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Facebook Does the TOS Dance

This year April 16th is no longer just the day after your taxes must be done (or extensions filed depending on what’s going on). Thisdemocracy-we-the-people day is now a new Opening Day of sorts. It is the day the Facebook’s new terms of service (TOS) will be unveiled after the 30 day public comment period. The new document called the Facebook Principles and Statement of Rights and Responsibilities will be open for a vote through April 23rd. The whole process is starting to have a game show kind of feel to it as the entire process is being audited by Ernst & Young. I wonder if the envelopes will be hermetically sealed as well. So much suspense!

Are All of Your Eggs in One Social Media Basket?

by Kristy Bolsinger

813014_eggs_in_one_basketSo your company has stumbled upon the next big thing (no reference to StumbleUpon intended, necessarily). Twitter. There is a gigantic scramble to jump on the newest ‘it-girl’ of the social media world and make money, be a presence, play in the pond so to speak. “This is going to revolutionize how we manage [insert subject matter here ranging from: customer service, customer engagement, branding, marketing, advertising, etc.]” is something we may have all heard from our clients or management.

Haven’t we heard this before? Isn’t there a pattern forming here? The ‘curve of cool’ that dominates the product marketing sphere is starting to resonate in social media.

Pay Your Fake Friends with Fake Money on Facebook

Facebook is really stretching the boundaries of a lot of things lately. The newest ‘deal’ they are offering their users is, how do I sayfacebook2 this, pretty stupid. TechCrunch goes into some detail regarding this new opportunity for someone to part with their money for no real good reason.

Facebook is offering a virtual gift product that revolves around credits that you toss to your ‘friends’ in lieu of simply liking something they do. Kind of a pay for performance model of friendship. Talk about taking relationships to a new low. For just $1 you can purchase 100 credits that you can give to your ‘friends’ when they do something you like. I don’t know about you but I think that throwing money at my ‘friends’ when they do something I like is not something I consider regularly. I guess my ‘friends’ would like it but it seems pretty ridiculous to me. It’s like treating your ‘friends’ like performing seals. When they honk the horn on the stage by the pool you can throw them a fish and a sincere “Nice job. Atta boy!”

Twitter Wouldn’t Sell for $1B—Better Make Sure It’s Worth It!

It looks like the biggest April Fool’s Joke was on all of us. Despite persistent rumors that Google was in talks to acquire Twitter (the coolest thing since the last coolest thing since sliced bread), no deal is forthcoming. On its blog, Twitter explains that sometimes they tease talk.

While all this may be protesting too much from both parties, sources are now saying that Twitter CEO Evan Williams wouldn’t sell for a billion dollars, four times what Google is rumored to have placed the microblogging service’s value at.

When it comes to Internet businesses, though, Twitter needs to remember that timing is everything. If their endgame is acquisition, there are a few points they might want to keep in mind:

  • the economy is down

Twitter Redesign Includes Search & Trends

Reason #253 why you should subscribe to Marketing Pilgrim: Back in October we had the exclusive on the new user interface for Twitter. Today we learn that selected Twitter users will indeed start seeing this new layout.

Twitter admits its recent test of the search box at the top of the interface was a flop, so instead, it’s going back to the drawing board. Well, actually its original redesign drawing:

Here’s how the new design will look:

discovery

A subset of users will start seeing the above interface soon. In addition, Twitter is testing a feature that should be welcomed by many:

Facebook CFO Moves On

In the latest episode of “How the Facebook Turns” CFO Gideon Yu has been sent packing. The report at All Things Digital says the move appears facebook-logoto be in preparation of an initial public offering (IPO). There are other rumblings that the Good Ship Zuckerberg has a captain that isn’t afraid to make someone walk the plank if there is enough push back on the captain’s orders.

This apparent friction that exists in Facebook keeps coming up in story after story concerning the company and its latest actions. Some, like Robert Scoble, seem to be firmly in Zuckerberg’s corner as he continues to push against conventional wisdom and pressure to do things other than his way. For others this type of behavior raises concerns about what is actually going on at Facebook and if any of the other approximately 799 employees will be little more than Zuckerberg “yes-people” in order to keep their positions. Dissenters being shown the door is certainly becoming a pattern so it may be more likely that folks will “fall in line” because this economy is not exactly overflowing with opportunities.

MySpace and Citysearch Join Forces

MySpace is still huge despite not getting the degree of attention that other social media outlets get. myspaceAccording to Compete.com from January ’09 it slipped to second behind Facebook when ranked by number of monthly visits. Despite the huge numbers (810 million visits in Jan. ’09) there is little talk about the business applications beyond the music world and products that skew very young. With as much talk as there is about Twitter, you would think it’s getting just as big as MySpace but in January Twitter is getting just 7% of the monthly visits that MySpace does.

In a similar position is Citysearch. As we have discussed here in the recent past Citysearch is working to updatecitysearch-logo and expand its offerings to a much larger audience. The competition that is coming up in the rear view mirror for these guys are the likes of Yelp!.