Monday, February 28, 2011

China to ban LinkedIn

China to ban LinkedIn
Recent reports have shown that the latest social media site to be banned in China is none other than LinkedIn. This has come about after the network became a hugely popular platform for organizing certain anti-government protests.

The website has recently grown very popular in China and was holding its own against competitors like Tianji and Ushi. Twitter has already been blocked and according to recent reports, LinkedIn has also been targeted.

Anti-government protesters have begun using social networks to organize demonstrations and events, and to engage other. But the Chinese government has started blocking sites in an attempt to combat these protests.

The Chinese government has blocked Facebook and Twitter, forcing users to turn to LinkedIn to coordinate protests and share information. What’s more, the Chonese government has also cracked down on some local sites like Renen by blocking specific search queries and preventing users from updating or posting status updates containing sensitive terms.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Disney buys Social Networking Site for Kids

Disney buys Social Networking Site for Kids
Togetherville, the social network site for kids between the ages of 6-10 is very Facebook-like. Developed by Mandeep Singh Dhillon, an Indian-origin entrepreneur, the site was recently bought by Walt Disney for an undisclosed amount. According to the agreement, Togetherville will now solely be owned by Disney. However, Disney did not disclose the financial figures of the deal.

Mr. Dhillon first launched the kiddy-version of Facebook last year, and termed it as a safe online community where kids could go play, learn things and mingle with friend under, of course, parental supervision. Excited over this acquisition, Dhillon has called Disney as “one of the most amazing family brands on Earth”.

This deal is the latest acquisition by Walt Disney, which is now looking to invest more time and money on social media and mobile companies, and less time in creating console-based video games. The free site allows children to connect with friends in something akin to a virtual neighborhood. However, the site required for adults to log in through their existing Facebook accounts, and requires them to build their kids’ networks through their Facebook accounts. The children’s profile pages will be closed to outsiders, unless approved by parents. In this way, no one unknown to child can ever interact with him or her.

The site is extremely focused on building a real online experience that kids can enjoy under the supervision of their parents, making it extremely safe.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

JPMorgan raises $1.22 Billion for Social Media Fund

JPMorgan raises $1.22 Billion for Social Media Fund
JPMorgan Chase & Co. has reportedly raised a whopping $1.22billion for a new fund that will invest in social media. This comes as a shock, as the company was expected to raise anywhere between $500 million to $750 million. Talk about exceeding expectations!

The $1.22 billion figure was released on Wednesday in a regulatory filing for the J.P. Morgan Digital Growth Fund LP. This represented the total amount sold. This Digital Growth Fund has been described in the regulatory filing as a Venture Capital Fund that offers only pooled investment fund interests, and no sales will be made after December 31st, 2011.

The Digital growth Fund is basically the company’s social media fund. The launch of this social media fund follows the January $1.5 billion fundraising attempts of Facebook, the biggest social networking site in the world. These attempts were mainly made by Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and its clients.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Break ups won’t ever be the same again with Facebook

Break ups won’t ever be the same again with Facebook
Break ups are just never going to be the same again! How so?

Every ardent Facebook fan will tell you that your Facebook profile speaks volumes about you and your Facebook status is everything! Looks like Facebook agrees with this!

The latest application to hit all Facebook users is the new “Break up notifier” applications, which announces to everyone when couples break up. This application will allow users to create a list of friends who they are interested in, and whose status they wish to be notified about. So, in case of a change in relationship status or if there has been a break up, they will receive a notifier email.

So if you like someone who is already in a relationship with someone else, you can now be the first to find out if they break up. It’s just as simple as that. You can also track your friends’ every move and with the help of the “Check in” service, you can now know where exactly they are.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Media Broadcasters take to Social Media

Media Broadcasters take to Social Media
Media Broadcasters CBS and Viacom have now started using social media as a way to promote their TV shows. CBS recently broadcasted the first episode of its famous reality show Survivor, and Jeff Probst, its host participated in a Twitter discussion about the program. Probst has revealed that he will now be using this approach more regularly to give the show’s viewers that added touch.

