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Web Strategy Matrix: Google Buzz vs Facebook vs MySpace vs Twitter (Feb 2010) « Web Strategy by Jeremiah Owyang | Social Media, Web Marketing February 28, 2010

Posted by hruf in Internet & Communities.
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Lack Of Signal In A Sea of Noise
There’s an incredible amount of media and blogger noise about social networks, yet most focus on “killer app” hype without an objective point of view.   My career mission?  To cut out the hype and help companies make sense of what to do. For those fraught with information overload, this definitive matrix distills what matters.

Situation:  New Contender Shakes Up Industry
Google has entered the social networking play with “Buzz”, and by the look of it, this time it’s for real.  There’s a lot of market confusion on how they could stack up, so here’s my take.  Let’s cut the noise and get to the heart of it with a comparison matrix based upon my insights talking to these companies in formal briefings, observations, as a user, my former research and dealing with the brands trying to reach them.

Executive Summary:  Brands Must Stay Focused On Where Customers Already Are
Google’s entrance causes media havoc but web strategists should stay focused.  Find out where customers already are through developing data around consumer behavior called socialgraphics.  Facebook continues to demonstrate a sophisticated marketplace for consumers and brands to mix about, however don’t discount MySpace’s active consumer base –but only if your customers are already there.  Continue to monitor Twitter and respond if customers are tweeting –but they’ve yet to indicate sophistication to help marketers, instead rely on third party tools and agencies to respond.  The feature set of newly spawned Google Buzz isn’t important, what matters is their ability to aggregate social content which will impact search strategy for businesses trying to reach consumers, read my first take analysis.

This scorecard has a limited shelf life, so I’ll likely create a new scorecard after future announcements from these players.

Web Strategy Matrix: Google Buzz vs Facebook vs MySpace vs Twitter (Feb 2010)

