The objective of this report is to investigate how and why Youtube, Facebook and Twitter earned their success. Students are exposed to the method of proper report writing and spruce team work among group members.
This report examines the three social media (Youtube, Facebook and Twitter) as they are currently the most popular networking sites on the internet. Most of our resources originate from online articles (ie: BBC, Readers Digest, TIMES) and assemblage of brainstorming sessions. We also made an online survey to analyze the public opinions.
Since it was founded in February 2005 by three former PayPal employees, Youtube has grown and become the most popular video sharing website on the internet which serve as a consumer media website that allows its users from around the world to watch, upload and share videos on the net. After being bought by Google Inc. for $1.65 billion in November 2006, Youtube has since achieved 100 million videos views each day and more than 65,000 new videos uploads per day and is ranked as the third most popular website just behind Google and Facebook.  Youtube uses Adobe Flash Video technology and format to display various user-generated video content which includes movie clips, TV clips, music videos, amateur content as well as materials from partnership program with media corporations such as CBS, the BBC and UMG. Youtube generates its revenue mainly from advertisements displayed on the search pages and in the videos themselves. 
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Youtube’s great achievement is largely down to three criteria and the three main features it offers to users which are watch, upload and share. With limited choice available for users to post and search videos with such ease, Youtube immediately become the popular choice among internet users. Online video existed long before Youtube, however Youtube excels unlike its pre-successors because it offers the much wanted platform that makes uploading, watching and sharing videos effortlessly. Youtube has managed to overcome the problems of earlier generation video sharing sites such as limited bandwidth, insufficient materials and inability to share. Besides that, Youtube has gone further by providing some extra enhanced features such as video-tagging, rating, commenting and also embedding of videos.
With its great traffic flow, Youtube is able to attract big clients to advertise on their products and services on Youtube site. It is reported that Youtube’s revenue reached US$200 million in year 2008.  This is considered as a large amount since it does not charge any member fees and only focus on advertisement incomes.
Facebook is a famous free social networking website that allows registered users to create their own profiles, upload photos and video, and send messages with friends, family and colleagues. The Facebook has modernized keeping in touch all over the world. Friends and family members can now connect with each other in a network and share personal stuff such as message, video, games and plan events together.
Facebook isn’t just for teens and young adults. It is a wonderful and practical way for people of all ages to keep in touch on a regular basis. According to survey the largest audience in Facebook is currently the adult over forties. In addition, Facebook is now available in more than 100 different languages  By using Facebook’s innovative Translations application, all phrases and words in Facebook are translated into several major language on earth such as Chinese, Français, Malay, Italiano, and etc. Geography and language is no longer a boundary.
Mark Zuckerberg, 23, founded Facebook while he was studying psychology at Harvard University. Majoring in computer programming, Mr Zuckerberg developed a number of social-networking websites for fellow students before his sensation with Facebook. He later drops out from Harvard and pursues his dream of making the world’s largest internet social network website. Currently, the social networking site currently has over 400 million active users the site remains free to join, and makes a profit through advertising proceeds. Yahoo and Google are among companies which have expressed interest in a buy-out, with huge figures of around $2bn (£975m) being discussed. Mr Zuckerberg has so far refused to sell.
Mark Zuckerberg inspirational success story is made into a Hollywood movie call “The Social Network” which will debut in October 2010. It will feature actors such as Jesse Eisenberg, Rashida Jones and Justin Timberlake.
Twitter is built around one simple question – what are you doing? 
Since its creation in 2006, Twitter has gained notability and popularity worldwide because of its simplicity. It is sometimes described as “SMS of the Internet” since each tweets is limited to 140 character which is the standard length for handphone text.  When Twitter co-founders Stone, Jack Dorsey and Evan Williams began working on their new Web idea, Dorsey suggested a site that emulated the “status” feature of instant-messaging services, which lets people know whether you’re online.
Tweets are displayed on the author’s profile page and delivered to the author’s subscribers who are known as followers. Senders can restrict delivery to those in their circle of friends or, by default, allow open access. Twitter is accessible through web and Smartphones. Public figures such as Dalai Lama, Barrack Obama, Ashton Kutcher and Kim Kardashian had sanctioned the popularity of this service.
Twitter’s rapid growth made it the object of intense interest and a fair amount of ridicule, as it was derided as high-tech trivia or the latest in time-wasting devices.  As Twitter grows, it will increasingly become a place where companies build brands, do research, send information to customers, conduct e-commerce and create communities for their users. 
A Malaysian company, Churp-churp, took a step forward by innovating Twitter advertising.  However, Twitter in Malaysia is not as popular as Youtube and Facebook and its demographic in Malaysia is focused on young urbanites.
18 respondents were surveyed from 26th March 2010 to 5th April 2010 via a statistic website, http://www.surveymonkey.com/.
The statistics were analyzed. Graphs and charts were drawn.
We interviewed few individuals on 1st April 2010 regarding their personal opinion and experience using these social networking sites.
The outcome from both procedures is significant in helping us to understand how YouTube, Facebook and Twitter captivate millions of internet users.
Furthermore, we researched articles from reliable source on the internet from TIME, BBC, New York Times and The Star.
In general, our findings indicated that all three social media are preferred for their user-friendliness.
Youtube’s instant success lies mainly in the rich media it contains. Users can search for the videos they desire easily and instantly. Searching for a video in Youtube is never easier, once the keywords have been typed in, a list of videos related would appear. Also, related contents or videos posted by the same uploader would also appear in a list for ease of use when viewers are watching a video in Youtube. This is extremely helpful when one is watching a series of videos, because he does not need to search again for the subsequent episode, all he has to do is just look inside the list and click at the video he wants to play. Besides that, Youtube has also generated a list of favourite and most-viewed videos for users who have no idea on what to watch. One can slowly browse through this list and look for which video he is interested in. Most of the Youtube clips do not exceed 10 minutes; hence it makes a great choice for someone who has few minutes to kill.
In order to view videos on Youtube, the Adobe Flash Player plug-in is required to be installed on the browser. As the Adobe Flash Player is one of the most common pieces of software installed on personal computers nowadays, viewing Youtube videos is by means not a problem for most of the users.
Uploading is made easy by Youtube, even someone with minimal amount of computer knowledge can make and post videos on Youtube. All that is needed is just a video recording device such as cell phone, camcorder or even webcam. Best of all, Youtube even provides instructions on how to upload a video in its site and one would only need to follow those steps and his videos would be available for viewing. This process is almost hassle-free as it accepts videos in most container formats, including .AVI, .MKI, .MOV, .MP4, DivX, .FLV, and .OGG. As so, users do not have to go through video format converting to upload their videos because Youtube supports most of the video codecs such as MPEG, MPEG-4, and WMV.
You tube made video improvements which allow viewers to view videos in high definition and widescreen modes, features that is proved crucial especially when one’s priority is high quality and movie-like experience. YouTube originally offered videos at one quality level which is at resolution of 320×240 pixels using H.263 Sorenson Spark codec, with mono MP3 audiobut that has now changed. Youtube videos are now available in a range of quality levels, with the higher quality levels offering better and improved picture definition. 720p HD support was added and also, the Youtube player was changed from 4:3 aspect ratio to widescreen 16:9 in November 2008. 1080p HD support followed in November 2009. These improvements allow viewers to view videos in high definition and widescreen modes, features that are proved crucial especially when one’s priority is high quality and movie-like experience.
With Youtube, anybody could be a director or star because anybody can shoot their own videos and post it up Youtube. Since its creation, Youtube has since helped discover unknown singers because of the wide exposure of its videos. Someone who is virtually unknown could become the next hit with the aid of Youtube. Stars like Whitney Raenan, Jess Loren, Melanie Ungar and Christina Peoples were mere ordinary people before they decided to post their singings onto Youtube, a move which propels them to stardom. In an indirect way, Youtube provided a platform and opportunities for these soon to be stars to showcase their talents and if the world recognises their talents, a professional contract would surely follow suit.
Picture 1: From right to left – Youtube sensations. Justin Bieber with his mentor Usher; Pop singer Marie Digby; Nickolodeon featured humorist Fred Figglehorn.
The introduction of Youtube Mobile allows users to access Youtube videos using mobile phones, however not all videos are available on the mobile version of the site. And last but not least, Youtube is free to use, users can simply visit Youtube and start viewing its videos and an account is not necessary for viewing videos.
In the U.S., Facebook has the second highest number of unique visitors per month, surpassing Yahoo for the first time in January 2010. It was reported that of all time spent online in January, 11.6% was on Facebook, compared to less than 5% on Yahoo and Google each. The main factor that contributors to Facebook success are the experience was designed for college students, by college students. Thus, Facebook designs are based on college students’ needs and desires. College kids find the common ground to share their homework and interest. Besides that, Facebook represents a more persuasive local advertising opportunity as Facebook can guarantee deep penetration.
