Stack Exchange started with one discussion forum/community aimed at programmers and developers and has become a network of more than 130 sites that gets 300 million unique visitors a year, and just raised $40 million
About half of all BuzzFeed articles that were shared on social networks were shared 1,000 times or more, compared with just 11 shares for half of the articles that the New York Times saw posted to services like Twitter and Facebook
In the process of talking about what her job entails, the audience development editor for the New York Times underestimates BuzzFeed and how much competition it is — and how it got there
Neetzan Zimmerman — the former Gawker writer who joined Whisper as editor-in-chief, and later became embroiled in a controversy over the anonymous social network’s use of private information — has left the company, according to Capital New York. Zimmerman and other staff members were suspended last October while the company conducted an internal investigation into comments that were made to a British newspaper about Whisper’s practices. The Guardian ran several stories alleging that the service monitored the location of its users even if they turned off location-sharing features, and quoted one unnamed executive as saying that the service would be able to track the location of a sex-obsessed Washington lobbyist “for the rest of his life and he’ll never know.”
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has posted public statements on his personal page about his commitment to free speech in the wake of the killings in Paris last week, but the behavior of his company often says something very different
A teenager’s perspective on how he uses different social networks is useful, but sociologist danah boyd warns that generalizing about what this means for all teenagers inevitably marginalizes some users who may be worth listening to
Two of the authors of the original Cluetrain Manifesto from 1999 have come out with an update that says many of the risks and potential dangers facing the internet come from us, the users, and the choices we are making
A description from 19-year-old Andrew Watts provides a fascinating glimpse into how some teenaged users approach different social-media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat
As we lay 2014 to rest, we’re topping our hats to some of the social media crazes that came along with it. Messaging. Anonymity. Ephemerality. Yo (whatever that was). At the same time, we’re stepping into a whole new year, which means a brand new bunch of communication trends. Here’s some of the trends, rising stars, and falling figures you can expect to see:
1) Chat as a platform
Some of the biggest social networking companies are turning their messaging applications into portals for other purposes. They’re following in the wake of China’s hugely successful WeChat app, which people use to flag cabs, manage their mortgage, send gifts, purchase goods, and play games.
Western companies are betting that Americans can be convinced to do the same. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently said, “We believe that messaging is one of the few things that people actually do more than social networking.” If that level of engagement can be captured and channeled into other features, there’s money to be made.
Snapchat has already started adding functions powered by other companies, like its new Snapcash payment partnership with Square. Facebook’s head of messaging, David Marcus, said that Messenger will be pursuing a portal play too.
2) Location based feeds and Yik Yak’s moment
Location based feeds will see a resurgence in 2015. Social apps will allow you to see posts made by strangers in your area, adding a place-based element to your networks. In 2014, we saw newcomer Yik Yak, which pioneered this feature, raise $62 million on this premise and introduce a “Peek Anywhere” tool that allows people to drop a pin anywhere in the country to see what people are talking about. In November, Twitter followed suit by previewing a nearly identical feature and reportedly partnering with Foursquare to run it. And last week Secret unrolled a major product shift to do the same.
These developments happened towards the end of 2014, so 2015 will be the year we see such features come to fruition, battle to build audiences, and live or die by their location chops.
3) Foursquare’s finale
Foursquare has been puttering along for years now, trying to turn its array of data and technology into a functioning consumer business. In 2014 it attempted a drastic surgery, cutting off the feature it’s arguably known for — the check in — into a separate app so it could focus its core app on a Yelp-like experience. User data following that surgery didn’t look good.
In 2015, I suspect we’ll see Foursquare’s finale, unless it raises another round. Will it dump a ton of money into marketing and start to succeed with a more mainstream audience? Will it sell to a company like Twitter that might need its extensive location and user data?
4) Deep linking and app constellations
2014 was the year of The Great Unbundling in social. Mark Zuckerberg heralded the shift in an interview with The New York Times, saying, “In mobile there’s a big premium on creating single-purpose first-class experiences. So what we’re doing with Creative Labs is basically unbundling the big blue app.” We saw Facebook in particular pursue this strategy, forcing users to download Facebook Messenger as a separate application. Likewise, Facebook property Instagram released the Hyperlapse app as a separate entity.
But these applications all connect back to one another — you can share a Hyperlapse video on Instagram and access Messenger through your core Facebook app. Such links take you to specific places in another app — like your conversation with another user — not just the app homescreen. As social applications turn into portals for other experiences in 2015, the deep linking trend and constellation of apps that communication with each other will only grow. Snapchat’s Snapcash, Messenger’s new “Stickered” app, and Uber’s API are only the beginning.
5) Instagram, Pinterest, and Snapchat come of age
If 2014 was the year Pinterest and Snapchat dipped their toes in the pool of potential marketing money (Instagram did so at the tail end of 2013), then 2015 will be the year they dive in. Leaked emails from Snapchat show that Evan Spiegel is eager to build a sustainable business model. Pinterest is valued at $5 billion and the IPO rumors have been swirling for months. And Instagram is growing more powerful by the day. We’ll see them experiment with new ways of making money and ad dollars will flock to these visual properties.
If you wanted to know where all the best holiday spots are in town, this might be your year. Social networking application Nextdoor has reached out to its users in 47,000 neighborhoods to map their cities’ best lights and attractions.
Nextdoor is an application where neighbors can connect to each other, share safety warnings, plan local events, and sell items ala Craigslist. It has grown in popularity in the United States, and using census data, the company estimates that one in four neighborhoods are on it.
The holiday map is a feature of the app. Little icons tell you where to find the best Christmas tree lots, best light displays, charity locations, Santa sightings, and holiday events. Find your neighborhood here.
Neighborhoods join the Nextdoor network when someone applies to draw their neighborhood boundary (and gets a handful of people to sign up with them). Some areas are far more active on Nextdoor than others, so the strength of your holiday cheer map might vary. Here’s a snapshot of San Francisco’s: