Weekly Digest of the Social Networking Space: Dec 24, 2008


I’m respecting your limited time by publishing this weekly digest on the Social Networking space, which I cover as an industry analyst. By creating this digest (I started this over a year ago) it really helps me to stay on top of the space I cover.

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 take, and click link to dive in for more.

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Web Strategy Summary
This digest contains two weeks worth of news as the end of the year tends to slow down. Even with that said there are some interesting happenings in the space such as Facebook’s growth exceeding 140mm users, more cases of viruses and scams, and increase of adoption of social networks during a recession.

Growth: Facebook’s user base at 140mm users
Facebook continues to grow at rapid speed, I met with Mark Zuckerberg last week, and he told me they now have 140 million users, Inside Facebook has more on the stats.

Virus: Look in the Mirror, your Face(book) looks like a KoobFace
The latest strain of the Facebook virus “KoobFace” is an evolution from a previous one, and now spreads to other networks. Beware of odd looking messages and don’t click on them.

Scam: Marketers create fake groups to spam future students
A marketer trying to reach college students has created fake groups in order to get them to quickly sign up and get their friends on board. In the long run this will result in the ability to glean info as well as market products to this group. Certainly not ethical, I’m sure if it’s illegal.

Identity: Facebook, Google and MySpace Logins
Respected thought and practice leader David Berkowitz sheds light on the differences between Google Friend Connect (go wide), Facebook Connect (new visitors), and MySpace’s (overlap of audience) registration specifics –and how media brands should choose.

Launch: Watercooler Aggregates their distributed network
This application network was primarily distributed on social networks like Facebook, but now is centralizing the experience by creating a stand along website called TVLoop that will aggregate all the discussions from various social networks to one location.

Press: Advertising on Facebook Questioned
This NYTs article reflects on P&Gs recent marketing efforts within Facebook. Aside from highlighting the Crest white strips campaign, it challenges that most campaigns are not successful.

Research: Consumers love social networks–but advertisers are still standoffish
eMarketer indicates that many marketers are not on board social networks despite that fact that millions of consumers are on board. Of course this doesn’t account for other forms of marketing –like participating. in the discussion or creating sponsored pages or groups. Given that advertising performs very poorly in social networks, we shouldn’t be surprised.

Communication: Facebook used to ‘serve’ legal notifications
Sign of the times, Facebook ‘pokes’ are being used for court notifications.In Australia, a court recently allowed a lawyer from a bank to serve papers for a foreclosure.

Usage: During recession, increase in social networks to increase –relieve anxiety
In this article by BusinessWeek “The Recession: My Facebook, My Therapist” people that were laid off can now communicate with others –to network, grieve and relieve.

Metrics: Bebo launches measurement suite
Bebo announced that it has launched new engagement metrics and tools for application developers. These tools will provide new metrics and engagement tools to nearly 100 Java, PHP, and Rails developers who have created applications.

Announcement: Yahoo launches Y!OS to build apps on top of email platform
This announcement, much in timing with Microsoft’s Live announcement will allow third party developed to extend their experience on the largest social network that we know of: email. Expect other email platforms to allow applications to interact with these large communities over 2009.

Ads: MySpace v. Facebook Advertising Showdown. Which Platform Is Better?
This comparison (although you should read the notes at the top showing this isn’t fully scientific research experiment) demonstrates why Facebook’s advertising system is better than MySpace.

Humor: This fun video shows how you’re my Facebook girl
Have a laugh with this one, I wonder where he got those glasses –they look mighty cool.

If you’re a social network, or widget company, I want to know of your news, send me an email, or leave a comment below. Help me stay up to date.

Hungry For Social Networking Stats? Then you should see my collection of Social Networks Site Usage: Visitors, Members, Page Views, and Engagement by the Numbers in 2008? Bookmark it, then share it with others as I continue to update it.

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