Social Media moves so fast, it’s hard to keep up. Here’s the week’s top stories, in scan-friendly format.
- Orkut is India’s Most Popular Social Network -- comScore
- Yammer Launches Downloadable Version
- Facebook Climbs Down in TOS Row
- One in Ten Internet Users now on Twitter
- Twitter launches Integrated Search and Trends
- Baidu Bearish on Revenues
Orkut is India’s Most Popular Social Network -- comScore
If we think of social network start-ups as social experiments, and why wouldn’t we, then if Facebook is Athenian democracy (admittedly a stretch), and if MySpace is the Enlightenment (stretchier yet), then we might liken Google Orkut to Mao’s Cultural Revolution.
By which we mean that we’ve always thought of it as a bloody and gruesome Social disaster, just in case you didn’t get that subtle analogy.
But we may have to revise that view, because the vast and growing Indian market can’t get enough of Orkut, and comScore’s latest figures state that it is in fact the most-visited social network in India, in a market that drew 18m viewers in December 2008 alone.
comScore’s report on India’s 2008 figures is arresting. Internet audience as a whole rose by a fifth, while social network audience grew by 50%. Facebook, BharatStudent, Hi5 and ibibo make up the rest of India’s top five social networking sites. MySpace and Linkedin limp in at numbers 6 and 7.
Facebook Climbs Down in “Terms of Service” Row
A modification to Facebook’s Terms of Service agreement for new members brought a storm of controversy last week. A line of the old stock agreement was erased, which had stated that Facebook could not claim any rights to a user’s content after he or she had closed their account.
The line was replaced with: "You may remove your User Content from the Site at any time. ... (H)owever, you acknowledge that the Company may retain archived copies of your User Content."
The Consumerist led the charge against Facebook over the new agreement, Chris Walters summing up the new deal like this: “Make sure you never upload anything you don't feel comfortable giving away forever, because it's Facebook's now.”
Walters’ post burned down the server, grabbing over 6,000 Diggs in about a day, and no fewer than 64,000 Facebook users signed an online petition to have the new TOS changed back to its original form. Facebook saw the writing on the wall, and Mark Zuckerburg caved and pledged to go back to the original terms “…while we resolve the issues that people have raised.”
Yammer Launches Downloadable Version
Yammer, the popular enterprise-oriented microblogger , has just launched a downloadable version which you can upload to your own server space.
The service at Yammer.com works perfectly well for closed groups, so why would enterprises and organizations bother setting up their own implementations on their own servers? Our own Jason Harris explains:
“ For many reasons, but primarily because many enterprises maintain IS security policies that all corporate communications are held on corporate servers. While using Yammer in a traditional manner, users store microblogging messages on Yammer's servers. Under this arrangement, potentially sensitive and confident information might seep out into just anyone's hands, causing unease in the information security fields.”
Your own private Yammer will cost you US$1 per user per month. The new product announcement comes less than a month after Yammer secured US$5m in funding.
One in Ten Internet Users Now on Twitter
Speaking of arresting figures, here’s another one: a tenth of the men, women and children in the United States who use the Internet have used Twitter. The figure comes courtesy of Pew Internet & American Life Project (PIP), which asked a sample in December 2008 whether they had used a microblogger “like Twitter”, and 11% replied in the affirmative. The number who had used a microblogger back in May 2008 was 6%.
Chelsi Nakano has the full story.
Twitter Launches Integrated Search and Trends
Ever since Twitter bought out Summize last summer (search.twitter.com), they haven’t done a whole lot to integrate search and other cool related features like hot hashtag topics into the main site. Until now.
Mashable reports hat a new version of Twitter.com which incorporates search and trends is being tested on a small group of users. Expect your Twitter.com page to change substantially some time over the next couple of months.
Baidu Bearish on Revenues
Depressingly predictable news from Chinese search behemoth Baidu, which states that its revenues won’t come within the bawl of a hungry ass of initial forecasts.
Bloomberg reports that Baidu’s 1st quarter revenues will still be up, and will be well over US$100m, so it’s not all bad news. But we had hoped that maybe, somehow, advertising and revenue news from the other end of the world might be better than it has been in Western countries.