I would define the peak of the web 2.0 from early 2000’s – blooming of the blogosphere and the first Friendster-like social networks – to 2008 – up until the iPhone broke in. In 2007, the debate was Facebook vs Myspace, the private (Facebook was walled down then) vs the public approach. While 10 years later it became cristal-clear who won the match, it’s still a good thing to look back and analyze what happened.
Historically, you could say that Myspace opened up the door for Facebook to explode. Myspace made social networks international, vibrant, and a great marketing tool for engaged online communities. The myspace.com/… URL was the first among its peers to walk in the world of traditional ads. Myspace was everything that Facebook became, without the cutting-edge technology. Both companies got financial traction through private investments, but Facebook had the right business ties, and its leader maintained a straight-forward vision that kept the boat afloat. Myspace got unsavvy Murdoch money and our friend Tom did not show clear signs of business leadership, which led to market failure.
That brings me to the topic of leadership in social-oriented technologies. On one end, we had Tom, founder of Myspace :
When you created your account on Myspace, Tom was automatically assigned as your first friend. And everybody was keeping him as a friend, which obviously made him the most popular guy on the site. On Facebook, you were invited to 1.Use your real name, and 2. Connect only with people you know (so no Mark was assigned as your first friend). Tom was some sort of democratic president, not elected by vote, but accepted, legitimized by his popularity.
When you think about it, Tom is the kind of leader we say we want : a like-us, close-to-us person that we can have a beer with, and a leader that doesn’t value business over its network’s social values. Exactly the opposite of the leader of Facebook. Tom failed. And Facebook, with its autocratic approach to social development, became a Big 3. What does that tell us about managing (online) communities ?
This is interesting info: Myspace plans both-way syncing with Facebook. I’d like to see if Myspace plans to sync up with more social networks, or if they’re just butt-licking Facebook. If they plan to sync up with more social networks, Myspace could become interesting again, and maybe build the kind of solution Friendfeed was working on before being gulped down by Facebook. I don’t know if the users will care, but as a SE and SM marketer, I definitely will 🙂
After having launched integrations with Twitter and other sites, MySpace has launched a new form of Facebook integration today. Now, it’s easy for MySpace users to syndicate their status updates on Facebook as well. The UI is available to users in a drop-down on MySpace’s status publisher, beneath the Twitter syndication feature that MySpace introduced last year.
RateItAll, the Website that lets you rate everything in the whole universe, has been doing its first steps in the world of platform interoperability.
The company started by developing a compatibility testing tool to offer RIAers (RateItAllers) a fun and meaningful way to interact among each others.
I’m not an addict user of the service, but I passed the technology compatibility test, and was 80% similar to Lawrence Coburn. Once the compatibility tests were up and running, RateItAll opened the valves between different social platforms. When you are on Facebook, it is now possible to share a test with a buddy on Myspace.
RateItAll is the opinion network. As I said, you can rate about anything on the network. That’s where their main strength and weakness lies:
- Strength, they cover everything, and they let users create channels to cover what doesn’t exist in the database yet.
- Weakness, they cover everything, there is no specific topic, and that’s a bit confusing.
I do not know the biz strategy of RateItAll, but since they hold such a horizontal stronghold in the recommendation engine business, they could easily power the recommendation engines of other niche Websites. The fact that their product is inter operable makes it even more appealing for other businesses to use it.
(Please comment if I’m wrong about the biz strat here. Wouldn’t want to put words in other people’s mouth, haha… he…)
Wherever this is going, the compatibility test game is some good geek fun. I can’t wait to see more!
Facebook is releasing Film On Facebook, a new app for film makers (collaterally to launching Music on Facebook). This new app will help Facebook compete more aggressively against Myspace which was originally built for music creators to promote themselves online and which has become a top performer in video advertising. The app seems to perfectly cater to film-makers promotional needs.
As Kristen Nicole writes in Mashable:
One thing Facebook has managed to do much better than most web-based social utilities is disperse information. So any updates a promotional film page has on Facebook, they’ll at least know that the majority of users are pretty much always in the know.
She’s got that right. Facebook is about connections, so the smart approach that Facebook adopts is to connect people and products/brands (films and music are no exception anymore).
Nick O’Neil from Allfacebook provides extra info and ideas about the new release. First Facebook has partnered with MusicToday, LLC to enable artists to distribute their music through the app. Then, Nick is convinced that film and music pages will become full components of profile pages… Very shortly.
If so, that’s a huge step for online movie promotion. The Film on Facebook app will allow Facebook to sell incredibly powerful channels for the viral distribution of promotional videos to main movie distributors. In addition, movie distributors will definitely get a better “profile” of their consumers online.
We’ve all been hearing lately about startups failing to deliver a profitable distribution model for content creators. Now – thank you Ad Lab – we’re seeing smarter technologies emerging to tackle the apparently tricky online video distribution dilemma.
Contextual Ads for Video. Through speech recognition, this technology enables ads to be dynamically served based on the content discussed in the video.
I’m really impressed by the way that Microsoft is handling online video. First, this really smart and simple advertising solution will most probably have more effect than a clickable branded banner.
Plus Microsoft is developing its Smart Trailers technology, a great feature that analyzes a movie file and spits a trailer out. While Google complains that it’s losing money on Myspace with their text ads – whereas Ford is satisfied enough with the even lamer Myspace video show Roommates to sponsor the second season – Microsoft has bet on video as the next best thing on the Web and this strategy is starting to show amazingly coherent results.
With or without Yahoo!, Microsoft is definitely shaking the ladder on top of which Google is starting to slip gently back down.