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This week in Social Media: Tumblr introduces $25,000 ads, Facebook wants to save lives and more

The Next Web - Facebook-tagged - 3 hours 53 min ago

It’s that time of week again when we take a look at the latest social media news, and highlight some of the biggest and most interesting stories.

Facebook: All your headlines are belong to us

It’s been a busy week of Facebook headlines, with everything from new features, spam filter snafus, and more inevitable IPO news.

The most recent story hasn’t been in Facebook’s favour, with Robert Scoble coming with Facebook’s unfortunately worded spam filter message, which in any other context can be perceived as blatant censorship.

After an initial wave of speculation and criticism, Facebook explained what was going on, telling Scoble that his comment was incorrectly classified as spam. Scoble wrote:

Turns out that my comment was blocked by Facebook’s spam classification filters and that it wasn’t blocked for what the comment said, but rather because of something unique to that message. They are looking more into it and will let me know more later, after they figure out what triggered it. Their thesis is that my comment triggered it for a few reasons:

1. I’m subscribed to @max.woolf  and am not a friend of his in the system. That means that the spam classification system treats comments more strictly than if we were friends.

2. My comment included three @ links. That probably is what triggered the spam classification system.

3. There might have been other things about the comment that triggered the spam system.

The PR official I talked with told me that the spam classification system has tons of algorithms that try to keep you from posting low-value comments, particularly to public accounts (er, people who have turned on subscriptions here on Facebook).

While Facebook openly admits that it was all a mistake, the wording of the message leaves a pretty bad taste in our mouths. If messages are being blocked because of spam, say that. Don’t call it “irrelevant or inappropriate” content because that still sounds like censorship to us.

Earlier in the week, Facebook was firmly focused on a brand new ‘life-saving’ feature which Mark Zuckerberg hinted at during an interview on ABC’s Good Morning America.

As it turns out, it was introducing the option to share your organ donor status on your Facebook Timeline. Facebook explained the new feature:

With the addition of “organ donor” to the Life Events section of timeline, you can state your intention to become an organ donor, and share your story about when, where or why you decided to become a donor. If you are not officially registered as an organ donor, .

Zuckerberg gave ABC a little bit of insight into where the idea came from, citing conversations with his girlfriend, Priscilla Chan, who also happens to be a student pediatrician, as part of his inspiration.

He also touched upon the effect a liver transplant had on Steve Job’s health, saying “That definitely, I think, was something that we all had in mind as we were building this out… His story is just one of many, of people who both were able to have an organ transplant that made his life longer and he was extremely thankful for that.”

So how much sway does Facebook have over encouraging its users to become organ donors? As far as its California-based users are concerned, Facebook is apparently quite influential. Organ donor registration in California saw an 800% increase thanks to Facebook.

In addition to introducing Facebook’s organ donor feature, Simply Zesty points to the huge overhaul that the Facebook newsfeed has witnessed, and what it means for the end user.

The social network has also introduced ‘action links’ to interact with your favourite apps. So what does that mean? With Foursquare, for example, users can now save places to their accounts from a Facebook Timeline post. With Fab, users can add products to their favourites from the comfort of Facebook.

The feature offers app developers an easy and quick way to drive traffic to their own sites, and is probably one of the many reasons that Facebook’s Open Graph might be its most valuable asset. Open Graph has led to a 50% % increase in traffic and 90% increase in daily registrations for Kobo, and while that’s obviously great news for Kobo, it’s even better news for Facebook.

As developers see results from integration Facebook’s Open Graph with their products, more are sure to follow suit, and we could easily find Facebook deeply embedded in a huge variety of services, and by extension, a huge part of our lives.

As Facebook continues to connect with more services, users do have to understand how much information they are (or aren’t) sharing publicly. A recent study by Consumer Reports showed that as many as 13 million US Facebook users have never used or don’t understand Facebook’s privacy settings.

Looking at the kinds of information that Consumer Reports was able to access, there’s far too much personal information floating around online:

  • 39.3 million identified a family member in a profile
  • 20.4 million included their birth date and year in their profile
  • 7.7 million “liked” a Facebook page pertaining to a religious affiliation
  • 4.6 million discussed their love life on their wall
  • 2.6 million discussed their recreational use of alcohol on their wall
  • 2.3 million “liked” a page regarding sexual orientation

Facebook has also made headlines this week with another major purchase, buying location app Glancee, and has begun to to roll out filters to its mobile apps, with the changes seen in .

The final bit of Facebook news we’re going to take a look at today involves the long awaited IPO, with the Wall Street Journal sharing some details.

According to the WSJ, Facebook will go public at a valuation of $85 to $95 billion, pricing the company’s stock around the high 20s to mid 30s, and expects to raise around $5 billion in the offering.

Twitter introduces subtle UI changes, upgrades the Discover Tab

Twitter has introduced some subtle but significant changes over the past week. The first change came to the Discover Tab, with Twitter making it far more personal and far more useful.

Introducing significant and contextual changes to the Discover tab, Twitter said:

The Discover tab’s new design shows who tweeted about particular stories. You can click “View Tweets” on any story to see popular Tweets from your network or recent, relevant Tweets directly below the story summary. This social context helps you understand why each story matters to you and makes it easier to join the conversation. You can reply, retweet or favorite these Tweets, or you can “Tweet this story” to share your own perspective.

The next day, Twitter introduced additional, but far more , after which Twitter .

The big Twitter rumour this week is that, in a knee jerk reaction, the microblogging service considered buying popular iPhone camera app, Camera+.

According to Bloomberg, Twitter execs, led by Jack Dorsey, met with Camera+ developer Tap Tap Tap, but the deal was quick to fall through due to a relocation issue, with the majority of the company’s staff based in Austria, New Zealand and Spain.