Google Buzz Facebook MySpace Twitter
One-Liner A dark horse that has big backing and access to existing platforms. A mainstay platform that needs to grow out of its shell. The MTV of this generation is at risk during an ugly transformation. Has opportunity to become utility-like infrastructure, but not a destination.
Vitals (see more stats) Estimated to sit on a user based of over 100mm active gmail users, they have access to the most popular webpage in the world, google.com.  Has access to mainstream users on Google.com and advanced email users on Gmail. Boasting over 400mm users in just a few short years, they’ve saturated Gen Y in US, and show global expansion at record rates. Recently reported at 57mm US unique users most of which are heavily engaged with site.  Has saturation of coveted youth, working class and small businesses within US. Although difficult to track, estimates indicate 75mm active users, but doubts are emerging about reduced rate of growth.  Usage by tech savvy, media, and celebs.
Strengths A large talent pool of engineers to pull from, Buzz stands on top of existing Gmail, mobile devices, and dominant search portal.  As Buzz grows, they can integrate with all Google apps –and aggregate the entire internet. Rapid US and international growth over last few years bodes well as quickly evolved feature set of platform and and FB Connect gain traction.  Attracts top talent from Google –which are quickly defecting. Big backing by a media giant, a super engaged audience, and rich history of reaching media starved young consumers. Has clinched adoption over media elite, celebrities, and tech influencers. Incredible media buzz, and easy-to-use features.
Weaknesses Late to the party, Google has had a series of social networking misfires from Wave, Dodgeball, Orkut their culture shows signs of becoming corporate –like Microsoft. Struggles with the conundrum of having promised users a ‘closed’ experience where to be successful requires them to be ‘open’. Historically poor track record in meeting privacy expectations of customers, and overall complex interface. Complacent: they really let themselves go. In the eyes of the tech world, they are becoming irrelevant or even worse, a niched media play –not even a lifestyle network.  This leaderless ship without a captain is undergoing radical internal turmoil and innovation has stalled. Although features are dead simple, they are now a commodity –status update features are ubiquitous. Mainstream users confused by how to get started. Overhyped, the infrastructure has shown strain.  Brands generally confused on how to interact.
Opportunity The more information users share, tag, or create, the more data is created on Google’s platform to organize, giving them opportunity to monetize. By integrating Facebook Connect everywhere, the service becomes ubiquitous, and therefore the default identity and default address book for consumer behavior. A few hours ago, the CEO Van Natta was let go. Now a new chief can step up, and lead the recently formed executive team, fostering innovation and solidarity. Must develop more features to increase the overall value of this utility of the this simple status messaging tool.
Threats Mainstay email companies like Microsoft, Yahoo, and AOL have already shown social features ‘bolted’ onto their email systems, and could pose threat, although success hasn’t been proven by any. Secondly, Facebook has made notions to develop an email web client “Project Titan” that will threaten tech savvy users competing for Gmail’s attention. Facebook is a conundrum as they must make experience open –yet this provides Google the opportunity to monetize as an intermediary. Social networks come and go, before MySpace was Friendster, they run the risk of becoming complacent, losing talent to Twitter and failing to innovate over the next few years. Self-implosion from internal instability causes stalls, forcing media brands to develop their own social networking on their own sites, rendering MySpace a duplicate. Worse yet? Cool kids jump ship, and establish a colony elsewhere, leaving MySpace a wasteland of clueless advertisers. Overhype from media leaves Twitter at risk for burn-out-syndrome like a Hollywood child star turned skid row.  Secondly, the more successful they are, the more strain it put on the already questionable infrastructure.
Marketing Platform Although not fully developed, expect advertising options to appear for brands who want to promote relevant ads wherever Buzz is located, especially on SERP pages Confusing and overly complicated, there are too many marketing options perplexing brands.  It’s not clear if brands should advertise, interact in pages, create widgets or do a combination of all. Strong and straight forward. Established team has cut deals with many media companies and has legacy culture of understanding media. Nascent. Although promises have been made for branded experiences, analytics, and other premium features, for most marketers it’s being treated like a chat room –not a marketing platform.
Future State Buzz will aggregate the voices of their users –and those of other social networks, aggregate and serve up monetization options. A communications platform for consumers and brands.  Expect Facebook experience to be in many public experiences and mobile devices. There are two paths: Integrate MySpace into TV and mobile devices or fade into pit of irrelevance like Friendster. Like gas, water, or power, Twitter is likely to fade into the background and become a utility that’s integrated into everything –someday, even your fridge will Tweet.
What They Don’t Want You To Know The collective already owns you –you just don’t know it yet. They’re trying so hard to shift from closed to open, and like a nasty divorce, it’s tearing them apart from users. Like an internal disease, the insiders are hurting, morale sunk, teams in disarray, yet they don’t want the public to know. Not sure what they want to be when they grow up.
What They Should Do Demonstrate success with Buzz, then quickly integrate into other tools like Search and Chrome. Kill off the confusing Wave, and consolidate teams and efforts.  Aggregate public content from Twitter and Facebook, intermediate them and monetize their own content. Get open now. Build a browser to quickly go transcend the web. Reward users to share more information in public like restaurant or media reviews in exchange for other values. Double down efforts on Project Titan email feature. Quickly establish a chain of command and execute based upon a single vision. Have regular talent turnover to avoid complacency. Develop a white label product that can compete with Cisco EOS, Kyte, Pluck, or Kickapps (Altimeter client). Develop a vision to become the dominant protocol over SMS, where teens and international cultures are already heavily texting. Continue to build out platform for developers to build on top of, becoming a data play, like a utility.

Everyone has a morning ritual, for me, I invest up to two hours reading, thinking, and blogging each morning. I hope this helps you cut through the noise –if it was helpful, please pass it on, email to colleagues, tweet it, and blog about it.

via Web Strategy Matrix: Google Buzz vs Facebook vs MySpace vs Twitter (Feb 2010) « Web Strategy by Jeremiah Owyang | Social Media, Web Marketing.

