APRIL 04, 2011

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Is Twitter Really A Social Network? Yahoo Study Says NO
While Twitter may not be structured like, say, Facebook, Twitter is commonly thought of as an online social network. But a recent Yahoo study provides strong evidence that Twitter is not very social at all. As noted in last week’s CNtelligence article, ”eMarketer on Twitter: Don’t Believe The Hype”, a small percentage of users represent the majority of tweets (fewer than 25% generate 90% of tweets on a worldwide basis). According to the Yahoo study, an incredibly small and “elite” .05% of all users generate 50% of all content. These data suggest that Twitter is much more of a traditional, one-way mass communication vehicle (like TV) whereby most “users” consume content, and do not create, or even react to it.
So what? Separating the Twitter hype from the Twitter reality is increasingly important as brands invest more heavily in social media. Understanding how individuals interact and share via online platforms is crucial to setting expectations, developing goals and using those platforms effectively. “Recognizing that Twitter has a lot in common with more traditional one-way mass communications channels may be one of the most important steps marketers can take as ‘being there’ gives way to ‘finding ROI.’”- Patricio Robles, Econsultancy.com
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Mobile: A Natural Extension Of The Luxury Shopping Experience
A common theme throughout CNtelligence has been the power and importance of the mobile platform to luxury brands (see “Mobile – A Powerful and Versatile Platform For Luxury Marketers”, 3/7; and “Mobile-Optimized Sites Are Key For Luxury Brands”, 2/28). Duke Greenhill, founder and CEO of branding consultancy Greenhill + Partners, digs deeper into this theme in a recent Luxury Daily article. According to Greenhill, the best luxury brand strategies are those that are natural extensions of the consumer experience. Mobile media is, by definition, just that. Greenhill states that mobile fits perfectly into the psychological and emotional components that drive luxury retail: immediate gratification, anonymity, social awareness, and geographic awareness.
So what? Understanding how smart mobile strategies fit into an optimal luxury shopping experience can help Condé Nast create effective mobile apps for its audiences and advertisers.
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Ipsos: The Future Of The Tablet Is Still Unclear
A recent Ipsos paper attempts to take a step back from the buzz surrounding tablets and clarify the differences between expectation, knowledge, and reality in the market. One thing is for certain: tablets are here to stay and they will (if they already haven’t) significantly affect how we consume content. However big questions remain which are difficult to answer right now: 1) despite competitors flooding into the marketplace, will this remain an Apple iPad- dominated market? 2) will this luxury item become mass market? 3) how will consumers use the tablet in relation to other mediums in their lives? and 4) how will tablets affect PCs? The paper provides quantitative evidence that hint at some answers to these questions, but ultimately, much is yet to be played out.
So what? Although it is undeniable that tablets will continue to grow in number and influence, it is important for content creators like Condé Nast to consider the questions posed in this paper.
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Forrester Report: How Teens Really Use Digital Media
It’s often said that young consumers set the bar when it comes to online activities. In a recent paper, Forrester attempts to dig deeper into the core motivations that drive teens to use digital media. For example, it comes as no surprise that almost half of 12- to 17-year-olds are online multiple times a day, the most of any age bracket. But while they’re spending more of their time online, only 6% want to be friends with a brand on Facebook — half the number of 18- to 24-year-olds who do. Why? According to Forrester, almost half of teens don’t think brands should have a presence on social networks at all. The paper states that putting up a Facebook page for your brand is like trying to force yourself into their social circles. Forrester suggests alternate strategies for brands to join the conversations of these young consumers.
So what? Young consumers are clearly a crucial segment to which brands across all categories should be paying close attention; 12-24 year olds represent 21% of the U.S. population, according to MRI. A deep understanding of how these consumers use digital media is invaluable for companies like Condé Nast to develop effective strategies to connect with them.
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CMO Guide To The Social Landscape
Kerry Twibell, Associate Director for Consumer Business Development, uncovered a valuable one-sheeter from CMO.com that provides a side-by-side comparison of the major social sites and how they stack up on 4 key marketing objectives: customer communication, brand exposure, driving site traffic, and Search Engine Optimization (SEO). According to the guide, Facebook scores high on customer communication and brand exposure, but low on SEO; while Flickr gets positive marks on SEO, but performs poorly on driving traffic to one’s website. Twitter, Youtube, and Digg do well across the board.
So what? According to Kerry, "Our consumer lives in the age of 'real time' content consumption. Understanding the social media tools at our disposal is critical to helping us effectively distribute content and products into the stream."
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Quick Takes
App Developer Update: Adobe Vs. Woodwing
According to iMonitor, the market share war between top app developers is heating up. The dominant players among high-end developers are clearly Woodwing and Adobe. While Woodwing had a significant advantage over Adobe for much of the year, Adobe has greatly expanded its base since early February. As of now, iMonitor is tracking 125 apps from Woodwing and 114 from Adobe. Ratings on overall app quality including design, functionality, and ads are also neck and neck between the two developers. The next high-end developer on the list is Texterity, coming in at 71 apps. Although Pixelmags and Pocketmags have developed a considerable number of apps (128 and 96 respectively), they are primarily lower-end developers.
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Condé Nast
Feedback, questions, ideas for future issues? Please contact:

Phil Paparella
Condé Nast Research & Insights | Associate Director
1166 6th Avenue, 14th fl. | NY, NY 10036 | office 212.790.6044 | philip_paparella@condenast.com

Tamar Rimmon | Senior Manager, Digital Analytics
Robyn Hightower | Manager, Research & Insights