It seems that seldom does a month pass without the big social networks Facebook and Twitter crossing another threshold.
This time, it's the turn of the micro-blogging platform Twitter, which has just announced that it has surpassed the 200 million tweets per day threshold.
The site's growth has been explosive. Two years ago, Twitter users were sending 10 million tweets per day; six months later that figure had already grown to 50 million tweets. Interest in the site continues to grow across all quarters, with both business and personal users signing up to share their thoughts.
Businesses, in particular, are now starting to learn the potential benefits from a strong Twitter presence. By interacting with customers, suppliers, and peers, businesses are better able to tackle any brand issues they may have, either perceived or for real.
The collaborative, interactive nature of Twitter sits well with the average social customer, and so it is hardly surprising that the platform is now starting to take off in a host of different directions.
To establish some fun ways to demonstrate the scale of that 200 million threshold, Twitter published some calculations around what those numbers mean.
Assuming that 1 tweet comprises 25 words on average and that it would require 24,500 tweets to produce War and Peace, the site has calculated that Twitter users tweet enough words to publish 8,163 copies of the famous novel every day.
What does this mean for the future of Twitter? Every second, 2,400 tweets are processed through Twitter's servers – 1.4 billion tweets per week. That's a significant level of traffic and requires enormous capacity.
Over time, Twitter may need to revisit its infrastructure capability in order to maintain reliability and continuity of service. Twitter has not really started to monetize its content as yet, but it also seems likely that this is an area that will come under increasing scrutiny.
There's also the risk that the Twitter bubble will soon burst. Facebook membership in North America recently decreased for the first time, indicating that the Facebook population is now at saturation and Twitter may also follow suit.
Market analysts are also constantly on the look-out for the 'next big thing'. Social audiences don't get tired of social media, but they do like to try out new concepts, which may mean that a new record-breaker soon starts to hit the headlines.
For business and personal users, however, the news for now is good. Twitter remains a vibrant, popular and effective channel for social and commercial use, and that doesn't look set to change just yet.
It has come to light that there is a small glitch on the Google+ website. As many Gmail and Google fans will know, Google+ is the new social networking website that is supposed to revolutionize the way people interact with each other and possibly overtake Facebook in sheer numbers.
Google recently announced that no more exclusive invitations will be sent out, as the website is in closed beta testing, with visitors being greeted with the message of bad news.
But there is a small glitch that Google may not have bargained on, and it’s rather easy to circumvent the no-invitation policy. All that is needed is for a friend to be on Google+ already.
All your friend has to do is share a post from within Google+ to anyone with a Gmail account. Once the mail arrives at the intended recipient, they open the mail and click on “View or comment on (the sender)’s post”.
After that, and to actually see the post, users just click on “Join Google+”. It’s that easy, but don’t expect this method to be functioning for a long time, as Google is probably already working on patching it.
Rumours have been spreading all over since the start of the year of MySpace making lots of losses and could be sold at much cheaper price.
Finally, yesterday we witnessed the acquisation of Myspace, a once leading social networking destination for consumers, celebrities and artists at merely $35 Million.
Specific Media, a digital media company from California, announced that it had partnered with American singer-turned-actor Justin Timberlake to buy Myspace from Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation. The company was more interested in collecting the details of users to provide a new target audience for its advertisements.
Justin Timberlake will play a major role in developing the creative direction and strategy for the company moving forward. Specific Media and Timberlake plan to unveil their vision for the site later on.
Myspace was once the biggest social media kid on the block; News Corporation bought the company for $580 million in 2005 and in 2007 there were reports that analysts had predicted a revenue turn over of $1 billion by 2010. But with the growing, or rampaging, popularity of Facebook, Myspace steadily lost commercial viability. Word is that News Corporation wanted $100 million for the ailing social networking site when it put Myspace up for sale this year, roping in investment bank Allen & Co to find a buyer, but settled for 65% less when it sold to Specific Media and the Timberlake.
So long Myspace
Facebook may be rolling out a new homepage design. Facebook is testing a fresh home page design that allows the news feed to be scrolled independently of the rest of the page. This allows ads, app bookmarks, and the top navigation bar to remain visible no matter how many news feed stories a user scrolls through.
The tested design, if implemented, could increase click through rates for advertisers, improve user retention for applications, and make the site easier to browse.
