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At Issue } essential reading

Facebook Wants to Know More Than Just Who Your Friends Are

Jessica E. Vascellaro
Apr 22, 2010

Facebook Inc. announced an ambitious plan to get its tentacles further out into the Internet by better linking people, places and things, as it looks to turn a massive audience into a pool of well-understood consumers.

Facebook More Popular Than Google? Let the Ad Wars Begin

Mar 16, 2010

According to the latest Hitwise analysis, Google's lost its crown as the most-visited Web site in the U.S. last week. The new king of web site traffic is, of course, Facebook. In the future, technohistorians may marvel at this event. During the Winter holidays there were a few momentary spikes in traffic which placed Facebook on the top, but if you check out the graph of the long term trend shown above, you can see Facebook's meteoric rise is now on target to meet or beat Google. And if that curve continues on its trajectory, which it may well do for a while (its market share is 185% up over the same week in 2009, for example,) Facebook will become number one by a huge margin, versus the tiddly little 0.04% separation it currently has above Google's 7.03% share of average weekly market share.

Facebook’s Continued Rise to Pervasiveness

Jan 6, 2010

As the flame of 2009 flickered into the history books, Facebook celebrated its rise to 350 million users and certain dominance in the U.S. social networking market. However, in December, analysts questioned whether or not Facebook was losing its cool as time spent on the popular social network dropped three consecutive months among 18-24 year old users. Experts feared that the “family effect” was having a negative impact within this highly coveted demographic.

Facebook Turns to the Crowd to Monitor the Crowdies

Jan 5, 2010

Facebook's begun testing a system that's in vogue at the moment: Using its own users as a data-crunching system. Nothing terribly new there--except that Facebook's using its crowd to actually moderate the rest of the crowd and stamp out the nasty bits, which is a whole new ethically-intriguing level It's called the "Facebook Community Council" and according to the group's motto it exists to "harness the power and intelligence of Facebook users to support us in keeping Facebook a trusted and vibrant community." This all sounds very lofty, very un-dictatorial and much more hippyish, power-to-the-people than Facebook sometimes seems, with moves like its blanket decisions on user-privacy.

iPhone Poised to Snup Up More Business Users?

Nov 4, 2009

When you think of corporate smartphones, you tend to think almost automatically of RIM's BlackBerrys--they're solid, reliable, iconic, successful and have sewn up something like 40% of that market. The iPhone, with its glossy looks, high-tech allure, reputation as a gaming and entertainment platform and relatively high unit costs isn't something you'd necessarily associate with a corporate environment. Apple itself has gone on record to state that the tens of thousands of apps that are helping to make the phone a success (thousands of which seem business-oriented) are most definitely not business tools, implying the phone itself isn't.

Facebook Uses Consumer Feedback to Adapt

Oct 29, 2009

Last week, Facebook did something it had been urged not to: listen to its customers. At the end of last week, Facebook partially rolled back a redesign to its home page newsfeed that had been introduced late last winter. Before March 2009, the Facebook home page presented highlights from a user's friends who were of greatest interest, deduced based on their history browsing Facebook. This was changed into a news feed made up mainly of status updates in real time, which gave the site a Twitter-like feel.

Revealing the People Defining Social Networks

Brian Solis
Oct 1, 2009

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.

Facebook Finds Profitability Despite Nascent Advertising Model

Sep 16, 2009

Scratch Facebook from the list of web 2.0 startups that don't make money: The world's largest social network said today it has become profitable. Co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg said Facebook had crossed the 300 million registered-user milestone and that it had become "cash-flow positive" in the second quarter, ahead of schedule. Previously, Facebook had said it was targeting profitability "sometime in 2010."

Crowdsourcing: What's My Motivation?

Sep 8, 2009

Motivating collective creativity among a group of loosely connected individuals with a shared interest requires more than just an offer of prize money. Brands can harness social and personal desires to inspire crowds to come together for collaborative endeavors.

