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Twitter Responsible for British Economic Woes?

Twitter iconHeadline seem like it’s over the top? Maybe a little but a report has been released making the claim that Twitter costs the British economy 1.38 billion pounds on an annual basis. That’s a boat load of pounds! (We miss you Carol. Please say something outrageous soon, please!).

Regular readers will know how I tend to be a skeptic first on any surveys / research / reports that claim anything because let’s face it, most things are hard to quantify and even harder to draw definitive conclusions from. This one, which was reported in the Telegraph, set off the ‘Research Report Red Light’ quickly but it sounded just silly enough to look into further. The report says

Is Facebook’s Reconnect a Trick or a Treat?

JOLWith Halloween looming in the very near future one wonders if the ‘reconnect’ feature’s algorithm doesn’t have a little bit of ‘All Hallow’s Eve’ mischief in it or is programmed for the macabre. Either way it is managing to upset more than a few Facebook users with suggestions that border on the, well, bizarre.

Mashable shares with us some of the experiences that have been reported as a result of the Facebook ‘improvement’.

Unfortunately Facebook’s algorithms can’t account for some less desirable scenarios: according to Twitter reports, the site is recommending that users reconnect with ex-girlfriends and ex-boyfriends. It’s recommending they reconnect with their (current) husband or wife. It’s even advising people to reconnect with friends who have died, causing obvious distress. These aren’t isolated cases: there are scores of Twitter reports of these issues.

What Can Brown Do for Social Media?

While this UPS sponsored video at Mashable is slick, I’m scratching my head over it.

Aside from the fact that it’s extremely basic–which is probably UPS’s intent–I’m just not making the connection between a courier service and social media.

Can anyone help me out? Why is UPS sponsoring this?

Google Reader Adds More Suggestions and MAGIC!

No, seriously, they added magic.

As you’ve probably noticed today, Google Reader has added a few new features. The first is the Explore section, just below the People you follow section. Here, Google shows off two sources of new feeds: Popular Items and Recommended Sources. As you might guess, the Recommended Sources feature analyzes your feeds (via Reader Trends) and Web History to find feeds you might like. (This is the old Recommendations feature.) Popular Items highlights “top-rising images, videos and pages from anywhere (not just your subscriptions).” It identifies these items algorithmically (how else?) and sorts them in the order they think you’ll like them.

The magic isn’t just in the mind reading, however. It’s also in the feed settings: now we can order items by newest, oldest or . . . magic.

Geesh! Facebook Sure Gets A Lot of Pageviews

Facebook IconEveryone has watched Facebook grow in popularity and significance over the past year or so. It almost sneaks up on you just how far reaching the social networking site has become. Claiming over 300 million users is impressive enough but some research is showing that there is data to support the claim that Facebook gets 1 out of every 4 pageviews in the US. Holy crap. That’s saying something.

Henry Blodgett at the BusinessInsider

Here’s a startling conclusion by Perry Drake of database marketing firm Drake Direct:

Facebook accounts for 25% of U.S. online pageviews.

Perry’s analysis was prompted by a study showing that the figure in the U.K. is 1 in 7. He pulled some Compete charts and concluded that the number here is 1 in 4.

19% of Internet Users Update their Statuses

Quick: if I asked you “Do you use an Internet service or site to share updates about yourself?”, how would you answer? “Yes: Facebook,” “Yes: my blog,” “Yes: Twitter,” (yes, all of the above)? Okay, let’s say I took all of those yeses, no matter which site/service you use, and declared them all to be Tweets.

Face it: someone with that little regard for the differences between the above types of sites probably shouldn’t consider himself/herself to be an Internet researcher.

19% of Internet users answered yes to the question “Do you use Twitter or another service to update your status about yourself, or to see others’ statuses?” in a Pew Internet & American Life study, up from 11% in April and last December. Naturally, Pew concludes that all 19% of them use Twitter. Brilliant. In fact, they’re so confused, I’m having a hard time figuring out these stats. They’ve mixed up the data so well that I can’t tell whether they mean “update their status” or “actually use Twitter” whenever they talk about Twitter use.

Social Sites Send Fewer, but More Loyal Visitors than Search

While we all like our sites to have visitors, a loyal visitor—one who returns for later visits—is especially valuable. And while search engines do send a lot of visitors, a study issued by Chitika earlier this month shows that the most loyal site visitors come from social sites, as eMarketer reports today.

Studying 33 million uniques across its publisher network last month, Chitika used the criterion of four or more visits over the course of a week to indicate a loyal visitor. They found that Facebook and Digg had the best loyalty rates:
Facebook showed 20.69% of its referrals became loyal visitors. Digg had slightly over 16% of its referrals visit four or more times that week.

Interestingly, Yahoo had a slightly better loyalty rate than Google.: