Here are all of the posts tagged ‘Gowalla’.
More delays for FDA Social Media Guidance
The FDA’s widely anticipated guidance on social media has been delayed for the second time in four months, and the agency seems unwilling to provide a timetable for publication. In a statement discussed by Pharmalot, the FDA insists it is committed to this task, declaring that “policy and guidance development for the promotion of FDA regulated medical products using the Internet and social media are among our highest priorities”, promising to address a number of issues. But they might not get it done until 2013. Which sucks. In fact it really sucks. The pharmaceutical industry everywhere, including in Europe, has been hanging out for this, before understanding the regulatory risks of engaging social media. We’re guessing progressive pharma companies will now start to carefully experiment on their own….
Interactive Marketing not so interactive
Marketers are falling behind their consumers thanks to CMOs who are failing to deliver the consumer experience through their interactive marketing teams. A Forrester Research report on “The Future of Interactive Marketing” explains that consumers expect their information to be shared between their different devices – mobile, website, call centre – whilst marketers still lack the required skills, resources and technology to make this a reality, with a lack of dedicated staff and a tendency for interactive teams to be siloed within marketing organizations away from creative and production departments the main stumbling-blocks.
The future of interactive marketing, according to Forrester’s Research Director Emily Riley, lies in “enabling collaborative consumer relationships” and an approach based on a C.O.R.E framework – customise, optimise, respond and empower. Interactions should be customised across channels, optimised to be delivered in real terms, responsive to consumer’s concerns in real time and empowered to test new things.
Social Networking Engagement
There may be record numbers of users with social media profiles, but how active are those users? A survey from eMarketer found that almost half all respondents had logged in to Facebook in October 2010, compared to just 13.4% to Myspace, 11.5% to LinkedIn and 9.6% to Twitter. However it gets interesting when you look at the usage frequency of their user bases:
Facebook, again, clearly dominates…
Meet the “Twitter Elite”
Jennifer Whitehead has introduced the next buzzword term for social media marketers – the “Twitter Elite”. A new survey has identified that only 20,000 users, a very small proportion of the microblogging site’s total users, are responsible for 50% of Twitter’s attention. The survey categorises five types of user – celebrities, media, organisations, blogs and bloggers, and ordinary users – and concludes that celebrities are tweeted at the most by other members, followed by media users, whilst blogs and bloggers retweet the most content. The survey also mentions that Twitter users tend to follow and listen to users who are similar to themselves.
Social Endorsements outrank Advertising
New research discussed by Online Media Daily suggests that celebrity brand endorsements on social media sites prove at least 50% more effective than traditional display ads on Facebook. Comparing 200 celebrity endorsement campaigns on Twitter and Facebook with more conventional ads placed on Facebook, the conclusion is that “Dollar for dollar, you are actually going to receive more branding and more impression impact using streamed endorsements on Facebook and Twitter than people seeing an ad on Facebook because the engagement rate is so much higher, according to Ryan Steelberg, CEO of Brand Affinity Technologies. Of the two, endorsements on Facebook were stronger than those on Twitter, increasing clickthrough rates by 1700%.
Russian Facebook becomes “Invite Only”
A blog post from Katya Trubilova reports that Vkontakte, ‘the Russian Facebook’, introduced a new registration scheme in February, meaning that the only way to become a member of the country’s biggest social network is through an invitation from an existing member. New users will also now be required to provide a mobile phone number when registering with the site, purportedly to enable users to access their accounts if they forget their login details, though it is suggested this move may help Vkontakte deal with its serious spam problem.
Critics have noted that these measures may prevent foreign users and international businesses from accessing Vkontakte users, and have speculated that the new registration process may actually be an effort to make money through selling invitations or users’ mobile numbers. It could also be seen as a drive to position the site as a more exclusive and thus desirable network, allowing the site a competitive advantage over Facebook and Odnoklassiniki.
Twitter’s new tool to turn all sites into a lightweight Twitter client
Last week Twitter launched its Web Intents, a new API tool which lets people interact with Twitter content on third-party websites. Nice.