Twitter also recently teamed up with the University of California Berkley to develop and teach a class about analyzing big data. The course description reads:

How to store, process, analyze and make sense of Big Data is of increasing interest and importance to technology companies, a wide range of industries, and academic institutions. In this course, UC Berkeley professors and Twitter engineers will lecture on the most cutting-edge algorithms and software tools for data analytics as applied to Twitter microblog data.

Tumblr introduces its first ads, with a $25,000 price tag

Tumblr has introduced its first Sponsor products, giving advertisers the chance to get featured in Tumblr’s Radar and Spotlight sections.

According to the blogging platform, Tumblr Radar receives 120 million daily impressions, while Tumblr Spotlight, where users are featured, reportedly drives tens of millions of follows each week.

Tumblr had already hinted at its monetization plans, despite the fact that Tumblr founder David Karp had been very publicly against the concept of advertising. In his defense, Tumblr has worked hard to ensure that advertising is seamlessly integrated into the overall blogging experience.

The ads have been priced starting at $25,000, which has led some to question whether or not that’s a viable pricing point for Tumblr, pointing to the fact that Twitter’s starting point is a lower $15,000.

New York introduces social media rules for its teachers

Ars Technica reports that New York City’s Department of Education has introduced a set of guidelines for teachers to adhere to when it comes to their social media use, while making an important distinction between personal and professional accounts.

While the city encourages social media use in the classroom, it’s not without a strict set of rules, which don’t stray too far from the existing set of offline guidelines.

While the same common sense applied to an offline relationship is expected to be brought to an online one, a huge difference is the fact that the latter will be monitored. Teachers have been told that they should have “no expectation of privacy”, and teachers must provide administrators and officials with access to these professional accounts.

➤ Keep up with our weekly updates here, and don’t forget to follow The Next Web’s social media posts on  and .

Categories: Facebook

Think You Deserve To Be Called a CEO?

TechCrunch - Facebook-tagged - 5 hours 55 min ago

Editor’s note: Alexander Haislip is a marketing executive with cloud-based server automation startup ScaleXtreme and the author of . Follow him on

Congratulations. You’re the CEO of a startup. You’re doing the hardest job in business. You’ve raised money from venture capitalists and turned down better-paying jobs elsewhere. You’ve mastered complicated things such as capitalization tables and common things, such as payroll. You’ve fought with competitors, coworkers, friends and even yourself without losing your way or your wits. You’ve inspired others to work beside you each day to make your dream a reality. I salute you.

Now, everybody else calling himself or herself a CEO—listen up, this is for you: stop it. Just stop calling yourself a CEO.

Stop putting “CEO” on the business cards you printed last week at Moo.com for YourLastName Consulting LLC. Take it off your LinkedIn page. Remove it from the résumé you’re passing around in hopes of getting hired. Self-titling as CEO is an atonal homage to structurally mandated social hierarchies, not a statement of your iconoclastic self-determination.

Maybe it’s generational.  read: “Vice President, New Product Development,” in part because he recognized he didn’t have the skills to run the company he wanted to build. At least not yet. Bill Gates went with the classic and somewhat understated “President.” But today’s tech titans have opted for something much more conspicuous. If you were one of the folks to get an early Mark Zuckerberg card, you may remember the supercilious line: “I’m CEO, Bitch.” Way to stay classy, Zuck.

Facebook aside, title inflation is bad for business. Calling yourself the CEO will label you as either an egoist or someone with confidence compensation issues. That will make people less willing to work with you or help you. Taking the top title in a company also suggests a limited vision of what your company can become. Ask yourself: would you still be CEO if it were a $100 billion business or would you require what’s euphemistically called “adult supervision?”

So stop pretending to have attained a title you didn’t earn and start doing what you need to do to get to where you want to be. Here’s how:

Attract Awesome People

Jobs had Wozniak and later, MarkkulaClark had Andreessen. McNeally had Bechtolsheim, Joy and Khosla. A remarkable CEO should be like the moon, illuminated by the reflected light of all the stars he or she has brought into orbit. Awesome people act as accelerants to whatever you’re doing. They push ideas forward, execute with aplomb and challenge you to new heights.

If you can hire, hire. If you can’t hire, bring them into your orbit as advisors, friends and fellow travelers. Get them to invest their creativity and energy.

To get the true benefits of awesome people, focus on diversity. You want to have as many different perspectives on a problem as you possibly can, so bring on the best people from as wide array of backgrounds and from different generations. They’ll learn from each other and the confluence of their experiences will be the basis of company creativity for years to come.

Most importantly, attracting awesome people to your company precludes retreat. You carry too valuable a cargo of energy and confidence invested by others to turn back.

Build an Experience, Not a Product

 of the minimally viable product (MVP) front and center in the minds of Silicon Valley startups. But this focus is somewhat misguided. Products give you utility and then may be discarded. Products are the one-night stands of business. Experiences give you memories and good experiences will bring you back for more, it engenders a long-term relationship. The best CEOs know this instinctively and do all that they can to create and cultivate an attractive experience for their customers.

Once you’ve got a good experience, cement it with the bond of buying. A funny thing happens when people buy your product: they invest their energy into the choice and will find reasons to justify their action. In the early days of Apple, customers loved their computers because they had to pay a boatload of money for them. They found aspects of the experience they could rave about just to justify their purchase to others.

That price tag is valuable to you too. It focuses the mind tremendously and forces you to deliver a unique and memorable experience of real value. When you offer a product for free, you aren’t forced to justify your existence to customers or show a useful benefit. That’s why we see half a dozen Instagram clones.

A CEO doesn’t market a product to users. A CEO sells an experience to customers.

