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Facebook News Feed Is Getting Faster, So I Made It This Tramp Stamp

TechCrunch - Facebook-tagged - Wed, 04/07/2012 - 1:01am

Facebook’s news feed is so slow to give you the goods, you could almost call it prude. But you’re about to get lucky. Now the feed will load faster, as it will be pulling in fewer stories to start so you can get browsing immediately, Facebook just told us.

Plus, if you don’t want to see every little move your friends make, there’s a new “Hide Ticker” button in the top right of the web home page.

But the real hotness is still bottled up. My sources say Facebook is about to release a much faster version of its mobile apps that will load the urgent elements first so it’s more snappy. That’ll be nice considering that whenever I launch my Facebook app currently, it’s like I’ve drunk a bottle of cough syrup and gone into some sort of slow-motion trance.

Nick Bilton of the New York Times was one of the first to catch wind of the the supercharged app and he squeezed some details from a few nameless Facebook engineers, so it seems surely on the way. Considering the flack Facebook’s been getting for the laggy iOS app, you know, possibly the most popular app in the world, I think it’s high-time it got a bit sleeker.

For today, though, we’ve got this little speed boost. Previously Facebook may have been needlessly loading too many stories before it let us see the first one. But now you’ll be able to look, Like, and comment as soon as a couple updates are there. So go ahead, take the 12 seconds while you wait in line for coffee to get a little news feed sugar.

Page admins be warned, your Facebook news feed reach metrics may suddenly sag because fewer stories get loaded, but really your metrics are just more accurate now since only people who actually see your posts will be counted.

So why’s a little more speed a big deal? Because Facebook is now showing Sponsored Story ads in the mobile news feed and they’re working, considering they get clicked 13 times more often than Facebook’s desktop ads. If Facebook can make its mobile app feel like you’re some slick social ninja nimbly maneuvering through the feed, you’ll visit more, scroll through more posts, and see more ads.

(And if you’re wondering about this post’s featured image, at first I was trying to convey that Facebook is becoming some fast-soaring firebird. But I accidentally created a Facebook tramp stamp tattoo and ran with it.)

Categories: Facebook

Little “Want” Button Code Foreshadows Big Things For Facebook Ecommerce

TechCrunch - Facebook-tagged - Tue, 03/07/2012 - 10:40pm

Last week, developer Tom Waddington uncovered Facebook code that points to the creation of a “Want” button — a plugin that potentially points to a new kind of commercial innovation being developed by Facebook itself, different from “want” buttons already being developed by third parties (one example here), and partially working but only within Facebook’s Graph API tester.

He’s continued to dig around and today has presented us with some of his latest finds: looking deeper into Facebook’s code, he found more references that point to how Facebook might be thinking about how users can share purchasing information with each other.

The presence of a “Want” button and these related commercial actions point to ways that Facebook can continue developing other streams for revenue-generation to complement what it is doing in advertising and existing commercial services, such as in-app purchases.

Playing around with the Want action, Waddington focused on the object of the Want action, called “ogproduct”. “I think they’re using ogproduct while testing – it’ll move to product when [if] it goes live,” he says.

While looking around in the , Waddington found code for a “product.purchased” action, with options underneath for a donation, message, product, and game_item.

While has pointed out how the Want button would be useful for indicating purchasing intent, versus the more general “Like” button — and subsequently enabling more targeted ads against Wants — these newer details potentially give a clue as to what kinds of purchases Facebook could enable, and allow to share on your timeline.

Donations could be about charitable donations; but they could also be about group donations for purchases or events (similar to what Crowdtilt does today). Product and game_item also seem pretty straightforward. “Message” less so: could that be a way of incorporating an element of the social gifting service Karma, which Facebook bought in May?

Facebook has told us, in response to the emergence of the “Want” button, ”We’re always testing new Platform features, however we have nothing new to announce.” But in addition to the kind of detail mapped out above, there are other signs that a social commerce product might be closer than you think. “It’s clear that Facebook is working on a new OpenGraph representation of products. They’re even calling the current Product object ‘Product Old’,” he writes in his blog post.

“Basically, the potential for an official Facebook channel for Wants and Purchases (and game purchases) using similar methods to articles read / music listened to / videos watched stories is pretty huge,” Waddington told me later. And the more you look at those other areas, the more you can see how obvious the monetizing potential is behind them. “I’m not sure, but when Facebook Music aggregates the same songs across multiple providers, there might be scope for that in products, too.”

