Tag Archive: facebook


Instagram Feed Facebook Web

Instagram Feed Facebook Web

Definitely looks like Instagram is working towards the mainstream audience and by their new “web feed” they take a big leap forward.  The look is appealing to newbies and definitely offers a good look into some of Instagram’s functionality, but not all.

At first glance, the new “profile web feed” looks VERY similar to Facebook profiles, which we would imagine since the tool is owned by Facebook.  Instagram is merely teasing the mass audience with this feed in hope to acquire new mobile users.  Here’s a look at the key features Instagram is offering on the web:

  • Likes:  We now have the ability to like pictures on the web, which is key to engaging new users.  Scroll bar makes it easy to browse through dozens of pictures in seconds.
  • Comments:  As you would expect, comments are enabled and this helps both ends of the user base.  Current users are always looking for more engagement, what better way than this?  For new users, this is Instagram’s way of sucking you in.
  • View Photo Page:  In a click of a button, you can easily view a user’s photo stream to view all comments/likes on a specific photo
  • Report Inappropriate Pictures:  Definitely a key feature to make sure images stay clean and safe for all audiences
  • Profile Page (screenshot above):  Current users have the ability to edit their profile on the fly and make changes.  Easy enough.

Instagram and Facebook are doing their homework and figuring out new ways to engage users.  Uploaded pictures are now part of everyone’s online identity which is very cool, but also alarming.  Now, many users will use caution when uploading new pictures–after all, anyone can see them now.

This is a giant leap forward, but what’s missing?

  1. Ability to upload photos via the web  – this IS intentional b/c its “all about producing photos on the go, in the real world, in realtime” but it may deter some users who want to both consume and produce on the web
  2. Integration with Facebook - this is a tough one, but we still have not seen any kind of integration with Facebook…will there ever be?  If Facebook can figure out how to integrate the two and it makes sense, this will be a game changer
  3. #hashtags - these are still present in pictures, but they are NOT functional on the web feed (mobile app they are).  We heard yesterday on Techmeme about the Super Bowl numbers, so we know how important #hashtags are.  The web feed is about “consumption” right?  ENABLE #HASHTAGS to help users consume data -its the future

STwitter Hashtags Facebook Super Bowluper Bowl Spoiler Alert:  If you haven’t already seen the Super Bowl, the Ravens beat the Niners 34-31.  Aside from the big game, we learned a lot about the use of social media.  Besides text messaging, social media was the preferred way to talk about the game to peers; whether that be Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and Google+.

What was the top social media tool used?  How did Twitter square up against Facebook?  What did ads/commercials use the most in their strategy?

Let’s take a look at the numbers to figure out how social media played a role in the Super Bowl and what we can learn about brand strategy.

  • 75% of brands integrated social, mobile, #hashtags or apps in their ads/commercials (Source:  Jeremiah Owyang-Altimeter)
  • Twitter mentioned in 50% of commercials, Facebook 8% and Google+ 0% (Source:  Marketing Land)
  • Beyonce vs the Blackout – Beyonce Google searches rose 7236%, while “the blackout” was the most searched item of the Super Bowl (Source:  Search Engine Land)
  • #Hashtags were used in 38% of ads/commercials (up 31% compared to 2012) (Source:  Jeremiah Owyang)

Aside from Corporate URLs to continue the conversation, #Hashtags were the most used social tool throughout the Super Bowl (while Facebook was only used 7%, a mere 4% DECREASE).  The Super Bowl is one of the most watched cable event of the year with advertisers paying ~$4M for a 30 second commercial spot–you bet brands did their research and used what they feel is the best social tool.  And…I agree. 

To continue the conversation or add input, #hashtags are easy to use and easy to follow.  To find out more information about a specific topic, most search #hashtags, NOT Facebook posts.  In fact, most don’t even use Facebook search (except to find people/groups).  Facebook Graph Search usage will vary from user to user, but I still don’t see it being used to find trending topics, but instead to find people and research data amongst friends.

Facebook needs to figure out either how to utilize #hashtags or help users continue/discover the conversation.  How else can I figure out “what’s trending” on Facebook?  Try using #hashtags on Facebook posts and nothing happens.  Most people use #hashtags to find new content (its the new-age “tag”) because its easy, convenient and accurate.  How will Facebook bounce back?  We should expect them to react fast…they need to soon or else they’ll see a decrease in usage next year.

