Inside Digital Intelligence | Data and digital trends | Key developments in the last year |
Digital Intelligence: Facebook
The rise of the social media giant and the consequences for online marketing strategies
2010: Special report

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Digital Strategy Consulting


Facebook has become synonymous with social networking. In many countries the two words have become interchangeable, and with Facebook's audiences continuing to grow in numbers - as well as time spent - every brand has to consider a Facebook strategy or an integrated social and relationship marketing strategy.

In this special edition we've drawn together research, news and background to highlight the growth, evolution and key issues. Full stories from our team are at the end of the clicks, and this summary packages them into one bite-sized email you can share with colleagues.

Let us know what you find useful - and what you'd like us to cover in future special editions on other topics.

Best from all here at Digital


Danny Meadows-Klue
Founder and Chief Executive
Digital Strategy Consulting

 

Data and digital trends
www.DigitalStrategyConsulting.com/intelligence

Top 10 social networking websites: UK
Sites ranked by unique audience, March 2010

Digital Strategy - Top 10 social networking websites: UK. Sites ranked by unique audience, March 2010

Largest UK internet sites
UK audience reach for top 10 parent companies, March 2010

Digital Strategy - Largest UK internet sites. UK audience reach for top 10 parent companies, March 2010

Internet audience: UK
Time per person for top 10 parent companies, UK, March 2010

Digital Strategy - Internet audience: UK. Time per person for top 10 parent companies, UK, March 2010

Top 10 social networking websites: UK
Sites ranked by visits for the week ending 13th Feb 2010

Digital Strategy - Top 10 social networking websites: UK. Sites ranked by visits for the week ending 13th Feb 2010

Top 10 overall search terms: UK
Search terms ranked by clicks for the weeks ending 5th December 2009

Digital Strategy - Top 10 overall search terms: UK. Search terms ranked by clicks for the weeks ending 5th December 2009

Top 20 websites: UK
Websites ranked by visits for the week ending 13th February 2010

Digital Strategy - Top 20 websites: UK. Websites ranked by visits for the week ending 13th February 2010

Top 10 online display ad publishers: US
Sites ranked by total display ad impressions, Q1 2010

Digital Strategy - Top 10 online display ad publishers: US. Sites ranked by total display ad impressions, Q1 2010

Internet audience: Global
Time per person for top 10 parent companies, global, May 2010

Digital Strategy - Internet audience: Global. Time per person for top 10 parent companies, global, May 2010

Internet audience: US
Time per person for top 10 parent companies, US, May 2010

Digital Strategy - Internet audience: US. Time per person for top 10 parent companies, US, May 2010

Largest internet sites: US
US audience reach for top 10 parent companies, May 2010

Digital Strategy - Largest internet sites: US. US audience reach for top 10 parent companies, May 2010

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Key developments in the last year
www.DigitalStrategyConsulting.com/intelligence

Facebook dampens smartphone rumours

21 September 2010 - After rumours of new 'Facebook Phone' getting ready to take on other smartphones in the market, Facebook has released an official statement, debunking rumours, saying it has no plans to develop such a device.
Keep reading...

Facebook launches 'Places' app in UK
20 September 2010 - Facebook has launched its Places service in the UK, as the social network looks to take advantage of the growing demand for location-based apps such as Foursquare, Gowalla, and Google's Latitude service. The new tool allows users 'check in' wherever they are and see who among their friends and other Facebook users is - or has been - at the same location.
Keep reading...

Online video referrals: Facebook catching Google
15 September 2010 - Newspaper websites are enjoying a surge of traffic from their online video stories, while Facebook is on track to be second only to Google for video referral traffic by year's end, according to new research.
Keep reading...

Facebook 'social metrics' help advertisers target your most clickable friends
13 September 2010 - Facebook has launched social metrics, a new tool that helps marketers understand the benefits of adverts that include social context from people's friends on Facebook. There is now a new column called "Social %" in the Ads Manager, which shows the percentage of ad impressions that were delivered with social endorsements.
Keep reading...

Time spent online: Facebook overtakes Google in the US
13 September 2010 - US web users are spending more socialising on Facebook than searching with Google, according to new data from comScore. In August, people spent a total of 41.1 million minutes on Facebook, comScore said, about 9.9 percent of their Web-surfing minutes for the month.
Keep reading...

Facebook movie: 'The Social Network' gets new website and trailer
03 September 2010 - Columbia Pictures has launched a new official website for their new movie "The Social Network", a 'warts-and-all' biopic based around the lives of the Facebook founders. The movie, tells the story of Eduardo Saverin and Mark Zuckerberg, the founders of Facebook, and is directed by David Fincher, of Se7en and Fight Club fame.
Keep reading...

