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Posts tagged with: facebook

Facebook Newspaper – Create your own Newspaper

If you have lots of friends in your Facebook then going through all the news articles/videos/pictures from the facebook newsfeed can be overwhelming.

But a new web service from Tigerlogic called PostPost plans to change that.

PostPost – Your own Social Newspaper

Postpost may seem like any ordinary news aggregator that you may have seen or used before. But the big difference here is, instead of gathering links from all over the web, PostPost only looks at stuff that your friends have shared.

So PostPost is essentially a newspaper made from all the links, videos, photos your friends have shared. The reason I keep calling it a ‘newspaper’ is because it does look like one. The formatting & layout looks very much like a magazine, and the recent/important stuff tends to appears on top of the page.

What I have found most useful about this service is it’s search feature. Not only you get a really nice magazine like feel, you can also perform search on all the items your friends have shared. PostPost is integrated with TigerLogic’s yolink search-enhancing technology thus the results it returns is really powerful and accurate.

Use of PostPost is absolutely free and as the service grows I think they will add new features. There are a number of things that I personally want in the service:

– Ability to reorganize the layout (drag-n-drop).

-Marking certain source “Important” so that they get higher priority.

Check out the video to get a better idea of PostPost:

Try out PostPost and let me know what you think about the service!


Discover Popular Facebook Pages to “Like”

facebook page discovery
Facebook

Facebook just rolled out a new feature called “Facebook Page Browser” that lets you discover new facebook pages that are popular among your friends in 10 different categories and also within both local & global region.

The 10 categories by which the pages are currently divided are: Musicians, Sports, Celebrities, Movies, TV Shows, Media, Publications, Brands, Games & a category called “All” which presumably consist all of the above & other general pages. Clicking on any category displays all the pages of that category and the result seem to be endless as you can always click “show more” at the bottom of the site to find more facebook pages. Moving your mouse over any of the facebook page icons changes your mouse cursor to a facebook like button so that you can easily like a page without having to go inside the page itself. Remember that when you like a page all the latest updates of that particular page will start showing up on your facebook newsfeed.

On the right side of the facebook page browser, you should also see a list of 25 of your friends who has similar interest as you. The list is compiled by calculating how many mutual likes you and your friend have. If you click on any of the names from the list, it will basically show you a list of pages both you and your friend liked.

Interestingly, not long ago facebook introduced their suggested interest list, which had very similar implementation. Now its not clear to me whether the old suggested interest list will be replaced by this new page browser instead.

Check out the Facebook Page Browser: http://www.facebook.com/pages/browser.php

Update:

I must point out that the above feature is only visible if you are logged into facebook. If you want to find & browse facebook pages without logging into facebook you can check out the general Facebook page directory here: http://www.facebook.com/pages/?browse

[via Inside Facebook]


Face Detection on Facebook Photos

facebook photos face detectionNot long ago Facebook has acquired a small startup called Divvyshot that did a lot of interesting stuff with photos. Soon after that we saw many interesting changes in Facebook photos.

Today Facebook has announced a new feature that will make photo tagging inside Facebook dead simple by automatically detecting the faces in the pictures you have and giving you the option to just type then name of the person and hit enter to ‘tag’.

Now that’s pretty neat! Because sometimes group pictures have like 20 different faces, and clicking on each of those faces and tagging them is often a real pain. However when I first read the news, I thought it would actually do a real face detection or face matching and find out all the other photos that has the same person’s face and tag them automatically. Google’s Picasa has already this face-matching feature that lets you organize photos by face.

But users of Facebook won’t like the idea of being “auto-tagged” by a bot, but I believe the Face detection feature that facebook is implementing can just go one step further – Detect the face & then suggest the the name(s) of the likely person (if I have already tagged the same face before in facebook). So this totally eliminates me from having to type that persons name which will save even more time. The “auto-tagging” option can be an optional thing that facebook can just throw in there for advanced users. But unless the algorithm is really good this might be a disaster – So you better don’t try it Facebook! Lets keep things simple for now.


