Posts tagged Facebook

AOL is still the weirdest successful tech company in America

Timehop is great
lilly:

Timehop has become one of my very favorite things about digital life lately. We’re not investors, but I love what their team has built, because it’s so essentially human.
As I described to Jonathan, what happens about every other day, sometime in the morning, is that my wife or I sees a note/picture/tweet from a few years ago — when our son was 2 or 3 or 4 — and we send it to the other. In that way, Timehop is helping us connect with each other to remember some of our fondest memories together. 
It’s emblematic of why I love this wave of mobile technology, too — because we have our devices with us all the time, and they can capture images and feelings so quickly and thoughtlessly, they’re becoming more human, and helping us connect. 
I do worry some about how technology yanks us out of our present contexts, and I think it’s important to be intentional about issues like that, but these moments of connection, as more and more of our artifacts are digital — and therefore ubiquitous, retrievable, searchable & shareable — well, that’s a pretty special thing for sure.
Thanks so much to Jonathan & folks at Timehop — you’ve helped us to remember and talk about and laugh about and cry about many of the most important moments over the last few years. 

Timehop is great

lilly:

Timehop has become one of my very favorite things about digital life lately. We’re not investors, but I love what their team has built, because it’s so essentially human.

As I described to Jonathan, what happens about every other day, sometime in the morning, is that my wife or I sees a note/picture/tweet from a few years ago — when our son was 2 or 3 or 4 — and we send it to the other. In that way, Timehop is helping us connect with each other to remember some of our fondest memories together. 

It’s emblematic of why I love this wave of mobile technology, too — because we have our devices with us all the time, and they can capture images and feelings so quickly and thoughtlessly, they’re becoming more human, and helping us connect. 

I do worry some about how technology yanks us out of our present contexts, and I think it’s important to be intentional about issues like that, but these moments of connection, as more and more of our artifacts are digital — and therefore ubiquitous, retrievable, searchable & shareable — well, that’s a pretty special thing for sure.

Thanks so much to Jonathan & folks at Timehop — you’ve helped us to remember and talk about and laugh about and cry about many of the most important moments over the last few years. 

Facebook Social Graph Search

Today Facebook unveiled a new search function called Graph Search that allows users to search through Facebook’s entire social graph.

Enough with the entitled whining about Promoted Posts — Facebook isn’t running an advertising charity

Facebook’s history has not been without a healthy dose of entitled outrage. Each time the company releases a new feature, users are horrified (NOOOO! Not change!) and threaten to boycott. The spirit of those boycotts are frequently undercut by the fact that they’re organized… on Facebook.

No surprise, the mob is after Zuckerberg again, with torches re-lit and pitchforks sharpened. This time the uproar isn’t about privacy (for once). It’s about something called Edgerank. That is the algorithm Facebook built last year to determine which people see which posts. It’s meant to give you updates from only the people and Pages you’re most interested in.

Facebook has always been pretty open about how it works, and that hasn’t changed. The reason everyone is suddenly pissed off is that, as Facebook rolls out new ad products, page managers are noticing exactly how few fans their page’s status updates actually reach. Only 15 percent. That stat is according to Facebook – and have been used to pimp its paid product, Reach Generator, the precursor to Sponsored Stories. The company is constantly tweaking the algorithm, and the most recent tweak specifically decreases the exposure of brand pages.

Facebook’s 4 million business pages are managed by brands, celebrities, artists, charities, and commercial organizations, which had, until recently, accumulated Facebook fans and marketed directly to them on the platform for free. Now Facebook, a commercial entity with a top line, bottom line, and profit motive just like the very owners of the pages on its platform, is charging those page-owners to increase the number of fans they can reach. The page owners are not happy. How dare you limit access to the followers they painstakingly accumulated on your platform?

I get it, but to them I say: What the hell did you expect? And secondly, Facebook has to do this.

Facebook uses random sampling to determine app ratings and avoid manipulation

This is an interesting and new approach for a review system (in this case, rating applications,) since users cannot rate applications on-demand, but rather have to be randomly presented the opportunity to rate them. This can prevent a lot of fake and malicious reviews.

Currently there is no way for users to rate an app on demand. Instead, users are randomly prompted to provide star ratings through modules around the site. This unique approach discourages user or developer manipulation. Facebook product manager Matt Wyndowe tells us the company is considering options for allowing users to rate apps directly from an App Center page, but Facebook wants to do so in a way that maintains the integrity of its ratings.

Because high ratings can lead to better placement in the App Center, developers want to know how to get more positive ratings for their app. Although there is no particular link users can visit to rate a Facebook application, we’ll go over the different ways that users are currently able to rate apps.

Facebook is getting its own app store for all devices, all platforms, all prices

Facebook is launching a new App Center, “a place to find social web, desktop, and mobile apps” — and not just Facebook apps.

