Warc Blog

Social media giants look to future

4 February 2014
SAN FRANCISCO: As Facebook celebrates its tenth anniversary and Twitter reports its first quarterly earnings figures, the US-based social media companies have indicated where they see their respective futures.

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's CEO, told Bloomberg Businessweek that the company is aiming to develop its app ecosystem. "We just think that there are all these different ways that people want to share, and that compressing them all into a single blue app is not the right format of the future," he said.

In the interview, Zuckerberg also indicated he wanted to harness the information friends were supplying each other on the site – some 5% to 10% of posts are people asking for recommendations for local services such as dentists or restaurants. This, noted Bloomberg was "steering ... right into the domain of Google".

And another growth area for Facebook – video advertising – takes the company into the realm of Google-owned YouTube. Rob Norman, chief digital officer at WPP's GroupM media agency network, said he was confident that Facebook would become a major player here but he told the Guardian that "the creative bar needs to be very high in video, as users don't want an unexciting page post eating into data".

The Financial Times, meanwhile, reported that Twitter was preparing to plunge into the world of ecommerce. A Twitter document appeared to indicate plans for a tie up with Fancy, a social commerce provider, in order to enable users to buy goods directly from its platform.

Twitter has already trialled social commerce with American Express with customers able to shop for certain items on Twitter and pay by tweeting purchase-based hashtags.

Such a move would be one answer to a question posed by Debra Williamson, an analyst at research firm eMarketer, who said that Twitter was not yet a service that everyone felt they had to use.

"There are huge spikes in usage for big events like the Grammy's, the State of the Union speech and the Super Bowl," she noted, "but it [Twitter] has to solve 'why do I use Twitter every day?'"

Williamson added that the company had done well in building its advertising business "but quite frankly it is a couple of years behind Facebook in building ad products, revenue and userbase".

Data sourced from Financial Times, Bloomberg Businessweek; additional content by Warc staff

 
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