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All Facebook - Fri, 22/07/2011 - 6:08pm

Two calendar applications take forward on the weekly growth leaderboard, but the true competition rests between the returning question applications and the slowly slipping page creation tools. Read on, and for more in-depth statistics take a look at our detailed used to build this countdown.

Facebook’s Fastest Growing Applications Name DAU MAU Weekly Growth 1. MeinKalender 501,058 2,766,943 2,363,529 2. Static HTML: iframe tabs 2,252,919 35,387,997 2,267,811 3. 21 questions 1,926,936 18,458,592 1,725,941 4. MyCalendar 331,843 2,047,705 1,472,002 5. Friend Buzz 155,136 5,445,040 824,474 6. Yahoo! 10,230,567 17,641,770 711,011 7. Global Warfare 218,069 4,692,428 675,178 8. Truth Game 744,520 7,525,209 615,545 9. Truths About You 513,890 5,123,115 498,246 10. Socialbox 402,896 2,059,437 471,688 11. Gardens of Time 3,886,249 15,576,090 465,339 12. Gourmet Ranch 398,276 2,230,621 464,485 13. Harry Potter 69,989 1,373,661 452,690 14. Hosted iFrame 187,839 2,587,457 421,365 15. Between You and Me 545,993 5,703,084 419,755 16. Sayfalar için Hosgeldiniz Sekmesi – Davet ve Begen butonlu! 63,841 1,009,930 419,587 17. Welcome tab app for Pages 407,827 7,908,649 411,684 18. Get Revealed 364,012 3,595,859 403,851 19. Sinematik! 246,966 830,236 371,931 20. Bandsintown 155,314 2,697,776 371,742

Get Organized

Taking 19 massive steps forward, German application makes it easy to remember and organize birthdays of those close to you on the social network. The calendar app kicks off our countdown with a 2,363,529 increase. Just three places behind, similar English alternative ‘s 1,472,002 adds helps in its excellent seven day progression.

Create A Page

Page creation tools take a hit overall but still manage to leave a notable impression as fastest growing apps. is ousted from its comfortable No. 1 perch, and its weekly growth total of 2,267,811 has it setting for second. The 421,365 page views and tabs built total for puts it in the 14th position.

slips this time around, but a 419,587 finish has it hanging on in the 16th spot. places in 17th seeing a 411,684 increase.

Get Questioned

Making a massive return to the countdown, the competition between question applications is on once more. Leading the pack in third place, welcomes 1,725,941 new curious minds. also returns after a long absence as it skyrockets to fifth with the help of 824,474 social networkers.

In the eighth and ninth spots respectively, and rest comfortably; the first finishes with a 615,545 growth total while the second welcomes an additional 498,246 quiz-takers.

The second half of this week’s countdown includes who completes the week with a 419,755 15th place finish. Newcomer has 403,851 Facebook friends answering questions about one another—an 18th place first time appearance.

Stay Connected

connects accounts with Facebook to create an easy constant conversation. The application has reached an impressive monthly and daily active user total, but its 711,011 weekly growth total helps it take the sixth position.

Though it takes a four spot drop to tenth, desktop chat app finishes the week acquiring 471,688 new talkative Facebook users.

Game On

It is a seventh place finish for Global Warfare; 675,178 new gamers are off to war. Kicking off the second half of the countdown, Playdom’s increases by 465,339 players.

After an extended absence, returns to land in the 12th position; 464,485 people are constructing their own ranches.

Movies And Videos

Watch various clips surrounding the latest release on this application that earned a 452,690 increase — a 13th place finish. In Turkey, the view totals continue to increase for . Landing in the 19th spot, the video clip service accrues a 371,931 weekly growth increase.

Rock On

It is always excited to see when musicians add new tour dates, and is continuing to be the growing tool of choice for these annoucements; the application helps 371,742 musicians to end the week in the 20th position.

Readers, do you have an opinion about any of this week’s fastest growing applications? Please share your thoughts in the comments section beneath this post.

Categories: Facebook

All Facebook - Fri, 22/07/2011 - 5:28pm

With the debt ceiling and other budget issues being hotly debated on Capitol Hill, of the U.S. House of Representatives are taking to to answer constituent questions and clearly state their views on the economy and issues of the day.

Once relegated to communicating via press releases, press conferences and media interviews, members are leveraging Facebook’s many features — from taped questions and answer sessions to livestream chats and town halls — to directly address voters.

And Facebook’s “” page is capturing your congressional leaders’ every move on the social networking site.

Here are four recent examples of the issues discussed on the Congress on Facebook page.

Representatives continue to use Facebook to announce their positions on the federal debt crisis. Rep. , R-N.C., led female GOP members in a round of special-order speeches condemning President Obama’s handling of the issue, while Rep. , D-Calif., posted a video of her weekly press conference, where she criticized Republican tactics during the debate.

, R-Mich., concluded a Facebook town hall meeting and was pleased enough with the turnout that he promised more interactive opportunities in the future. Huizenga, who also has the GOP jobs plan Facebook tab popularized by , R-Ohio, engaged voters on the debt limit to legislation before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

Senator Ben Cardin, D-Md., tried to rally support for the Respect for Marriage Act by writing up a supportive post and tagging fellow Senator Patrick Leahy, a leader on the Respect for Marriage Act in the Senate. The bill would scrap the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, allowing the federal government to provide marriage benefits to single gender couples.

