Social media moves so fast, it's hard to keep up. Here are the week's top stories in scan-friendly format:
- Are You In A Top Socially Networked City?
- LinkedIn Gains 100 Millionth User
- Facebook Snatches Up Snaptu For Feature Phone Success
- Group Buying Will Continue Growth
Are You In A Top Socially Networked City?
Toronto was once called the Facebook capitol of the world. However, looking at the bigger picture of social networking, which city is the most active social media-heavy city in the United States? Men's Health ranked the top 100 cities and reported back earlier this week.
To gauge the top cities, Men's Heath checked each cities ranking on LinkedIn and Facebook per capita, and also looked at the NetProspex to weight each location's Twitter usage. To round out the measure, Men's Health utilized ad firm Chitika to analyze traffic from MySpace, Friendster, Reddit and Digg. The top city that was ranked was Washington, DC, followed by Atlanta and Denver. Surprisingly, the big city of New York, NY ranked low at number 53.
The Pacific Northwest (where I live) was strongly represented with Seattle ranking 5 and Portland, Oregon ranked number 14. Looking at the list, it seems that tech-heavy cities such as the Northwest and Silicon Valley are heavy users of social networking, whereas mid-west cities such as Milwaukee shy away from social networking. How did your city rank? Do you agree or disagree with Men's Health's numbers and how they align with your cities' perceived social networking use.
LinkedIn Gains 100 Millionth User
LinkedIn, the social network that aims at linking professionals with one another, has crossed a very large usage number. The company announced that it has crossed 100 million users and growth is skyrocketing as job hunters and those who wish to stay in touch with current and former co-workers go on to the site. LinkedIn says that it is adding 1 million new users to the service each week.
Of LinkedIn's user base, only 44 million are in the United States. Interestingly, growth overseas has been astounding, with 428 percent year-over-year growth in Brazil. Additionally, Mexico, India and France saw 128 percent growth in the same time frame. In terms of who's on LinkedIn, 20% of the user base consists of those in the service industries and 9% are in high-tech fields.
While LinkedIn's usage numbers aren't as staggering as Facebook, which has more than 600 million users, LinkedIn has slowly and steadily gained a captive and engaged set of users. By engaging professionals and the companies they work for, LinkedIn is an engaging network for job hunters and everyone else utilizing the service to stay in touch with co-workers and colleagues.
Facebook Snatches Up Snaptu For Feature Phone Success
Snaptu is a company that works with popular social networking sites to improve the user experience on mobile phones that are one notch below smartphones. Feature phones represent a huge share of mobile devices worldwide, even more popular than smartphones. Using Snaptu, companies can make their services usable and enjoyable for millions of mobile users worldwide.
In a bold move, Facebook has acquired Snaptu, showing the importance of mobile devices to social networking's future. Snaptu's other notable clients include Twitter, Picasa and LinkedIn. The company is based in London, with offices in Tel Aviv and Silicon Valley.
Feature phones appeal to those who want to access mobile services, but don't want to pay $200-$300 for a mobile phone and a large monthly amount for data plans. While feature phones offer light-weight web and app support, the user experience sometimes suffers, and Snaptu (and now Facebook) will offer proven solutions for improving this situation.
Group Buying Will Continue Growth
Sites such as Groupon and LivingSocial have sprung out of nowhere. These group buying sites are extremely popular and have gained a huge amount of capital to grow and continue to roll out to more communities nationwide. For example, Local Offer Network had revenues of US$ 1.1 billion in 2010 and Groupon is expected to gain US$ 3 to $4 billion this year.
Groupon is the most well-known player, especially with their pending US$ 25 IPO. Also of note, from January 2010 to January 2011, Groupon's monthly revenue grew from $11 million to $89 million, indicating an eightfold growth. The other players in group buying are doing well too, as Local Offer Network has tracked 90,000 deals across 322 group buying sites. The categories of deals that find success are ranked as Food and Drink (accounting for 27%), Beauty, Spa and Massage (19%) and Fitness and nutrition (7%).
Have you utilized a group buying site? They are successful due to the limited duration of the deal and the half off (or more) deals. Restaurant deals are most compelling, offering a low-cost way to try new cuisine with limited risk.