Twitter Promoted Accounts Adds New Revenue Line To Microblogging Service

Twitter’s monetization model has always been a closely scrutinized affair and with the microblogging service yet to show revenues commensurate with its user growth, the company had recently announced a change of guard with COO Dick Costolo taking over as the CEO of Twitter.

Close on the heels of the announcement, Twitter has also launched a new monetizable feature – Promoted Accounts. Based on the long-tested Promoted Trends feature, the new feature will promote the advertisers’ Twitter account to targeted users who may be interested in the advertisers’ offering. Carolyn from Twitter writes on the blog,

“When an advertiser promotes an account, Twitter’s algorithm looks at that account’s followers and determines other accounts that those users tend to follow. If a user follows some of those accounts, but not the advertiser’s account, then Twitter may recommend the advertiser’s Promoted Account to that user. For example, a lot of people who follow several gaming-related accounts also follow @xbox. If someone follows gaming-related accounts, but not @xbox, Twitter may recommend @xbox to that person.”

That sounds pretty weak to me. A promoted account is only shown to users who are already following several related accounts. In that case, wouldn’t the advertiser’s account be offered as a suggestion to the user in any case? Will that mean that the advertiser will be paying for something that they can get done for free anyway? An alternative would be to target users by geography or age group (which the Twitter database does not have at present) and let advertisers reach out to those users who they may not be able to target otherwise.

Having said that, this is still in testing phase and it will be interesting to see how the functionality pans out moving forward.

Most Visited Social Networks In India

It has been quite a while since I wrote about the social networking space in India. Last time I wrote about this was with respect to the December 2008 numbers when Orkut was a clear leader that had been fighting a new kid on the block; Facebook. Back then, Orkut had 12.8 million monthly visits […]

It has been quite a while since I wrote about the social networking space in India. Last time I wrote about this was with respect to the December 2008 numbers when Orkut was a clear leader that had been fighting a new kid on the block; Facebook. Back then, Orkut had 12.8 million monthly visits compared to Facebook’s 4 million. Now a year and a half later, the tide has finally shifted in favor of Facebook. The world’s largest social network has not spared India and has taken over Orkut as the most popular network. According to the Comscore metrics, Facebook now has over 20.8 million monthly visits from India – marginally above Orkut’s 19.8 million.

Here are the top ten social networks in India in terms of uniques in July 2010 according to the Comscore metrics.

1. Facebook : 20.87 million
2. Orkut : 19.87 million
3. BharatStudent : 4.32 million
4. Yahoo Pulse : 3.5 million
5. Twitter : 3.34 million
6. LinkedIn : 3.26 million
7. Zedge : 3.2 million
8. Ibibo : 2.96 million
9. Yahoo Buzz : 1.8 million
10. Shtyle : 1.55 million

An article I wrote back in October 2007 – Will Facebook overtake Orkut in India makes for a good read about a time when Facebook was the 16th most popular site in India.

Social Media Ad Spending – US Vs. Non-US

Ad spending on social networks is on the rise and as it is in other segments of the digital media, US leads the pack when it comes to advertiser adoption. However, thanks to the terrific adoption of social networks, Facebook in particular, across the globe, advertisers in other parts of the world are taking cognizance […]

Ad spending on social networks is on the rise and as it is in other segments of the digital media, US leads the pack when it comes to advertiser adoption. However, thanks to the terrific adoption of social networks, Facebook in particular, across the globe, advertisers in other parts of the world are taking cognizance as well. According to a report by eMarketer, US and the rest of the world shall more or less even out in ad-spending on social networks by next year. That is still a signficant lead for USA when you consider we are comparing one country against the rest of the world.

So, this is the ad spend in USD across US and non-US over a three year span. The percentage of total ad spend worldwide is provided in brackets.

USA
2009 : $1.40 billion (55.4%)
2010 : $1.68 billion (51%)
2011 : $2.09 billion (49.1%)

Non-USA
2009 : $1.13 billion (44.6%)
2010 : $1.62 billion (49%)
2011 : $2.17 billion (50.9%)

Facebook Vs. Twitter – Average Time Spent Per User

Now where does the average internet users hang out on the world wide web? If personal experience is anything to go by , it may not be difficult for a good majority of us to fathom that a significant amount of time is spent on social networks like Facebook and Twitter. According to a study […]

Now where does the average internet users hang out on the world wide web? If personal experience is anything to go by , it may not be difficult for a good majority of us to fathom that a significant amount of time is spent on social networks like Facebook and Twitter.

According to a study by Nielsen, the average internet user in the US spends close to 23% of his/her internet time on social networks. That’s a rise of nearly 7 percentage points from just a year back. Now what’s driving this usage is well worth a discussion. But I would assume this rise to be more so because a lot more users are on the SNS websites today (consequently pushing the average time up) rather than any drastic rise in time spent because of rise in popularity of social games like Farmville. That’s because both Facebook and Twitter have seen a significant rise in average time spent per month per user.

Here are the average numbers for June 2010. The corresponding numbers for June 2009 is in brackets.

Facebook : 4hrs 39mins 33sec (1hr 22min 14sec)
Twitter : 31min 17sec (5min 2sec)

Best Social Media Websites For Job Recruitment

An increasing number of human resources professionals are making use of social media websites to recruit new people to their organization. According to a study conducted by Jobvite, 2010 will see 46% more social recruiting as compared to 2009. Consequently 36% of these HR managers are likely to reduce their time on job boards. The […]

An increasing number of human resources professionals are making use of social media websites to recruit new people to their organization.

According to a study conducted by Jobvite, 2010 will see 46% more social recruiting as compared to 2009. Consequently 36% of these HR managers are likely to reduce their time on job boards. The survey showed that only 14% of HR managers were strongly against the use of social media. 9% were in the planning phase while 73% revealed that social media was already in use for recruitment purposes.

So which of the social networking websites are the most favored channels for recruitment purposes? Here is a list ranked by the HR managers

1. LinkedIn : 78%
2. Facebook : 55%
3. Twitter : 45%
4. Blog : 19%
5. Youtube : 14%
6. MySpace : 5%
7. None : 14%

Twitter Market Share By Country & Region

Twitter has for long been dominated by North Americans. For instance, in March 2010, USA contributed to 30% of tweets worldwide. However, the number of tweets has been seen to be on a declining growth in the North American region for sometime. Now, a fresh study by French research firm, Semiocast, North America is no […]

Twitter has for long been dominated by North Americans. For instance, in March 2010, USA contributed to 30% of tweets worldwide. However, the number of tweets has been seen to be on a declining growth in the North American region for sometime.

Now, a fresh study by French research firm, Semiocast, North America is no longer the largest contributer of tweets. At 31%, this region was 6 percentage points lower than Asia which now contributes to 37% of all tweets worldwide. In Asia, the numbers are contributed by Japan, Indonesia and South Korea.

Here is the market share of tweets by region
Asia : 37%
North America : 31%
South America : 15%
Europe : 14%
Africa : 1.5%
Oceania : 1.5%

The study points out that while the market share of Asia and Africa have grown, those of North America and Europe have fallen. Other regions have remained stable.

Here are the top 5 countries on Twitter and their tweet market share
1. USA : 25%
2. Japan : 18%
3. Indonesia : 12%
4. Brazil : 11%
5. UK : 5%

Most Liked Facebook Pages By Category

Even though a lot of companies have taken up to social media, the metrics needed to measure the success of a social media campaign still isn’t largely clear. Oglivy PR rightly claims that it is not the fancount that matters but several other factors – including Facebook likes, new fans vs. removed fans, positive/negative comments […]

Even though a lot of companies have taken up to social media, the metrics needed to measure the success of a social media campaign still isn’t largely clear. Oglivy PR rightly claims that it is not the fancount that matters but several other factors – including Facebook likes, new fans vs. removed fans, positive/negative comments on wall posts,etc.

