Tag Archives: facebook

Facebook Expands Advertising No Small Announcement

5 Mar

Facebook Logo

What is the Future of Facebook?

At an event that included a performance by Alicia Keys (doesn’t she have something better to do?), Facebook announced a few big changes to the way it’s going to handle advertising. These days hearing that Facebook is changing comes with more indifferent sighs and grunts from its users. What they might not be thinking about is that these decisions might be critical decisions about the future of their favorite website.

Since Facebook has allowed advertising and with their IPO on the imminent horizon there should be no shockers when it comes to advertising on Facebook. Next time you’re on Facebook check out the terms and services. You’ll come to the sobering realization that Facebook owns your ass and there’s nothing you do can do about it.

Even with Facebook arguably at the peak of its membership performance the next hurdle will be how can they grow through monetization? This is a tricky thing to navigate. If you appeal too much to the advertisers at the expense of the user experience you’ll fail. Lean too favorably to the members and you’ll fall equally hard.

We’re in a very interesting and exciting age of new mediums right now. In my opinion the internet is finally realizing its full potential in so far as our ability to connect and consume information. While the capability is there no one knows what the hell they’re doing yet. The likes of Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Pinterest, Spotify etc. are venturing into unknown business territory. The rules are being made up as we go along.

What this all makes me wonder is where will all of this be in the next ten years, twenty years, fifty years? Will Google and Facebook be the GE and P&G of the next century? That’s hard to imagine at this point. The announcement about Facebook’s new advertising policy and looming IPO might be very small news to most of its users, but how they handle the coming months and years might determine the course of the social media medium as we know it.

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Strangers Can Follow You On Facebook Now

15 Sep

picture via "Inside Facebook"

I remember the first time I heard about Facebook.  My first thought was, “that sounds like a god awful idea.  I can talk to people with AIM.”  There’s a reason I haven’t become an angel investor.  It didn’t take long before I was checking out the site.  The only problem was that I was in high school and didn’t have a college account, which meant I couldn’t sign up.

Today, Facebook introduced a new feature called “subscribing.”  Essentially subscribing takes the idea of following people on twitter and gives you even more control over what messages you view.  That whistling your hearing right now is the proverbial bomb that I’m about to drop.  You can also follow…excuse me…”subscribe” to people that you’re not friends with.  This means, you guessed it, people can subscribe to you too.  Facebook does emphasize that you need to opt in to allow people you’re not “friends” with to follow you.The idea of exclusivity which Facebook was born out of is withering to nothing.  It started with them dropping the need for a college email account.  Then Facebook advertising, business pages, a marketplace, Facebook chat, and the list goes on.

All that being said subscribing sounds like a great concept.  I love the idea of choosing what messages I see.  The way everyone used to describe Facebook was it’s a way to keep up with old friends.  I would argue that they’ve gotten far away from that concept subscribing helps bring it back.  Now you can filter the messages of people on your peripheral so that you only get the important info.  You might not care about the fantasy football team run by a guy you went to high school with, but you might care if he moved to the UK or got a new job.

Google plus might have been the best thing that happened to Facebook.  Since then they’ve made some great changes that make their UI even better. In the process the mega social media platform may have sold what little was left of its soul.  With social media becoming exponentially more popular each day will we ever see a “private” network again?  Or was the cult like atmosphere of Facebook’s early days just a fad?  What do you think?

Josh P Greenberg
Follow: @JoshPGreenberg
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Related Articles:
Facebook Mimics Twitter, Offers A “Subscribe” Option So Strangers Can Get Your Updates

Google Plus Will Punish You For Not Using Your Real Name

9 Sep

Google Plus might have an issue with Ron Artest's new name

What’s in a name?  Have you thought about all the different monikers you’ve ever gone by?  How many different usernames, screen names, nicknames, and pseudonyms have you created in your lifetime?  Probably more than you can count or even recollect.

Google+ wants to simplify your life by only allowing you to use your real name.  No longer will the web know you as HelloKittyGirl99 (I love that this is real) for those of you with Plain Jane names.  Google Chairman Eric Schmidt said in a Q&A session, “Google+ was built primarily as an identity service, so fundamentally, it depends on people  using their real names if they’re going to build future products that leverage that information.” To which Andy Carvin of NPR commented, “Regarding people who are concerned about their safety, [Schmidt] said G+ is completely optional.  No one is forcing you to use it.  It’s obvious for people at risk if they use their real names, they shouldn’t use G+.”

That doesn’t sound like the type of message a social networking service should be sending out, especially one that is trying to take down Facebook.  I might agree that if your life is in danger by using your real name that it isn’t worth the sacrifice so you can +1 your friend’s cat picture.

Many people on Facebook change their names.  A number of them do it to dodge employers, stalkers, or to change a generic name so they can be found if desired.  Sometimes it’s as simple as using your middle name instead of your last, while others go for the full blown name change.  Even William Shatner had his profile suspended for not following the rules.

Does the Google+ model completely break down if you want to change your name from Yoshihariana to Yoshi?  I would think not.  It feels more likely with each passing day that Google will sell out its followers to advertisers or the like.  Maybe not anytime soon, but if this project really does make a social mark we may not be able to hide in social networking witness protection.

 G+ has an agenda here for sure

-Josh P Greenberg
Follow: @JoshPGreenberg
Follow: @Rated_JPG

Related Articles:
Google Attempts To Clarify Google Plus Name Policy
Google VP offers up fixes to Google+ name policy, debunks myths

Facebook Creates Its Own Circles

23 Aug

New features are sorely needed

Google+ hit the market with a colossal amount of buzz.  Everyone was talking about it, wondering who would be able to give them an invite.  While most social media bloggers laud G+ for its relative ease of use, will the general public accept it?

The biggest asset Google+ has is the concept of circles.  Being able to target your messages makes them more effective.  With all the social media noise out there it is easy to blast someone’s account with too much information.  That can lead to people either ignoring your message or worse, blocking it entirely.  Targeted messaging also helps when trying to maintain your privacy.  If you want to say something you wouldn’t want your coworkers to hear it’s now easy to shut of that valve.

With Facebook’s new sharing and privacy features, however, Google’s biggest gun might have been neutralized.  Now when sharing a post (or really anything) you can choose who can view it and even create specific groups.   Basically that accomplishes what circles was meant to do on Google+.  Another very big change to Facebook is how you tag photos.  Before the only way to hide an incriminating photo (mostly underage drinking for those young job seekers) was to not take it and hope no one else had a camera.  Now you have the ability to reject a tag request and even send a message telling the host to take it down.   These types of changes will appear in various places across Facebook.

So now that Facebook has landed a heavy blow to an already tapering Google+ user base, how does G+ keep people from returning to Facebook?  This battle has only just begun.

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Related Article:
Here’s How Facebook’s New Sharing And Privacy Features Work