Learn Finance

If you wanted to be a rock star, you’d have to learn to read music and if you wanted to be an award-winning novelist, you’d have to learn basic grammar. It should not come as a surprise that if you want to be the CEO of a business you should learn finance. Yet we regularly see founders blowing off finance or outsourcing major financial decisions to hired guns.

There’s no secret to learning finance. There are plenty of good books that can take you through the basics of accounting up to the execution of liquidity preferences under preferred stock agreements. Interview friends that have run their own companies, worked in banking or had P&L experience for a division in a larger company. Start using QuickBooks. Today it’s easy to find help online from corporate finance communities such as Proformative.

For startups, there’s one important financial metric that matters more than any other: months left to live given your current burn rate. Real CEOs know this number and manage it religiously.

Define a Big Goal and Take Small Steps

Plenty of wannabe Silicon Valley CEOs have read Jim Collins and will tell you about their BHAG (That’s their Big, Hairy, Audacious Goal). They’ll tell you that they want to revolutionize the datacenter, or change the face of mobile payments, or create a new paradigm for social sharing, or something equally nebulous. That’s great. But it’s the ability to both set that goal and show how you’re going to achieve it that marks a real CEO.

Successful CEOs balance aspirations with operations. They focus on things that can be done today to secure customers and growth over time—not on the title they put on their business cards.

Categories: Facebook

Inside Facebook - Sat, 05/05/2012 - 8:00pm

The Inside Network Job Board is dedicated to providing you with the best job opportunities across social and mobile application platforms. Here are this week’s highlights from the Inside Network Job Board, including positions at: Sociable LabsFiveonenine GamesSponsorPay,  Machine ZoneKing.comKixeyePopCap Games, Ryzing,GameHouseIMVU, Nuukster, KobojoSneaky GamesCircle of Moms and SoJo Studios.

Listings on the Inside Network Job Board are distributed to readers of Inside Social Games, Inside Facebook and Inside Mobile Apps through regular posts and widgets on the sites. Your open positions are being seen by the leading developers, product managers, marketers, designers and executives in the Facebook Platform and social gaming industry today.

Categories: Facebook

If Facebook Could Enter China, Here Are Some Of The Hurdles

TechCrunch - Facebook-tagged - Sat, 05/05/2012 - 8:00pm

Editor’s note: Henry Fong is CEO of Yodo1. Yodo1 is a market entry specialist and full service technology provider helping Western game developers successfully gain traction in the China mobile games market.

Mark Zuckerberg’s visit to China back in December 2011 created a storm of speculation on whether Facebook was preparing for a full scale entry into the most populous country in the world. Photos of Zuckerberg visiting Sina’s headquarters in Beijing, leaked by a Sina employee and reports of him meeting with other major Chinese Internet companies such as Baidu and Alibaba have further fueled rumors that Facebook is looking for a local partner to facilitate its China entry.

Putting aside the rumors and speculation, there is little doubt that Facebook is looking for a way to enter the China market and the real questions lie not in the “if,” but rather the “how,” “when” and whether Facebook will be able to make a success of their China market entry when countless other western Internet juggernauts have bruised and battered themselves against the Great firewall of China.

License and Registration Number Please…

For Internet companies, the “rules” for playing in the China market are many and varied, the most basic of which includes the acquisition of an ICP (Internet Content Provider) license which only a local Chinese company can obtain. There are many ways and mechanisms via which Western companies can obtain this license, or at least obtain the rights to use it, the most popular of which is in the form of a set of Variable Interest Entity (VIE) agreements and structures. This mechanism is used by most of the local Chinese Internet companies that are listed overseas (hence making them non-local companies) and a good article explaining how VIE’s work in detail can be found , compliments of the China Accounting Blog.

Besides the ICP, a broad based Social Network platform such as Facebook will require a whole bundle of other licenses based on different core functionality including but not limited to a Network Culture Operation License, which is required for all gaming platform operators. Also needed, an Internet Publication License, a requirement for video and photo sharing services, Payment Service Operator license required for Facebook’s credits service and likely dozens of other licenses from a multitude of different government departments including:

  • General Administration of Press and Publication (GAPP)
  • People’s Bank of China (PBoC)
  • Ministry of Culture of the PRC
  • The Information Office of the State Council of PRC
  • The State Administration of Radio Film and Television
  • The Ministry of Information Industry

To put things into perspective, here’s an example of the licenses that were obtained by a video broadcasting company operating in China and the scope of services provided by them is but a fraction of the services available on the Facebook platform.

Rewriting the Book of China Entry or Same Book Different Chapter?

Facebook’s formidable war chest of cash and equity value from their impending IPO provides alternatives for obtaining the relevant operating licenses through acquisition of local Chinese companies that already have them. However, this seemingly obvious path to a quicker China entry poses many other challenges, and one look at the trail of failed market entries by other leading Western Internet companies certainly paints an unfavorable picture.

To provide perspective, let’s take a look at the China eCommerce space to get a feel of the challenges for leading Western players entering into China. eBay and Amazon have both tried their hand at the buy vs build approach to enter the market thru their respective acquisitions of Eachnet and Joyo.  Amazon’s entry into China though unimpressive, can be categorized as a “success” on relative measures if you compare them against that of eBay, arguably the most high profile and widely published “failed” China entry in the Internet space. After eBay’s 2003 acquisition of EachNet, then the leading B2C provider in China, eBay successfully eroded EachNet’s user base and leadership position into a blip on the radar screen and handed China’s B2C market to Jack Ma’s Taobao. This market has now grown over 100 times in transaction volume since eBay’s initial entry in 2003.

