Tag Archives: facebook

Facebook Share Price – Don’t Panic

I’ve been looking at the Facebook share price this morning and wondering whether the market has it right. So of course the stock is overhyped, but the fundamentals aren’t going away:

– social is a new layer on the whole internet – across the world knowing what your friends think matters more to people than knowing what experts think

– tech companies tend to become monopolies (look at Microsoft and Google) due to network effects

– With over a billion users Facebook owns the majority share of the social layer across the world

So yeah there are things to sort out, like monetising verticals other than games, providing advertising opportunities on mobile devices, but these are no big deal, it’s just a question of getting the balance right.

Apart from games, Facebook has monetised so far around its product (display ads on the side for example) while keeping the core experience free. With products like sponsored stories (where you pay for your best stories to be spread even further) it monetises within its product.  If they can navigate the cultural issues right then they will do very well indeed.

I wouldn’t sell your Facebook shares just yet.

Why the unread flag is becoming really important


William Hague responds to my request for information on our Libyan strategy...

Yes, it’s end-of-the-week bug-bear time. Today I’m going to express a slight irritation over the handling of unread flags for social media inboxes by my various smart devices.

Let’s take the example of a simple twitter @ response. In this case one I received from William Hague (good in itself) to a simple question I posed to him about Libya on twitter (‘Why are we there?’) during a demonstration of the power of social media. I saw his response appear on my Blackberry and I retweeted it proudly. That all went well.

However, what is less satisfactory, is that I was also notified about this tweet mention on my android phone (ok so maybe I’m on odd in having two phones) despite already having ‘read’ it on my blackberry. I also was notified when I opened my Ipad by the twitter app that sits on there.

I don’t want to have to read things twice or even three times to flag that I read it. It’s a complete waste of time.

The problem is that the unread / read flag (as so often used by email inboxes) is not shared by the API or is not handled correctly by the various client software.

This isn’t a problem limited to Twitter – I get frustrated having to ‘mark as read’ LinkedIn emails online that I’ve responded to via my phone, via email or on the Ipad, it’s also a problem with Facebook messages and notifications – the Facebook for blackberry app currently shows 23 unread messages yet when I look online I’m all up to date.

It’s a problem that unless addressed is only set to get worse as we get more platforms and more devices – I like the convenience of accessing social messages from various devices but this is an issue I just wish would go away.

So, if you’re implementing a social media platform then please make sure the unread/read flag is part of your messaging API. If you’re implementing a social media client application then make sure you take account of the unread/read flag (thank you Flipboard who are quite good at this!) and you’ll make the information stream a better, less frustrating place to be.

End of bug-bear. Have a great Royal Wedding weekend!

Goodbye wild west – hurrah for the Second Internet

The days of the Internet being like the Wild West? So over... Photo credit: anyjazz65

It’s the buzz phrase of the moment – Second Internet and it stands for a lot of things – including open platforms, personalised experiences and social web features.

It is also about making the web safer, in particular our data, and for that the movement should be applauded.

The leading lights of the second internet have all added credit card type security to their sites. In particular, Facebook in January, Twitter last month and Foursquare last week.

While it doesn’t stop security problems in-channel (predators adding themselves as so called ‘friends’) it certainly starts to put up a much needed wall around our data as it hops its way across the internet.

When creating content on social – think canapes not main meal

Social media content should be like a canape - quick to gobble and easy to digest. Photo: sushi♥ina

Too many brands and companies are trying to create immersive and complex experience for their customers on social media.

The reality is that social media content should be quick to read and easy to digest. That’s because social media is the equivalent of a drinks party – we’re standing up, talking to lots of people, we haven’t sat down to a full meal.

When I sign up to your website, that’s when I’m ready for a full meal – that’s the time to give me white papers, full game experiences, complex competitions.

When I’m on social, I’m a butterfly, fluttering past, think yourself blessed if I stop by to nibble on one of your content canapes. That means 140 character twitter posts that say everything you want to say, Facebook wall posts that include a single meaningful photo and youtube videos that are under two minutes long.

New Discovery Interface for Facebook Pages

Facebook's new pages discovery interface

Just spotted a new discovery interface for Facebook Pages.

The various brand pages are sorted according, I assume, to their weight within Facebook’s EdgeRank algorithms for ranking content.  So, the most popular pages, among my friends, appear first.

But, wait! What are Liverpool FC and Tottenham Hotspur doing in there? I support Arsenal but it seems more of my friends support Tottenham and Liverpool… oh dear, my social network is out of sync.

Now, what do you call someone who thinks they are in one social tribe, but are in fact in another…?

Introducing the Petal model of social engagement

Petal Model for Social Engagement

I want to introduce a new model for planning social engagement around your application or page. I’m calling it the Petal Model as it has four ‘petals’ that you need to think about when designing for social.

The diagram above shows the model, now here’s the explanation!

Discovery – this is where completely new users find out about your page or app.  This might be media traffic driving or from another channel (website or email for example)

Active Viral Loop – this is how users will get their friends to engage. It’s active because it requires the user to do something additional to entice their friends in – it might be publishing a post on their wall or inviting a friend to join in a game.

Passive Viral Loop – this is how friends discover the application indirectly – for example seeing a friend in the leaderboard, seeing that a user has invited a mutual friend and clicking in to see what the fuss is about.

Positive Daily Loop – this is a reward a user can get each day they return to the application. Typically this might be a daily virtual coin bonus or in an online farm this might be some crops that can be harvested.

Negative Daily Loop – this is the penalty for what happens if you don’t return. In our online farm this might be that the crops die, the farmyard overgrows with weeds and so on.

By considering all four types of loops in a social application you will be well on your way to ensuring you are maximising your social engagement and the spread of your application.

Don’t forget that just as a flower can have many petals, there is no limit to the number of petals you have in your application.

As an exercise, why not look at a game like FrontierVille and count the loops you can find – you may be surprised just how many there are…

What social networks will survive in the future?

Path is one new social network competing for our attention

This is a question we’re always asked.  It’s usually phrased as “what comes after Facebook” but the sentiment is the same.

I think the key response is that social networks in some form or other are here to stay.

A social network is a digital mapping of your relationships and  tools to communicate with them.

I believe that in the future most users will want to maintain the following social networks of these approximate sizes:

  1. A social network (120 friends and family) for general communications
  2. An email network (400) for direct person to person communications
  3. A telephone network (16) for your most important friends
  4. A business network (50-100 people) for people you do business with
  5. A games network (5-10 people) for people you play games with.
  6. A number of specific interest networks (10-1000) people (eg. sports, religion, hobbies, special interest groups)

From a strategic point of view you can see the major networks competing to provide more features – Facebook is launching email to take control of both your social and email network for example. Google just tried to buy Path for an eye-watering $120m.

They will always be competing with new social networks will continue to spring up as technology changes – for example Path is a social network designed around your location, Blippy is a social network around what you purchase.

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