Category Archives: Facebook

Instagram Direct attempts to hit Snapchat where it counts

Instagram on Thursday introduced Instagram Direct, an internal messaging service. Seemingly a direct competitor to messaging app Snapchat.

Facebook failed in its attempt to acquire Snapchat, after a $3 billion cash offer was turned down, so they’ve now introduced this service within Instagram.

(Facebook acquired Instagram for $1 billion in 2012.)

Facebook could have just as easily rolled out this new picture- and video-messaging service within Facebook, but they understand that Instagram’s demo — and mobile-first strategy — is more in line with Snapchat, hitting Snapchat right where it counts.

After sending, you’ll be able to find out who’s seen your photo or video, see who’s liked it and watch your recipients commenting in real time as the conversation unfolds. – from the Instagram blog

It’s a similar strategy that was successfully employed with Instagram video, to combat the video startup Vine, which was acquired by Twitter for $30 million in October of 2012.

The stats
Snapchat users: 26 million
Instagram users: 150 million

Instagram Direct

Advertisements

Facebook Personalized Newsfeed

Screen Shot 2013-12-10 at 1.32.22 PM

I was asked to take a survey on Facebook yesterday to improve, or personalize, my Newsfeed (I spell newsfeed as one word because I like it and I think Facebook will catch on).

It looks as though its part of Facebook’s plan to fine-tune our Newsfeed content. This time, maybe, for the better. 

Screen Shot 2013-12-10 at 1.32.33 PM Here are some of the posts they presented (10 Total).

“I want to see more posts like this on Facebook.” Users are asked if they: Strongly Disagree, Disagree, Neither, Agree or Strongly Agree.

Screen Shot 2013-12-10 at 1.32.48 PM

Screen Shot 2013-12-10 at 1.33.04 PM

Screen Shot 2013-12-10 at 1.33.44 PMScreen Shot 2013-12-10 at 1.33.55 PM

Screen Shot 2013-12-10 at 1.34.11 PM

Upon completing the initial 10, users can either exit or continue voting to further customize their Facebook experience.

Klout adds “What to Post” suggestions

Klout, a measuring stick for a user’s online influence, has added a feature  to help users increase their Klout score.

Klout Labs has rolled out “What to Post,” which appears to suggest topics based on each user’s social media strengths and Klout topics, in addition to sponsored content.

Users can then push this suggested content out onto their networks, in hopes that it will engage their friends, which would in turn increase a Klout score (a scale of 1 to 100, with 100 behind the most influential).

Klout is experimenting with tools to help you find the right things to post at the right time. Post from Klout to measure the impact of what you share.

Check it out at klout.com.

Where Google+ one-ups Facebook

There’s one thing that Google+ already does better than Facebook: engagement. It’s the backbone of Google+. The network’s social graph is either better built than Facebook or they’re playing a different game.

google_plus_music

Google’s mission with Plus has been to make it more like real life. Its Hangout feature is suppose to resemble a real-world encounter of bumping into someone on the street. Circles is like our own circle of friends. Its Communities resemble actual conferences, grouping together people with like interests, whether it’s Geeks, Photographers, Programmers or Artists. Even the social graph itself seems to encourage more interaction and chance encounters.

Meanwhile, Facebook has its eyes set on becoming a digital newspaper. In fact, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said at a press conference in Menlo Park the company’s new newsfeed layout will serve as a “personalized newspaper.” Facebook appears to be content with connecting friends and family. Though its goal “to make the world more open and connected” seems to ring better with Google+ than Facebook.

Shortly after its closed beta release, in July of 2011, Eric’s Ad Blog took a look at the two networks and the public opinion that I believed would follow. As Facebook becomes a place for everyone, it loses its cool. If everyone’s doing it, it’s not cool; it’s just there.

The truth is, with the launch of Google+, Facebook risks losing all of its cool factor. Google+ is following in Facebook’s footsteps, making its initial release available to a small audience in a closed beta. Facebook was at first open only to college students (Major cool factor).

Google+ is using an invitation system (Equally cool).  Those who were selected to join Google+ were able to invite other users to the network. These invite-only users are like VIP guests to Google’s party.

