Speaking at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco this week, Sean Parker, co-founder of Napster and owner of 4 percent of Facebook, said that Google+ and Twitter have taken “power users” from Facebook. Marketers might take this insight into consideration as they choose audience-appropriate platforms for social media marketing campaigns
Power users, Parker says, are essentially users that contribute more content to social networks than the typical Facebook user. Having users with great influence move to Twitter or Google+ is a positive for those networks, and for marketers who able to share branded content with these key social users on the networks. Yet, both platforms are trying to increase their user bases, while Facebook seems to grow every day without any truly aggressive campaign.
According to Parker, recent adjustments made to Mark Zuckerberg’s social site, including the Subscribe function and improvements to Lists, are aimed at allowing Facebook users to control the data that appears in their feed better. Rather than seeing everything, they see only what they care to.
In spite of these Facebook adjustments, Parker says Google+ has the potential to overtake Facebook’s market share – much like Facebook appropriated MySpace users. Plus, Twitter and Google+ already have “relevancy” checks to content similar to the ones Facebook has just rolled out. Twitter has a limit on the information anyone sees with its 140-character limit, meanwhile Google+ launched with Circles and has quickly rolled out various privacy tools to address any concerns impeding its rapid growth.
For marketers, the evolution of these social networks will be critical in guiding the investment of time and resources moving forward. Social media marketing campaigns are often split between several different websites, but it may become necessary for specific elements of campaigns to be targeted at different networks as Google+ attracts more users.
Though Parker’s point on “Power Users” may prove true, Facebook still has an 800 million-user head start – and the company is innovating to maintain interest. At f8 last month, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg made the company’s latest massive overhaul, Timeline, aimed at fostering nostalgia in those who have used the platform since its launch in 2004, as well as newer users beginning their exposure to social media now, Brafton reported.