House Republican New Media Caucus Co-Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers was disappointed she couldn’t answer questions live during last week’s Facebook DC Live show with fellow Co-Chair Rob Wittman  so she recorded some answers to questions.

Have you have used Facebook to contact your member of Congress?

Categories: Facebook

This Week’s Most Talked About Social Media Tools

The Next Web - Facebook-tagged - Fri, 22/07/2011 - 5:18pm

This is the seventh of a weekly series, in which every week, we’ll look at five social media tools and platforms that have created some buzz over the last week. This week we’re featuring Kyoo.com, Zaarly.com and more.

Here they come…

  1. Conduct ‘at-a-glance’ buzz analysis across all of the major platforms with  – This is essentiallyaddictomatic.com on steroids. Kyoo.com let’s you search for terms and then gives you a snapshot of buzz, ranging from Twitter to WordPress. The world map feature is especially useful.
  2. Create your own Facebook ‘welcome’ tab in minutes with  - Here’s a really useful tool that you can try right now. Simply download Welcome Applet and you’ll be able to create a landing page for your Facebook page without the costly developer fees. are Find out more about Welcome Applet at Goso.com.
  3. Zaarly.com helps you buy and sell with the people around you – The premise behind Zaarly is simple; Re-use and recycle the stuff you don’t need with people who live in your community with the help of geo-location technology. This service is just available in selected US cities at the moment but plans for expansion are in the pipeline. Check out the introductory video .
  4. Make more of your video content with EmbedPlus.com – Embedding video content is common practice these days but customizing that content for your sites isn’t as easy as it probably should be. Thankfully a new solution called EmbedPlus fixes that issue and gives your video more features than you can dream of.
  5. ThinkUpApp.com stores all your social activity in the one place – Analyse, search, visualise and export your social media content with ThinkUp. This handy app is best explained by  home page.

Categories: Facebook

All Facebook - Fri, 22/07/2011 - 4:56pm

Facebook users who can relax: Help is on the way, thanks to Tal Ater, founder of Green Any Site.

Ater, who that Facebook was testing a video chat feature last November by examining the social network’s code, was back at it this week, coming up with easy fix that involves changing one line of code, after which the sidebar chat will only display friends who are online, rather than selecting random contacts.

More details on the coding fix are available on Ater’s Facebook Fixes site, and the fix is available for download as either a browser add-on or in code form.

Ater described the process via email:

A couple of nights ago, while digging through Facebook’s new chat code (it’s a hobby of mine), I found hidden in one of their JavaScript functions, a very quick and easy fix for the chat problem everyone is complaining about.

It turns out, all it takes is changing one line of code, and Facebook chat no longer chooses random friends to show you in the chat panel, but instead only shows the friends who are currently online. No more letting Facebook decide for us who we want to talk to.

I just published the code as open source on GitHub, so that everyone can use it.

And for the less geeky crowd, I even created a little executable that you can download and run to fix the Facebook chat once and for all (it runs the code for you automatically when you visit Facebook).

Readers who are unhappy with Facebook’s new sidebar chat: Will you try Ater’s solution? Or if you already have, how’s it working for you?

Categories: Facebook

Apple hands out bikes to staff, just don’t call them iBikes

The Next Web - Facebook-tagged - Fri, 22/07/2011 - 4:35pm

Apple has given its green credentials a boost by offering employees bicycles to commute across its vast campus in Cupertino, California.

9to5Mac quotes Brazil-based MacMagazine:

“…the bikes that Apple is now offering its employees are all aluminum, very good taste, have only three gears (heavy, light and normal) and still have a bag for MacBook, Cases, and the like.”

The new bikes will prove handy, as Apple continues to grow its presence beyond its main campus on Infinite Loop, to the nine new buildings they recently leased.

And we reported last month on Apple’s plans to build new, bigger premises in Cupertino, on land Apple purchased from Hewlett Packard. Steve Jobs made a personal pitch to the Cupertino City Council with a view to having his plans approved.

Categories: Facebook

All Facebook - Fri, 22/07/2011 - 4:18pm

Facebook recently launched a commenting feature that allows users to embed videos, photos and web links in comments . The comment will include a video player, a thumbnail of a photo, or a brief overview of the website being linked to.

The preview can be removed with a simple click. With that in mind, it’s time for a refresher course on the do’s and don’ts of .

Don’t Be A Stalker

Signs of a stalker include constant notifications, strange and relentless instant messages, and commenting on very old photos. It doesn’t matter how good they looked, it’s a bit creepy to comment on that revealing poolside photo from five years ago if you’ve been friends for a while.

Do Show Restraint

Facebook is a place where too many people vent their frustrations. Do you really want everyone to know how much you hate it when your cat ignores you? That’s probably because it’s a cat. When it comes to commenting, show some restraint. Let’s say you were cropped out of a friend’s photo. Instead of going off the deep end, just ignore it. If you must get revenge, try something like “Well, you cut out the best part of this picture.”

Don’t Be Illiterate

There is a fine line between disregarding some vowels in text-speak and being grammatically pathetic. Read a book and maybe they won’t delete your comment next time.

Do Contribute To The Conversation

If someone posts something meaningful or thought-provoking, don’t deliberately post something off-topic or ignorant just to get a rise out of people.

Don’t Hijack Someone’s Status

Don’t use someone’s status as a battlefield. It makes the person who posted the status and everyone else involved uncomfortable. If you feel the need for a political argument, start your own thread with that person, preferably in private.

Do Show Support

It’s fine to back someone’s opinion up. It’s not fine to like everyone’s comments because you don’t like to take sides. It confuses everyone and you look fake.

