Two Clicks And You’re Out! Facebook ‘Like’ Revolt

The end is nigh for much of Facebook’s F8 mayhem. And among the biggest losers will be musicians, authors, artists and anyone else that tries to blackmail users to use the Like button.

You’ve all seen the trick:

  • click on a link for a “free” download
  • click from a webzine to a bio
  • click on a “news” item for more info

When you click, you arrive at a Facebook request to “Like” (the page, the brand, the artist) before you can go any further.

No more!

Every Twitter account that tries that trick will start to be Unfollowed.

Every Tech blog that tries that trick will be suspect.

There are three key reasons the Like scam will now fail wholesale:

  • when users take two clicks to reach something they should reach in one click, they lose interest rapidly
  • when users click Like they become part of Facebook’s “know you and sell you” data empire
  • the failing Digg, Stumble and similar content farms showed the junk aspect of processes similar to Like

So next time you get a blackmail attempt to Like something, don’t.


Facebook slump in the UK, but youth interests are solid

Although half the UK population is said to be on Facebook, recent statistics show that FB accounts for less than one eighth of UK internet usage.

The infographic below, created by Experian Hitwise, allocates a month’s usage into one hour:

Although all “Social Media” is grouped together, Facebook only accounts for half of that pie slice.

Therefore, the standard web usage of Entertainment, News, Email, Shopping and Travel continues to dominate.

Complete analysis is clouded, however, with a huge one-third of internet time being left vague, called Other. My guess, based on many other surveys, is that Other will include a lot of youth-oriented sites like YouTube, iTunes, Vevo etc. And that’s where the real importance lies!

Google, Facebook, Twitter, the web, internet, email – they ALL live!

No, neither the internet nor the web “are dead” and certainly not even dying! EVERY eComm in our headline is GROWING and exponentially.

So let’s ignore the lazy journalists in the news media (newspapers, magazines, tv). And let’s ignore those shallow thinkers that pretend to inform the tech blogs.

pie chart exampleHere’s the thing:

Google = bank

Facebook = hairdresser

Twitter = coffee shop

Every person will go to any one of the six examples as many times as they need. What makes the difference? Easy:

  • current age
  • current economic status
  • current location
  • current culture
  • current technology
  • current peer group

But even more important, most people in developed and developing countries will go to all of them! So the numbers don’t really matter.

Just because more people go to the coffee shop doesn’t mean it is more important than the bank. It doesn’t even mean the coffee shop is more popular.

So ignore the pretenders. An ‘expert’ is really a ‘tryer’ if you go back to the origin of the word. They are trying to make you believe something is important when it is not. They are left behind in their muddled ‘thinking’ while Social Media streaks ahead.

Facebook is now LOSING users and traffic

As we have predicted for the past 6 months, Facebook is in serious decline. But now, on top of concerns over private information being sold to advertisers, plus the cover-ups of complaints about pedos, it is LOSING market share among users aged 18-25 and 35-44.

The lack of enthusiasm towards Facebook from other countries – reported in yesterday’s post (see below) – is another reason growth has slowed. Research in the past has claimed Facebook can gain up to 6 or 7 million users per month. In June 2010 it gained a very small 320,000 according to market research from Insider Network.

facebook advertiser statisticsFurther problems for Facebook revolve around the games and apps – the money is not there! For example:

  • Zynga is the top app developer with about 50% market share
  • Number 2, Electric Arts, has only about 15%
  • Zynga made only $250m in 2009 (from about 250m users)

In other words, the most successful app developer for Facebook could gather only $1 (ONE DOLLAR) on average per user per year!

By any business model, that is rubbish.

The money is not there in advertising either. Facebook allegedly “served” 176 BILLION ads in the first quarter 2010 yet made less than $80 million profit in 2009. The hype about Facebook and its value is just that – hype. It will make a few million for a handfull of companies. It is NOT the future of the web and NOT the future of social media.

American Social Media statistics are seriously misleading

There is a problem with most tech blogs and poll results about social media – they are almost always a reflection of American statistics and American point of view. Which would be fine if that was noted and explained.

So the next time you see headlines in a blog or newspaper or on a tv tech program, check to see the source of the data. In the meantime here’s a reality check on some real Social Media trends:

graph iconTwitter gains huge response

Coca-Cola decided to sponsor a “trending topic” using Twitter’s promoted tweets and gained “phenomenal” results. The tweets were integrated into online discussions related to the World Cup and realized 86 million impressions or views of the ads within 24 hours.

Facebook fails with Brand Pages

In contrast to the Twitter success noted above, Coca-Cola has achieved only a 1 percent response to its Brand Page on Facebook. Depending on who you believe there are allegedly nearly 600 million Facebook “users” (although there are many reports of false and fake “identities”). The fact remains, however, that Coca-Cola has only about 6 million “fans” of its Brand Page.