Facebook leads social networks in India for first time
01 September 2010 - Facebook became the most popular social network in India for the first time in July with 20.9 million visitors, up 179 percent versus year ago, according to new data. More than 33 million Internet users age 15 and older in India visited social networking sites in July, representing 84 percent of the total Internet audience.
Keep reading...

Facebook takes on Foursquare with 'Places' app
20 August 2010 - Facebook's 500 million-plus users will soon be able to track friends' whereabouts across the US. The new "Places" feature begins rolling out on Wednesday to some users and goes across the US within weeks. The tool help users share where they are, figure out who is in the vicinity, and check out happenings and services within the same locale.
Keep reading...

Facebook buys semantic search platform Chai Labs - report
17 August 2010 - Facebook has reportedly bought semantic search platform Chai Labs, as the social network looks to boost its search capabilities. According to a report from Kara Swisher at Boomtown, Facebook has bought the US firm for around $10m.
Keep reading...

Facebook's CEOP abuse button 'a success'
13 August 2010 - More than 200 Facebook users have reported suspicious behaviour online since the launch of an anti-abuse application last month, according to new figures. Investigators saw more than a seven-fold increase in the number of reports from the social networking site since the launch of the safety button aimed at protecting children from bullying, suspected grooming and other abuse.
Keep reading...

More than one billion Facebook hits 'from people at work'
12 August 2010 - Accessing and downloading content from Facebook and YouTube while at work still accounts for more corporate web activity and bandwidth usage than from any other sites, according to new figures from managed security company, Network Box. Just over seven per cent of all hits from business networks are to Facebook, with Google the second most popular at four per cent. In the dataset used, Facebook clocked up 98 million more hits (totalling 1,008,046,041) in the second quarter of 2010 than it did in the first (which saw 909.710,076 hits), a rise of 10.8% in the quarter.
Keep reading...

Facebook and AOL planning online ad alliance?
12 August 2010 - Internet firms Facebook and AOL are discussing a strategic alliance aimed at boosting their online advertisement business, according to a news report. The New York Post cited three separate sources saying the the two companies have been talking for several months about a partnership that would allow Facebook to tap AOL in selling online advertisements. One possibility for AOL is being named a "preferred media partner" to Facebook, a source told the Post.
Keep reading...

Channel Five broadcasts TV shows on Facebook
12 August 2010 - Channel Five has made a deal with Facebook that means its TV-on-demand platform, 'Demand Five', will be embedded into the social-networking site. The deal will see Channel Five become the first broadcaster to show television programmes through Facebook, and apparently it will be launching in the next ten days.
Keep reading...

Facebook updates mobile privacy controls
06 August 2010 - Facebook has simplified its privacy controls for users who access the social networking using the Apple iPhone and other mobile devices. The changes give mobile users the same privacy settings previously available to those accessing the site via desktop browsers.
Keep reading...

Facebook takes on Google with Q&A service
01 August 2010 - Facebook has introduced Facebook Questions, a beta product that lets users pose questions to the social network's community. The new service introduced Wednesday appears as an "Ask Question" button at the top of users' homepages.
Keep reading...

Google woos social gaming firms to take on Facebook
28 July 2010 - Google is in talks with makers of popular online games in an effort to develop a social-networking service to compete with Facebook, according to a report. The Wall Street Journal reports that Google has been in discussions with top developers to offer their games on a new service it is building, according to people familiar with the matter.
Keep reading...

Facebook breaks 1/2bn user barrier; MySpace tumbles
22 July 2010 - New data from ComScore shows that MySpace's UK audience fell 49% during the last year. Unique user numbers were down from 6.5m in May 2009 to only 3.3m in May of this year. The decline of the social networking giant has been rapid despite the launch of MySpace Music last December.
Keep reading...

One twelfth of global population now has a Facebook account
20 July 2010 - Facebook is to launch an online campaign to celebrate reaching 500 million global users, meaning one in every twelve people in the world now has a Facebook account. The company is expected to officially announce the half-billion milestone next week.
Keep reading...

Facebook to launch PayPal-style 'Credits' in September
13 July 2010 - Facebook is set to launch a virtual currency, called "Facebook Credits" in September, letting users trade virtual and physical goods through the social network. Facebook Credits will become the default online currency for the company, and will use a similar system to that offered by eBay's online payments firm PayPal.
Keep reading...

BBC news website links to Facebook and Twitter
13 July 2010 - The BBC has updated its news website, with a new layout, extra video features and tools that let readers link stories to Facebook and Twitter. The broadcaster said it had used ideas submitted from the public in order to research the redesign.
Keep reading...

