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Yahoo! Ahead of Google on Social Media

InternetNews.com reports that Yahoo! Research tapped US Berkeley for help on its social media initiatives. Professor Marc Davis explains, "We want to enable the billions of media consumers to become producers... And clearly, Yahoo! is poised as a company to make significant changes in the world of social media."

[M]obile devices such as camera- and videophones already are turning consumers into producers. At the same time, the contextual information created by these devices is a better way to enable multimedia search than the current method of attempting to analyze meta data. Community-made content such as tagging is a better way of determining relevance for media than analyzing links to the content... while shared content from friends and communities of interest may be more valuable to that found by standard Web search.

Yahoo! clearly gets it and is rushing to innovate its way into a leadership position on social media. InternetNews.com reports the scorecard so far: Google buys Blogger, which lets consumers produce their own blogs, Yahoo! launches Yahoo! 360 with social networking "buddy lists," RSS, tagging, and local search integrated with consumer- generated recommender engine. Google acquires Picasa with photo-touch up capabilities, while Yahoo! scoops up Flickr which is all about social bookmarks, search, and public photo albums shared across communities of interest. 

Interestingly, Consumer Generated Media (CGM) is paying off from a portal perspective for Yahoo! According to a July Majestic Research report, Yahoo! had 83 million unique visitors in June who spent more than two hours apiece on the site, while Google had 62.4 million unique visitors who each spent around 22 minutes on Google.

CGM is clearly a useful strategy to improve stickiness of online properties - and not just for major search media portals like Yahoo! and Google. As we've uncovered in our own analytics reporting for a variety of clients, "time spent on site" and "repeat usage" are key audience segments strongly associated with high-value conversions. The recent strategic moves by Yahoo! and statistics reported by Majestic Research add another important piece to our understanding of the power of CGM and social media.

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October 13, 2005 | Permalink

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