This week: Twitter at 200 mph, yelping Yelp's IPO, leave it to Bieber-haters, and social media MBAs
1. World's fastest tweets
We all know that, as the cliché goes, the world of the Web turns at lightning fast speed—a tweet sent out now can make its way to the other side of world and back in matter of minutes. That's pretty cool. Know what's cooler? Tweets sent while driving 200 miles per hour. That's what NASCAR racer Brad Keselowski did at the Daytona 500, reports WebPro News. Not only did Keselowski become the first man to live tweet the Daytona 500 from the driver's seat, he also sent a picture. Do not try this at home, or on Main Street.
2. Best social media IPO this week (maybe)
The opening bell this morning clanged as Yelp, the local-social reviews site that delights foodies and terrifies restaurateurs, offered its initial public offering. Yelp raised a little more than $107 million, bringing its market cap to $1.4 billion. What are investors getting? Hope. The ad-supported site hasn't made money since it went live in 2004 and in fact lost $16 million last year alone. The Wall Street Journal 's Theresa Poletti noted that "a brand name can fare well with investors even if the financials are less appealing."
3. Best "Leave it to Bieber" episode
Pop crooner and teen heartthrob, Justin Bieber turned 18 yesterday. Bieber has more than 18 million followers on Twitter. Happy birthday, dear Bieber. His birthday presents included a $100,000 electric sports car. There's always a dark side, though, especially in social media. The Houston Press offered up some of the more bizarre Bieber birthday wishes posted on the tweeting engines. Fair warning: some of these aren't very nice.
4. Best way for Facebook to perplex brands
Individual users have been thrilled / perplexed / irritated by the Facebook Timeline. Now it's your brand's turn. Facebook the other day rolled out Timeline pages for brands so that, as Facebook's Director of Global Business Marketing, Mike Hoefflinger, put it, "We are evolving from ads to stories." AdWeek's Tim Peterson notes that the idea of advertising as storytelling goes all the way back to Ogilvy's "The Man in the Hathaway Shirt" in 1951, and probably well before. That aside, he says, the changes, slated to become automatic March 30, will force brands to at least think about how they present their stories to consumers. That's a plus.
5. Best way to screw up your budding career as a social media guru
Recently, universities have been offering MBA degrees in social media management. No kidding. One wonders how the ivory tower of academe could possibly keep up in an industry where the hottest new property, Pinterest, didn't even exist two years ago. Never mind. Where there's a market for youngsters' dollars the diploma mills are sure to go. But some former students are saying the social media MBA investment is a lemon and that the field simply doesn't deserve its own program. "I really wish that I had gotten a global M.B.A. and then just shadowed or interned with someone in the [social media] field," one MBA student told U.S. News and World Report. "A year ago, social media—Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter—was more exciting than it is today. I have started to feel like it is a fad and that next year there will be something else new and exciting to help people communicate."