Weekly Digest of the Social Networking Space: March 19, 2008

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I’m respecting your limited time by publishing this weekly digest on the Social Networking space, which I cover as an analyst.

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Web Strategy Summary
Bebo acquired by AOL, a major consolidation in the industry, with both companies have strong media plays, and may have reach for familiar demographics, this could be a partnership made in heaven. Facebook continues to sport new features, and society continues to be impacted from the adoption of social networks


Acquisition: AOL buys Bebo for $850
The largest news for the week is AOL’s surprise move to purchase 3rd ranked social network Bebo for $850 million. At first glance, the demographics line up well for both parties, yet it’s unclear what their media strategy will be for this experiential social network.

Acquisition: Demand Media Buys Pluck
I’m a few weeks late on this (I’m not sure how it slipped by me) but Demand media has decided to buy Pluck.

Debate: Up with Widgets, Down With Widgets
Interesting counter viewpoints here, this article on why widgets are a success barely alludes to the opportunities, and this counterpoint says why widgets won’t work.

OpenSocial: MySpace rolls out OpenSocial Library
The OpenSocial protocol is now starting to grow as MySpace launches it’s library of OpenSocial apps.

OpenSocial: Hi5 to launch developer platform
Like Facebook and MySpace, Hi5 is next to announce that they will allow applications to quickly and freely move from one social network to the next.

Privacy: Infamous Dupre tries to control MySpace profile
Dupre, who was pointed out in the prostitution scandal had her Facebook and Myspace page scoured by press, she tried to control but too little, too late.

Politics: Election battle fought on Facebook
CNN reports that the campaign could be fought –and won — on Facebook for the next president of the United States.

Analysis: Linkedin and Xing
RWW does some analysis by the numbers comparing the two business social networks, Xing and LinkedIn. Although Xing has a smaller user base, the attention data is much higher.

Culture: Will members outgrow embarrassing photos?
Facebook, which was intended to be a social hangout for college students has now grown to be much more than that, as business and family personas creep in. How will users react?

Findings: Social Network users consume media
Highlights from a recent digital entertainment survey show that “27% of respondents say that social networks could become the main way they access music and video content”

Growth: Ning exceeds 200,000 networks
Semi-white label social network Ning sports growth as over 200k communities have been created. Of course, that’s a non-stat if the active user base is low, apparently 70% of them are active, but how do you count this? one user visiting?

Usage: Facebook traffic to Eclipse MySpace
While never the sole attribute we should measure success on, total traffic to MySpace reduces yet attention data increases, with the opposite happening for Facebook.

Features: Privacy and IM to be added to Facebook
Facebook continues to ratchet down constraints to improve the experience at Facebook with a new IM feature that will be interested to see how it takes hold.

Leave a comment if you’ve any suggestions, or I missed any stories.