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Monday, 11 July 2011

Our Facebook Habit

Social networking use has doubled since 2007. Non-social sites are fighting a losing battle when it comes to online user preference.  As this chart clearly demonstrates Facebook is not just growing in addition to the rest of the Web, it is actually taking patronage away from other sites and growing at the rest of the web's expense.

Ben Elowitz, Founder and CEO, Wetpaint defines the 'rest of the web' as:

"the 'document Web,' based on how Google and other Web architectures view its pages as documents, linked together. But increasingly, it might as well be called the “searchable Web” since it’s accessed predominantly as a reference, and navigated primarily via search".

Instead of the searchable web we now have a fully connected digital life.

As Elowitz explains:

"Now, the Web knows who we are (identity), is with us at all times wherever we go (mobile), threads our relationships with others (social), and delivers meaningful experiences beyond just text and graphics (video)."

The implications of this quantum shift for publishers of content are profound.  The old searchable web as we knew it is struggling, while the new, connected social web is sweeping all before it.

Facebook is the new docking station for our human interaction as Search Engine Optimistion (SEO) a la Google is becoming increasingly less relevant.

Facebook is already receiving three times more users minutes per month than Google acording to ComScore and this trend will continue.

Facebook is now #1 in the advertising campaigns although competion remains fierce.

Other social network platforms also struggle to catch up with Facebook although LinkedIn, Tumblr and Twitter all hit record highs in May, 2011.

LinkedIn now attracts 33.4 million U.S. visitors, more than Twitter’s 27 million and Tumblr’s 10.7 million. Tumblr is the fastest-growing of the three companies though, boasting 166% growth in the last year. LinkedIn’s U.S. audience rose by a strong 58% in the last twelve months. (Source: ComScore).

The once popular NING platform ceased to be a free option in 2010 and has just announced a 27% increase in its base fees for their NINGPlus subscription.  This is guaranteed to turn off even more of its former users as such platforms wilt in the shadow of Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

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