Category : Facebook

Facebook Officially Launches “Places”

As previously documented, Facebook has released its first ever location based service, Places, according to Mashable. This application is directly available on the iPhone only at the moment, though other smartphone users can access Places by using the touch.facebook.com site. Android and Blackberry editions will eventually be released though no set dates have been announced.

Facebook users will be able to share their location with friends, locate where other friends using Places are, and find new locations near them. Specifically, capabilities will include: adding places, checking in to existing locations, and tagging friends who you are with.

This service will be launched across the entire United States within a few days, though international launch dates have yet to be determined. Facebook plans on making data available for developers. Gowalla, Foursquare, and Booyah have been sited as applications who will load data back into Places.

Businesses have much to gain from this new feature by adding their location. Places may be claimed by official representatives only and will require and official document (business license or accreditation).

In terms of privacy, always a Facebook concern, CEO Mark Zuckerberg assured naysayers that it is designed to share places with friends, not the entire Facebook world. However, checkins will be displayed on your profile by default. Additionally, similar to being tagged in photos, friends have the capability to tag you without your permission. This can be disabled by adjustment within the “Customize settings” option. As with all profile content, users can decide who views their check ins.

The capability to report false information, abusive behavior, duplicate content or a closed business is also available through flagging content, though it will not be removed immediately.

Users should be sure to revisit their privacy settings before engaging in this new feature. Overall, Places will certainly provide a new outlook on how we can utilize this social network in the future.

Facebook Delving into Geolocation with Places

As it continues to subscribe to the philosophy of “anything you can do, I can do better” Facebook will soon roll out its own location based program “Places” to rival services like FourSquare and Gowalla. Since establishing its base, now 500 million strong, the ultimate social network has not been shy in modeling itself after external offerings such as Twitter, AIM, and Yahoo! Answers. This newest service, similar to FourSquare will educate the user on physically close businesses based on their interests and their friends’ experiences.

The idea has been met with some disconcert as anything pertaining to privacy, especially something as personal as location, has never been a strong point for Facebook. Additionally, some believe the engagement level of players within these location based services will one day cause the demise of traditional media.

Regardless of speculation, this latest endeavor definitely has the potential to greatly increase Facebook’s overall goal of interconnectedness.

On another note, page owners may have observed that Facebook is trimming down for their new layout to be released in late August. Custom tabs for Fan Pages will now be limited to 520 pixels (previously 755 pixels). Also, the boxes and boxes tab will soon be gone for good.

This will definitely impact the user’s visual experience and enable Facebook to provide larger advertising. Most impacted by this alteration will be page owners who have already invested time and money into elaborate applications for their pages.

100 million Facebook user’s personal information made public

The personal information of over 100 million Facebook users has been gathered and published online, according to MSNBC. Ron Bowes, an online security consultant, used code to scan the 500 million existing Facebook profiles and gathered all the information that was not protected by privacy settings. Bowes then create a downloadable file and posted it to the Internet site The Pirate Bay, where it has already been downloaded by several thousand people.

This is raising concern as millions of Facebook users realize that their information is now on display to the public and readily available to anyone with internet access. And yet, that leads to Facebook’s main angle of defense – the information that has been compiled in this file and is now available to the public has always been just that – personal information that was always available to the public.

Bowes was able to gather this information because privacy settings were not set in the first place; his major feat was that he managed to compile them all into one document. The information collected was already made available through a normal search using Google, Bing, or Facebook itself. While it is shocking and disturbing to learn that 100 million people’s personal information has been compiled and published, it seems more disturbing that these Facebook users allowed it to be available to the public to begin with.

Do you really “Like” me?—Facebook “Like” me that is

written by Adam Cupples (@ACupples)

Everyday I see my Facebook friends “liking” everything from TV shows to Spamburgers, or becoming “fans” of the Black Eyed Peas,”finding $20 on the ground”, or “doing the Single Ladies dance when no one’s looking”…okay, not sure if that last one is really a group, but I’m sure it is… but did you know the average Facebook user is connected to 60 pages, groups and events.

Now, I ask you, how many do you really, really, really like? I mean, not just “like” with a click, but what are you truly passionate about? What news do you look forward to in your news feed? Is it Dunkin Donuts, Victoria’s Secret (hellooooooooo), Kohl’s, or your local coffee shop, e.g. , Coffee Shack, Marshfield (shout out, haaay)?

More and more companies are creating a Facebook presence for their loyal customers while trying to entice potentials. Shameless plug coming: I can do that for your business! Developing strategies and content is a forte of ours..anyway… the goal of any social communications strategy is to increase awareness but also develop a “fan base” or have you become a “Raving Fan” about a service, product and tell everyone you know about it.

 BUT why do you “like” certain places, companies etc….Is it because you can get a free donut or 20% off? Do you even need an incentive?

What would make you really, really, really “Like” me (Facebook that is)?