Facebook Statistics January 12, 2010

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Company Figures
  • More than 350 million active users
  • 50% of our active users log on to Facebook in any given day
  • More than 35 million users update their status each day
  • More than 55 million status updates posted each day
  • More than 2.5 billion photos uploaded to the site each month
  • More than 3.5 billion pieces of content (web links, news stories, blog posts, notes, photo albums, etc.) shared each week
  • More than 3.5 million events created each month
  • More than 1.6 million active Pages on Facebook
  • More than 700,000 local businesses have active Pages on Facebook
  • Pages have created more than 5.3 billion fans
Average User Figures
  • Average user has 130 friends on the site
  • Average user sends 8 friend requests per month
  • Average user spends more than 55 minutes per day on Facebook
  • Average user clicks the Like button on 9 pieces of content each month
  • Average user writes 25 comments on Facebook content each month
  • Average user becomes a fan of 2 Pages each month
  • Average user is invited to 3 events per month
  • Average user is a member of 12 groups
International Growth
  • More than 70 translations available on the site
  • About 70% of Facebook users are outside the United States
  • Over 300,000 users helped translate the site through the translations application
Platform
  • More than one million developers and entrepreneurs from more than 180 countries
  • Every month, more than 70% of Facebook users engage with Platform applications
  • More than 500,000 active applications currently on Facebook Platform
  • More than 250 applications have more than one million monthly active users
  • More than 80,000 websites have implemented Facebook Connect since its general availability in December 2008
  • More than 60 million Facebook users engage with Facebook Connect on external websites every month
  • Two-thirds of comScore’s U.S. Top 100 websites and half of comScore’s Global Top 100 websites have implemented Facebook Connect
Mobile
  • There are more than 65 million active users currently accessing Facebook through their mobile devices.
  • People that use Facebook on their mobile devices are almost 50% more active on Facebook than non-mobile users.
  • There are more than 180 mobile operators in 60 countries working to deploy and promote Facebook mobile products

Meet Zong+, A Mobile Payments Platform On Steroids And Potential PayPal Killer November 1, 2009

Posted by hruf in Internet & Communities, Mobile & Gadgets.
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Zong has seen tremendous growth over the past year from when the company debuted its mobile payments service from the TechCrunch50 demo pit. Zong’s model of billing micropayments to your cell phone bill caught our eye and sure enough, less than one year later, the startup is picking up serious traction, including a partnership with Facebook to power the purchase of the social network’s new currency. And in 2009 alone, Zong has processed mobile payments for over 10 million unique users worldwide. Today, Zong is launching a new feature that not only expands its payment services, but could make a lasting impact on the micropayments field.

via Meet Zong+, A Mobile Payments Platform On Steroids And Potential PayPal Killer.

3 Rules For Social Media September 20, 2009

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Matt Singley is talking about social norms and rules of interaction in social networks:

One of the wonderful things about social media is that it’s still a bit of the Wild West.  Sites like Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, while all covered nicely with their Terms of Service Agreements, are really very self-governing in terms of what content is produced.  When I talk to thought leaders and everyday users of these spaces about rules and norms, the divide is evenly split, with half saying that there should be rules imposed, the other half saying that it’s free speech all the way.  I tend to fall into the latter camp, although I do have three rules of my own that I try to follow.  Why?  Because I really do believe in social norms, and even though we are interacting with people in a digital sense, we are still interacting…we’re sharing the space and I want to do my part to be a good person. […]

via 3 Rules For Social Media » Matt Singley | Social Media Optimization

Facebook’s Experimental Desktop Notifications App For Mac Is Very, Very Slick September 10, 2009

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If you’re on a Mac and you use Facebook frequently, you’re going to love this. We’ve stumbled across a new experimental application being developed in-house at Facebook that’s called “Desktop Notifications“. It’s exactly what it sounds like — the application sits in your menubar at the top of the screen, giving you easy access to your News Feed, recent Wall Posts, and messages. It appears that the application is open for anyone to download (though it’s only got a few dozen fans so far) but note that Facebook is clearly labeling this as a prototype and experimental, so don’t expect any support if something gets messed up.

The application is native, which means it doesn’t have any of the CPU usage issues or quirks of Adobe AIR. Using the app is very straightforward: as new messages, notifications, and wall posts come in, you’ll see a Growl-like notification box slide into view. Even better for avid sharers, the application features a universal hotkey for sending out a new status update, though this doesn’t seem to have support for all of Facebook Publisher’s functionality (sharing photos, etc.). You’ll also quickly find that aside from updating your status, most of the functions featured in the app (like composing a new message or viewing your News Feed) are really just links to the Facebook website — you can’t do much from within the app itself. That said, if you’re just looking for a way to bring your Facebook notifications to your desktop, this is a perfect solution.

Of course, this isn’t the first application that brings Facebook to your desktop — a number of third party apps like Amigo, Seesmic and TweetDeck offer some of the same functionality (and more). And Facebook has built its own AIR app that lets you view your News Feed and post status updates.

Thanks to Gambit for the tip.

via Facebook’s Experimental Desktop Notifications App For Mac Is Very, Very Slick.