Moreover, there are several features Facebook incorporated that made the service sticky. Here is the important experience as its simplicity. Registration to be Facebook user can be done in a few simple steps. It uses very intuitive and simple interface, uses text links for feature navigation, and the site is largely unobtrusive. This means that users are quite easy to adopt for its intended audience. Due to its simplicity, it doesn’t require more time to finish loading in browser. The efficiency and fast respond of Facebook enable users who rush in time to check important mails or message in Facebook. Furthermore, attractive games and quizzes become another success factor of Facebook. Facebook offers huge number of games and quizzes for users to play. They don’t require any installation or time to download; just a simple click would allow users to play game with their friends instantly.
It is easy to setup a Facebook profile. Fill in your email address, add in your details and within moments people that had crossed path with you are willing add you as their friends. There is a privacy option if you want to decide on who you decide to block from seeing (ie: your boss).
Sharing is caring. With Facebook this proverbial has never been truer. Besides that you may poke, throw sheep, comment, scrabble and poker with your friends. There are various fan page or groups that acts like a forum to choose from. It can be a useful tool or a complete waste of time. Either way Facebook is having a dramatic impact on the World Wide Web.
According to the young and geeky founder, Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook is the answer for our need to stay in touch, discover lost friends and maintain acquaintance. This mogul extraordinaire had rejected a 1 billion offer from Yahoo and on October 24 2007 Microsoft announced that it had purchased a 1.6% share of Facebook for $240 million, giving Facebook a total implied value of around $15 billion
Picture 2: Mark Zuckerberg is one of the world’s billionaire under 25.
Then, Twitter changed the landscape of social networking once again by making the whole system more public. No longer would you have to wait for a pesky friend request; you could follow and message anyone you wanted through the new medium. Twitter not only exists just for friends to tell friends that they’re on their way to the office or out to dine. It’s become a kind of hyper grapevine news resource – a way of instant messaging your circle of friends about your interests. It is known as micro blogging.
Celebrities also became a big part of this network. Most famously, Stephen Fry twittered whilst he was stuck in a lift, providing great enjoyment to his followers and really helping to kick off Twitter in the UK.
Picture 3: Stephen Fry helped popularize Twitter in UK with his misfortune being stucked in the elevator.
Famous people who twitters:
Lance Armstrong – Followers: 550,543
Al Gore – Followers: 523,035
Shaquille O’Neal – Followers: 591,534
Barack Obama – Followers: 761,288 – President of United States
Arnold Schwarzenegger – Followers: 40,278 – Actor turner Governor
Martha Stewart – Followers: 329,723
Twitter has become so popular and addictive, so fast, that keeping up with its fast-growing user base is a real issue. The secret of Twitter’s success is realizing that folks don’t want to use the Web for private conversations but public ones. Nearly 90% of Twitter users make their updates public, so everyone can read.
The service is even credited with breaking news about fires and other natural disasters. It even saves lives. Demi Moore once alerted the local police force regarding a tweet by one of her followers who resolute for a suicide. This incident is stopped.
As Twitter users know you can only say it in 140 characters or less. Twitter combines use of the Web, IMs and text messaging which makes in desirable in Smartphones’ application.
Results of statistical Analysis
Figure 1: Bar chart for the age group of survey participants.
The survey that we conducted focused on the age group of 19-24. However it is reported that the fastest growing segment of social networking sites are the adults above 40 years of age.
Figure 2: Pie chart for the gender of survey participants in percentage.
56% of our survey participants are female.
Figure 3: Bar chart for accounts information of survey participants.
Most people are on Facebook compared to Twitter and YouTube.
Figure 4: Stacked bar char on hours that survey participants spent on social networking sites on a daily basis.
YouTube and Twitter users spend less time compared to Facebook in their daily life. Perhaps Facebook is the most addictive site.
Figure 5: Bar chart on material that are searched for in YouTube in percentage.
Auto&Vehicles, Entertainment and Music are the lead search in YouTube.
Figure 6: Pie chart on percentage of survey participants who agree that YouTube eases copyright infringement.
Most people agree that YouTube is subject to copyright infringement. Measures must be taken to fight this.
Figure 7: Stacked bar chart on frequency of Facebook activity in percentage.
Profile viewing and passing time is the most famous activity in Facebook. Our participants note that they rarely chat or play games.
Figure 8: Stacked bar chart that shows the criteria that is considered when adding friends in percentage.
People are most likely to add their acquaintance in social networking sites.
Figure 9: Doughnut chart on future predictions for social networking sites.
Social networking sites are predicted to grow in the years to come.
The advantages/disadvantages of social networking sites
meet new friends
content are inappropriate
keep in touch with friends
Keep in touch with long lost friends
get to know people
some content are inappropriate
a bad things happen will spread very fast
Limitless access to information, whatever it might be, good or bad
Rumors and gossip spread faster.