Quit Facebook Day Fails

Not only was yesterday, May 31, 2010, Memorial Day here in America, it was also Quit Facebook Day worldwide. Prompted by the recent publicity surrounding Facebook’s blatant disregard for it’s user’s privacy, preferences, feelings, etc., a group encouraging a mass exodus from the beloved social networking site was born. As reported by QuitFacebookDay.com, 35,056 Facebook users committed to quitting cold-turkey on May 31. At first glance, this figure may appear significant, yet after comparing it to the 150,000 new users that join Facebook daily, one realizes that the enlisted participants hardly register on the membership scale. According to PCWorld.com, even if the 35,000+ committed quitters actually went through with their pledge, Facebook membership would only drop by 0.005%. While the movement’s commendable efforts and dedication to the preservation of our waning privacy must be applauded, ultimately, Quit Facebook Day turned out to be more symbolic than successful.

Fun with Facebook Applications Settings

by Pam Maloney @PMaloney

Have you been to your Facebook application settings page? If you haven’t been, I think it’s time.

For frequent Facebook users what you find may surprise you. Your Facebook application settings page will show you a list of applications that have access to your information. I was shocked at the size of this list.

Facebook users as a whole go through phases of what is cool and fun or interesting in the way of applications – – And if you are like me – you see something trending and feel the need to try it out – you remember Living Social lists, Lil Green Patch, Farkle, Word Challenge, PathWords, Send Beer, or maybe you still Farmville, Mafia Wars, Cafe World, Daily Horoscope … . Or maybe you have friends that send you lots of intriguing quizzes – Which Golden Girls Character are you? Which Adam Sandler movie best represents your life? What Bon Jovi Sound Are you? What is your Leprechaun name? All of these things could have access to your information.

Have some time to kill? Go to your Facebook Application Settings and have a looksy…

Connecting to Everything You Care About = Clutter

Last month, Facebook revealed its latest update by introducing the new “Community Pages” and subsequently caused waves of confusion (and then anger) amongst its users. The new Community Pages arrived to replace what were once “Fan Pages” and insert themselves – uninvited – into our personal profiles, making it impossible to list anything in the Information section without automatically including a link leading to a Community Page on that topic.

While the Facebook Help Center explains that this update is an improvement from the previous format because the new pages “enable you to see what people are saying about the things that matter to you,” I couldn’t help but feel a little exposed as I realized that if I could see all of the people linked to the Community Page that I was linked to, then that entire community could obviously see me…

My frustration further mounted as I went on to investigate what a Community Page actually consists of and discovered that the content is comprised entirely of text and images from Wikipedia, which Facebook has licensed under the creative commons license.

So, my personal profile is now linked to thousands of stranger’s profiles and narrated by an anonymous voice at Wikipedia while being crowded with icons that I cannot remove. I know I’m not the only one concerned by this sudden loss of control over my profile’s content because I’ve been subjected to my friends’ complaints and threats of profile deletion since the changeover began in mid-April. I had hoped that somehow my account might escape this dreaded fate, however, my profile just mutated last night so I feel compelled to ask if anyone out there was troubled by the latest Facebook update and if so, has it grown on you?

Let me know…

Social Media—Then and Now—Part 1

written by Adam Cupples (@ACupples)

Almost a year ago I spoke at the South Shore Young Professionals group on how branding/networking has completely changed with the use of Linked-In,  Facebook, Twitter, Blogging etc…..you know, the usual theme of what I write about.

As I prepare (well not at this exact moment, I guess you could call this procrastinating) for my speaking session tomorrow at the SSWBN Communication Revolution (ahem 2:30-3:35) it got me thinking (NO, not about what tie I’m going to wear) but rather, I wonder how people view Social Media NOW – one year later – and if the same popular questions will come up.

Will people take it more seriously, instead of thinking of it as a passing fad? 

Will someone say “Hey nice tie”?

Will everyone be so well-versed and not need to hear my tips?

Will I get booed??

Will people say “I don’t have enough time”?

 I have some ideas but would love to hear what you think and stay tuned for next week’s post on how it’s changed.

Social Plugins into Online Shopping

Many companies have integrated social media into their advertising campaigns. The Levi’s brand however, is the first to introduce social plugins into their online shop. By doing so, Levi’s has created a “social shopping experience.”

Online shoppers can choose to “shop socially” and customers can share Levi’s products with their friends, “Like” them, or find “Top-Liked” products across their network. It’s a simple one click process to connect to Facebook.

Mashable.com reports: Jodi Bricker, Vice President of Digital for Levi’s Americas said, “We’re creating a new social shopping experience that will change the way people shop online and, frankly, make buying jeans more fun. We’re excited to pioneer this new technology and help our loyal fans connect with our brand and share their favorite Levi’s products with friends.”

Will this be the start of something new for retail brands? Tell us what you think about this and if you’d use it while shopping online.

it’s all about rhetoric

Big changes this week  – in social communications terms – or not. Both Facebook and Google have upgraded popular business features.

This week launches Facebook’s strategy for “Like” v. “Fan”

And Google announced the renaming of their Local Business Center to Google Places.

formerly Google Local Business Center

Of course these products are not exactly the same as their more poorly worded predecessors. There are little tweaks and perks that come along with the upgrade. Google Places will now offer a paid advertising option called Tags, where businesses can, for a small fee, be featured on Google Maps with a yellow ‘tag’, where you can attached a special offer or promotion, or as Google calls it “important aspects of their businesses,” that can be viewed by customers when they click your tag.

Facebook’s changes to the way people connect with business also accompanies the addition of Facebook Community Pages which we announced earlier this month. – But son’t worry, Facebook has created an FAQ page to answer all of your questions.