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Archive for October 2009

Social Stratification Among Users Of Social Networking Sites

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It seems that the Brahmins of cyberspace congregate on Facebook and LinkedIn and the folks that fall into the lower strata of society congregate on MySpace.  A recent article in CNN based on a study by market research firm Nielsen Claritas seems to point in the direction that our socio-economic status is reflected in our favorite social networking site.

Here are some highlights:

People in more affluent demographics are 25 percent more likely to be found friending on Facebook, while the less affluent are 37 percent more likely to connect on MySpace.

Almost 23 percent of Facebook users earn more than $100,000 a year, compared to slightly more than 16 percent of MySpace users.  And 37 percent of MySpace members earn less than $50,000 annually, compared with about 28 percent of Facebook users.

Even more affluent are users of Twitter, the microblogging site, and LinkedIn, a networking site geared to white-collar professionals.  Almost 38 percent of LinkedIn users earn more than $100,000 a year.

It’s too early to tell if these trends will hold and what it will mean for advertisers and brands.  MySpace has been hemorrhaging users and Facebook is growing exponentially.  If Facebook releases more robust music apps, they could siphon off the segment of MySpace’s community that are there because of music.  Also, LinkedIn is a very specific networking site and very unlike the general networking sites like Facebook and MySpace, so it stands to reason that the user base is more affluent.  Someone on LinkedIn could very well be on a general networking site like Facebook and someone who tweets could be on MySpace.  While the study provides valuable insight, the world of social media is not so cut and dry at this point and is constantly evolving.

Here is the CNN article:

Users with household income above $75,000

Facebook — 41.74 percent
MySpace — 32.38 percent
LinkedIn — 58.35 percent
Twitter — 43.34 percent

Users with household income under $50,000

Facebook — 28.42 percent
MySpace — 37.13 percent
LinkedIn — 17.34 percent
Twitter — 28.36 percent

Female users

Facebook — 56.33 percent
MySpace — 56.69 percent
LinkedIn — 48.11percent
Twitter — 53.59 percent

Users aged 18 to 24

Facebook — 10.27 percent
MySpace — 15.46 percent
LinkedIn — 3.99 percent
Twitter — 9.51percent

Users aged 35 to 49

Facebook — 31.54 percent
MySpace — 29.09 percent
LinkedIn — 43.64 percent
Twitter — 34.02 percent

Source: The Nielsen Co.


Written by Atique Ullah

October 14, 2009 at 9:02 PM

Facebook, Twitter And Coming To Xbox 360 Next Month

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Back in June, Microsoft announced that 360 owners will be able to access their Facebook, Twitter and accounts through the Xbox dashboard.  Microsoft indicated that the new features will debut sometime in the fall.  True to form, Microsoft will enter beta testing in the next couple of weeks and end users should see an update that will add these features in the next month or so.  Microsoft developers have been playing around with these features for some time now and have even posted status updates to Facebook (“…via Facebook for Xbox Live”).  You will be able to update your Facebook status and view your feeds and browse photo albums.  Unfortunately, video and game apps will not be supported.  The Twitter app will let you post updates as well as view updates from those that you follow.  The app will allow you to access existing stations and create new ones.  Unfortunately you will not be able to listen to your music while playing games.  It should be interesting to see how Microsoft integrates these services and also what type of navigation system they will implement.  Without a keyboard, navigating Facebook and Twitter could become cumbersome.  In one of my earlier entries, I posted my thoughts on Facebook and Twitter on my Verizon FiOS cable.  Typing on a virtual keyboard on the TV screen is a frustrating experience to say the least.  Let’s hope Microsoft does a better job than Verizon.

Here are a couple of videos from Microsoft’s 2009 E3 briefing taking us through these new features:

Written by Atique Ullah

October 8, 2009 at 7:54 PM

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Social Networking Use Triples In Just One Year And Companies Take Notice

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If you find yourself spending more and more time on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and other social networking sites, you’re not alone.  According to The Nielsen Company, Americans are now spending three times as much time on social networking sites than they did a year ago.  This is a significant shift in what people are doing on the internet.  Time spent on social networking sites now account for 17% of total time spent online.

Of course advertisers are starting to take notice.  In this recession companies have dramatically reduced their advertising and marketing budgets, but they’ve increased spend on social networks and blogs.  Spend is up 119% from last year. ($108 million in August 2009 up from $49 million in August 2008).  It’s interesting to note that while spending is up across across all industries, the change is quite dramatic in entertainment (up 812%) and travel (up 364%).  I expected the consumer goods industry to spend more than they’re currently spending as social media can be a perfect vehicle for branding and loyalty for quite a few consumer goods brands.

Year-over-Year Percent Change in Online Ad Spend by Industry (U.S., August 2009)

Estimated Spend on Top Social Network Sites Year-over-Year Percent Growth
Industry Aug-08 Aug-09 On Social Network Sites* On All Sites
Entertainment $1,097,700 $10,012,800 812% 40%
Travel $473,700 $2,198,200 364% -11%
Business to Business $683,400 $1,941,700 184% -8%
Automotive $1,110,200 $3,085,800 178% -26%
Health $1,131,500 $2,754,900 143% 8%
Web Media $11,231,800 $26,855,700 139% 30%
Software $526,400 $1,202,500 128% -29%
Financial Services $3,233,900 $6,415,900 98% -10%
Public Services $6,836,500 $13,203,100 93% 13%
Telecommunications $12,449,500 $23,550,300 89% -1%
Consumer Goods $1,913,400 $3,349,200 75% 8%
Hardware & Electronics $654,000 $1,022,900 56% -47%
Retail Goods & Services $8,101,400 $12,556,800 55% -12%
Source: The Nielsen Company

Written by Atique Ullah

October 6, 2009 at 4:17 PM