Facebook IPO Drops, The Death of YouTube, New MBTA App & So.Cl Network Launch


Top Story: Facebook IPO – Sick of the Word “Bubble” Yet?

We couldn’t really avoid this topic because we’ve been anticipating Facebook’s IPO for a few years now. Two trading days after Friday’s delayed IPO, Facebook stock is down nearly $4.00.  Financial pundits are declaring another digital “bubble,” pointing to the fiscal disappointment of Groupon’s initial offering in 2011.













So, this begs the question – if Facebook, THE behemoth of social media and most profitable model, can’t create confidence amongst investors – who can? Businesses are reaping huge benefits by engaging with their audiences on these platforms – when will their stakeholders benefit from their success? We think Facebook stock will rise – the numbers behind Zuckerberg’s social experiment prove that there is money to be made. We’re definitely not proclaiming social media to be a bubble and running for the hills – we’ve seen the value in the hands of our clients every day. And though we’re not financial analysts, we think this temporary setback may be a case of inflated egos and valuations – and really bad timing.


Under the Radar: Is Social Video Contributing to the Death of YouTube?


Are you still watching videos on YouTube? Or are you turning to mobile apps like SocialCam and Viddy to get your amateur video fill? Reports are showing that people are still uploading plenty of video to YouTube, but are users still watching YouTube videos like they used to? Or is mobile usage turning people away? Let’s be clear on one thing. YouTube is now about to die any time soon. GigaOm just reported that the platform has seen its video uploads grow 50% in the last year. Perhaps, putting a number on that would make it a little bit more “real.” The website reports that users are uploading 72 hours of video to YouTube every minute. Last year they only uploaded 48 hours a minute. Kind of blows your mind, doesn’t it?

So, users are clearly still uploading video to YouTube. But are people watching that ridiculous amount of video? ReadWriteWeb recently reported, in a post asking whether social video would kill YouTube, that “From January to March, people spent 10% less time watching YouTube videos online.” Yet, users of mobile video apps jumped 52% in how long they spent viewing mobile videos. So, if more people are watching video online, why is YouTube’s viewership dropping?

It likely has something to do with easy-to-use and easy-to-share mobile social video platforms like SocialCam and Viddy. You’ve likely seen it yourself. More and more videos featuring SocialCam posted on your Facebook newsfeed, whether it’s your friends posting them or notifications that your friends are viewing them. Why? Because everyone is becoming a videographer these days and we’re doing it from our mobile phones. It’s quick and easy and no need to hook your video device up to your computer. Plus, applications like SocialCam and Viddy give you lots of simple editing options to add a little pizazz to our video. These services are just a bit more “with it” than the “traditional” YouTube.

And we’re likely watching videos on these platforms more because we care about what our friends and acquaintances on Facebook are doing more than strangers on YouTube. Unless that stranger happens to have an absolutely amazing voice and makes national news for their covers on YouTube. Then we’re all about watching.


Around the Hub: New MBTA App – It’s About Time!

The MBTA is definitely one of the hottest topics in Boston social media.  From delays and complaints to just plain strange occurences, people love to Tweet out their feelings and observations about the Hub’s public transportation system.

Now, the MBTA has released an app to make it easier to “see something, say something,” (if you’ve ever ridden the T, you’ve heard that familiar line). The purpose of the app is to facilitate reporting of suspicious activity on trains, buses, and in stations. Reports can be sent by type and location and users have the ability to upload a photo with the touch of a button. One cool feature to note- the photo feature automatically disables your flash so that your detective work goes unnoticed.


The app also offers an “Anonymous” option to protect the reporter’s identity and further encouraging sharing. All in all, we feel like this app is a more viable and helpful alternative to tweeting “#MBTA #FAIL” – but we don’t want the entertainment of MBTA tweets to go away, so please keep sharing!


Tool of the Week: Microsoft Launches Network So.Cl – Combines Search & Research For Students

In the wake of the tidal wave announcement of Facebook’s IPO over the last few weeks, Microsoft has quietly launched a new social network that is going after Facebook’s old audience; college students. So.CL left beta yesterday after a year of testing with a group of college students.

The network is said to NOT be going after Facebook, Twitter or any other large network, mainly because its core goal is to combine research (with search engine integration) and sharing for students. The core of So.Cl seems to combine Pinterest and Google+ into one digital research based sharing network. Users can create boards of Web content and information and easily share with peers or onto the network in general. Microsoft’s thought process is that as a group, students are researching many of the same things, and could benefit from collaboration. So.Cl looks to enhance this by adding easy file sharing, group messaging and group video messaging.

It appears Microsoft’s goal is to get students using Microsoft products, even if it is a free social network, with the hopes that they will continue to use Microsoft products in their daily lives in general. This is a steep hill to climb due to the fact that Apple is the trendy pick for any technology savvy college student (and that is who So.Cl is targeting). I applaud the effort for customer conversion, but see it being a lost cause in the long run if they cannot rival Apple in actual product appeal.













Facebook IPO, Join.Me, and Bostonography


Top Story: A VERY Happy Birthday for Facebook

(image via Mashable)

With more than 800 million users worldwide (40% of all internet users) and as the second most-visited site to Google, Facebook celebrated its 8th birthday with its much-anticipated IPO.  While Facebook has fared pretty well up to this point without outside funding, the IPO was inevitable – the company was pretty much maxed-out internally and potential future rivalry with Google+ and others made it advantageous to seek listing before any competitors have a chance to erode it’s top position.


However, there are some downsides for Facebook in going public – and that is the public part.  There has always been speculation around what goes on behind-the-scenes at Facebook, and there will be a new level of transparency for the company now that it is a public entity.


But, all signs say that it will be more than worth it as Facebook is the largest tech IPO to date.  Mark Zuckerberg, who famously began the company in his Harvard dorm room, will reportedly be worth $20 billion dollars when all is said and done. And, 1/3 of Facebook’s 3,000 employees could become instant millionaires starting on the first day of trading (which adds the threat of lowered employee productivity and even losing top talent from these newly-wealthy workers).


With a few not-so-hot social IPOs in 2011 (think Groupon  and Zynga), a successful Facebook IPO could mean restored faith in the profitability of the social media industry and potential for more funding for the next great social start-up.



Under the Radar: StumbleUpon Forces iFrames and Gets Rid of Direct Links

Unless you’re an avid user of StumbleUpon or you’re a website owner who sees a lot of traffic from StumbleUpon, you probably aren’t paying that much attention to the service. Which is likely why you may not have heard about the news that the service is now iFraming all of its content and making it almost impossible for users to get out of the iFramed version of sites. Not only that, but StumbleUpon has removed direct links to source’s content and replaced them with a “Stumble This” link. Which leads you to, you guessed it, the iFramed site.


If you’re not logged into the service, you can simply “x” out of the iFrame; otherwise, you have to actually log out of StumbleUpon to remove the iFrame. A huge pain in the neck. Why don’t we like iFrames? Well, apart from being annoying and obtrusive, they often don’t give websites the SEO credit they deserve.


The funny thing is- when pulled the same iFrame business, people were up in arms. Could it be because with comes Kevin Rose’s name? Rose ended up admitting that “Framing content with an iFrame is bad for the Internet,” and removing the iFrames from the service. Will StumbleUpon do the same? We think it’s a matter of how many people end up caring and causing a commotion over the res-design. Do the iFrames and removal of direct links matter to you or is StumbleUpon irrelevant in your mind?


Around the Hub: Bostonography Uses Social Media to Map Boston 

When you hear the word “cartography,” the last thing you probably think is “cool.” But if you’ve seen the work of Bostonography, you may change your tune. Not only are Andy Woodruff and Tim Wallace designing maps of Boston, but they’re utilizing social media to do so. Sounds like map-making just entered the 21st century!


In a recent interview with BostInno, Woodruff mentioned that they rely heavily on tips from their readers and that many of those tips come in through social media. And think about all the data out there that wasn’t around just a few years ago. From tweets to Foursquare check-ins to Facebook status updates to geotagged photos, there seems to be an endless amount of ever-changing data.  Data that can be mapped in all kinds of ways.


Back in August, Bostonography even asked their fans to tweet and email them information about any furniture spotted around the streets of Allston during the infamous moving season. They’ve also created maps showing the distances to the nearest Dunkin’ Donuts (hint: not far) and the closest liquor license locations (this is Boston, so, also not far). We can’t even begin to comprehend all the innovative mapping Bostonography will be doing in the future.


Tool of the Week: Join.Me For Some Easy Screen Sharing

Boston-area based LogMeIn has been a leader in the remote access world for a number of years now, including creating an popular (and excellent) iPad app early on. So when they took the leap a few years ago into the screen sharing market, I assumed they would create a smooth product. They did not disappoint.


All you need to do to share your screen with other computers is download a small file that pops up a control (like the one pictured below). You then copy and paste the URL provided and send to viewers. To view your screen others simply put the URL in their browser and your screen will appear! Join.Me also generates a unique conference number for you to use with the screen share.

This product is superior then others, like Webex, is the speed and simplicity. With Join.Me you don’t have to worry about large files not running properly (which has happened numerous times to me), instead it is all done in browser. Also, the ability to create a URL and share your screen in seconds is incredibly valuable too when you decide last minute to share a screen.


Give Join.Me a try, the free trial has a robust set of features and will make your next screen share a breeze