Facebook taps our emotional side, with it’s new TV spot. The ad focuses on the ubiquity of the everyday things in our lives, and how we share them. I like the spot (especially around the 42 second mark where they feature an Oregon nature hotspot: Multnomah Falls), right up to the point where they imply Facebook is like the Universe….that may be a ‘bit’ of a stretch.
In light of all the news at today’s f8 conference, that lead is only going to grow… some really cool stuff rolling out by Zuck and friends. Timeline will be a game changer for the user interface of Facebook. What’s interesting is that Google+ is not factored into this grid (probably due to the June ’11 data cutoff – prior to G+ launching). They, too, are rolling out some interesting changes in their service – not to mention opening up the flood gates to all users who are interested in signing up. The gloves are coming off, for sure. Steve Rubel (EVP/Global Strategy and Insights for Edelman) says in a tweet today:
“Story of the day: Google+ and Facebook are escalating a features arms race, while Twitter is aiming to streamline <– a good move”
Not sure I agree 100% with Steve. Sure, there is something to be said for streamlining but the prevailing theory out there is that Zuckerberg is interested in ensuring that his user base does not get bored with his service. Thus, the bevy of changes that you are seeing being instituted by Facebook this week. Perhaps from his perspective, the trade off for pissing off his users is that they remain engaged, because they are forced to come back and engage with the platform – hopefully leading to them learning something new and discovering elements to facebook they weren’t aware of before. Mostly smart – unless he does something so egregious that people flee and stay away. I personally don’t see that happening. It’s a service that has become a fabric of our everyday lives… which is what he was banking on.
Anyone see the irony in this image? If I were Google, I’d be a ‘little’ bit upset with the name of the service (for the uninformed, see: Google Places). The supposed ‘Foursquare killer‘ has launched – another great example of Facebook letting others pioneer technology and then implementing a ‘copy exact’ model to a significantly larger user base. One difference? Your friends can ‘check you in’ if you allow it. That could have some interesting implications and you better really trust your ‘friends’ on Facebook to be considerate when showing you at a venue you might not be comfortable with.
Looking at the social graph tonight, I’m not sure this is quite out of beta. Only available in the United States (Foursquare – International), and many users are getting the ‘Fail Whale’ of Places – meaning… ‘This service will be available in your region soon’ note when they try to check in.
Their advantage – adoption. As ReadWriteWeb says on it’s Twitter feed:
“once I see Places, probably all my friends are on FB, only a few use 4sq. for visibility, it’s an obvious choice”
Sadly, I think they’re right. Personally, I’m still a believer in Foursquare – but I’ll probably use Places as well.
I missed this great infograph a couple of months ago put out by Mashable’s Muhammad Saleem. As you can see from previous posts over the last couple of weeks, I am a fan of visual representation of data. This one does a great job of laying out what the Facebook landscape usage looks like (at least what it looked like a few months ago). I wonder if the privacy issues over the last several weeks have changed people’s behavior pattern on Zuckerberg’s social platform? I’d bet yes – but you tell me – leave a comment if you’ve changed your usage due to privacy issues. My usage is painfully average in some ways, but well beyond average in other ways. Personally – I find myself using Facebook to keep in touch with my friends, gather info, and sending good wishes to people on my friends list around celebratory life events. I don’t typically join groups – a very selective few, and ‘fan’ very few pages. What I do is mostly comment, ‘like’ and share interesting articles that I’ve come across.
I’m not sure if this graphic actually even deserves an explanation. Confusing? Yes. Do I have time to put my privacy filters through a fine toothed comb? No. From today’s New York Times:
“Facebook users who hope to make their personal information private should be prepared to spend a lot of time pressing a lot of buttons. To opt out of full disclosure of most information, it is necessary to click through more than 50 privacy buttons, which then require choosing among a total of more than 170 options.”
One word: Ridiculous. In my opinion – Facebook is counting on the vast majority of it’s users being overwhelmed to the point where they don’t even bother to review or refine their privacy settings, and exposing themselves to intrusions that are not welcome and, in some cases, dangerous.
Big week for Facebook as they rolled out some big news at their annual F8 developers conference. They have cached all their live stream videos on their site. The areas that they’ve made their biggest strides in? Personalized Search, Micro-Blogging, and an increased footprint in their ever-growing Ad Network business. Pete Cashmore sums it up well in his CNN Tech Blog – going so far as to lead with the headline:
“How Facebook won the web”
I think it’s a little early for the rest of the Web players to wave the white flag of defeat, however it is impressive how Facebook is recognizing the key growth areas and making the right partnerships to win those areas. I’m personally very interested to watch the partnership with Pandora play out. We’re (Intel) currently a sponsor of the ‘sharing’ mechanism in Pandora – literally, letting your social network know through Twitter and Facebook, which song you are listening to at any given time you choose to share. The new announcement with Facebook extends that even further, sending the sharing both directions. Full details on the Pandora FAQ page. Smart companies, smart partnership.