Social media moves so fast, it's hard to keep up. Here are the week's top stories in scan-friendly format:

  • Can Twitter Predict The X-Factor?
  • Yammer Rakes in $25 Million in Funding
  • Twitter Client HootSuite Reaches 1 Million Users
  • BlackBerry's Mobile Web Usage Skyrockets

Can Twitter Predict The X-Factor?

The X-Factor is a wildly popular show in the UK where contestants compete in a music competition.  Much like American Idol in the United States, X-Factor is talked about on the social web and on sites such as Facebook and Twitter. In fact, it seems that watching sentiment on Twitter can help assess and predict who's leaving the competition that week.

Data from social media monitoring company, Brandwatch is claiming that it can predict who will be booted from X-Factor that week by watching social networking sites, mainly Twitter. The company claims to have accurately predicted the ousting of Katie and Wagner hours before the results show live on Sunday this last week. By monitoring volume and sentiment on sites such as Twitter, Facebook, blogs, forums and news sites, Brandwatch ranks and predicts that week's voting victims.

As society adopts social media tools, it's curious to see how these networking devices affect viewership and well-established social behaviors. Monitoring social media can provide near-instant feedback for advertisers that can be verified and timely. Do you use social networking while watching live TV? 

Yammer Rakes in $25 Million in Funding

Social media has traditionally had a hard time making inroads into enterprises and organizations. One exception is Yammer. Often referred to as "Twitter for business",  Yammer has gone beyond micro-messaging to be a wide-ranging enterprise tool for social networking. Earlier this week, Yammer announced a new round of funding amounting in $25 million from 4 new investors. 

With the build-out of new applications, Yammer has gained a huge boost in usability. Yammer can now host polls, chat, events, links, topics, Q&A and more. The social service says it has more than 1.5 million corporate users, with usage in more than 80 percent of the Fortune 500. The new funding will be used to add engineers and increase Yammer's sales force.

Yammer has a range of competition coming from Salesforce, Jive and CubeTree, just to name a few. Yammer is easy to adopt and easy to use -- as we use it as an internal communication tool here at CMSWire.

Twitter Client HootSuite Reaches 1 Million Users

Social networking client HootSuite has announced that they've added their one millionth registered user. The service, which facilitates web-based access to services such as Twitter and Facebook through a single unified tool, has grown in a hockey-stick manner since it's launch just over two years ago. Most of the growth has come this year -- from January 2010 through November 2010, the service quadrupled in size.

HootSuite users are most likely to post to Twitter via the tool, with 61% of HootSuiter-ers doing so and 27 percent posting to Facebook. Most folks (68%) use HootSuite using their browser over the mobile interface.  The service recently added mobile apps for the iPhone, Android and BlackBerry devices, so mobile user should trend upwards.

Many HootSuite customers are brands or companies who utilize the tool to administer accounts in a group fashion. Do you have any use for this type of service?  We are curious to see how our readers might use a service such as HootSuite or Co-Tweet.  How do brands and multiple-user Twitter account managers interact with Twitter?

BlackBerry's Mobile Web Usage Skyrockets

According to mobile analytics firm StatCounter, BlackBerry users browsed the mobile web more in November than iPhone for the first time. That is, of all mobile traffic generated, BlackBerry devices accounted for 34.3% of all traffic, whereas iOS devices generated 33%.  Why does this matter?  Because as advertisers and marketers develop marketing campaigns for mobile device, iPhones and iPod Touches have always been recognized as mobile web kings -- and therefore apps are created for these platforms over other mobile devices.

The reason for the increase in the BlackBerry mobile web traffic is likely tied to the release of BlackBerry OS 6. The newest version of the BlackBerry operating system has a vastly improved web browser that is used dramatically more frequently than the antiquated previous BlackBerry Browser. The new browser features tabbed browsing, an improved web engine, RSS support, pinching, zooming and more.

There is a constant debate in the mobile marketing community regarding the strength of applications or web content. Numbers that show improved web browsing on BlackBerry lend more credibility to the assumption that web-based promotions might yield more returns for mobile marketing efforts.