An article in the FT today states that Facebook is set to become the worlds largest online display advertising company (by revenue). This is some accomplishment, overcoming Google and Yahoo.

Importantly this also comes off the back of the news that Facebook is now starting to challenge Google as a referrer of traffic to other websites which shows how far social referring has come in the last few years.

Certainly Twitter and now Facebook are the first port of call for internet users looking for news that interests them; a quick scan of your news feed is all a simple strategy for looking at news that fits your interests and passions. Much easier than looking at five different websites to find out the same information.

What does this mean for us? Well, as ‘Influencer Marketers’ we should bear this in mind. Getting social links and a high Facebook referral might be more significant than the Tech pages of the Daily Mail.

Maybe we should spend more time writing copy and tailoring ideas for Facebook these days?


Last week saw an interesting twist in the ongoing debate of how the news industry is going to be saved from extinction, and it came in the shape of the Daily

Whilst Mr. Murdoch has started building walls, the Mail has looked to the bright lights of the US of A to try and make a dollar or two. Last week it was announced that Mail Online is making an aggressive push into the US with the hiring of editorial and sales staff in Los Angeles.

A British newspaper aiming to make it big across the pond is not exactly breaking news – back in 2006 the Guardian expressed its intentions to reach out to new American audiences.

But is the Daily Mail in a position to actually make this work? Whilst as a news source it is continuously derided for its, how shall we say, ’not particularly liberal’ viewpoints, penchant for linking everything to cancer and sometimes inaccurate reporting, it can’t be ignored that it regularly beats every other news paper in terms of online traffic, giving it a model to monetise.

A lot of this traffic comes from the site’s heavy focus on celebrity/showbiz and this is what the Mail intends to play on to secure its American dream. So is this a viable move to remedy the need to start making money from news content once again? With News International’s paywall still in its early days, it is too soon to tell, but this move should
prove as an interesting ‘testing of the water’ for those that are holding off on charging us to get our news.  


It used to be said that an Englishman’s castle is his home and certainly it was from a privacy point of view.

A great deal has been written on the nature of privacy in the social media age recently but the scale of the change was brought home to me by the tragedy of Ashleigh Hall, who was murdered after meeting up with a ‘friend’ she had met through her Facebook account.

The Facebook page showed Peter Chapman as a teenager when in reality he was a 35 year old registered sex offender.  As the Daily Mail headline across half the front page asked  ‘Who’s Your Child Talking to on Facebook Tonight?”.

The sheer openness of social media is at stake.  As stated a home used to be castle in the late 20th century: electronic family life took place within closed channels; the telephone was fixed and family regulated; television was a joint activity involving parental guidance; and if anything the most social form of content was music.

The level of interaction with the outside world introduced by the world wide web was unimaginable.  Today, as the web celebrates its sixteenth birthday, we don’t appear to have developed a full understanding of what this new form of privacy means.

It is easy to dismiss the Daily Mail and threats from a new order of privacy that is being ushered in by the widespread adoption of social media, but it’s impact is profound.  One reaction may be to see if we can re-engineer the old world of privacy.

Yet this is an option that could be self defeating, as clearly the need to educate and create new behaviours is at the heart of safe behaviour in a social media society.  To ignore this and pretend children are not going to access social media and networking sites would be to deny them this protection.   Yet with all the education in the world mistakes can happen.

So, should society regulate to create greater protection, should it be illegal to present an image of oneself that is patently false?

A truly adequate response requires an understanding of what privacy means in this new world, and the creation of social systems that help prepare and guide people from many aspects.

The social media industry itself must face this challenge head on and in conjunction with government, education and consumer groups otherwise the arguments for regulation take root.


NOTE: interesting that since this was drafted, further developments have meant the Mail has had to come out and apologise for the Facebook accusations (brilliantly summarised by @ruskin147 here)