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

  • Facebook Accounts For 25% of Page Views in U.S.
  • Startup Allows You To Track In-Person Twitter Interactions
  • Yelp Gets Into the Check-in Offer Game
  • Facebook Alternative Diaspora Goes Private Alpha

Facebook Accounts For 25% of Page Views in U.S.

There is a constant battle going on in the United States by Internet content companies who want to be the online destination. There are huge incentives for being a top web property because advertising audiences and higher rates come to those online properties. Google, Facebook, MSN and Yahoo seem to be jostling in position, but HitWise just released numbers that will shake up the competition.

Facebook now accounts for 1 of 4 page views in the United States. As a result, it has now passed Google in visits. Facebook's traffic increased 60% over the same time last year. Additionally, last week, Facebook accounted for 1 in 10 website visits in United States. In second place is Google's YouTube property.

It seems every few weeks there's a new statistic or related story that shows Facebook's rising dominance.  This 1 in 4 page view statistic shows that Facebook is a very sticky site that generates a vast amount of views for its 500 million users.

Startup Allows You To Track In-Person Twitter Interactions

Tools such as Twitter and LinkedIn are great for making connections with people online you otherwise wouldn't meet. However, how do you make sure you get to meet and interact with importuned members of your online network as well? New startup Hashable aims to help you document real-world connections and professional contacts.

By using hashtags, a tool for giving a common element to each conversation, Hashable allows you to use the system to document all types of exchanges or meetings with hashtags such as #justmet, #lunch, #dinner, #coffee.  The idea is that some people already share their coffee meetings and lunch on Twitter, so why not build a tool where folks can track them for later use.

Online relationship management tools such as Highrise already track all modes of touches and contacts with folks you know, but Hashable brings a unique approach. Hashable may not have a concrete usage or business model, but the idea should be used be utilized by other tools.

Yelp Gets Into the Check-in Offer Game

Yelp has a major online following. The social network that allows anyone to leave a detailed review for all to see has been around for many years and has developed a passionate user base who advocate the service. It has apps on major smartphone platforms, making it a mobile resource for finding the best merchants in your area.

Now with check-ins being all the rage (noting your presence at a physical location when you're there, such as coffee shop or Target), Yelp is entering the promotional activity surrounding check-ins. With Yelp Check-In Offers, business owners can incent repeat check-ins and reward patrons with special offers and discounts.

For many smartphone users, the idea of checking-in to a location just as an exercise is not enticing. However, if there was a coupon or discount to take advantage of, Yelp mobile users might whip out their phones more often. According to Yelp's CEO, 30% of all Yelp traffic comes from mobile devices, and that metric can be expected to rise with Check-in Offers.

Learning Opportunities

Facebook Alternative Diaspora Goes Private Alpha

A few months ago, at the height of the Facebook privacy debacle, an alternative emerged called Diaspora. The product of NYU students gained popularity because many notable names in the social web space donated to the cause to build Disapora. They hoped to raise $10,000 by June 1, and they reached that gel in just 12 days.  In total the Diaspora team has raised just over $200,000.

Diaspora is described as an open source personal web service that will allow individuals to control their data.  In Disapora, users will supposedly be able to change their online privacy settings and online information via a network that allows them to run their own personal web server complete with photos, videos -- all part of a larger network.

The idea of a seed sounds all well and good, although a bit complex. Imagine asking someone non-technical (who's probably already on Facebook) to load up her own personal web service and seed Diaspora. Diaspora's development will hopefully urge services like Facebook to grant instant and easy-to-use privacy controls that are adopted on a mainstream basis. The service is now rolling out private alpha accounts for those wanting to try the service.