And the presence of a tag within the “Want” button code, for “socialcommerce”, also shows that this may not just be about purchasing intent, but actual purchases, too.

There is another interesting detail to add to these commercial hints: among the patents that Facebook owns or is applying for are some related to e-commerce (“Systems and methods wherein a buyer purchases products in a plurality of product categories”, U.S. Patent Number 7,188,080; and “Method, computer product and apparatus for facilitating the provision of opinions to a shopper from a panel of peers”, U.S. Patent Number 7,526,440). You can start to see how all this could be part of a big plan finally coming together.

Categories: Facebook

Inside Facebook - Tue, 03/07/2012 - 8:37pm

Facebook today made two changes that will help page owners understand the true reach of their posts. The reach metric in page insights will now include mobile data and the desktop News Feed will no longer count reach until a user scrolls and loads the page’s story, the company tells us.

Reach is the total number of people who have seen a page post within the first 28 days since it was made. Reach is counted when a post is loaded and shown in News Feed. Beginning today, mobile distribution will count toward a page’s total reach. It was previously unclear that reach data was limited to desktop only, so many pages might have been reaching more users than they had thought. However, it seems Facebook will report reach as a combined total, rather than distinguishing between desktop and mobile. the social network temporarily reported whether post Likes and comments came from mobile, but that doesn’t seem to be available from the Insights API anymore.

Facebook made another change this week that will affect reach total. To improve the efficiency of News Feed, Facebook will load fewer stories at a time. When a user scrolls down the feed, more stories will load. Because reach and impressions are counted upon load, the metric previously included impressions that users might not have actually seen. Now insights should more accurately reflect what users have viewed, though it should not affect how many fans will see a page’s post in their feed.

With these changes made at the same time, it is difficult to know whether reach is likely to be higher, lower or the same as it has been in the past. The addition of mobile would make the number higher, but the News Feed change could make it lower. Whether or not these differences will balance each other out is unclear.


Categories: Facebook

All Facebook - Tue, 03/07/2012 - 3:43pm

Facebook announced two changes to its Tuesday: the inclusion of reach data, and the lowering of the number of organic stories that will be loaded simultaneously.

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

Categories: Facebook

All Facebook - Tue, 03/07/2012 - 3:17pm

This week, some California high school students are living the dream: getting a taste of for Facebook. The company’s inaugural high school internship program — Facebook Academy — started this week, and students are taking in the full experience.

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

Categories: Facebook

All Facebook - Tue, 03/07/2012 - 2:38pm

Walmart and Energy Sheets : The individual Walmart will get a visit from rapper Pitbull, an Energy Sheets brand . However, thanks to a grassroots social media campaign, the Miami native might need to bring a coat. The current leader? Kodiak, Alaska.

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

Categories: Facebook

All Facebook - Tue, 03/07/2012 - 1:27pm

Does Facebook want to be your supplier, and, if so, supplier of what? The social network added to its portfolio of , registering a handful of URLs containing “Facebook Supplier” and “Facebook Suppliers.”

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

Categories: Facebook

All Facebook - Tue, 03/07/2012 - 1:06pm

When it comes to for , is seen by many as the holy grail. However, according to Facebook analytics provider , the way it is calculated is all wrong.

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

Categories: Facebook

All Facebook - Tue, 03/07/2012 - 12:48pm

Not long after General Motors from Facebook, the Detroit auto giant is considering connecting with the social network again, The Wall Street Journal reports.

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

Categories: Facebook

All Facebook - Tue, 03/07/2012 - 12:10pm

Facebook marketing software provider is all too aware that getting Facebook users to visit a brand’s page is only the first skirmish of the battle, and that the key to winning the war is to , repeatedly.

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

Categories: Facebook

All Facebook - Tue, 03/07/2012 - 11:00am

In its infancy, Facebook login was restricted to those with a email address. Later, membership was extended to other schools, and eventually colleges and high schools around the world. It wasn’t until 2006 that Facebook login was available to anyone over the — a limitation that also may change in the near future.