The reasons for eBay’s China failure are many and varied, but there are a number of relevant chapters from “eBay’s book of disasters” that Facebook can learn from in hopes of avoiding a similar fate. Chief among eBay’s fatal errors is that they failed to understand what the Chinese consumer really wanted from a B2C service, focusing instead on replicating their global model that had proven successful in Western markets to the Chinese community who’s shopping behavior, culture, product needs and purchasing power were extremely different to that of their Western counterparts.  Concurrently, Jack Ma launched his B2C offensive with Taobao, a services that provided free listings with content and navigation tailored to the tastes of the local consumer. Today, Taobao is by far the dominant player in the B2C space and processes 79% of China’s online transaction value.

Fight for Past or Fight for the Future?  Some Food for thought for Zuckerberg.

Some would argue that the war for dominance of Social Networking in China has already been fought and won, with major players such as Tencent, Sina and RenRen each claiming a significant slice of the Social Networking market, each leading in terms of specific demographics, features or access methods. The challenge for Facebook is that its broad platform of functionality competes directly and extensively with each of the above existing leaders in the market, though less so with Sina whose primary social asset is the Sina weibo services which is more competitive to a Twitter offering than a Facebook.

Before deciding how Facebook should enter the Chinese market, a more relevant consideration for Zuckerberg is what markets does Facebook want to compete on in China. Given the plethora of regulatory challenges and the steep learning curve that the company is likely to face, it might make more sense for Facebook to choose a new battle ground that has yet to see an entrenched player in the market, but is significant enough that success in this area would provide a significant footprint for Facebook to leverage its other services into the region.

One such market that might make sense for Facebook to target is the market for smartphone services. China already has the largest install base of smartphone handsets in the world with an estimated 100m units and projected doubling of unit shipments by the end of 2012. The battle for this rapidly growing access method has already started with Sina and Tencent duking it out via their respective mobile Weibo (microblogging) services and RenRen’s initiative to expand their traditional Social and gaming services onto the smartphone platforms.  Facebook’s recent acquisition of Instagram provides an opportunity to leverage the app’s popularity among Chinese users as a potential route for a broader Facebook market entry in a way that is relatively non-threatening to Instagram’s Chinese partners such as Sina, whose social features are well integrated into the Chinese version of the app.

At a macro level, the opportunity to dominant China’s smartphone market is HUGE, much bigger than what Instagram can provide today and potentially dwarfing the existing web-based social networking market in the coming years. Facebook and other players in the market have an opportunity against a limited time window to make a significant impact in this space where mobile social networking, smartphone payment methods, gaming and a number of other billion dollar plus markets are still in its infancy. What’s more, the smartphone platform war is an area that Facebook has yet to make a significant impact on in its home markets. The Chinese market can be a great way to experiment with new mobile services and business models quickly and cheaply in a market where there is only upside potential for Facebook.


Categories: Facebook

Facebook Likes Just Got Cray Cray

TechCrunch - Facebook-tagged - Sat, 05/05/2012 - 5:02am

In light of its impending multi-billion-dollar IPO, its user base of 900 million and its increasingly sprawling design and user experience, some people have come to believe that Facebook has gone crazy. Excuse me, “cray cray.”

What’s more, even though it’s only two-odd years old, Facebook’s “Like” button is now ubiquitous on the Webs. But with how quickly these young people are picking up new technology these days, let’s be honest, “Liking” things is for old people. Everyone else has moved on.

That’s why Ben Schaechter, Sam Grossberg, and Paul Kompfner have coded up a new Chrome extension, which went live this evening, called CrayBook. (.) Watching a FB photo montage of your former classmates having kids, and your brother’s cat traveling in nicer clothes than yours across Europe, can be depressing. So the three engineers have designed an extension that turns every instance of the “Like” button on your Facebook account into “Dat Sh*t Cray.”

Sometimes liking something just isn’t good enough. We need more accurate ways to express ourselves in this cray world we’re livin’ in. And, if anything, hipsters have taught us that emotions, which include but are not limited to “liking” and “loving,” are pretty lame.

As for the masterminds behind CrayBook, they’re better known as the guys responsible for GoPollGo, the venture-backed realtime polling tool that lets individuals, brands and companies get feedback from their followers. Schaechter, for one, was an engineer at TechCrunch, before heeding the Entrepreneurial Call.

Now, because CrayBook is a free extension, we’re all pretty worried about how the team is going to be monetizing this brick of gold. Luckily, Schaechter jokes that the team is “seeking a seed round of greater than or equal to 40 million,” (watch out Color, deez guyz be cray), so that they can bring the extension to Firefox and Safari. And maybe one day IE, but that just sounds, well, supa cray.

It also appears that there’s been a huge spike in search volume for which may be emanating purely from my IP, or it could mean there are others out there who aren’t afraid to throw open their shades, open their windows, and shout to the world, “I’m a human being, goddammit, and

Hopefully, next we’ll see CrayBook move to Twitter (“TwitCray”?) to take on the “Favorite” button. After all, Favorite-ing is really just a way of saying “like hey these tweets make me ROFL,” and really how useful is that? It’s not, it’s cray.

CrayBook is stepping up to the plate, and it should be exciting to see who’s next. Or whether Facebook throws a C&D at them. But, even if they do, it’s a risk worth taking, Schaechter says. “The market was there, and all we had to do was capitalize on it.” The biggest problem? It doesn’t change “Like” buttons on other sites. If it’s possible, hopefully it will be in the works.

True dat. Find CrayBook/Github here.

Categories: Facebook

Inside Facebook - Sat, 05/05/2012 - 4:09am

Facebook today closed a deal to acquire Glancee, an ambient mobile location app that alerts users when people with similar interests are nearby, according to an announcement on Glancee’s website.

Co-founders of the San Francisco-based startup — Andrea Vaccari, Alberto Tretti and Gabriel Grise — will join Facebook, but other terms of the deal were not disclosed. Glancee has already been removed from the Apple App Store.

