Marketing Pilgrim's "Social Media" Channel

Sponsor Marketing Pilgrim's Social Media Channel today! Get in front of some of the most influential readers in the Internet and social media marketing industry. Contact us today!

Fake Social Media Profiles: The Biggest Online Threat of 2009?

ReadWriteWeb reports that security firm Aladdin released their Annual Threat Report today, one of the biggest online identity theft threats of 2009 will be fake social media profiles. I don’t expect that to surprise any of Marketing Pilgrim’s readers, I do, however, expect it to come as a surprise to most of our clients and the less “Web savvy.”

Evil people are heading out to popular social media sites and setting up fake profiles and abusing those profiles. They are pretending to be someone in order to create valuable connections, and in some cases, to hurt online reputations. Director of Aladdin’s Attack Intelligence Research Center, Ian Amit, says this type of identity theft can be “devastating, both on the personal level by creating difficulties in employment, ruining social and professional connections, damaging reputations; as well as on a financial level, such as stealing customers, corporate data.”

Women Over 55 Are Helping Facebook Takeoff

Yep, you read that headline right. According to MediaPost, women over the age of 55 are the fastest-growing user group on Facebook over the last three months. This is significant considering how rapidly Facebook has been growing these last few months (600k users a day!).

The study also reports several other statistics that marketers should take note of:

  • Women make up 56.2% of Facebook users—outnumbering men in almost every age group
  • 25% of U.S. Facebook users are over the age of 35—considering that Facebook started as a college platform, this is very surprising.
  • 45% of U.S. users are over the age of 26—this isn’t as surprising as you take into account that this is now about the average age of early Facebook adopters.

Facebook Not Selling Out–But Should They?

Methinks the Telegraph was hoping to spark controversy when they published this article yesterday:

Facebook is planning to exploit the vast amount of personal information it holds on its 150m members by creating one of the world’s largest market research databases.

In an attempt to finally monetise the social networking site, once valued at $15bn (£10.4bn), it will soon allow multinational companies to selectively target its members in order to research the appeal of new products. Companies will be able to pose questions to specially selected members based on such intimate details as whether they are single or married and even whether they are gay or straight.

And yes, were it true, that would definitely be . . . well, if not cause for alarm, at least attention-getting. Let me say it again: were it true.

Do You Have a Twitter Twin?

twitter

By Danny Brown

Perhaps it’s a sign that the site is reaching more mainstream popularity levels, but Twitter is fast becoming a haven for spammers. Accounts include semi-naked girls with just one link to an affiliate site to brands that use the service for nothing more sending direct messages to other users with a sales link.

Now it seems that the “power players” of Twitter are being targeted—yet it’s not directly at them. Rather, it’s using them instead.

This latest trick sees users that have a certain authority on Twitter—i.e., thousands of followers—be the lucky target of a fake account with their details. Their image and name is used to trick unsuspecting users into thinking it’s the real person. Normally it’s a play on the person’s name—underscores, dashes, numbers, etc.

Twitter is a Cash Cow in the Making

Cash CowWe have been talking a great deal lately about how Twitter should be monetizing their service. Most of this talk comes after news that Twitter secured $20 million in venture capital, to push its total valuation to $250 million. It wasn’t long ago that Twitter started looking for a product manager to define a revenue stream. This is a smart move for a company that has relied solely on venture capital from day one.

Andy recently wrote a post detailing his thoughts for a Twitter subscription program. This is an idea that even Twitter’s CEO Evan Williams has spoken about in the past.

More Bad News for MySpace

myspacelogoBy Danny Brown

In a move that won’t surprise as many people as it would have this time last year, Fox Interactive Media has announced it will be cutting its workforce by as many as 100 jobs. Fox is the parent company of social network site MySpace as well as Photobucket and various mobile sites.

The move, which accounts for 5% of employees across the board, is another sign that MySpace and Photobucket are falling increasingly behind in the social networking battle. With Facebook and Flickr taking away much of the core audience of Fox Interactive’s babies, the signs aren’t good for Tom Anderson and his friends.

But is it such a surprise?

Dear Twitter, I’m the Type of User You Can Make Money From

Can you imagine how much more than $250 million Twitter would be worth if it ever figures out a revenue model?

I suspect the micro-blogging service must have something up its sleeve, otherwise why would a venture capital firm reportedly dump $20 million into the company–giving it the $250M valuation?

Personally, I hope Twitter can find a way to support itself, before the money runs out. It’s no coincidence the company is seeing incredible growth, the service is becoming an invaluable tool for communication. Heck, some people are even suggesting that it’s becoming an alternative channel for bloggers.

Just the other day, I considered how I communicated with friends and peers before the advent of Twitter. For me, Twitter has become a valuable tool for three reasons: