FWM Digital Bytes

Welcome to FWM Digital Bytes, where we look at all the biggest digital marketing and digital media news doing the rounds. This week, Twitter expands its brand pages, NASA gets into social gaming and the internet gets a trillion-dollar valuation…

Digital Gold

Last week, we told you how much Apple is worth; this week news has emerged that the internet as a whole is worth even more. A whole lot more in fact. According to a new projection by the Boston Consulting Group, the combined Internet economy of G-20 countries will hit $4.2 trillion by 2016 – doubling the $2.3 trillion valuation of 2010. The biggest contributor to this growth, BCG says, is the massive increase in internet users, which will balloon from 1.9 billion in 2010 to a predicted 3 billion in 2016 (this constitutes 45% of the world’s population), but the rise of social media and mobile computing will also play a significant role. “No company or country can afford to ignore this development. Every business needs to go digital,” said David Dean, a co-author of the report and a senior partner at BCG. “The ‘new’ Internet is no longer largely Western, accessed from your PC. It is now global, ubiquitous, and participatory.” As if to prove this, the report also reveals that by 2016 China is likely to have nearly 800 million Internet users. That’s a lot of clicking…

Twitter brand pages ready to expand

Twitter’s latest attempt at monetisation is set to launch this week as the micro-blogging site extends the availability of its brand pages. This kind of page – which features expanded functionality and geater visual capacity – has only been available to a select group of incredibly rich brands so far, with the price tag reported to be around the $2 million mark. Now, however, brand pages will be available to businesses spending just $25,000 in advertising, meaning we’ll be seeing many more enhanced profiles from now on. Enhanced profiles will allow brands to upload a prominant header to their page and include a promoted tweet at the top of the timeline. Video will also be available in tweets. The full list of changes can be seen here. Let us know what you think of Twitter’s latest changes!

Social gaming blasts off

Social gaming is so big now that even the labcoated fuddy duddies at NASA are getting in on the act. Everyone’s favourite boffins have launched a multi-player trivia game on Facebook called Space Race Blastoff that tests how much users know about stars, celestial bodies and anything else not of this Earth. Users simply select an avatar and then answer a series of multiple choice space-based questions from topics including history, technology, science and pop culture. “Space Race Blastoff opens NASA’s history and research to a wide new audience of people accustomed to using social media,” said David Weaver, NASA’s associate administrator for communications. “Space experts and novices will learn new things about how exploration continues to impact our world.” The news is particularly pertinent as it comes in the same week AdMob revealed stats exploring useages of tablets. The study shows that the most popular activity on tablet devices is gaming (84%), with searching (78%) and emailing (74%) second and third. Among the least popular activities are reading ebooks (46%) and cosuming entertainment (51%).

The Twitter Election

Google have already set out their stall for this year’s American election, and now Twitter has followed suit by declaring this year’s poll ‘The Twitter Election’. Speaking at the AllThingsD media conference earlier this week, Twitter CEO Dick Costolo said that the microblogging platform would be the primary medium for reaching voters for this year’s White House hopefuls. “We already saw this during the State of the Union when Obama made the spilled milk joke and a collective groan went up across the country on Twitter,” Costolo said. “In the past, you’d have to wait for the networks to cut to the pundits after the address was done to discuss it. You don’t have to do that anymore. Washington is really starting to get that too…[It’s] actively engaging in the real-time feedback loop now.” The US president election will take place on Tuesday, November 6th with President Barack Obama looking to secure a second term in office.