This is the social network’s third mobile acquisition since filing for an initial public offering. The company bought mobile photo sharing app  and mobile loyalty startup  within a single week in April. These, along with the six mobile acquisitions made , signal that Facebook wants to bring top mobile talent and technology to its company.

Glancee’s iPhone app let users sign in with Facebook, and then it would show users other people who have things in common with them within a certain radius. The app had 20,000 monthly active and 3,000 daily active Facebook-connected users, according to our AppData tracking service. Its competitor, Highlight, has 80,000 MAU and 9,000 DAU.

Unlike Instagram, which is continuing as a standalone application under its own name, Glancee could evolve into a Facebook-branded app or become part of the mobile Messenger app, which already shares a person’s location. Messenger, as it happens, is the  of Facebook’s acquisition of group messaging app Beluga .

Facebook’s main iOS and Android app will send users a push notification when one of their friends checks into a place nearby, but this does not seem to happen when a user simply tags a location in a photo or status, so most users rarely get these alerts or even know the feature exists.


Categories: Facebook

Inside Facebook - Sat, 05/05/2012 - 2:00am

iOS and Android Messenger app gets update - Facebook’s standalone mobile Messenger app got an update today so users can now see whether their messages were received and more quickly see the location from which a message was sent. Image via Techcrunch

Facebook Messenger for iPad, video chat for iPhone in development - 9to5Mac says a source provided the site with access to an upcoming Facebook Messenger app for iPad and a version of the iPhone app with video chat features.

Facebook introduces Open Rack - Facebook introduced a new open source server design Wednesday called Open Rack. Part of the company’s “Open Compute Project,” Open Rack is meant to increase efficiency in Facebook’s data centers, the entire design of which is open sourced so others can model after it or improve upon it.

Facebook joins GNI with unique status – Facebook has joined the Global Network Initiative as an observer, Fast Company reports. The GNI is a consortium of institutions that monitor Internet firms on issues of free speech and human rights. As an “observer,” the company does not have to submit to auditing. It is the first company to have this special status.

Facebook’s first buy rating – Facebook its first buy rating from Wedbush Securities Inc. this week, with a target price of $44. That’s well above the $28 to $35 range Facebook earlier this week.

Like button is not protected speech – A federal judge in Virginia ruled this week that Liking something on Facebook was not tantamount to speech protected under the First Amendment.

FBI lobbying for Facebook backdoor – Wired reports that the FBI has been lobbying Facebook, as well as other companies like Yahoo and Google, to give them backdoor government access to their platforms for wiretapping.

Googles Ordr.in launches Timeline integration – Google Ventures’ Ordr.in became the first restaurant commerce app to integrate Facebook Open Graph. Users of the app can order from a restaurant and share their activity to Facebook timeline using the new actions “crave” and “eat.”

U.K. bouncers identifying patrons via Facebook – Bouncers in some U.K. bars are asking patrons for their smartphones to compare IDs to Facebook profiles in order to guard against fake IDs.

Roadwire wins Facebook Small Business Boost contest - Roadwire, an automotive aftermarket manufacturer and distributor based in Austin, Texas, won the Facebook  that rewarded companies that added the most new fans in a given period. Roadwire added over 125,000 fans in less than three months, and earned $10,000 in Facebook advertising as a prize.

Categories: Facebook

Inside Facebook - Fri, 04/05/2012 - 11:37pm

Facebook has been testing a that frames ad creation in easier-to-understand terms and simplifies the steps to starting a new campaign.

Now that we’ve had the opportunity to use the ad tool ourselves, we can see Facebook is making positive strides in creating a tool that small businesses and individuals can use effectively to create campaigns for their pages, apps and other content. However, we have some doubts about the new “objective” section. Targeting any objective besides clicks forces advertisers to pay on a cost per impression basis rather than bid on cost per click. It is unclear whether this an improvement, and we’ve heard mixed reviews from some advertisers who have tested the option.

What follows is a walkthrough of what it is like to create a campaign for a Facebook page using the new ad tool. Note that the tool is still in beta and some users might see different variations in design, phrasing or features.

Set up your ad or Sponsored Story

When users select “Create an ad” from their page’s Timeline or anywhere else on the site, the first thing they do is select the destination of the ad they want to run, whether its a page, an app or external URL. This is an improvement over the old design, which provided all of an advertiser’s options on a single page, which could be overwhelming for someone first considering making a campaign. However, , some users with the new format cannot yet create ads for their Facebook events.

What do you want to promote?

After users select their ad destination, Facebook asks “What do you want to promote?” When the ad destination is a page, advertisers can select the page itself or a specific post from the page. This is much clearer than the option in the old tool, which made users choose between the ambiguously named “Sponsored Stories” and “Facebook Ads.”

When advertisers indicated that they want to promote their page, not just a specific post, they see another two options: “A new ad about [your page]” or “Stories about their friends liking [your page].” The former presents fields for creating a traditional Facebook ad with an image and body copy. These ads can lead to third-party tab applications, if desired.

When advertisers choose the latter option, they create Sponsored Stories, which will show the name of the page and a thumbnail of its profile photo, along with the name and photo of a friend who Likes the page. There is no additional customization available for this type of ad.

When advertisers decide they want to promote a specific page post, they get a drop-down menu of recent posts that can be used in ads. After selecting a post, advertisers can select whether they want to promote the post itself or promote stories about friends who Like the given post. Facebook could provide more explanation about the differences between these types of ads, for example, in terms of reach and placement. The second option, which Facebook sometimes calls Page-Post Like Sponsored Stories, have a smaller potential audience because Facebook won’t show the ad to users unless they have a friend who engaged with the post. However, these ads are eligible to run in News Feed, whereas a specific page post ad will never appear in News Feed for non-fans.