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

Categories: Facebook

Inside Facebook - Tue, 03/07/2012 - 12:33am

A contact synchronization bug, combined with Facebook’s latest , led some mobile phones to update with users’ addresses rather than their primary email account, Facebook Director of Engineering Andrew Bosworth told The Verge.

The social network is working on a fix following a public debacle over a change to users’ settings that hid all non- email addresses from Timeline. This was the result of a new “visibility setting” introduced last month. The “visibility setting” is an additional option next to the existing “privacy setting.” Facebook representatives have been trying to distinguish the difference between these settings to the press for the past week, but the company continues to receive criticism for the change and the lack of communication about it to users.

When we learned about the confusing new setting last week, whether it was meant to promote the social network’s own messaging feature over third-party email services, or if it was a move to prevent users’ contact information from being misused. Facebook still hasn’t said why it made the change.

Nonetheless, the decision affected mobile contact syncing for some users because the API was pulling users’ most recently added account rather than their primary email address. This meant that some email addresses were replaced with addresses, and users were missing messages that were routed to their Facebook “other” folder rather than getting emails where they initially indicated they wanted them sent. Facebook says this will be resolved soon.

Readers might want to check their “other” folder by visiting Facebook on the web or their phone and going to “messages.” On the web, the “other” folder is accessible from the left-hand menu. On mobile devices, it is at the bottom of the screen. Users can change their settings to show or hide particular email addresses by visiting their Timeline, clicking “about,” going to the “contact” info section and clicking “edit.”

Categories: Facebook

The Apple / Google / Facebook Message War Starts Now

TechCrunch - Facebook-tagged - Mon, 02/07/2012 - 11:57pm

We’re on the cusp of a global conflict that will see the three most powerful consumer Internet companies fighting to win control of interpersonal communication. The war will pit Facebook’s unified Chat / Messages / Email vs Apple’s cross-device iMessage system vs. Google’s Gmail / GChat / Hangouts. If one emerges as the definitive victor, it could sway the future of digital human interaction.

Read on as we survey the battlefield, review the weaponry of each company, and assess who could win the epic message war and the fortune that comes with it.

Last week we saw Facebook fire the shot of this war when it changed everyone’s profile contact info to display their address and hide their previously selected Gmail, MobileMe, or other email addresses. Why? To box out Google and Apple. Even with natural advantages like a firm grip on identity and the social graph, plus the fact that it works across both iOS and Android devices, Facebook still felt like it needed to attack.

We’ve likely reached “peak SMS” — next year fewer text messages may be sent than this year due to the rise of data-based alternatives. Now is the time for one of these three messaging platforms to take the place of SMS.

Preparing For Battle

Over the last few years, the three combatants have been scrambling to arm themselves for the coming message war. Movement has sped up over the last few weeks, though, indicating we could soon start seeing peace treaties broken and heavier assaults launched.


In November 2010, Facebook so instant Chats, asynchronous Messages, and email sent to the newly offered addresses would all flow into one inbox. In some ways this was great for users because if someone sent you a Chat and you were offline or immediately left your desktop, you could view it in your Messages inbox from mobile.

Similarly, if you sent someone a message but they were currently online, it’d get delivered as a chat. You could voluntarily set up a Facebook email address, but few people did and that wing of the service stalled. Then in April, Facebook began assigning email addresses to everyone.

July 2011 saw a partnership with Microsoft’s Skype that allowed Facebook to add video chat capability to its platform. It also acquired and re-skinned Beluga as Facebook Messenger in August 2011 as a standalone app to break direct communication out from its bloated primary app. Facebook Messenger doesn’t do voice or video just yet but you can bet it’s on the way.

In Facebook’s arsenal are the world’s largest social graph, mobile’s most popular apps, massive time-on-site across devices, a deep understanding of who we’re closest to, and a thriving ad platform to monetize it all with.

Identity is key to messaging because it lets people connect just by name, allowing the best communication medium for the job be selected as the specific contact information falls into the background. It does not own the hardware or the OS, but it can float as a layer across devices which is why Facebook may have the most powerful war machine.


Meanwhile, Gmail continued gaining popularity while Gchat (formally named Google Talk) became a preferred instant messaging system for professionals who thought themselves too mature for AOL instant Messenger or IRC, and didn’t want to be frequently interrupted with small talk chats from distant Facebook friends. In September 2010, Google acquired group-chat and organization app Plannr.

Then Google launched Google+ in June 2011 with its stand-out feature Hangouts, a real-time group video chat service that also offered some collaboration and synchronous media consumption options. It also turned Plannr into Google+ Messenger. Now as GigaOm reports from last week’s I/O conference, Google is merging Hangouts, Talk, and Messenger into a single unified messaging platform that could allow text, voice, and video chat across devices.

Google’s strongest asset is its diversity. It owns Android, the mobile OS that’s locking down the long-tail. It’s working with Samsung to build hardware and also owns Motorola now. It’s got a fair amount of cash, which can’t hurt, plus a presence in social networking that can tie Android and Chrome OS together. Most importantly, it controls Gmail, arguably the winner of the last communication war that was fought for email.


FaceTime launched in June 2010 as Apple’s mobile video chat service, but at the time it required both conversation partners to have the latest iPhone. With time, Apple has expanded FaceTime beyond mobile so users of its desktops and MacBooks could video chat too.

Apple launched iMessage in October 2011 as an SMS alternative for iOS devices that also sends photos and other media. iMessage will link desktop and laptop computers to their mobile brethren when Apple adds it to OS X Mountain Lion. It wouldn’t be surprising to see Apple integrate FaceTime directly into the cross-device iMessage platform, though how email could feed into it is less clear.

Even with mountains of cash, Apple may be the underdog. It has no social network, and in fact relies on Facebook to bring social to iOS and the App Store. It could control messaging to some extent for all of its device users. But not everyone can afford them, and that means its users won’t always be able to contact friends through iMessage.

The Spoils Of War

So by next month, Facebook, Google, and Apple will each have their own robust messaging platforms featuring some combination of support for cross-desktop and -mobile communication; real-time chat with text, photos, voice, and video, syndication to email, and SMS delivery as a backup. Whichever of these features they don’t have, they’ll likely buy or build.

Everyone else in the messaging space, like Microsoft’s GroupMe and all the free SMS startups should prepare to pivot or sell to one of the three warring factions. You’re not gonna win.

What’s at stake is the control of perhaps the most critical stream of them all — direct communication. Content is surely important, especially because it creates massive engagement and time on site that creates a host for advertising. The ambient intimacy of Facebook, Google+, and Twitter let us feel closer to a huge number of distant acquaintances and thought leaders through the indirect communication of content feeds.

People love content, but people need direct communication. Who you communicate with on a daily basis and via what medium are vital signals regarding where people sit in your social graph. Whichever company owns the most of this data will have better ways to refine the relevance of their content streams, showing you updates by the people you care about aka communicate with most, and showing ads nearby.

Through natural language processing and analysis, whoever controls messages will also get to machine-read all of them and target you with ads based on what you’re talking about.

Communication channels will likely host that advertising too, making the winner of this war even richer. You might not get highly obtrusive mobile spam straight from marketers, but their ads could be appended at the end of your incoming messages.

At least expect ads mixed in between or shown around your Facebook or Google messages, the way Gmail shows ads right above your inbox. Apple meanwhile would use control of communication to bolster hardware sales by making the latest improvements only available on its latest devices.

The stakes of the message war are huge, so these three companies will fight hard. They’ll spend huge sums, form alliances if they have to, and make aggressive moves that could endanger the user experience to win. We’re already seeing it happen. And if one company does come to rule messaging, it could reduce the impetus for innovation and permit abuse. I like to think these companies are better than that, but some argue “whoever wins, we lose”.

Update: To clarify, “winning” this war could mean controlling the bulk of the market share, not necessarily 100% of it. There will likely continue to be scrappy startup alternatives, even one that , and none of the big guys here will totally give up if they “lose”.

But a disrupter would likely have to turn down huge acquisitions bids. And if the big messaging platforms don’t talk to each other and one gains an obvious lead (and I think one will), network effect will kick in, that “winner” will continue to grow its share, and it will dominate messaging.

Fire The Missiles

Facebook knew it was going to take a major PR hit for hiding the real email addresses and replacing them with its own addresses on the profile contact info of every user. The change could have been done more subtly with a slow roll out or with some token, quickly-sped-past notification to users.

