Feature

Social Media Minute: Facebook Rings Up $1 Billion, Yammer Drops the Domain

5 minute read
Jason Harris avatar

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

  • Social Nets Changing News Consumption Patterns
  • HootSuite Mobile Apps Make Twitter Business Friendly
  • Facebook To Bring In $1 Billion in Revenue
  • Yammer Opens Up To Communities

Social Nets Changing News Consumption Patterns

How doyou get your news nowadays? Chances are, with the Internet and thevarious means of collecting information, it is different today than itwas 10 years ago. Pew, an research firm, sought out to find out howsocial networking has changed news consumption in today's networkedworld.

In polling more than 2,000 American adults, Pew recently released areport that showed 75% of Americans receive and that 52% of folksdistribute news via the same channels. Glued to your TV when newsbreaks? Then you are in good company with 78% of Americans saying theyuse local news as one avenue for getting news and information. Only 6%of folks say they only utilize one method for becoming informed aboutnews and events.

The lesson: if you are a media operator,online, print or broadcast, you must think about harnessing multiplemediums if you are trying to gain eyeballs and attention. The Americanpublic, according to Pew, is one that seeks to gain information andinsight from multiple channels, perhaps at the same time. This meanssome folks are online via their laptops while watching local news.Obviously, the old model of mass media, one-way distribution isdead...long live personal media!

HootSuite Mobile AppsMake Twitter Business Friendly

Many business users whoutilize Twitter for brand management, community building andconversation tracking desire a Twitter client that is different thanyour 'typical' Twitter user. Online Twitter apps such as CoTweet andHootsuite allow multiple users to utilize a singular Twitter account,track conversations and search terms and utilize many accounts at onetime. HootSuite is a very popular professional Twitter client, and a newmobile application brings the great functionality to your nearestiPhone or Android device.

Newly released Hootsuite 1.2for the iPhone adds Facebook functionality and a new landscape view for avery affordable US$ 1.99 price tag. Hootsuite for iPhone has longsupported multiple Twitter account access, TwitPic availability, messagescheduling and trending topic display. Hootsuite has also released afree version that lacks unlimited account support and click throughrate.

Joining the iPhone app is a new Android app. Hootsuite for Android supports all the above features, but addsbackground processing and alerts. Thanks to Android's multi-taskingability, Hootsuite can add these background abilities to an alreadyrobust mobile application.

For those looking for aprofessional Twitter tool on either the iPhone or Android platforms,Hootsuite might be worth a look. In the least, it's worth downloadingthe free version to get a feel for what Hootsuite may have to offer foryour professional tweeting on the go.

FacebookTo Bring In $1 Billion in Revenue

Accordingto a Facebook focused weblog Inside Facebook, the popular socialnetworking site generated about US$ 700 million in the year 2009. So farfor 2010, Facebook is on track to generate about US$ 1 billion in revenue --which is a very dramatic figure, pointing to the site's ability togenerate and maintain a viable business model. Since 2007, Facebook'srevenue has doubled year over year, enabling it to reach the magical $1billion mark (so far) this year.

Learning Opportunities

What is driving thisphenomenal revenue growth? A Facebook user would probably guessadvertising, since ads are pretty much everywhere now on the site. Thiswould be true, as advertising brought in about US$ 300 million in revenue.However, the largest growth opportunity for Facebook is the marketingand monetization of virtual goods such as gifts and virtual currency.

Ona separate note, it has been rumored that Facebook is working on apayment system, much like -- or utilizing -- Paypal. With 400 million usersworldwide, if Facebook were to tap into online payments, theimplications could be huge.

Between virtual goods and aninnovative, targeted ad platform, Facebook could be in a position tobeing in massive amounts of cash. The company has a very large user baseand just needs to figure out how to generate revenue without beingsleazy and scaring off users.

YammerOpens Up To Communities

Twitter may get all the ink when itcomes to micro-blogging, but another player has a big fan base as well.Yammer is known as the 'business' Twitter, building micro-messagingfor specific groups of people, namely those involved in a company ororganization. So, while Twitter is for public messages, Yammer isintended for a smaller group of folks.

Recently, Yammer wasrestricted to those with a specific email address, such [email protected], to join Yammer and use it for closed-groupmessaging. Well, Yammer realized that many organizations don't havetheir own domain names and are thereby missing out on the utility thatYammer provides. As a result, Yammer has opened up toallow any group of users to create their own Yammer messaging system,based on pre-specified email addresses.

This is a smartmove, as Yammer is expanding their pool of potential users. By notrequiring a specific domain, a company or organization can now create aYammer community for outside stakeholders, such as customers, partnerorganizations or vendors. Yammer has been seen as an alternative toemail, and this move makes this even more of a possibility by allowingshort, IM style conversations amongst partners.