Choose your audience

The next step after choosing any of those four ad types is defining an audience. The demographic targeting is the same as it was in the old tool, but now advertisers can target precise interests and broad categories at the same time. Previously, advertisers could only choose one or the other. Now, for example, an advertiser can target the broad category of Hispanics and then refine that target to only those who are interested in Barack Obama.


Next up is the “Objective” section where advertisers select whether they want the ad shown to people who are most likely to click on their ads or take an action such as Liking a page. The old ad tool did not have a feature like this. When advertisers choose “click on my ad or sponsored story,” they will then be asked for a cost per click bid.

However, when advertisers choose “Like my page,” Facebook removes the CPC option and requires them to pay by impression. There is no bidding involved. Supposedly, Facebook will change who it shows an ad to based on the action, advertisers select, but it’s unclear how much of a difference this makes in an ad’s outcome. Although some less experienced advertisers might prefer not to have to deal with bidding for clicks, others will see this option as giving them less control and requiring more monitoring to optimize their ad performance.

Categories: Facebook

All Facebook - Fri, 04/05/2012 - 11:36pm

Facebook’s May 18 hasn’t slowed its , as the social network gobbled up location-based mobile application Glancee for an undisclosed amount.

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Categories: Facebook

J.P. Morgan flies Facebook’s flag high in front of its offices, but maybe too high

The Next Web - Facebook-tagged - Fri, 04/05/2012 - 9:10pm

One eagle-eyed Instagrammer, moorehn, snapped a picture of Facebook’s flag flying high and proud outside of the offices of J.P. Morgan.

Clearly, someone’s excited about Facebook’s upcoming IPO:

Facebook flag in front of JP Morgan.

— Heidi N. Moore (@moorehn)

A few of us here at The Next Web are wondering if the Facebook flag is flying higher than the US flag, which of course would violate some sort of code. Well, this one to be exact:

United States Code. Title 4, Chapter 1

No other flag or pennant should be placed above or, if on the same level, to the right of the flag of the United States of America, except during church services conducted by naval chaplains at sea, when the church pennant may be flown above the flag during church services for the personnel of the Navy. No person shall display the flag of the United Nations or any other national or international flag equal, above, or in a position of superior prominence or honor to, or in place of, the flag of the United States at any place within the United States or any Territory or possession thereof: Provided, That nothing in this section shall make unlawful the continuance of the practice heretofore followed of displaying the flag of the United Nations in a position of superior prominence or honor, and other national flags in positions of equal prominence or honor, with that of the flag of the United States at the headquarters of the United Nations.

It’s not like we live in the “United States of Facebook”. Or do we?

Categories: Facebook

Inside Facebook - Fri, 04/05/2012 - 8:23pm

Static HTML: iFrame Tabs — a utility for page owners to customize their pages with landing tabs and applications — has fallen to No. 2 on the AppData chart for top applications by monthly active users after more than 6 months at No. 1.

The app lost its position on Thursday, leaving room for Yahoo Social Bar to take the lead. The two were tied on Wednesday with 42 million MAU, but Yahoo still doesn’t have quite as many users as Static HTML did on Tuesday.

Across the board, page tab applications like those from Thunderpenny, Woobox and a number of , are losing users more quickly than they ever gained them. Open Graph applications, like Yahoo Social Bar, are among the fastest growing and top overall applications by monthly active users. This is a trend we expect to continue over the course of the year until Facebook at some point eliminates page tabs completely.

The Thunderpenny-developed Static HTML app lost about half of its monthly active users since Facebook widely implemented and removed the default landing tab option in March. The app overtook CityVille and The Sims Social for the No. 1 spot on Oct. 16, 2011, with 61 million MAU. It grew to a peak of 89.7 million MAU on Feb. 14, but has since dropped to 41.2 million MAU, according to our AppData tracking service.

At the same time, Yahoo’s social reading integration has grown to 42.4 million MAU, largely because of the viral nature of Open Graph: stories automatically post to Timeline, Ticker and News Feed when users engage with the app. Because of the emphasis on News Feed discovery, Open Graph applications can regularly draw users back to their apps. Yahoo Social Bar also benefits from living off-Facebook. Yahoo can capitalize on the massive amounts of traffic it already has on its site.

In contrast, page tab applications are rarely discovered unless a page directs an ad campaign to the tab. These apps then struggle with re-engagement because users rarely return to fan pages after clicking Like. Another issue is that page tabs aren’t available on mobile devices, whereas many Open Graph apps are. For example, Yahoo has a mobile web app version of its social news reader, which Facebook says was getting 1.4 million visits a day .

Although Static HTML and other page tab apps still have millions of users today, we can only foresee their numbers continuing to fall. As mobile usage increases, the potential audience for these apps shrinks. There is also the growing trend of pages running Sponsored Stories and page-post ads, which unlike traditional Facebook ads, cannot lead directly to a tab application. We can imagine Facebook completely eliminating its traditional ad format within the next year or two. It could also do away with third-party page tab applications completely in favor of the Timeline activity box display it uses for personal profiles. Either way, it’s clear that Facebook believes in Open Graph as the future of its platform and developers will need to respond accordingly to maintain relevance moving forward.

[Updated 5/5/12 10:32 a.m. PT - It's also worth mentioning that MAU is calculated differently for Open Graph apps and tab apps. Users have to allow permissions for an Open Graph app to count as an active user, whereas anyone who visits a tab counts as active. This means tab applications likely report inflated MAU and keep them higher in the leaderboards, when their actual engagement is far less than that of a canvas or off-Facebook app.]

Categories: Facebook

Google and Facebook must wait until August to contest “objectionable content” case in India

The Next Web - Facebook-tagged - Fri, 04/05/2012 - 7:50pm

Google and Facebook must wait until August before they are able to challenge an Indian legal case accusing them of failing to adequately remove objectionable content in the country, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The New Delhi High Court handling the case has adjourned the firms’ petition until August, but it will allow a lower court trial to take place May 23, the outcome of which could see the companies’ Indian executives handed a fine, or possible jail time.

