In the world of social media, a lot of things happen and they happen fast. However, I thought to share 5 major highlights since the last Social Media Week, which was awesome not to say the least. (You can read my 5 best moments here).
Perhaps the biggest news as at that time was Facebook’s $5billion IPO. Initially the social networking giant faced a fast fall in the stock market but has since totally recovered and is at an all time high in its price. What happened? That leads me to the first of the 5 highlights in social media land.
1. Facebook Gets It Right With Mobile
We all know the importance of social networking and the need to be always connected on the go. That’s why social network mobile apps are important. Unfortunately Facebook had not been able to get it right with it’s mobile web and app. Users would often complain about the poor interface and experience, preferring more mobile-centric apps like Twitter or Instagram (which Facebook acquired for $1Billion).
In the attempt to solve this problem, MZ – that’s Mark Zukerberg expended lots of resources – money, time, and hackathons that even saw the birth of the not-so-famous Poke app. Long story short, a new design for Facebook mobile emerged and it seemed to work as users loved it. It even allows for advertising, and with a whooping 1 billion user base, the tides turned in favour of Facebook in the stock market.
No doubt there is more up Facebook’s sleeves and as the rate of sharing online increases at a giga-exponential rate, there is only room for more innovation. Not sure if the rumoured Facebook mobile smartphone counts, but things in the line of Facebook Home – an android based experience- are to be expected.
2. Yahoo Goes Social With Tumblr
Remember Yahoo? Well the company went from the brink of extinction to being very much alive and social. No doubt acquiring ex-Googler Marisser Mayer contributed to the turn around. Acquisition is a common practice in the tech space, with Google setting the record of acquiring 1 startup company per week. However Yahoo was not to be left out of the fun as it went on to make two interesting take-overs. The first, in late March was Summly, a mobile news aggregation app from a 17 year old British kid for $30 million, and the other was the $1Billion Tumblr acquisition.
How more social can a company get after owning Tumblr, one of the most loved blogging services in the world with an amazing worth of content and community? A bit more apparently. Flickr, Yahoo’s long standing photo hosting property also got a makeover, allowing it to be more social in feature. With Summly already mobile focused, Tumblr and Flickr now have updated mobile interfaces that Yahoo can be proud of.
3. Twitter IPO
The Facebook IPO overshadowed that of LinkedIn, and no doubt Twitter is about to make the loudest noise when it goes public later this year (or early next year). Although the exact time is not sure, the company has confirmed it is going public and have filled the required documents to do so. Valuation sees the company going for a $10 billion IPO – that’s double what Facebook did.
Monetization for Twitter has been quite tricky but its recent acquisition -a mobile ad publishing service- and recent innovation, promises interesting ways the social media company is looking to make money and keep investors (as well as soon-to-be shareholders) happy. Good thing Facebook is now doing well in the market, as that seems to keep critiques that call social networking-companies-going-public ‘a bubble’ at bay.
4. Cyber Bullying is Finally An Issue
Cyber bullying is the use of the Internet and related technologies to harm or harass other people, in a deliberate, repeated, and hostile manner. No surprise with the advent of social media, cyber bullying gets amplified, thus calling for the need to address the issue that have led to a number of suicides, and other societal vices.
5. Twitter + TV
Having mentioned Twitters innovation as contributing to the profitability of the company, the most prominent of such is Twitter + TV. Although there is no one definition to how this will work, Twitter, a web 2.0 platform, has been consistently devising means of working with the TV (somewhat web 1.0) and it has just released two interesting offerings:
The first is the ‘See It’ button that now comes with tweets. This is in collaboration with Comcast and only available in the US, allowing viewers to watch TV shows such as The Blacklist, The Voice, Premier League Soccer, NHL, Suits, etc. on the mobile device right from the Twitter app. The second is in collaboration with Airtel Bharti in India (where twitter boasts 15 million users). With this new form of convergence, users get to tweet while watching TV and can view tweets related to their TV shows as well.
Although these features are not globally available, it is only a matter of time before they roll out or get adapted in one form or the other in different countries.
No surprise that during the time spent reading this post, new stuff – apps, social networks, features and innovations, have happened. This will continue to be the case for a long time. We are humans and always yearn to connect whether through the use of technology or in real life -such as at an event like Social Media Week.
Now that’s one week I’m looking forward to. Are you?