will bring Goldman Sachs a potentially very valuable client if Facebook goes for an IPO in 2012, as well as the suggestion that some of the money may go towards buying a campus for Facebook’s employees to be based in. They also made an interesting point that the knock-on effect of Facebook’s growth is that seed-stage startups need to raise upwards of $1 million investment to attract developers, who would otherwise work on their own, making it that much more expensive to make a start-up successful.

A Snapshot of Facebook in 2010
Democracy UK published an interesting Facebook note to see out 2010, with some interesting data on what happens on Facebook every twenty minutes – most notably, 1.3 million photos are uploaded and over 10 million comments are posted. But in less positive news – at least according to Facebook – more and more of us are becoming single: in 2010, 43,869,800 changed their status to single, compared with 28,460,516 who changed their status to in a relationship – possibly a by-product of all those photos which are being uploaded…

Facebook Places now available on Windows Phone 7 and Palm WebOS
Last week brought some good news for Windows Phone 7 and WebOS users with Places now available on their Facebook Mobile apps. With Places now on all of the major Facebook mobile platforms, check-ins should become more common in the feed, reinforcing the notion that sharing one’s location is a natural part of social networking.

What’s the point of Foursquare?
Well, that’s the theory at least. However, last week Karen Costa of Compete suggesting it wasn’t just her who doesn’t see the point of geo-location services like Foursquare and Gowalla (and by implication, Facebook Places). She highlighted the steady decline in their web traffic.

She really hit the nail on the head, with her observation that there’s little point in being mayor of most places, and badges lack long-term appeal to keep people interested. Having said that, none of this is actually that new – as Mike Schneider pointed out in the comments, companies have to offer something relevant; but that’s exactly why he thinks 2011 will be the year they look at your social graph and personalise your offers.

Reddit’s impressive growth
Reddit posted some remarkable figures about how its user-base grew in 2010 – most clearly through the jump in page views, from 250 million in January of 2010 to 829 million in December of 2010, a 232% growth. With Digg’s decline after many users left as a result of the summer’s redesign, it’s clear that Reddit has stepped up to take its place. The figures say that Digg still has more monthly unique visitors than Reddit, but with Reddit’s massive growth, it can’t be long before this changes.

Swedish government issues guidelines for social media
The Swedish government is in the process of drawing up clear guidelines for how government agencies should behave with regard to social media. There is a focus on having house rules, monitoring conversation, and having a team which is clearly responsible for social media; all of these are sensible blocks to put in place to make sure social media is appropriately managed.

Newcastle issue Twitter guidelines for players
Newcastle manager Alan Pardew revealed on New Year’s Day that (a bit like the government of Sweden), the club is introducing guidelines for how players can use Twitter. This is in the light of Jose Enrique, their left-back, tweeting in advance of their match against Spurs that he wouldn’t be fit to play. Seeing as the winning goal was scored by Aaron Lennon, the Spurs right-winger he probably has a point (though not from this particular match). What’s more, for once Newcastle are showing some balance – as Pardew put it:

We don’t want players tweeting about their fitness on the day of games but we are not going to stop freedom of speech. It is not the Chinese republic here.

Quite.

Schweppes launch Facebook Profile app
After Facebook launched the new profile, a French artist took the chance to express himself by photo-shopping some pictures, so his face was spread across his page.

Now, Schweppes have launched an app so that anybody can transform their profile very easily. Best of all, the final result is non-branded which means the pictures remain strictly personal. As the video below shows, it is one cool app.

New Year’s popular in social media
With an estimated 250,000 people gathered by the London Eye for the New Year’s fireworks, it was almost inevitable that there would be more mentions of it than usual. The same can be said for the celebrations in Times Square in New York, and around the world. But what’s really interesting is the year-on year growth of mentions of New Year’s in social media.

In 2009/10, there were few mentions of New Year’s in social media; but in 2010/11, many people logged onto social media sites, suggesting a new trend for transmitting Happy New Year messages to followers or friends.

And on that note, Happy New Year!

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