Facebook Suggested Interests

Do you guys remember the very controversial Twitter suggested user List? Guess what, Facebook is following the same path and now suggesting interests (a.k.a Facebook pages) to new Facebook users.

facebook-suggested-interest

How does this help Facebook? Simple – It provides more traction on the site for new users. When a user joins Facebook for the first time, he is likely to have very limited friends/connections. But in order to really understand the value of Facebook or in other words ‘get addicted to it’, users need to start building all these connections. So Facebook is sort of helping you to build these connections, not by showing up random people to “Add as a friend” but more in the line of showing you public figures, celebrities, brands that you may like. Once you tell Facebook what your interests are, respective updates will start showing up in your News feed.

Currently some of the suggested interests are: Barack Obama, Lady Gaga, Shane Dawson, Xbox, Skittles, Monster Energy, Dr Pepper, World Cup, Eminem, Justin Bieber, Toy Story, Futurama, Playstation, The Office and many more! These suggested interests are basically the old Facebook Fan pages that was later changed to just “Facebook Pages” and the action of becoming a fan was changed to “Like”. Many brands & celebrities are putting a feed of their facebook page as a widget on their own websites where the visitors can interact as well.

Other than pure usability, Facebook will also get a lot of benefit from this implementation in terms of Advertising (thus $$$). If all new users starts telling Facebook from Day 1 that they like Starbucks coffee, domino’s pizza & lady gaga – it gives Facebook a lot of new ad inventory for more targeted advertising which they can later sell to their advertisers.

It is also possible that Facebook will have deals with certain brands to show them as a suggested ‘interest’. Facebook however says: “The list of Pages is strictly determined by an algorithm, so none of the suggestions is sponsored and Page administrators can’t pay or ask to be included.”


Facebook As Your Homepage

set-facebook-as-homepage Facebook is now encouraging its users to set “Facebook.com” as their homepage right in the login page of facebook. If you look at the screen shot you will see a checkbox underneath the password field which reads “Set Facebook as my homepage”.

So when a user checks that option and tries to log in using his credential, Facebook will not only log him on but will also change his default homepage in his browser to – http://facebook.com.

I can imagine why Facebook would want everyone to have Facebook as their homepage, but I can’t really seem to understand the user’s perspective here. Why would anybody want to have facebook as their default homepage? Is Facebook that important to you?

Well apparently, 11% of U.S. online consumers have said that Facebook is the first thing they check after going online. You can read the complete report here, pretty interesting stats.

According to another report, sharing stuff on facebook is now more popular than sharing via email.

So these trends basically tells us that users are using facebook more and most importantly, finding different uses for it. It would be really interesting to see where this trend lead us to in a year from now.


Facebook Suggests Ad Copy for Advertisers

Facebook has started to test out a new feature in Facebook advertising platform called “Suggest an Ad” which supposedly auto creates an ad copy by pulling in text and pictures from the advertiser’s URL that he wants to advertise for.

The “Suggest An Ad” button was first spotted by Jens Wiese in Germany, and it seems like the feature is in a very early test phase.

I logged in to my Facebook Advertising account and didn’t see that feature present yet. Facebook is known for testing out new products and features on a small subset before rolling it out to everyone, so I assume that this is another one of their tests.

While I am not sure if having this new feature will actually boost Facebook’s ad sales dramatically, but new advertisers might find this feature useful if they are clueless about ad copy and has no experience whatsoever with online advertising.

So I’ll keep an eye on this feature and will write about it again when I know more.


How Much Is Your Facebook Fan Worth?

facebook-fan-page - How much is it worth?

Vitrue, a a social media marketing platform company, has recently tried to find the value of each “Fan” of a Facebook Page. Their findings, which were published in the recent edition of AdWeek, show that the value is somewhere around $3.6 per fan (per year). The firm has determined that, on average, a fan base of 1 million translates into at least $3.6 million in equivalent media over a year.

Vitrue’s findings are based on impressions generated in the Facebook news feed, the stream of recent updates from users’ networks. The company analyzed Facebook data from all its clients with a combined total of around 41 millions fans. And each client received about $3.60 in return from every user who becomes a Fan of the client’s Page on Facebook.

