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The RAAKonteur #10 – Facebook Phone, Facebook Places and the anti-Facebook

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25 September 2010
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Twitter Ads

Twitter announced this week that it will make their ad service 'Promoted Tweets' more targeted. This will allow advertisers to serve Twitter users more relevant messages based on the people and the brands they follow. Just like Facebook and Google.

Interesting from an advertiser's point of view, but based on Twitter's security scare this week, it surely will bring up questions about spam and security in general, an issue Adriaan tackles below in his Tech Insight of The Week.

Gossip Corner – Is Facebook developing a phone?

Techcrunch went big this weekend with a report claiming that Facebook is secretly building a mobile device. Facebook denied it with such vigor that The Telegraph reported on a survey done by MyVoucherCodes to find out how many people would actually buy it. It turns out to be a whopping 24 percent of 1485 people surveyed.

Then today Techcrunch got an interview with Mark Zuckerberg himself to clarify what their position is on mobile:

I guess, we view it primarily as a platform. Our role is to be a platform for making all of these apps more social, and it’s kind of an extension of what we see happening on the web, with the exception of mobile, which I think will be even more important than the web in a few years – maybe even sooner.

Get Human

We've said for a while that Social Media can create new ways of doing Customer Services that are more direct and more human. The current systems are often too mechanical and a major source of frustration. Innovation company IDEO acknowledges this power with a good blogpost and some case-studies. As they say:

New communication tools are supporting open access, robust feedback, direct participation, and immediacy of information.

Facebook Places

Facebook Places launched in the UK this week. As with any change on FB, some people did react defensively, but it will surely bring the concept of 'checking-in' into the mainstream (see RAAKonteur #5).

One thing's for sure though. If Facebook wants this to become an efficient positioning and advertising tool for local companies, they will have to sharpen up their usability. For instance, compared to Foursquare, claiming your business or venue as an owner is pretty complicated, involving the good old-fashioned way of scanning utility bills. Ouch!

And when you finally get there there's not a lot you can do with your venue. As the Customer Service guy told us: "At this time, it is not possible to edit a Place on the mobile site or the web"

Diaspora, the anti-Facebook

Since their massively successful Kickstarter fund raising exercise, there's been a lot of talk about Diaspora. They describe themselves as 'The privacy aware, personally controlled, do-it-all, open source social network', aka the anti-Facebook. 

Last week they released some screenshots and made the source code available to developers. The feature list is still pretty basic, but we'll be keeping an eye on this. 

Can I have a '93 iPad please?

Here's a fine example of how a good user experience can increase your sales.

A steak house in Atlanta has swapped their traditional wine menu for an iPad. The fact that diners get access to reviews, can compare wines and browse more laterally has caused their wine sales to go up by 11% in a few weeks. 

Creative of the week – Pesi

A few months ago an American artist called Pesi used the social funding platform Kickstarter to pitch an arts project called 1024 bits of you and me. He wanted to make 1024 paintings but lacked inspiration. So he asked 'the people' to submit words that he would visualise. In return for $10 'the people' would then get their painting after the show.

Great idea, we thought. So we plegded, the project reached its target of $10,240. And this week we received a little picture about our work in progress.  


Tech insight of the week – Twitter: Big on Social, Small on Security

This week Twitter was hit by its first widespread worm. Our tech insight looks at Twitter's security situation, and finds a few seriously alarming flaws in the social giant's approach to security. Read More »

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