Facebook in numbers

Shel Isreal has asked Facebook about their numbers, since there seems to have been much speculation on the net:

  • Over 150,000 registrants daily. That’s 1 million a week since January.
  • 35 million users today. Of course that number will be off a million one week from today.
  • Half user are outside college. That number was zero in Sept. 2006.
  • 0ver 40 billion page views in May 2007
  • Average visitor stays 20 minutes
  • Most growth is among people over age 25.
  • 47,000 Facebook groups.
  • #1 photo sharing app on the web. 2.7 billion photos on site.
  • More than 2000 applications. The Top 10 are: Top Friends, Video, Graffiti, MyQuestions, iLike, FreeGifts, X Me, Superpoke!, Fortune Cookie & Horoscopes. The smallest of these has over 4.5 million users.

The figures were posted on the 14th of August, so with these growth rates, Facebook should have 36 to 37 million by now.

(via here)

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Why it could make sense for Amazon to send users away with ads

Read/writeweb has an interesting observation. Apparently Amazon has started to place ads on their site that lead to products in shops on completely different sites. Some ads are contextual, others are not. And Alex asks, why on earth Amazon would do something like that, i.e. sending people out of their shop to go somewhere else?

Here are a few thoughts why it might make sense:

  1. People might remember that they found what they were looking for when visiting the amazon site. Sort of like Google whose tools are all more or less designed to send people away. AFTER they found what they were looking for.
  2. Amazon should know the parts of the site where they are loosing the most users anyway, simply because of natural drop out rates that always occur on sites. This way, they can at least earn some money with people who would never have purchased anything in the first place, too. Question is: would they also integrate the banners on pages with well-selling products?
  3. Learning about the click behaviour for products that amazon doesn’t list, is really clever (and paid for) market research into the gaps of their product offering.
  4. Who says, that margins of products sold are always better than advertising revenue. Most of the web 2.0 sites base their business model on advertising revenue rather than actual products. Amazon can probably offer a good, if not the best, targeting based on their recommendation engine. Does anyone know what they charge per click or per CPM? I bet it’s dearer than most sites you can put your ads on. (And it should well be worth the money!)

These are just four thoughts that immediately came into my mind, why it could possibly make sense for amazon to start placing ads on their site. Any other ideas, anyone?

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What will be the „Youtube for online games“?

Just a quick note: this could be interesting: apparently, after all the bookmark, photo and video sites, there is one new „user generated content“ thing for which VCs put up their money: online games.

Sofar, we have two sites racing for the jackpot: Kongregate and YoYo Games.

I doubt the potential is as big as for any of the other typical Web 2.0 sites, simply because it is so much more difficult to conceptualise a computer came, with all its rules, scenarios, player modes, levels, etc.

At the same time I am sure the market is still big enough for good advertising potential, since people will probably spend even more time on these online games portals than they will on Youtube.

(The only thing the sites need to make sure: that the players will see a range of ads, even though they are most likely spending a lot of time on a single page. Remember the discussion about the death of the page view?)

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Another collaborative Video – this time by Gmail

Karl Long pointed me to this collaborative video by Gmail:

YouTube Preview Image

Now people can ad their own sequence. Obviously, within your video, the M needs to appear from the left and dissapear to the right, to make it work. Sort of like that Nike Video from last year. (I just hope that’s the right URL. With those Flash Movies you never really know. Power to the permalink!)

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The tasty effects of good branding

Are kids easy to fool? Can a little branding make things much tastier for them? Of course it can! Well, at least this article says it can. Wrap anything in something branded by McDonalds and the kids seem to be liking it!

„You see a McDonald’s label and kids start salivating,“ said Diane Levin, a childhood development specialist who campaigns against advertising to kids. She had no role in the research.

So be careful about the bad effects advertising and branding might have on your kids.

But hey – only your kids? Shouldn’t you also watch out for yourself? Don’t you think it is rather easy to be fooled as an adult, too? Well, think again. Because this article mentions a study, that tested adults for perception of well branded vs not well branded wine.

Of course it’s not about an overarching (golden) brand symbol. But it’s about perception nevertheless. What is your opinion on wine from North Dakota? Don’t have any (opinion, that is)? How about wine from California? That bell makes you salivate?

In that study conducted by Cornell professors, a group of diners was served the same wine, either labeled as wine from california, or labeled as wine from North Dakota – both carrying the name of a non-existent winery. Guess which one the group preferred? Correct!

Branding can be sooo misleading! *g*

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Blue Note records starts digital services

This seems so obvious, yet it took some time to realize it. According to this Reuters article, Blue Note records (one of the most famous brands for Jazz Music) has dived into offering a digital experience:

The label is in the process of revamping the site to become a social network and digital music store for fans of jazz and blues — the staples of the Blue Note catalog — rather than a simple promotional Web site for its artists.

They are targetting the age group of the 35 to 55 year olds. It’s not the typical target group for downloading music and/or getting heavily involved in social networks, you might think.

But it is indeed a target group

  • with more money available than the teens (and apparently more willing to spend it on music, too)
  • looking for specialised music – think about the long tail effects of digital music!

There seems to be a trend, as Blue Note is not the first:

Blue Note’s pending Web site is just the latest. Universal Music Group opened a digital jazz and classical music service in the United Kingdom in January, and last December a social networking site aimed at the 35-and-up crowd called Urban Boomer (UBTunes) went live.

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