CBS boasts of having nearly 50 million Facebook fans for its shows. This company believes that content is extremely important, and writing about the major events is equally important. Every major event from the Academy Awards to the Grammy’s have all done much better than the previous year’s owing to social media. Today, American Idol is not on its way out as people thought it would. Network television is still going strong and will never go away because of social media. Social media helps to enhance broadcast.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Cory Jane in Deep Trouble for Twitter Message

Cory Jane in Deep Trouble for Twitter Message
Core Jane recently had a very close call with the authorities after his latest Twitter message went wrong. The Hurricanes fullback caused a near riot with the Internet browsers when he posted a “not-so-good” description of Australian referee, Stuart Dickinson, and his performance in the Friday’s 14-9 game with the highlanders.

Apparently Jane tweeted about being extremely angry about the game and how there was one person who played worse than anyone else during the game because he never got the ball. Of course his hints were aimed against Dickinson.

Jane has since removed this tweet after Sanzar boss, Greg Peters, and Lyndon Bray, game manager, were both alerted to the tweet. And although there was no official action taken against Jane, Peters said that there was a general announcement made to the players about practicing caution when it comes to using social media. As a rule, Sanzar has said that it would take any social media messages as a public media comment, so player should be more careful. Talk about reminding us that social media is now an official statement!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Facebook Improves Search Capabilities

Facebook Improves Search Capabilities
In the latest news to come out of the social media market, Facebook has recently announced that it will be improving its search methodology. This move has been designed to allow users to locate the results that they are looking for easily.

Every day, the search market is literally abuzz with different kinds of activity. Greplin, for instance, is a startup that recently left Beta. All Greplin users can now conduct searches across their Facebook, Gmail, Twitter and LinkedIn connections. The search company’s primary services are to support queries in Google Docs, Google Reader and Google Calendar. It also hopes to follow tweets very soon.

Google also released a tool to battle online spam. This tool allows its Chrome users to filter out unwanted websites from their search results. With this block option, users have to simply click a button and add all the undesirable sites to a list of blocked links, and these will never appear in their search results again.

Facebook also redesigned its business-oriented pages last week. This new design eliminates the tab format, allows administrators to interact through the Facebook Page identity, highlights news based on the user’s interest instead of chronology and allows users to move photos to the top of the page. The search capabilities on Facebook are being refined to make it easier for users to find what they want.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Facebook promotes Social Media Advertising

Facebook promotes Social Media Advertising
Social networking sites have become extremely popular and are the sole cause for the steadily increasing share of users who spend money on advertising online. eMarketer has recently sent out a report that shows that of the $69 billion that marketers spend on advertising, 8.7% of this will be spent on online advertising. This figure is expected to rise to 10.2% by 2012.

This rise in popularity has of course been attributed to Facebook. It is said that by the end of 2012, more than half of the spending will take place in countries outside the United States, which is where most of the social media market campaigns are concentrated. Facebook is expected to have global ad revenues of $4 billion, while Twitter is expected to attract $150 million. So, Facebook will receive nearly 70% of all the social media ad revenues worldwide.

Reports have shown that marketers today are taking towards integrating social media in their overall platforms. Advertising in social networking sites is becoming a more popular and logical option. In some of the emerging markets, mobiles are the primary way in which user’s access social networks. This means that apart from the rise in popularity of mobile advertising, ads are also going to be integrated in the mobile versions.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Company provides Staff with new Social Media rules

Company provides Staff with new Social Media rules
Freedom Communications, Inc. believes in encouraging its staff and associates to participate in social media, as it believes that this can be used to generate more interest in the company’s products and services and has the capability to increase the business opportunities. However, the company also aims to ensure that these social media communications maintains integrity and brand reputation, while at the same time reduces the number of potential legal risks. All employees of the company are required to sign this new policy.

This new policy applies to all the Freedom Communications associates. The company believes that the Internet provides businesses with a large number of unique business opportunities, what with interactive discussions and shared information taking place on Facebook, Twitter, chat rooms, blogs, etc. However, allowing staff to use social media freely can also be risky for the company, as confidential information, brand reputation, etc. can be jeopardized.

To minimize these risks and to avoid loss of productivity, Freedom Communications has listed down a few rules and guidelines for employees, regarding the use of social media.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

JPMorgan starts new Social Media Fund

JPMorgan starts new Social Media Fund
In an attempt to seize upon investor excitement over social media and networking companies like Facebook and Twitter, JPMorgan Chase is now planning on starting a new fund to invest in these social media companies.

