Apart from words like ‘recession’, ‘job loss’, ‘smart phones’, ‘Obama’ and ‘Google operating system’, one thing that invariably made its way to the news headlines in 2009 was ‘Social Media’. From Ashton Kutcher becoming the most followed Twitter user to Facebook changing its privacy settings, we love to hear about what’s happening in the world of social media.
According to Nielsen report Global Faces and Networked Places:
“Two-thirds of the world’s Internet population visit social networking sites, accounting for almost 10% of all internet time and this percentage is likely to grow as the time spent on the social networking sites is growing more than three times the rate of overall Internet growth.”
We all use social media in some form or another without even realizing it. From uploading pictures on photo sharing sites, networking with friends to reading and bookmarking news, we all are a part of this bandwagon called social media. Social networking sites had never been this popular and social media had never enjoyed attention as this before; 2009 clearly made us more social than we could ever be. To mark this achievement, here is the list of few golden moments of Social Media (in chronological order):
1. The most dugg story of the year received 25k+ diggs
The news by CNN on Barack Obama officially becoming the 44th American President received the highest digs so far and is the top article in Digg for this year.
The story has received 25539 diggs and 2644 comments so far.
2. Twitter’s role during and after the Iran election
When presidential elections were held in Iran on June 12 this year, Twitter emerged to be the best source of information on what was happening in the country. It worked as a tool for connecting people on the ground with the people across the globe. People could get live updates every second and know it first through Twitter.
When the Iranian government blocked mobile networks and access to many websites including Facebook and Youtube, Twitter emerged as a channel for protestors to get their word to the world.
In the interest of Iranians using the service to protest the election, the US State Department approached Twitter to postpone its scheduled network maintenance.
3. Twitter declared as the word of year
Without a doubt, Twitter was one of the fastest growing social networking sites this year. Twitter grew from being a microblogging site to the most favored channel for marketing this year. The Global Language Monitor acknowledged the growth and announced Twitter to be the Top word of 2009 followed by Obama and H1N1.
The three year old social media websites has been the most popular word in the print and digital media around the world this year.
4. Facebook hits 350 million users
The most popular social networking site saw a phenomenal growth this year and crossed the mark of 350 million users in December this year.
"If Facebook was a country it would be the fourth most populous nation," said Scott Stanzel, a former deputy press secretary to president George W. Bush who has also worked for software giant Microsoft.
In August 2008, the networking site had a user base of 100 million and grew to 150 million in the next five months. In less than a year, Facebook has managed to increase the number of users from 150 million to 350 million.
What’s amazing about this achievement is the duration in which Facebook has gone past the huge number leaving all its competitors far behind in the race.
5. Search Engines tie up with social media sites to make search results ‘real’
Twitter Search had always enjoyed a special attention for being real time and this was one thing that could give Google Search some competition. In the fight for search engine space, Google, Microsoft and Yahoo were competing for deal with social networking giants Twitter and Facebook.
Later this year Google announced tie up with Twitter, Facebook and MySpace while Microsoft also got in deal with Facebook and Twitter for Bing. Yahoo also announced updates from Twitter in its search results.
6. Twitter turns profitable
Even though Twitter was one of the fastest growing social networking sites and the most popular word of the year, the speculation on how Twitter planned to make money never ceased to exist. While the startup never commented on any plan, it was quite ambiguous on how the microblogging company thought of making revenues.
Business Week recently reported that the deal that Twitter got into with Google and Microsoft for sharing its tweets earned it $25 million dollar.
The tweets or microblogs that would be open to Google search and Bing search now fetched Twitter $15 million from Google and $10 from Microsoft.