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Can Twitter Crack the Teen Market?

I’m not quite sure how a NYT piece on Twitter ended-up in the “Fashion & Style” section, but it’s an interesting read nonetheless.

Michelle Slatalla (or should that be @slatalla) explains her attempts to convince her teenage daughters to use Twitter as a broadcast system for family updates. Unfortunately, despite being “superconnected” her kids feel Twitter is spammy or some kind of surveillance–rather than a tool for knowing where mom is.

Towards the end of the piece we learn that perhaps Twitter’s destined to be the tool of marketers and PR folks–those of us that are obsessed with promoting ourselves. According to Walter J. Carl, an assistant professor of communications studies at Northeastern University:

Facebook Cleans Up Act, Disabled Accounts

Facing pressure from a UK probe and continued coverage from the New York Times, Facebook seems to have realized that people don’t appreciate the website keeping their data after discontinuing their accounts.

To review, it has long been difficult for people to really get off Facebook. Last summer, Steve Mansour attracted attention after (colorfully) documenting the 2504 Steps to Closing Your Facebook Account, or the actual process he had to go through to get his personal information removed from Facebook after he’d already deactivated his account. (Long story short: he was forced to delete every entry he made in a form, every friend he’d added, every note he’d written, etc., etc., individually.)

Rumor Mill: Google to Buy Bebo

bebo logoTechCrunch speculates that there’s a 51% chance that Google might buy Bebo—or maybe MySpace will snap up the smaller social networking company. Last year, it was Yahoo that was supposed to be making a $1B offer on Bebo. This year’s guesses are similar—$1B to $1.5B.

TechCrunch explains that the move would almost double Google’s social networking audience, with Orkut’s millions of members worldwide plus Bebo’s non-US English-speaking market. Erick Schonfeld also notes that MySpace could assure its worldwide dominance by buying the #1 social network in several English-speaking countries.

Bebo has an exclusive partnership with Yahoo for display and video advertising. They initially signed on to Google’s OpenSocial, but soon also accepted Facebook’s platform as well.

Ask.com Launches Social Media News Site BigNews

Search engine Ask.com just launched a news aggregation site called BigNews. The difference is that it integrates voting with what it calls “BigFactor.” BigNews is like Yahoo News or Google News except it’s broader – it includes video, images, and blog posts related to each story.

If you click through to the actual story you’ll see related stories from Digg, sorted by number of votes. I also noticed Wikipedia content relating to the story.

If you mouseover the “BigFactor” vote you’ll see a score. It also shows a quick rundown on how the story rates according to criteria like how new the story is, how much discussion has resulted from the story, and other measurements. BigNews feeds in top stories on Digg as well as Digg stories with no votes – so you can be the first to vote on them. Click “track” and you can subscribe to the newsfeed or put it in “MyStuff.”

Will Social Networking Ever = Money?

Someone, somewhere is supposed to be raking it in from social media—but we never have figured out who that person is (unless it’s Mark Zuckerberg). We see the CEOs with their millions, and everyone wants in on the wave of the future, either in an IPO or working for the company behind the social network, or establishing their own.

But is there really any money to be had? Last week, social networking darling Facebook, still a privately-held and VC-funded enterprise, allegedly leaked its financial projections for the year. The outlook isn’t exactly what you’re hoping for in a company that is supposedly worth $15B:

2007 Revenues: $150 million

2008 Revenues: $300 to $350 million (projected)

2007 Headcount: 450

2008 Headcount: 1,000 (projected)

Exclusive: Predicting Super Tuesday Results Using Social Media & Search Sentiment

There’s no need to watch today’s Super Tuesday presidential election coverage, we already know who’s going to win: Barack Obama and John McCain.

How do we know this?

Marketing Pilgrim and Collective Intellect have joined forces to release “Election 2008: Using Social Media Measurement as a tool for predicting poll results” a study that looked at sentiment across social media and the search engines. Based upon our findings, we’re confidently predicting a win for Democrat Obama and Republican McCain.

You can download the free report via the Collective Intellect blog. In it, you’ll find full details of how we used blogs and search engine results to make our predictions.

For those of you interested, here’s a quick summary.

Sentiment across social media:

Google Laying the Groundwork for Identifying Latent Social Networks

google social graph api graphicHours after VentureBeat kicked off the latest round of social search speculations, Google announced the Social Graph API. The API could use information contained in files and links on a site (including FOAF and the XFN relationships meta data, which you may already be using) to identify social relationships between the people behind websites.

Like other meta data, this information is not generally available to visitors to your website (unless they view your source code). However, Google is quick to note that this data is already public and clarify that they will not be using private profiles or social networks to find relationships between people.

The XFN meta data can indicate relationships from everything to casual acquaintances to familial relationships to crushes. (But, uh, you might want to be careful about publishing that kind of info on your website.)