All posts in “Hangouts”

Social Media Roundup for December 2



Biggest Social Network IPO in 2012?

Earlier this week the Wall Street Journal reported that Facebook is planning to roll out its long-waited IPO between April and June, 2012. The Journal also reported  that the social network is planning to raise a total of $10 billion by selling roughly 10% of the company’s shares through the IPO. This means that Facebook could be worth $100 billion if the deal goes through next year! According to CBC News, this amount is more than four times the market cap that Google had when they released their IPO back in 2004. Take a look at their poll results that asked readers if they agree with Facebook’s valuation. What do you think?

Facebook has remained private for the past seven years, so why release an IPO now? According to Mashable, one of the major reasons that Facebook decided to do an IPO now is because they have to.

Under the U.S laws, once a company get 500 or more private shareholders, you have to publish detailed data about your company’s financial performance.

The Economist believes that as the social media industry continues to grow,  Facebook will continually see more competition from other networks, such as Google+.

Facebook will want to seek a listing before rivals erodes its lead in the social-networking sphere.

Below is an infograghic, created by Namesake, that documents Facebook’s current status and its IPO path.


IPOs Continued

Looks like Facebook isn’t the only one that plans to hit the public sector. Today, the biggest social gaming company Zynga filed IPO documents with SEC (Securities & Exchange Commissions). Shares were priced between $8.50 and $10. If the deal goes through, Zynga could be vaulted to a valuation of $850 million to $1.15 billion (max $7 billion). According to Mashable, The company, which is famous for its popular social gaming series Ville (Farmville and CityVille), originally planned to IPO several months earlier but delayed due to volatility on the stock market. The company was originally valued at around $10 billion dollars.

If everything goes to plan – Zynga will be listed on Nasdaq under the ticker ZNGA in mid-december.


Google + hangout + Free Voice Calls

Google+ users can now make free conference calls within Hangouts. This was announced by Jarkko Oikarinen, the inventor of the first-ever Internet chat function-Internet Relay Chat, through his Google+ page on Dec 1. Anyone with a phone number can be invited to join the conversation, no Google account required! It looks like Google’s ambition isn’t just to attract more people to Google+, but to improve the way we communicate by integrating internet calling with party lines and conference calls. Oikarinen states:

“We are constantly listening to feedback so that we can make Hangouts even better for Google+ users, and we’re excited by the really cool ways people are using the product”

This feature currently support free calls to the U.S and Canada, and is available within Hangouts . Why not give it a try?


YouTube’s Biggest Web Redesign

Google bought YouTube and kept it running as a separate entity for many years. We’ve heard that YouTube has been planning on a site wide redesign for quite a while. Well, on December 1st the new YouTube design finally launched for everyone. Our first impression? The black and red side bar on the landing page looks a lot like Google’s new User Interface that rolled out couple of months ago. Pages also look and function a lot more like a social network.

Below is video demonstration of the new YouTube which will give you a thorough walk-through on the changes.

From the video, it is not hard to realize that the redesign is made for just one purpose – to get users to focus on Channels, whether through subscribing to other people’s channels or creating one by themselves.


Social Media Roundup for Sept 30th

As Facebook has been on our front page for the past two weeks,we feel like we’ve missed out some big movements in the social media world.  We certainly have some catching up to do, so does Google.

On September 20th, two days before Facebook’s f8 conference, Google+ announced it is now open to the public, and has 9 new features, which added up a  total of 100 updates since it launched three months ago.

  • Hangouts on your phone finally works on Android(version 2.3 or greater) powered mobile phones. We can now video chat with friends from our Circle or join other people’s conversation while on the go.
  • Hangouts On Air allows us to speak to a large audience, or alternatively, view as a spectator.
  • Hangouts with extras include several net new functions which enable us to do things more than chatting.
    • Share screen with our friends through Screensharing
    • Draw, doodle or just scribble together on Sketchpad
    • Google Docs is now supported on Google+
    • Named Hangouts for when we want to join or create a public a private hangout about a certain topic
  • The Hangouts API is now available to developers to build new apps and games off of
  • Search in Google+ lets us search for relevant people and posts, as well as popular content from around the web

After Google+’s announcement,  research estimated that the site has received about 15 million U.S  visitors last week, which was 13 TIMES more traffic then the week before!  Furthermore, according to a Google+ statistician Paul Allen:

“The growth rate has skyrocketed to rates we only saw during the first week of its field test”

Registered users on Google+ went up 30% in two days to an estimated 43.4 million – the biggest growth since its first beta launch three months ago.

Now let’s get back on Facebook,  as today is the day Timeline is going to be rolled out to regular users (if you have signed up earlier).  Be prepared!

Social Media Group’s upcoming webinar with Social Media Today!

We are proudly to present our next webinar with Social Media Today. Tom Foremski and Steven Rosenbaum will join us to discuss:

Is Curation the New Journalism?

Where journalists used to be the trusted agents for reporting on the ground and fact-checking stories before publication, every Web user is now a potential journalist.  And as the deluge of user-generated information gathers strength, finding out what’s important to people in their private and working lives becomes more and more challenging. How to sort between truth, half truth and falsehood? Technical filtering can’t (yet) match human capacity to discriminate between useful content and garbage. This is the increasingly vital role of the online curator. The discussion will examine to what extent curation is becoming integral to journalism, and whether bloggers and tweeters can adequately play the the reporting role of journalists.

We’ll cover the following questions, as well as your own:

  • What’s the difference between curation and journalism?
  • How does factchecking work in the blogosphere?
  • What are emerging best practices for online curators?
  • Can the hive mind of the Internet match the formal editorial structure of a traditional news organization when it comes to producing accurate reporting and analysis of current events?

Register to the Webinar and  join us on October 4th  at 12pm EST/9am PST. It’s free!


What is Google+?

Recently I’ve been thinking that social networks are getting a little too messy. I’ve felt it’s time for another big shift in how people communicate, and I’d love to see companies start to pull all the small pieces together – That’s why I’m so interested in the new Google+ project.

Google + image

Google has attempted many things to encourage users to spend more time using Google products doing activities other than searching. While Gmail, Chrome and Android have been very successful, we all remember the flop known Google Wave. On Tuesday, June 26th, Google started a very limited field test for their latest social network project, Google+,and unveiled the first five features: Circles, Hangouts, Instant Upload, Sparks and Huddle.

Please see the video below for a quick tour:


Everyone is saying that the project is Google’s answer to Facebook. However, there are couple of signs showing that it could be much, much more than that. Google+ could be the centerpiece to Google’s entire strategic map to link search, social, and mobile together in a seamless and intuitive package.

Google+ was developed by Google’s internal team, unlike Google Wave, which was outsourced to an Australia-based team in 2009. Google+ is the result of a year-long project led by Google’s SVP of Social, Vic Gundotra, and hundreds of Google engineers. It involves almost EVERY Google product. Google is already showing a very strong commitment to this project.

Google made significant changes to its user interface (UI), likely in order to accommodate Google+.  And remember, historically Google has been really conservative in changing their minimalist webpage, adding a black navigation bar at the top is definitely a big step for them.

Google+ is also a mobile app. By making use of Android’s dominance in the mobile OS market, Google+ has the potential to become an integral part of the Android experience, and will easily end up in the hands of all the existing users.

The key for Google is to figure out how to leverage the huge number of Gmail users. They have to identify and focus on people’s real needs for a social network, while providing the best product experience that links social, search and mobile together.

Here is the question I’ll leave for everyone: Do you think you that you will ‘hang out’ more on Google than Facebook?

P.S. Check out the Google+ virtual tour to see more videos and experience it yourself !