Weekly Digest of the Social Networking Space: August 27, 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 Industry Analyst –a good way to get in my head.

I’ve created a new category called Digest (view archives). Start with the Web Strategy Summary, then quickly scan the succinct and categorized headlines, read text for my take, and click link to dive in for more.

You can subscribe to this digest tag only, which filters only these posts tagged digest.

Web Strategy Summary
Facebook launches Engagement Ads, which signal how widgets and advertisements start to look alike. Third party developers such as Widgetbox are now available on Hi5, and the OpenSocial protocol continues to gain traction, despite a setback with developer relations at Ning.


Engagement Ads –Early Trials, and Caution
I shared my thoughts with Cnet about Facebook’s Engagement ads, and the impact it has on brands and users. While highly innovative, Facebook’s experiments could put some brands at risk, let’s hope they develop some best practices that meets the needs of brands –and users. Read my additional analysis.

Stats: OpenSocial reaches 350 Million Users
This protocol, first lead by Google is gaining adoption by developers who are using it to encourage their applications to be write once, run anywhere is seeing adoption and growth.

Usage: Facebook hits 100million users
As Facebook approaches a very large user base of 100million registered users, they have an increase of adoption of users opting in to the new redesign.

Verticals: Social Network for Chefs
Yet another segment of social networks that are launched, cooks can now connected at CookEatShare, link via Arturo Pelayo.

Analyst: Gartner pushes social networks for retailers
These findings and recommendations encourage retailers to approach social networks as they are attracting too much attention too ignore.

Mobile: Linkedin launches mobile version for iPhone
Allowing members to access their social network while mobile is a nod towards the future, this simple app appears to display one’s newsfeed.

Media: Bebo hosts modeling show
This 12 episode show “Model.live” reveals reality style how models live and work to achieve their modeling dreams, this ties in well with Bebo’s heavy media and lifestyle network. A good example of TV and social networks starting to merge.

Developers: Ning boots Widgetlaboratory
Ning removes Widetlabs from developer network, citing violation of terms of use, Widgetlabs fights back launches opensource widgets and hints at legal action. Followed by a response from Gina.

Applications: Widgetbox Gallery Available for Hi5
Hi5 a fast growing social network has now tapped into Widgetbox’s existing OpenSocial widgets gallery to be available for their community. Despite the challenges that Ning and developer Widgetlaborartory had this week, this is another example of how containers are embracing third party applications.

Features: Lithium extends blogging features
Although they’ve had blogging features previously, Lithium signals to the market they’ve more robust blogging features for enterprise clients.

Privacy: SoNets increase connectivity but not privacy
This interesting article from Scientific America (thanks Brian for the link) gives examples of how some have been impacted by the connected world, for better of for worse.

Culture: Women review bad dates
Read about this in the Scientific America article above, where women rate, review, some pretty bad men. This site scores well for google search results where no other is present. Now, when folks meet each other in real life, they may start to do Google searches, a sign of the times.

PR professionals that have clients in this space, should subscribe to this blog, and ensure their clients are put on this digest by sending me an email, or better yet, leave a comment. If you work for a white label community platform, keep me updated, I want to know of your wins.