 

Facebook has took a stab at the social shopping market, but there hasn’t been much traction.  When they first rolled out “Facebook Deals” in April 2011, I was a bit skeptical and even rated the experience a 6 out of 10.

A year later and the news has broke out…Facebook Offers will be the next valid try at competing with Groupon.  CNET has a good point that with the upcoming IPO, this may be their shot at gaining some traction with their Groupon killer.  Could be…the future is in Facebook’s hands.

The idea of Facebook offers is good…the offers appear in your News Feed and give you quick call to actions to like, comment, share AND “Get Offer.”  Easy enough and the offer will be sent to you via email or to your mobile phone.

Now, I do have to admit that my recent experiences with Groupon have not been pleasant.  The buying experience with Groupon is great, but its when I present the Groupon at an actual restaurant or store.  I seem to get unpleasant service as a result…almost like they treat me bad because of the coupon.  I sure hope this does not continue with Facebook Offers.

Facebook Offers also gives people more incentive to “like” a particular company/store b/c with likes come offers…and with offers comes opportunities to SAVE money.  Who doesn’t like that?  Facebook can use their BILLION dollar user base to really become a challenger and if done right they can become THE leader.

Here’s a video showcasing the new “Offer” on Facebook:

 

Facebook is everywhere…movies, online, B2C, B2B, commercial stores and in almost every household in the nation.  Yet, where is Facebook’s presence lacking?  It’s an obvious one and its a billion dollar industry:  MUSIC.

Yes, Facebook has band pages where you can like an artist, learn about updates, etc.  But its just another website for a band.  Facebook is the Social King b/c of its transparency into people’s lives and ability to make connections with people around the world.  This same formula can be used for the music industry.  Facebook needs to tap into this billion dollar industry and is arguably the one “like” that links every person in the world.

Facebook’s reach is golden for starving artists AND hall of famers.  BUT, how can the King make it easier for artists to establish a brand, promote their music and keep existing fans happy?  The idea is simple and is already out there.  Pandora has a good start along with Spotify;  YouTube is ahead of everyone when it comes to music;  MySpace had something going for a while but somehow managed to disappear.

Here are the areas that Facebook can improve and ultimately make them unbeatable:

Discover

  • Recommend:  Facebook is capturing “likes” from friends and acquaintances already, but now this needs to be used.  When I’ve found a song or an artist I like, let me recommend them to my close friends.  After all, won’t I know better than Facebook what my friends like?
  • Integration:  I’d like to see better integration with YouTube and Pandora.  Create a seamless user interface that allows me to watch/browse music on these sites without having to open a new browser or download their desktop apps.  Facebook does a good job with integrating their presence in others, but let loose and let others integrate inside of Facebook.

Promote

  • Flexibility:  As an artist, give me the flexibility to customize my Fan page (of course within limits).  One thing MySpace allowed was the ability to add branding…Facebook is so limited that everything looks the same.  Someone who spent 1 minute on their profile looks no different than someone who spent 1 week.  I’m not asking for another version of Facebook, just meet somewhere in the middle.
  • What Makes an Artist:  Let me integrate my YouTube, Pandora, Spotify channels within my Fan page.  I’ll show a little of my music and I will give you insight on my inspirations.  I want to know who inspires Maroon 5.  I want to know what they listen to on the road, who they idolize and what they REALLY enjoy.

As an artist, I want to focus on tools that give me the biggest reach, allow me to spread my brand and give a personal look into my music life.  What better way than to use a billion dollar social network to promote a billion dollar business!  Let me showcase who I really am and have people see everything that I have to offer.

As a music lover, I want to know more about my favorite artists.  Make it easy for me to discover new artists based off who I already like.  Keep me locked on Facebook by making it easier to listen to my favorites and suggest new artists to my friends.  Sure, I can do this now, but make it more seamless and exciting.  For the music interest, Facebook is a bit boring..let’s put some “jazz” into it!

Facebook is a social giant and can use music as an opportunity to stick around for good.  Despite its popularity, Facebook needs to stay innovative and keep up with markets that already have a big following.  Challenging themselves in markets that aren’t familiar will keep them on top and away from becoming just another fad we had in the early 2000’s.

Mark!  Let’s make this happen buddy!