The case was started when veteran technology writer Vinay Rai lodged a criminal complaint against 21 firms for failing to remove “objectionable content” from Indian cyberspace. Rai cited anti-religious content and objectionable images of politicians and other officials as the offending content.

A series of court hearings saw Microsoft, Yahoo and others acquitted, but the charges remain against Facebook and Google-owned YouTube. Though the content in question has since been removed, the case has rumbled on, centered around whether the Web giants breached censorship rules which form part of a 2008 IT law.

The regulations stipulate that Internet sites have 36 hours to remove sensitive content, which includes anything “ethnically objectionable”, “grossly harmful”, “defamatory” or “blasphemous.” Rai says that he filed the case because the “social networking giants need to recognize their social responsibility” in India.

Facebook and Google revealed in February that they had already deleted the content and they have both consistently claimed that their existing systems, which block locally sensitive content in countries, are suitably robust for India.

The case itself was filed during a controversial period, during which a separate series of events saw technology minister Kapil Sibal propose new content management systems to a number of popular overseas social media firms.

Sibal was reported to have requested the social media sites filter users’ content in real-time, however he subsequently denied making the request, claiming he was misquoted. He did, however, concede that a new system is needed in India, and revealed that the government would reach out to Web firms to find a resolution to the issue.

With comparisons to China circulting, government ministers spoke out to reassure concerned Indians that it not looking to censor the Web nor shut down social media sites.However, the flames of controversy were fanned when a local court ordered Facebook and Google to remove content, while a national court later claimed that authorities would not hestitate to introduce Chinese-style censorship if they failed to act.

Facebook, Google and other Internet companies could face other pressure in India however, with rumours suggested that the government is looking into the possibility of requiring them to set-up dedicated local servers to manage users and content in the country.

Yesterday we reported that some ISPs were restricting access to Vimeo and some torrent sites, and the country’s issues dealing with the overlap of free speech and undesired content continues.

We’ve reached out to Google and Facebook for comment on the adjournment of the legal case, and will update this post with any new details.

Categories: Facebook

All Facebook - Fri, 04/05/2012 - 7:40pm

While the importance of for brands on Facebook has diminished in favor of engagement, Facebook users are people, and people like to be liked, don’t they?

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Categories: Facebook

Facebook and Google dominate 76% of social logins, according to Janrain study

The Next Web - Facebook-tagged - Fri, 04/05/2012 - 7:05pm

Logging in through the likes of Facebook, Twitter and Google may be the easiest way to connect to 3rd party sites across the Web. Sure, it means we’re forfeiting heaps of data, but that hasn’t stopped the trend from nearly killing the traditional login process in just a few years.

Following this trend, Janrain has released a study powered by its Engage tool, which analyzed some 365,000 sites. Overall, Janrain found that Facebook accounted for 45% of social logins, while Google came in at 31%. Yahoo and Twitter collectively hold an 18% share of social logins, while LinkedIn, Myspace and a number of other sites account for the remaining 3%.

Janrain notes that “Facebook’s popularity for social login on eCommerce websites has declined moderately from 49% to 43% during the past two quarters. Despite the decrease, it still enjoys significant popularity, which can be partially explained by the explosion of social commerce during the past year. Yahoo!’s share of social logins on retail sites has plummeted since 2009, mostly due to Google and Facebook.”

Perhaps thanks to Google+, overall preference for Google has increased 2% since Q4 2011. As far as mobile apps go, Twitter has seen some strong growth, likely due to its iOS 5 integration.

As for actual sharing, Twitter continues to be the only network with a chance at fighting Facebook for the #1 spot. LinkedIn, Myspace and Yahoo follow, holding the #3, #4 and #5 spots respectively, far off in the distance.

These stats aren’t particularly surprising, but it’s nice to see some actual numbers showing what’s happening, as they can help us predict the growth and decline of networks over time. We’ll keep a close eye on these numbers for future trends, as should anyone interested in this space.

Categories: Facebook

All Facebook - Fri, 04/05/2012 - 6:47pm

is the birthplace of Facebook, and, according to research from Online Universities, the Crimson also dominate the Ivy League in terms of Facebook and , with more than 10 times the likes of runner-up .

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Categories: Facebook

Brazil overtakes India to become the second biggest country on Facebook

The Next Web - Facebook-tagged - Fri, 04/05/2012 - 6:03pm

Brazil has overtaken India as the second biggest country on Facebook, SocialBakers reports. According to the social media analytics firm, the country now has over 46m Facebook users, a 22% increase over the last three months:

To explain this growth, SocialBakers suggests that “Brazil owes its success [on Facebook] to brands building high social awareness and a proactive and creative approach in gaining more fans” – especially in the FMCG, alcohol, beauty and fashion sectors.

While Brazil and India have been in a battle for the second position for quite a long time, this is still a noteworthy milestone, in a country where Google’s first social network Orkut remained the undisputed leader until Facebook overtook it last January.

One thing is for sure, some companies anticipated this shift better than others. For instance, the Brazilian gaming startup O2 Games decided as early as in January 2011 to favor Facebook over Orkut. According to its founder , O2 Games’ decision to stop developing games for Orkut was based on several factors. First, the companies that were part of Orkut’s ecosystem at the time were less professional, he says. For instance, advanced metrics are available for Facebook, while it takes much more time to get similar data for Orkut.

Metrics are particularly crucial for a startup like O2 Games, which needs to keep track of conversion rates. In that respect, Facebook performs much better than Orkut, Coquieri explains. His conclusion is backed with data; before taking its decision to leave Orkut, O2 Games had made the same app available on both social networks. The difference was very clear: about 100/20. According to Coquieri, this is likely related to the demographics of each platform; the Brazilian upper class joined Facebook earlier than the working class, which means that the average user revenue is lower on Orkut.