What other types of Facebook comments do you despise?

Categories: Facebook

Inside Facebook - Fri, 22/07/2011 - 4:18pm

There was an interesting mix of applications on our list of the the fastest growing on the Facebook platform this week by monthly active users. They included professional networking, Google+, Hulu, dating, videos, profile badges and MySpace’s music app.

The apps on our list grew from between 118,200 and 322,700 MAU, based on AppData, our data tracking service covering traffic growth for apps on Facebook. All in all, it was a pretty typical week for the emerging category, which we define as apps that ended with between 100,000 and 1 million MAU in the past week.

Top Gainers This Week

Name MAU Gain Gain,% 1.  المزرعة 323,485 +322,653 +38,780% 2.  Animal Party 854,405 +261,471 +44% 3.  BeKnown 509,334 +210,072 +70% 4.  Direct Access 279,889 +210,064 +301% 5.  1 vs 100 234,308 +197,276 +533% 6.  Hulu 477,171 +194,398 +69% 7.  Seçim Anketi 540,359 +177,176 +49% 8.  Deal or No Deal 392,049 +176,045 +82% 9.  Millionaire Boss 285,505 +163,501 +134% 10.  Video Land 229,535 +158,164 +222% 11.  แฮปปี้เบบี้ 956,055 +146,760 +18% 12.  BILD Profil-Badges 156,416 +140,966 +912% 13.  Myspace Music App 868,988 +126,075 +17% 14.  Perfect Getaway 857,160 +125,585 +17% 15.  The Pokerist club — Texas Poker 540,241 +125,385 +30% 16.  Total Domination: Nuclear Strategy 444,396 +123,790 +39% 17.  المزرعة السعيدة 751,522 +122,819 +20% 18.  100YearsWar Philippines: An UNREAL 3D MMORPG ★★★★★ 311,893 +119,401 +62% 19.  Super Mario 3 693,689 +119,164 +21% 20.  JackpotJoy Slots 270,568 +118,210 +78%

BeKnown was at the top of our list with 210,100 MAU. Then Direct Access followed with 279,900 MAU; this app doesn’t appear to be an official Google+ app but asks users to add their friends to this new social network via Facebook.

Hulu was next on the list with 194,400 MAU. Hulu seems to be giving Facebook integration another try with its . Then Turkish dating app Seçim Anketi added 177,200 MAU. Video Land, a video app, added 158,200 MAU.

The German BILD Profil-Badges grew by about 141,000 MAU this week and the Myspace Music App grew by 126,100 MAU. This app claims to be a “light” version of the MySpace artist profile enabling users to share content on both networks at the same time. The rest of the list was composed of games.

Categories: Facebook

Murdoch Alert: The browser extension that warns you of News Corporation websites

The Next Web - Facebook-tagged - Fri, 22/07/2011 - 3:16pm

With Murdoch and his media empire gaining more enemies by the day, one enterprising developer has created an add-on for the Firefox browser called Murdoch Alert.

Released yesterday, the Firefox extension warns users whenever they land on one of the 100+ websites owned by Rupert Murdoch’s corporation.

The notes for the add-on state:

“NewsCorp agents in multiple countries have been arrested for hacking into the phones and computers of at least thousands of innocent people. Since the Murdoch family controls 100+ high-traffic domains, it is difficult for average users to know which sites could potentially place them at risk.

MurdochAlert identifies the domains that may place users at risk for Murdoch-related hacking. MurdochAlert features A bottom warning box that appears whenever you visit a Murdoch-controlled sited.”

This was first reported on News Junkie Post, and as Ole Ole Olson notes, this is the second anti-Murdoch add-on to be released this week. A version called was released for Chrome on Wednesday and, when installed, a warning screen appears whenever you visit a Murdoch-owned site. At the time of writing, it has been installed almost 700 times. You can even choose which of the websites to block:

Both Murdoch Alert and Murdoch Block let users choose to continue onto the website if they so wish.

You may also want to check out istyosty.com, a proxy service that lets you browse the Daily Mail website without actually landing on the website. It even provides users with shortened links so you can easily share Daily Mail stories with others without worrying about inadvertently leading friends to the actual website. The proxy service works for The Sun newspaper too.

If you want to see a full list of the websites owned by the Murdoch empire, click .

Categories: Facebook

All Facebook - Fri, 22/07/2011 - 3:15pm

Facebook continues to ramp up its efforts, according to the latest quarterly financial disclosures filed with the U.S. Senate late Wednesday.

The social network spent $320,000 on Congress and other government agencies between March and June, 2011, nearly as much as it spent in all of 2010, about $350,000.

Issues such as and continue to keep Facebook in front government officials. The filings show that some of the legislation Facebook addressed was The Do-Not-Track Act of 2011, the Child Online Protection Act and the Commercial Privacy Bill of Rights of 2011.

It’s still a meager sum when compared to Google, which spent $2.06 million on lobbying in the second quarter, setting an all-time company high and marking the first time the company has bested rival Microsoft.

The Center for Responsive Politics’ opensecrets.org web site will break out these numbers in the coming weeks, which we will report.

What do you think of Facebook’s growing lobbying efforts?

Categories: Facebook

UK online shoppers spend 5 days a year waiting for home deliveries

The Next Web - Facebook-tagged - Fri, 22/07/2011 - 1:46pm

A new survey of UK shoppers has found that the number one gripe when buying online is not being given a specific enough delivery period, meaning they have to take time off work to wait at home for items to arrive.