Facebook finally launches panic button for kids' safety
13 July 2010 - Facebook has finally launched its much-anticipated 'panic button' on its site, as the social networking giant looks to increase protection of its young users. The 'ClickCEOP' button lets Facebook users (especially those aged between 13 and 17) report suspicious online behaviour and access internet safety advice with the launch of the new application.
Keep reading...

When Cameron met Zuckerburg: Govt. asks Facebook users for spending cut advice
12 July 2010 - Downing Street and Facebook have launched a landmark initiative aimed at making public spending more effective. 'The Spending Challenge' initiative marks the largest public engagement project ever launched by the British Government, and saw Prime Minister David Cameron meet Mark Zuckerberg via web-conference to discuss its implementation.
Keep reading...

Facebook adds facial recognition tool
05 July 2010 - Facebook has added a new facial recognition feature, as the social network looks for new ways to streamline its photo tagging process. The facial recognition feature, added last week, will identify that a face is present in an uploaded photo, asking the user "Whose face is this?"
Keep reading...

Facebook forces app makers to seek permission for user data
02 July 2010 - Facebook has tweaked its privacy policy to ensure third party app developers specify to users what personal information they will access and use. The move forms part of the social networking giants efforts to appease critics of its privacy practices. The changes will apply to all third-party applications and games that a user installs on their profile.
Keep reading...

Facebook 2009 revenues 'doubled to $800m'
21 June 2010 - Facebook reportedly generated revenue of $800m in 2009, more than double the previous year, fueliing speculation that the social network may be close to a flotation. Reuters reports that the company also earned a solid net profit, in the tens of millions of dollars last year, citing a sources familiar with the situation.
Keep reading...

Facebook boosts analytics for web publishers
10 June 2010 - Facebook has launched improved analytics for websites, applications, and pages, helping website owners get further insights into how users interact with their Facebook-related content. The new Insights dashboard acts as a single source for all Facebook analytics...
Keep reading...

Yahoo adds Facebook updates to websites
07 June 2010 - Facebook users now have the option of streaming their updates to websites operated by Yahoo! ad the companies both look to boost their audience reach. Facebook and Yahoo! are letting users link accounts at the world's leading social networking service and the pioneering online enterprise that is re-inventing itself after being eclipsed by Google in online search.
Keep reading...

Facebook advertisers 'quadruple' within a year
04 June 2010 - Facebook says its advertisers have more than quadrupled since the start of 2009 as marketers aim to get their products before a growing global audience. In an interview with Bloomberg, Facebook's vice-president of global sales Mike Murphy Murphy said: "We're very well positioned as people come out of this current economic situation. What we've become is absolutely core to marketing campaigns."
Keep reading...

MSN revamps UK homepage with links to Facebook and Twitter
03 June 2010 - Microsoft has revamped the homepage for MSN UK, which will start integrating Facebook and Twitter on its main page. The changes will be the first major adjustment since September 2007 and are intended to simplify the website's design to reduce download time.
Keep reading...

Facebook unveils privacy changes ahead of user boycotts
01 June 2010 - Facebook has unveiled a range of new privacy, as the social network responds to user comments and concerns about privacy. Protesters had been organising boycotts over accusations the site made it too easy for criminals and stalkers to see personal information because privacy settings were too complex.
Keep reading...

Facebook tweaks privacy tools as founder admits "mistakes"
24 May 2010 - Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has admitted that Facebook "missed the mark" over recent privacy concerns, and plans to introduce a number of new features on the social network to make protecting a users privacy simpler and more comprehensive. Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Zuckerberg admitted: "Sometimes we move too fast - and after listening to recent concerns, we're responding. The biggest message we have heard recently is that people want easier control over their information.
Keep reading...

Facebook takes on FourSquare with McDonalds location-based voucher app
11 May 2010 - Social networking giant Facebook is venturing into location-based services, allowing users to add their whereabouts to status updates through a partnership with McDonalds. In a move that imitates popular mobile location based social network FourSquare, the social network will allow users to check in at any McDonalds outlet near them and receive reward coupons.
Keep reading...

Facebook rated '12' in new UK film-style age classifications
01 May 2010 - Tibboh, a new internet service provider, has launched in the UK with film-style age ratings to protect youngsters from inappropriate content. ISP Tibboh has worked with the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) to categorise some three billion web addresses. However, thousands of new ratings will be added every day.
Keep reading...

Fifth of a million Facebook users watched second leaders' debate
28 April 2010 - More than 220,000 people logged in to Facebook last Thursday to watch the second leaders' debate. Both Sky.com and ITV.com used Facebook Live Stream to allow viewers to comment on what they saw on screen, the first time worldwide that two broadcast networks have used Facebook Live Stream in parallel.
Keep reading...

