Weekly Digest of the Social Networking Space: June 25, 2008


I’m respecting your limited time by publishing this weekly digest on the Social Networking space, which I cover as an Industry Analyst.

I’ve created a new category called Digest (view archives). Start with the Web Strategy Summary, then quickly scan the succinct and categorized headlines, read text for my analysis, and click link to dive in for more.

You can subscribe to this digest tag only, which filters only these posts tagged digest.

Web Strategy Summary
This week’s focus delivers more on data and web usage, primarily after the launch of Google’s “Trends” tool, which offers a way to track activity on all websites. More reports on the growth of social networks, it’s funny how bloggers twist it each month, just a few weeks ago people were talking about the decline or lull of social network activity.

Nokia acquires Plazes
Although Nokia has been experimenting with mobile software such as maps, and other social applicaitons (I recently was briefed by one of their teams) they’ve acquired mobile based Plazes, a social network.

Web Usage: Friendster shows Growth
I see conflicting data all the time, so it’s very hard for me to determine who the actual leader is, or sometimes to be more accurate, the intrepretations of data are often different. Great pieces by Eric at VentureBeat who does analysis to show how Friendster has growth in Asia.

Web Usage: Facebook and MySpace
Although I see many different graphs and patterns about the ‘top’ website, Andrew Chen breaks down that Facebook is growing faster via vistiors in Australia over MySpace, and has more growth internationally, on the other hand, he demonstrates that most ad revenues are in the US, an interesting way of thinking about where the ROI could lay.

Web Usage: 25% Use Social Networks
The Consumer Internet Barometer, a sample size of 1000 in North America found that a quarter of North Americans use social networks. For North American adults, this is very similar to what Forrester’s own data says, glad to see correlation.

Upgrade: NYT adds social features to site
Much in the theme of the future of the web is that the web will become connected to your personal networks, in this case the NYT (who has been innovating) is developing new ways for the content of their site to become social with Times People Beta.

Intranet: Microsoft leans on Townsquare
Although only a prototype, Microsoft office labs are working on a new intranet product that has social features, called TownSquare.

Vertical: Intel launches site for family caretakers
This community site which is for those that are managing ill or elderly family members provides a connection for others, who may need a support group that may not have been able to connect prior.

Revenues: Facebook Developers Get Paid
The company social media, essentially an advertising network for widget developers has paid out $8million to developers who are involved in their network over the last year, there are 5000 apps, for about 100 developers, although there’s apparently a curve, some cashed in and some did not.

eCommerce: How shopping is a social activity
eWeek picks up a story (I’ve a quote in it) that outlines how Pluck’s module based white label social network can embed social interactions into an eCommerce experience –a certain future trend.

Education: Social networks spur learning
This summary of a study indicating that students from a variety of backgrounds were able to learn from social networks, improving social and technology skills, more details from this article. From colleague Jennifer Doctor

Web Usage: Facebook king of the globe
Comscore reports that Facebook’s Global Traffic the king, I see different takes at data from different companies, so I can never quite be sure of who’s interpretations –or data set to rely on. Therefore, I watch trends, not specifics.

China: Facebook, Tencent launch against Xiaonei
Chinese versions of Facebook and Tencent are now launched in China, to reach to one of the world’s largest online populations. The dominating player, Xiaonei has 22 million users, still a long way off from Facebook –but watch growth.

Valuation: How to value social networks
Techcrunch does an interesting analysis quantifying social network value —by looking at several values based around user size and valuation.

Leave a comment if I’ve missed anything specific.