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The RAAKonteur #31 – Facebook having a whale of a time, Measuring Twitter value & more

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7 March 2011

Facebook launches new commenting system

People are saying this could be a game changer. Facebook's new commenting system still keeps the capability of sending your comment to the Newsfeed, but if a friend comments on that inside Facebook, the friend's comment goes back to the site on which the comment was made. Another new feature is the ability to float comments by friends to the top.

There is another reason media owners might be persuaded to go for this button. Because it requires real (or Page) identities, abusive comments will be severely reduced. Check the link above for an implementation on Techcrunch.

Facebook Pages an option for deep integration after all?

Just last week we dissed Facebook Pages as an option for deep integration of functionality. But, argues Econsultancy, the introduction of iFrames gives us much more functionality to play with and opens up exciting possibilities.

In essence, the move to iframes means full CSS, Javascript and standardised HTML can now be used when creating and editing pages, giving many businesses the opportunity to directly import their existing websites into Facebook.

Whether more capabilities will solve Pages' poor usage remains to be seen. We are still fans of the taking-Facebook-to-you model, rather than you going to Facebook.

UNIQLO launches Facebook-powered lookbooks

Like UNIQLO did. Contagious Magazine reports that the Japanese fashion brand has tapped into the taking-Facebook-to-you model to build Uniqlolooks.

…a website and global communication platform run on Facebook that enables people all over the world to share their UNIQLO style.

We predict a significant uplift in traffic from Facebook to UNIQLO, similar to what the Huffington Post and Spotify experienced when they followed this model.


Facebook having a whale of a time, buys Beluga

RWW had a good article on Facebook's buying of the mobile group messaging app Beluga:

Beluga launched less than six months ago, started by ex-Googlers Lucy Zhang, Ben Davenport and John Perlow. If you haven't yet used Beluga, it's a simple app for communicating with multiple people at once. You create a "pod" (Beluga's name for a group) of people and each time one of you sends a message, everyone else gets it. It's a bunch of custom-created group chat rooms. In these "pods", you can not only share text but also pictures and locations. And not everyone even needs to have a smartphone, as the app accounts for your feature-phoned friends by sending them SMS instead of in-app content.

SXSW is coming

Some reckon Beluga will be the standout service at this years SXSW festival. The annual knees-up is the place where Twitter came good and Foursquare was launched.

Another service that is looking to break through obscurity at SXSW is Hashable. This app allows you to easily keep track of people you have met through Twitter hashtags. While it has some interesting new interaction features, we are not convinced that it has strong enough utility value on its own.

Interested in SXSW? Quora has good lists of non US start ups going to SXSW, interesting panels, hotels and parties.

Social Eyes launches

Another service that harnesses the power of Facebook's social graph has launched. But SocialEyes does it using video. Writes GigaOm:

The service, which will live as its own site and as a Facebook application, allows users to carry on multiple chats throughout the day and lets people tap Facebook’s social graph for conversations. Users can pop in and out of individual chats or combine them together in group sessions called scrums. Users can also join or start their own private groups among friends or participate in public groups based around hobbies and interests.

The NYTimes are excited too:

Users can leave the windows open so the friends can see and hear one another even when they’re not chatting. They can mute or pause certain conversations if they don’t want their friend to see or hear them, but it can be a little creepy, especially if someone forgets that a chat is still going on.


Facebook Like = Share = Like

Facebook is apparently killing the Share button, but integrating its functionality into the Like button. So when a user 'Likes', it will pop up a dialog giving them an option to enter some text that will accompany their Like into their Friend's Newsfeeds.

This will probably cause higher engagement, but it might also discourage people to Like, now that they can easier comprehend what their Like will do.

Measuring the value of Twitter

Econsultancy has an in-depth post on how they measure the value of Twitter. Here is just one excerpt with regards to their Econsultancy Twitterfeed account:

Further analysis shows that ‘Twitterfeed’ referrals have a higher average order value than both ‘Twitter.com’ (which can be defined as non-‘Twitterfeed’ links on Twitter.com) and also – perhaps surprisingly – customers referred via natural search. This backs up my hunch that customers who have clicked on our Twitterfeed links are far more highly engaged than those who visit via ‘Twitter.com’ (ditto search). And also that it pays to engage, as the theory goes.


Facebook Places bigger than Foursquare?

Robin Wilson seems to have gotten the inside track on UK Facebook data. They told him the following numbers:

  • 26M Active UK users on Facebook
  • 14M UK users visit everyday, spending an average of 25 mins on Facebook
  • 35+ age group is the largest demographic
  • 2.6M UK Facebook users are over 55 [10% of total users]
  • 4X more likely to purchase due to an ad on Facebook vs standard display ad due to social element
  • 3M active UK users of Facebook Places. [This was perhaps the most impressive stat]
  • That would probably make Facebook Places much larger than Foursquare in the UK (Foursquare claims 6.5 million registered users worldwide.) A note of caution however, as this Tweet indicates: Foursquare seems to still outstrip Facebook for actual checkins.

    PeerSquare and the serendipity platform

    We knew it was a good idea, but when we launched PeerSquare last week we had no idea it would be so well received. Om Malik's GigaOm linked to it in an article titled The Race to Build a PageRank for the Social Web Continues.

    Techcrunch also covered PeerSquare in How smart is your startup incubator? Check in on PeerSquare and find out.

    We think there are two main reasons why PeerSquare is a good idea. It allows you to see who at a venue has authority. But on a more basic level, because of Peerindex's topics, it gives a fuller picture of who the people are. As it happens Google's Eric Schmidt gave a fascinating speech at the Mobile World Congress. In this video at 9:10 he makes the following point:

    "We are used to the phone as a communications platform, and increasingly so as a data / browsing platform and computational device, which everyone is excited about now, but what about the phone as a serendipity platform? What about your phone helping you learn new things and meet new people you would not otherwise. That is the future…"


    Sorry to labour a point – but mobilise your ass

    In the same video Schmidt makes a startling admission (5:48). Every ambitious target they have set for the adoption of mobile technology has been exceeded. Last year he predicted that within two years smart phones will outsell PCs. But that came to pass – on a quarterly basis – in mid February! The changes that are happening are so fast he says, that many people do not appreciate how profound these changes are. Developers now think mobile first, because this is where scale is.

    Creative of the week -

    Finding the phantoms, Timo Arnall, tries to make visible our ever increasing but invisible radio wave driven world. In his latest project he visualised wifi signals. Read More >>

    Painting with Wifi

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