We've always said we think Foursquare's game mechanics are not interesting enough on its own. But on Tuesday evening Foursquare released version 3 of their app and made it quite a bit more appealing. One notable feature is that Specials will be extended beyond the Mayor mechanic. Businesses will now be able to offer Specials to swarms, groups of friends, regulars, newbies, Mayors or to everyone.
But what about those users waiting to find a reason to use Foursquare? Well, we have the stirring of more compelling use cases that make Foursquare genuinely useful. It's called Explore and recommends venues to you based on a number of metrics, including the check-ins of your friends. We have played around with it and it gets the RAAK thumbs up! RWW explains it all.
Foursquare also announced that they now stand at 7,5 million registered users compared to January's 6.4. Not bad. But they really need to try and accelerate and hit at least 20 million by the end of the year.
Facebook introduces real-time analytics
While Twitter and the likes of Foursquare make occasional big releases, Facebook has been extremely busy of late. Their latest release? Real time analytics. Now you can know how many Likes any of your blog posts, apps or whatever has received.
We use anonymized data to show you the number of times people saw Like buttons, clicked Like buttons, saw Like stories on Facebook, and clicked Like stories to visit your website.
Oh, and did we mention the analytics includes information about demographics, such as age, country, gender?
Canada Tourism makes Twitter mural
Here's a nice example of bringing Social Media offline to create awareness. To show their southern neighbours that Canada was a destination worth considering, the tourism board created interactive installations in big American that displayed tweets and photos in real time from people enjoying Canada.
Twitter saved the video star
A lot is being said about the future or not of the intersection between TV and social. We tend to think that Twitter is the killer app to accompany TV. Al Jazeera, has however put some more thought into TV and social. This week they launched the Al Jazeera Twitter dashboard, that tracks unrest across the Middle East and Africa. And they are launching a show with social media at its centre.
Group coupons – an interview
So what exactly is Groupon? And how is it social? We went to visit our hyper successful neighbour to find out. The main take-away: see Groupon as an alternative way to spend your marketing budget.
There's an API for that
It took 3 years for 1000 public APIs to be available, but in the last 9 months we went from 3000 to 4000. RWW reports on the incredible growth of interfaces and how it is becoming a mainstream business practice.
It notes that some APIs are launching without a legacy service. The API is all there is. Others, like Twitter, promote internal usage. Twitter.com is built on the same API that's available to developers.
APIs are part of what Jeff Jarvis calls a new business practise where you should either be part of a platform, or be one yourself. One thought we have had a for a long time: why has Ebay not turned their reputation system into an API?
Android sound and fury – iPad not so much
This week Android became the top smartphone in the US. While Apple released the iPad 2, which led to much ado about not so much. It's not that we think the iPad is not a great device, we just don't think the new one offers much new.
In other news, 22% of US doctors were using iPads at the end of 2010.
This poster would have been hilarious, if the whole IE6 saga was not so tragic. This dysfunctional but widely used browser has held the web back for years. Now Microsoft has climbed on the anti-IE6 bandwagon and offers groveling apologies.
Authenticity – what is it?
A war or words erupted this week as websites like Techcrunch introduced Facebook comments. Facebook famously requires users to use their real identities. For some people, accustomed to a web that first prided itself in anonymity, this was a bridge too far.
People yearn to be individuals. They want to be authentic. They have numerous different groups of real-life friends. They stylize conversations. They are emotional and have an innate need to connect on different levels with different people.
Robert Scoble provided a passionate counter argument. It was precisely the fact that users put their lives through real identities on the line, that was driving impetus, the power of the Egyptian Facebook protest. That was the power of real authenticity.
These “authenticity is dead” people are cowards. See, where I ONLY post opinions I’m willing to sign my name to, lots of people are actually cowards and just not willing to sign their names to their mealy-mouthed attacks.
Creative of the week – Mike Lacher
Ever wondered what your lovingly designed website would have looked like back in 1996? Check out Mike Lacher's Geocities-izer and a few other of his cheeky online 'products'. Read More >>
Posted by Gerrie Smits