The App Center will bring Facebook users all the best in iOS apps, Android apps, web apps, mobile web apps, and even desktops apps “The goal is to solve the app discovery problem… based on what you and your firends enjoy,” a Facebook rep told VentureBeat in a phone chat today.

You won’t just find free apps here, either. Facebook is also introducing paid apps. The company stated it expects in-app purchases to be developers’ primary money-makers for the time being; however, making paid apps available through the Facebook platform is the beginning of a very interesting business opportunity, both for devs and for Facebook.

Why do some videos on Socialcam appear to be embedded YouTube videos?

I’m looking for an answer to this question that I posed on Quora:

Why do some videos on Socialcam appear to be embedded YouTube videos?

Were these videos taken with the Socialcam iPhone App? How does a user add a YouTube video to Socialcam? Here is an example of what I am talking about: http://socialcam.com/v/N7ZU8LC6 - If you click on the user’s name who uploaded it, you will not see it in his list of uploaded videos.

Socialcam is getting most of their growth from automatically defaulting users’ settings to display all their actions in their Facebook newsfeed (whether they watched a video, liked a video, or commented on a video). I’ve noticed that most of these videos weren’t uploaded using the Socialcam mobile app, however. Most of them are YouTube videos that are embedded on the Socialcam site. I haven’t been able to figure out how to add these myself, so I am wondering if Socialcam is just importing a bunch of YouTube videos and giving them more sensational titles to drive growth. Which would seem shady. Socialcam also has a habit of turning “Social On” even after I’ve turned it off repeatedly. (Update 5/14/12: GigaOm’s Om Malik explains that he experiences the same problem with social sharing automatically getting turned back on. Shady.)

Update 5/9/2012: I have reached out to Socialcam’s community manager, @TheRoxie on Twitter. This convo is here. So far no definitive answer although she is responding. Here is what she has told me so far:

I have emailed sc@socialcam.com per Roxie’s suggestion. I have yet to hear back yet.

Update 5/10/2012: TheNextWeb just did a story on these Socialcam’s viral tactics and they link to my Quora question as well.

Update 5/14/2012: The description given when the app posts to people’s newsfeed now no longer says “Video taken recorded with Socialcam.” Now it says “Video popular on YouTube.” They also now make it more clear that it is a YouTube video by putting a “Powered by YouTube” icon above the videos. Socialcam still has a nasty habit of turning my auto social sharing back to “ON” even after I’ve turned it off multiple times. See screenshots below.

Follow Logan Alan Abbott on Quora

Resistance Is Futile: Why Facebook Acquisitions Tend to Actually Work

A good PandoDaily article on why the Instagram acquisition is different than most Facebook acquisitions, and why it will be interesting to watch.

But implicit to this happy reality, that acquired hands make huge contributions to Facebook, is the sad reality that the acquired companies and projects also largely fall by the wayside. My sense is Facebook is usually pretty up front that this will happen.

And that’s why this acquisition of Instagram will be so interesting to watch. Because it wildly deviates from the playbook that has worked so well. Instagram disappearing and Kevin Systrom starting to work on new Facebook photos for mobile is just not an option, if Instagram is going to successfully meld into the Hacker borg. As we discussed yesterday, Instagram retaining its independence was as important to founder Kevin Systrom as the nosebleed price tag.

Can Instagram play a huge role in Facebook’s success without sacrificing the product so many people love?

I think it can.

Facebook Acquires Instagram

According to Mark Zuckerberg’s status, Facebook has agreed to acquire Instagram:

I’m excited to share the news that we’ve agreed to acquire Instagram and that their talented team will be joining Facebook.

For years, we’ve focused on building the best experience for sharing photos with your friends and family. Now, we’ll be able to work even more closely with the Instagram team to also offer the best experiences for sharing beautiful mobile photos with people based on your interests.

We believe these are different experiences that complement each other. But in order to do this well, we need to be mindful about keeping and building on Instagram’s strengths and features rather than just trying to integrate everything into Facebook.

That’s why we’re committed to building and growing Instagram independently. Millions of people around the world love the Instagram app and the brand associated with it, and our goal is to help spread this app and brand to even more people.

We think the fact that Instagram is connected to other services beyond Facebook is an important part of the experience. We plan on keeping features like the ability to post to other social networks, the ability to not share your Instagrams on Facebook if you want, and the ability to have followers and follow people separately from your friends on Facebook.

These and many other features are important parts of the Instagram experience and we understand that. We will try to learn from Instagram’s experience to build similar features into our other products. At the same time, we will try to help Instagram continue to grow by using Facebook’s strong engineering team and infrastructure.

This is an important milestone for Facebook because it’s the first time we’ve ever acquired a product and company with so many users. We don’t plan on doing many more of these, if any at all. But providing the best photo sharing experience is one reason why so many people love Facebook and we knew it would be worth bringing these two companies together.

We’re looking forward to working with the Instagram team and to all of the great new experiences we’re going to be able to build together.

According to this Facebook newsroom post, the deal is worth $1 billion.