Facebook got a late start on email, especially compared to Google, and many users haven’t changed their email contact info since Facebook launched its addresses. It needed to increase awareness about addresses, and it didn’t want @gmail.com and Apple @me.com addresses on everyone’s profiles. Making the change without notifying users was certainly bad for the user experience, but Facebook did it anyway.

So what will Google and Apple do to retaliate? Google could prevent people from listing their Facebook profiles in their G+ About sections, and that won’t do much damage. It could compete with Facebook Messenger by pre-installing its own unified messenger app in the place of a standard SMS app on Android devices, and integrating that app with Chrome OS. Apple could refuse to integrate Facebook any deeper into iOS, or scale back Facebook’s presence and double-down with Twitter.

Those probably won’t be enough to deter Facebook, though, and it could go on to win the message war or at least dominate it.

The Aftermath

Apple may very well foresee its coming loss or at least a prolonged battle. It and Facebook are relatively complementary, while both are fighting fiercely with Google on several fronts. So rather than pour resources into a losing battle, Apple might find some way to play nice with Facebook.

This could come through a bridge between iMessage and Facebook’s messaging platform. The ability to iMessage Facebook friends you don’t have the phone number of could increase the Apple product’s worth, and give iOS users a way to message with their Android-toting friends.

Meanwhile, Google may lose this war outright. The day it started building Google+ rather than partnering with Facebook, it may have bitterly resigned to losing both the war for identity and the war for messaging. It will have to try to win the post-PC mobile war without owning messaging, which could be difficult. Now more than ever, Google Glass and self-driving cars are looking like the company’s future. The wars for wearable computing, and especially artificial intelligence are still Google’s to win.

Mark Zuckerberg probably calculated the risk of Facebook’s aggressive change to visible contact info, and assumed his site could swallow lost trust from a few million angry tech news readers. It’s still THE social network, and a few days of complaints won’t change that. This isn’t friendly competition. It’s the war for messaging, and wars have casualties.

[Featured Image Credit: TechCrunch's illustrator Bryce Durbin]

Categories: Facebook

Auto-Sunk. Check Your Hidden Facebook “Other” Inbox For Your Missing Emails

TechCrunch - Facebook-tagged - Mon, 02/07/2012 - 8:52pm

Click ‘Messages’ on Facebook and then “Other” in the right sidebar and you might find emails missing from your Gmail or other personal and work accounts. Without giving you any warning or notification, Facebook last week changed your profile to hide any email addresses you’ve previously listed and instead show only your little-known “” address. Any messages sent to you or your address that weren’t sent from friends, friends of friends, or email addresses registered to their Facebook accounts ends up there, easily missed.

Now Facebook’s unauthorized change to your preferred contact info is auto-syncing with address books for some mobile devices, so people don’t even realize they’re not pinging your Gmail, they’re sending messages to your Other black hole. But rather than apologize, Facebook has implied to ReadWriteWeb that users are merely confused. Yes, users are confused…because Facebook changed their contact info without consent! Update: Facebook says contact info syncing was a bug. That still doesn’t solve the problem, though.

Why did Facebook do this? Because Facebook is in a war Apple and Google over who will control messaging.

Most people aren’t aware of or forget about their Other inbox, which is why it’s caused issues since it . That’s why at first many people and publications thought the Facebook email change fiasco was causing their email to be deleted because it wasn’t showing up in their primary Facebook Messages inbox. They hadn’t checked their Other inbox. So yes they were confused, but that stemmed from Facebook’s unannounced change.

I didn’t think the Other inbox would swallow too many emails because few people would voluntarily email something to your unfamiliar address. The problem is that your friends didn’t even realize they were sending messages there. Their phones may have automatically synced your contact file with your Facebook profile, substituting the @facebook address for your actual email address, so when they selected to email you by name, they never saw the new Facebook address they were pinging.

Update: Facebook’s Director Of Engineering Andrew Bosworth says that the contact syncing issue that was replacing real email addresses with your friends’ addresses is a bug and it should be fixed by tomorrow or sooner, The Verge’s Ellis Hamburger reports. Facebook gave us a statement explaining that

Contact synchronization on devices is performed through an API. For most devices, we’ve verified that the API is working correctly and pulling the primary email address associated with the users’ Facebook account. However, for people on certain devices, a bug meant that the device was pulling the last email address added to the account rather than the primary email address, resulting in @ addresses being pulled. We are in the process of fixing this issue and it will be resolved soon. After that, those specific devices should pull the correct addresses. 