The survey was conducted by The Co-operative Electrical and, as reported in today’s Guardian, from the 3,000 respondents, 90% noted that waiting at home not knowing when their delivery was going to arrive was the biggest frustration when buying online.

The survey also found that almost two-thirds of online shoppers in the UK have asked family and friends to wait at home on their behalf.

In the first half of 2011, UK shoppers spent over £31bn online, a fifth more than in the same period last year. But bulky items, or items requiring a signature, need someone to be at home to receive the goods. Many online retailers do offer free delivery, but with that comes anything up to a week’s delivery period. You can then pay extra to specify a specific day, and you can pay even more to request a morning or afternoon slot.

It’s thought that shoppers in the UK waste an average of five days each year simply waiting for deliveries at home.

Of course, it’s easy to understand why online retailers find it difficult to offer very precise delivery times. There are many logistical factors that can influence the journey time of an item from the warehouse to a person’s home – adverse weather conditions, traffic jams among other unforeseen delays. But it seems that one of the issues here is the way the deliveries are made.

We’ve written about Shutl before, a UK company that has developed technology that aggregates capacity across local courier companies into a single web service. The upshot of this, is customers can choose between a speedy delivery (within 90 minutes of purchase) or a one-hour delivery window at any time…24/7.

Shutl has been piloting its service with Argos, and the company recently secured a further £650k investment. So UK shoppers may be enjoying better home delivery services soon.

Categories: Facebook

Google+ reached 10m users in 16 days. Want to know how long it took Facebook and Twitter?

The Next Web - Facebook-tagged - Fri, 22/07/2011 - 1:24pm

took a mere 16 days to hit 10 million users. By comparison, both Twitter and Facebook took over 2 years to hit that milestone, requiring 780 days and 852 days respectively.

has kindly put together this graph, which helps put Google+’s hockey-stick growth into perspective, compared to its social networking counterparts:

Whilst there’s little doubt that Google+’s growth is impressive, it’s probably also worth noting that it did have a considerable head-start on both Twitter and Facebook, which were both starting from scratch – as a social network, as a brand…as everything.

Google, on the other hand, has thirteen years’ growth behind it and is one of the most recognizable digital brands in the world. It already had a mammoth user-base across its plethora of products, so it’s perhaps not all that surprising that it could notch up 10m users in around a fortnight.

Google+ is thought to have reached the 10 million users mark around the 13th of July, and it had doubled-up again by about a week later. That’s 20 million users in three weeks.

Google’s latest attempt at creating a social network seems to be paying off, and it has so far received pretty favorable reviews. The Next Web carried out a quick survey of our readers in early July, and we found that two-thirds of users preferred Google+ to Facebook, with less than half saying they preferred it to Twitter. The latter was perhaps an unfair comparison, given that Twitter is a different social beast to Google+.

But what about LinkedIn? We wrote earlier this month that Google+ may actually be a bigger threat to LinkedIn than it is to Facebook or Twitter. For the record, LinkedIn was launched in May 2003, and it didn’t hit the mark until April 2007. It now has over members.

Interesting statistics. It’s still early doors for Google+ – will it continue on its upwards trajectory, or will it begin to plateau once the hype subsides? Only time will tell.

Categories: Facebook

Google+ Games confirmed; Will appear in new “Games Stream”

The Next Web - Facebook-tagged - Fri, 22/07/2011 - 1:24pm

We know that Google has a lot planned for Google+, adding brand pages and support for new features in the browser and via its mobile apps in the near future. There was talk of games coming to the platform but today the new feature has been confirmed via a Google+ help page.

Slashgear reports that in a section entitled “Content that appears in the stream”, Google explains the different ways that content can be displayed and accessed, making note to a previously unannounced “” that will post updates from games connected to the service.

Currently, the Games Stream help page delivers a “404 – Not Found” error, suggesting Google is currently putting the finishing touches to its platform and its help section before it rolls out the feature to its users.

Deep within Google+’s source code were a few hints of services we may have seen in the future, one of which was a gaming feature of sorts with a line of code that reads: “have sent you Game invites and more from Google Plus Games.”

TechCrunch’s Google+ tipster had previously found API endpoint and even a logo for the service:

Aside from the logo, Schaap also found references to API endpoints such as “/_/games/getGameFriends”, “/_/games/getActivities” and, perhaps more interestingly, “/_/games/postToStream”, pointing to a characteristically social gaming service.

This will come as no surprise to many, considering that Google was actively acquiring game developers like Slide and SocialDeck last year and has been  for its gaming team.

Google+ Games could be the search giant’s take on Facebook Games and Apple’s Game Center, two of the biggest social gaming portals.

The interesting thing to note is that Google has taken feedback from Facebook users and used it to its advantage, separating notifications for games so that it does not pollute the stream, Many users of the world’s most popular social network have often complained about the lack of filters on games on their Home Feed.

We have contacted Google for more information on this feature and will update the article should we receive a response.

Categories: Facebook

India may soon get unrestricted calls through Internet telephony

The Next Web - Facebook-tagged - Fri, 22/07/2011 - 12:50pm

India’s Department of Telecommunications (DoT) is deliberating over opening up Internet telephony to mobile operators, thereby allowing consumers to make unrestricted calls online.

Stating that it was discussed in July 13 meeting with Indian telecom services officers, department officials said this may be included in the New Telecom Policy which is expected to be finalised by November this year. A highly ranked DoT official said:

We have received representations from the industry and from within the DoT to open up Net telephony. We are seriously looking at how to go about it.

