Pew Internet: Social Media Central to Teenagers’ Lives

Pew/Internet logo

Pew Internet just released a fascinating study called “Teens and Social Media”. Teens are clearly embracing the conversational aspect of the web and are precursors to the way we will use the Internet in the future.

Highlights & data points:

  • 64% of online teens ages 12-17 have participated in one or more among a wide range of content-creating activities on the internet.
  • 39% of online teens share their own artistic creations online, such as artwork, photos, stories, or videos.
  • 33% create or work on webpages or blogs for others, including those for groups they belong to, friends, or school assignments.
  • 28% have created their own online journal or blog.
  • 27% maintain their own personal webpage.
  • 26% remix content they find online into their own creations.
  • 55% of online teens ages 12-17 have created a profile on a social networking site.
  • 47% of online teens have uploaded photos where others can see them.
  • 14% of online teens have posted videos online.

Additional insights:

  • In the midst of the digital media mix, the landline is still a lifeline for teen social life. Multi-channel teens layer each new communications opportunity on top of pre-existing channels.
  • Email continues to lose its luster among teens as texting, instant messaging, and social networking sites facilitate more frequent contact with friends.
  • Posting images and video often starts a virtual conversation. Most teens receive some feedback on the content they post online.

For more information, here’s the full report (.pdf).

What it means: more crystal-ball gazing. This net-native generation will completely change the web. Embrace these trends to be ahead of the curve.

Local Online Conversations Outnumber IYP Searches 7-to-1

According to Keller Fay Group (via the Center for Media Research), there are 3.5 billion brand-related conversations per day in the U.S. 8% (280MM) of those are happening online. Let’s speculate for an instant. If 25% of those online conversations are local in nature, that means an impressive 70 million local conversations are happening online every day in the US in e-mails, instant messenging, blogs, forums, social networks and other online communities.

Let’s equate these conversations to local searches and compare them with ComScore “IYP” searches. According to this article from SearchEngineLand, these totaled 808MM in the US in Q1 2007. In a three-month period, 6.3 billion local conversations are potentially happening online. That’s 7 times the total “IYP” searches universe! And a whopping 35 times the total of the current leader, Yahoo!

Comscore IYP Searches

What it means: for anyone who doubted that local search was very fragmented online, I think these numbers speak for themselves. In addition, the ability to deploy a social media strategy for anyone operating in that space is key.

Video (Content) Killed the Communications Star

(via Research Brief)

According to the Online Publishers Association, Internet users are spending nearly half their online time visiting content, a 37% increase in share of time from four years ago. The Internet Activity Index, conducted by Nielsen//NetRatings, shows that communications accounted for 46% of consumers’ time online in 2003. A dramatic shift has taken place since then, with consumers now spending 47% of their time with content and only 33% with communication.

OPA Internet Activities

The OPA found a number of other important factors behind the changes, including:

  • A more accessible, and much faster, Internet is driving increased overall time spent online.
  • The increased popularity of video is leading to more time being spent with online content.
  • The improvement in search allows consumers to more easily and quickly find the exact content they are looking for, increasing the likelihood they will engage more deeply with that content.
  • The Web simply offers far more content than it did even four years ago, increasing content’s share of time.
  • The rise of instant messaging (IM) as a key communications tool has been a factor in communication’s reduction in share of time. IM is a more efficient communications vehicle than email.

What it means: for anyone who doubted the strength of the content tidal wave (professional and user-generated), these numbers leave no doubt. If you are traditional media, make sure your offline content is ready for the web and published there as well. Create also web-specific content and allow users to comment, tag and contribute additional content. And don’t forget that content can be accessed using non-traditional platforms: mobile, Nintendo Wii, etc.

News Grab Bag: ContactAtOnce!, Bret Taylor and Jim Norris, DexKnows.com, New Headings in Canada

A selection of some of the praized-worthy news in the last few days:

1) ContactAtOnce!, a provider of presence-aware solutions (click-to-call, IM, etc.) just announced that BargainNews.com, one of their customers, improved the conversion rate of its auto classified website by 77% after adding the ContactAtOnce! service (see screenshot below) to their enhanced advertising packages.

BargainNews Listing Contactatonce

2) Bret Taylor and Jim Norris (both seen below), two of the masterminds behind Google Maps and several other Google products, have joined Benchmark Capital as “Entrepreneurs in Residence.” This gives them paid positions to hang out at Benchmark’s offices on Silicon Valley’s Sand Hill Road and think through starting a business. They have a specific idea in mind, but are secretive about it, telling VentureBeat only that it’s a “consumer Internet” company. I’ve had the chance to work closely with Bret when Google launched their Local site in Canada and it was great fun. I wish them both good luck! (via VentureBeat)

Bret Taylor Jim Norris Google Maps

3) R.H. Donnelley officially launched DexKnows.com, their new local search web site powered by Local Matters (previously known as Dexonline.com). It now includes comparison shopping, a better mapping experience and some personalization tools.

