Don’t you think it is the ideal time of the year to look behind & read about all that happened in the Social Media space in 2010? I know, the answer is yes. And here we go –
Mobile Social Networking – Mobile social networking was the fastest growing area for social networking and mobile content in the year 2010. With everyone accessing their favorite social networks via smart phones, the numbers are expected to rise. It is estimated that at least 80% of all smart phone users access the internet from their phones each month. Some access their favorite networks through browsers, but more and more are turning to special apps to make mobile networking easier.
Mobile Apps for Social Networking – The official Facebook App is Facebook Mobile. And, tech freaks do access Twitter also through their mobiles. For a moment, let’s not worry about who is the future in Social Networking between the two. But in verity, the cake is too big for each one of them to have a bite. Facebook & Twitter, in 2010, was most used by people on their phones for updates. Facebook also allowed taking pictures from a phone and uploading them directly to Facebook. There is a touch-screen optimized version for some phones and is a free download for the iPhone, BlackBerry, Nokia, and Windows Mobile. With this increase in use, expect more and more tools to become available to network right from your phone.
Social Gaming – Everyone wondered a few years ago whether social gaming was the future of gaming. Social gaming globally at-least, has arrived. Zynga the social gaming company behind Farmville and MafiaWars does have an estimated revenue of USD 50 million per month. Recognizing the potential of the current boom in social gaming on social networking giant Facebook has decided to take the plunge too. Alongside the road to 500 million users, Facebook happens to be the premier destination for social gaming on the Net. And now, of-course, Google wants it too. It is believed that the online monster is looking to have its own social network that revolves around gaming. Google is already in talks Playdom Inc. (Walt Disney) and Playfish (EA).
The Big Battle – Facebook and Google are also at war over data portability and the control of the user’s identity on the web. Google had changed its terms of services. It would only allow utilization of its Contacts API to anybody who would reciprocate by exporting contacts as well. For most companies, this isn’t a problem, but Facebook does not allow reciprocity to export contacts for products like Gmail Buzz or Orkut. This resulted in Google blocking Facebook’s access to its Contacts API. Following Google’s legitimate decision to deny Facebook API access, Facebook on the other hand decided to circumvent Google by giving users an easy option to download their Gmail contacts and then upload them to Facebook. This was Facebook’s way of telling the search giant to go to hell.
The Buzz Fizzed out – Google’s Buzz was launched with a much hyped “status” application. It is no more than an “integrator” that too only if you have a Google Mail account. And therein lays Google’s first problem. Google acknowledges that they can’t compete with Twitter. Google search results now include the latest Tweets; and Google Buzz allows its users to use Twitter as well. The result of Google Buzz will be that those people who are fans of Google Mail internet will be Tweeting inside Google. Google may have created a lot of buzz about its service, but the reality is that it will only affect a small proportion of the online world. Also, Google Buzz is loaded with adverts. That is precisely what people disapprove of, on social networking sites.
The ‘Like’ – One of the biggest fundamental shifts in the way we use the Internet in the last ten years is the “like” button on Facebook. The adoption rates have been scary and with 3 billion likes a day which indicates that on an average each one of us, 500 million Facebook users are clicking the button 6 times per day either on Facebook itself or on third party sites. The button is increasingly popping up. It is evident that the “like” button is one of the fastest and most successful feature roll outs in history of the Internet.
Membership & Revenues – Social sites have become one of the fastest growing segments of the Internet with global membership that was 230 million in December 2007, and revenues projected at $965 million in 2007, growing to $2.4 billion by 2012, according to the research organization Marketing Charts. In 2009, there was an extraordinary growth of social media. According to Nielsen Online, Twitter alone inflamed 1.382% year by year last February. It registered a total of more than 7 million visitors in the US alone, for the month. In the meantime, Facebook continued to hammer MySpace.
In 2010, Social Media became more popular than Barack Obama, Stock Markets & Corporate Icons. Cheers, is what I say.