We Are Social’s Monday Mashup #20


Tuenti switches on local for a location-based future
Spanish social networking site Tuenti, often referred to as the Facebook of Spain, has introduced a location-based feature called Tuenti Places (reads “Tuenti Sitios” in Spanish) allowing users to “add any local place, interact with it, share it with friends, upload images and write reviews.” Each Tuenti place (e.g. bars, clubs, restaurants) will have it’s own unique space for user interaction so unlike Facebook pages, there won’t be any duplicates.

According to TechCrunch, this is a very different strategy from the likes of Gowalla, Yelp, Foursquare or Spain’s 11870 who’ve built a community on top of local:

Tuenti first built a massive and incredibly segmented community and now they’re introducing local, which in itself is social by nature, but they can build in local by crowdsourcing their 8 million active users who are already sharing places…. Overnight Tuenti promises to get thousands of very dynamic local business pages and will shortly introduce new features such as Foursquare-like check-ins.

With everyone expecting Facebook to introduce location very soon, it will be interesting to see how Tuenti’s location-based feature fares.

Middle-aged travellers leading travel social media revolution
The Social Travel Report by independent media agency Total Media, claims that the holiday industry is facing a social media revolution and that middle age travellers are shaping consumer views of the best hotels and holiday destinations. Based on a sample of 1,375 people, the report found what many people have long suspected:

Holiday reviews written by strangers on independent websites such as TripAdvisor, search results on Google and word-of-mouth advice from family and colleagues are more influential than brochures, advertising, media reviews and advice from travel agents.

Some of the highlights:

The Social Media Bubble
Last week Umair Haque, Director of the Havas Media Lab, advanced a hypothesis in the Harvard Business Review:

Despite all the excitement surrounding social media, the Internet isn’t connecting us as much as we think it is. It’s largely home to weak, artificial connections, what I call thin relationships.

It makes for an interesting read, and he goes supports his hypothesis by arguing that hate, exclusion and disempowerment are flourishing online, whereas there is no greater trust or a rise in value of relationships.

This created quite a stir, and invited about 188 comments from readers and almost 50 blogs in response.  Two noteworthy blog posts responses came from Bud Caddell over on What Consumes Me and a lengthy post on Stowe Boyd and the /messengers.

In all, Umair’s argument about the devaluation of relationships because of social media is fairly grand one not necessarily supported empirically anywhere within his post.  That said, it’s certainly refreshing (and desirable) to have the social media industry’s thinking about online relationships tested every now and again.