Social Media – The Week That Was

by Shveta Singh3. July 2009 12:34       Bookmark and Share

What made news in the social media circles last week. Here’s a snapshot:

YouTube doubles upload limit to 2GB

YouTube announced this week that it would be increasing the maximum upload limit from 1GB to 2GB. This upgrade was revealed along with tips for sharing and embedding HD videos.  The upgrade is targeted at users focusing on HD video uploads.

Bing builds Twitter results into its search

Microsoft’s search engine Bing has now begun including the latest tweets of popular Twitter users in its search results. As of now, this new feature is available only for a few thousand Twitter accounts based on their number of followers and the volume of tweets they produce. Ashton Kutcher is one of them. 


Facebook gaining ground in Orkut dominated countries

Facebook of late is making inroads in Brazil and India -- countries where Google-owned Orkut is the leading social media property. The number of Facebook users in the two countries has doubled in the last two months, while Orkut has seen a relative slowdown in activity.

Countdown to the Facebook Vanity URLs — Will your brand page get one?

by Shveta Singh12. June 2009 12:07       Bookmark and Share

Almost 200 million people around the world will be busy boosting their vanity this Saturday, June 13th.

What are your plans for the day?

For those who haven’t yet guessed it, Facebook is offering Vanity URLs to all its members starting Saturday, 9.31 am India time. This would allow Facebook members to get customised URLs for their profiles and pages. Currently, the Facebook URLs appear as a string of numbers that are neither user friendly nor search friendly. 


With this switch, Facebook profiles will become easily searchable and Facebook brand fan pages will become more accessible. And, we think it is a fairly strategic move by Facebook, considering the fact that some other sites in the domain, like Twitter, already have this feature.

What it means for Facebook Users and Marketers?

• Come Saturday, millions will vie for their preferred URL. Some will get, some will be disappointed and will have to settle for other options.

• For brand marketers with Facebook fan pages, it is a golden opportunity. They would want to secure the relevant URLs before a squatter does that, under all circumstances.

But what’s written in fine print?

Facebook has put in some restrictions to ensure that this exercise does not become a happy ground for cyber squatters. According to the FAQs published, a Fan Page must “have a minimum 1,000 fans as of May 31, 2009”, to be able to lay claim for a customised URL.

This is good news for some of the big brands with very popular fan pages, but bad news for start ups and smaller brands with less than 1000 fans.

So, what are the options available to brands with lesser fan base?

• Brands can protect their URLs by preventing their trademarks from being registered as usernames. All one has to do is fill up this form on Facebook.
• Wait till June 28th. Since according to a
recent revelation, the 1,000 fan restriction will be lifted on this day. Details are still awaited though.

All in all, something to look forward to. Just keep your fingers crossed and wish that your URL is not taken by someone before you get hold of it.

Kosmix goes beyond Google ‘Search’; it lets you ‘Explore’

by Shveta Singh16. March 2009 07:23       Bookmark and Share

Here comes Kosmix.

 

That’s the news doing rounds everywhere on the World Wide Web and even outside the web.

 

So what is Kosmix?

 

Kosmix is a newest kid on the search block. However, it would be wrong to call it just another search engine. Founded by Venky Harinarayan and Anand Rajaraman, Kosmix is not a traditional search engine. In words of Chris Shipley, from the consulting firm Guidewire, “It is Wikipedia meets Google search meets Answers.com”. In short, it’s a well-crafted magazine on topics searched. 

 

Unlike Google, Kosmix is not about finding the most relevant single piece of information; it's about organizing the Web so that one can discover relevant pieces of information. Infact, Kosmix gathers content from across the Web to build a sort of multimedia encyclopaedia entry for any keyword.

 

We did our own bit of research to test Kosmix. Here are the takeaways:

  • Kosmix has a pleasant user interface. It shows text, images and videos in a magazine style layout.
  • The results are a mix of web search results, blogs, news, videos, images, audios, conversations, tweets, community results, reviews, how-tos, shopping results and other related topics.  
  • It might not be as effective for long tail keywords where one is looking for a specific document, as it is for topics where one would want to browse information.
  • The time Kosmix takes to throw back relevant results is much higher than Google. This is an area where improvement is required.

We did a simultaneous search on Kosmix and Google for the term Food Pyramid. Here’s a snapshot of how different the results looked.

 

All in all, pretty impressive. Let’s see how well it is accepted by the loyal Google users. 

Social Networking in India Sees a Phenomenal Growth

by Shveta Singh24. February 2009 03:21       Bookmark and Share

Indians love Orkut but Facebook is soon catching up. We all knew it…now it is official. 

A recently released report by comScore on top social networking sites in India, suggests that Orkut is the most visited social networking site in India, as of December 2008. The site has more than 12.8 million visitors, and has seen an increase of 81 percent vis-à-vis the previous year. Now if you think 81% is phenomenal, read further. Facebook, the world’s largest social networking site, is at the number 2 spot with 4 million visitors from India. However, the growth Facebook has seen dwarfs even Orkut.  At 150% growth, Facebook is likely to catch up with Orkut very soon.  

One very interesting revelation made in the report is the visitor base of Bharatstudent.com. It is the 3rd most popular networking site with 3.3 million visitors (up by 88 percent). SurprisedOn the other hand the much advertised and publicized ibibo.com and BIGADDA.com are not fairing too well. Looks like the initial spurt of activity triggered by the massive scale media activity has now fizzled out.  

Some of the other figures given in the report indicate an overall increase of 51% in the number of unique visitors to the social networking sites in India. The number stands at 19 million visitors as of December 2008…an extraordinary 60% of the total Indian internet traffic!!

Take a look at the table below for details: 


Top Social Networking Sites in India by Unique Visitors December 2008 vs. December 2007

Total India – Age 15+, Home/Work Locations

*Source: comScore World Metrix

    Total Unique Visitors (000)
Dec-07 Dec-08 % Change
Total Internet : Total Audience 26,240 32,099 22
Social Networking 12,795 19,369 51
Orkut 7,123 12,869 81
Facebook.com 1,619 4,044 150
Bharatstudent.com 1,736 3,269 88
hi5.com 714 2,012 182
ibibo.Com 1,970 990 -50
MySpace Sites 352 741 110
LinkedIn.com 293 513 75
PerfSpot.com 2,106 433 -79
BIGADDA.com 515 385 -25
Fropper.com 256 248 -3

 *Excludes visits from public computers such as Internet cafes and access from mobile phones or PDAs.     

 
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