Last week Facebook began testing with a very small number of users a new real-time feed called Happening Now in the right sidebar where Upcoming Events are usually listed. We discussed how this design could extend time on site and draw in users who were just checking their notifications by increasing the frequency with which fresh content appears above the home page’s fold.
The latest incarnations of the test, though, show the Most Recent news feed (called “Neueste Meldungen” in the German version of the site, above) as a second segment of the Top News feed.
This could come as a shock to users who developed browsing behaviors around the current two-tabbed news feed, but the Facebook home page hasn’t seen a major redesign in 16 months, so it’s about due for an update given Facebook’s fast-paced approach to iterating on products.
Benefits for Pages,Advertisers,Developers, and Users
By piling more stories into the same space rather than hiding them behind the Most Recent tab, Happening Now could boost impressions for Page update stories. This would probably be a welcome change to admins of popular Pages, as statistics indicate Pages with over one million fans receive just 2.79 daily unique news feed impressions per 100 fans.
The ability to scroll the main news feed independently of the site’s top and side navigation bars has even bigger implications for the Facebook ecosystem. Currently, once users scroll down past about six news feed stories, they can no longer see ads, bookmarks, and navigation buttons pegged above the fold.
The rollout of an independently scrollable news feed would mean ads would receive much more time in front of users per impression. This could increase click through rates, boosting the value of Facebook ads in general and possibly raising average bid prices. Therefore, an implementation of the feature could increase Facebook revenues.
Developers would also benefit, as their bookmarks in the left sidebar would be visible to users for longer, encouraging more return visits to games and apps. Facebook has made several changes to the bookmark and request systems this past year which may have hurt app user retention. Facebook could offset drops in retention and virility without endangering the non-gamer user experience by making game bookmarks available as users scroll.
Though any major change to the site’s look will be met with a small, grumpy backlash, a scrollable news feed would make it easier to access the news feed publisher, account and privacy settings, and in-house apps like Photos. This could increase the frequency of shares, draw users to Facebook’s most sticky products, and give uses a better sense of control.
With benefits for everyone in the pipeline, a scrollable news feed could be a big win for Facebook.
Google has launched its new '+1" button. This is Google's most recent venture into the social scene, although they are still saying they are not endeavoring (yet) to craft a social network to rival Facebook and twitter, among others.
The +1 button is a miniature icon that will become featured in searches done on Google. The idea is that when you see a search result you like, you will +1 it, thus telling others in your Google social group that you like the result.
A Google social group consists of all the people that are linked to you via your Google profile, mostly, those in your Gmail address book and the people you chat with using the Google chat feature.
Everyone has the choice of whether or not to want their +1 to be public or not, by checking or un-checking the appropriate box in their preferences area. If one goes public, then anyone who is in their Google social group will be able to see that they +1'd a search result.
A small bit of text usually shows up beneath the search result saying something like, 'Jackie +1'd this'. However, if someone chooses not to go public, then their +1 will still be counted and added to a text saying something like '1,000 others +1'd this' but would not show the person’s name to his/her contacts.
Google has alleged that the +1 feature will definitely have an effect on search engine rankings. This is obviously a concern for website owners and search engine optimization companies alike. The +1 button is not available to be added to a website at this time, and Google says that feature is months away.
So, in the meantime, how is this little button going to affect a site's ranking?
In addition to showing the +1 on search results, the button will also be available for Google AdWords. If someone sees an ad you like, they can +1 it. This does not count as a click for the advertiser.
Google feels that this will be a big plus for AdWord advertisers because people will be more likely to click on an ad that their friends have already +1'd.
Google already had a social search feature. A user could connect their Twitter, Facebook, Flickr and other accounts with their Google account. At this time, only your Google-based connections will be used for the +1 feature.
People throughout the Internet are questioning what +1 really means. Is Google going to try and create a social network to rival Facebook? No one really knows at this point. One thing is for sure; +1 is going to radically affect search engine rankings. It is also unclear how +1 is going to affect the Google toolbar.
It appears like Google may need a new-fangled means of assessing a site's popularity in this world of linking tribulations. But it is also going to generate a ton of confusion for the average site owner who just wants a good ranking for their site.
Without the current option of putting a +1 button on their sites like they can with the Facebook Like button, it will take an expert on all of these new developments to keep a good search engine ranking for sites.
One such company is Jcyber.com, a SEO company that is currently staying on top of all these new developments in Google. They offer all the tools and all the assistance that the average site owner might need to understand all the intricacies of the +1.