These figures may not apply to all companies. That is because Vitrue’s study was only limited to its clients, and each client has at least 1 million fans of their Page. Thus the figures may be different for those companies whose Pages have less than 1 million Fans.
However, the figures may be accurate for those Pages with 1 million fans. If there are two posts published by a company on its Page (with 1 million Fans) daily, then a total of 60 million (= 2 x 30 x 1 million) impressions by the company will be formed every month. Since the cost of 1000 impressions is $5 – as determined by Vitrue, the cost of the 60 million impressions will be $300,000 (= 60 million x 5/1000). This translated into a cost of $3.6 million (= 300,000 x 12) per year. Thus the return on each of the 1 million fans is $3.6.

These figures are important to all companies who are using Facebook as a medium to promote their brands. For a few companies, the return may be even greater than $3.6. This happens because the Fans may share the posts with their friends on Facebook which creates a viral effect.


Facebook Launches – Facebook Questions

facebook questionsRecently, Facebook has added a “Questions” product to the facebook homepage of a few users. Wait! Don’t look for it now as this product has not been rolled out to everyone yet. This “Facebook Questions” product has many similarities with Quora as well as Yahoo! Answers. The developers of Quora initially worked at Facebook before they decided to create their own firm. Quora has become very popular over the past years. Recently, it has also been able to get some funding, which, according to market data, was worth about $86 million!

Market analysts predict that Facebook developed the “Questions” product to compete with both Quora and Yahoo! Answers. Facebook already is in a conflict with the former – since it was developed by people who parted from Facebook. It is not clear whether or not Facebook would be successful in its endeavor. However, one thing is certain: the tension between Facebook and Quora will greatly intensify if the former launches the “Questions” product.

Since Facebook has not yet officially disclosed information on its “Questions” product, nobody knows how it works. A few suggest that Facebook is still testing the product. After the testing is over, “Questions” may be available to only those users who are willing to pay for it – to increase the exposure of their ads to targeted Facebook users. Others suggest that the product may be offered for free to all users of Facebook as a “value-added service”.

The “Questions” product also bears similarities with Facebook’s past creation – “Polls”. Facebook dropped out the “Polls” product only a few months after it launched it. Facebook is expected to roll out the “Questions” product as soon as the testing of the product is over. What the product will end up doing is a matter of much speculation. In the meantime, people are eagerly waiting for a formal announcement from Facebook.

Update: Allthefacebook blog has some latest scoop on this news. They are saying that Facebook Questions is an Aardvark competitor and not a Quora killer. Blake Ross, the Director of Product at Facebook responded to a question that was posted on Quora about this issue. Read his answer below:

Why is Facebook creating a Q&A Product To Compete with Quora?

Blake Ross, Director of Product, Facebook writes:

I’ll answer this since I’m involved in the questions prototype at Facebook.

Real-time Q&A backed by people has been a dream of mine since I joined Facebook three years ago. If you ever used the old Facebook Polls product, you know how powerful it is to toss a question into the ether and watch results stream in from around the globe in seconds. People already ask logistical and recommendation questions on Facebook (e.g. “Is Desperate Housewives a repeat tonight?” or “What’s a good Italian restaurant around here?”) and we’d like to see what happens when we combine that use case with the magic of the Polls product to deliver instantaneous results.

There’s been a lot of hype about “the Q&A space” recently with the acquisition of Aardvark, the launch of Quora and the expansion of StackOverflow, but I consider this typical blogosphere theatrics. All these products are pursuing very different use cases. For instance, Quora is focused on creating a forum-like environment for participants to iterate on a knowledgebase, while Aardvark is focused on getting really fast results for more day-to-day queries. Given that Facebook is a social utility, our focus is on delivering practical value to users who need answers quickly from the people around them (whether socially or spatially). This question itself is a good example of something that Facebook Questions wouldn’t answer well, nor do we care to.