Meanwhile, Facebook’s busy hanging out with your mom and dad (Not so cool).

I also speculated how the 18-24 demographic would view Google+ and Facebook, particularly when everyone is on Facebook, even our parents and in some cases grandparents.

…how will the 18-24 demo, Facebook’s biggest user base, view Goolge+? (And even 25-34. Users under 35 make up more than 62 percent of Facebook users, according to iStrategy Labs.)

Very likely, they’ll view Google+ as a cool new hangout where they can connect with friends, chat, share photos and status updates without mom.

“It’s almost like they’re the only ones on there. All your relatives are constantly commenting on your stuff. I appreciate the gesture and wanting to keep up with my life, but it’s kind of annoying,” Baret Steed, 15, told TIME in “Is Facebook Losing Its Cool? Some Teens Think So,” from March 8, 2013.

Based on what we’ve seen from Facebook and the words of Zuckerberg, Facebook is a newspaper to stay up-to-date with friends and family. Google+ is more akin to a  networking convention.

Which means the two can co-exist for now.

In time, however, our friends will be on Goolge+ too.

Then things will get interesting. 

5 Tech Predictions for 2013

5. Second Screen takes off – The second screen takes on the big screen.

The second screen is taking over. Users are splitting their time between the main screen and a second screen  companion devices and apps. For live shows, users turn to Twitter. For movies and streaming content, users stick to GetGlue to check-in and provide live commentary. (If you’re into streaming video like Netflix and Hulu Plus, you’ll want to check out GetGlue.) In November, GetGlue was acquired by TV-loyalty service Viggle for $25 million in cash and 48 million shares.AirPlay-like devices also allow users to stream media from a tablet or smartphone wirelessly to a television set. It opens up content from apps or the web and makes it playable on a user’s TV. Apple AirPlay on Apple TV is one of the first and best. More are on the way in 2013.
4. Facebook loses market share– due in large part to audience fragmentation.Facebook has an enormous lead when it comes to audience share among social networks because it’s always one step ahead of the competition. The same changes that infuriate some users are the ones that keep others wanting more. MySpace lost users because it was stagnant. Facebook doesn’t want to suffer the same fate.
But users will begin to explore other options in 2013, including LinkedIn, Google+, Foursquare, Path and others, all of which have adopted the “Newsfeed” layout. Users will spend more time on these sites, which means less time spent on Facebook. Foursquare, for example, has de-emphasized its leaderboard and put more focus on the newsfeed and its “Explore” feature. 

3. Mobile Payments become mainstream –  Square launched in 7,000 Starbucks coffee houses in November of 2012. Today, Square is processing $10 billion in annual mobile payments. In 2013 mobile payments will become mainstream.

Joining Square in the mobile payment race are competitors Google Wallet, PayPal, Intuit, Visa, Mastercard, American Express, VeriFone, among others.

2. Free city-wide Internet – Public Wi-Fi gets closer to the streets in 2013. Already available at many restaurants and stores, more hotspots are on the way. 

But more than just hotspots: Google has been working on a city-wide Wi-Fi network for some time, with the first attempt around 2007. It’s Google Fiber project seems to have taken the spotlight, as the company rolled out the high-speed broadband network in Kansas City, Missouri, in 2012. 

I feel like now is the time to break some ground on city-wide Wi-Fi. 

The Tel Aviv municipality announced in December of 2012 that it would be deploying a city-wide Wi-Fi network in Israel, headed by Motorola Solutions, that includes 80 relay stations for free wireless access. Watch for a similar service to hit the United States in 2013.

1. Big Netflix Competitor– I predicted it for 2012. Redbox Instant by Verizon launched in Beta in December of 2012. Could it be the Next Netflix? Others are rumored to be teaming up for a service. Amazon Instant Video is gaining steam, though is part of a much larger plan for Amazon. It will take a lot of financial backing which is why we’ll likely see businesses teaming up on this one. Hulu is handcuffed by its owners (Comcast’s NBCUniversal, Disney and News Corp.).
Whether it’s Redbox and Verizon, Amazon or another new service, watch for it to take off in 2013. 

5 tech predictions for 2012

Read last year’s 5 Tech Predictions here.