Facebook trends in 2012: The 10 biggest headlines of the year

Dec 11, 2012 | Facebook marketing, Social media

Forget the movie, this year provided plenty of real-life drama for ‘The Social Network’. The controversy surrounding Facebook’s IPO and the value of its ‘likes’ (after the BBC’s ‘bagelgate’ report) has led us to dedicate an entire section of our 2012 review to Mark Zuckerberg’s company (a review of other social media news follows tomorrow). […]

Forget the movie, this year provided plenty of real-life drama for ‘The Social Network’. The controversy surrounding Facebook’s IPO and the value of its ‘likes’ (after the BBC’s ‘bagelgate’ report) has led us to dedicate an entire section of our 2012 review to Mark Zuckerberg’s company (a review of other social media news follows tomorrow). Brace yourself as Netimperative looks back at the 10 most popular Facebook marketing news stories and trends of the year.

It was truly a rollercoaster year for Facebook, riding high on ad demand, gaming revenues and 1bn users… only to come crashing down to earth in a disastrous IPO that lead to accusations of insider trading, faked ‘likes’ and big advertisers (very) publicly doubting its worth as an ad platform.
The reality check lead to a renewed focus on mobile and advertising revenues, coming at the expense of organic fan reach for brands. The company also introduced a myriad of new ad tools and bought popular photo app Instagram.
The year ended with Facebook weathering stock sell-offs and high-profile staff exits, leaving it in a (relatively) stable stock market position for 2013.
Astonishingly, Zuckerberg also managed to find time to get hitched this year…
View our top 10 biggest Facebook headlines below.
Watch this space for updates on the top 10 advertising, mobile, search, social, ecommerce, multimedia, gaming and regulation news of the year- all coming this week.
Facebook IPO fiasco- social network faces lawsuits as share prices plunge
Facebook’s short life as a public company has been tumultuous, with its share prices plunging by about 13% on Tuesday. This means that its founder Mark Zuckerberg, who made $19bn on Friday, has lost $2.055bn in the three days since. Now the social network is facing lawsuits amid accusations of insider trading.
Facebook paid media ‘gets 5 times more reach than free fan pages’
Among a selection of the 100 leading brand pages on Facebook, those using paid media reached 5.4 times more people on average than those using no paid media, according to a new study. The report, ‘Understanding Paid & Earned Reach On Facebook,’ published by Facebook together with comScore, forms part of Facebook’s attempts to persuade sceptical brand marketers to migrate their efforts from free fan pages to paid for sponsored stories.
Facebook hits 1bn users- top regional audiences revealed
Facebook has surpassed 1 billion users for the first time, as the newly-listed social networking giant looks to expand its global reach and ad revenues. The passing of the milestone was announced by founder Mark Zuckerberg on US television on Thursday. The company said that those billion users were to date responsible for 1.13 trillion “likes”, 219 billion photos and 17 billion location check-ins.
Facebook ‘a mobile company now’- Zuckerberg admits IPO ‘misteps’
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has made his first public appearance since the companies tumultuous stock market float in May. Speaking at the TechCruch Disrupt event in San Francisco, Zuckerberg declared: “We are a mobile company now.” He conceded one of the group’s “biggest mistakes” was its earlier decision to focus on the mobile web rather than native apps, adding a new Android app would be available “soon”. He vowed that Facebook will make more money on phones than on desktops.
Facebook- Instagram deal approved… for £150m less than original price?
Facebook has finally been given the go ahead to buy Instagram, but the deal is now three quarters of its original value to the mobile photo application firm. The Federal Trade Commission confirmed this week that it had closed its competition investigation into the acquisition, without taking any action.
Are Facebook ‘likes’ being faked? BBC spoof bagel firm gets 3000 fans
Fake profiles could be responsible for a significant proportion of Facebook ‘likes’, causing inflated figures that lead brands and advertisers to waste time and money on social media campaigns, according to a new report. A BBC investigation set up a site for fake firm VirtualBagel on Facebook with a modest $10 ad campaign on the social network.By the end of his campaign’s first week, VirtualBagel had 2999 likes.
Was General Motors getting Facebook marketing wrong? Ford thinks so
Last week, General Motors pulled all of its $10 ad budget from Facebook citing the ‘ineffectiveness of paid ads.’ But some analysts, and rival car-maker Ford, have been quick to jump to the social network’s defence, implying that GM wasn’t getting the most it could from the platform. The shock decision from GM came ahead of Facebook’s historic $104bn IPO, and has caused jitters in the marketing community, with some analysts fearing that other big brands could follow suit. But this is apparently not the case if bigger rival Ford is anything to go by.
Is Facebook driving down fan reach in favour of sponsored stories?
Facebook has been accused of making changes to the formula that determines if brands appear in the news feed of its fans pages, effectively driving them to paid advertising to improve their reach. According to a report in the FT, a number of brands running Facebook pages are finding their reach has dropped since the social network altered its EdgeRank algorithm last month (September 20th).
Facebook puts ads on mobiles for first time with ‘Premium’ service
Facebook is letting companies place ads on its mobile version for the first time, and to advertise on the log out screen, flowing the launch of its new ‘Premium’ service. Users will see the new premium adverts from brand in their newsfeeds if a friend has “liked” the brand’s pages, for example.
Facebook survives stock sale: Are its IPO troubles over?
Facebook shares soared 12% on Wednesday as the social network beat expectations following the third stage of its IPO share sale. Wednesday saw the unlocking of hundreds of millions of shares held by insiders now eligible for sale in the open market. The move saw the sale of more than 800 million shares, marking the third and biggest wave after the company’s initial public offering in May. The latest lockup expiration is expected to nearly double the size of the company’s share float.
For a full review of the year, including our pick or the top virals, oddest news and biggest marketing blunders, click here

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