BuzzRocket's Blog

Geo-location all over the place

So we spent the weekend taking the Pepsi challenge with Facebook Places and Foursquare. Stay tuned for our consensus.

Facebook Readies for Big Announcement

As Facebook gears up for its big announcement today, nerds like us wait with baited breath. Most expect Facebook will be making the long-awaited introduction of its geo-location services.

The social media giant was supposed to launch this new offering back in June, but Facebook Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg indicated in an interview with Ad Age that privacy issues were the cause of the delay and that it was “a very important area, but it’s also a sensitive one.”

But now it seems the day of the much-anticipated announcement is upon us. Geeks, marketers, local business owners – think retailers and restauranteurs – rejoice! What exactly does this mean for us?

Thanks to location-based pioneers like Foursquare and Gowalla, we’ve seen the value of these services. By posting specials and promotions that encourage users to “check in” to establishments, business owners and marketers already are leveraging the users of these offerings to serve as mini, grassroots marketers for our businesses and brands. These check-ins get posted onto the users respective geo-location site pages and typically then onto their Facebook and/or Twitter pages, offering invaluable and coveted word-of-mouth advertising.

And while Foursquare recently confirmed its number of registered users to be approximately 2.6 million, imagine what will happen when the behemoth Facebook, with more than 500 million users, starts offering a GPS-based service.

Ian Schafer best speculated in a May 2010 Ad Age column, “Almost overnight, the ability to easily broadcast your location on and via Facebook will be put into the hands of about 500 million people — 500 million people that retailers and businesses with physical locations will have the opportunity to influence people nearby to visit. This will go from curiosity to one of the biggest opportunities that a marketer can have within a month of its launch as users become more comfortable with the feature.”

Tweet Button Goes Live

Twitter has gone live today with Tweet Button, a tool that allows users to share links directly from the page they are on. This is a great way to streamline the process of sharing news and information on your Twitter page. Gone are the days of cutting and pasting and bouncing between pages to tweet your post. For some of us.

So far the Tweet Button seems to be a little more user friendly than the Retweet Button, which doesn’t always add a message or shorten your link. This is a great tool for personal use, but what about professional?

While we enjoy the new Tweet Button, BuzzRocket – and many others – still are forced to float between pages, cutting and pasting as we often times use web-based tools like HootSuite to shorten links, post tweets, manage accounts and track analytics.

And what does this announcement mean for the “Retweet Button” third-party Twitter sharing service, TweetMeme? According to Twitter’s blog, “We’re pleased to be working closely with the good folks at TweetMeme and, from here on out, they will be pointing to the Twitter Tweet Button.”

Take a tour now!

Hootsuite Announces Freemium

Hootsuite users were informed today via email today about the launch of Hootsuite Freemium, “new premium packages designed for businesses and organizations, while also continuing to provide a free version for most customers.”

So what does this mean for marketers like us at BuzzRocket, whose web-based social media management drink of choice is Hootsuite? Are we willing to pay? According to Mashable, ProPlans will range in price from $5 to $100 per month. The most spendy level is the Enterprise Package, which will run you about $1500 per month. Does that come with an intern?

The company stated it was following the path of industry leaders like Salesforce, Basecamp and Flickr in developing package tiers to best suit business needs.

Starting this week, all new customers will be required to choose a plan when they sign up, which includes a free option.

Next week, current Hootsuite clients will be asked to select a package with the assistance of a “Migration Wizard” to help decide upon the best plan.

The good news is that ALL customers will be allowed a 30-day free trial period, in which users can take various ProPlans for a test drive to see what best suits their needs.

We knew this day was coming. Hootsuite has been alluding to the possibility of subscription-based services for some time now. We’re looking forward to testing out the new packages and seeing if it’s worth the monthly charges. Of course, Hootsuite will still offer a free services level, of which they anticipate 95 percent of their users to represent.

What do you think?

How America Spends Time Online

Are you still curious about how Americans are spending their time online? Well lucky you: Nielsen has just released a report answering just that question. A survey of 200,000 users reveals that Americans’ time spent on social networks accounts for the majority of their time spend online (22.7 percent), and is on the rise, up 43 percent from the same time last year. The research also indicated that Americans spend 36 percent of “their online time communicating and networking across social networks, blogs, personal email and instant messaging.

“Despite the almost unlimited nature of what you can do on the web, 40 percent of U.S. online time is spent on just three activities – social networking, playing games and emailing leaving a whole lot of other sectors fighting for a declining share of the online pie,” said Nielsen analyst Dave Martin.

One interesting finding was that online games account for more time online than personal email. (Email dropped from 11.5 percent of time to 8.3 percent.)

However, people are still checking their email; it’s just that they may be opting for their phones instead of laptops to do so. A Nielsen survey of mobile users showed that while there was a 28 percent rise in mobile social networking, email still reigns king accounting for 41.6 percent of U.S. mobile Internet time. To put it in other terms, if US mobile Internet time were condensed into one hour, email would account for 25 minutes of it.

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