A recent paper (PDF) by researchers at Princeton predicts that Facebook will lose 80% of its users by 2015-2017. The prediction itself is based on Google data, which shows that search query data for “Facebook” is rapidly declining—just like what happened to search data for MySpace when it was on the decline.
Unfortunately, a decline in search queries does not necessarily mean a shrinking userbase. Facebook data scientists Mike Develin, Lada Adamic, and Sean Taylor debunked the findings in what is a rather hilarious blog post.
In keeping with the scientific principle “correlation equals causation,” our research unequivocally demonstrated that Princeton may be in danger of disappearing entirely.
Following my previous post, I started thinking: is there really any way to measure ROI on social media engagement? I can’t think of anything offhand, unless you are selling a product or service only on social networks. That, or by offering a discount or other incentive only to those who came to you via a social network.
Those are measurable things. Measuring if and how exposure and engagement in social media benefits a company long-term is a lot more complicated.
“Today the equation to measure that doesn’t exist,” says Doug Clark, Audi of America’s general manager for social media and customer engagement. Audi has a full-time team monitoring its presence on social-media sites, it’s constantly posting new content, and it has even held special events for the most devoted members of the online Audisphere … Clark concedes that, so far, he doesn’t have any numbers to prove that all this engagement has resulted in, you know, selling more cars.
As pointed out, I suspect most companies don’t really care about the ROI—just the visibility.
Mendeley is a free reference manager and academic social network that can help you organize your research, collaborate with others online, and discover the latest research.
I haven’t used it yet, but it seems to be getting pretty great reviews.
Remember when Tim O’Reilly tweeted about a Google product named Google Circles? He later stated that “It’s not a product, per se, and it’s not a new social network. Just some research-y thinking about how you could better manage social data.” Apparently, Circles is a product; it’s a big part of Google+.
Though it won’t be launching today, it appears that the lauch of Google’s social networking service is imminent. According to The Next Web, Tim O’Reilly tweeted that he has seen it and that it “looks awesome”, though his tweet has since been removed.
Where there’s smoke, there’s fire.