Social third-quarter 2012: analysis and outlook

1Executive Summary

Social media technologies continue to permeate marketing and enterprise collaboration, even if investors felt let down in the third quarter by their consumer-facing businesses. So B2B technology offerings in support of marketing and collaboration will soon steal the attention in the social tech sector.

Key highlights in social media from the third quarter include:

  • Social meltdown. Groupon, Zynga, and Facebook all have to prove their growth potential after relatively disappointing performances. However, for Facebook and possibly Zynga, “disappointing” is all in the eyes of the beholder.
  • Twitter ecosystem flap. As Twitter continued to take control of its own destiny as a media business, it tightened the screws on its API use. Some third-party de- velopers were left in the cold.
  • Work media drives social enterprise. Salesforce called marketing its next billion-dollar business. Enterprise software companies are now facing off against work media startups for the future of work.
  • Strategic shifts in social and online media. Once-dominant portals saw continued turmoil during the third quarter, while social media marketing started to look real. But a potential privacy backlash or legislation threatens online adver- tising segments like ad networks and targeting data suppliers.

This quarterly wrap-up analyzes these events, and provides a near-term outlook for trends, technologies and companies to watch in the next 18 to 24 months.

Relevant Analyst
P1040724

David Card

VP Research Gigaom Research

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