MASH MY WEEK! Summary of outstanding news about the Internet, technology, and social media from December 19–24
We are coming to the end of another year, and here at Intuic, we want to be sure you end the year with the latest news about the web and a final summary of the landmark events of 2011.
First, we prepare you for one of the changes expected in 2012: Facebook’s use of “sponsored stories” in its news feed to exploit the marketing potential of its 800-million–user network.
Next, we invite you to a YouTube retrospective recalling the most successful videos of 2011.
Last, we summarize the most important Internet technology events of 2011 and explain how they revolutionized the industry.
Advertising in Facebook’s news feed
The news feed is where users get information about their friends’ updates and the web pages they are following; this is where Facebook will insert sponsored ads.
Beginning in 2012, Facebook’s news feed will give advertisers greater visibility on the social network.
However, the “sponsored stories” have their limitations. To purchase one of these ads, the sponsor must be a Facebook user and link its content only to other Facebook pages. The ad will appear only once a day on a user’s feed, and it will not be available for mobile applications.
On the other hand, a user won’t be able to eliminate or block the online ad.
It seems that Facebook cannot accept or will not alter its most criticized practice: arbitrary, unilateral decision-making about (but not necessarily in) the interests of its users.
No doubt, Facebook’s new advertising option will increase revenues, which can be used to justify higher profit potential when it goes public. Is this the only motivation?
No, we think that the sponsored program is intended to strengthen Facebook’s internal ecosystem, forcing users to concentrate their Internet activities within the social network. What else would explain why the advertisements’ links lead only to other Facebook pages?
What do you think?
2011’s ten favorite YouTube videos
What do we watch on YouTube? EVERYTHING! You have probably visited YouTube more than once this year to watch an online video posted there.
Now, YouTube has compiled a list of its ten most watched 2011 videos. It includes videos for all tastes: animals, advertising, talented children, musicians, babies, humor, satire…
What conclusions can we draw from YouTube’s Top 10? First, successful videos entertain or move the audience. Second, most content is generated by users, and YouTube feedback confirms that its users do not demand “the best audiovisual quality” but look for characteristics like creativity and originality.
This doesn’t mean that a big-budget, professional video cannot succeed on YouTube. Take the Volkswagen commercial with the boy costumed as Darth Vader. It got more than 45 million views and is sure to be remembered by all who saw it. The key to success for Volkswagen was to understand YouTube consumers and offer them an ad they found appealing.
YouTube’s potential as a promotional platform depends on word of mouth and the ease of going viral on the web. For this to happen, YouTube video makers have to pay attention to the interests of their viewers.
2011 landmark events
Technology defines the new paradigm of our lives, from leisure time to work, from political activism to medicine, communications, and more.
There is no question but that technology has an impact on our lives, so before saying goodbye to 2011, we invite you to look back at some of this year’s most significant events.
- Steve Jobs’s death
To some, Steve Jobs was the greatest inventor of our century. He changed the nature of electronic technology and gadgets, and left his impression on the worlds of music, communications, online shopping, marketing, and business. His death in 2011 marks this year.
- Microsoft advances
Together with Nokia, Microsoft entered the mobile device industry, competing with Android (Google) and iOS (Apple). It also took on the social media this year, with its acquisition of Skype.
- Activism on the Internet
The Internet and social networks were involved in events that went beyond the technology environment but were nurtured in it. Two informatics organizations appeared online when hacker groups Anonymus and LulzSec arrived in the virtual world during 2011. Social platforms including Facebook, Twitter, and BlackBerry message service played important roles in this year’s political demonstrations around the world, as mobile devices with Internet access became the preferred means of communication for citizen (and occasionally for professional) journalism.
- Social network war
Google+, the browser social network, became competitive with Facebook this year. Although Facebook has 800 million users, Google+ has better privacy services and initiates integrated searches.
- Online content and iTunes expansion
Netflix and iTunes expanded into Latin America, while other services for sharing online content were sued in 2011 for copyright violations.
- BlackBerry crash
Millions of users were affected when BlackBerry’s Internet and message service went down for three days in October 2011. The company was forced to admit that its system was not adequate to consumer demand.
What do you think? What other technology events belong on this list of 2011 landmarks?