It has been difficult if not impossible to get a handle on how much Google+ is actually growing, and how deeply it has engaged its user base, for the simple reason that Google only provides selected usage stats -- essentially, the total membership and a few other less-than-dispositive quantifiers. However other data, from sources like comScore, suggests that users aren't spending much time on Google+, while data from RJ Metrics seems to show abysmally low rates of posting and related activity.
While Pinterest is trying to get more male users on board in the U.S., men aren't invited to a new social network launching in Australia. The network, called ConnectPink, is being launched on June 15 by Fairfax Media Australia as a forum to bring together Aussie ladies -- especially the four million women living in rural areas, who have a harder time socializing face-to-face.
A lot of people have raised concerns about personal security for users of location-based social networks, including the meet-and-greet or "mobile flirtation platforms" as I call them. It turns out those concerns were quite justified, in light of reports that three teen and pre-teen Skout users are claiming they were raped by older men posing as teens on the service.
Following a moderately disastrous IPO and amid heightened skepticism about the efficacy of social media advertising, Facebook has responded to critics with a new study of social media ROI performed in collaboration with comScore.
The average U.S. user of Facebook spent over six hours on the site in April, according to comScore, up 16% from just over five hours in April 2011. That's a lot of time, in the online world, but it doesn't hold a candle to the huge amount of time Americans spend watching TV.
While concerns about the decline of civilization are probably still warranted, at least there's one less thing to worry about: U.S. consumers aren't terribly interested in the idea of accessing social media when they're driving, according to new data presented by Gartner at the Telematics Detroit 2012 conference in Novi, MI.
Visible Technologies has been selected by WPP, one of the world's largest advertising agency holding companies, as its preferred provider of social listening and analytics. That means Visible will be on tap to provide social intelligence to more than 300 advertising, marketing and media agencies and related businesses owned by WPP.
Now here's a cool piece of social-experiential marketing: NASA is giving 25 of its most loyal social media followers ringside seats (on Earth) for the upcoming landing of the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover on Mars. NASA is inviting the lucky nerds to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA, from August 3-5, for three days of events culminating in Curiosity's landing in the Gale crater on the Red Planet at 1:31 a.m. ET on August 6 (10:31 p.m. PT).
The Internet (or at least the part frequented by marketers) is suddenly abuzz with the realization that time spent online doesn't necessarily translate into advertising revenue. No surprise the most-cited example is Facebook, which soaks up tons of time but has only a fraction of the revenues of Google, with a smaller share of our online activity.
Somehow I missed this the first time around -- which is weird because if news involves a giant subterranean structure near the Arctic Circle, I'm usually the first to know. It turns out Facebook's memory needs have grown so large that the company is now situating new server farms in cooler climates to save on cooling costs.