This article was published on May 20, 2012

This week in social media: Facebook trades 100m shares in 5 minutes, a new ‘ghost-town’ study on Google+ and more

This week in social media: Facebook trades 100m shares in 5 minutes, a new ‘ghost-town’ study on Google+ and more

It’s that time of week again when we take a look at the latest social media news, and highlight some of the most interesting stories.

You couldn’t avoid news of Facebook’s IPO lately if you tried, and the social network’s historical week ended with founder Mark Zuckerberg tying the knot with long time girlfriend Priscilla Chan. To find out more about this, and other social media related stories, read on.

Facebook: IPO, wedding bells and more

The big story of the week in social media circles has undoubtedly been the Facebook IPO. After confirming that the company would go public at $38 per share, Facebook’s share price was quick to jump to $43, with a 13.6% spike, which was accompanied by the trading of 100 million shares in the first 5 minutes. 82% of that happened in the first 30 seconds.

As the day wore on, the share price dropped to the original $38 coming dangerously close to dipping beneath Facebook’s designated share price, before rebounding.

Facebook shares closed at $38. 37 after the social network broke the record for the most shares traded in the first day, with a total of 500 million shares trading hands. Facebook’s IPO is the largest ever for a technology company and the second largest in US history, second only to Visa.

To put the actual numbers in context, you definitely want to take a look at all the things Facebook made more money than on Friday.

It’s been a pretty good week for Zuckerberg. Not only did his Facebook activity include listing his company on Nasdaq, it also saw him updating his relationship status to married and sharing a photo with his 14 millions subscribers.

The wedding itself was a complete surprise to his guests, according to AP:

“The couple married at his Palo Alto, Calif. home in front of fewer than 100 stunned guests who thought they would be attending a party to celebrate Chan’s graduation from medical school.

Zuckerberg gave his new bride a ring he had designed with a “very simple ruby” to end an incredibly eventful week…”

It hasn’t been all good news for Facebook these past few days. Earlier in the week, GM announced its plan to cut Facebook from its advertising budget,

At the time, The Next Web’s Alex Wilhelm wrote:

GM spends heavily on advertising in every medium, so for it to leave Facebook, noting that its ads were inefficacious, raises the question of the power, and therefore monetizability, of Facebook’s ad platform. Ads are a key Facebook revenue source. If its ad business suffers from other major defections, the earnings growth that is widely anticipated following its offering, may not materialize in line with expectations.

Twitter supports Do Not Track

In an announcement on its official blog, Twitter confirmed that the social networking site supports Do Not Track, a feature which allows users to block tracking cookies used by advertisers and website owners.

twittercakes Twitter UK marks its first anniversary by reaching 10m active users, 80% of them mobileInitially opening up support to Firefox users only, Twitter was quick to clarify that the feature is available in other browsers, including IE9, Safari 5.1 and Chrome 17+. The move earned Twitter high praise from the White House itself, which referred to it as “an important step” in a post shared on the official White House blog.

Celebrating its first year of having set up shop in the UK, Twitter shared some impressive figures in the country – which included reaching 10 million users, 80% of which are active on mobile.

Twitter also revealed that now has a very apt 140 million users worldwide.

Catering to that worldwide audience, Twitter has opened up its Translation Centre to 6 more languages: Catalan, Afrikaans, Ukrainian, Greek, Czech and Basque, which are the six most requested languages. Twitter is currently available in 28 languages.

Another new introduction for Twitter is a weekly email digest, which will be going out to all of its members. While many mocked the idea, The Next Web’s Matthew Panzarino had this to say about it:

The new email digest should help Twitter to continue its education process, not to gather new users, which it will do organically at this point, but to keep the ones it has and make them more engaged with the service.

Be sure to read his full post here.

Pinterest raises $100 million

Breaking the news that Pinterest was set to announce new funding, it was soon revealed by AllThingsD that the popular pinning site raised $100 million from previous investors, with one new name thrown in the mix – Japanese ecommerce giant Rakuten.

Previous backers Andreessen Horowitz, Bessemer Venture Partners, FirstMark Capital and a few other angel investors also participated in the round.

Speaking about the investment, Rakuten CEO Hiroshi Mikitani said:

“While some may see e-commerce as a straightforward vending machine-like experience, we believe it is a living process where both retailers and consumers can communicate, discover, and curate to make the experience more entertaining.

We see tremendous synergies between Pinterest’s vision and Rakuten’s model for e-commerce. Rakuten looks forward to introducing Pinterest to the Japanese market as well as other markets around the world.”

More ‘ghost-town’ reports on Google+

Ghost town: It would seem that there is no more popular term used when trying to prove that Google+ is already a flop. Fast Company points to a new report which “reveals minimal social activity and weak user engagement”.

Fast Company reports that RJ Metrics‘ study analyzed 40,000 random Google+users, coming to the following conclusions:

The average post on Google+ has less than one +1, less than one reply, and less than one re-share.
Roughly 30% of users who make a public post never make a second one.
Even after making five public posts, there is a 15% chance that a user will not post publicly again.
Among users who make publicly viewable posts, there is an average of 12 days between each post.
After a member makes a public post, the average number of public posts they make in each subsequent month declines steadily, a trend that is not improving.

Of course, any studies on Google+ activity that are not conducted by Google itself has to be taken with a grain of salt, since private posts cannot be accounted for in the numbers, which is exactly what a Google spokesperson told Fast Company.

If RJ Metric’s figures are accurate, it does not bode well for Google. Fast Company places the blame of so many ‘Ghost Town’ labels on Google itself, saying that the company’s refusal to share any engagement statistics, or the number of active users, leaves far too much room for speculation.

Not everyone agrees with that perspective, however. Our own Drew Olanoff says that Google isn’t sharing its numbers because it doesn’t have to, but that was back in December. The question is, how long can we continue to make that argument for Google?

Be sure to check out the complete study over at Fast Company.

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