If allowed, this will open up India’s domestic voice market to all operators which have an unified access services licence such as Reliance Infotel, Aircel and Videocon Telecommunication (previously Datacom) to offer voice services along with data to its consumers.

Earlier in 2008, DoT had earlier rejected a similar proposal from Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) when the latter had recommended allowing unrestricted Net telephony to all operators including Internet Service Providers (ISPs) without any additional entry fee or licence charges.  It had rejected this on the grounds that it would agonize the mobile operators and disturb the equilibrium, since existing operators had already paid Rs 1,650 crore ($372 million) as entry fee.  However, now that DoT is reviewing the entire Indian telecom policy, it is rethinking on this proposal.

Additionally, it is also contemplating allowing operators without a unified access licence, which includes broadband and Internet companies such as Google and Skype to offer telephony services for international calling and PC-to-PC domestic calls, which could finally signal the arrival of Google Voice and similar services in India.

Also, it would serve as warning to the existing mobile operators such as Airtel and Vodafone, which had ditched launching Internet telephony services in favor of  traditional minutes-based voice revenue, to launch these services to stay ahead in the competition.

That being said, DoT didn’t share any further details on this matter, leading to speculation that DoT might impose on ISPs to enter into this market.  An Internet industry representative said, in a statement to The Hindu Business Line:

The DoT may impose conditions which could range from an entry fee or net worth of the company, which will keep out the small ISPs from entering this segment. We have to see the fineprint of the policy whenever it gets finalised.

Another thing that is currently not clear is the stance the Indian government will take against these companies, after all, they do have a history of pushing the likes of Google and RIM to provide state access to data from Gmail and BlackBerry services respectively.

Categories: Facebook

How the social Web is transforming travel [Infographic]

The Next Web - Facebook-tagged - Fri, 22/07/2011 - 12:29pm

The social Web has transformed the travel industry, as the infographic here explains.

It’s been created by Tripl, a new Swedish-based travel startup that will allow travel companies to sell their products more socially to consumers, with a full API being made available to third party developers. Some of the stats that caught our eye below include the ‘Social Travel Index’ (More information on that here) and that 96% of university students are on Facebook ( at least).

Tripl plans to open to the public next month.

Click on the infographic for a closer look.

Categories: Facebook

Venezuela’s Chavez is literally running his country on Twitter, from Cuba

The Next Web - Facebook-tagged - Fri, 22/07/2011 - 11:46am

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has taken the unusual step of utilising Twitter to govern his homeland whilst he receives cancer treatment in Cuba, the AFP reports.

Already, Chavez has tweeted over 40 messages to his @chavezcandanga account, moving to approve funds for a Caracas trash collection project, supported plans for a new park and backed the national football team whilst they played in the Copa America tournament.

The Twitter account already counts 1.8 million followers, keeping Chavez in contact with citizens despite the fact he was unable to physically be in the country. It is believed the Venezuelan leader took to Twitter to remain in the headlines because he wasn’t able to make his frequent television appearances.

Chavez’s decisions aren’t small, some involve multi-million initiatives in the country:

In messages earlier in the week, Chavez greeted Cabinet ministers and touted a public housing construction program. He said he had approved the equivalent of more than $25 million for a new trash-collection company in Caracas, $51 million for a state government and $37 million for the organization Frente Francisco de Miranda, which promotes efforts to transform Venezuela into a socialist state.

But some are more lighthearted; one message commented on a referees decision in Venezuela’s match against Paraguay at the Copy America tournament. Chavez said that he was watching the game with Fidel Castro, who agreed the referee had made a bad call:

“In my modest opinion… THEY ROBBED US OF THE VICTORY GOAL! And I hope that with this I’m not offending anybody!”

Chavez underwent surgery on June 20 to remove a cancerous tumour and is now undergoing chemotherapy, although it is not known what type of cancer it is or where it is located.

Categories: Facebook

VideoBee: A centralized viewing hub for all your online video

The Next Web - Facebook-tagged - Fri, 22/07/2011 - 11:46am

If you’re hooked to the Web, there’s a good chance you’re hooked to online video too.

Whether it’s YouTube, Vimeo, iPlayer or any of the countless other video hosting websites out there, choosing what you watch – and when & where you watch it – is one of the liberties we perhaps now take for granted on the open Web.

But wait a minute – do we have complete control over our online viewing experience?

With smartphones, tablets, computers and smart TVs, we have so many different platforms to watch content across, keeping tabs on our favorite videos isn’t easy. You start watching one video on your smartphone, but you want to continue watching at home on your computer, then you have to search for it all over again. Multiple platforms and millions of videos…quite the dilemma.

This is where VideoBee aims to change the rules of video interaction online.

What is VideoBee

It’s often the case that a problem doesn’t exist until something comes along and provides a solution. And all of a sudden, your life is made so much easier and you wonder how you managed without it. Can you imagine life now without a mobile phone?

Okay, VideoBee isn’t game-changing in the same sense as the mobile phone, but it will make your life easier if you watch a lot of online video.

VideoBee provides a single, centralized platform to manage and watch bookmarked videos across multiple screens. And you can even continue watching a video at the same point that you stopped it – on a different device, in a different room…heck, even in a different city.

VideoBee is a browser-based application, compatible with PCs, Macs, tablets, smartphones and TVs through set-top boxes. The technology also allows users to watch videos full-screen, share videos with friends and easily add videos to their VideoBee account.

