Internet Marketing Weekly News Update #033 February 3, 2010

The tweets grow quieter--declining activity figures from Twitter.
According to a new study by RJMetrics, Twitter faces some disturbing activity declines. The number of new users per month has declined 20%, but what is worse, users don't seem to be doing as much with their Twitter accounts. The average Twitter user has just 27 followers, down from 42. Just 17% of Twitter users are actually actively using their accounts, and 80% of Twitter users have posted less than 10 times.
Marketing Pilgrim

Newsday paints a grim picture of the pay-for-content publishing model.
Publishers wrestling with the choice for online revenue models between paid subscription and a traffic-driven advertising approach may take Newsday's experience as a cautionary tale. Since restricting its content to paid subscribers, the online version of Newsday has attracted only 35 subscribers in three months, and site traffic is down 50%.
Marketing Pilgrim

Highest social media growth rates may be among older Internet users.
Naturally, the highest usage rates of social media are among younger Internet users. However, with the penetration of that market starting to top out, the highest growth rates are among older users. From 2008 to 2009, the percentage of Internet users maintaining a social media profile edged up slightly in younger groups, while increasing from 31% to 46% in the 44-62 age group, and from 14% to 36% in the 63-75 age group.

Despite a tick up in the fourth quarter, click fraud was down overall in 2009.
According to Click Forensics, click fraud rose from 14.1% in the third quarter to 15.3% in the fourth quarter of 2009, but this was down year-over-year from the 17.1% rate in the fourth quarter of 2008.

Online sales booming in Europe.
The Center for Retail Research projects that online sales in Europe could grow by 19.6% in 2010, following 22% growth in 2009. The strong growth is more a function of increasing penetration rates for online sales than it is a sign of recovery from the recession, as overall retail growth for Europe is projected to be just 1.4%.
The New York Times

Behavioral ad disclosure gets off to a confusing start.
In an effort to meet the concerns of privacy advocates about behavior-based advertisements online, two organizations have launched programs to disclose such ads via a special symbol. Unfortunately, the intertwining use of two such symbols, each of which is based on a different set of standards, could set back rather than advance the goal of transparency.

Social media make strides as a source of retail traffic.
For all the buzz about the marketing implications of social media, as a group social media sites represent less than 10% of the sources of traffic to retail sites, ranking fourth on that basis. However, the year-over-year growth from December of 2008 to December of 2009 was 37%, a rate of change that suggests social media sites are quickly becoming a more significant source of retail traffic.
The New York Times

Associated Press and Yahoo reach a deal on content protection.
The ongoing battle between traditional content providers and search portals saw an isolated cease fire recently as the Associated Press (AP) and Yahoo agreed to a deal that would crack down on unauthorized usage of AP content.

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