Watch Out, Twitter: Face book Patents ‘News Feed’

The patents and exclusive rights granted to face book at this week could turn out to have immense implications and propositions for the current week’s ‘news feed’ and also on the other social networking web portals.

The grant and exclusive right, which was initially reported on all the face book blogs is for ‘dynamically and enthusiastically providing a new feed about a user of a social networks’. This kind of news feeds are particularly critical, crucial and decisive to most of the web portals, providing the social networking services, typically including LinkedIn, MySpace, Twitter, Google Reader. However, this has not been made clear that the patent rights would be applying to all these social networking websites or there would be just some of them.

Face book’s news feed has changed number of times from the time when the patent rights were filled in the year 2006, which did not include some of the features of face book’s system. Nick O’Neill at face book says that the exclusive right does not include the status updates and postings, and twitter would not be following under its umbrella. As an alternative, he says that the patents would be covering the news feeds, which will be based upon actions, such as adding up a friend or joining a group. However, such patents would still be affecting various social networking sites. For instance, much of the activities occurring on LinkedIn are related to career, employment actions, and opportunities but not to status updates.

Face book’s official statements did not shed the lights that on which parts of the news feed might be including the copyrights, or whether if face book is planning for enforcement.

The launch of the ‘news feed’ was a pivotal and essential moment in face book’s history in the year 2006. It was useful in changing the way millions of people discovered and consumed information on the networking websites. Face book feels humbled by the adaptation, modification, and growth of ‘news feed’ with the passage of time and pleased when awarded with the exclusive rights.

Face book has always made this obvious, clear, and apparent that it does not appreciate imitators. Now, it will be taking some action about them. The social networking website must be allowed to sue and charge those who violate the copyrights for streaming the news feeds technology. The feed, lambasted when face book rolled out in the year 2006, and now is a model, which has to spread to the social networking websites all over the World Web such as for sites like twitter.

The social media tools have evolved over a period of time like the one we used to be die-heart fans of Orkut then came MySpace, followed by face book and finally twitter. The experts say that 2010 would be the year of Google as they have already introduced Google wave and buzz, which are intending to break and beat the market records of social media networking.

After Numerous Shake-Ups, is MySpace Dying?

It is remarkably difficult to believe now that there was a time when MySpace was the most popular and prominent social networking web portal in the world. After getting some faltering popularity and internal shake-up, MySpace is now more than ever is headed straight for the pavement and face-first. It is known as the latest reinvention effort known as ‘Discover and be Discovered’ as this may be MySpace’s last attempt to capture the attention and interest.

The new strategy adopted by MySpace aims to morph the networking portal into a go-to spot to find new, engaging and entertaining media. MySpace wants to shove into different things such as people, games, music, articles, trailers, movies and many others, and also now the applying the latest strategy, the status updates will also be appearing in the Google searches. This is done to support the users of MySpace to come up with an immersive and engaging learning experience when compared to the static blah of face book, apparently.

MySpace has always been a different place to people to discover things. The core concepts are customization. Self-expression and personalization. More functionality and products can also be expected which can make it easier for users to learn and discover the things they have been looking for and also to get discovered to those who matter to them. The plans are ambitious having the social networking roots and are registered as a recommendation engine than any other.

The attempts failed, as re-imaging the MySpace was not the concept. Though, MySpace music turned out to be as a fresh gush of oxygen and developed itself as a lucrative spot for indie vocals and bands so that they could broadcast and transmit their tunes and get discovered on this social networking portal. However, at the same time, MySpace suffered a media related failure as online video and audio streaming became excessive over the Internet, nevertheless, MySpace experienced a decline in viewers. It is rather truly pathetic that one of the most popular and favorite online portal could not foster attention any more. One other failure attempt was remarking MySpace, overhauling almost everything from the website changing the user interface.

The stiff competitors crushed MySpace and face book was of course huge. The statistics reveal that face book had a 200 percent increase over the last year and is being the most favorite social networking website. On the other hand, twitter is also growing exponentially. As per a rough estimate, there are around 50million tweets each day, making 600 tweets every second. In the meantime, MySpace has fallen the 55percent market share, and half of it is acquired by face book now.

MySpace is considered as dead by now and is buried deep down for most of the world. The mighty duo of twitter and face book actually killed it by the year 2009. Now, people have been deactivating their MySpace accounts and switching to face book or twitter and some of the other social networking mediums immensely.

What people are searching in Pakistan?

We cannot deny the fact that Google has now easily replaced the word of search especially in the new generation. Google is no more used as a noun but verb amongst youngsters.  I saw a small clip on what people have searched in 2009 world over so I thought of writing something specifically to Pakistan.

Well, lets first see where we are going in terms of Internet usage. The broadband penetration rate in Pakistan is increasing and thanks to PTCL for starting the price war in broadband industry. The increasing rate of broadband can also been verified with the top searches in Pakistan. While looking at the past trends on Google Insights, I came to know that the keyword “facebook” is amongst the top searches in Pakistan and its increasing by 350% which is huge followed by “Youtube” and “Pakistani Girls”. If you look at the top searches in Pakistan, you will came to know that mostly people here are downloading movies, songs games, pictures and stuff. So, on the basis of this one can safely assume that Internet is still considered as source of entertainment but not source of information holistically speaking. Now a million dollar question is why is it so? Please keep that in mind that the results are based on Google insights and they are not survey based so this is actual Google data.

Internet marketers are really thinking out of the box so that they came up with social media networks which is a combination of information and source of entertainment as well. So a user at the same time is playing FarmVille on facebook and simultaneously ready some news shared by his or her friend on facebook. Networks like facebook, orkut or twitter are addictions for most of the users, thats why people love to be there most of the time.

Twitter vs Facebook – Which one is the best marketing tool ?

280509221014twitter_facebookI never thought I will compare these two websites because both of them have different implications and different set of users. If I ask a layman to compare both twitter and facebook, he/she would definitely go for facebook because of one important factor which is the user base. Comparatively, the number of users of facebook is quite high which is 175 million active users. On the other hand, twitter has just 5 million users but keep that in mind that twitter hasn’t disclosed this as a documented figure. It is actually an estimate. So lets see how twitter and facebook can be good marketing tools for promoting your business.

Facebook

Facebook is offering advertising space which is one of the sources of revenue for facebook. The company can analyze the cost depending upon the cost per impression and the exposure a company want to give to their ad to different groups. Another way of promoting your business is to add a business page, start some activity in your group, posting the group link and your company’s website link on different related groups etc( something we already know)

Twitter

Let’s talk about Twitter now! The best thing about twitter is you can setup your business for free despite the rumors that twitter is going to charge the businesses in future but up till now its totally free. Lets first define who are the people using twitter right now. If I have to group them in one segment, I would say most of them are influencers and they really want to share their opinion in each and every aspect. I would suggest a series of steps which can help companies set up and launch successfully their businesses on social media tool.

Identify your objective

What do you want to do on twitter and you should be very clear in this regard. I would like to quote some examples here like mostly I have seen News channels posting news on twitter through RSS feed. Even if you are not a news channel, post something related to your business. Try to share the knowledge with your followers and you will see the number of followers would be increasing

Analyze the Search terms

Most of the twitter users have defined the search terms, so they can filter their results. For example, I have defined the search term ‘Pakistan’ on twitter so I will get each and every news related to the word Pakistan. Companies can analyze the trends of those search terms and try to use in their microblogging.

Install Twitter client software

If you ask any of the twitter’s user, he/she would say that we don’t know but its an addiction. Most of them don’t have words to define what twitter actually does. Installing a twitter client software would give you some extra options and you can manage all of your tweets in a separate window.

Sustainability

In the end, if you really want to sustain on twitter and increase your number of followers, you have to tweet daily, you have to be consistent like I said most of the twitter users are hyper connected.

Why humorous appeal is working in Telecom advertisements?

1234This was all started when Ufone was launched with tremendous packages that actually were priced in such a way that even a middle class consumer could easily go and buy a connection. With Faisal Qureshi, the mind behind all the ads with humorous appeal, the ads were loved by the masses.

Well, that was a gist of history. Ufone is still following that humorous appeal in their ads and they are creating impression in a great manner. The message behind those ads is well communicated. But have you noticed something ? Recently, Jazz and Zong both are trying to follow the same approach.  Look at the Jazz ad first in which Waseem Akram ( who was once endorsed by Ufone) is endorsed as the main celebrity. But have you seen the faces who were sitting behind in this ad. Yes, they are Azfar and Mani and they have come from the same group who used to produce Ulta Seedha ( Geo TV) and many other programs with Faisal Qureshi team. So, Jazz is also thinking on the same lines that humorous appeal is gonna work fine and will create an impact. So they have endorsed Azfar and Mani to create some kind of humor in it. Of course, Ufone is the pioneer but now Jazz has become a follower and they are following this approach.

Now, Coming to Zong, another telecom brand, who used to be sarcastic in most of their ads by making comments on every brand. Surprisingly, their latest ad of “Chotay” is again creating an humorous appeal. If you are not familiar with the Ustaad’s face then let me tell you this guy was one of the characters in the sitcom “Rubber Band”. Personally, I loved the advertisement but then I thought for a while all these companies are following each other. First, they followed in terms of Value added services (VAS) and now they are also copying each other’s themes. Looks like, our advertising agencies have nothing to think something creative.

I must appreciate Telenor here which is strictly following the “Gentleman’s approach” by giving this attitude that “I really don’t care about what others (My competitors) say. Personally, I think that’s a good approach if you think long term and want to develop a good brand image. Their ads (except for their Annie ads) depict emotional bonds between families and people can easily associate themselves. At this point of time, I must say that most of our telecom brands have failed to make a strong brand identity in the minds of consumers except Ufone who is consistently following one theme approach. This is especially in the case of Jazz, Zong and Warid who are still experimenting with their brand identities even after such a long presence in the market.