Lies occur more
Subject to abuse by sex offenders
The main conclusion that can be drawn is therefore that social networking sites will flourish in the years to come. Microsoft was the boom in the nineties, followed by the Google domination over the last decade and now we will see the Facebook climb. One or other forms of internet revolution will take place.
With social-networks like Facebook and Twitter blooming to popularity recently, it is no surprise to find out that Youtube is among the ones to enjoy the benefits of their success. This is because Youtube allows users to share its videos on these sites and by so YouTube grows in line with them. With the sharing feature, users are able to share their videos with their friends in these social networks. They could also let their friends know what is on their minds at the moment by sharing the songs or movies they like.
Social networking sites could also serve as a place to gain popularity and spread news. When one has a proper message to deliver to the world, he can just take a video of it and post it up Youtube and the message would soon spread. For example, the Free Hugs campaign which initially started out in Sydney by Juan Mann but with the help of Youtube, it has now grown and expanded to various places around the world such as Taiwan, Israel, Italy and more.
With a mass audience, it is no wonder a simple message could spread so fast. This could be put to good use if one is in need of urgent assistant such as in health and medical purposes.
The social network site is first and foremost a site for socializing and sharing the trivia of life as we live it. But it is becoming a valuable networking tool for linking people with the same interests together in a relaxed manner.
In summary, there is a lot of fun to be had on Youtube, Facebook and Twitter, as long as you are not abusing it.
In the light of these conclusions, we recommend that social networking should be monitored from abuse.
There are defamation cases against user who misuse the facilities of these sites around the world. Certain shout outs may stir unwanted reaction. Drawing example from our local court case, Mohamad Tasyrif Tajudin, 25, was charged in the Sessions Court here over a post he made on social media network Facebook in relation to arsonist attacks on churches. The offence comes under Section 233(1)(a) of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 (Act 586) which can be charged under Section 233(3) of the same Act for making a threat with the intention of causing public unrest. Section 233 covers the “improper” use of network facilities or services. 
In addition, advertising is an undeniable source of income for these sites but it could kill the joy of surfing. While there may be commercial value for using social networking sites to be in touch with others, the danger is that the net community could turn against a marketer viewed as being too crass by being relentlessly self-promoting.
There are concerns on age limiting the users of these accounts. Parents should be more proactive in monitoring their children net activity. Although certain sites have put a ban against certain age limit, it is not a foolproof method since everybody cheats information on the internet. Inappropriate content may risk opening a window for pedophilia
Students should control the time wasting unproductive addictive games. Some companies and schools had banned the access of these websites.
Uploading content in these sites also creates business opportunities for budding companies or entrepreneurs as these serve as free advertising tool for the products or services offered. Also, by putting up a promoting video in Youtube, you actually place your brand in front of millions of viewers and potential customers. There are blogshops which regularly update and tag their dresses collection in Facebook.
Socialization between the uploader and his viewers may improve the brand as the uploader could use the suggestions and feedbacks to help and. Youtube also provides the rating and comment features that lets viewers to rate videos and share their thoughts on that particular video.
Instead of chatting with friends on a one-to-one basis, Facebook may equip with web conferencing feature which enables more than 2 users to chat together in the same time. Web conferencing is a method for people to communicate from their computers without any travel necessary. Facebook users could create conference room, invite their friends and communicate with all of their friends in a same time.
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Another feature Facebook can add in is the photo-edit feature. Every day, thousands or even millions of photos are uploaded with friends being tagged. To increase involvement of users, a photo editing application might prove to be useful. With the help of auto-size feature, users could upload any kind of photos regardless size and formats to Facebook. Users need not to install any photo-edit software in their computer in order to edit the photos with red-eye effect, blurring, and sensitive parts and so on. With the built in photo-edit application in Facebook, users may upload their perfect photos in an easy way.
Appendix 1: Sample Survey Form
1. What is your age group?
2. What is your gender
3. Which of these social networking sites do you own? (you may choose more than one)
___-None of the above (Why?) You may proceed to question 9.
4. How many hours do you spend on average everyday on (ignore the site that you don’t own)
<< 1 hour
4 hours >>
5. What materials do you search for on Youtube ? (May tick more than 1)
___-Film & Animation
___-Howto & Style
___-News & Politics
___-Nonprofits & Activism
___-People & Blogs
___-Pets & Animals
___-Science & Technology
___-Travel & Events
___-Other (please specify)
6. Do you think Youtube makes it easier for violation of copyrights infringement?
7. How frequent do you access your Facebook to â€¦
8. When accepting new friends in Facebook/Twitter, what criteria do you consider?
9. What is your prediction for these social networking sites
___-it will continue to grow in the future
___-it will be out of trend soon
___-others (please specify)
10. What are the advantage/disadvantage of social networking site?
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