Facebook Fever
First Montgomery, then Berlusconi – Murdoch or Forbes next?

Schibsted's CEO questions Murdoch's acquisition of MySpace

While writing about Norway's recent Facebook Fever, I was reminded of one part the presentation of Norwegian media group Schibsted's 1st quarter results that really stood out for me, which, racing from one job to another as I was, I had no time to blog right there and then:

- In only eight months, Norwegian tabloid VG built what is today the country's biggest social networking site with more than 300,00 users, said Kjell Aamot, CEO of VG's parent company Schibsted, when he presented the media group's 1st quarter results earlier this month.


"When you see what we achieved in such a short span of time with two employees and relatively limited resources, it makes you question Murdoch's acquisition," he said, and added that half (!) of VG's traffic today comes from VG's social networking site, Nettby. 'Obviously, this is something Schibsted will be doing more of,' said Aamot.

If you're a regular reader of this blog, you might remember that I've been curious about how much of the traffic to Norwegian tabloids VG and Dagbladet, is generated by their social networks, readers' blogs etc. Therefore, last time I looked at this, I only looked at unique visitors (UV) to the different sub sections of the online papers. Now the number of UVs for Nettby is radically improved in the three months past (daily updates here), but the fact that half - or at least half, as some guys at VG Nett told me - of the news site's page impressions comes from its social networking site seems to support the recent social networking strategy of certain corporate players, like Cisco and Reuters.

Of course, considering the rapid growth of Facebook, some might say that Nettby's quick success only goes to show how fickle social network trends are, but, as they would, representatives from VG/Nettby have denied that Facebook is a threat to Nettby, arguing that the average age profile of the latter is younger than that of the former.


These days, it seems like Rupert Murdoch wants to dominate ALL the news. Not just news of family and friends (MySpace), but also the local news now provided by metro area newspapers and local TV stations. See "Clever like a Fox: Is Murdoch planning a takeover of all local TV and newspaper news?" at www. TheFutureOfNews.com

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