Facebook’s experimentation in this “space” is actually a direct result of internal circumstances at the company rather than all this recent outside activity. For the last few years, we didn’t have enough engineers to make significant, sustained investments in our applications (e.g. photos and events). Earlier this year, we finally got comfortable enough with our recruiting numbers to reorganize the product engineering group into dedicated application teams of 4-5 people each. That’s why you’re suddenly seeing improvements to applications that haven’t evolved in years, such as our recent launch of higher res photos. One of our app teams is charged with experimentation and we decided to pursue this vision of real-time Q&A now that the resources were finally in place.
Observers of the tech industry often have a vastly oversimplified view of the world. I remember when we launched Facebook Lite and it was considered to be our “Twitter killer” because the Facebook/Twitter “battle” was the meme of the month, even though I’m pretty sure the Lite team never even uttered the word Twitter during development. Likewise, our recent purchase of Octazen was somehow an answer to Google Buzz (http://www.businessinsider.com/f…), as was our AOL/Connect partnership (http://www.thebigmoney.com/blogs…). Your question implies that Facebook is setting out to compete with Quora so perhaps we’re in for another month of unfortunate headlines.

Sensationalism notwithstanding, I’m not someone who’s driven by “killing” someone else’s baby. There are too many new and exciting things to give birth to. Even if Facebook were led by stoic businessmen (it’s not), a “Quora-killer” wouldn’t make objective sense. Quora is a terrific product built on Facebook Connect. It isn’t competitive with the core use cases of Facebook, which is why Facebook Questions is pursuing different use cases.
I was one of Quora’s earliest users, and like everyone else here, I’m now an addict. I’m also friends with Quora’s founding team. You can bet I’ll be rooting them on in their inevitable march to success.


Work in Facebook Singapore

I know many people from Singapore and Malaysia who always dream of working for a company like Google or Facebook. Google already has well established office in Singapore and they have plans of starting one in Malaysia. But for Facebook to branch out in Asia always seemed like too much of a stretch.

But very recently facebook has expanded into several countries over the past years. The social networking site plans to continue such expansions even in 2010. Now it is focusing on Singapore, where it is planning to open its office before the summer ends. The company has confirmed that it has been successful in obtaining a registered name – Facebook Singapore – from the country’s Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority. Laster Chan, a blogger actually went through the trouble of acquiring the BizFile for 5 sing dollers. You can download the document directly from his site here.

According to its ACRA listing, the company’s registered address is at Millenia Tower where law firm Baker & McKenzie.Wong & Leow is currently based. The law firm provides corporate secretarial services to Facebook which is one of several clients of the firm using the same address for listing and legal purposes.

The company has also listed six job openings for its Singapore office. These jobs are in areas such as business development and sales. As a result, the people who will be hired for these jobs may have to work for expanding the business in neighboring countries such as the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia. These countries currently have the fastest growing number of Facebook users.

Last March, Facebook has also opened offices in India – in the city of Hyderabad. This sudden expansion of Facebook can be attributed to the growing number of Asian people who use Facebook. There are also other reasons for why Facebook has chosen these two cosmopolitan cities for expansion. Of them, the main reason may be that both these cities can offer a large number of possible employees who can speak multiple languages. This will help Facebook to retain its dominant position in these countries as well as in the neighnoring countries.

In the meantime, Facebook Singapore is planning to look for application developers. For this purpose, it has purchased Octazen, a contact importer firm located in Malaysia. This firm is providing 2 employees to Facebook. These employees will provide services to Facebook Singapore while residing in Malaysia.

(Source: Inside Facebook)


Facebook Made Changes to Status Updates

facebook-logoFacebook, the world’s most popular social networking site, has been on the news for some time now. Over the past year, it has been making a lot of changes in its website in order to make the experience of social networking hassle-free for both its users and developers. It is back on the news radar again. This time it has focused its attention on applications which are used for status updates.

There are a number of applications on Facebook through which users can update their statuses – a method called “stream publishing”. Previously, Facebook allowed these statuses to be of as many words as users wanted. However, on April 8, the company announced – through a post published on the facebook developers page – that it was going to making a few changes to the stream publishing method. First of all, the statuses can no longer be of unlimited words. In fact, the word limit is now 420 characters only.