Facebook shuts Lite site after just seven months
21 April 2010 - Social network Facebook has shut down its Lite site after running for just seven months. Facebook posted a note on its own fan page thanking those who used Lite, which had been aimed at users with slow or poor Internet connections, and stated that it had "learned a lot from the test of a slimmed-down site".
Keep reading...

Facebook ramps up fan and 'community' pages
20 April 2010 - Facebook is updating its website to highlight pages for bands, books and businesses, encouraging users to become fans of their listed interests. The social network is also launching a new community feature, as the social network looks for new ways to leverage their users' interests and connect them with advertisers.
Keep reading...

Facebook debuts £5m safety campaign - but refuses to add panic button
14 April 2010 - Facebook will not add a safety button on each user's profile page, despite calls from a leading UK child protection agency, saying they would 'confuse and intimidate' users. Instead it will run a £5m safety campaign including a 24-hour police hotline.
Keep reading...

Electoral commission uses Facebook to encourage young voters
12 April 2010 - The Electoral Commission will for the first time use Facebook to encourage more Brits to register to vote on May 6. The move comes after turnout fell to historic lows in the last two ballots. Young people are among the biggest users of Facebook, but are traditionally the hardest to persuade to cast their vote.
Keep reading...

Facebook 'overtakes Google' as most-visited site in US
18 March 2010 - Facebook has become the most-visited site in the US after overtaking Google, according to new data from Hitwise. The popular social networking page toppled the search giant after accounting for 7.07% of all US web traffic compared to Google's 7.03%. However, the research did not include other Google services such as Google Maps, Gmail and YouTube.
Keep reading...

Facebook to accept PayPal payments for games and apps
01 March 2010 - Social networkers and businesses looking to sell to them will soon be able to use the PayPal online payment network to purchase goods and services on Facebook. The two companies announced a partnership Thursday under which Facebook will allow advertisers to use eBay-owned PayPal's transaction system in order to pay for ads.
Keep reading...

Fiat launches UK's first Facebook sampling ad campaign 01 19 February 2010 - Italian car maker Fiat has launched the first UK Facebook sampling ad campaign, promoting its Punto Evo model. The ads are targeted to 18-34 year olds in the UK, with some targeted specifically at car enthusiasts. As part of the campaign, Fiat will be using sampling ads on Facebook and will be the first brand to use this type of engagement ad in the UK. Keep reading...

1 in 4 Facebook users are mobile
15 February 2010 - The number of users accessing Facebook via mobile devices has increased by 54% to 100m mobile users in the last six months, according to stats released by the social network. According to an official release, this has happened in less than a period of six months after Facebook had announced a figure of 65 million people using Facebook via their mobile devices. The figures also come less than a week after Facebook announced it was set to exceed 400 million users in total.
Keep reading...

Facebook ditches Microsoft banner ads - but makes Bing default search engine
08 February 2010 - Facebook is to ditch Microsoft's banner ads in favour of its own, but is now using Bing to power its site search engine, as the two companies overhaul their 2007 search ad deal. The move comes as Facebook has made a number of changes to its social network to mark its 6th birthday, with a new homepage layout that focuses on status updates, games and chat.
Keep reading...

Facebook and Nielsen offer 'Brandlift' analytics to UK advertisers
01 February 2010 - Facebook and The Nielsen Company has launched Nielsen BrandLift in the UK, a web analytics system that uses Facebook polls to measure the effectiveness of online brand advertising. The move follows the products US launch in 2009, and marks the first product available outside the US from Facebook's and Nielsen's global, multi-year strategic alliance.
Keep reading...

Habbo Hotels syncs users up with Facebook
14 January 2010 - Habbo Hotel, a virtual world for teens, has signed up to Facebook's Connect service to bring users of both services together. Sulake's 15 million regular unique users of Habbo Hotel can now use Facebook Connect to find their Facebook friends in Habbo Hotel.
Established in 31 countries and generally popular with a teenage audience, Habbo Hotel offers a more gaming orientated environment than Facebook, and encourages users to customise rooms, train pets and even invent social games. Founded in Finland, Sulake has also been exceedingly successful in courting big brands, which regularly invest in a virtual presence in Habbo Hotel.
Keep reading...

Facebook enlists users for 'online safety council'
07 January 2010 - Facebook is testing a new application that allows its users to moderate content posted by others on the social network. The Facebook Community Council application is currently being tested with a very small number of users, selected on an invite-only basis. An FCC member can check items published on Facebook for offensiveness along the lines of personal attacks, violence, drug abuse and so on. FCC members are only allowed to click on one of the following alert flags inside a special FCC members-only app if they find something objectionable: Spam, Acceptable, Not English, Nudity, Drugs, Attacking, Violence. Keep reading...

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