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Facebook Out to Get LinkedIn, Not Overvalued

Facebook is all over the news today. I know, I know, just another day at the office. Anyway, two of the biggest stories are that Facebook appears to be going after LinkedIn as it enhances its business networking capabilities—and that $10B isn’t too much to pay for the site.

Facebook Gets Business—Now on to Get LinkedIn
Friday, TechCrunch reported that Facebook will be adding enhanced networking capabilities specifically designed to better network for business on the social networking site.

Many professionals using Facebook have complained that Facebook is still too college-mentality-centric, with ‘networking’ mostly used as a euphemism for ‘hookups.’ TechCrunch reports that this may be about to change:

Win the Nobel Prize Get More Friends on MySpace

One way to measure your popularity is to see those social network invitations roll in. You get friend invites on MySpace. Everyone wants to connect with you on Facebook. You can’t keep up with your LinkedIn requests. Suddenly, through these communities, people you admire can be just an email away from being your friend.

You don’t even need to have your own MySpace page to be popular on the site. Today the Noble Prizes were announced and The New York Times reported on Doris Lessing who won a prize in Literature. The 87-year-old (at almost 88, some say she’s one of the oldest on the site) has a MySpace page but she didn’t create it and has in fact never visited. The page is being maintained by a fan and now friend Jan Hanford. Soon after winning the prize last week, Lessing got 100 new friend requests. Hanford calls her to read comments and to give her updates on the page which is full of congratulations from her friends all over the world.

Nike+ a Lesson in Social Community Marketing

image In my forthcoming book, I take a look at how Nike has increased sales by tapping into social community marketing initiatives. Instead of simply shoveling more TV and print ads down our throat, Nike is instead shifting its marketing budget to non-traditional channels.

The NYT has a great summary of Nike’s “Nike+” effort to engage runners and get them to connect and compete with each other. In conjunction with Apple’s iPod, runners can time their laps, download their progress, and keep track of how their friends are doing–all without forceful participation by Nike.

This use of social media is helping Nike to better allocate its marketing budget.

Google Hinting at Its Own Social Network?

Unlike our good friend Steve, Eric Schmidt is one of the “true believers” in social networking. Perhaps he’s just one of the “younger people” (or younger at heart people) that Ballmer said were so absorbed in the faddish nature of social networking, even though he is a couple months older than Ballmer.

Whatever the case, Schmidt is praising the power and popularity of social networks—and dropping hints about a Google social network in front of the New York Times.

Mr. Schmidt did say that over the next year, Google is planning to use information it has about the connections between its users, something techies call the “social graph,” to improve searches and other Google services.

Platform Possibilities: Bebo, But Not MySpace

More platform rumors are flying this week. After the success of Facebook’s platform, it seems like everyone and their social network is scrambling to get their own version out. We’ve already seen rumors about Google’s and MySpace’s intentions. Today, the MySpace rumors are called into question and Bebo rumors start.

Bebo logoBebo: Assuring Its Dominance
Read/Write Web reports from “a couple reliable sources” and “a Bebo investor” that the most popular social networking site in the UK, Bebo, is working on a developer platform, which it plans to call a “platform API.” RWW notes that with the rumored launches, the “‘platform wars’ will be well and truly on.”

A Study of Trust Online

Nielsen’s recent survey on trust reiterated what we all know – people trust each other more than they trust advertising. Word of mouth advertising is most trusted way to find out about products, especially across much of Asia Pacific. The survey of 26,486 internet users covered 47 markets around the world. Respondents were polled on the trust they have in thirteen different types of advertising – from conventional newspaper and television ads to branded web sites and consumer-generated content.

The internet has shrunk the world but people still rely on people they know and are influenced by their local culture. Trust of different advertising mediums from newspapers to television, magazines and radio varies across nationalities. Who trusts advertising most? Filipinos and Brazilians (67%) were found to be the most trusting of all forms of advertising. Who has the lowest levels of trust? Danes (28%), Italians (32%), Lithuanians (34%) and Germans (35%).

Facebook Traffic Declines – Abandon Ship or Deja Vu?

We have good news for Om Malik. The new media guru is a little concerned about Facebook’s recent decline in traffic.

I just got the spread sheet and there seems to be a 9.3% decline in their unique visitors from 33.75 million in August 2007 to 30.6 million in September 2007…Why would that happen to both Facebook ahead of back-to-school season? It just doesn?t make any sense! Unless of course, the unthinkable is happening.

Here’s Malik’s chart…


Scary, huh?

But fear not Om! The same thing happened last year and Facebook went on to recover quite nicely.