Considering that the ‘Like‘ button plays an important role in establishing both the success of a media campaign as well as helps to spread the word about a brand virally over a network, it makes sense to see which type of brands can use this metric to extract the maximum mileage out of their social media campaigns.

Here is a ranking of Facebook page categories in the order of decreasing popularity (likes)

1. Movies
2. TV Shows
3. Book
4. Music band
5. Television
6. Athlete
7. Actor
8. Parks
9. Comedian
10. Airlines, ships, train
11. Games
12. Sports teams
13. Film
14. Food beverage
15. Travel
16. Critic
17. Sports and Athletics
18. Model
19. Public figures
20. Musuem attractions
21. Convention center/sports complexes
22. Home living
23. Fashion
24. Automotive
25. Government official

Twitter Site Ranking By Country

Twitter is now the 12th most popular site on the web. This is remarkable for a site that has failed to show consistent growth over the past few months. Also, unlike most other websites, Twitter’s growth is only partially visible. Several regular users access the site via third party clients masking the actual growth. As […]

Twitter is now the 12th most popular site on the web. This is remarkable for a site that has failed to show consistent growth over the past few months. Also, unlike most other websites, Twitter’s growth is only partially visible. Several regular users access the site via third party clients masking the actual growth.

As you may have expected, Google and Facebook continue to be the most popular websites across several countries, except anomalies like China, Russia or South Korea.

Here is Twitter’s site ranking in the top 20 countries (by number of internet users)

1. China : 371
2. USA : 12
3. Japan : 20
4. India : 11
5. Brazil : 18
6. Germany : 11
7. UK : 10
8. Russia : 40
9. France : 46
10. South Korea : 19
11. Iran : (Not in top 500)
12. Italy : 30
13. Indonesia : 12
14. Spain : 19
15. Mexico : 22
16. Turkey : 26
17. Canada : 11
18. Philippines : 10
19. Vietnam : 192
20. Poland : 118

Worldwide : 12

Most Popular Location Based Services

In some parts of the world, location based services like Foursquare and Gowalla are the rage. It is yet to catch on in other areas, but there are encouraging signs that this is the future considering how the segment is growing.
Here are the top five location based services in terms of number of registered […]

In some parts of the world, location based services like Foursquare and Gowalla are the rage. It is yet to catch on in other areas, but there are encouraging signs that this is the future considering how the segment is growing.

Here are the top five location based services in terms of number of registered users

1. Where.com : 3 million users
2. MyTown : 2 million
3. BrightKite : 2 million
4. Foursquare : 1.1 million
5. Gowalla : 250,000

[via GigaOm]


Top Countries On LinkedIn

LinkedIn may not be the most glamorous social network – It does not have 500 million users like Facebook. But nevertheless, being a business focused networking site, it sure is among the most profitable. In a recent study, 78% of online marketers were revealed to have used the LinkedIn platform for marketing purposes. Considering the […]

LinkedIn may not be the most glamorous social network – It does not have 500 million users like Facebook. But nevertheless, being a business focused networking site, it sure is among the most profitable. In a recent study, 78% of online marketers were revealed to have used the LinkedIn platform for marketing purposes. Considering the potential in the medium, it surely makes sense for marketers to see where LinkedIn users sign in from. Here are the top countries on LinkedIn

1. USA : 33.812 million
2. India : 5.678 million
3. UK : 3.995 million
4. Canada : 2.430 million
5. Netherlands : 1.860 million
6. France : 1.547 million
7. Australia : 1.283 million
8. Brazil : 1.150 million
9. Italy : 974,927
10. Spain : 922,579
11. Germany : 799,963
12. South Africa : 653,413
13. Belgium : 637,739
14. Argentina : 628,489
15. Denmark : 544,147