Tuesday, October 7

Can't Wait Until They Add a Voice Chat Option

So hands up, who hates the New Facebook? Seems like a lot of people, which is natural when something you are really fond of gets messed with.

My concern is that they have completely buried user widgets in the new layout. Not only do I need to click on the "Boxes" tab to view them, but anyone visiting my profile page must do the same. It's going to kill the efforts of most marketers who are entering this space. Number of widget impressions will plummet dragging the number of interactions along with it. Which will also limit the viral spread. It's been the one area of Facebook that advertisers could get a foot into and has been relocated to the basement.

Which isn't the end of the bad news for marketers and social networks. A recent report shows that 46% of social networkers accessed their fave sites via mobile devices (primarily MySpace and Facebook). Mobile access is mostly limited to posting text status updates, sending messages, and viewing friend profiles.

However, the new iPhone and Google apps are bringing more functionality to mobile devices. The most recent Facebook iPhone app provides access to most of the site's content and tools -- except widgets, sponsored text links, and banner ads. Which is going to be a buzz kill for marketers.

As sites port more content to mobile, there is less need to visit the website versions. As more consumers access content away from their computers, online media pillars such as reach/frequency, time spent on site, and page views will crumble.

Social networks will need to find ways to cram advertising and marketing messages into their mobile apps. If they can find room. And if they can do it without screwing up the consumer experience, which currently is fairly nice and clean. That whole social mapping craze is looking more promising...

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