Social media roundup


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Social media roundup

  1. 1. MEDIA Revisiting social media milestones It’s only been a few years since a handful of socialSOCIAL media websites have evolved into multi-billion dollar businesses. With every passing year, their importance and penetration among netizens increases. For many the year 2010 was a definitive one with respect to social media for various reasons. Here is a glimpse of this year’s major social media developments and their social, economic and technological impact. The brand new Twitter Given that Twitter grew into a company of 300 employees, with 165 It would not be an exaggeration to say million users, and a billion-dollar that 2010 was the year of change for evaluation under his command, it was Twitter. With a new revenue model, a quite surprising to see Twitter’s co- revamped user interface (UI) and a founder, Evan Williams, step down from new Chief Executive Officer (CEO), his position as the CEO. However, the Silicon Valley-based organisation according to Williams, growing big is not has been on a roll. success; it is meeting one’s “potential as a profitable company that can retain its culture and user focus, while having a positive impact.” Also worth mentioning is that Williams was also the man behind the blogging platform, Blogger, which he co-founded and managed until its acquisition by Google in 2003. In his own words, Williams is now the product CEO at Twitter; while the company’s new CEO is Dick Costolo – someone who has helped companies like Accenture and FeedBurner generate some serious revenue, in the past. Hence, it is only natural to expect that the company’s | 85 | december 2010 | SPIDER
  2. 2. SOCIAL MEDIA “new directions” will influence the balance sheets. The biggest example of this trend would be the launch of three major products by Twitter’s advertising team over the span of six months. The products included Promoted Trends, Promoted Tweets and Promoted Twitter Accounts. The new advertising platform was the much-anticipated business model that aimed at facilitating advertisers not only on Twitter, but also with third party apps, including desktop clients like TweetDeck. Twitter, with its I ‘Like’ Facebook new advertisement model, has The Facebook ‘Like’ button, which was launched at introduced a new concept, which the f8 developers’ conference in April 2010, has it likes to call Resonance Score. evolved into a social media metric to measure Based on cost per impression, a traffic, user preferences, time on-site, click-through Promoted Tweet’s Resonance rates and other useful demographics. Installed on Score is based on factors such more than two million websites, the ‘Like’ button is as: retweets, impressions, fast becoming the most preferred traffic-referral favourites and clicks. According to after Twitter. More recently, Facebook and Twitter’s official statement, Microsoft penned a deal that allowed the Promoted Tweets will be integration of Facebook’s ‘Like’ data into Bing’s presented by combining text with search results (Bing Social). So essentially, what pictures and videos; all this would would happen is that if a person searched for a not have been possible without particular book on Bing, the search results would the platform that the new Twitter show how many of his/her friends ‘Like(d)’ the provides. book; this would make it easier for him/her to make We have seen that with every a purchase decision. Similarly, if you’ve left your makeover the resemblance privacy settings open, your Facebook status betweenTwitter’s timeline and updates would also appear in Bing’s search Facebook’s Wall seems to grow. results. Oops! However, when it came to Twitter’s Then, Facebook – with its Facebook Places own user interface, it was not service – started to allow its users to check-in, everyone’s favourite; many users share, and tag friends/groups to the different places preferred to use Twitter clients – that they had visited. According to Facebook, users based on Silverlight or Adobe Air have full control on what they share, and with whom – that offered better user they share the information. Since a lot of third-party experience. This year, however, applications based on Facebook ‘Places’ API are Twitter swept us off our feet by already out, they create a huge opportunity for revamping its Web UI. Twitter advertisers, game developers and social marketers. partnered with online services The year 2010 was intense for Facebook and such as deviantART, Flickr, its CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, who made headlines Vimeo, YouTube and many others, with the evergreen privacy issues, a couple of to bring the rich media experience “other” controversies, and a film based on the to its users and introduced a new book about Facebook. To end it all on a positive two-pane Web design to view note, however, Mark Zuckerberg made an embedded photos and videos, uncharacteristic public appearance at the Oprah and a details pane for the Winfrey Show and announced establishing a additional content related to a 100-million dollar project, Startup: Education, to particular tweet. bring educational reforms in various parts of the United States. | 86 | december 2010 | SPIDER
  3. 3. Foursquare, the next big thing?The location-based social networkingwebsite, Foursquare, turned one this year,and what a year it has been for the rapidlygrowing network that boasts almost fourmillion users. Foursquare API also went liveand helped developers, social mediaentrepreneurs and advertisers come up withnew and exciting applications and games forsmartphone devices. The year 2010 wasparticularly important for the company as itexperimented with its strategy, gamerewards, badges etcetera. An example isFoursquare’s collaboration with CNN duringthe FIFA World Cup 2010, where it launchedtwo special badges for football fans – one for YouTube – Live! Social media is all about instant updates andthose who went to South Africa to watch the real-time data, so why is the world’s biggestWorld Cup matches, and the other for thosewho attended special match-viewing parties video portal out of the picture so far? Thisat pubs and clubs in other places. A similar year YouTube took its new, live-streaming platformcollaboration was established with the for a test drive, bringing its audience a TV-likefamous coffee brand, Starbucks, with the video-watching experience. Though it was just aintroduction of a special Barista badge. trial run, something big in the near future is The question, however, is what does the expected.future hold for Foursquare – especially afterthe launch of Facebook Places? According What lies aheadto Foursquare Co-founder and CEO, Dennis Taking into consideration the relativelyCrowley, Foursquare is here “to reinvent inexpensive and faster internet connection thesewhat happens after the check-in.” He days, billions of interconnected desktops andbelieves that there is no comparison mobile devices, and a social media grid that isbetween the two networking websites. Also, defined by applications, it would not beFoursquare intends to provide its users with completely hypothetical to predict a future whereinstant check-ins and better deals, making every aspect of our social lives will be governedthe whole experience a lot more fun. by some form of social networking services. — Ammar Yasir | 87 | december 2010 | SPIDER