Social media moves so fast, it's hard to keep up. Here are the week's top stories in scan-friendly format:
- 2011: Facebook Concentrates on Mobile
- InMaps Provides Visual Relevance to LinkedIn Connections
- Twitter's Ad Revenue To Rise to $150 Million This Year
- Foursquare Hits 6 Million Users and 381 Million Check-Ins
2011: Facebook Concentrates on Mobile
Social networking has seen a huge growth pattern on mobile devices in recent years. Smartphone toting social media users love to snap photos, update status messages and talk to others whilst on the go. Facebook recognizes this huge growth pattern and recently stated the company's pledge to make mobile its top priority of the new year.
By utilizing HTML5 for cross-platform compatibility across mobile and desktop devices and unifying the look and feel of its mobile applications, Facebook plans to achieve even further ubiquity in the mobile space. Just last week, the company released a new version of Facebook for 'dumb' phones with basic web browsers -- which are popular in developing nations and outnumber smartphones dramatically.
Facebook reported that about a third of its 600 million users use the service from a mobile device. It's good to see Facebook recognize the importance of the mobile web going forward. There has been a rumored "Facebook phone" for years now and many blogs think this new handset from INQ may be coming to market soon.
InMaps Provides Visual Relevance to LinkedIn Connections
LinkedIn is a unique type of social network. The system works best when you add as many of your co-workers as possible and create a network built around your working life and career. However, if you add a few dozen (or perhaps hundreds) people into the service, it's hard to remember where you knew a person or how your contacts are connected.
LinkedIn Labs just released InMaps -- a visual tool that shows interconnecting nodes that represent each of your contacts. InMaps enables you to visualize how well your contacts are interconnected and allows users to label your groups, zoom in and out and so on. What's interesting is when you can see a node connected in a way you never knew about -- perhaps two co-workers that never knew each other, but are now connected, with you being the bridge.
InMaps is a tool that would be great for other social networking tools to replicate. For example, members inside your Facebook network might be connected socially in ways you don't even know about. Tools that provide more context to our social networks add value and make the services much more interesting.
Twitter's Ad Revenue To Rise to $150 Million This Year
eMarketer, an online tracking and marketing site, estimates that Twitter's advertising revenue may rise to US$ 150 million this year. This is a significant increase, as the company brought in US$ 45 million in 2010 -- which would make 2011 a 3x increase over the first year they started to sell advertising to brands and products.
Twitter is an extremely popular social networking service, but a constant question surrounding the service is how they will monetize, and accordingly: how long will this useful service be around. According to eMarketer, by 2012, Twitter may see ad sales rise to a whopping US$ 250 million as it rolls out a new self-service platform and further enhances its ad offerings.
So, as eMarketer forecasts, we can count on seeing more ads on Twitter. Do ads on Twitter annoy you? Most users I ask report that the ads are not bothersome and that they are willing to see the ads if it means Twitter will remain free. What do you think? Sound off in the comments below!
Foursquare Hits 6 Million Users and 381 Million Check-Ins
Foursquare, the up and coming social check-in service, has released new usage statistics that show dramatic growth for the company in 2010. The company reported that it now has 6 million registered, up 3400% in terms of check-ins. On that note, the service saw 381, 576,305 check-ins in 2010. Since that timeframe, it only took a month and a half to add another million users, as growth seems to be rapid at this point in Foursquare's history.
In December 2010, Foursquare Dennis Crowley reported that Foursquare is seeing about 2 million check-ins per day and adds about 25,000 new users per day. Foursquare's audience tends to be heavy internationally as well, with a 60/40 split between U.S. and international usage. Another data point: the average Foursquare user checks in about 3-4 times per day.
Foursquare is a popular service that is obviously growing by leaps and bounds, but the service is not near the point of being mainstream. Most people, when asked whether they want to broadcast their location shy away because of privacy concerns. Facebook Places has made more location check-ins happen, but Foursquare has a ways to go before they become a household name like Twitter or Facebook.