Social media becomes the brand

User generated websites and social media have finally hit the big time I notice following an announcement by the brandchannel that YouTube and Wikipedia have entered the top five.
Google rmains in the number one spot ahead of Apple but it says a lot about how far social media has come when YouTube and Wikipedia can be ranked ahead of Starbucks. Some might challenge brandchannel’s findings as the annual survey polls 3,625 branding professionals and students who are asked: "Which brand had the most impact on our lives in 2006?."
Google, which has moved into online advertising, mail and blogging, seized the top spot for the second consecutive year, ahead of Apple.
The dramatic debut of these is an indication of a larger trend - the growing impact of online brands built on user-generated contents.
Other new brand winners were News Corp's online chat site MySpace, debuting in 15th place in the North America rankings, and Al Jazeera, which advances to 19th place globally having launched its English language channel in November and after its drop from fifth to 25th in 2005.

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