Sheryl Sandberg–It’s All About The People

Sheryl Sandberg Facebook’s COO recently delivered a talk at the London School Economics on how Facebook is changing the world. In the remainder of this post, I highlight some of they key points from the talk which you can watch above.

Facebook has over 30 million users in the UK.

The most recent innovation of the web,  is the shift from information retrieval to social discovery. This is the birth of the social web. When you browse Facebook, you are not necessarily looking for a subject matter – you are open to responses from others (Facebook’s newsfeed). We live our lives in social discovery and not in information seeking mode. The information web isn’t dying, it is just evolving.

Today, we are seeing two fundamental transformational shifts from the information web to the social web.

1. On the social web – you have real identity and real personalisation, its entirely personal

2. There’s a shift from information retrieval to social discovery (this is how Facebook works)

We live our lives mostly in social discovery, not really in information seeking mode. The social web is powering us as individuals in a totally different way. This is why we think people are spending so much time on Facebook. The average user in the UK spends about 7 hours per month on Facebook.

There’s another shift from the wisdom of crowds, where everything is done based on algorithms to the wisdom of friends, where we listen to recommendations of people we value. The social web doesn’t just connecting us to people we know, but it connects us to people we don’t know in ways that make them really human. This is a shift from the “what to the who”. Every single day 15 million people connect, and 50 million people ‘Like’ a page. Marketers have always known that the best form of advocacy is friend to friend.

A Snapshot of Facebook in 2010


Flickr Credit: Markus Pacher

As 2010 draws to a close we can take a look at some data that provides a window into the lives of the millions of people around the world who use Facebook everyday to share their lives, feelings and interests with friends. Here is a snapshot of 20 minutes on Facebook showing the huge number of photos, links and statuses posted everyday demonstrating how much the internet has changed the way we interact with our friends, making it easier for us stay in touch or share our interests, with Facebook being at the centre of that change in 2010.   Source: Democracy UK on Facebook

Relationship Statuses in 2010:

43,869,800 changed their status to single

3,025,791 changed their status to "it’s complicated"

28,460,516 changed their status to in a relationship

5,974,574 changed their status to engaged

36,774,801 changes their status to married

What 20 minutes on Facebook looks like

Shared links: 1,000,000 every 20 minutes

Tagged photos: 1,323,000

Event invites sent out: 1,484,000

Wall Posts: 1,587,000

Status updates: 1,851,000

Friend requests accepted: 1,972,000

Photos uploaded: 2,716,000

Comments: 10,208,000

Message: 4,632,000

Top Feel Good Story Shared on Facebook

Most Liked Celebrities:

Lady Gaga

24,712,169 people like this


23,729,700 people like this

Megan Fox

19,575,080 people like this

Vin Diesel

19,425,325 people like this


18,903,844 people like this

Barack Obama

17,229,885 people like this

Bob Marley

17,168,034 people like this

Lil Wayne

17,004,850 people like this

Justin Bieber

16,779,874 people like this


16,520,790 people like this

The Social Network–A Movie Review

Last night I watched an advance UK preview of The Social Network, the Facebook movie. Having read Steve’s post a few week’s ago, I have been looking forward to seeing it as soon as it reached British shores.  This post describes my thoughts after watching the film and will contain spoilers. I’ve been a member of Facebook right back when it was called ‘The Facebook’, and I’ve been fascinated with it ever since. Aaron Sorkin did a great job with the screenplay and the outcome is a beautifully made film, dark in places though that’s a trademark to the genius of director David Fincher. The early part of the action takes places around the Kirkland campus at Harvard, and depicts Mark Zuckerberg as a socially awkward computer science nerd.