How it works

VideoBee goes live to the public from today, and you can sign-up for a free account at VideoBee.TV.

When you see a video you want to store on your VideoBee account, you click the ‘Buzz It’ bookmarklet in your browser:

This adds the video to your VideoBee playlist, which is then accessible from any Web-enabled device. You can also personalize your video description at the point of bookmarking it.

As you can see from the screenshot above, when you highlight a video, you are also presented with the option of sharing the video through email, Facebook or Twitter. And for your own benefit, you can insert PlaySpots which reference
specific points in the video, enabling you to continue watching from a specific point from any other device.

You can also add video links into your account by emailing , putting the title of the video in the subject line, and including the web link in the body of the email. The YouTube app on iOS devices creates emails like this when you’re looking to add a video:

When you visit a particular video in your playlist, you can click ‘Play from PlaySpot: ['time stamp']‘, if you’ve set one, or you can simply click ‘Play from start’.

VideoBee has a BigScreen feature that displays the videos in a view that’s optimized for TV. You send videos to your Playlist with any device and they will appear on your TV screen for viewing, though it will be limited to some Set Top Boxes (STBs) initially.

Founder and CEO Ben Hookway tells me that they have just done a deal to embed the technology with a major STB manufacturer, news of this will be announced shortly. And more STBs and Smart TVs will be added to its repertoire eventually, with some mobile apps are in the pipeline too.

VideoBee was developed by Vidiactive, a company founded in Sheffield, England, in January 2009 by Ben Hookway (CEO), Ken Tindell (CTO) and Jerry Ennis (NXD). “We wanted to create an elegant consumer experience”, says Hookway. “We also wanted to make it easier for people to find and share content among people with mutual interests. This is what the VideoBee.tv service provides.”

Categories: Facebook

10 Facebook campaigns to inspire your business

The Next Web - Facebook-tagged - Fri, 22/07/2011 - 11:36am

With 750m users, Facebook needs little introduction. But the one question I hear repeatedly at conferences and events is from marketers seeking practical examples of how Facebook can be leveraged to lure in cash from customers.

So we’ve looked around, and dug out some of the most recent examples of Facebook being put into action for businesses. And here’s ten of the best.

Flowers from Facebook: 1-800 Flowers.com

“We use the quickness of the online world to promote 1-800 Flowers.com. We’re bringing back the nice tradition of giving flowers, in a way that fits the digital age. Collectively. As a group. Over Facebook.”

The agency responsible for this campaign was Miami Ad School Europe. And the client was online florist .

The basis of the campaign was the speed at which Facebook can help spread a person’s birthday wishes. It crowdsources friends to buy a flower each to create a bunch, which is then sent using 1-800 Flowers.com’s same-day delivery service.

A friend downloads the app, and a banner appears on your friends’ newsfeed about the upcoming birthday, saying, “Make your birthday wish special and be part of [name]‘s Facebook bouquet.”

The birthday person’s friends are then taken to a micro-site where they can pick a flower and add a greeting. It should then become a full bouquet of virtual flowers, that by the end of the day become real.

The principle is simple and can be applied to other businesses too. It involves encouraging lots of people to club together to buy someone special a nice present.

Watch the campaign video for yourself here:

Fashiontag: Flair

“When it comes to finding inspiration for their wardrobe, women look at movie stars, in fashion magazines, and in the shops themselves. But most of all, women look at each other.”

That gambit was from the client, Belgian women’s magazine , and the agency responsible was Duval Guillaume. The idea behind this Facebook app was simple: instead of tagging friends, you tag their clothes and accessories and the app lets you post a question asking where they got them from.

The Flair Fashiontag Facebook app is all about helping people get inspiration for their wardrobe. Fashiontags are then displayed in the online Facebook Fashiontag gallery, and a selection is published in the print magazine. Though, it’s not entirely clear how much of a say the tagged friend has in whether they are featured in the gallery or the magazine.

As with 1-800 Flowers.com, the principle behind Fashiontag can be applied elsewhere, such as retailers giving away items to those who are first to tag their names in a photo, just as Ikea did back in 2009. Or, it can be used by events who ask users to tag themselves in photos they’ve taken for the change to win prizes.

Here’s a video of the Fashiontag campaign:

Make a better one yourself, then: KIASMA Museum of Contemporary Art

“We based our campaign on how most people perceive contemporary art. A common expression is ‘my son could’ve done that. Well, now your son gets his chance.”

We’ve all probably been guilty of looking at a piece of art and saying: “I could do better than that.”

It’s often not that simple though, and Finnish agency Hasan & partners were mobilized by the KIASMA Museum of Contemporary Art in Helsinki to get people to put their words into action.

Using the real critiques from discussion forums and newspapers as the basis, this campaign then added the slogan “Make a better one yourself then” and invited the public to upload their own piece of art to a Facebook gallery, which were then voted on accordingly. Around 600 pieces were submitted over the summer, and the campaign was designed to inspire positive debate on the subject of contemporary art.

No apps were needed for this one, simple Facebook Pages were used, making this a relatively simple and cost-effective campaign to replicate, with a little bit of your own imagination thrown in for good measure.

People like nothing better than putting their wits up against the so-called experts, so you could get people to submit their own photos, videos, stories, poems, logos, straplines…whatever may be relevant to your company. You can run a competition and let the community decide, or you can vote in-house.