Facebook did not provide any additional information on how it arrived at this figure. Although many users may initially perceive the limit as too low, they would be happy to know that the limit is still much higher than those provided by other social networking sites. For instance, Twitter allows a maximum of 140 characters for each tweet. Many users had not been at all surprised by this announcement since they had started facing the limit long before the announcement came.

Also, users can no longer put any action link or attachment on the statuses – making users more aware of the difference between normal status updates and status updates through applications. However, if the users decide to use the action links and attachments, the status will show as a “regular stream story” – instead of a “status update”. In this case, the users cannot view the statuses on the upper part of their profiles. Neither can their Friends will find the statuses on their States Updates page.

This news may be disappointing to developers of the applications since the move by Facebook removes some of the fun of updating statuses through applications. However, the social networking site believes that the move will allow the applications to be similar to status.set.


Facebook’s New Photo Upload Tool

facebook-photo-upload Facebook, which is one of the most popular sites on the internet with over 400 million registered users and 2.5 billion photos has recently rolled out a new tool to make the whole photo uploading process seamless & a lot easier.

Facebook Photo Uploader

Earlier today the official facebook blog announced this new photo upload browser plugin that includes a built in photo navigator that should make it very easy to choose the photos you want to upload right from your hard drive. And once you’ve started the photo upload process, you can browse to another page — the plugin will keep uploading the files in the background without any interruption. This tool be definitely be useful for those users who uploads a massive number of pictures everyday.

facebook photo uploader tool

As you can see from the screenshot above, the top half of the photo uploader interface basically shows folders in your desktop, the lower half shows the photos you are going to upload. The tool automatically gives a notification once the upload is completed.

My Two Cents

Well, this definitely looks like a great feature for heavy facebook photo uploaders. However, Installing a new browser plugin is not something that everyone loves doing. In many places users are browsing facebook on a locked down browser and it would be a shame if they can’t upload photos just because they can’t install this plugin on the browser.

So I think Facebook should make this photo upload tool a recommended choice for all users but at the same time keep running their traditional photo upload system alongside. A complete replacement of the old system would just result in panic & dissatisfaction by many of their users.


Facebook Launches Their Version of Retweet

Facebook is currently testing out a new feature that pretty much has the same functionality as Twitter’s retweet option. B asically when you find something cool that your friend posted under his profile, you can share it with your circle of friends by ‘reposting it’ using the share button. But previously it never gave credit to the original poster, but with facebook’s recent implementation, all shares now show a “via @username” (where the username is the name of the original poster). Isn’t that roughly how the twitter “re-tweet” works?

facebook-retweet

[Credit: AllFacebook]

It seems like this new feature is live for everyone. To try it, just go to a friend’s posted item in your news feed and then click “share,” and you’ll see a “via [your friend’s name]” (with an option to remove it of course). Once shared, the item will appear on your profile, with a via link that points to your friend’s profile as well. Your friends will also see the item in their own News Feeds, thus spreading it even more (just like Twitter’s retweet).

From what I can tell so far this feature only works for posted items/links – you can’t “via” someone else’s status update or photo (as yet). So next time you see something shared on facebook, you are likely know its source.


Facebook Status Trends 2009

facebook logoFacebook status updates are a way for facebook users to share what’s on their mind (or what they are doing – similar to a “tweet”). Recently facebook has released some amazing data, which are harvested from anonymously tracking millions of Facebook status updates throughout the year 2009.

facebook-memology-2009

Facebook is calling this Facebook Memology, which is sort of like a compilation of popular topics and trends in Facebook. Its interesting to see that Facebook showed Facebook Applications as one of the most popular trend which was dominated by the annoying app FarmVille and Farm Town! I remember the days when my facebook account was filled with farmville invites & updates, as everybody was playing them. Luckily now I managed to block them all from showing up in my stream. But apparently majority of the facebook users doesn’t do that and in fact they enjoy playing games like farmville. Mashable recently wrote a post with a chart which showed FarmVille user base is much bigger than the whole of Twitterverse!

I don’t know how “Yard” made it to the list! Is it possible that “Yard” was also a part of some stupid facebook game? Anyway if you enjoy these stats you can become a fan of the Facebook Data Team, also get more details of the Facebook memology here.