Jesse Eisenberg, plays Zuckerberg in a rather robotic performance, lacking any kind of human emotion during the early part of the movie. Once you get past the monotone voice, you do hear traces of Mark’s humorous dry wit. I found myself laughing out loud in certain places. The Winklevoss twins came across rather creepy, blessed by family fortune and the status that it brings. They are used to getting their own way until of course they meet Mark. He manages to give them the run around and take their idea of the Harvard Connection social network and build upon it. You  can’t help but feel they were naive suckers, despite their smugness.

Sean Parker’s (co-founder of Napster) role adds an injection of ‘coolness’ into the movie. Parker was the person that suggested that  ‘The’ from should be dropped to  simply read "Facebook". You can see how Zuckerberg becomes enthralled by Parker’s influence. Interestingly though, the film fails to mention that Parker became Facebook’s president up until the cocaine drugs bust.

Sorkin’s screenplay shows the painful build up of Eduardo Saverin’s betrayal by Zuckerberg, Sean Parker and the rest of the Facebook management team, it really stood out towards the end. In David Kirkpatrick’s Facebook Effect book (read my review here), Saverin came across as rather cold, socially awkward much like Mark himself. But above all he was a business machine, exceptionally shrewd and focused on making big contacts and even bigger deals. This didn’t really across within the movie. I genuinely felt sorry for him. Upon reading the Kirkpatrick book, I felt that Saverin was the villain. However, who is to really know the true story, apart from the main protagonists?  Overall, the 120 minutes of the movie passed by very quickly because I was engrossed. If you get the opportunity, I would certainly recommend you go and watch it. It’s a great story.

The Facebook Effect – A Book Review


I first heard about David Kirkpatrick’s book during Robert Scoble’s interview of him at the 2010 F8 Facebook conference. Both Scoble and Kirkpatrick discussed how Facebook was evolving from a social networking platform to an identity platform. Facebook’s recent privacy issues, left me intrigued. Over the past eight months, I had found myself going to my Facebook profile less and less. Instead, I devoted my time in following interesting people on Twitter. So, learning more about Facebook’s plans during F8 and the interesting insights from Scoble and Kirkpatrick led me to purchase the book.

Amazon delivered it within a few short days and upon arrival, I immediately skimmed the Prologue. It became apparent early on, that Kirkpatrick was asked to write this book by Mark Zuckerberg, to pen an historical account on how Facebook started, Zuckerberg’s vision for Facebook and how his friends helped him to change the world by building an infectious social network.

The book itself consists of 17 chapters and is a very engaging read. The 333 pages are packed with some truly interesting insights, and I couldn’t help feeling in awe at the research time and commitment that Kirkpatrick put into this work. Hours of interviews with people in Zuckerberg’s inner circle are recalled and provide a great backdrop to the true story behind the world’s leading social network. Zuckerberg describes Facebook as “a social movement”, not as a publishing platform. He is motivated by a passion for radical transparency. Through the sharing of our data and making our lives publicly available, he believes it turns us into better people. Many people disagree and the recent controversy over privacy controls as only fuelled the fire on what Facebook is sharing about us.

Kirkpatrick has written the definitive book on the company so far. It left me with a deep under­standing of how the company thinks, its philosophies and it stunned me on its true power. Anyone who is interested in Facebook’s history will absolutely love this book, as will those who are interested in contemporary geek culture.

The Facebook Effect is a great weekend read, buy your copy of the book from Amazon here.

Trevor Johnson of Facebook at #SMWF


Next up was Trevor Johnson, Head of Strategy and Planning at Facebook Europe. His talk was entitled, “Social Changes Everything”. He discussed how a burglar stopped to update his Facebook status during a robbery! He was subsequently caught. “Social” is indeed everywhere and Facebook is a big touch point for so many of us.