Zynga claims FarmVille has become fastest-growing social game ever August 28, 2009

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Zynga plans to announce Thursday that its FarmVille game has become the largest and fastest-growing social game in history.

The game now has more than 11 million active daily players since its launch on June 19 on Facebook. They all play their roles as virtual farmers, creating and managing their own farms. On average, FarmVille has attracted more than 1 million active users a week. All told, Zynga now has more than 93 million monthly players across all of its games. That probably adds up to about a third of the Facebook user population. […]

“FarmVille demonstrates the huge market potential of social gaming – in just 9 weeks the game has become a cultural phenomenon,” said Mark Pincus, founder and chief executive of Zynga in a statement. “No other application has achieved what this game has in such a short amount of time. Who would have guessed that FarmVille is now the biggest online game in North America and quickly becoming the biggest online game in the world.”

via Zynga claims FarmVille has become fastest-growing social game ever | VentureBeat

First Look: Facebook 3.0 : App Advice August 18, 2009

Posted by hruf in Internet & Communities, Mobile & Gadgets.
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First Look: Facebook 3.0

Posted by Ian Hamilton on: August 18th, 2009, 4.55 am

photo-8

Joe Hewitt, the developer behind the iPhone version of Facebook, just graced my inbox with a copy of the Facebook 3.0 app he submitted to the App Store.

It feels more like the full Facebook than ever before and the whole interface is cleaner, snappier and much more bug-free, though there’s still a few things you can’t do with it.

Below is the list of features in 3.0 Hewitt shared earlier this summer followed by my initial impressions.

Read more on First Look: Facebook 3.0 : App Advice.

Podcast: Understand Facebook Connect for Business « Jeremiah Owyang August 12, 2009

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Zuck and FB connectInvest 20 minutes to listen to this podcast focused on how Facebook Connect helps brands connect with existing communities.  This podcast, hosted by Aaron Strout of Powered, was joined by the digital editor of AdWeek, Brian Morrissey and marketing blogger/consultant, Susan Getgood, and myself.

You can also download the Mp3 file directly.  Get more details about the podcast from Aaron’s blog directly. A few themes:  Social marketing is about getting your customers to talk to customers –not just a brand blasting to customers.

Update: Here’s the example I mentioned about VW using FB to serve up contextual content, to learn more about this trend, read “The Future of the Social Web” which was Forrester’s top report in Q2 2009 and the blog post has been translated to 20 languages.

via Podcast: Understand Facebook Connect for Business « Web Strategy by Jeremiah Owyang | Social Media, Web Marketing.

Facebook can’t have Twitter, so it buys FriendFeed August 11, 2009

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By most accounts, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg really likes Twitter. And as the 20-something CEO of a company that has raised over $750m, it’s only natural that he’d want it, literally. There’s just one problem: when Facebook tried acquiring Twitter earlier in the year, it was turned down. The reason: Twitter didn’t buy into the $15bn valuation Facebook was basing its share price on as part of the proposed deal.

So Facebook has finally done what many do when rejected: you settle for your second choice. And it this case, that means FriendFeed, which it acquired yesterday. […]

via Facebook can’t have Twitter, so it buys FriendFeed | Blog | Econsultancy

New Study Shows How Different Generations Use Facebook August 1, 2009

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Reports from Inside Facebook earlier this year have shown the growth in Facebook use amongst users over 35 and baby boomers especially. Now, a new study from Anderson Analytics shows how different generations are using social networking sites like Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

emarketer-facebook-1

According to the numbers, the top reasons for joining a social network across all generations are to “keep in touch with friends” and “for fun.” However, as expected, older users are primarily using the site to keep in touch with family.

Generation Z users (13 to 14 years old) use MySpace and Facebook more than any other site in the study by a long shot, with Facebook slightly trailing behind MySpace at 61% to 65%. 9% of this group use Twitter, and none use LinkedIn.

75% of Generation Y users (15 to 29 years old) use MySpace compared to Facebook at 65%. Usage of Twitter (14%) and LinkedIn was up for this group. Respondents in the Generation X (30 to 44 years old), baby boomers (44 to 65 years old), and the WWII categories are more likely to use Facebook, followed by MySpace, Twitter, and LinkedIn. In other words, Facebook is becoming a popular site among the older generations – but the more telling stats here would be on growth and engagement.

emarketer-facebook-2

via New Study Shows How Different Generations Use Facebook.