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.