Google takes on ‘Like’ with +1’s
Google have launched their answer to social sharing – the +1:
Facebook improves web setup for mobile
250 million people now use Facebook from mobile devices each month – that’s an incredible 150% increase on last year’s figure of 100 million users per month. To make it easier for users and developers alike, Facebook is consolidating all of their mobile efforts under one site. It uses a sophisticated framework that adapts in real time to what device you’re accessing it from (so if you don’t have location services, you won’t have access to places) and should improve the overall experience for users over.
Foursquare tops 8 million users, Gowalla to open a UK office
In the same week that Foursquare announced they’d crossed the 8m user threshold, Gowalla CEO Josh Williams announced that the company plans to open an office in London. We wonder when they’ll be checking in…
GetGlue introduce sports check-in button
GetGlue already rewards fans for checking in virtually to their favourite TV shows, films & music, but now they’ve gone one better by engaging the sports community. As part of the re-design of the app, they’ve created a dedicated sports check-in button, with active users getting a discount on team merchandise. A key part of this is a partnership with Foursquare, which will allow its userbase to check into events, as well as locations.
Discover apps through social recommendations
While Facebook continues to hesitate over recommending apps to you based on your friends’ taste, two third-party developers have stepped into the void. Vivek Agrawal and Shalin Mantri have built Apptitude, to show you which iPhone apps your friends are using, and the app has been making impressive progress in the App Store.
Samsung accused of faking Galaxy Tab testimonials
It seems almost unbelievable that Samsung would fake testimonials – and yet this is exactly what they’re accused of. Though the tablet market is clearly very competitive, if they’re guilty of astroturfing, it’s an astonishing move – as Econsultancy put it “the most valuable feedback companies can obtain is honest feedback”. Quite.
Budweiser says no to drinking and driving
Budweiser this week launched a new campaign on Chinese micro-blogging site Sina Weibo (in effect their version of Twitter) telling users to ‘say no to drinking and driving’. Those taking part in the campaign, can accumulate entries into a prize draw with some good prizes on offer.
Facebook users lend their status to African mothers
AMREF launched a campaign last week to coincide with Mother’s Day, where Facebook or Twitter users can ‘donate their status’ to six African women, with their status being updated twice a day with a message from one of the women to raise awareness of the charity’s work in training midwives and health workers in Africa. The focus of the campaign is around how a little money can go a long way in Africa, and we back this noble cause to the hilt.
MLB picks its social media ambassador
Major League Baseball has launched its first full social media campaign in earnest – after over 10,000 entries, a man named Mike was chosen as the MLB Superfan to tweet about the season ahead. Looks like a very well pitched campaign…
Westfield’s Twitter mirror
As part of its Big Fashion Wardrobe event, Westfield unveiled a Twitter mirror so that people can upload pictures of potential outfits to Facebook and Twitter and receive instant feedback from their friends. Impressive stuff.
Check-in and a billboard will feed your dog
One might think this barking idea is an April fool, but its genuinely true: if you check in on Foursquare to a Granata Pet billboard in Germany, the billboard spits out dog food. The possibilities for the future really are endless…
Social Media Dominates Asia Pacific Internet Usage
Nielsen announced its Asia Pacific Social Media Report and found the region has undergone an unprecedented level of growth in the past year. Notably, social media is seen as having a noticeable impact on consumer purchasing decisions:
In Asia Pacific, online product reviews are the third most trusted source of information when making purchase decisions, behind family and friends. This is particularly so for purchases of consumer electronics, cosmetics and cars – products where consumers are most likely to base their purchase decisions on online product reviews.
The report looks at Internet usage across Korean, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, India, Singapore and China.
Foursquare in talks with Google, MS and Yahoo! about search partnerships
The Telegraph reports that Foursquare is in talks with the three major search engines which could allow people to look up the most popular bar or restaurant in their area in real-time. Dennis Crowley, Foursquare’s co-founder, has said:
Our data generates hugely interesting trends which would enrich search… Twitter helped the world and the search engines know what people are talking about. Foursquare would allow people to search for the types of place people are going to – and where is trending
It’s worth noting that Twitter’s first commercial deals were with Google, Yahoo!, and Microsoft, licensing its real-time feed of information.