The World’s best brands for 2009

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Products are turning into brands and companies are heavily investing in their products to make them recognized brands. The competition is no more for the share of mind now it has raised to achieve the share of heart. For such branding plays the dominant role.

Interbrands has just taken out their famous brands ranking and again Coke with the highest brand equity is ruling the world again. This is not happening for the first time that Coke is at number 1 place. Coke has been number 1 in the brands ranking since last ten years. According to Interbrands, Coke has the brand equity of $68 billion which is actually a 3% rise over a period of one year. According to Time Magazine, Coke has launched 700 products in 2008.IBM holds number 2 position in Top 100 brands of the world. This brand has also shown consistant performance during the decade. With a brand worth of $60 billion, IBM is at number 2 in Interbrands ranking.  During the last few years, a brand has risen to a level where it looks like that it has the ability to compete with the top brands in the world. Although, Americans just love Coke and their love and affection with this drink looks simply invincible but a brand is rising and despite the global recession this brand has shown 25% growth and jumped to a brand worth of $32 billion.  This brand is none other than Google who has even replaced the word of searching with “Googling”. Also Google has come up with so many innovative products in the recent past with the latest addition in the browser industry named Google Chrome which is two times faster than the browsers available.

Global recession has effected the financial institutions like anything and they are the biggest victims of it. American Express with a 32% downfall at number 22, HSBC with a 20% downfall at number 32. But the biggest victim in financial sector according to Interbrands is Citi group. Citi group used to be at number 19 in 2008 rankings. Due to global recession, the brand has fallen down to number 36 with a downfall in brand equity of 49%.

Interbrands publish this branding list every year. For a brand to qualify for the list, a brand must offer publicly available financial data and must book at least one-third of its revenues from outside its country of origin.  The reason why Interbrands has mentioned this speared is to gauge the brand loyalty of those brands who are truly global in a real sense. That is why Walmart is not in the list because it does not generate enough internationally under this name.

Mamoo Burger – The Weirdest Brand Name

DSC0122s9Let me tell you a very interesting story. Even if you are not a management student or related to marketing etc you will love this story as much as I do. The story reveals about how businesses are growing and you don’t have to be an MBA to run your business successfully and this thing applies at its best in Pakistan especially.

I was born and raised in Rawalpindi and I have some very strong associations with this city. I am also planning to make a documentary to brand this city. One of the businesses that is growing very rapidly is Restaurants business. Consumer patterns are changing and people now love to eat outside at least once a week and this frequency is increasing day by day now. If you are not very hungry and want something like EGG SHAMI BURGER, there are in fact a lot options available in every market. But two turned out to be good products. One is International Burger and the Second one is MAMOO Burger. I am sure this word MAMOO Burger has brought smiles to the faces of those people who live in Rawalpindi. What is so special about MAMOO? Its actually nothing but fresh food and that’s it.

DsSC01227Mamoo Burger started 10 years back with collaboration of West Food Bakers. Actually West Food Bakers rented their outer space to Mamoo Burger so that they can sell their burgers there. Mamoo became one of the famous Egg Shami and Beef Burgers because of its taste. You will see people in queues during the Maghrib and Isha Prayer. In these ten years, Mamoo ( The Owner of Mamoo Burger calls himself MAMOO) never thought of growth or expansion. But then one fine day, West Food Bakers, told Mamoo to leave because they wanted to start their own Burger stall. But this was not enough..Guess what West Food Bakers named their Burger Stall…Surprise Surprise…It was Mamoo Burger.

The original Mamoo reacted so quickly against this move because it was his brand and he was infact THE MAMOO. So he rented out a space very next to West Food Bakers and named it ASLI MAMOO Burger( Original Mamoo Burger). After that, a fierce competition started between the original and new Mamoo burger. They launched many new campaigns in order to cash the Mamoo brand name and both were claiming that they are the original producers of Mamoo Burgers. One was offering 5 Chicken burger with one free Pepsi package, while other was offering more or less the same kind of package. The new Mamoo successfully gained some customer base from the original Mamoo. Mamoo even put this picture on the promotional banners to prove that he is the original mamoo ( hahahaha this is quite funny). We all used to see this as a very funny yet interesting story. One fine day, I went to eat Mamoo Burger and I saw big surprises were welcoming me. The original Mamoo has acquired the near by Chinese restaurant and he was using it as a Family Hall. I observed Mamoo as he was giving instructions to the new staff how to behave with the customer and I was thinking that we marketing students study alot about how to behave with customers but this guy who never even has seen the class room is talking so much sense. You must be thinking now, what did the other Mamoo Burger do in retaliation? Well, they couldn’t buy some space because they don’t have any. So I saw some chairs and an motorcycle wrapped with a Panaflex sheet where it is written that Buy one burger and Win motorcycle in lucky draw. When I saw all this, I decided to put in on my blog because I wanted to share this story with you.

What we have learned from this story? Ten years of kingship and still no expansion or growth but when the Bakery asked Mamoo to go, he thought of innovative ways to compete. That’s why Wise people say. “Competition brings quality and innovation.”