The social world is all about going public as of late, but what does that mean for business? Meanwhile, new solutions continue to arrive in waves, the latest coming from everyone's favorite VoIP company (cue group video chat).

LinkedIn Races to Beat Facebook at Going Public

Though most of us have been focused on when Facebook will step into the public, it may be LinkedIn that succeeds in doing it first. Word on the street is that the business social networking platform hopes to go public within the first three months of this year with the help of Morgan Stanley (MS), Bank of America (BAC), and JPMorgan (JPM). 

The buzz around these potential moves is quite strong, as tapping the public markets would certainly yield heightened investor interest in social media. In turn, many expect the profit motive to result in social tools that are better suited to the the customers with the biggest bucks. Enterprise folk, this means you.  

While this is good news for the enterprise, some have noted the possible negative outcomes for consumers. "There could be, for example, pressure to introduce more premium services while shaving away at free services. Maybe some of the ad dollars being thrown around get pulled back to control spending," wrote Mark Evans of Mark Evans Tech. 

To go public or not to go public? That's the question in 2011. Thoughts? Let us know what you think the best move for these companies might be in the comments below. 

Skype Ups Mobile Video Ante, Adds Group Video Calling

Skype's preparing for a good year. The VoIP company announced the acquisition of Qik's mobile video software technology at CES conference in Las Vegas.

Qik allows users to instantly record and share videos from mobile device to the Internet, as well as make video calls on a range of smartphones. Add this functionality to Skype and, considering how popular FaceTime has been for Apple devices, you've got the makings of a very competitive product on your hands. Skype also unveiled a new networking feature: group video calling for consumers and enterprises (pricing and all that jazz here). 

”Through this acquisition, we’ll also be able to take advantage of the engineering expertise that is behind Qik’s Smart Streaming technology, which optimizes video transmission over wireless networks,” Skype CEO Tony Bates said. “Together, we’ll focus on providing great products that will allow people around the world to share experiences in real-time video across different platforms, as well as storing those moments so they can be viewed later.”

APAC Social Media Adoption to Increase in 2011

Slowly but surely, social media is becoming ubiquitous. The APAC business region, for example, is not known for being as aggressive in adopting social media as the rest of the world, but experts suggest that 2011 may be a turning point. 

A 2010 study by Burson-Marsteller found that 79% of companies worldwide are actively using social media as part of their corporate communication strategies. In APAC, this figure is currently only at 40%. "This stems from a more conservative and traditional culture, especially among the larger enterprises in the region," wrote J. Angelo Racoma. 

But XMG Global predicts that 2011 will be a year in which employee retention will be at the top of everyone's list, regardless of generation. In turn, businesses will need to increase the use of various mediums in order to bolster employee morale and scout for fresh talent. 

"...social networks like Facebook, Twitter and the like, will be seen as valuable resources for word-of-mouth marketing and for getting the pulse of the market," continued Racoma. "Meanwhile, human resource departments will also start mining social networks in order to scout for potential recruits. Social media can also be used to link up with existing employees, which can help management reach out to staffers. This can also help human resources practitioners keep up with a company's social culture."

MangoSpring Moving on From Free Accounts, Upgrade or Lose It

ATTN: MangoSpring's free domains will expire at the end of January.

The company is on a mission to convert users who have been enjoying its free services into paying customers. Existing users will get a 20% discount when they upgrade to any of the newly defined packages (for example, the new Copper plan offers access for up to three users at US$ 49.95 per application).

Companies who are new to MangoSuite, can sign up for a 30-day trial and test the offering which has recently seen network admin improvements, portal updates, version control and cloud document management via a desktop application.

 

If you don't want to take advantage of any of the plans, then you have until January 31 to get a local backup of your data before it, and the domain, are deleted.

Are your dollars worth it? Perhaps. MangoSpring has been doing a lot of big things lately

In Other News

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