Social media popular among Swedes

When the PR agency JMW asked 1,325 Swedes between 15 and 65 years of age, four out of ten used social networks of some sort. MSN is the most popular choice (72 per cent), with Facebook skyrocketing up to second place (36 per cent) ahead of troubled Lunarstorm (32 per cent) and MySpace (21 per cent).

The survey included several different types of media that may not always be associated with the term “social networks”, such as chat, text messaging, blogs, communities, social networks, downloading and filesharing (of images, music, videos), email, online games, virtual worlds like Second Life, and wikis.

15 per cent of the respondents had their own blog.

Tags: , , , , , . Ping.

Poor PR from Facebook

There has been a buzz recently in the blogosphere about Facebook and its implications for public relations. But what about the site’s own PR tactics? The last few days the social networking site has taken a few punches in Swedish media because users have put up fake profiles of famous Swedes. First, there was fashion journalist Sofi Fahrman who realized she had a very realistic profile on Facebook. Some of her closest friends had been invited to connect, only it wasn’t the real Fahrman who was behind the profile. Then the Swedish king, Carl XVI Gustaf, received the same treatment, even though it was quite easy to tell this one wasn’t the real thing. Today, the leading Swedish news site follows up with a new article, stating that Mona Sahlin (leader of the Social Democratic Party), Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt, former Prime Minister Göran Persson and a bunch of other celebrities all have fake Facebook profiles.

Questions about identity theft and online security strike at the heart of social networking sites’ brands and can’t be neglected even if they’re from a small country in northern Europe. But when Dagens Nyheter and Aftonbladet try to get in touch with Facebook they get the silent treatment. No reply.

“DN has tried to reach Facebook for a comment, without success.”

“Aftonbladet has tried to get in touch with representatives of Facebook without getting a response.”

This is obviously a missed opportunity to manage this upcoming crisis situation. I expect that Facebook will need to increase their PR efforts if they want to continue to challenge MySpace in the social networing arena.

Footnote: Jeremy Pepper wrote about Facebook’s poor PR more than a year ago.

Tags: , , , , , . Ping.

Teens manage their online identities

Pew Internet & American Life Project today published a new report (pdf) called “Teens, Privacy and Online Social Networks: How teens manage their online identities and personal information in the age of MySpace”. The report talks about what kind of information teens share on social networks and what they keep hidden from strangers (and/or parents).

“Many teens post their first name and photos on their profiles, they rarely post information on public profiles they believe would help strangers actually locate them such as their full name, home phone number or cell phone number.”

Of those whose profile can be accessed by anyone online, nearly half (46%) say they give at least some false information. Other interesting findings about the teens with online profils are:

– 82% of profile creators have included their first name in their profiles
– 79% have included photos of themselves.
– 61% have included the name of their city or town.
– 49% have included the name of their school.
– 29% have included their email address.
– 29% have included their last names.
– 2% have included their cell phone numbers.
– 6% of online teens and 11% of profile-owning teens post their first and last names on publicly-accessible profiles;
– 3% of online teens and 5% of profile-owning teens disclose their full names, photos of themselves and the town where they live in publicly-viewable profiles.

As a result, 63% of teens with profiles believe that a motivated person could eventually identify them.

Tags: , , , . Ping.

Young women prefer Facebook to MySpace

I recently wrote about the rapid growth of the social networking site Facebook, which had 30 billion page views monthly. Now Venture Beat writes that the site has jumped to 1.5 billion daily page views, or about 45 billion per month. Facebook is also far more popular among young women (age 17-25) than MySpace, according to stats from eMarketer.

Tags: , , , . Ping.

Buy hot fake friends for your MySpace profile

Does your MySpace/Friendster/Facebook profile look dull? Only have ugly friends or lack friends all together? Now you can buy good-looking fake friends to your social networking site at FakeYourSpace. The site offers you “hot models” for 99 cents per model and month and will give you 2 comments a week. Here’s how the site describes its services:

“FakeYourSpace is an exciting new service that enables normal everyday people like me and you to have Hot friends on popular social networking sites such as MySpace and FaceBook.”

“You can have our Models leave you any type of customized message you may wish. Want to make an ex-girlfriend or ex-boyfriend jealous? No problem. Have one of our Models personally flirt with you on your comment wall.”

What people will do to become popular…

FakeYourFriends is currently closed for a few days because it had used photographs of models from without permission.

Tags: , , , . Ping.