Facebook is used by more than 400 million active users. Users spend on average 16 minutes on the homepage, and spend 28 minutes updating their profile during the day. Facebook has now also overtaken Google as the Web’s number one web property. Here are some others stats that Trevor shared:

· #1 property on the internet (time spent)

· 5 billion+ pieces of content uploaded every week

· 6 billion+ minutes spent online every day

· 2 million+ photos per second

· 250+ platform apps with over 1m active users

· 800,000+ websites use Facebook Connect

· 2 billion+ chat messages

· 60 million+ status updates each day

At the heart of Facebook is “Identity”. “Social” is built on 3 pillars (Identity, Sharing and the Facebook Platform). Identity is core, with real people sharing and connecting with their social graphs. Facebook is particularly focussed on the growing importance of identity & authenticity. And, opportunities that are driven by [Facebook] platform and technology. [Jas Note] Interesting, if Facebook wants to become the Identity on the web what comes next, the wallet?


Social gaming has growing significantly, games such as Farmville now have over 80 million users. Companies such as Evian, even have branded “virtual goods” now. Of note, the virtual economy is anticipated to be worth 10 billion this year, Trevor said.

Finally, Trevor showed a great example on how MySpace is using Facebook Connect to connect fans with music artists, using a viral video campaign called “Fan Video”. Take a look at the one I created here. Viral videos are now becoming personalised!

Key Summary Points (Simple steps for Marketers)

1. Make it social, leverage the platform and social graph

2. Keep it simple, get started and iterate

3. Don’t think in campaigns and silos, develop a conversational calendar

4. Think differently – harness new opportunities and experiment

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25 Reasons Why We Left Facebook?

Could this be the reason why we are all leaving Facebook?

This text will be replaced

Facebook Chat launches


I’m a little scared this morning. I logged into Facebook and noticed the much rumoured Facebook IM has now launched!

Some days I just want to unplug!

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The Insider’s Guide to Facebook Viral Marketing.

Via Facebook Pages

Many businesses, from leading global brands to favourite local bands, are enjoying tremendous impact using Facebook Pages for free viral marketing. Check out some key strategies from the most successful businesses on Pages:

1) Regularly adding engaging and useful content
2) Letting fans participate in the conversation
3) Expanding their distribution with Facebook Ads

We’ve collected some of these winning strategies—along with the nuts of bolts of how to create and manage a Page—into an Insider’s Guide to Viral Marketing

Download the PDF here

Windows Live loves Facebook

Microsoft has announced a new partnership with five of the six most popular social networking sites. The partnership will allow users to more safely and easily share contacts with various Windows Live services.
Microsoft’s new partnership includes Facebook, Bebo, Hi5, LinkedIn, and Tagged. A notable absentee is MySpace. MySpace currently uses an older version of Microsoft’s Windows Live Contacts interoperability and will therefore likely be compatible at some point in the future.

Users of Microsoft’s Windows Live Messenger service can visit,, where they can invite contacts from Facebook to join Windows Live Messenger. (NB. Support for Hotmail, Bebo, LinkedIn, Hi5, and Tagged will be added in the weeks ahead).

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Facebook stats for the UK, 6,407,580 members

Hat tip to Paul

Using the Flyers Pro application on Facebook, Paul has extrapolated some interesting statistics that are probably not available elsewhere. Thanks to Damien Mulley’s blog post for the idea.

6,407,580 people in the UK
2,320,200 are male
2,789,540 are female

3,241,800 men between 18 and 25
1,565,520 women between 18 and 25
907,620 men between 25 and 35
1,006,420 women between 25 and 35
227,220 men and women between 35 and 60

Professional vs student
5,160,740 who are not students
295,260 are in High School
447,820 are in college
503,760 Alumni

As you can see, the ratio of professionals to students is extremely high. This is something that LinkedIn enthusiasts should take note of. It’s hardly surprising Facebook is targeting universities via their O2 relationship.

Relationship status
906,980 men registered as single
826,620 women registered as single
638,740 men in a relationship
907,400 women in a relationship
276,840 men who are married
414,740 women who are married

545,240 Liberals
251,320 Moderates
216,660 Conservatives

London network
1,503,979 people in the London network
577,380 are male
665,180 are female

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