More generally, recent figures seem to show that the migration from Orkut to Facebook is becoming a general trend in Brazil. While Orkut still has over 30m members, its influence across all regions and social classes is declining. As we reported, this may be a serious issue for Latin American gaming companies such as Vostu, which bet heavily on Google’s network and recently had to lay off a large number of its staff members.

In contrast, Facebook has been expanding considerably in Latin America, with a series of hires for its local offices. This is hardly a surprise, as the region represents one of the main reservoirs of growth that the social network needs to tap into if it wants to reach one billion members by August.

Categories: Facebook

Inside Facebook - Fri, 04/05/2012 - 5:28pm

Games dominated our list of emerging Facebook applications by monthly active users this week. Among the other applications were a document sharing service, Ustream’s livestreaming app, the Etsy integration and a French music site.

We define emerging applications as those that ended with between 100,000 and 1 million MAU in the past week. This week’s top apps grew from between 110,000 and 470,000 MAU, based on AppData, our data tracking service covering traffic growth for apps on Facebook.

Top Gainers This Week

Name MAU Gain Gain,% 1.   Buggle 910,000 +470,000 + 107% 2.   Docstoc.com 670,000 +390,000 + 139% 3.   Phrases 4 Fun 610,000 +300,000 + 97% 4.   Top Shot: The Game 480,000 +220,000 + 85% 5.   Armies of Magic 760,000 +210,000 + 38% 6.   Static HTML… [Ninth Tab] 920,000 +190,000 + 26% 7.   Angry Words (Apalabrados) 870,000 +160,000 + 23% 8.   Send Gift 160,000 +159,980 + 799,900% 9.   The Hunger Games Adventures 970,000 +140,000 + 17% 10.   Mystic Ice Blast 170,000 +130,000 + 325% 11.   Ustream 880,000 +130,000 + 17% 12.   Etsy 350,000 +120,000 + 52% 13.   Hidden Adventures 290,000 +120,000 + 81% 14.   JumpIt 2: Dockyard Run 290,000 +120,000 + 71% 15.   Mirrorball Slots 970,000 +120,000 + 14% 16.   Plumet 2 250,000 +120,000 + 92% 17.   Tetris Stars 350,000 +120,000 + 52% 18.   الأبراج اليومية 840,000 +120,000 + 17% 19.   我的傳奇 900,000 +120,000 + 18% 20.   Beezik 160,000 +110,000 + 220%

Buggle by Cookapps topped our list of games, significantly outpacing others includeding Top Shot: The Game, Armies of Magic, The Hunger Games Adventures and Tetris Stars.

As mentioned, the filesharing site Docstoc.com, livestream app Ustream, Etsy app and French music site Beezik were popular; these all integrated Facebook sharing.

All data in this post comes from our traffic tracking service, AppData. Stay tuned next week for our look at the top weekly gainers by monthly active users on Monday, the top weekly gainers by daily active users on Wednesday, and the top emerging apps on Friday.

Categories: Facebook

All Facebook - Fri, 04/05/2012 - 3:01pm

The fifth to Facebook’s filing contained a warning that found 16 more patents that “may be relevant” to the it filed against Facebook in March.

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Categories: Facebook

All Facebook - Fri, 04/05/2012 - 2:21pm

This week, Ryzing is hiring an AS3 Flash developer, and IMVU is still looking for a senior program manager. Sojo Studios is seeking a mobile games lead, and Five One Nine Games is in need of a director of monetization. Get all the details on these opportunities below, and find additional just-posted gigs on mediabistro.com.

AS3 Flash Developer Ryzing (Philadelphia, PA)
Senior Program Manager IMVU (Mountain View, CA)
Mobile Games Lead Sojo Studios (New York, NY)
Director of Monetization Five One Nine Games (Durham, NC)
Co-Editor All (San Francisco, CA)

For more job listings, go to the Mediabistro job board, and to post a job, visit our employer page. For real-time openings and employment news, follow .

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

Categories: Facebook

Rovio now lets Angry Birds players embed levels on Facebook and websites with ‘Share & Play’

The Next Web - Facebook-tagged - Fri, 04/05/2012 - 2:13pm

In an attempt to expand Angry Birds further across the Internet, Rovio has today launched its new ‘Share & Play’ initiative, a widget that will allow its users to embed levels directly on their Facebook Timeline, blog or any webpage that its code.

The new widget will be compatible with any Facebook user’s feed and can be embedded on Tumblr, WordPress with the generation a small snippet of HTML code.

The website owner chooses to ‘Share’ a specific Angry Birds level and visitors will then be able to play the game, trying to beat their score. The widgets don’t support many in-game power-ups and other items found in the , but gamers can click through to play directly on the social network at any time.

For example:

It must be noted that an embedded level can only be generated from within the Facebook app. To share it, complete the level you wish to embed and hit the ‘Share’ button on the resulting score screen.

With millions of Internet users now owning a blog (whether it be a self-hosted solution or a hosted Tumblr or WordPress site), the new Share & Play feature will stimulate interaction and provide a little bit of light entertainment for visitors. Tying it all back to Facebook is clever, ensuring that everything remains as social as possible.

It seems people just can’t get enough of Angry Birds. Rovio’s new smartphone and tablet game — Angry Birds Space — hit 50 million downloads in 35 days, making it what the company believes is the fastest growing mobile game available today.

The game, which is available on iOS, Android and BlackBerry devices, as well as the Mac App Store and on PC, launched on March 22 and raced to 10 million downloadsin under three days, reaching 20 million in its first week.

Categories: Facebook
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