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December 09, 2006

What Facebook has on YouTube and MySpace

Maybe it's Facebook's target market, maybe their smaller size, or maybe their site is just managed better; but something is keeping mass spamming off of facebook. YouTube and MySpace have recently been falling victim to spam emails and comments. The blog about YouTube Email Spam Getting Bad discusses how members of YouTube and MySpace receive friend invitations from other members which leads to inboxes clogged with messages alerting members of new postings.

Not being a member of YouTube or MySpace, I am not percisely sure the benefits of "friending" people (especially on YouTube). On MySpace, I have learned that porn companies create decoy "hot chicks" that interested men (creepsters) will friend, and then subsequently receive mass advertising spam from the porn companies. YouTube has a feature where members can comment on the video clips and discuss/critique them. This has opened up the idea of placing links to pill websites or other such advertisments in the comments sections of the popular clips.

The concept of friending members on MySpace seems more similar to Facebook friending than YouTube. On Facebook and MySpace, your friends are often people you have met in real life, and you just want to use the social network as a method of keeping in touch. However, YouTube is very different; many users are just watching and not posting videos of their own. It is more of a means for entertainment than for communicating to friends. This leads to the user friending someone they are not necessarily friends with but just enjoy their video posts. These entertaining posts could be uploaded by any type of company especially ones with an ulterior motive of compiling mass lists of email to spam via YouTube.

The spam emails are actually from YouTube's email service that alerts members of their friends new posts. This is creating a trust issue with some of YouTube's members. One rather new user od YouTube commented that "I wrote to YouTube customer service this afternoon about the porn spam piling up in my YouTube inbox. I trusted the service by opening an account just a few weeks ago. I hope my trust in YouTube is not misplaced. I'm waiting to hear back from them and will post anything useful."

In the social networking industry it is crucial that these sites keep and build the trust of their members. Facebook does an excellent job of preventing mass spamming and is really making the effort to please its members. A few months ago, there was an uprising within Facebook about the new feature, the News Feed. Facebook quickly realized this was somewhat of a mistake, and made the necessary changes to please the members. If YouTube doesn't shape up, and help out in the prevention of spamming, then members may be put off and growth of YouTube will be hindered.

Posted by akmanie at December 9, 2006 02:45 PM

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