How To Kick Start a Community – an Ongoing List

Aug 15, 2009

One of the top 10 questions in social media marketing asked is “How do we kick start our community?” This post aims at providing some resources for brands that are preparing their community strategy. The old adage of the field of dreams isn’t true -if you build it–they won’t necessarily come. Brands must have a kick start plan to be successful with their community. Below, I’ll list out some practices I’ve heard from companies that have had successful communities, and I’d ask you chime in and add more ways, let’s get started, I’ll be as specific and actionable as possible.

Facebook Slowly Taking Over the World, Now at 250 Million Users

Jul 21, 2009

Mark Zuckerberg proudly announced on the Facebook blog this week that the popular social network continues its global dominance jumping from 200 million to 250 million users. To commemorate the milestone, Facebook created a map that visualizes connections and adoption worldwide.

Digg Plans Social Ads

Jun 4, 2009

Social news site Digg is rolling out its first major ad product, borrowing a page from Facebook by designing units that mimic the site experience itself.

Is Twitter Evolving from the Facebook to the Myspace of Microblogs?

Jun 4, 2009

When I attended TWTRCON in San Francisco and also the 140 Twitter Conference in Mountain View recently, the intent of businesses was perspicuous. Speakers and attendees were on hand to actively share, inquire, and learn about how to increase visibility, engagement, and brand presence on Twitter and other social networks.

Stop Selling Scarcity

Jeff Jarvis
Jun 4, 2009

You have to love - or at least pay attention to - Digg’s new advertising system enabling users to vote on ads: The more that users digg an ad, the less the advertiser pays. That’s a reversal of advertising but it’s the way advertising probably needs to go: The better your relationship (which springs from a better product and service), the more your customers will market it for you, the less you’ll have to pay to market it. That is the ideal. Advertising is failure.

Firefox Could Be the Real Facebook Challenger

Marshall Kirkpatrick
May 7, 2009

Firefox doesn't keep track of the number of users it has but Asa Dotzler, Mozilla's director of community development, said today that the company estimates that there are 270 million people using the browser. That's 35% more users than Facebook has signed up for accounts (200 million), and almost triple the number of people Facebook says log in to the social network every day (100 million). Why compare user numbers between a browser and a social network? Because there's every reason to believe that the two technologies are converging in the near term future. Here's why we believe that Firefox should be Facebook's biggest competition.

Twitter: Acquisition vs. Retention

Brian Solis
Apr 29, 2009

Seems that even the shiniest applications on the Web also face the same growing pains as any product, no matter where it resides on the adoption bell curve.

How to Get the Most Out of Social Networks and Not Annoy Users

Apr 27, 2009

Welcome to social-media message overload. The constant barrage of invites to sign up for this group or download that app are starting to wear on social-network users, presenting big challenges for the brands and marketers who are looking to use these sites to aggregate fans and cultivate relationships with customers.

Is Facebook Growing Up Too Fast?

Mar 29, 2009

When Facebook signed up its 100 millionth member last August, its employees spread out in two parks in Palo Alto, Calif., for a huge barbecue. Sometime this week, this five-year-old start-up, born in a dorm room at Harvard, expects to register its 200 millionth user.

Facebook Doesn't Get it: Users Want Control, Not Voting Privileges

Mar 1, 2009

As part of its drive to seem more transparent, Facebook has announced that it will allow users to comment and vote on a new terms of service agreement. The move is designed to head off a rather vitriolic reaction to the site’s early attempt to revise its terms of service. But it’s not the terms of service themselves that offended users, it’s lack of control over their data on the site.

Facebook Clocks Fifth Birthday

Feb 5, 2009

Facebook is giving its 150 million users a mystery virtual gift to celebrate its fifth birthday.

Facebook Is Gaining Ground On Google In Time Spent On The Internet

Dec 19, 2008

Facebook long ago passed MySpace in global visitors and time spent on the site, but now it appears to be gaining ground on Google.

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