Say Hello to the New MySpace Profiles
After reports of falling traffic figures, it looks as though MySpace is trying to change its fortunes by completely redesigning its user profiles. MySpace confirmed that it was demoing a new look and feel to the site, which includes:
- An improved UI and navigation menu
- A Facebook like newsfeed with a user’s recent activity
- Social network integration with other sites like Facebook or Twitter
Facebook will announce 500 million users; announces 150 million on mobile
In anticipation of hitting the half billion user mark, Facebook is planning to mark the occasion with a new consumer marketing initiative called ‘Facebook stories’ in which they hope to celebrate the impact of the social network on their users’ lives.
The announcement is expected any day now, and will sit alongside other large milestones announced last week, such as hitting 141 million unique visitors in the US (comScore). There are also an estimated 150 global mobile users, according to Facebook’s Head of Mobile Products Eric Tseng, who also indicated last week that we can expect to see Facebook’s “Like” buttons in mobile applications soon.
The New York Times notes that with this impressive growth, comes some grim challenges at the social network grapples with how to handle deaths in the system as older users die:
Now, people over 65 are adopting Facebook at a faster pace than any other age group, with 6.5 million signing up in May alone… People over 65, of course, also have the country’s highest mortality rate, so the problem is only going to get worse.
That said, big steps have been made to improve the ease with which ‘ghosts in its machine’ are identified, and profiles can be “memorialised” such that grieving friends can still post messages on those pages as a tribute.
Apple deleting mentions of Consumer Reports’ iPhone 4 piece on forums
Since the iPhone 4’s release last month, Apple has been going through a bit of a rough time with widespread reports of an antenna design flaw that was causing the mobile signal to degrade and calls to be dropped.
Consumer Reports last week released independent findings that confirmed there was a design flaw with the iPhone 4 which caused problems with its reception. This news spread quickly online, but Apple made the questionable decision of “deleting threads about the Consumer Reports article from its support forums”, which deepened the crisis further.
Old Spice social media campaign
Last week Old Spice / Wieden+Kennedy turned a lot of heads with its innovative use of social media for its ‘The Man Your Man Could Smell Like’ campaign. We’ve twice written about the campaign so it needs little summary here – head over to our previous posts to learn more.
Starbucks is the first brand to reach 10 million Facebook fans
Following on the heels of Lady Gaga becoming the first ‘person’ to gather 10 million fans, Starbucks has now become the first brand to collect 10 million fans for its Facebook page. According to Inside Facebook:
The company’s audience of 10 million people around the world has been hard won with marketing, promotions and advertising. Over the years Starbucks has given away free ice cream on Facebook, been recognized by Facebook [for fan page innovation] and was also the most popular brand [on the social network].
Ben & Jerry’s drops email in favour of social media
Ice cream brand Ben & Jerry’s is looking to abandon its current email marketing activity in favour of using social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, to engage with customers on an ongoing basis. The decision was based on the feedback they received from customers who would prefer being contacted via social media. Ben & Jerry’s still plans to send one email update to customers each year, and the company has received “mainly positive feedback on the decision” thus far.
K2 Skis redirects entire company website to Facebook
K2 Skis has made the bold decision to redirect the company’s entire website to its Facebook Fan Page in an effort to boost its fan base. By becoming a Fan of their page, users will be able to see next year’s line up. All Facebook notes that this is the first time they’ve “ever seen a company shut down their corporate site as part of a promotion,” but it doesn’t appear to be driving significant numbers just yet.
BT uses social media to decide ending for TV ad campaign
BT has taken to Facebook in order to have the public decide the ending to their long-running ‘Adam and Jane’ TV ad campaign. Fans of the “Please don’t let Adam and Jane off the BT home hub advert break up…” Facebook group were given a sneak peak of the ad before it aired this weekend, and asked to vote on the ending which will be aired in late August.
The Human Avatar
This just about sums up The Human Avatar campaign for EA’s new game All Points Bulletin (APB). To tie in with the customisation available in the new game, APB decided to take a real person and over the course of several weeks transform them into a real-life avatar that will be released in the game – all to be decided by votes via their website. After selecting the candidate Josh, users then voted on his haircut (cyber punk), piercing (septum) and tattoo (back wings).
