We Are Social’s Monday Mashup #14


Google got the web Buzzing
Last week Google introduced Google Buzz, a social network “built right into Gmail so you don’t have to peck out an entirely new set of friends from scratch.” This was an aggressive push into social networking for the search giant, who is hoping to capitalize on Gmail’s massive installed user base, estimated at 176 million in December according to Comscore.

Though the launch generated an enormous amount of discussion online last week, Buzz wasn’t well received by allPrivacy concerns soon dominated the early discussion of the service, and Google was forced to roll out a set of changes quickly to address Buzz’s privacy issues, such as disabling the auto-follow setting.

As users got to grips with how best to use Google Buzz, the tech and social media industry was busy wondering what it all meant for Twitter and Facebook. Less than a week has passed since the announcement, and already there is talk by Google of a ‘standalone’ Buzz site that people can access independently.

Needless to say, the arrival of Buzz was a big development and it’s one that we’ve been following closely here.

London Twestival 25 March 2010
Last week the organisers of London Twestival announced the dates for this year’s event:  Thursday 25th March 2010. Proceeds this year will support education projects of Concern Worldwide.

Mark your calendar and spread the word by following @LDNTwestival, and visiting the London Twestival blog.

BBC tells news staff to embrace social media
Peter Horrocks, the new director of BBC Global News this week told BBC news journalists to use social media as a primary source of information:

This isn’t just a kind of fad from someone who’s an enthusiast of technology. I’m afraid you’re not doing your job if you can’t do those things. It’s not discretionary.

The Guardian notes that this represents ‘a fundamental change’ in the Beeb’s attitude towards social media, who created a social media post back in October. In the past year, Sky News has also created headlines by appointing Ruth Barnett ( @ruthbarnett) as their social media / Twitter correspondent and by announcing they would be installing Tweetdeck software across its journalists’ computers.

Foursquare seals first major UK brand tie-ups
Foursquare added London to its list of networked cities back in October, and has recently announced that Debenhams and Domino’s Pizza have become the first major UK brands to target consumers via the mobile social network and game:

Debenhams flagship store on Oxford Street offers free coffee to anyone checking in to the store on a Friday. The ‘mayor’ of Debenhams is entitled to free coffee at any time. Domino’s, meanwhile, is offering a free pizza every week for ‘mayor’ of its branches.

While the mobile social network is still in its infancy, it is expected to grow rapidly and presents brands with opportunities to gather insights into customer behaviour and create brand ambassadors. But Foursquare also poses some challenges. BrandRepublic notes that Foursquare also provides players the opportunity to make negative comments on their products and services.

Twitter: Now more than 1 billion tweets per month
According recent research by Pingdom, Twitter passed 1.2 billion tweets per month mark, averaging 39.5 million tweets per day in January. Despite showing signs of stalled growth in August and October of last year, Twitter’s growth over the past 19 months has been huge:

Twitter usage data has been a bit patchy in the past, so it’s important to note that Pingdom’s methodology covered “all tweets, including those made from third-party applications via Twitter’s API. This means that we see the actual activity of the Twitter service as a whole.” And that activity looked a little something like this:

Check out Pingdom’s blog for more analysis.

Facebook Mobile: 100 million and growing
Facebook has hit another very impressive milestone, announcing last week that more than 100 million people actively using Facebook from their mobile devices every month. “This usage happens on almost every carrier in the world and comes less than six months after [Facebook] announced 65 million people on Facebook Mobile.” This follows the recent announcement on their 6th Birthday that the total number of unique users of the social network has swelled to 400 million.

Happy Birthday Flickr and YouTube
Last week two of the social web’s favourite services celebrated birthdays.  Popular photo-sharing social network Flickr turned 6, while video-sharing service YouTube turned 5 years old. It would be hard to imagine the web in 2010 without either.