Social media moves so fast, it's hard to keep up. Here are the week's top stories in scan-friendly format:
- Foursquare Posts Dramatic Growth
- Google and Privacy Concerns May Affect AdMob Deal
- Facebook Lands Inside Yahoo Mail
- Can Twitter Be A Sustainable Business?
Foursquare Posts Dramatic Growth
In the last few years, it seems Twitter and Facebook have been the real growth stories in the social networking space. Now, thanks to a dramatic rise in the adoption of smartphones, a new player is starting to get some attention as usage numbers grow and grow.
Foursquare, the location based mobile social network is experiencing increased usage and large upswings in the number of check-ins and other activity on the site. Two weeks, ago, Foursquare announced that it had gained 100,000 users in 10 days, raising its total user base to 600,000. Also, the company recently revealed that it surpassed 725,000 users on March 29th.
These location-happy users have checked in more than 22 million times.
The question now is, how will businesses and the market respond? Foursquare presents a great opportunity for mobile coupons or special offers for those who visit. The company has inked deals with certain third-parties and there are opportunities for much more.
Google and Privacy Concerns May Affect AdMob Deal
Anyone paying attention to social media in January was witness to the debacle that was Google Buzz. The search engine released Buzz, a social messaging tool much like Twitter, but didn't secure it properly. As a result, the general Internet public could find personal email addresses and other sensitive information, thanks to oversights by Google's security set up.
Google made security changes to patch these holes after the issues were thoroughly discussed on blogs and other social media outlets.
On the heels of this public scrutiny, 11 congressmen have petitioned the Chairman of the FTC to investigate complaints surrounding Google Buzz. In addition, the Google acquisition of Admob may come under scrutiny because of the increased amount of personal data Google will have if the search engine acquires AdMob. The letter states, "We understand that the Commission is in the process of reviewing Google’s acquisition of AdMob and we urge that the Commission scrutinize how the deal will affect competition and Google’s incentives to offer robust consumer privacy protections."
How trusting are you regarding Google and your data? Did Buzz make you question the company any further? Please weigh in down in our comment section.
Can Twitter Be A Sustainable Business?
Twitter has been around for years now and has experienced significant growth and user adoption. For many of its users, Twitter is a valuable service that brings friends, family and colleagues closer than any other medium. However, Twitter is a business, and businesses need to make money in order to survive.
The media has been waiting for Twitter to reveal a business plan. In fact, at SXSW, Ev Williams was expected to give us monetization details during his keynote, but rather announced a new feature. PaidContent.org recently published all mentions of the Twitter's hints at business strategy including premium accounts, monetizing search, implementing mobile deals and ads in users' Tweet streams.
Twitter's conference called Chirp is fast approaching and perhaps the company will lay out some details at that point in time. Twitter did generate revenue last year, mainly off deals with Google and Microsoft by licensing the 'raw stream' of tweets so that Tweets appear in real time search results.
At this point, Twitter's silence on the subject is a bit of a cat and mouse game. Obviously investors know what the business model is, otherwise Twitter would not have received the amount of funding it has. As they say, time will tell.
Facebook Lands Inside Yahoo Mail
Facebook is a very dominant force on the new "social web". Locked in battle with MySpace and a few other players, Facebook added a huge feather in their cap this week. Yahoo, a leading provider of web-hosted email, has integrated Facebook into Yahoo Mail.
Now, Yahoo Mail users can update their Facebook status messages directly from their inboxes. Additionally, users can see their friends Facebook profile photos directly from Yahoo Mail and further interact with their Facebook buddies. While this news is not a revolutionary change, it points to Facebook's dominance and other web properties' desire to team up with them.
By bringing Facebook functionality into Yahoo Mail, Yahoo will keep more folks on its web property for conducting social networking activity. This overlap of social networking sites is likely to continue as veterans of the web (such as Yahoo and AOL) try to figure out how to either compete or harmonize with new players such as Facebook, Twitter and Google Buzz.