June 12, 2012
Apple and Facebook Playing Nice…For Now

Apple’s WWDC 2012 had a few interesting introductions on Monday.  Retina display MacBook Pro and turn-by-turn directions using an Apple 3D maps program that was “built from the ground up at Apple” are all neat things I look forward to using, but one thing stood out to me and it only reiterates what investors have been saying all along. iPhone has previously fully-integrated Twitter into iOS5 and according to Apple, iPhone has taken a huge share of tweets as a result.

(Yes, that’s almost half of all photos uploaded to Twitter)

The announcement came on Monday that Facebook is going to be fully integrated into iOS6. Not only will users be able to upload photos directly from photo albums and post content from websites and apps, but now can also update a status via Siri.

Now that Apple is going to integrate Facebook into iOS6, we can only assume the same stats as Twitter will be true – that is, a large portion of status updates and photo uploads will be from the iPhone.

Make it easier to engage, more engagement will occur. That’s pretty straight-forward thinking, right?

So, who cares?

An easier interface to interact via mobile means less interaction via traditional browser. As of right now, that’s where the advertising is for Facebook. Facebook ads are not mobile. Try as they may, they couldn’t even convince investors that they could make mobile advertising profitable, which is one of the main reasons cited for their poor IPO performance last month (never mind Facebook’s grossly high valuation).  Twitter claims they have managed to solve this problem by using promoted tweets that “appear” in a user’s feed.  Last week CEO Dick Costolo said that the company’s mobile-ad revenue had exceeded ad revenue from desktop users for the first time in a single day.

I can’t help but assume that Facebook desktop interaction will drop as a result of this new iPhone integration, which could bode poorly for advertisers.

But the other side of me keeps saying that Facebook has no true competition. Other social networks satisfy a niche, however I (and others) have spent years building my online “home.” I’ve got thousands of photos, keep in touch with friends from all over the world and I don’t see myself “migrating” to a new social site unless it’s a one-click transfer kind of thing, which would never happen.

What do you think? Does Facebook need to crack the mobile code to continue to be the giant in the social space? Can they learn anything from Twitter? Will this new iOS6 integration prove to be more of a curse than a blessing?

September 23, 2011
So The New Facebook Confuses You? Just Wait… More Is Coming

Facebook is changing everything…yet again. But before you get all up-in-arms, you should know the changes. This is actually going to make Facebook about 1000 times better and more engaging. Because I’m a total nerd, I watched Zuckerberg’s Keynote address at F8.

So what’s new?

He starts this keynote by talking about what Facebook has been and is. It started with a profile being the first 5 minutes of a conversation with someone new. It then became a 15 minute conversation with someone new or familiar with the wall/updated profile layout in 2008. Now it will be a nice 2 hour conversation with a close friend, relative, or even someone you just met.

For the last few years, the profile has acted as a view of recent activity, however once something was a few weeks old, it basically fell off the cliff of your profile (no one scrolls through 40 pages to view something from January) and effectively disappears…well, not anymore.

Timeline

This is a new way to see your “internet life”. It breaks everything down into days, weeks, months, and years all the way to your birth. It not only breaks it down, but it chooses relevant, semi-important events to show. You can add things to your life at any point you wish (baby pictures, etc).

You are able to view your timeline by the week, month, or even year. You can also view it based on just photos or places you’ve visited.

Here is a short intro video to Timeline

Now, you may say, “I don’t want people to see that.” Well, that’s okay. With friends list and privacy settings, content is only viewable by those you deem appropriate. No new content will be seen, it will just make navigating content easier.

I spent about 20 minutes just no using this timeline feature to see all the stories that were relevant to my 2005 and 2006 life. Talk about memories and nostalgia. That was pretty amazing. I remember an app going around facebook that could show you the first post you ever made (if you click on this ad and sign up and blah blah blah). I, of course, didn’t go through all of that to make it happen, but I did wonder…Now I know.

Changes To The News Feed

There are two types of content in Facebook now. One of them is called “lightweight content”. This is content that isn’t really all that important. It’s your app activity or friend’s comments or things that otherwise would clog your news feed. It’s now on the right side where you don’t have to get annoyed by things.

You will still share your statuses and such to the news feed. This is normal activity. Just as before, it will show up in the news feed.

This connects you not only to people, or like buttons, but also apps and social activity.

Apps

Apps will be more social. No more pop-ups to “share” app activity. Let me repeat that, NO MORE POP-UPS to share app activity. That’s right. You won’t be prompted by apps to share your achievements anymore. They will automatically go to your timeline, but not the news feed. This is so much better in my opinion.

Music

Using Spotify as an example, If you find a friend that is listening to a song, you can now hover over it on your friend’s profile, followed by the ability to start the song in your Spotify. This allows music sharing to happen immediately. This is where the “smartness” of news feed comes in. If you have multiple friends that are listening to the same song, it will appear in your news feed so you can discover it too. I’m excited about this. It’s a great way to discover new music. You can then listen to the same music together and comment on it. Your chat will show a music icon it as you are listening “together”.

You can also look at a rollup/summary of your friend’s fav. music (stats about genres and such). There is now a Music Timeline. And this creates a frictionless experience.

View the entire F8 keynote here

Hopefully that sums up all the new changes. And I hope this excites people, becuase all this negativity about the new Facebook is uber annoying. Look on the bright side, it’s gonna be great.

Peace!

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