What is Social Media?
Websites involving social interactions are not new -- online forums, communities, YouTube, Yahoo! Groups, Gmail are all forms of social media.
What exactly is the buzz about "social media" then?
This new term has recently been used to describe an emerging genre of applications built on inherently social contexts, namely social networks like Facebook and MySpace. The birth of this new market began in May 2007 when Facebook first opened its platform to third-party developers. Soon after, MySpace, hi5, Bebo, and other dominant social networks followed. These social applications require interactions between friends as part of its core functionality and leverage the power of these relationships for growth and distribution.
Why should I care? How is this different than the traditional web?
Facts:
- In just 4 weeks, a social media application has gone from 0 to 1 million page views.
- Facebook has made around $15 million per year in virtual gift sales.
- Right now, a 34-year-old woman in Iowa is spending 12 hours per week petting her virtual pet.
- Sure, CPMs are ridiculously low compared to traditional websites. But highly engaging applications can generate upwards of 50+ page views per active user or 10+ million impressions per day. Translation: Thousands of dollars per day based purely on display banner ads.
- Oh, and CPMs are not the most lucrative of monetization opportunities. In fact, they are the worst.
Which social networks do you focus on?
The focus of Developer Analytics is currently on Facebook. Facebook has the most mature, sophisticated platform for third-party social media applications, and, consequently, the richest data set to date.