Weekly Digest of the Social Networking Space: Feb 27, 2008

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I’m respecting your limited time by publishing this weekly summary, read the summary, then quickly scan headlines, read the bullet, then click to learn even more.

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Web Strategy Summary
I was pleased to see that consolidation of the white label industry is already starting, this is needed as there are too many players in the space, expect more consolidations then some major acquisitions later this year. Continued scrutiny over social networking fatigue continues to pound away at Facebook and others, although the social networks are fighting back, and insisting that fatigue is only a temporary dip.


Adoption: Helpful map shows adoption of SoNets on Earth
Worthy as the first story, this map shows how each social network has dominance in certain geographies, Out of all of those listed, I only did not know 4 of them, I’ll study up for next week. There’s an additional list here sorted by Alexa by country.

Downtime: Bebo has over 12 hours downtime in two months
This is downright embarrassing. 12 hours is barely acceptable in a whole year, let alone Jan-Feb of this year. Other culprits include Microsoft live spaces, Friendster then Hi5. Let’s hope downtime reduces for the rest of the year.

White Label: Acquisition of Social Platform by ONEsite
Expect more acquisitions to occur in this crowded market, Social Platform now mergers under ONEsite. I’m tracking this space closer on this post.

Mobile: Social Network for iPhone
Fon11 is a vendor planning on creating a social network for iPhone users. But why limit this to a particular phone type? Why not extend this to all mobile devices.

Innovation: Facebook allows 3rd parties to update newsfeed
Smart move here by Facebook, allowing it’s lifestyle social network to hook and display other areas of a members life right on it’s newspage. As long as this doesn’t get too spammish, expect this to be a success.

Fatigue: UK Facebook dips?
Facebook, the top social network in UK had a 5% reduction in usage in recent months, and reports from BBC, and techcrunch. Despite these claims, Facebook declares traffic is not dipping.

Fatigue: Piczo sees tough times
Once promising startup Piczo (aimed at teens, girls mainly) is seeing a slowdown in growth, and as a result has had some downsizing and layoffs. Maybe there are too many players in the space, or they didn’t differentiate.

Advertisements: Google to sell ads on YouTube
YouTube, a social network is a Google property that is going to monetize by selling ads, there’s a great opportunity to gain the TV advertising dollars if they can demonstrate success.

User Experience: Facebook ads Flash
With the added ability to add flash applications added to Facebook, an improved experience could result from members watching or interacting using rich media, games, or video.

Sensationalism: Fox blasts Facebook
Fox fires off a hot title to get readers, please friends, no website is going to rule over the other, there are no absolutes, no zero sum game.

User Experience: Design features keep Facebook organized
In an effort to constantly improve it’s clean looking user experience, Facebook is creating a tabbed based experience to organize a members wall, about, and photos section.

If I’ve missed anything, let me know, I’ll be happy to add it to the next digest.

6 Replies to “Weekly Digest of the Social Networking Space: Feb 27, 2008”

  1. I think they should limit the network to the iphone because it will give them something to talk about when promoting, and because the interface should give them some room to do some cool stuff with. And like apple, if you only support one platform you can get more done and spend less time testing and bughunting 🙂 When other phones come out with similar usable and popular interfaces I’d expect them to put the network on there too though.

  2. Got to agree with Jeremiah here – it’s more like creating a social network for Mac users, even though the social network is general and has nothing to do with being a Mac owner.

    I can understand it if they are planning on rolling it out to more platforms, and just using the iPhone as a starter – similar to rolling out an application on Facebook, then later spreading it to other social networks.

  3. Joshua, you’re right. iPhone is only our reference platform. Our strategy is to release a library of REST APIs for both Fon11 and OpenLandmark, and a development sand box. This is coming soon.

There are so many phones, and the platforms are very fragmented. We can easily modify the current mobile Web code to support other WebKit browsers. However, BlackBerry and Windows Mobile will require some rewrites. Phones without a full browser will require rich clients (local apps). It’s impossible for us to target so many platforms. Therefore, our strategy is to partner with independent developers to spread the network.

    Jeremiah, thanks for raising the question. I also agree with the fatigue observation. Our goal is not to create another network, but to participate in existing networks. To put it in another way, we want to bring location-based services (LBS) and crowd computing (social network) to the applications we use everyday.

  4. Joshua, you're right. iPhone is only our reference platform. Our strategy is to release a library of REST APIs for both Fon11 and OpenLandmark, and a development sand box. This is coming soon.

There are so many phones, and the platforms are very fragmented. We can easily modify the current mobile Web code to support other WebKit browsers. However, BlackBerry and Windows Mobile will require some rewrites. Phones without a full browser will require rich clients (local apps). It's impossible for us to target so many platforms. Therefore, our strategy is to partner with independent developers to spread the network.

    Jeremiah, thanks for raising the question. I also agree with the fatigue observation. Our goal is not to create another network, but to participate in existing networks. To put it in another way, we want to bring location-based services (LBS) and crowd computing (social network) to the applications we use everyday.

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