10.3 million fans
6.9 million supporters
6.6 million fans
3.9 million followers
3.6 million followers
3.6 million followers
n. 1: A service that "gives people the power to share and make the world more open and connected." — Facebook 2: A "cyberland of rampant narcissism and wasted time."
— Andy Ostroy, The Huffington Post
n. 1: "A real-time short-messaging service that works over multiple networks and devices." — Twitter 2: "A playground for imbeciles, skeevy marketers, D-list celebrity half-wits, and pathetic attention seekers." — Daniel Lyons, Newsweek
|300 million users. Valuation: $10 billion. "Cash-flow positive," in 2009.||STATUS||20 million users. Valuation: $1 billion. "We spend more money than we make."|
|Share information with a closed group of friends.||WHAT USERS DO||Broadcast information to the world.|
|Landing page, fan page, custom tabs for support, shopping, and feedback.||TOOLS FOR BRANDS||Live search, direct replies to people tweeting about the brand.|
|Users surf the Best Buy inventory on the store's fan page, then click "Get Advice" to solicit feedback from all of their friends, via a news-feed post, about the products they're considering.||DOING IT RIGHT||Gabika99 @Starbucks Is there going to be a mobile app for those of us out here that avoid buying iPhones and iPods?
Starbucks @Gabika99 Yes, we're working on mobile apps on other platforms as well.
|Procter & Gamble's Pringles has nearly 3 million fans but hasn't used any special tools or tabs — and hasn't posted since July.||MISSING OUT||Dell has more than 30 accounts (@DellOutlet, @StudioDell, @TeamDell, etc.), dividing followers and clogging feeds.|
|Burger King's Whopper Sacrifice app, which had users unfriend 10 people for a free Whopper, set the blogosphere ablaze. Before the app was disabled, more than 230,000 users were sacrificed.||BUILDING BUZZ||For 10 days, Web-site builder Moonfruit offered users who mentioned its name the opportunity to win a MacBook Pro. Its brand was Twitter's top trending topic for days, beating the Iran election.|
|Hasbro forced the hugely popular Scrabble knockoff app off Facebook and sued its creators. Thousands of users joined protest groups, such as Save Scrabulous and #$@(*& off, hasbro.||BIG-NAME BLUNDER||When Fox aired episodes of Fringe and Glee with a live Twitter-feed overlay, viewers tuned out and bloggers called it "annoying" and "intrusive." The experiment was discontinued.|
A version of this article appeared in the December/January 2010 issue of Fast Company magazine.