Social media helps drive purchases by 10x
Recent research reveals that customers visiting an online store via social media are 10x more like to by something than other users: “whereas 7% of all visitors to an online store make a purchase, a significantly higher 71% of visitors initiated via social media will click their way to the transaction section.” The study showed that while many online stores are good at attracting visitors, a small amount will be converted to customers. But “reassurance from a positive review” and “social media marketing” can be highly effective in closing sales.
Sorrell questions commercialisation of social web
WPP boss Sir Martin Sorrell likened social media to letter writing at one of the closing sessions of the 57th Cannes Lions Advertising Festival, and said that it could be “polluted” by attempts to monetise it. On the same panel, Keith Weed, the global chief marketing officer of Unilever, likened social media instead to the modern day equivalent of a pub or bar chat, and that social networking sites “will and they must” find ways to monetise their offerings.
…companies like ours can develop with companies like Facebook or Microsoft. So I think ‘yes’, they will monetise. How they do it, I think [Sorrell is], right they have to be clever.
Facebook commits to UK support
King Mark Zuckerberg was in London last week at the first official London Facebook Developers’ Garage event, and he committed to increasing support for UK brands and content providers. Zuckerberg also “stressed the importance of the UK to the company, and highlighted personalisation and its virtual currency Facebook Credits as key themes for the year ahead.”
Statistics update reveals that more than one million websites are using Facebook’s platform
Facebook has updated their official Statistics page, and announced in the process that more than one million websites have integrated with its developer platform, up from about 80,000 websites.
This difference is due, in a large part, to Facebook’s launch of the Like Box and other social plugins in late April; the company said this week that more than 300,000 sites have already implemented the plugins, and the number appear to still be climbing.
Elsewhere, it was reported in a study by Experian Simmons that half of US web users visit Facebook each month.
Twitter makes it easier to find friends and colleagues, Facebook ‘blocks’ Twitter friend finder
Last week Twitter announced that it was making it easier to find friends on Facebook and connections on LinkedIn, by improving their Find Friends section and tweaking their LinkedIn and Facebook applications.
The Tweets application by LinkedIn allows users to see which of your LinkedIn connections are on Twitter and follow the ones you choose right from the app. Meanwhile the Facebook app was meant to show which of your Facebook friends are on Twitter, but this was blocked by Facebook disallowing people to see which of their friends on the social network also have Twitter accounts.
A whole new way of experiencing LinkedIn Groups
LinkedIn groups received their first major overhaul since August 2008, which is one of many that are expected in the coming months. In addition to improving the look and feel and ease of use of groups, LinkedIn has also:
- Made it easier to receive email updates from select group members
- Made it possible to vote up or down content and discussions
- Introduced a way to highlight the most active members/contributors to a group
We expect that these changes could go a long way to changing the way that users interact in groups for the better.
Foursquare hits 1.7 million users, and the threat from spammers looms
Foursquare announced that it had passed the 1.7 million user mark, after having added 100,000 in a mere 10 days. At that rate, the location-based service should hit 2 million users before August.
But with growing popularity, comes a greater threat from spammers. The Next Web notes that while spam is still a minor problem, it is becoming more prevalent as people ‘innovate’ by changing their profile name to a company name in order to raise awareness atop local leaderboards, or by leaving advertising messages as ‘tips’.
Foursquare, Starbucks need better blend of offers
When Starbucks and Foursquare announced their joint loyalty program last month in the US, it generated quite a bit of positive publicity. The offer, $1 discount on Frappuccinos to the mayors of individual Starbucks stores, has since come under criticism from Forrester analyst Augie Ray who laid out five reasons that it has become both ‘noisy and bothersome’, and potentially damaging in the long term. Fair play to Starbucks for being amongst the first to implement a nationwide Foursquare promotion, but there are certainly some lessons to be learned with respect to offering better targeted and easier to redeem Foursquare offers.
Virgin America Offers Free Flights to Twitter Influencers
Virgin America has partnered with Klout, an analytics service that tracks users’ influence on Twitter, to offer free flights (plus tax) to influencers in Toronto:
The offer includes free round-trip airfare (Wi-Fi included) between Toronto and San Francisco (SFO) or Los Angeles (LAX) between June 23 and August 23. Those who received invitations for the offer — whether or not they decide to accept the flight that comes with it — were also invited to Virgin America’s Toronto Launch Event on June 29.
