Despite the advances in web technology over the past few decades, one of the challenges that users continue to face is spam. A research report published by Microsoft Research back in 2004 showed that the presence of webspam on the internet can be identified through statistical analysis. While studies as this have played an important role in identifying and filtering spam, the growth of such websites and pages continue unabated. Experts like GW attribute this growth to the deficiency in technology that govern the identification and filtering out of such pages. Cheap link building tactics aimed at sprucing up the PageRank of a website are often a major cause for link spam online.
Over the past year, Google has deployed a couple of major algorithmic updates aimed at curtailing this practice. Dubbed the ‘Penguin’, the update was aimed at spammy link and content marketing tactics that has been seen as a major reason for webspam. Given these important changes, the spate of link spam was expected to come down. However, according to Social Media security firm NexGate, the overall level of spam on the internet has continued to rise thanks to its increase in other platforms like social media. In a first of its kind report on social media spam, NexGate reports a 355% increase in what they call ‘social spam’ during the first half of this year. Here are some really interesting takeaways from their report:
|Social media apps that are spammy
|Spammy social media apps that are brand-owned
|| 20% (that is
|| 1% overall)
|Average number of social profiles contacted by a spamming account
|Number of new spam accounts created
|| 5 out of every 7 new accounts
|Most popular social platforms for spammers
|| Facebook & YouTube
|Percentage of spam posts that contain a URL
|Overall number of spammy social media messages
|| 1 out of every 200
As anybody who frequents websites like Facebook and YouTube may know, the spam on these websites are extremely higher than what may be noticed on other social media websites. NexGate estimates this number to be 100 times more than other social networks. Consequent to this, the number of phishing attacks on Facebook are also higher than any other network – by a factor of 4. Given that a huge percentage of spam are scams aimed at fooling people into divulging their confidential information, the financial repercussions of social media spam are huge. Some estimates point at a revenue loss of close to $200 million just from Facebook.
Given the rise in prominence of social networks like Instagram and Pinterest, it is to be seen how these various companies huddle up with the likes of Facebook to find a way to root out spam from the social media space.
It goes without saying that Twitter and Facebook are among the most popular social media tools for businesses. A survey of marketing professionals by Social Media Examiner saw these two platforms racing neck-to-neck in popularity and usage.
However a good chunk of the marketers also use other social media channels including blogging, Youtube and the likes. Here are the results from the survey ranked by the percentage of marketers who used the platform
1. Twitter : 88%
2. Facebook : 87%
3. LinkedIn : 78%
4. Blogs : 70%
5. YouTube : 46%
6. Social Bookmarking Sites : 27%
7. Forums : 26%
8. Social news aggregators : 22%
9. Ning : 17%
10. MySpace : 11%
Number of registered users : 106 million
Number of monthly visits : 180 million
Number of tweets : 55 million per day
Traffic from third party clients : 75%
Is Twitter actually one-fourth the size of Facebook?
Facebook, with its 400 million users represents a big chunk of internet users worldwide. Inside US, the website is the second most popular website just after Google with over 103 million users.
The AdPlanner data on Google provides a very interesting insight into the composition of users on Facebook depending on the average household income. With close to two-thirds of Facebook’s American users earning more than $50,000 per year, it makes for a great destination for advertisers to reach their users.
Here is the household income distribution among Facebook users in USA
$0 – $24,999 : 7%
$25,000 – $49,999 : 26%
$50,000 – $74,999 : 34%
$75,000 – $99,999 : 18%
$100,000 – $149,999 : 11%
> $150,000 : 4%
For quite a while now, it is being noted that growth of Twitter inside the US has been peaking. Despite this, the trend is still picking up in many parts of the world as celebrities and politicians try to exploit the medium to reach out to their fans and followers. Twitter notes that this has been the reason why India has seen a 100% growth since Jan 2010 and Spain has seen a 300% growth of late.
So, what percent of Twitter’s total users come from outside the US? In a recent blog post, Twitter claims that the number is now well over 60%. Here are the rough share of non-US users over the last one year
Jun ’09 : 44%
Aug ’09 : 48%
Oct ’09 : 52%
Dec ’09 : 56%
Feb ’10 : 59%
Apr ’10 : 62%
The internet is largely becoming the platform for people to keep in touch with their friends and family and this is now no longer a new phenomenon. However, interestingly, despite the growing popularity of Facebook, the dominance of other social networks in certain markets continue to exist. For instance, Google’s Orkut still continues to dominate in India despite a large chunk of users now also having a Facebook account.
All this has meant the increasing proliferation of social network among internet users. A recent study by Comscore establishes this fact. In this study, the researches looked into the social network penetration across several countries in Asia-Pacific and have found very high penetration levels of over 90% in some countries like Philippines.
Here are the observed penetration levels
Philippines : 90.3%
Australia : 89.6%
Indonesia : 88.6%
Malaysia : 84.7%
Singapore : 83.7%
New Zealand : 81.2%
Taiwan : 75.9%
Hong Kong : 75.4%
India : 68.5%
South Korea : 63.5%
Vietnam : 46.1%
Japan : 42.3%
Overall : 50.8%
See that ‘Share on Twitter and Facebook‘ button at the top of this article? Most websites and blogs have it these days and it is becoming an attractive way to spread the word about interesting topics on your blog.
So which of the social media websites are the most popular among bloggers? Pingdom looked into the social sharing options available on the major blogs – the top 100 according to Technorati, to be precise and studied the social sharing options available on these websites.
Here are the most popular options and the number of websites (of the 100) that had these buttons displayed
1. Twitter : 66
2. Facebook : 58
3. General Share option : 58
4. Digg : 49
5. Reddit : 25
6. StumbleUpon : 23
7. Yahoo Buzz : 16
8. Delicious : 14
9. Google Buzz : 6
Unlike most other websites, the success of Twitter cannot be measured by the number of uniques. Thanks to the third party Twitter clients. Then, the only way to measure its success is via the number of tweets.
In a recent study, Sysomos looked into the growth of Twitter month-over-month since the beginning of 2010. According to this study, users contribute close to 53 million tweets everyday. This is up from the 50 million mark observed a month ago.
Here are the monthly growth in Tweets for US and non-US demographics
Jan ’10 : 10%
Feb ’10 : 4%
March ’10 : 5%
Jan ’10 : 13%
Feb ’10 : 9%
Mar ’10 : 8%
Pre-roll videos and overlay ads are helping YouTube earn in double-digit CPM rates. This is according to a recent study conducted by TBI Research. According to the study, online video viewing grew 30% in Q4 2009 and is expected to continue the run through Q1 2010.
Here are the average CPM rates estimated by the study
Run of Network Pre-Roll : $10 – $15
Overlay Ads : $8 – $10
Homepage Leaderboard : $5 – $6
How much will this amount to? The study claims that the daily buys on YouTube’s homepage leaderboard alone can be as high as $200K to $300K.
There are over 400 million users on Facebook now and close to 70% of these users reside outside the United States. Facebook is the largest website in terms of visitors in countries like Indonesia and Philippines.
According to Website Monitoring, here are the largest 10 countries on Facebook in terms of the number of users
1. USA : 111,212,840
2. UK : 23,449100
3. Indonesia : 19,528,560
4. Turkey : 18,679,460
5. France : 15,928,000
6. Italy : 14,931,580
7. Canada : 13,424,180
8. Philippines : 10,647,100
9. Spain : 8,861,140
10. Mexico : 8,236,020