Here’s the campaign video for the he KIASMA Museum of Contemporary Art:

Get on the bus: Contiki

“Win the trip of a lifetime, for you and 4 friends, worth up to $25,000. Choose a trip, gather a crew, get votes and win!”

The agency here was New York-based Affinitive, and the client was , a travel company for 18-35 year olds. The firm wanted to raise brand awareness, and to reach a younger target audience they developed ‘Get On The Bus’, a Facebook app and competition that encouraged fans of Contiki to create their own dream trip, and invite four Facebook friends to join their imaginary vacation. They would then campaign for votes and attempt to win a $25,000 world trip.

The app was designed to be personalized, which helped make the ‘game’ viral. So, the average age and gender breakdown of the passengers on each bus was shown, it also brought in the music, movies, likes, and interests each passenger had. Each ‘bus page’ enabled comments for friends to communicate and work out their strategy during the voting period.

Contiki’s Facebook Page gained more than 10 million online impressions through Facebook shares, Likes, tweets, and additional coverage from across the social sphere.

Last month we reported on a similar success story operated at Expedia, which managed to grow its Facebook fan-base by 750% in 6 weeks, surpassing the magical million mark.

These campaigns show that personalization, competition and prizes can be combined to create viral, interactive Facebook campaigns.

Social memories: Deutsche Post DHL

“We wanted to commemorate our digital social lives, and create the app . The app gathers all the memories of your Facebook account. It combines and visualizes your personal data.”

We covered this Facebook campaign back in May, but it’s well worth a revisit. The agency was Cosalux, and its aim was to help Deutsche Post increase brand awareness by tapping into the postal firm’s tradition of ‘delivering social memories’ and transposing this into the social, digital world.

The app scans the user’s profile, using photographs and a myriad of statistics from across Facebook – including their friends – and then offers a printed book of data and infographics, costing around €20. There is also the option of outputting the content via the user’s news feed, which is free and which is what has caused this to go viral.

Identifying what it is that defines you as a company, and translating this into something that people really resonate with in the digital world is key to running such a campaign, and this is why Social Memories proved so popular. See for yourself how the app works:

Most liked: Corona

“Bud Light. Coors Light. Miller light. These are the powerhouses of the ‘light’ beer world. For Corona Light to command the same attention as these brands, they needed to make a big beer impact without spending a big beer budget.”

Pereira & O’Dell, a San Francisco-based agency,was brought on board to help Corona build its Facebook fan base.

Fans of Corona who ‘liked’ Corona Light on Facebook were invited to upload their photo to a 40-foot tall digital billboard at Times Square, which went live for a month starting in early November 2010. Corona then captured images of the billboard and posted them to Facebook, and the participants could then share their photographic evidence with friends.

Such a campaign is obviously very viral, as it’s personalized and has high visibility. Of course, it’s also reserved for big brands with big budgets (despite what Corona says in its advert below), but the ethos can still be replicated elsewhere.

Looking to promote your photography firm on Facebook? You can offer free introductory sessions to people in your vicinity, and upload the professional results to Facebook, tagging the user and thus helping to propagate your brand. Facebook is a great platform for massaging people’s vanity.

Check out the Corona Facebook campaign here:

What Zurich needs: Social Democratic Party of Switzerland

“The objective was to get the young people of Zurich to do something they don’t like doing. Voting. And ideally for our four candidates.”

Facebook doesn’t have to be all about commercial endeavors, as agency Walker Werbeagentur Zuerich showed with its engaging campaign for the Social Democratic Party of Switzerland.

The objective was to circumvent disinterest, indifference and frustration in politics and get young people to realise that voting CAN make a difference. And this one didn’t involve any political bluster across the nation’s airwaves.

The strategy involved the politicians being quiet, and listening to the people and produce results. A simple Facebook Page was set-up, where people could post their ideas on what they thought Zurich needed most – nothing dry like finances, taxes and legislation were encouraged.

Ideas were posted, discussed and voted for using the like button. The 4 ideas with the most votes where then put into practice by the party’s 4 candidates who pushed them through parliament. So what does Zurich now have? A free city-wide WiFi network and cheaper public transport for starters. The party received an unexpected 30% of votes, and it was thus the most successful party. All 4 candidates were elected too.

Facebook has 750m users, making it a fantastic way to canvas opinion. This could come in handy if you’re ever planning on running your own survey or market research campaign. With a small incentive thrown in for good measure, of course.

Here’s the Zurich Facebook campaign video:

What’s on tap?: Tap House Grill

“Both our Bellevue and Seattle Tap House Grills boast 160 beers on tap, the largest selection of beers on tap in the Northwest.”

Creative Media Alliance helped , from Downtown Seattle, create branded Facebook tabs for its 160-beer menu, with a happy hour specifically for their Facebook fans. The Facebook page and the website were closely linked, guiding visitors between platforms. The beer menu tab was the default landing tab for non-fans.

This Facebook campaign generated an increase of 1,000% in active users during the week it was launched.

This is a fairly straightforward campaign that’s easy to execute, in that it was a non-dynamic Facebook page that offered simple, special offers to customers in its local neighborhood. By encouraging people to ‘Like’ the page, it thus built up a following and could tempt them with further offers in the future.

The squeezing smiles machine: Prigat

“We decided to squeeze smiles. To make it possible, we created the world’s first Internet juicer activated by users’ smiles.”

Agency Publicis E-Dologic helped Israeli fruit beverage brand Prigat gain significant leverage on Facebook, with its squeezing smiles machine.