Facebook also noted that users have the ability to control which emails go to their Other inbox, and they may have it their inbox set to completely refuse emails from strangers:

“If you’ve specified in privacy settings that you only want to receive messages from friends or friend of friends, then the message will bounce. We’ve noticed that in a very limited number of cases, the bounce e-mail back to the original sender may not be delivered because it may get intercepted by spam filters. We are working to make sure that e-mail senders consistently receive bounce messages.”

Bug or not Facebook, the jig is up. By making unauthorized changes to our contact info you eroded our trust. And while auto-syncing by devices may be out of your control, that change is now having real consequences for people who are missing meetings, losing clients, or getting disconnected from friends because they weren’t getting their email where they expected to. Even by fixing the bug, there remains the underlying issue of changing visible contact info without consent.

Last week I called this poppycock and called for at least one of two solutions, and I’m still waiting:

  1. Revert the change and resurface everyone’s email address, except if someone manually altered the visibility of their addresses since the change so you don’t accidentally make visible any address someone has deliberately hidden.
  2. Notify the entire user base about the change IMMEDIATELY! Making this change without alerting users is wildly irresponsible.

Meanwhile you should use this tutorial to undo Facebook’s changes and show exactly which email addresses on your profile you want. Then read why this change was the first shot fired in the the Apple / Google / Facebook war to control messaging.

Categories: Facebook

Inside Facebook - Mon, 02/07/2012 - 8:48pm

TripAdvisor displaced Zygna’s Bubble Safari as No. 1 on our list of top growing Facebook apps by monthly active users this week.

Titles on our list gained the most MAU of any apps on the platform, growing from between 400,000 and 6.2 million MAU, based on our AppData tracking service.

Top Gainers This Week

Name MAU Gain Gain % 1.  TripAdvisor™ 33,200,000 +6,200,000   + 23% 2.  Bubble Safari 28,100,000 +2,600,000   + 10% 3.  Terra 12,300,000 +2,200,000   + 22% 4.  Chill 11,800,000 +2,200,000   + 23% 5.  SongPop 5,400,000 +1,800,000   + 50% 6.  Instagram 21,200,000 +1,100,000   + 5% 7.  Glassdoor 3,700,000 +1,000,000   + 37% 8.  Static HTML: iframe tabs 21,300,000 +900,000   + 4% 9.  Pedido de Amigos 3,900,000 +800,000   + 26% 10.  HootSuite 1,300,000 +780,000   + 150% 11.  Static HTML… [Third Tab] 4,100,000 +600,000   + 17% 12.  Static HTML… [Second Tab] 7,400,000 +600,000   + 9% 13.  Spotify 23,600,000 +600,000   + 3% 14.  Zoosk 9,500,000 +600,000   + 7% 15.  Gogobot 1,400,000 +590,000   + 73% 16.  Yu-Gi-Oh! BAM 740,000 +560,000   + 311% 17.  Dragon City 2,700,000 +500,000   + 23% 18.  Yahoo! Social Bar 37,600,000 +500,000   + 1% 19.  Custom Tab | Star #3 1,500,000 +400,000   + 36% 20.  Static HTML… [Sixth Tab] 1,900,000 +400,000   + 27%

TripAdvisor had a 23 percent gain this week in part due to a Facebook ad campaign to re-engage users.

Social reader Terra and video app Chill continue to grow organically through Open Graph actions being shared to users’ feeds.

Instagram had a 5 percent increase, likely from users downloading an updated version of the app that was released last week. HootSuite, which got an update a few days ago, saw 150 percent gain.

Facebook canvas game Yu-Gi-Oh! BAM, released in June, had 311 percent pickup in the past week.

A number of custom landing tab applications are also on the rise.

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

Categories: Facebook

All Facebook - Mon, 02/07/2012 - 8:12pm

As Facebook looks for more ways to , the company has gone from buying out companies for talent grabs to focusing on acquiring properties that can help make money. and were two of the biggest buys this year, but a Facebook official told The Wall Street Journal that Mark Zuckerberg’s checkbook might still be out.