The proposed fund that will be run by JPMorgan is looking at being raised from $500 million to $750 million and which will be poured into companies like Twitter and Groupon. The idea behind all of this is to support companies with highly established business models and steady incomes before they plan on going public with their stock sales.

Many of the most popular social media companies like LinkedIn and Pandora have already started to go public with their stocks. These filings come before the much-anticipated stock sales from Groupon and Facebook. Interest in these companies has been on the rise recently. JPMorgan plans on buying and selling shares in these companies for their clients and do not intend to directly invest in the firm’s own money.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Marketers take to Social Media to Promote Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day Social MediaWhat with everything going virtual, why leave Valentine’s Day behind? On this special day, some of the biggest brands like Mattel, Victoria’s Secret and CBS are turning to social media to market their products on Valentine’s Day. Many brands have been pushing the Valentine’s Day hype on many of the social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, as well as YouTube.

Companies are vying to get the best and most exposure for Valentine’s Day. On an average, a person would usually spend about &116 on Valentine’s merchandise. These estimates show an approximately 12.8% increase since last year.

Valentine’s Day is about being social. So, let your loved know you love them and let your entire network know about a Valentine’s Day gift on Facebook and Twitter. This creates a lot of brand resonance.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Ford embraces Social Media!

Ford embraces Social MediaFord Motor Co. openly embraces social media. In a statement that was released at the Chicago Auto Show on Wednesday, the Vice President of Ford said that the company has learned a great deal about how effectively using social media can lead to success. This strategy was recently tried out during the introduction of the new Ford Explorer.

This is great example of how companies nowadays are trying out various marketing models to achieve things that would otherwise not be possible. This new marketing strategy that Ford used for its new model has helped to rid people of the idea that Detroit is a prissy place that is not open to new ideas.

Ford decided not to use the traditional means of introducing its new model into the market. Instead of using a traditional TV ad campaign, Ford struck up a conversation with fans on Facebook. What’s more, Ford ended up having more than 140,000 fans for the new Explorer! The customer feedback from these fans helped Ford to develop the TV and print campaigns for the ultimate launch of the model.

The social media marketing efforts have helped the company think differently about its marketing strategy.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Facebook’s “Pop Up” Store: The Latest Social Media Trend

Facebook’s “Pop Up” StoreRoots Canada is a major Canadian retailer that has recently started using Facebook’s “pop up” store feature to preview its current spring collection. Today, there are more and more retailers and businesses that are taking to social media to promote their products and services.

This web-based store was first launched on Tuesday, and is similar to any other pop up store in the real world. It has a small, temporary site that offers a limited selection of products to increase brand awareness.

By using Facebook to launch their digital store, Roots has instant access to millions of Canadians who are already signed up with Facebook to connect with friends across the globe. Tanja Zelko, the manager of online marketing and customer experience at Roots has said that if you are already signed up with Facebook and spend many hours browsing and connecting with people, then you no longer need to leave the site in order to shop.

Although it is very difficult to measure the value of social media, there are still hundreds of thousands of retailers who are hopping on to the social media bandwagon and are signing up with Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to connect with potential customers. Even some of the larger and more traditional retailers have started to experiment with social media by inviting customers to address complaints and write product reviews.

Social media is definitely a big hit, what with thousands of people with disposable incomes taking to sites like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Social media is indeed very valuable when it comes to advertising your business.

However, one of the biggest challenged faced by companies that are using social networking sites is the measurement of ROI. And although there many free tools online that allow businesses to track the number of people visiting their site, it is indeed very hard to tell whether these visits were translated into higher sales.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Third Annual Social Media Week

Annual Social Media WeekYesterday, the 7th of Feb, marked the third annual social media week. In 9 cities across the globe, there are more than 500 different events planned to help companies, organizations and individuals make the most of social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. Nokia is the lead sponsor for this event.

But what is Social Media Week all about? And how does Nokia play a role in it?

Social Media Week is basically a global series of seminars, conferences, workshops and even networking events that all focus on social media. With more than 500 registered events in New York, San Francisco, Sao Paulo, Toronto, London, Paris, Rome, Istanbul and Hong Kong, this event is all about connecting people. And since “Connecting People” is officially Nokia’s slogan, it makes sense for this brand to promote the use of social media.

