Megan Meier, a 14-year-old girl from an exurban area of St. Louis, recently committed suicide over an online MySpace prank instigated by her adult neighbors. Her crush on a boy that never existed in the real world pushed a troubled girl over the edge.
MySpace today unveils a striking redesign that represents a culmination of the News Corp.-owned social network's attempt at reinventing itself as an entertainment hub.
U.S. consumers are spending more time online -- and devoting a growing percentage of those hours to social networking sites -- a trend expected to create a surge in spending on advertising to this audience. In May 2010, U.S. consumers spent an average of 6 hours, 13 minutes a month using social networking websites, according to a study by the Nielsen Company. And users did not restrict themselves to checking their status while at home: the average U.S. worker spent almost 5.5 hours each month visiting social network sites from the office, the research firm found.
Struggling social network MySpace is gearing up for a relaunch of the site later this year, and as part of that it has begun canvassing adland for an agency to devise a major branding campaign. Industry executives say the News Corp.-owned company recently put out a request for proposals to several creative shops, asking them to help MySpace get the word out about the relaunch, which will include new features to be introduced in stages starting this summer and a revamped site and logo in the fall.
Despite social media marketing’s sizable popularity, business-to-business (B2B) companies are still fairly new to the discipline. According to a November 2009 survey from Business.com, 73% of B2B respondents who were using social media had less than two years of social media marketing experience. But now that social media has caught on in the sector, spending forecasts suggest that big increases are coming.
After learning how to market themselves through tweets and status updates, some small companies are taking the next step: selling directly to consumers via social-networking sites. Merchants on Facebook and MySpace are adding e-commerce stores to their fan pages, hoping users will scan lists of for-sale items and services—such as floral bouquets, hand-crafted jewelry and spa treatments—and click a button to add them to online shopping carts.
Facebook, MySpace and several other social-networking sites have been sending data to advertising companies that could be used to find consumers' names and other personal details, despite promises they don't share such information without consent. The practice, which most of the companies defended, sends user names or ID numbers tied to personal profiles being viewed when users click on ads. After questions were raised by The Wall Street Journal, Facebook and MySpace moved to make changes. By Thursday morning Facebook had rewritten some of the offending computer code
Today NBC is unveiling a brand new network loyalty program in which social media plays a staring role. Fan It is a social media platform with myNBC (NBC’s online community for fans), Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and Foursquare integration that rewards users who promote, interact and discuss NBC shows. The endeavor is a network-wide initiative designed to leverage the presence of show fans on social networks and incentivize them with points for engaging with content — i.e. watching videos on NBC.com, Liking shows, chatting and recruiting friends. Points can be redeemed for goodies like NBC merchandise, show previews, virtual goods, badges and sweepstakes entries.
Twitter and MySpace each announced programs last week intended to make money by giving advertisers access to their users. The approaches couldn't be more different, and I think they raise more questions about the nature and hopes for monetizing social behavior than they answer.
Birds of a feather flock together. Or, in the Internet age, a customer's friend is a potential customer. Embracing those truisms, some big marketers, including Sprint and eBay, are turning to small start-ups to help them tap social-networking data to find would-be clients among the friends and acquaintances of existing customers, to the dismay of some privacy advocates.
Microsoft is trying to home in on a younger, chattier demographic with two new cellphones centered on social networking. The Kin One and Kin Two allow users to keep closely synched with sites like Facebook, Twitter and MySpace. The start menu displays a montage of photographs from friends with notes about what they are doing rather than a more traditional menu that caters to phone functions. The Kins also have touch screens, links to the Zune music service and high-powered cameras for capturing photographs and video.
Google has entered the social networking play, this time, for real. There’s a lot of market confusion on how they could stack up, so here’s my take. Let’s cut the noise and get to the heart of it with a comparison matrix and analysis based upon my insights talking to these companies in formal settings, observations, as a user, my former research and dealing with the brands trying to reach them.
A report by Manpower employer services found that only 29% of companies in the Americas have a “formal policy regarding employee use of social networking sites.” The number is lower in other regions — 25% in Asia-Pacific and 11% EMEA. The worldwide number is 20%.
The great and good from the world of social media met Wednesday at Davos and agreed their medium still hasn't reached its full potential, with one speaker joking that the really cool stuff wouldn't happen "until we're dead." This is a frightening prospect when one considers how much our digital and real lives have blurred already. Seven of the 15 most trafficked Web sites in the world are social sites, according to George Colony of Forrester Research, a technology specialist.
About a month ago, we’ve heard reports that MySpace and Facebook aren’t quite the archenemies they once were; on the contrary, MySpace was to implement Facebook Connect, which meant that users would be able to log into MySpace with their Facebook credentials.
Unveiling significant changes to its dominant search engine on Monday, Google said it would begin supplementing its search results with the updates posted each second to sites like Twitter, Facebook and MySpace. As part of its much-anticipated entrance into the field known as real-time search, Google said that over the next few days its users would begin seeing brand-new tweets, blog items, news articles and social networking updates in results for certain topical searches.
Here's something I've been thinking about for some time now. You see, there is this company. It publishes over a hundred RSS feeds and several email newsletters, but not a single blog. The only conversations this company entertains are the ones it starts itself or is subpoenaed into. Conversations it doesn't like, it tries to silence.
Websites are social creatures. Or rather, their users are. In turn, the websites you visit are tempered by the users that interact with them. Your experience with a website, say facebook.com, is directly linked to the people with which you interact on that website. But this introduces an interesting challenge for a user experience designer: do you design for the intial experience or the resulting experience?
Social media advertising has stumbled in its current form, and needs new choreography. That’s the blunt message that media consultancy Media Link has for MySpace. Media Link has been advising MySpace since August, following a major executive shakeup at the troubled News Corp. unit. That message might as well be aimed at the entire social media landscape, which generates a disproportionate amount of ad impressions but commands such low prices that some in the industry even speculate it could hinder an expected online advertising recovery.
So what links are Twitterers actually clicking on? Based on a user sample released Friday by Chitika, an online ad network, Twitter users most frequently accessed links directing to information about current events and news (28.49 percent). The sample consisted of about 974,000 impressions collected from Sept. 1-7.
A new executive team at MySpace is trying to reignite the brand by focusing on areas like music, videos and games as users abandon the social-networking site for cooler destinations. MySpace, which is holding a conference this week for its global ad-sales staff, needs to lure visitors back and kick-start advertising revenue, ad executives say. Research firm eMarketer estimates U.S. ad spending on the site will be $495 million this year, down 15% from $585 million in 2008. The basic challenge is similar to the one facing big Internet companies, such as Time Warner's AOL and Yahoo, that are under pressure to reinvent themselves for fickle audiences.
Honestly, categorizing human behavior and activities in social networks by financial status appears incomplete and almost insular. If we are learning anything in the study of and participation in social networks, it’s that individuals are forming networks that traverse across multiple social networks – and, they will continue to do so, forming one larger, expansive human network in the process. We’re bound by context and interests and it’s why psychographic data overcomes demographics when assessing how to best reach, engage, and galvanize the people who define our communities online.
There's nothing like free food to get young people talking. According to J.D. Power and Associates, Arby's is the most talked-about quick-service restaurant online among "early careerists" (those between the ages of 22-29). This was at least in part due to this summer's Wednesday Freebies promotion. Anthropologie was the top retailer. The report culled more than 475,000 online conversations from MySpace, Blogger, LiveJournal and other public social media sites to see what brands this demographic were talking about. After Arby's, Cold Stone Creamery and Subway were the top conversation generators in the quick-service restaurant category while Bath & Body Works and Old Navy were also big among retailers, according to the Early Careerist Tribe Intelligence Report, which was released today.
Social Networks are among the most powerful examples of socialized media. They create a dynamic ecosystem that incubates and nurtures relationships between people and the content they create and share. As these communities permeate and reshape our lifestyle and how we communicate with one another, we’re involuntarily forcing advertisers and marketers to rapidly evolve how they vie for our attention.
Some of the most iconic companies of our time -- Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, Twitter -- attracted millions of users practically overnight, by unleashing what's known as a "viral-expansion loop." In plain English, they grew because each new user led to more users. The trick is that each of these businesses created something people really want and then made it easy for customers to happily spread their products for them to friends, family, and colleagues.
If the ongoing social networking revolution has you scratching your head and asking, "Why do people spend time on this?" and "How can my company benefit from the social network revolution?" you've got a lot in common with Harvard Business School professor Mikolaj Jan Piskorski. Only difference: Piskorski has spent years studying users of online social networks (SN) and has developed surprising findings about the needs that they fulfill, how men and women use these services differently, and how Twitter—the newest kid on the block—is sharply different from forerunners such as Facebook and MySpace.
Tweetdeck, the popular, free Twitter client, is expanding its reach to Facebook and MySpace. The new versions of the desktop and iPhone program let you post to all three networks and read feeds from all three, all within the same interface. The big idea here, according to Tweetdeck founder Iain Dodsworth, is to make Tweetdeck a more powerful way to keep up with everything — like a web browser for socially-distributed information, be it news, memes, photos, or whatever.
Just last week, holding company WPP announced a decline in profits of forty seven percent and indicated there would be more massive layoffs to come. Much is being made of how, in spite of the decline in most ad budgets, the increasing use of the Internet, and particularly social media, will save the ad industries bacon. Sorry guys, it ain’t going to happen. Simply because it will be impossible for online advertising and social media to deliver everything that is expected of it. The stark reality is that advertising on the Internet is not going to grow; it’s actually going to decrease. This is what happened during the dot com explosion ten years ago; this is what’s going to happen this time around (with perhaps the single exception of Google).
There are more than 300 million of us in the United States, and sometimes it seems like we're all friends on Facebook. But the sad truth is that Americans are lonelier than ever.
I recently wrote about how, in future, search could greatly benefit on-demand digital television, but the future of search doesn't start there and isn't even that futuristic. I think search is about to undergo a major evolutionary shift that will change the underpinnings of how search works, is used, and is defined.
Media companies know that they’re not the only voices in the auditorium –the audience now talks back. They create media, content, and share it directly with each other on social sites —now brands, like Warner seek to embrace them closer. Rather than allow this inevitable social interaction on social networks like MySpace, they want to take it back by launching their own social features.
Facebook has won over millions of users from social networking pioneer MySpace. It's becoming more alluring to advertisers, too. Even as overall U.S. advertising spending on social networks declines this year, ad sales are on the rise at Facebook, and the company is gaining a larger slice of the pie at the expense of News Corp.'s (NWS) MySpace, according to a new report from marketing researcher eMarketer.
Do you Twitter? Then you are more interested in sex than the average Facebook, MySpace or LinkedIn user. Like LinkedIn? You're more likely to watch soap operas. Favor MySpace? You're probably not into exercise. Which social network you favor says a lot about you -- and you might be surprised just what it says. A new study by Anderson Analytics is helping identify users' likely interests, buying habits, media consumption and more for marketers. The survey studied the demographics and psychographics of both social networkers and non-users and found that "there are definite data-driven segments in the social-networking-site market, both for non-users and users," said Tom Anderson, founder and managing partner.
Given that Generation Y is often pegged as narcissistic, lazy, having high expectations, craving the limelight, and other such flattering characterizations, one might expect we'd be Twittering as if it were breathing. After all, Twitter is known as a place where people expose the most minute details of their lives--missing the bus, stubbing a toe, toasting an English muffin.
For one of the Web’s biggest sites, there’s a lot that needs fixing over at MySpace. Buyers and analysts have varying ideas on just what News Corp. should do with its ailing social net, ranging from the philosophical (decide who you are) to the logistical (cut down the clutter). But no one doubts that change is needed, and is coming soon.
MySpace has fired 30% of its workforce, or about 400 people, just as parent company News Corp. scrapped a $350 million plan to consolidate it in a new office with the other components of Fox Interactive Media. Most of the business coverage sites blame falling advertising sales and traffic gains by Facebook. As you may know, News Corp. is busy implementing a strategic overhaul to combat these two issues, having recruited a new CEO for all its digital operations from AOL (an expert in falling ad sales), and one for MySpace from Facebook (adept at prompting visits that make it no money).
The ultimate emblem of how social media has seeped into mainstream marketing may be Kentucky Fried Chicken's use of MySpace to find the face of its newest product. The company is looking for a doppelganger of Colonel Sanders, or someone who can demonstrate other reasons that s/he should be tapped to serve as the face of the new Kentucky Grilled Chicken (KGC).
There’s been a hell of a lot of chat recently about exactly how you can make money through social media. So far, the only ones cashing in have been the founding principals when they sell off a fraction of their site to a traditional media company, which immediately gives them an insane valuation in the billions. Right now the situation smacks of the late nineties, dot com “Field of dreams” model. The one that said if you build it they will come, then we’ll start making dumpster loads of money by selling lots and lots of really shitty and intrusive advertising on the site. It didn’t work ten years ago and billions of dollars worth of VC money went down the rancid tubes of hundreds of short lived Silicon Valley start-ups.
In the brief history of Web sites, there are few if any second chances. Remember Friendster? That's why it's difficult for some industry observers to see a comeback for MySpace, the large online social network that has seen its popularity flatline and its hipness surpassed by younger sites like Twitter and Facebook in recent months.
I just read an interesting report published by Nielsen that examines time spent on multiple Social and Micro Networks. The study compares total minutes in April 2009 compared to April 2008. The results are not as much surprising as they are revealing.
News Corp. executives often present MySpace and Facebook as competing in different markets, with Facebook used as a communications vehicle and MySpace for entertainment. Whatever the case, a straight line can be drawn between more time spent on Facebook and less on MySpace.
The social web trend is more or less complete. Oprah's gone Twitter, your co-worker has a MySpace problem, and if your parents aren't bugging you with Facebook movie quiz invites, they probably will be by the time you're done reading this. People are flocking to these sites in record numbers, as Facebook now boasts over 200 million users worldwide, and Twitter has grown 3,000 per cent since last year. But for the social web to evolve into its final stage and take flight, the walls that separate these services, their users, and everything they create are going to have to come down.
With social networks like Facebook transforming the way companies communicate with consumers, it's time for the ad industry to get its head out of the sand.
Social-networking sites like Facebook and MySpace are popular services on high-end cellphones like the iPhone and the BlackBerry. But extending their reach to the broader wireless market has been challenging, because most basic phones tend to have clunky Web browsers and can't support fancy software.
Toyota, which last fall signed on as one of three inaugural sponsors of MySpace Music -- the News Corp. property's independent label -- is activating the partnership with "Rock the Space," a competition encouraging unsigned bands or solo artists.
The story is as old as the Web: A social network born among twentysomething college kids and young wired professionals sprouts up, apparently out of nowhere, and grows into a cultural phenomenon. Eventually, it reaches critical mass and explodes, its mushroom cloud drawing the attention of millions of Baby Boomers, leading to a huge influx of new users, which in turn triggers complaints from the youngsters who started it all. The invasion of the Boomers spurs some members of younger generations to flee the carnage (and the fallout) in search of fresher territory.