Discovered an interesting article asking if Groupon should acquire Foursquare?  This is tricky and at first does seem like a good business move for Groupon.  But who will this benefit more…Groupon or Foursquare?  Hands down, Foursquare will be the big winner and it makes sense.  Foursquare is looking for ways to make money and Groupon has that down pat.  What does Groupon gain?  The biggest gain is Foursquare’s users, but thats really it.

I’d argue that Groupon will gain most from partnering with Yelp.  IMO, Groupon’s biggest competitor is Facebook Deals and they will need to make bigger partnerships to stay on top.  I still prefer Groupon over Facebook, but thats now…things may change.

Here’s what Groupon needs to be thinking about in order to stay on top:

  • Engage Facebook and Twitter posts with “deals” – Groupon is awesome, they have daily deals and make it easy for users to make purchases.  But how do they keep users on their site?  Perhaps integrate FB and Twitter posts with people who have bought the daily deal.
  • Allow “ratings” for Groupons – This is valuable and will help future users make purchases.  I’ve noticed that some companies use Groupon over and over again to attract new customers, this is great!  However, why now allow users to rate their experience using a Groupon at a specific store for future use.  I know of a few friends who have had bad experiences (company giving bad service b/c of a Groupon, company not accepting Groupon code from iPhone).
  • Create categories for Groupons – Location-based Groupons are great, it works and its the easiest way for me to find a Groupon near me.  But what about those Groupon deals (like Fandango) that you can use in any location?  Categorizing those type of offers into groups (Movies, Music, Entertainment, Sporting, etc)

I commend Groupon for joining partnerships with other social tools, but keep growing and improving the user experience.  User experience is one key advantage you have over Facebook.  Don’t settle for the small buy-outs and instead take some risks and make big splashes.  It’s the only way you can compete with big companies.  Just hope that Google doesn’t get into the “deal” business.

Techmeme broke the news…and its definitely newsworthy and a MUST know!

Its awesome news for Fan Pages on Facebook of big brands like (Cola, Sony, Apple, etc) b/c all photos can now be linked to their respective Fan Pages.  See the image below, Coca Cola is tagged in a Facebook photo (photo taken from tech crunch, rights belong to them).

I see many ways that businesses can start using this to their advantage.  Almost anything and everything can be tagged now in any given photo.  Think about it…

Marketing and advertising is built on repetition and constantly pounding a particular brand into our brains.  Facebook is a social tool that some of use multiple times a day and what better way to get brands all up in Facebook wherever we look.  I see a lot of alliances being made and maybe brands should reward users who tag their brand X times.  Thats a real big incentive for us…otherwise, will I tag my Apple computer? Maybe, depends I guess.

Wow, a few days ago I posted that Google/Facebook were in the run to purchase Skype, but in a stunning twist of fate, Microsoft’s deal with Skype is complete.

This is Microsoft’s first big acquisition since 2008 and its a big one.  Skype has been trying to spread their technology to several different platforms in all segments today’s tech world (gaming, mobile, corporate, etc) and now Microsoft will have its chance to integrate it with all of their products as well.  Aside from the xbox 360 Kinect, I’m not sure what other products will benefit, but we will see.  I still think Facebook would have been the better choice.  Analysts agree that maybe this specific deal between Skype and Microsoft wasn’t the best, but for different reasons than me.  In fact, Whitney Tilson, founder and a managing partner of T2 Partners LLC, who owns Microsoft shares, also includes:

I wish they had not done it.  Initially when I first read about it, I hated the deal. Now, I don’t like it.  Everybody I know uses it and I am glad Microsoft owns it. They just probably paid too much for it.

Others, including Kim Caughey Forrest, senior analyst at Fort Pitt Capital Group, which holds Microsoft shares, said:

They really have to do some explaining as to how this company merited that price and how they’ll return the value to shareholders.

Time will tell, Microsoft could prove to prevail with this acquisition and make the next big killer Kinect and Skype combo OR reach everyone in the world!

Interesting news to come out of today’s business world.  Cannot wait to see what comes next from either of these two corporations.

A few years back I wrote a post about Facebook and if they can win the battle over MySpace.