But above all, Nokia has witnessed a lot of changes in the last few years. Today, consumers demand for closer interaction with the brands they choose. What’s more, consumers have also changed their attitudes with regards to the kind of information they want. Consumers no longer want to reply on traditional print media; they want to connect directly with brands through social media networks.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Addiction Score of Social Media Networking Sites

Addiction Score of Social Media Networking Sites
A recent study on social media addiction has revealed fascinating figures. People are highly addicted to Facebook and Twitter, updating these sites from their phones all the time. The study was carried out on 1000 people asking them questions like when, where and how much time people spend on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. Here are some of the results:

Nearly half of the respondents said that they check their social media scene in bed, before they go off to sleep and as soon as they wake up in the morning. 16 percent of all the social media users admit that checking these sites is how they get their morning news. Keep a check on the number and see how it expands over the next couple of years. This may also mean that news portals like Yahoo news and Google news as well as newspapers and TV channels are in grave danger.

Facebook, of course, tops the list in addiction with almost 56 per cent of users saying that they need to check Facebook at least once in a day. 12 per cent of these users say they need to check it at least once every couple of hours. This study clearly shows social media addiction of people, especially for Facebook.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Power of the Social Media Revolution

The Power of the Social Media Revolution
The latest unrest in the Middle East has once again revived a long since dead discussions – the power of social media. With recent headlines talking all about the Facebook and Twitter Revolution, critics have responded by saying that the influence of social media is highly exaggerated. Social media according to them, enables fast coordination but not the essential resolve that is required to sustain a movement.

And although Facebook cannot really replace activism, it has actually played a big role in the unrest taking place in Egypt. In Egypt, very few dared to speak out about the President’s illegitimacy. Not until Facebook came into the picture that is.

Social networking gives activists a tool for faster coordination and it reveals important information with regarding peer preferences. It provides demonstrators with a platform that tells them that they are not alone. Twitter also plays a big role. President Barack Obama’s campaign was slated to be the first great social media campaign. Social networks are good for getting people to take those small first steps. From pledges to donations, social networks can help. But will they help to start a national revolution?

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Social Media Users Finding Difficulty to Cope with Overload of Data

Social Media Users Finding Difficulty to Cope with Overload of Data
Facebook, Google, yahoo, Twitter, Yelp, Skype, YouTube are just some of the social media toys in vogue today. They have successfully opened up the lines of communication between millions of people like never before.

However, the vast capacity of their tools and features like chat, instant messages, texting has opened gates to multiple conversations that can sometimes be head spinning. The good news is that now these companies are trying to streamline their users' online experience. Facebook and Google have already started doing this with features like Facebook Messages and Google Buzz, respectively.

The sea of data is drowning people. A research carried out in 2010 revealed that corporate users receive around 110 messages on an average per day. Twitter says it has around 110 million tweets per day.

These consequences can be major for all the big companies that ignore conversation overload. AOL executive, Brad Garlinghouse, says, “Consumers don't have bandwidth to process so many fragmented convos online and, often, at once. The industry needs to address it”.

All big companies like Google, Facebook and Yahoo have noted this communications overkill. They are now revamping their services for easing the cacophony of their communications on their consumers. If, they don't do that, they might risk losing their members to stray away to their competitors.

TouristInfo 2.0: The New Age Social Media Network for Travelers

TouristInfo 2.0: The New Age Social Media Network for Travelers
If you’re planning on a vacation this year, then TouristInfo 2.0 should probably help you. A new age social media network, this platform helps by bringing travelers and tourism providers together. Launched in Dec, the site has a huge variety of photos, videos and reliable holiday spot information that have all been provided by tourists, tour operators, locals, hotels and other tourism professionals. Thanks to the efforts of these individuals, the new travel network has started off with a bang!

One of the main features of this tourism network is that it is an open structure community. It is basically modeled on a social network, but also offers members the option to structure and fine tune their content presentation and publishing, and can even include search engine optimization features.

With this network, members can now upload photos, create albums, add events, send invitations, build profiles and pull in rich content from other websites.