Facebook and MySpace fail in Japan

The hype about Facebook and, previously, MySpace, did not work in Japan, the second most important Social Media country. Only 3 percent of Japanese web users are on Facebook (compared to 62 percent in America). MySpace has under 3 percent of web users (compared to 35 percent in the US.)

graph icon 2Twitter far more popular in Japan

Tweeters in Japan represent over 16 percent of  web users (the ratio among Americans is only 9.8 percent). However, Twitter in Japan has also equalled the top Japanese social networking site, mixi, with monthly visitors between 9 million and 10 million each.


Finally, don’t get too impressed by the numbers being trotted for Social Media influence. According to a recent report from Forrester Research a mere 16 percent of online consumers generate a total of 80 percent of peer-to-peer online impressions. In other words a small proportion of “activists” generate the most noise. Also it has been suggested that over 60 percent of all these impressions are restricted within Facebook.


Twitter gains huge response:

Facebook fails with Brand Pages:

Facebook fails in Japan:

Twitter more popular in Japan:

Why Google is so powerful – and so poor at results

In just a few years Google has gone from quaint to total dominance and now it’s for-geeks-only if quality information is required. That may sound strong but let us explain.


Google now performs trillions of searches. But Google is also thousands of times more used than any other search engine. This presents huge problems. The first issue:

  • quantity not quality

This presents itself most often when you try a “simple” search. For example, a generic search for art gallery in London returns 46 million results. Now London is a thriving capital city but there are definitely not 46 million galleries there. Even trying to narrow the search by making the term explicit by enclosing in quotes – “art gallery in London” – returns 2 million results.

In contrast, using a phone directory returns an enormously more accurate result of 695 entries. This brings us to the next issue. If the information is of low quality, why is Google so successful? The answer is:

  • Google exists to make money, not provide accurate information

Other search engines in the market also exist to make money but the other 9 of the top 10, combined, only manage one third of the searches undertaken by Google. The other contenders are so far below Google that we can almost discount them. In December 2009 comScore reported the number of searches as (MM):

  • Google logoGoogle     87,809
  • Yahoo        9,444
  • Microsoft    2,403
  • Facebook   1,023

Therefore everything that Google does in the web space is enormously important. But also, the results are increasingly biased (pay per click) or irrelevant (spam and scam trickery within sites). Many estimates say the level of spam in emails is around 80 percent. Perhaps the same is true of website search results.

Those various factors mean we can now put the two main issues together:

  • Google needs huge numbers to make money, for itself and its clients

The shift in power to Google is not their fault, however. The public has been weaned off quality information by the bias and dumbing down of newspapers and TV channels. The funny thing now is those same news media companies are the ones complaining about the power of Google.

Top Social Brands exposed – what the statistics really mean

The ongoing attempts of social media marketeers to hype themselves may be failing. The much-discussed Top 50 Social Brands is no such thing. Yes, Social Radar may have done all the right things in terms of gathering information, but the results are disastrous.

First of all, the numbers. As the chart below clearly shows, only the Top 10 have any real significance. Thereafter everything is squabbling over half percentage points. Being below No.15 and being below 16% “score” of the leader is irrelevant.

Excerpt from Top 50 Social Brands

Excerpt from Top 50 Social Brands

The next issue concerns the Top 3 – they are enablers. The product or service of Twitter is not social media – only 4% of tweets are retweets, therefore tweets are an online soapbox. Tweets are a public version of a text message – 96% are ephemeral and inconsequential.

Google is also not social media. Google gathers information about web content, whatever and wherever. There is no social structure or filtering and therefore no social media benefit. Providing a list of 33,900,000 results of a search for “social media” is meaningless.

Facebook is an extensive federation of private clubs, each discussing their own introspective interests. Millions of people have joined Facebook, but millions of people have also joined large denomination churches. To say one is social media and the other not is to reveal the fallacy behind the way statistics are being filtered.

Excerpt from Virtue 100 Top Social Brands

Excerpt from Virtue 100 Top Social Brands

There are some very interesting and relevant results in the surveys, however. And they’re all from the same supplier:

  • iPhone
  • Mac
  • Apple
  • iTunes
  • iPod

For any one brand to receive multiple entries in the Top 10 lists of social media from a variety of sources is of enormous importance. Apple have dominated every sector of business they enter in terms of quality. They have consistently been the Rolls Royce of computer companies, but iTunes revolutionised digital music and went on to become the leading retailer.

The iPhone revolutionised mobile phones, bringing the Macintosh quality, ease of use and market-leading features to set levels well above those previously achieved. Similarly the iPod set new standards of quality and profitability for portable digital music players.

BUT and this really is a big BUT, which other brands appear on both lists in the Top 15?

None? So we’ve said a score below 16% of the leader is irrelevant. We’ve said the Top 3 of the Social Radar list are not “true” social brands, which seems to be supported by Virtue who say: “The Vitrue 100 is measuring companies that are using social technology, not those who are the technology.”

We would argue that YouTube should be included in the Virtue results as it provides actual product and its service is public and definitely one of the best examples of social media.

In short, then, there are only two TOP social brands – Apple and YouTube. Let’s see what 2010 and the rest of the twenty-tens reveal.