Will Christmas be a peak or a valley for social media?

christmas-treeBack in the “Days of Dial-up” at AOL, Christmas Day use to be the single best day of the year for registration of new accounts. This was in large part due to brilliant affiliate marketing strategy of bundling AOL with Microsoft Internet Explorer and including installation of both on nearly every new PC sold in America.

As a result, when people opened their new PCs on Christmas Day, they could get online and begin communicating with their friends and family in a single click. (We called this OOBE, pronounced oo-bee; short for Out-of-box Experience.) At peak, this produced 90,000 new registrations in a single day (back when registrations included collection of payment information and real-time authorization of ongoing payment streams of $19.95 per month.)*

I wonder, with the advent of free services that do not benefit as much from affiliate bundling, if the same will be true this year for Social Media. Will Facebook and Twitter see spikes of registrations and activity on Christmas (with many messages withing friends and loved ones a happy holiday)? Or will most people spend the day in real-world social networking: spending face-to-face time (and speaking the telephone) with friends and loved ones?

It will be curious to look at Alexa stats for Facebook and Twitter next month to see how they do tomorrow:


If they do badly, it may be time for them to setup affiliate marketing programs to help people who buy PCs (and Macs) connect with Social Media as soon as they boot up.

*Note: This is not a secret disclosure. AOL celebrated this with a Press Release the following week and again during the Quarterly Earnings Conference Call.