Video of Bebo London office

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The WSJ's Kara Swisher visits Bebo London. Why is it so small an office for such a high-profile startup? Its development team is in San Francisco, while much of the commercial deals take place in London, since Bebo is growing fastest in the UK and Europe. Featuring an interview with Joanna Shields, “President of International”, a former Silicon Valley executive with extensive European experience at companies like RealNetworks and Google.

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Plaxo plans social network

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Plaxo Logo 30 2

Plaxo plans to release a social network “aggregator” on Monday. Its key features look likely to be an independence from platforms like Facebook, the ability to add information about the social networks your contacts use, feed aggregation and control over your owen data.

Plaxo hopes its independence from closed networks like Facebook will give it a competitive edge, although all the evidence is to the contrary right now. While many commentarors have been saying that users owning their own data would be an idea which triumphed in the end, so far the fastest growing network – Facebook – has disproved that theory by making the process of social networking very user-friendly by locking users into a closed environment. Not unlike the way Apple locks people into hardware by focusing on the user experience.

In the past Plaxo had a reputation for eating into a PC and spamming all your contacts with Plaxo invites. As a result it was usually used by small businessmen with zero idea about tech. It’s unlikely to get much traction amongst the hip-young things on Facebook.

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Facebook on track to overtake MySpace

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A Comscore survey of global visitors age 15 and older highlights how Facebook has grown by 270% in the last year, which would put it on track to being larger than MySpace by the end of this year. In North America it has racked up 68.4% of the total unique visits to MySpace’s 62.1%. Facebook only opened its APIs on May 24th, 2007.

Comscore said social networking behemoth MySpace.com attracted more than 114 million global visitors age 15 and older in June 2007, representing a 72-percent increase versus year ago. Facebook.com experienced even stronger growth during that same time frame, jumping 270 percent to 52.2 million visitors. Bebo.com (up 172 percent to 18.2 million visitors) and Tagged.com (up 774 percent to 13.2 million visitors) also increased by orders of magnitude.

Bebo.com has a particularly strong grasp on Europe, attracting nearly 63 percent of its visitors from that region, while Orkut is firmly entrenched in Latin America (49 percent) and Asia-Pacific (43 percent). Friendster also attracts a significant proportion of its visitors (89 percent) from the Asia-Pacific region.

“A fundamental aspect of the success of social networking sites is cultural relevance,� said said Bob Ivins, executive vice president of international markets. “Those doing well in certain regions are likely doing an effective job of communicating appropriately with those regions’ specific populations.

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Facebook doubles ad rates inside four months

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Since February, Facebook has doubled its ad rates for sponsored groups from $150,000 to $300,000 in the US, reports ValleyWag which has obtained Facebook’s PowerPoint rate-card deck. Facebook now says it’s the top photo site. The minimum sponsorship remains $50,000, and Facebook claims the click-through rate is 20 times that of banners. This higher fee means the number of homepage links and sponsored stories advertisers get also doubles.

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Posted in Advertising, Social Media, Social Software, tbites | Leave a comment

Facebook doubles ad rates inside four months

Share this postShare on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedIn

Since February, Facebook has doubled its ad rates for sponsored groups from $150,000 to $300,000 in the US, reports ValleyWag which has obtained Facebook's PowerPoint rate-card deck. Facebook now says it's the top photo site. The minimum sponsorship remains $50,000, and Facebook claims the click-through rate is 20 times that of banners. This higher fee means the number of homepage links and sponsored stories advertisers get also doubles.

 

fb rates
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Three signs Aardman for ad-supported videos

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UK mobile network Three has signed Aardman Animations, creators of the Wallace and Gromit series of animations, to supply video “snack” content. Has the Aardman’s ‘Angry Kid’ series of video shorts which are paid downloads, but this new package is ad-supported, and will feature old favourites such as Creature Comforts, A Town Called Panic, Purple & Brown and Morph. 3’s ad-supported video service is operated by Rhythm NewMedia.

“Launching an ad-supported service is the next step in a strategy, which will continue Aardman’s leadership in mobile animation services,” said Robin Gladman, digital product manager at Aardman Animations.

Posted in 3G, Advertising, MediaBites, Mobile, Video | Leave a comment

Newser launches human-edited news engine

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Newser is a news search engine finessed by human editors. The site has been launched by Patrick Spain, the CEO of Highbeam (cofounder and former CEO of Hoover’s) and journalist Michael Wolff. The mission of the site: “quickly learn more about the most important and most talked about news stories each day, as well as to dig a bit deeper on news topics that interest you.� This is not unlike other sites like Newsvine, Digg, Netscape etc. Editors summarise breaking stories.

Newser looks nice but it is like shoe-horning a portal play onto a web which is increasingly focused on niche and application/function, not on telling me which story is “big� right now. The point is, I already know that. I don’t see this working…

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Dvorak just doesn’t get it

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John Dvorak is an old-fashioned tech jounralist in the US who thinks we’re going to have another dotcom bust:

“Every single person working in the media today who experienced the dot-com bubble in 1999 to 2000 believes that we are going through the exact same process and can expect the exact same results—a bust…Today everything from YouTube to the local church has a social-networking angle. And this doesn’t even consider the actual social-networking sites, from MySpace to LinkedIn to Facebook to even Second Life. This scene is totally out of control and will contribute to the collapse for sure.”

Marshal Kirkpatrick is a startup guy and a former TechCrunch writer who nails this rubbish to the wall:

“I say: Social networking is an emerging utility that combines the functionality of blogging’s self publishing with the usefulness of email list serves. Social networking services make these activities more accessible than ever before… Why on earth is this man considered a leading voice on tech? I’m guessing that it’s because he speaks to the potent paranoia of much of the aging population – afraid in the face of a changing, confusing world that they will face humiliation if they bet on new tech, that they will be unemployed if things take a downturn or that they will lose their self-righteous know-it-all credentials if this new economy does succeed.”

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King of Shave preps Facebook app

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King of Shaves, the shaving brand and e-commerce site, is planning to release a Facebook application in what could be the first ever brand marketing use of the social networking site in this manner. Word leaked out via Twitter and a screen shot has been posted to Flickr.

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So far brands in the UK (outside of media companies like Virgin and the BBC, see comment) have hung back form developing full-blown applications, preferring instead to use traditional advertising banners on the site.

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King of Shave preps Facebook app

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King of Shaves, the shaving brand and e-commerce site, is planning to release a Facebook application in what could be the first ever brand marketing use of the social networking site in this manner. Word leaked out via Twitter and a screen shot has been posted to Flickr.

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So far brands in the Uk have hung back form developing full-blown applications, preferring instead to use traditional advertising banners on the site.

Posted in Marketing, MediaBites, Social Media | Leave a comment