DexKnows.com home page

4) Yellow Pages Group in Canada released their latest heading modifications. It’s always interesting as it gives us a perspective into changes in culture and society. Amongst others, Pilates, Organic Products, Geothermal Energy, Tapas, Brunch, Vegetarian & Vegan Foods are in. Telephone Booths, Shoulder Pads, Chewing Gum and Buttonhole Makers are out.

Friday News Grab Bag: 2007 Global Yellow Pages Report, Illumicell & Superpages.com

1) My friends at the Kelsey Group just released their 2007 Global Yellow Pages report. It’s always excellent information and worth the purchase.

Highlights:

  • In 2006, worldwide, Yellow Pages generated estimated revenues of US$30.5 billion and estimated earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of US$13.6 billion,
  • By applying a conservative multiple of 10 times EBITDA, the entire global Yellow Pages industry would have a market valuation of US$136 billion.
  • The global Yellow Pages industry employed just over 74,000 people in 2006, more than 41,000 of whom worked in sales or sales management, up from 36,000 in 2004.
  • Print Yellow Pages will stay level globally over the next five years.
  • By 2011, almost 30 percent of global Yellow Pages revenues will be online, compared with 12.4 percent in 2006.
  • Yellow Pages share of the total global advertising pie stands at 7.1 percent.

2) My friends at illumiCell just signed a distribution deal with Idearc that allows the Texas publisher to place its Superpages.com advertisers’ content on an instant messenging local search service provided by illumiCell. Under this agreement, Superpages.com’s performance-based advertisers will be featured over AOL’s Instant Messenger (AIM) network. The illumiCell local search service will launch on AIM in the United States in the third quarter of 2007. illumiCell already has a partnership with Yellow Pages Group in Canada.

Friday News Grab Bag: 2007 Global Yellow Pages Report, Illumicell & Superpages.com

1) My friends at the Kelsey Group just released their 2007 Global Yellow Pages report. It’s always excellent information and worth the purchase.

Highlights:

  • In 2006, worldwide, Yellow Pages generated estimated revenues of US$30.5 billion and estimated earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of US$13.6 billion,
  • By applying a conservative multiple of 10 times EBITDA, the entire global Yellow Pages industry would have a market valuation of US$136 billion.
  • The global Yellow Pages industry employed just over 74,000 people in 2006, more than 41,000 of whom worked in sales or sales management, up from 36,000 in 2004.
  • Print Yellow Pages will stay level globally over the next five years.
  • By 2011, almost 30 percent of global Yellow Pages revenues will be online, compared with 12.4 percent in 2006.
  • Yellow Pages share of the total global advertising pie stands at 7.1 percent.

2) My friends at illumiCell just signed a distribution deal with Idearc that allows the Texas publisher to place its Superpages.com advertisers’ content on an instant messenging local search service provided by illumiCell. Under this agreement, Superpages.com’s performance-based advertisers will be featured over AOL’s Instant Messenger (AIM) network. The illumiCell local search service will launch on AIM in the United States in the third quarter of 2007. illumiCell already has a partnership with Yellow Pages Group in Canada.

Bill Gates: Print Yellow Pages Will be Dead in Five Years

Went to bed yesterday reading this article from the Seattle Times. The paper reports on a speech Bill Gates gave to some of Microsoft’s top advertising customers. Other than the usual story of newspapers demise, there was an interesting tidbit about print directories.

The traditional Yellow Pages are doomed as voice-activated Internet searches combined with on-screen interfaces on smart mobile devices get better and proliferate, Gates said. The company’s recent acquisition of voice-technology provider TellMe is accelerating the trend. “When you say something like ‘plumber’ the presentation you get will be far better than what you get in the Yellow Pages,” Gates said. “After all, we know your location and so we can cluster [results] around that. … Yellow Page usage amongst people in their, say below 50, will drop to near zero over the next five years.”

What it means: knowing how strong the print directory ecosystem is, I would be very surprised if it became completely irrelevant in the next five years. I’m also surprised Gates would come out so strongly and say their TellMe acquisition means they’re competing directly against directory publishers, especially at a time when people are starting to root for Microsoft to counter FOG. In any case, if you are in the directory space, you have to make sure you’re not solely dependent on one medium. Like the Kelsey Group used to say (and I’m paraphrasing), “don’t sell in the medium, sell in the database”. That means making sure your content can be accessed via different entry doors like print, online, voice, mobile, instant messenging Nintendo Wii, search engines, etc. As entry doors multiply, make sure you hedge your bets by being present in these various access points.