Here are the highlights of that post written back in 2007:

Provides a legitimate social networking platform

  • MySpace: Yes, but who is part of the network? Probably, friends you met at a party, someone who is in your class, someone you think is cute, or spam.
  • Facebook: Yes, and although the network could be any of the above, it also includes colleagues and business professionals. That’s the difference! The network on Facebook is a lot more professional and older. Obviously, MySpace has its own niche, but will this survive the rapid popularity of Facebook?

Provides an opportunity to show one’s personality

  • MySpace: Yes, all power is in the hands of the creator. This is something MySpace has mastered! And the younger generation loves it! But, does it get old? Well, I know my sister loves MySpace and so do my parents, but what about my generation? Where do we go? FACEBOOK…but can facebook keep my generation for long?
  • Facebook: No, theres not much room for creativity. Of course this is the intention, but is it the right strategy? I know its great for my generation, but will it withstand the generation swings? Can Facebook keep people like me interested?

Web 2.0?

  • MySpace: Although, I’d say that MySpace has some good web 2.0 widgets, its just not up to par. Then again, this might not be their strategy. But, this could put them significantly behind competition if they dont keep up because their users are evolving…and they need to be aware of this.
  • Facebook: Absolutely! I like the whole idea about the Feeds (although some think its a bit invasive). Plus now you can import flickr photos directly to facebook!

Here to stay?

  • MySpace: Yes, but for who? I feel like MySpace is very niche, either you like it or you dont! Can this keep them the top social networking site? Im not too sure
  • Facebook: Face it, we are all on it or at least talking about it. Even the Community Evangelist at LinkedIn, Mario Sundar, has a facebook account. AND even Jeremiah, who asked the question if he really needs it since he already has LinkedIn and his blog, signed up and is adding friends.
The key questions I asked were:
  1. MySpace is a niche platform, but can they survive the popularity of Facebook?  Facebook exploded and MySpace could not do anything about it.  Instead they integrated with fb and remained a niche market.  In the end, this hurt them and they will not be able to recover.
  2. MySpace is interesting and can Facebook keep my generation interested?  At first Facebook seemed to be boring and me along with everyone else I knew (my family, coworkers, and friends) but now it completely switched.  Turns out Facebook is more “cool” and receptive of all generations because of its ease of use and instant mobile capabilities.  Its fast and easy to set up profiles  and keep them updated.  For older generations thats key b/c they may not be as tech savy as younger generations.  For younger generations its key b/c our lives are so fast we need something easy to update!  Facebook has kept me interested and my vote is it will continue to.
  3. Who wins the battle of Web 2.0 integrations?  Facebook is the KING of feeds and won this by far.  But its more of everyone wants to be a part of Facebook, rather than Facebook trying to reach out.  This is what makes the tool so compelling!  Its the fact that any other social media tool is integrated and can update my status on fb.
  4. Are they here to stay?  Facebook yes and MySpace probably not for the mainstream but still for musical artists.  Thats the niche for them.  Facebook has flourished into something bigger than what anyone every expected.  Now if you dont have a Facebook, we look at you like “whats wrong with you.”  Just like anyone who plays music on the go needs to have an iPod, anyone who cares about their “social” status, needs a Facebook.
There we have it, looks like the battle is over and has been over for quite some time.  Good job on Facebook’s part with taking a small idea and making it big.  Facebook is even considering buying Skype now.  The sky is the limit for them.

Social Deals is set to challenge the likes of Groupon and LivingSocial, but is Facebook doing the right thing?  Let’s take a look at Facebook Places vs Foursquare, did it do justice and become a true challenger?  Not really, yes I personally stopped using Foursquare, but not b/c of Facebook.  FB places just become another check-in site (like yelp).  It offered no real “reward” for checking in; at least with Foursquare department stores started offering promotion codes.

Now with Social Deals, Facebook has a lot of catching up to do.  As a heavy user of Groupon, Facebook needs to stay on top of their competitive edge and run with it.  Social Deals must be more user friendly, make it easier to purchase coupons and keep track of existing used and non-used coupons.  See what other people think…

Take a look at some screen shots of what the new deals page looks like on fb:

DEAL OVERVIEW PAGE

INDIVIDUAL DEAL PAGE


My first impression is 6/10 stars.  Facebook needs to provide additional value than Groupon.  Honestly, all of the sites have the same deals, but which one is going to make it EASIEST for me to use?  I sure hope Facebook improves this.  And…hopefully when I buy a Facebook Deal, the whold world doesn’t find out!

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