The world’s first online juicer was created, activated by users literally smiling. Visitors to Prigat‘s Facebook Page smiled at the webcam or uploaded a smiling photo. Using face recognition technology, the juicer squeezed orange juice and users saw their name displayed on the actual juicer.

During the time the application was active, Prigat’s Facebook Page gained 30,000 new likes, and over 20,000 unique users uploaded their photos via the Facebook app. The gimmicky aspect of this secured the brand a lot of coverage in local newspapers, and the company gave all the squeezed juice to charity.

This sort of campaign demonstrates that anything’s possible on Facebook with a little imagination. Sure, it’s not that practical and will require a lot of effort (and money) to set up, but demonstrating a real-world effect from actions on Facebook is something that can be used across many campaigns. The merging of digital and physical clearly works when executed well.

Check the squeezing smiles machine out for yourself:

Veterans Day marches: IAVA

“IAVA is the first and largest non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to bettering the lives of veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and their families.”

Facebook is a social network, so it’s important to remember that organizations can use it just for that…networking. Invoke, a North American agency, was brought on board by The Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America () to connect people with information about Veterans Day events across the country.

The purpose of the Facebook app was to let people demonstrate their support of veterans to their friends through an online ‘March’ of support.

The obligatory ‘Like’ was requested, then a customized Facebook landing page had a strong call-to-action driving users to join the March via their online status.

Whenever a user subscribed to the app, they chose which state they lived in. This information was then used to create a leaderboard for each state, which helped create competition, interaction and build momentum. Gamification of the initiative was a key part.

The app allowed users to subscribe and join IAVA’s virtual March by not changing their status for four days in November 2010, and it automatically posted a message on the user’s Facebook wall and Twitter homefeed.

IAVA was promoted thanks to this campaign, and it gained 2,965 ‘marchers’ via their status updated.

Over to you…

These are just a small selection of some of the Facebook campaigns that are being undertaken by businesses. We’ve tried to keep these varied to show that imagination is just as important as a big marketing budget. Creativity counts for a lot, and you can achieve a great deal of customer engagement by thinking just a little bit outside the box. Over to you…

Categories: Facebook

The REAL new gestures in OS X Lion

The Next Web - Facebook-tagged - Fri, 22/07/2011 - 10:38am

We’ve downloaded the update, installed it to our Macs and are enjoying the experience that is Apple’s Mac OS X Lion.

Some of us have tried to adopt “Natural Scrolling”, thinking Apple is slowly going to converge its iOS and Mac lines, whilst some of us have had to revert to the default scrolling action. People seem to like the new scrolling given the fact Lion has already sold 1 million copies.

However, Joy of Tech “had to take a few swipes”, detailing its own range of Lion gestures:

I’m off to practise my Apple hipster gang sign puppet.

Categories: Facebook

With Planely, you can now find other The Next Web readers on the same flight as you

The Next Web - Facebook-tagged - Fri, 22/07/2011 - 10:29am

Planely, the social network that wants to make flying more social by letting you find out who else is on the same flight as you, has rolled out a new feature called ‘Online Communities’ that aims to make it easier for you to find likeminded individuals.

On your profile you can now choose from a number of different communities to be a part of – these include tech blog readerships (you can mark yourself as a The Next Web reader, for example) and frequent flyer schemes. “Our hypothesis being that people in the same community as each other by definition have some something strong in common and therefore sharing time together will likely be fruitful,” says Planely founder Nick Martin.

The idea is that a simple tick of a box to show you’re a member of a particular online group helps others know a lot more about you. “Take The Next Web as an example,” Martin explains. “I need to know very little more about somebody to decide whether spending 2 hours from Copenhagen to London would be a good use of my time than if I know they too read TNW. They like technology? Tick. They like the internet? Tick. They like to consume as-current-as-it-gets blog content in preference to celeb-phone-hacked-detritus? Tick. Let’s do it then! I’ll learn the rest about you on the plane.”

While there are currently only a few communities listed, Planely allows users to suggest other communities they’d like added. Planely still requires a little forward planning on behalf of users if you actually want to sit next to any matches it finds for you, but the Denmark-based startup hopes to work with airlines in the future to make this easier.

So, if you’re a Planely user and a The Next Web reader, mark yourself as such on your profile and who knows, next time you fly you could be chatting about the latest technology with a likeminded person rather than someone who wishes you’d just put that laptop or iPad away.

Categories: Facebook

Directly import your Instagram photos into a Facebook album with InstaFB

The Next Web - Facebook-tagged - Fri, 22/07/2011 - 8:52am

If you’ve been looking for a quick and easy way to share your photos with your friends, the newly launched makes it easier than ever.

By connecting both your Facebook and Instagram accounts to the service, you can do a quick import of all of your existing Instagram photos in one go, into a specially created Facebook album.

As easy as the process is, Instafb can only import a maximum of 50 of your Instagram photos for now. But, once your accounts are connected, anytime you share a new photo on Instagram it will be automatically added to your album on Facebook, keeping the two accounts constantly in sync.

Instagram does let you share your photos automatically with your Facebook friends, but the native method is certainly lacking in comparison to InstaFB.  Instead of just sticking the photo as a link on your wall, all of your Instagram photos are available in one individual album, where you can also tag friends who are in the photos.

While Instagram doesn’t give users a web interface to interact, there are a lot of alternatives like Inkstagram, which make it easy to interact with other people who use the app. InstaFB is great for those of you looking for a way to share your Instagram photos with all of your Facebook friends, regardless of whether or not they use the app.

Categories: Facebook

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