Tag Archives: facebook connect

Myspace will be an app on Facebook by 2011

Rupert and Wendi Murdoch at a recent film premiere

MySpace, wow it’s a crazy social network that one. Ads galore I feel like I’ve stepped back in time each time I use it. I got a similar feeling last week when I tried out Skyrock, kind of an earlier social web.

Where was the clean, utilitarian, streamlined Facebook I’ve come to love. The platform that gets out of the way as soon as my friends start talking.
But where is MySpace going? If it’s no longer competing head to head with Facebook (recent FT news article) then that means it needs, long term, to integrate with it.
I give MySpace 6 months before they integrate Facebook Connect and maybe 18 months before you can access your MySpace account from within Facebook itself, whatever it looks like then.

Wouldn’t that be wonderful – single sign on, privacy and newsfeed, all handled by Facebook, yet with the liveliness and music activism of Myspace.  The only problem for MySpace is can they swallow their pride (and some of their ad revenue).

If they don’t then I wouldn’t be surprised if Facebook based competitor Ilike matures (it already has 50m users) to break out new bands instead.

UPDATE 30/11– It’s worth mentioning that iLike is actually owned by Myspace

CNN gets social media


Screenshot of CNN the forum showing Facebook Connect results

Screenshot of CNN the forum showing Facebook Connect results

I wrote recently about how I wanted to see politics on the web through a friend lens on Sky News and now it’s great to see it in action on CNN.


CNN’s the forum integrates Facebook Connnect so I can engage with CNN news, US political debate and see what my friends are voting.  It came sixth in Mashable’s recent survey of 10 great implementations of Facebook Connect.

In the illustration you can see my political badge (not that relevant as I am in the UK) and that of Dave Morin who has been heading up Facebook Connect since its announcement in May.

Tip it! A tip jar for the social web?



Cristiano's Blog has a Tip Jar on the right hand side

Cristiano's blog has a Tip Me request on the right hand side



A successful micro payment solution, a way someone could give 30 pence to read a web page, has been a dream of web content publishers like the Economist, FT and so on since the dawn of the web.

Usually it has failed as a concept due to two factors:


  1. high relative transaction costs (PayPal) who wants to pay a bank 20 pence to handover 30 pence?
  2. people spend too much time thinking about the purchase – most people apply the same due diligence to all purchases they make, only varying slightly depending on the purchase price (if you are the type of person that buys the first suitable chocolate bar you see in a shop, you’re probably going to buy the first suitable house you see). 
    i.e. there is high relative thinking time cost to a micro-payment – 5 mins to buy a CD wirth £15 is okay but spending 2 mins to buy a blog article for 30p is a waste of time


But, in social media, like the rest of the web, there is still a demand by content producers (now singleton bloggers) to monetise their content. Charging a monthly subscription (the solution favoured by the traditional media brands) isn’t going to work as they simply don’t have enough content to warrant it. A newspaper provides thousands of content items a day, a blogger struggles to produce one a day.

However, like the traditional “busker” a blogger can attract funds through tipping. Enter tipit.to a nice tipping service that I discovered on the home page of new Nudge developer, Cristiano Betta.


TipIt screenshot

TipIt screenshot



The tool lets you create a tip fund (like £2) and then quickly give 50p here and there to bloggers when you appreciate their posts. If you haven’t got a fund together you can just pledge a tip until you have paid in enough to your fund. According to Reinier Zwitserloot, from Tip it, about 75% of pledges are already paid up and the average tip is 50p or $1.

So who is using it? Well, take up is about 50% bloggers and 50% donation drives and service requests (like competitor service chipin).  They are moving into providing the service for music artist pages, remember last year’s Radiohead tip jar approach to releasing an album.

So, tipping is being used on the social web. However is it the finished product?

For me to leave a tip, I really need the social pressure as when leaving a restaurant with friends (a cynic might say the real customers to whom I want to demonstrate my generosity ;o).

Tipping on the web might work  if my friends can see I’ve been to a site (mybloglog, facebook connect) but forgot to leave a tip… so for tipping to work on the social web we need to mash-up tipit with facebook connect.

Toby just read your blog and left a tip of 50p…. that might encourage others to do the same.

Highlights from F8

Mark Zuckerberg at Facebook's annual developer conference F8

Mark Zuckerberg at Facebook's annual developer conference F8

Facebook’s mega developer conference in San Francisco set the scene for the next 12 months of the social web. Mark Zuckerberg and team are setting the pace for how we interact with our friends online.

The main highlights:

  • A mission about giving people the power to share, an ecosystem that will reward apps that help people share
  • A set of ten core values for what an app should do: meaningful (social, useful, expressive, engaging), trustworthy (secure, respectful, transparent), well designed (clean, fast and robust)
  • A verification and awards programme for great apps
  • A way of logging on to existing web sites with your Facebook account so bringing your  details with you (photo, name etc) and seeing what your friends are up to on that web site (Facebook Connect) Read Om Malik on Why it matters and why Facebook will win for more.
  • Lots and lots of excitement – the hype burn off that we’ve seen in London is definitely not here
  • Increasing investment into app companies, especially those creating apps for students (fb fund recipients) as well as the usual suspects of travel apps, wish lists and games networks
  • More improvements to the feed aggregation and story templates, new ways to view the feed – top stories, status updates, photos, posted notes and via the mini-profile. The feed is increasingly becoming central to the Facebook user experience – a bit as I predicted last year.
  • Virtuous circle of sharing – the more people view stuff that people have shared the more likely they are to then share stuff themselves

Of the third parties I liked:

  • Kontagent who have a really good tracking system for measuring cohort activity and A/B testing on Facebook apps.
  • Flixster who have a solid money making business model paid for by the hollywood studios distributing blockbusters – their clients refreshingly were happy that users engaged with the product (viewed movie details, watched a trailer, added to want to see list) all within the platform and weren’t trying to count number of clicks to an external site
  • CourseFeed – who were getting 30%-40% take up of their app within universities – by first signing up the university who then made it available to students. Shows the power of facebook within an enterprise context.

All in all, a useful conference: it was more to get inside the heads of the people building the platform, the sharing systems and how they are designing it. Understanding the thinking is very useful and will help me build better and more effective apps.

I didn’t get to meet Mark Zuckerberg unfortunately, but I did manage to meet his sister.. :o)

Toby Beresford and Randi Zuckerberg at F8

Toby Beresford and Randi Zuckerberg at F8

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