Interestingly, ‘influencers’ who have been offered the free flight aren’t require to blog or Tweet about the experience, though Klout has requested that users who do accept the offer and chose to write something, disclose the promotion. Handing out free flights to those with Twitter ‘influence’ is not without its critics however, and some question the validity of ranking people based on an algorithm alone.
JD Sports campaign turns 900,000 visitors into 180,000 sign-ups
A recent campaign for the JD Sports-owned fashion label Bank managed to generate 900,000 unique users and 180,000 sign ups for a competition to become the face of Bank and model the Autumn/Winter 2010 range.
It used Facebook Open Graph – only two clicks to connect with a site and then sending info that they’d signed up or voted for someone into the user’s Facebook profile, which meant that their friends (on average 150 people) also saw it.
LOFT ansers the Facebook call for ‘real women’
Meanwhile, LOFT, a US fashion retailer, received interaction of an entirely different nature on its Facebook Fan Page. The company posted images to Facebook of a tall, blonde model wearing the brand’s new silk cargo pants, and received a number of complaints that the trousers were not universally flatterig unless you’re a “stick like model”. LOFT quickly responded to calls for ‘real women in photos’ the next day by posting pictures of its own staff – ranged from size 2 to 12, and from 5′3″ to 5′10″ – posing in the cargo pants. In so doing they managed to turn things around, address the negative sentiment head-one and show that they were indeed ‘listening’ to their customers.
Digg redesign takes the fight to Twitter, Facebook
Digg has also recently announced a redesign, and “aims to directly challenge Twitter and Facebook by redefining the way Diggers share, view, and submit content.” Chief among the changes, are the ability to follow friends, publishers, and “taste-makers”; as well as view content shared/promoted by their friends.
The idea seems to be that Digg will become much more of a true social networking site, but still based around links and news so as to cut out miscellaneous status updates so common to Twitter and Facebook. Additionally, it will now be easier to submit stories to the site, as well as become easier for Top News to spread amongst friends.
FourWhere now combines Gowalla, Yelp and Foursquare
FourWhere, free service developed by Toronto-based social media monitoring and analytics company Sysomos, now integrates information from the three leading location-based services: Gowalla, Yelp and Foursquare.
If you’re not familiar with Fourwhere, it integrates data from Foursquare, Gowalla and Yelp, and displays it using Google Maps API in order to provided users with “ an easy way to discover places and comments for thousands of restaurants, bars, cafes, stores, tourist attractions and other venues.”
Inside Gatorade’s Social Media Command Center
Mashable was given a behind the scenes look at the Gatorade Mission Control Center inside of its Chicago headquarters: “a room that sits in the middle of the marketing department and could best be thought of as a war room for monitoring the brand in real-time across social media.” Exciting. So exciting, in fact, that the war room comes armed with its own (music) video:
While mission control is visually stunning and certain to give geeks tech-envy, it does raise the question as to how the ‘war room’ is being used in practice – a point considered by NMA’s Vikki Chowney:
We see monitoring, yes. We see inspirational imagery, yes. But engagement? No. At no point in the entire video do we see the brand responding to any of the mentions they’ve tracked online. There’s typing, which suggests the team is doing something, but we can’t actually see what’s being said.
With the goal of becoming the largest participatory brand in the world, it will be interesting to watch how Gatorade puts its tools and processes to use.
Financial watchdog warns banks about social media promotions
A recent study conducted by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) has found that the use of social media channels lacked compliance with industry rules.
Companies posted Twitter updates or commented on discussion forum threads without the proper disclaimers and risk warnings, the FSA says, and engaged in promotional behaviour without complying with all the FSA’s rules.
The watchdog warned companies that all their communications will come under scrutiny, and that promotional and non-promotional communications must be “fair, clear and not misleading.”
AOL Unloads Social Networking Site Bebo
Bebo has just been sold. For a ridiculous price. Is this 2008?
So was the reaction from TechCrunch columnist Paul Carr to the news that Bebo was sold to Criterion Capital Partners, a private equity fund based in Los Angeles, for a reported $10 million. Of course, the ‘ridiculous price’ paid by AOL in 2008 to which Carr was referring was $850 million. In recent years, Bebo has fallen on difficult times as it was eclipsed by Facebook, and Criterion Capital Partners will attempt to engineer a turnaround to the social networks fortunes and return it to its glory days.
Habbo Hotel Turns 10
Meanwhile, Habbo Hotel, one of the world’s largest virtual communities, turned 10 last week. With 40 million monthly user hours and 15 million monthly unique visitors, it appears to still be going strong.
Twitter Launches “Places” Feature with Foursquare Integration
Twitter Places marks the microblogging services’ foray into geolocation, and will highlight tweets at a given location as its rolled out in 65 countries around the world:
Twitter.com desktop and mobile users can tag their tweets with existing Twitter Places and add new Twitter Places, too. Twitter Places can be explored and will reveal a list of recent, public tweets from that location. Twitter will also show you nearby locations and points of interest, including restaurants and shops.
Continuing its tradition of openness, Twitter plans to release an API that will allow developers to play with Twitter Places in their third-party apps. It will also integrated with Foursquare and Gowalla.
Disney/Pixar Buys The First Twitter Trending Topic Ad
Last week, Twitter began testing Promoted Trends, the second phase of their ad revenue model which follows on from the launch of Promoted Tweets back in April. Toy Story 3 was the first brand to try their hand at Twitter’s new ad slot:
Just as with Promoted Tweets, the functionality for these Promoted Trending Topics is the same as the regular Trending Topics — clicking on it takes you to a search results page to see what people are saying about Toy Story 3.
Users that might be worried about advertising messages muddying trending topics, should note that each promoted trend has a big yellow box beside it letting you know that it’s a ‘promoted’ Trending Topic. Moreover, “the Promoted Trending Topic has to resonate or it will disappear.”
Twitter a hit in Japan as millions ‘mumble’ online
Succeeding where other social networking imports like Facebook have failed, Twitter has become a hit in Japan. The Japanese language, advanced mobile handsets and greater sense of individuality among younger people in Japan have contributed to the social network’s boom:
The proportion of Japanese Internet users who tweet is 16.3 percent and now surpasses the ratio among Americans at 9.8 percent. Twitter and Japan’s top social networking site, mixi, have been running neck-and-neck with monthly visitors between 9 million and 10 million but in April Twitter squeaked past mixi, according to ratings agency Nielsen Online.
Is it time to reconsider Google Buzz vs. Facebook or Twitter?
After launching last October to great fanfare and an almost immediate backlash, Google Buzz appears to have caught a second wind, according to Robert Scoble. He notes that he is starting to get more engagement on items in Buzz than he currently does on Twitter or Facebook, and cites 9 reasons for its apparent comeback (and another 6 areas for improvement). The ease with which one can conduct conversations and Buzz’s early adopter community are seen reasons for “brands and geeks” to put Buzz into their media mix – though its in no way “a Twitter or Facebook killer yet.”
Flickr Releases “Request to License”; Anyone Can Easily Sell Their Photos
Flickr has made it “incredibly simple” for any user to make their images available for inclusion in the Getty Images catalogue.
Last year Flickr entered a partnership with Getty Images to allow Getty Images to contact Flickr users and ask them if they would like to include their photos in Getty’s massive stock photography database. Now they’ve introduced a feature where you can proactively tag your photos to alert the world and Getty Images you’re interested in selling them.
Meaning if anyone should wish to license your photo a Getty editor will contact you to help arrange things. So get snapping.
WordPress 3.0 “Thelonious” is launched
WordPress 3.0 “Thelonious” is the thirteenth major release from WordPress and is the result of half a year of work by 218 contributors. Since you’re wondering, it’s named after one of the giants of American jazz, Thelonious Monk, whose “improvisational wizardry inspired [them] to new heights of customization.”
With over 1,217 bug fixes and feature enhancements, the world’s most popular blog software will be welcome news to theme developers and network admins. It’s now available for download at wordpress.org.