There’s been a lot of talk lately about monetizing social networks. MySpace has swapped out much of its senior leadership with talent more experienced in marketing. Facebook is floating plans to launch an ad network someday. Both services already put ads on their sites, sell sponsorships, etc. Most, if not all, of these kinds of efforts focus on using social networks as glorified channels for branding. Companies hope to sell things by paying to put their brands in front of consumers as they’re on their way to, doing things at, and planning to leave their networked communities. How is this any different than putting up billboards on the way to the fair? Is it possible that the true value of social networks could be derived from seeing them as places?
It’s fate that GeoCities dies at the same moment that MySpace reshuffles and reboots its management in the face of no growth (which, on the internet, is the same as shrinkage). What they have in common, of course, is that they are platforms for creating content.
I read with interest today the removal of Chris DeWolfe as CEO of MySpace. According to the "growth" model of capitalism, MySpace has a problem. If senior management can't renew growth, change is called for. But what if this growth model is, at least for new media purposes, mistaken? If we embrace a new model of the kind someone like Henry Jenkins, David Weinberger, or Don Tapscott might endorse, then this might be precisely the wrong way to think about things.
MTV doesn't play music videos. Magazines are dying. Radio is all about the $$$. It's no secret the old modes of music discovery have been thrown out the window. Thankfully, new music-finders are here:
Package-goods brands are still cautious about social media, figuring that the return on investment can't be accurately measured. After all, marketing on Facebook or MySpace might generate a conversation but not necessarily a sale. Now, however, a method is emerging to relate one to the other, potentially eliminating a major impediment.
Despite China’s massively growing internet market, international giants like Google and Facebook are having trouble making gains with the 300 million Chinese online users. China’s netizens are on average very young – 66.7 % of them are younger than 29 years old and 35.2 % of them are teenagers—with social networking and entertainment applications being the most popular. While companies like Facebook struggle to conquer market share in China and to create viable business models everywhere, their Chinese clones have built lucrative cash machines literally earning billions of dollars a year. Unfortunately, adopting Chinese methods may not help American social networks due both to cultural differences in Chinese user behavior and industry practices.
The launch of MySpace Music six months ago was supposed to herald a new era, with the four major labels at long last embracing social media as a disruptive force of good and developing a business model which didn't repulse their customers.
Johnson & Johnson is venturing into social media to back its eponymous baby- and body-care brands, putting considerable star power behind pushes this month and next on YouTube and MySpace.
MySpace CEO Chris DeWolfe talks about why he thinks he has a better business than Facebook and what it’s like to work for Rupert Murdoch.
Google doesn’t care about social networking. But perhaps it should, since social-networking platforms are gradually making search less relevant.
CEO Chris DeWolfe outlines his strategy for expanding profits, luring advertisers with "hyper-targeting," and keeping MySpace's U.S. edge over rival Facebook.
Want to know which is becoming the world's default social network? Hint: It's not MySpace. ComScore data is out and on a global basis Facebook is pulling away.
The brands consumers feel are on the move and gaining in popularity can be construed as change agents - brands breaking the mold and offering the promise to affect our lives in a significant way. Here is a look at the top 15 "gaining in popularity brands" of 2002 and 2008.
THE bright lights of Broadway draw millions of people to New York’s theater district every year, but having a celebrity’s name on a marquee does not always guarantee a full house. So to fill more seats, theater producers are turning to MySpace to make a few new friends.
Facebook long ago passed MySpace in global visitors and time spent on the site, but now it appears to be gaining ground on Google.
The Times reports that traditional brand advertising on Facebook is a total failure. If you've been doing this for a while, this is no real surprise. Traditional advertising is inherently selfish. It interrupts in order to generate money (part of which pays for more interruptions). That approach doesn't work at a cocktail party, or at a funeral or in a social network.
Classifieds site Oodle announced today that it will re-invent the Facebook Marketplace as a “social” market in which users can buy and sell with friends and community members.
The cure for Nascar blindness is a relatively painless and simple one: listening. Which is one of the most underutilized tools in the marketer's arsenal, but also one of the most valuable.