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

Categories: Facebook

Inside Facebook - Mon, 02/07/2012 - 7:13pm

TripAdvisor’s revamped restaurant ratings app helps users share where they’ve eaten and find new spots to try. The Facebook app also feeds TripAdvisor valuable data for its social travel site.

TripAdvisor is the No. 10 Facebook app developer according to our AppData tracking service. Five years since launch, its Cities I’ve Visited app still has 330,000 monthly active users — more than eight times as many users as its competitor Where I’ve Been. TripAdvisor’s biggest app, however, is its website integration with 33.2 million MAU. Now we’ll see if the company can find success in the crowded restaurant search and ratings space.

Local Picks brings TripAdvisor user’s ratings and reviews to the Facebook canvas with an algorithm that favors ratings from locals. The app also includes photos, check-ins and quick tips from Foursquare. Users can rate a restaurant, mark it as a favorite, indicate that they want to go there, or add the restaurant to a custom list, for example “Places to take a date.” These Open Graph actions will appear on Timeline and in News Feed.

Since its launch about a week and a half ago, Local Picks has reached about 70,000 monthly active users, according to AppData. The app had highs of 10,000 daily active users on Friday and Saturday. TripAdvisor Director of Product Jamie Conroy did not share details about how the app got this initial wave of users, though he says it wasn’t from an ad campaign.

TripAdvisor has some advantages over competitors like Yelp, in that it already has international scale and is making more use of social data. The app has 850,000 restaurants from more than 200 countries, and it will release translated versions later this month. Local Picks also pulls in ratings and reviews made on TripAdvisor.com, and displays friends’ Facebook check-ins, as seen in the image to the right. When users take action within Local Picks, that information can ultimately be used back on TripAdvisor. Not only will it provide more social context for a user’s friends who visit the site, but it could begin to give the company a better idea of a user’s tastes so that it can provide better recommendations to them in the future.

One problem Local Picks could face is that except for some power users, most users don’t continue to rate and review restaurants after the first time they use an app. Conroy says the Local Picks’ Open Graph integration will help draw users back into the app because they will see their friends’ activity in News Feed. There’s also a bit of gamification with users able to achieve higher “foodie levels” the more they interact with the app. However, with Local Picks unavailable for mobile, it might be difficult for users to remember to go home and rate the places they’ve tried.

Conroy says a Local Picks mobile app is something TripAdvisor is considering, but building the app within the Facebook canvas was first priority. He says having the app on Facebook is more familiar for users than if the app lived off-site. TripAdvisor has found this with its Cities I’ve Visited app. Conroy says Local Picks applies many of the learnings the company gained from its other app, including how it publishes to users’ Timelines and asks users to invite their friends, as well as the overall emphasis on lightweight interactions. Local Picks, like Cities I’ve Visited, gives users lists of other users’ top spots, and makes it easy for them to add their ratings.

Although TripAdvisor positions Local Picks as something people might use on a daily or weekly basis, this will be a challenge for the company. But even if users visit Local Picks once and add ratings for a few restaurants nearby, TripAdvisor can significantly expand its database of social travel recommendations. The Open Graph integration might prompt some users to rate more places down the line, and TripAdvisor could also run re-engagement campaigns, as it has for its other apps. Overall, though, the company and users will benefit even from one-time use, as long as the app achieves the same scale Cities I’ve Visited did over time.

Categories: Facebook

All Facebook - Mon, 02/07/2012 - 6:40pm

Not long after Facebook announced , the social network’s co-founder, , posted to his page that , Sean Eldridge.

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

Categories: Facebook

All Facebook - Mon, 02/07/2012 - 6:34pm

Facebook’s controversial last week continued to irritate users, as those with mobile devices or other software that synchronizes their address books with their Facebook contacts are finding in many cases that their contacts’ actual email addresses have vanished in favor of their Facebook email addresses. UPDATED: Facebook told Mashable a bug in its application-programming interface is causing mobile devices to pull the last email address added to accounts, instead of the email address designated by users as the primary one.

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

Categories: Facebook

All Facebook - Mon, 02/07/2012 - 3:43pm

Companies that have an active presence on Facebook are : How can they get their Facebook fans to buy their product? While managing a Facebook campaign for a telecommunications company, Alchemy Social recently studied the link between clicking “,” and actually visiting a business’ online store.

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

Categories: Facebook
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