Twitter is set to triple its advertising revenue this year and could generate USD 250m in ad revenue in 2012, according to an industry research firm’s projection. The revenue estimates provide one of the first public assessments of the fast-growing Web service’s money-making performance and come a month after Twitter was valued at USD 3.7bn. Twitter, which had 175 million users as of September, is among the new crop of popular Internet social networking services including Facebook, Zynga and LinkedIn. According to the report released on Monday by industry research firm eMarketer, San Francisco-based Twitter generated an estimated USD 45m from ads in 2010 and is expected to bring in USD 150m in ad revenue in 2011. The growth in Twitter’s revenue this year will come from the forthcoming launch of a self-service advertising feature, eMarketer said. The report noted that such a self-service advertising capability, in which marketers can quickly create ads online, has been a major factor behind growth at Google Inc and Facebook
Ping – Apple’s new social media network, will allow users to follow friends’ music interests working in a stream of updates similar way to Facebook or Twitter Having cornered the MP3 player, mobile phone and computer tablet markets with the iPod, iPhone and iPad devices respectively, last night Apple announced its latest expansion – into social media – with Ping. Ping will be integrated into Apple’s latest iTunes software update and will enable users, or “Pingers”, to follow musicians, friends and others to see details including what music they’re buying and what concerts they’re attending. Steve Jobs, Apple’s chairman and chief executive, said the information will arrive in a long stream of updates, similar to the way Facebook and Twitter work. “Be as private or as public as you want. The privacy is super-easy to set up,” he said adding that users can choose to automatically accept followers or decide on a follower-by-follower basis – similar sounding controls to those on Twitter. The service is available immediately to more than 160 million iTunes users, Jobs said, and will also be available across the iPhone and iPod Touch ranges.
While journalism students are being trained for the repercussions of social media in classrooms, journalists in the real world are learning lessons the hard way. Mike Wise, a sports reporter for The Washington Post, was suspended for a month for advertising false information on his Twitter account. The Washington Post announced Wise had tweeted a false story on Monday that Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger would only be suspended for five games instead of six. Wise made his point that news spreads quickly, as the Washington Post took action the same day for the embarrassment the tweet has caused. “Wise wasn’t reporting. He was fabricating, which is the greatest sin in journalism,” wrote The Washington Post
According to a new study conducted by the Center for the Digital Future of USC’s Annenberg School of Communications and Journalism, a majority of Internet users are apparently unwilling to pay for social media sites like Twitter. Of the 1,981 participants of the study, 49 percent – that is, nearly 1000 – said that they used Twitter and other social media sites. However, in response to a question as to whether they wick ever like to pay to use such sites, all of them gave one empathic answer – “No.” Noting that zero percent of the social media site users were ready to pay for the service, Jeffrey I. Cole, director of the Center of the Digital Future, reasoned that the consumers’ unwillingness to pay results largely from the fact that they do not wish to forego the advantages of the present ‘no cost’ precedent. In a statement, Cole said: “Such an extreme finding that produced a zero response underscores the difficulty of getting Internet users to pay for anything that they already receive for free. Online providers face major challenges to get customers to pay for services they now receive for free.”
Flipboard, a start-up that is unveiling its iPad app on Wednesday, builds a personalized magazine full of updates, photos and articles shared by a reader’s friends or by people they choose to follow on Twitter and Facebook. Soon it plans to incorporate material from other sources, such as Flickr, Foursquare, Yelp and perhaps e-mail messages and attachments. “It’s something print figured out years ago, how to visually declutter,” said Mike McCue, chief executive of Flipboard who founded the company with Evan Doll, a former iPhone engineer at Apple. When people visit Facebook or Twitter today, they see a long list of status updates, often with shortened links on Twitter or a thumbnail photograph on Facebook. Twitter in particular has never been especially aesthetically pleasing and its founders have spoken about the need to make it more accessible and easy to navigate. Flipboard arranges status update so they look like pull quotes and it prominently displays photographs. Instead of a link to an article, Flipboard shows its first few paragraphs. People can comment, just like they can on the social network, and if they want to dig deeper into an article or a user’s account, they connect to that Web page. Eventually, Flipboard will also have advertisements that are reminiscent of print, Mr. McCue said. Flipboard also plans to make money by offering certain content in exchange for micropayments or subscriptions and sharing the revenue with the publisher. Flipboard also announced Wednesday that it has raised USD 10.5m from investors.
What began as a clever marketing campaign has morphed into a viral web phenomenon, and the Old Spice Guy, Isaiah Mustafa, is milking it for all it’s worth. Mustafa’s clips on the Old Spice YouTube channel have racked up almost 55 million views, making it YouTube’s most viewed sponsored channel of all time. The Old Spice Guy, as he is known, is now taking viral web marketing to uncharted territory by uploading personal video responses to the bloggers, Twitter users and YouTubers who have commented on his clips. The shirtless towel-clad hunk with the baritone voice has even responded to random questions posed to him by Yahoo Answers users and created a thread on the Reddit link sharing site, answering queries there as well. Simon van Wyk, managing director of digital marketing agency Hothouse, said this was the first time he had seen this level of social media engagement in a marketing campaign. Mustafa has posted personalised video responses to everyone from Ellen Degeneres to Alyssa Milano to celebrity blogger Perez Hilton to even anonymous people on the internet. Dozens have been published so far with new clips going up every few minutes.
Chinese social networking websites that provide Twitter-like services have suddenly reverted to testing mode and access has been spotty amid reports of a government clampdown. Although Twitter has been banned for more than a year in China, Chinese Internet companies have been quick to fill the void, providing microblogging services that allow users to post frequent updates and follow other posters. On Wednesday, NetEase.com Inc’s microblog (t.163.com) was inaccessible. A notice said the site had been down since 7 p.m. on Tuesday and was under maintenance. Sohu.com Inc’s microblog (t.sohu.com) was also shut down for more than a day earlier in the week and all Chinese “twitters” now display the notice “in testing mode.” Company sources told Reuters that the developments were the result of tightened government controls over the new services. The Shanghai-based Oriental Morning Post cited unnamed “industry sources” as saying that the websites were under pressure from Chinese censors.