What others are saying about Facebook Memology:

Facebook Drops The Hottest Status Trends – You Are Not Going To Like The First Two – The Next Web

Facebook Says “FML,” “Twitter” Is A Top Status Trend In 2009 – Techcrunch

Facebook Launches Memology To Track The Most Popular Status Trends – All Facebook

Facebook Unveils Most-Mentioned Topics of 2009 – Mashable

Facebook Memology: Top Status Trends of 2009 – Techmeme


Facebook URL Shortener – FB.me

facebook-url-shortenerFacebook has launched their own URL Shortener – FB.me. If you go there it will basically redirect you to Facebook.com. So if your Profile URL is say – http://www.facebook.com/Starbucks, now you can even write it as http://fb.me/starbucks and it will still go to the exact same page.

Facebook currently doesn’t allow you to make any short URLs using this new url shortener. But if you use facebook mobile, you may start noticing long urls such as – m.facebook.com being replaced by fb.me.

Eventually I think Facebook will launch this site-wide and automatically shorten all URLs posted in Facebook with FB.me. Now the real question is how is this going to be any different from other URL shortner like bit.ly or su.pr?

Well I hope Facebook will be able to innovate and take this whole URL shortening to the next level. For instance, some social bookmarking sites like Digg & stumble upon has their own URL shortening service that adds a toolbar on top of the page that you are browsing. With that on page toolbar, users can make a comment or even take an action (i.e. Stumble/Digg on this case). So if Facebook sort of goes along the same line, I believe users will be able to interact with the links even more with their “Likes” & “comment” feature.

What do you think?


Facebook Adds Privacy To Each Post

facebook-privacy-settingsSometime later today Facebook will be launching a new set of privacy feature to its 350 million users.

The good thing is, with this new privacy feature implementation – Facebook users will be able to choose exactly who they want to share their status update, photo, video, or any other piece of content posted on Facebook.

The set options will be: Share with “Friends, Friends of Friends, Everyone and Customized.” Facebook is killing regional networks such as “Malaysia” or “Silicon Valley,” which are too big and meaningless anyway.

“Facebook is transforming the world’s ability to control its information online by empowering more than 350 million people to personalize the audience for each piece of content they share,” said Elliot Schrage, Vice President of Communications, Public Policy and Marketing. “We’ve always designed Facebook to enable people to control what information they share with whom—it’s the reason our service continues to attract such a broad and diverse group of users from around the world. We’re proud of the latest evolution we’re announcing today and we will continue to innovate to serve users’ changing needs.”

How will The New Facebook Privacy Benefit You?

With the help of many customized options, facebook users will now be able to create Friends Lists so that you can share your personal photos only with your family, and say some inappropriate YouTube videos with just your college buddies! If you have some promotional news or business article to share, you can probably share it only with the people on your “business list” rather than sharing them with everyone who may or may not be interested into such content. Facebook is also simplifying its privacy settings to make them less confusing in general.

What Is the Next Step?

By making the privacy settings clear, I believe facebook is just encouraging people to trust the system ‘more’ and make more & more public facebook updates that they can include in the facebook internal search index. Right now, if you search for something on facebook it only brings results from your own network and not from everyone’s public post. (Unlike twitter, where http://search.twitter.com basically indexes all twitter updates and hence more useful!)

If you don’t see the privacy settings on your Facebook profile, don’t panic! They are slowly rolling it out and it will get to your profile shortly. Don’t forget Facebook has over 350 million users to take care of.

Read More on Facebook Privacy:

It’s Privacy Day at Facebook – Mashable

Privacy-Per-Post: Facebook Rolls Out Its New Privacy Settings – Techcrunch

Farewell Facebook networks; hello genuine privacy – Miami Herald

Facebook privacy update draws cheers, mostly jeers – The Christian Science Monitor

Live From Today’s Facebook Privacy Call – All Facebook

Facebook redraws site’s privacy boundaries – Reuters

Hide That Weekend From Mom – Facebook Is Rolling Out Granular Privacy Controls Now – The Next Web


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