Friday, January 08, 2010

Twitter Purges Spammers and Users Lose Followers Big Time

Last week many regular users of Twitter saw their Follower numbers plummet as the social networking site purged its services of people it considered spammers. This has been reported as a big clean up of accounts which are considered to be spammy by the popular web 2.0 service.

I personally lost about 100 followers yesterday and was looking around at my tweets trying to figure out if I had written something that alienated my followers. I am relieved to find out that it wasn't something I did but a clean up of people abusing the system.

It seems some people use automated systems to become your follower so they can send you spam. I am more of a Facebook person and am still working myself up to speed on Twitter. Therefore, I don't have a real profound opinion on the topic. But in reading peoples reactions this seems to be something a lot of Twitter followers agree with.

Facebook Beats Google during Holiday Season

On Christmas and New Year's Eve Facebook beat Google in overall web traffic. Since Google is the most popular online destination because of the centrality of search in finding information on the Internet, this is an amazing development. In contrast Facebook has to be one of the most stickiest sites on the web. When I state sticky I mean the time a person spends on a site.

When using search people try to find what they need as fast as possible. So Google isn't as sticky in that regard although through its other offerings in email, video, and collaboration (gmail, YouTube, and Google Docs respectively) it attempts to engage us more -- time wise.

For a site like Facebook to become both popular and sticky at the same time speaks volumes about its success. But the deeper question remains will search marketing and social media begin to converge or develop a symbiotic relationship?

From the vantage point of users will people one day use Google to find research type information from authoritative sources but use a network of Facebook friends to supplement that research with wisdom or experience? Or will people seek out experts on Google and develop a dialog with these experts on Facebook?

This type of synergy between search engine content and social media insights is very exciting in its potential to enrich our global knowledge on countless issues. I asked some of my Facebook friends about this possibility. We will review their responses in our next post.