apps, APIs and opportunitiesPlatform integration and the future of the internet
2   viadeo                   white paper apps, APIS and opportunites    apps, APIs and                                    ...
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8   viadeo                                 white paper apps, APIS and opportunites    why bother?                         ...
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12     viadeo   white paper apps, APIS and opportunites                                                          how could...
14   viadeo                 white paper apps, APIS and opportunites                                                       ...
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Apps, APIs and Opportunities: Platform integration and opportunities


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Platform integration is at the heart of next generation social networks. Creative developers are starting to spin a new web
of integrated services through carefully constructed apps but do businesses get it? Can this move towards enhanced integration open doors to true virtual mobility for business users or are apps and APIs really just for consumers wanting to play Scrabble and raise virtual farm animals?

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Apps, APIs and Opportunities: Platform integration and opportunities

  1. 1. apps, APIs and opportunitiesPlatform integration and the future of the internet
  2. 2. 2 viadeo white paper apps, APIS and opportunites apps, APIs and how platform opportunities integration is Platform integration and the future of the internet changing the internet To even the most unobservant internet user it is obvious that the online medium has evolved almost Platform integration is at the heart of next past recognition in the past decade. generation social networks. Creative “Social computing is not developers are starting to spin a new web a fad. Nor is it something of integrated services through carefully that will pass you or your constructed apps but do businesses get it? Can this move towards enhanced company by. Gradually, Web 2.0, the term coined by Tim O’Reilly Some examples of changes bought about integration open doors to true virtual social computing will impact in 2004, describes the web’s shift from a during the first internet revolution can be mobility for business users or are apps and almost every role, at every passive to an active channel where it is the seen in the table below: 1 APIs really just for consumers wanting to play users themselves that control their online kind of company, in all parts Scrabble and raise virtual farm animals? experience rather than website owners of the world.” or omnipotent editorial teams. Nigel Fenwick, Web 1.0 Web 2.0 Forrester Research Ofoto Flickr Britannica Online Wikipedia Domain name speculation Search Engine Optimisation Personal websites Blogging Publishing Participation 1‘ What is Web 2.0’, Tim O’Reilly, 2005 []
  3. 3. 4 viadeo white paper apps, APIS and opportunites Since O’Reilly’s conception of Web 2.0 six The users themselves have also changed. In summary, internet users now want their web experience to be: years ago there has been another evolution Spending more time on social networks - the rise of the social web. Websites are even than search engines according to Mobile The ability to access a service across multiple platforms such as desktop, now just one vector of a three-way dialogue Hitwise Intelligence2, the modern internet web, mobile or TV between the site and their users and their user trusts peer recommendation and users and each other as they compare opinions posted online over corporate Personalised Ability to change the website (or for the website to change itself) to experiences or recommend a site’s content, websites, advertising and even newspaper be appropriate to their interests, preferences, location and profession product or services: content3 (Nielsen). They have now come to expect not only to be able to view and Interactive Ability to generate and amend content, make contacts online and buy products and services online but they give opinions also want to interact with the company and brand providing them. Social Ability to recommend products, services and experiences as well as receive recommendations from friends, contacts and colleagues Open Ability to take their social or professional profile with them across the web These needs are captured with the advent As the web continues to evolve it seems likely of platform integration – a function that that an “open” web facilitated by increased allows content to be channelled from integration will continue to intensify whilst Website one website to be utilised or displayed by social media will become more powerful another and is rapidly becoming a standard (privacy concerns not withstanding). This feature of the online experience. document will explore how businesses, organisations and associations looking to The most famous example of this feature keep up with the needs of their online users must be the ubiquitous Facebook ‘Like’ can take advantage of this social revolution. button now splashed liberally across the web; this tool allows Facebook users to rate external content and have their opinion displayed in their Facebook news feed without ever having to leave the More than 150 million people external site. User Peers engage with Facebook on external websites every month2 ‘Social networks now more popular than search engines in the UK’ Robin Goad, 2010 []3 ‘Global Advertising: Consumers Trust Real Friends and Virtual Strangers the Most’ NielsenWire, 2009 []
  4. 4. 6 viadeo white paper apps, APIS and opportunites An overview of platform integration options is shown in the table below: what is platform Type Examples Description Programming experience integration? required? Application PollDaddy app Micro website installed by a user to their on Viadeo social networking profile allowing them to Without platform integration social networks would not have extend the functionality of their network and to personalise their experience any applications or games developed by users and third party businesses, the Apple iPhone would just be a phone and the Widget Facebook social Small program usually made up of only world would be, well, less interesting. plugins such as one line of code - most only display basic LiveStream or information the ‘Like’ button API Twitter via Collection of programming tools that allow Tweetdeck or information stored on one site to be shared Seesmic with another site based on a request for information using a unique identifier. The data is often returned in XML format Platform integration is where two or more at the moment with over 50,000 websites software platforms are linked by small bits implementing Facebook’s “social plugin” of programming code ranging from the APIs and applications within a week of its simple (widget) to the more complex (API/ launch in April3. application); this then facilitates the transfer of information from one to the other. This rush for websites to connect is not only An average business An overview is shown in the table above. to take advantage of the high number of internet users who are registered on these professional has 85 Although platform integration is not limited sites but also because of the increasing contacts on their amount of time spent there –over 5.5 hours to integration with social networks this a month according to another recent professional network has become an incredibly popular form 3 Nielsen report4. ‘50,000 Websites Add Facebook’s Like Button And Social Plugins In First Week’, Nick O’Neill, 2010 [] 4 ‘Led by Facebook, Twitter, Global Time Spent on Social Media Sites up 82% Year over Year’ NielsenWire, 2010 []
  5. 5. 8 viadeo white paper apps, APIS and opportunites why bother? Type Used for... Brand association Social network Social reasons, to connect with friends Current, informal, (Facebook, MySpace) and family, as a leisure activity sociable Businesses receive more revenue from users Microblogging Both social and business purposes in an Open, engaged, who are active and engaged with their brand service (Twitter) exercise in self-promotion and a desire for personal online. Can they afford not to take advantage? cutting edge current affairs/education. Professional social To connect with professional contacts, to Professional, network look for jobs, enhance career prospects and career-related, (Viadeo, LinkedIn) elevate professional status thought leader Large communities of active users Platform integration with a social network is User engagement social networking user name and password 2 out of 3 internet users belong to a social an easy way for external websites to tap into If a site user can find a more interactive streamlines the process and increases the network according to Nielsen5. Social this group of highly engaged and socially and personalised experience on a site amount and quality of the information networking powerhouse Facebook now has powerful internet users. (for example being shown content that is gathered about website visitors. over 500 million users and is predicted to tailored to their profession, interests and reach 600 million by the end of 2010. Twitter Brand association location or being able to see that their Low cost marketing strategy has over 105 million and professional social The different genres of social networks contacts are also using the site’s services) The majority of the platform integration networking sites LinkedIn and Viadeo have allow specific targeting of user groups and they are more likely to engage with the options are offered for free. That said 60 million and 30 million respectively6. an option to position a website’s brand in brand or organisation, products or services. implementing a platform integration a certain way (see table opposite). strategy still requires an investment of time, Those considered “heavy” social network Increased and more complete registration a careful consideration of the correct users spend twice as much time online Return traffic Members of a social network have already options for the website concerned and as the average internet user and despite Enabling website users to share content spent time and effort filling out a complete potentially programming experience or representing only 15% of the total internet with their social networks will allow external profile (whether professional or social) – it is access to a web developer. However population are responsible for over a websites to harness peer recommendation unlikely they will commit the same amount compared to other marketing strategies it is third of total page views consumed online7. to attract return and new visitors back to of time on an external website. Offering a low cost and easy to implement function their site. the option to sign in and register using their that can deliver high rewards. 5 ‘Social Networking’s New Global Footprint’, NielsenWire, 2009 [] 6 All figures correct as of July 2010 7 ‘The State of Social Networks’ presented on Jan 14 2010 by Joe Nguyen, comScore []
  6. 6. 10 viadeo white paper apps, APIS and opportunites Some examples: what are the Type of integration Description User benefits External website benefit possibilities? Content Users can recommend products, Increased visibility Free marketing from share services and content to contacts and kudos from customers to their trusted on their social network their friends and contacts colleagues Platform integration enables organisations to reduce costs, increase users, capture more data, increase conversion Simplified Users register for external sites using Saves time, Option for registration registration the same account information that utilises their becomes more attractive rates, promote their brand and drive revenues. they used to register with their social portable web increasing conversion rates, network profile more data is captured about user Site to user External site visitors have a More relevant Relevance is directly personalisation personalised experience based on information linked to revenue and the data they have listed on their delivered at the engagement social network profile right time Organisations have the opportunity to use Interactive External sites can develop Increases the Increases reach and the data contained in the social network to content placed applications and integrate them with relevance of third user base through social create a personalised web experience for directly on the social network’s platform to be party tools by recommendation and their site visitors. They gain the advantage of creating an association with a brand that the website visitor already knows and trusts 90% of consumers social network’s platform shared and used by its members adding a social context discovery with their personal data as well as opening trust peer up their content to be shared with a social network. In return they benefit from extra recommendations over other Members of professional social sources networks are projected to reach traffic, increased engagement and a more complete registration process. 500 million by 2015
  7. 7. 12 viadeo white paper apps, APIS and opportunites how could it work for you? These are just some of the possible applications enabled through 50% the integration of a social network with an organisation’s online or mobile services. It is all possible. The limit is just the imagination. • Site visitors can share and recommend • Give site visitors access to the your content on their networks directing functionality of their social network qualified return traffic to your site from your site keeping them engaged with your site for longer • Enable users to see their network newsfeed from your site encouraging • Incorporate a microblogging feature them to add a feed related to your allowing users to “tweet” content or content or brand thoughts about your site either to Twitter or to their network • Enhance your content with information drawn from a user’s social network e.g.Half of comScore’s Global Top 100 people related to a recruiting company for a job description, companies 80% of companies usewebsites have integrated with Facebook mentioned in an article or contacts who have read the same article social media for recruitment
  8. 8. 14 viadeo white paper apps, APIS and opportunites “For those who have been working in the social computing sphere the last few years, either externally or internally, it’s become future thinking? abundantly clear to us that all business is becoming Social Business” The social evolution of the internet will change the way Dion Hinchcliffe, in which businesses promote products and services forever. Communicating the Value of Social Business, Dachis Group The drive towards openness, collaboration One thing that will remain constant is and transparency is not only affecting the basic principle of marketing – build the way people browse the internet and a good product, provide a great service interact with those providing products, or interesting content and people will services and content but is also changing talk about it. The change is how and the way in which organisations operate. where they are talking about it. Platform integration is an easy and necessary first At a basic level incorporating customer step for organisations to get involved with or user participation will become key a dialogue that is already happening, to to surviving the social revolution but the engage with their consumers and brand changes will also reach to the very core of promoters and to become part of a truly organisations; management hierarchies will integrated open web. become flattened, employees will become “always-on duty” brand ambassadors and professional partnerships will become truly collaborative. 75% of Twitter traffic comes from outside
  9. 9. Contact usViadeoLondon UKT: 020 7960 9667E: