Understanding social plugins on Facebook

Great little education piece from Facebook about their social plugins which clears up any confusion about whether your data is then shared with the websites you ‘like’ content on.

Age Distribution On Social Network Sites

How To Get More Facebook Fans – Some Basic, Proven Ideas

This is a repost from Adam Singer. Top stuff. Agencies running pages on behalf of brands take note.


Visualization of a Facebook fan page I created for a brand eclipsing 6-figure fans between April-May in 2009 (it has since grown to +700,000 fans).

Platform-specific communities can be a challenge to grow.  It’s daunting because you’re probably already growing a voice for your brand on something like a self-hosted blog.  But if you can spark rapid growth in a network external of your own, it can be a consistent organic referral source to the places you’re really interested in funneling traffic.  Essentially, it’s a valuable outpost.

Let’s first look at some of the results of this page — then get into how it’s possible for you to do the same.

Before I share anything else, I do want to say Facebook fan page analytics leave much to be desired.  They allow you to see:

  • Total fans/basic subscriber data
  • Growth daily
  • % male/female
  • Age range
  • Top cities/top countries/top languages
  • Basic interaction/engagement metrics
  • Pageviews

I cut off the data as it just lists more top countries/cities/languages and I only want to share a sample of what you see as overview data.  But it’s disappointing because you can’t really drill down to see more specific trends in data of the fans of pages.  It’s almost no different than basic web analytics with a few extras like age.  The age range is interesting, but it’s just the tip of the iceberg.  Why not show me more detailed buckets based on profile information such as education level, profession, etc.  With groups this large there would be some interesting trends to see that wouldn’t be difficult for Facebook to display.  Clearly they don’t want us knowing that much.


Interactions per post (likes, shares, comments) range from 12 to more than 1,300 – at this scale every image, post, video or link gets at least 100 likes/comments/shares.

Organic growth is consistently strong – with most days seeing around 500 or more new fans.

This brand is off and running – I have not been involved their community building since May, 2009.  But you can see by the daily growth of more than 1,000 new fans, they already have attained the critical mass necessary to sustain organic growth daily without necessarily doing anything.  Although they have started to also see some fan attrition in September (I took a look at the situation and they could actually do something to stop this if they wanted).

So how can you spark rapid growth on your Facebook fan page?

1.  Spark initial growth numbers within the network quickly

If you’re looking to reach a wide audience, (this brand has mass appeal) reaching enough active users in the network to reach a tipping point is the first, crucial step.  There are just more potential people to share/like/comment on your content you’re adding into the channel (which in Facebook helps grow a fan page due to the fact this activity shows up in user feeds).

An easy way to start is get multiple influential users to invite all of their friends to become fans of the page.  If you can get 20 people each to invite 100 users, and encourage those users to invite their own friends, you’ll start to see growth.  Use incentives if necessary – contests, rewards for joining, etc.  Facebook has specific rules now (which weren’t in place when I made this page) that make some of this more difficult, but there are still plenty of creative ways to do this.

2.  Leverage external traffic streams/subscriber bases

Take stock of all your communities, email lists, websites and any other place you have a digital presence.  Start to call them to action to join your fan page.  Add links to your blog sidebar, put a CTA on the homepage of the website you’re already marketing, add a link in employee emails, put links in your email marketing, etc.  Put it bold and up front to start – the key is to funnel enough subscribers to the page where a natural cycle of growth begins by virtue of more people becoming fans.  The strategy here is simple:  leverage what you have to spark growth in a new community until it’s growing organically.

But remember:  the long-term play is to consistently siphon people out of Facebook to a community where SEO/social media value can really ramp up and you’re not limited by the rules of playing in a network you don’t control.  In other words:  once your fan page is growing organically, flip the funnel:  start to move people out of Facebook to your own, self-hosted platform like a blog or more valuable area than inside the walled garden.  Users are going to be more valuable if you can get them to a place where it’s all signal and no noise (Facebook’s signal to noise ratio is terrible).

3.  Continually update the page with new content

More content on the page is going to be more content for users to interact with.  And, due to how Facebook has setup their system, users consistently engaging with content is a key component to growth.  By reaching into the streams of individual users your brand can start to grow fast if your content is worth reacting to.

Other ideas:

  • Buy targeted advertising on Facebook’s platform
  • Leverage your offline networks (TV/newspaper/magazine ads, etc.)
  • Run a contest/promotion offline of Facebook, yet encourage users to become a fan during the promotion process (since there is quite a bit of red tape to actually run promotions on Facebook fan pages themselves)
  • Create some unmissable content published exclusively on your Facebook fan page
  • Frequently make special offer announcements and even new product announcements through the page first
  • Hire a community manager to implement ongoing growth opportunities across all your social channels
  • Buy Google ads to drive traffic directly to your Facebook fan page
  • End your press releases with your Facebook fan page link
  • Provide talking points to publicized team members to say become a fan in Facebook during interviews

Of course, there are plenty of additional methods for growing Facebook fan pages/platform specific pages.  But any additional recommendations or ideas are going to be more specific based on the brand or product involved (the above are all quite general).  To grow the above page to 6 figures plus, we did some creative/buzzworthy ideas too – but you’ll have to come up with those yourself.

The bigger thing to remember is know how you’re going to make your Facebook presence work for your larger digital strategy prior to doing anything.  Without this, sure – you can grow something popular, but it should still feed a larger objective.

Social Networking Stereotypes

Amazing. And probably pretty accurate. Well, apart from the Twitter being a woman thing.. Interesting MySpace doesn’t even make the grade.

Top 50 Facebook Brand Pages in 2009

Interesting stuff. Mainly US brand pages, to be expected.

Top 5
#1 Coca Cola

#2 Starbucks

#3 Disney

#4 Victoria’s Secret

#5 iTunes

Is social media measurement really meaningless?

I’ve been reading and re-reading this article over the past few days and trying to fully understand Amy Kean of the IAB’s point of view who argues the ‘Yes’ side of the debate that social media measurement is indeed meaningless. I can understand her point of view but I’m of the ilk that believe in a different kind of measurement and that adopting the traditional ideologies of past successes is akin to putting a square peg in a round hole. I’ve said before that although ROI will always have its place (everyone will always wants to get the most bang from their buck), ROA (Return on Attention) will grow in importance in social media. You’re still getting a return on investment but in a different way.

Back to the article, the busker analogy doesn’t really work for me when comparing thumbs up to positive buzz and great reviews for a company. They aren’t directly comparable. For someone to go out of their way to generate positive buzz on a brands behalf or give a product a great review, there is value in that. Time spent plus insights provided, that’s definite value. Research also states that their message often has more impact than paid for marketing and communications.

It may not be in the traditional marketing sense of what ‘value’ is but for me, social media requires new metrics and benchmarks than to what has been tried and tested in years previous. Success now looks different. Instead of looking purely from a numbers perspective and at additional sales, is there value in increased levels of brand perception and awareness, along with the conversations and connections made because of the company activity? It’s intangible yet it’s still valuable.

Amy says that most senior management simply don’t understand it. While this may be a sweeping generalization across the board, there is some truth in it. This for me is where the paradigm of business control is changing. This won’t be for everyone, only the ones who are open to change, evolution and welcome new blood taking their company forward and in a new direction. The MD’s, the board members, all the ladies and gents high up who have been used to knowing everything they need to in order to take their business forward, are now bringing in new talent to change the culture, operations and future of the company. The MD will still be the MD but he/she has realised that a new set of skills is required for the ever changing business environment.  Edit – I had previously mentioned about Jean Wyllie leaving PN but as Kerry notes in the comments below this was out of context, my apologies.

Back to the article again, social media isn’t about directly increasing sales over a finite period. It’s more longer term than that, investing in and developing relationships. Potentially fruitful relationships that are seen to have a direct effect maybe not in sales but in other benchmarks like buzz / word of mouth. Let’s take the recent collaboration between BitchBuzz and Magners UK.

If you hadn’t heard about it, Magners UK decided to give away a case of its pear cider every day for a week on BitchBuzz. The target audience and the product was a perfect fit. The competition was cleverly integrated with Facebook Connect and as a result of the week long campaign, delivered approx 100 new fans to the Magners UK Facebook page every day for the duration of the campaign. They achieved over 8 times the fan conversion they had when supporting the giveaways based on engagement on Twitter and Facebook alone. Their objectives were simple, to build the community. The competition accounted for almost 40% of total Facebook fans.

Can you put a traditional value on that? No. What was the ROI on that? I don’t know. Is it important? Yes.

Amy also says that part of the role of the IAB’s social media council is to educate the industry about the opportunities in this space. Yet she’s declaring measurement meaningless? Sounds more like discounting a discipline rather than educating about it.

Will, Robin, Stephen, David and Drew what do you think? Is social media measurement meaningless? They are all much more knowledgable and experienced in this world than I am, so would be great to get their take on it all. Oh and feel free to disagree entirely if you think otherwise, interested to hear from other perspectives.

The hierarchy of digital distractions..

hierarchy_distractions_960

This is brilliant.

Click for the full size version.

Your phone is going, you’ve got a direct message from someone on Twitter, and a new Facebook message also. Which do you look at first? Never fear! The above will take you through the hierarchy of digital distractions.

Via Information is Beautiful

Conversational aspects of retweeting..

Some of you may have heard of Danah Boyd before, she’s a fairly well known researcher in all this new media malarky. When I was doing my dissertation a few years back now on social networking and it’s value to business, I got in touch and asked her a few questions. This was before that thing called Twitter, which everyone talks about now. My research focussed partly on how people and brands were using Facebook and considering it was for an academic piece of research for University, it was something I actually quite enjoyed doing.

Now, I’m living and breathing it all daily and Danah is part of the research team in New England at Microsoft and has written a hugely scientific yet interesting and informative paper on the conversational aspects of retweeting. It’s currently in draft form with the finished copy to be published in January 2010, yet still already spans 11 pages. The other researchers involved are Scott Golder and Gilad Lotan.

The report is based on analysis of over over 700,000 tweets (440,000 or so users), taken in samples of five minute chunks between January and June 2006. This, I feel is a problem when undertaking such research. Because of the enormity of the numbers, it is expected that this kinda thing isn’t conducted and written over night. However, samples taken in 2006 will have only been focussing on the VERY early adopters. Usage patterns will have changed since then. Although I signed up on Twitter in April 2007, it wasn’t until mid to late 2008 that I really started using and understanding the service. My uses, habits and processes for using Twitter have changed since then. It’s impossible to be able to follow everyone back now for starters and I now use services like Twitterfeed which pushes new posts out that I publish here on to Twitter. It’s a lot deeper than a simple Facebook status update (which is what most compare it to who haven’t tried it out).

If ever you wondered why people retweet and what they do it for, wonder no longer!

Highly recommend checking out the rest of it here and also follow Danah on Twitter here. Scott is @redlog and Gilad is @gilgul.

A few quick facts from the research via Antony Mayfield:

  • 36% of tweets mention a user in the form ‘@user’
  • 5% of tweets contain a hashtag (#)
  • 22% of tweets include a URL (’http’)
  • 3% of tweets are likely to be retweets in that they contain ‘RT’, ‘retweet’ and/or ‘via’
  • 9% of retweets include the users own handle – dubbed “ego retweets” (though as Antony notes, the paper acknowledges sometimes this can be “a way of giving credit” or saying thank you.)
  • ‘RT’ is very much the predominant form, with 88% of the retweets using this (Tweetie please take note and change your app’s retweet function).

Heralding a new era of social gaming..

I noticed this rather bullish full page advert from Microsoft in a recent issue of MCV and it struck me that we’re now entering in to a new era of social gaming. The potential is limitless.

Before it’s even available for gamers to try out today, the functionality with Twitter and Facebook on the 360 is being talked up, and talked up it should. This cannot be underestimated. It’s bringing social networking in to your living room and on your TV.  It’s also a huge USP for the Xbox 360 in it’s ongoing and bloody battle against the Playstation 3. The launch of the PS3 Slim was timely met by Microsoft with a price cut of their own and puts the ball back in Sony’s court.

For social networking to now be a selling point on a games console shows how far it’s come. This is great news for Facebook and Twitter (perhaps more so for Twitter) because it takes it to another level, that bit more mainstream. Everyone uses Facebook, Twitter is still a nice communications tool. It might help more people understand it and ‘get’ it.

Little is known how they are going to look on your TV screen and how they are going to connect to your gaming experience and whilst I hope my feeds are not going to be spammed by friends who have just gained achievement X on game X, it shows that gaming is no longer something that’s done by a stereotypically aged male in a darkened room. They are now the entertainment hubs, in your living room and providing fun for all the family.

Social Gaming

BBC iPlayer is mobile’s most wanted

According to recent research by analyst house CCS Insight, the BBC’s iPlayer came out on top in a poll of what the most desired mobile service is with users saying that they want to get access to the TV and radio programmes on their phone.

BBC iPlayerThere are a handful of handsets out there which currently have the ability to play programmes from the iPlayer through 3G and Wifi, for example, a whole host of Nokia’s like the N85, N96 and N97 phone, Samsung’s, Sony-Ericsson’s and the iPhone. The iPhone can however, only stream over Wifi. Considering the amount of storage available on the iPhone, I’d love to to be able to download a programme in an evening and watch it while travelling in to work in the morning. I’d like to think over time, it will be possible!

Consumers’ mobile internet usage is on the increase due to phones like the iPhone coming with ‘all you can eat’ data packages. I use my phone more for web browsing and emailing than I do for actual phone calls. That’s something the telco’s will have noticed as a growing trend and it represents an opportunity for mobile operators to revitalise their ARPU (average revenue per user) and create new data-oriented business models as voice revenues continue to decline.

iPlayeriPhone

In the poll as mentioned above, navigation/maps and unlimited music are the next most desired mobile services after iPlayer, according to the analyst’s report, with around 20% of the votes on each. Maps have been ever present on the more top end of phones for the last few years, I was using an N95 and it’s ‘Maps’ programme about 2 years ago now but it’s becoming more commonplace and a standard feature.

Voda 2005Multiplayer games and other mobile TV were desired by four per cent of the vote apiece, with video calling being requested by just three per cent. Video calling was once a key feature for some top end phones on Vodafone a few years back in 2005. It was expensive, you were prohibited by others needing a front facing camera and well, it never did catch on did it. Picture to the left is Vodafone’s Christmas 2005 handsets which were heavily pushing the 3G technology, increased download speeds and mobile TV.

Interestingly, the respondents of the survey showed that gender informs hardware choice, with Samsung mobiles being twice as popular with women than men – but the reverse being true for the iPhone and BlackBerry. 90% of the users questioned had visited Facebook on their mobile with only 14% having visited Twitter. This for me would be a clear indication of the age of the large majority of users polled, where it was said that 18-35 year olds were polled. I’d think they were mostly of the younger age bracket as it’s well known that Twitter is more widely used by 35+.

Is social media a fad? Nope.

It’s a fundamental shift in the way we communicate.

Great video full of interesting facts and well worth sharing.

A few tidbits:

  • It took radio 38 years to reach 50 million users while Facebook achieved the same number within 9 months
  • 80% of companies are using LinkedIn as their primary tool to find employees
  • The fastest growing segment on Facebook is 55-65 year old women
  • Gen Y consider email passe. In 2009, Boston College stopped distributing email addresses to new starters
  • YouTube is the 2nd largest search engine in the world
  • 78% of internet users trust peer recommendations while only 14% trust advertisements
  • 1 in 4 Americans in the past month have watched a short video… on their phone
  • More than 1.5m pieces of content are shared on Facebook, daily
  • Listen first, sell second

The most amusing I thought was: “What happens in Vegas now stays in Facebook, Twitter, Bebo, Orkut, Digg, MySpace and YouTube”

A Five Year View of PR and Social Media..

5 Year View

By Bastien Beauchamp

Where will we be when the grid is revisited to compare 2009 to 2014?

Social media cushions (seriously)

I don’t know what’s worse. That they exist, or that I just bought the bottom 3.

You can buy them here if you think you’re as much of a nutter.

social-pillows

Interacting via social media isn’t the preserve of the young

Following on from my post previously from The Times here another interesting read was found in the 16th April issue of NMA where Rebecca Jennings, Principal Analyst at Forrester Research wrote a similar piece how an older age than expected is using social media. The following is a repost of that article.

Most interactive marketers know that young consumers are very engaged in social media, but many fail to appreciate that the same social tools can also be used to reach older users. Recent Forrester research shows there are a significant number of European baby boomers – adults aged 43-63 – who already read social media on a regular basis, and another, slightly smaller subset who are already uploading their own content, like videos, onto the web. Marketers can take advantage of this by offering them value with useful information and support provided in a social context.

Overall, 47% of younger boomers – those online adults aged 43 to 52 – now engage with social media on a regular basis, as well as the 41% of older boomers – those aged 53 to 63 – that also take part. In each of the groups, more than a third can be classified as spectators, or those who are reading social content such as blogs at least monthly.

While boomers are taking the plunge into consuming social content, they’ve been slower at joining social networks; just 10% of younger boomers and just 7% of older boomers participate in this type of activity. For example, one of the most popular social networks aimed at older consumers, SagaZone in the UK, has around 45,000 users, compared to Facebook’s estimated 18m+ users.

Despite their resistance to joining social networks, both young and old boomers are contributing their own opinions online – known as being a critic. These critics do things like participate in forums or post their own reviews online. Encouragingly for marketers, around a tenth of both age groups fall in to this category and a slightly smaller percentage, 9% of younger boomers and 7% of older ones, are creators: those who upload their own content or write their own blogs.

Marketers should also take note that just as participation in social media varies between age groups, it also varies between European countries. Dutch boomers lead the pack as the most engaged older audience overall, with 69% of 43-52 year olds and 60% of 53-63 year olds using social media on a regular basis.Of these other Europeans, Italian boomers are the keenest creators, with around 17% of younger boomers and 14% of older boomers involved. Younger boomers in the UK are considerably more engaged than older ones, with around 52% of 43-52 year olds engaged in social media, but just 38% of 53-63 year olds. About 40% of boomers in both France and Spain are keen spectators but just a third of the German boomer audience are engaged in social media.

Midlife chatterers show they like to keep it short and tweet

The following is an article written by Murad Ahmed, Technology Reporter and featured in the British newspaper, The Times, today (Monday, April 13th) so for those that didn’t see it or are over in the US and elsewhere this is for you. (I’ve added in a few Twitter cartoons just for fun..)

Twitter appears to be the embodiment of youth culture with tech-savvy and fast-thumbed teens firing off short updates filled with abbreviations about their lives. But it turns out that the keenest users are the greying brigades of the middle aged.

More mature users, led by famous tweeters such as Stephen Fry, Jonathan Ross and Sarah Brown, are the driving force behind the popularity of the site. New research shows that 45-54 years olds are 36 percent more likely than the average to visit the site, with figures from comScore, the internet market researchers, showing that the majority of the 10 million Twitter users worldwide are aged 35 or older.

Twitter Cartoon

Twitter is a social networking and “microblogging” site, where users post short updates – “tweets” of up to 140 characters via the website or a mobile phone. More than 3.5 million people signed up in the first two months of this year.

Celebrities such as Russell Brand and Jamie Oliver are avid users, while Barack Obama used it as a tool during last year’s presidential elections to talk directly and quickly to hundreds and thousands of followers.

Stephen Fry, 51, the actor and comedian whose tweets are followed by about 400,000 people, has become a leading advocate for the service. “I love how Twitter confirms all too often assaulted belief that most humans are kind, curious, knowledgeable, tolerant and funny” he wrote on his blog. (Is your Twitter page a blog in the traditional form? I’m not so sure)

Celebrity tweeters have pushed others towards the site “It’s the role model thing” said Richard Drake, 51, from London. “You see Stephen Fry and think, they’re doing it, so why can’t you?” You’re not teenagers, so you’re no longer following the crowd to the same degree perhaps. “But you think, well, he’s finding it interesting, there’s something happening there, and people my age are doing it.”

Twitter Cartoon
Other social networking websites, such as Facebook and MySpace have also seen an increase in the number of older people signing up in recent months. But the simplicity of Twitter has made it most popular with the golden oldies and 2o percent of all tweeters in Britain are over the age of 55, compared with 12 percent of all Facebook users.

However, it seems that the young are being put off by the increasing number of older users. “I do think there’s a feeling that, if your parents are doing it, suddenly it’s not cool any more” said Jamie Gavin, an analyst at comScore.

Ageing tweeters also said that whereas Facebook seemed to reveal every aspect of your life – something the young seem more at ease at doing – Twitter was less intrusive, and often is used by people at work. “I only Twitter professionally,” said Ian Williams, 41, an executive at a price comparison website. “For us, it’s just another communications tool. That’s the beauty of Twitter, if you decide something is not interesting or inane, you can stop following it. It’s just not invasive”Twitter Cartoon

Social Radar Top 50 Brands

Via Buzzstudy.com

If sheer volume of conversation is any indication, Twitter is the hottest brand in the market. Twitter dominates a tech-heavy list of brands in our March 2009 Social Radar Top 50. The Social Radar Top 50 measures the most social brands by the number of unique topics of conversation. These brands are top of mind for consumers and bloggers today — Social Radar determined rankings according to the number of individual websites with at least one post about each brand to accurately capture the brand’s reach across the web.

The list below is based on overall conversation volume through the month of March 2009, including blog posts, news feeds, forums, social networks and Twitter posts. The +/- number represents the ranking change since February 2009.

Rank

Chg

Brand

1

Twitter

2

Google

3

Obama

4

iPhone

5

Facebook

6

(+1)

Mac

7

(-1)

YouTube

8

Microsoft

9

(+1)

Windows

10

(+6)

iPod

11

(-2)

Apple

12

(+1)

Yahoo

13

(+2)

Sony

14

XBox

15

(+6)

Playstation

16

(+4)

Amazon

17

(-5)

Wii

18

Dell

19

(-8)

Linux

20

(-3)

Nokia

21

(+1)

Samsung

22

(+3)

Firefox

23

(-4)

eBay

24

(+2)

Ford

25

(+6)

BlackBerry

26

(+6)

General Motors

27

(+2)

Fox

28

NFL

29

(-5)

MySpace

30

(-7)

NBA

31

(+2)

Nintendo

32

(-2)

BBC

33

(+1)

Disney

34

(+6)

AT&T

35

(+3)

Honda

36

(+5)

MLB

37

(+11)

Skype

38

(+1)

ABC

39

(+5)

Toyota

40

(+9)

Nike

41

(-4)

LG

42

(-7)

Kindle

43

FedEx

44

(-1)

Wikipedia

45

Nissan

46

CNN

47

Blu-Ray

48

(+2)

UPS

49

IBM

50

Audi

For the full March 2009 list, download the PDF.

Say Yes To Safe Sex with MTV, Spotify and The Body Shop

It’s been an exciting week at work, working with MTV’s HIV / Aids awareness charity in collaboration with Spotify, to promote safe sex through music. So far, some brilliant MTV presenters and music artists have taken part, including Gym Class Heroes, Stereophonics and V V Brown.

Other contributors include some of the best in the business online including the global celebrity gossip blogger Perez Hilton, the guys at Hecklerspray, TechFluff.TV host Hermione Way and Cate Sevilla from BitchBuzz. They have all created their very own ‘Play Safe’ playlists of ten tracks each – basically, music for loving! Many more are to come also, so keep checking back with the Yes Yes Yes blog. Tantalising Lip Butter

Why are we getting involved? For very good reasons. There are 33 million people living with AIDS and HIV, a number that is increasing each day. As part of the campaign MTV and The Body Shop are also joining forces to raise cash for the Staying Alive Foundation – a charity which raises money for health education and awareness projects in the UK and overseas. A new fundraising Tantalising Lip Butter (RRP: £5.00) is now on sale in The Body Shop stores internationally and online in the UK with nearly £4 per pot sold going to help fund sex education work and save lives.

It’s all being supported online with the official site Yestosafesex.com, a blog and pages on MySpace, Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. The good people at Spotify led by PR head Sophia Bendz have also kindly contributed ad inventory to the cause so keep an eye out for the related ads on the service!

Here’s the chance for you to get involved too

If you’ve got Spotify then you can simply email / DM the HTTP link to your ‘Play Safe’ playlist once you’ve done it. SpotifyDon’t worry if you haven’t got Spotify yet, you can either download it here or alternatively, simply email your 10 tracks for loving and we’ll do the rest! We’d love to see all your blog posts about why you chose the tracks you did!

My Spotify Play Safe Playlist looks a little like this.. LitmanLive Loves You!

(Clicking the link above will take you directly to Spotify, I’ll update this post with my entry when it gets uploaded to the Yes Yes Yes blog.)

EDIT – Here it is – Clicky

Love Gun – Kiss
Hounds of Love – Kate Bush
Baby Love – The Supremes
What Is Love – Haddaway
This Years Love – David Gray
Do You Love Me? – Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
Digital Love – Daft Punk
Let Love Rule – Lenny Kravitz
Bleeding Love – The Wombats
Streets of Love – The Rolling Stones

What will yours look like?

I’m going to tag Chris, Jed, Tom, Lolly and Jaz, as I’d love to hear what their playlist would sound like.

Think you’ve got a great soundtrack for loving? Well, why not create it, blog it and share it with us!

Facebook overtakes the BBC..

I was actually a bit surprised by this when I first heard about it, but Facebook has for the first time ever overtaken the monolith that is the BBC to become the fifth most visited site in the UK.

With an impressive 18.4m uniques in September it’s quite incredible, seeing an 80% YOY increase in traffic whilst BBC fell nearly 3% over the same period.

Although that looks negative, BBC has been hugely successful with it’s rollout of the iPlayer over Christmas last year and it’s subsequent updates improving on an already great platform with the ability to use the iPlayer on such devices like the iPhone / iPod touch and the Nintendo Wii and has definitely changed viewing habits for some, myself included. It’s always good to know if you miss a BBC programme it will more than likely be on there for downloading / streaming when convenient.

When it comes to Facebook, personally I started to see a downturn in my usage from June onwards this year, most likely due to graduating from University and getting on the job ladder. I presume due to the lack of free time it lost it’s stickyness for me as I wasn’t part of the University / Student bubble. For a period I stopped using it so much, as I didn’t have as much time and it wasn’t drawing me back on such a regular basis. I’d check it for a few minutes in the evening and that would be it.

What it lost in it’s stickyness it has gained more recently through it’s chat application. It’s by no means perfect, it’s horribly buggy and says you are offline when you are clearly not for example. It has however taken my time more away from MSN Messenger to using FB Chat. Anyone and everyone is on Facebook so it’s a lot more broad and diverse who you might chance upon talking to..

Back on track –

The top 5 most visited sites in the UK now look like so (over the same period, Oct 08) :-

1. Google 36m uniques

2. Microsoft 32m

3. Yahoo 21m

4. eBay 20m

5. Facebook 18m

It’s probably no surprise the names listed, predominantly search focussed. Facebook is impressively even gaining on eBay though, quite something when you think about it. eBay, the golden child of the dot com boom being caught up by the new kid on the block! Those that thought Facebook was starting to see it’s demise in recent months appear to have been silenced but the golden question still lies unanswered, how are investors going to see some real returns.

It would appear that the almighty Zuckerburg doesn’t have a direct answer to that either instead reiterating the value of building up the brand and the network of users. Nicely deflected! He did however recently mention that Facebook’s global userbase has risen to over 100 million and is also one of the top destinations online for photo sharing.

With that in mind, it would appear that there’s life in the old dog yet!

What do you think? Is Facebook here to stay?