Weekly Digest of the Social Networking Space: Oct 31, 2007


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Web Strategy Summary
The big news? Microsoft invests in Facebook and gets access to it as a major advertising platform. Now, Meebo has launched as a platform, and Google is expected to release a Facebook competitor tomorrow. This is the move movement I’ve seen since starting this series. Sadly, there’s not been too much news produced on other social networks.

Partnership: Facebook and Microsoft in Bed
There’s sure been a lot of speculation, and regurgitation about the deal, but let’s boil it down to what it means. Advertising opportunity for MS, expansion of software on the ‘web platform’ access to all your identities. For Facebook, it means: larger than life valuation, a hold out for growth, until potentially an IPO. I participated in this article from Cnet which gives a good starting overview.

Platform: Meebo launches platform
The web based IM aggeregator, Meebo launches a platform encouraging developers to expand on top of it’s instant messaging community. What’s the biggest difference between Meebo and Facebook? Facebook has rich user profiles, whereas Meebo does not. I predict this will influence how the same applications are used on top of each.

Money: Facebook’s Stock options not that rosy?
The NYT questions if the stock will be a good play to retain talent, the potential problem? Diluted value of stock for new employees, among other risks. But who cares? Facebook is a hot company, there were loads of people going to Google over the last yearish (nearly doubling in size) under the same climate…because it was Google.

Enterprise: How do social networks impact the Intranet?
I participated on a panel hosted by Visible Path, where we discussed how the social graph of our work lives can be harnessed and captured to improve sales, recruiting, and communication. The big takeaway? We’ve yet as an industry to really leverage the power of people in the enterprise although some tech recruiters are starting to get savvy.

Community: Rabid fans and votors assemble on Facebook
The new ‘vote’ has become an affinity joining Facebook groups. It first started with Barack Obama, and now with Stephen Colbert beating him out…in just one day. Despite the rabid popularity, the quality and topics of Facebook apps appear to be ‘strange’ and silly.

Money: Myspace touts it’s value
MySpace can tout it’s virtues if the runner up can score market valuation of 15billion, in fact there are claims that myspace could be worth, but in reality, the numbers are much less.

Rumors: Google to launch Facebook Competitor
The rumors are circulating that Google is to launch a platform to compete with Facebook decries Techcrunch: “OpenSocial is a set of three common APIs, defined by Google with input from partners, that allow developers to access core functions and information at social networks:”

Rumors: Facebook to launch new Advertising product
More speculation on what Facebook could be releasing: “Not the deliciously moist kind, but the kind that keep tabs on your whereabouts while surfing the web. The goal is to combine all the information collected within Facebook user profiles with users’ web surfing habits to deliver targeted ads via Microsoft.”

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