David on Demand
And in closing, something a bit lighter. The Twitter bio for @DavidonDemand reads as follows:
Leo Burnett is sending me to Cannes on one condition – I have to do anything you tweet. 24 hours a day, all week long. David on Demand, starting June 21st.
And so begins what should be an entertaining week for David Perez, who has been shipped out to the Advertising Festival in Cannes to act as an online puppet. In true web form, his exploits are being chronicled online, with a live Justin.TV feed, as well Foursquare and Facebook integration. With evidence of David getting a tattoo of the FAIL Whale tattoo (along with two usernames), we expect this could be fun to watch.
Facebook unveils Open Graph protocol
At last week’s f8 developer’s conference, Facebook unveiled the next stage of their platform’s evolution, the Open Graph protocol. Described as “Web 3.0”, “winning the Internet”, “advancing the semantic web” or “a great crusade of colonization” depending on which pundit you’ve been reading.
As Stefano detailed so well here last week, the Open Graph effectively extends Facebook to any page on the web. Up until now external tools on a website typically extended to social bookmarking or sharing via services like Buzz, but by accessing Facebook’s vast collection of social interaction data, you can find out who else in your friend group likes the site, and what else they read and like on the site, thus turning Facebook into a mediator of information all over the web.
Already we’re seeing interesting implementations of the protocol come up, such as likebutton.me – a site that tracks what your friends have been liking on popular sites such as YouTube, CNN and Techcrunch. And we wouldn’t want We Are Social’s fans to miss out on the action either – which is why you can now find Facebook like buttons on the bottom of all our posts (including this one).
Every time Facebook releases a new feature there is an inevitable privacy backlash, usually the domain of a few choice experts, but it’s interesting to note that this is extending into the wider Facebook audience as well. A survey out today details how Facebook users are increasingly aware of the privacy implications of the site, with 77% (of an admittedly small sample) having used the site’s privacy tools to customise their privacy options. Could the new Open Graph become hamstrung as more users become privacy aware and opt-out?
It’s not just Facebook
While Facebook makes it all about conquering the web, location-based services are having a flying start in conquering meatspace. This week saw Foursquare hit a million users just over a year since it launched (even Arnold Schwarzenegger is on it). It took Twitter two years to do the same, and as sure as night follows day, this has meant Foursquare becoming the latest startup to be christened “the new Twitter” (seriously guys, can we get this decided once and for all, so the rest of us can get back to enjoying ourselves?).
Pointless analogies aside, the growth of Foursquare and its competitor Gowalla come under more and more scrutiny. This infographic from Mashable shows an interesting trend – Foursquare has far outpaced Gowalla in the popularity stakes since SXSW in terms of mentions, but the feedback on Gowalla is more positive and less negative. As the two continue to slug it out we could be witnessing one of the best case studies possible in whether sheer numbers or member affection is key to a vibrant and profitable social network.
Blogging – for the young and self-expressive
With all the talk of Web 3.0 it can be easy to dismiss blogging as “so 2004″. Yet new research from eMarketer show that the biggest age group amongst those who blog is 18-25; 40.4% of those who write a blog compared to 28.1% from the much larger 26-42 age group. More tellingly, the reasons given were primarily for self-expression rather than making money:
Bloggers of all ages polled by BlogHer and iVillage overwhelmingly blogged for pleasure, with self-expression the No. 1 reason, followed by “fun.” One-half of bloggers wanted to give advice, and fewer than one-third hoped to earn money with their efforts.
A lesson there for anybody wishing to engage with bloggers – understand what drives them to write and engage with their topic rather than consider them as the same as paid-for writers.
As the election campaign in the UK grinds on, the past week saw an interesting divergence in how old and social media have been treating the leaders. After what most commentators have regarded as a strong performance in the new TV debates, the Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg has been heavily criticised in the mainstream press – so much so even Conservative bloggers such as Iain Dale voiced their concern. Twitter had different ideas, though. The hashtag, #nickcleggsfault, coined off-handedly by Justin McKeating, spread like wildfire as Twitterers all over the UK came up with ever-more sarcastic and nonsensical things to “blame” on Nick Clegg as a parody of the media backlash. While it’s clear this election won’t just be won on social media, it’s a clear sign of the disconnect between the traditional and new media – and this is an issue that will last long beyond the election.