Tag Archives: mark zuckerberg

5 ways to get ready for f-commerce

Facebook Credits: could they be a new global currency?

Facebook Commerce is coming, haven’t you heard?  Doing business with your customers via Facebook is the next big thing. So, if you’re lagging behind in this space, what should you do to get ready?

1. Build a fan base

Creating a Facebook fan page (or 100 fan pages) creates you a beachhead on the world’s favourite social network and an owned audience channel to engage with your fans for as long as they ‘like’ you.  Companies like Syncapse [Disclosure: where I work] or any of the Facebook Preferred Developer Consultants will help.

2. Integrate social plugins to your website

Take a look at The Huffington Post – note how it uses your Facebook identity to provide you a personalised experience – the news as recommended by your friends. Go and do likewise.

3. Create a Facebook application so you have permission to message your Facebook fans via email.

A Facebook application, whether a competition, a game or utility, will give you access to the social data you’re going to need to be successful – at minimum it’s a way to send a push message to your customers via email.

4. Understand Facebook Credits 

Facebook Credits could be the global currency of the future – but every transaction will cost you 30%? Seems a crazy percentage? Well it’s for real, you’d better look at your your financial model in light of this. Credits are only accepted for virtual goods at present but understanding why they are worth 30% is perhaps your first port of call.

5. Start trialling today

Take one part of your business and start trialling some aspect of Facebook commerce – there are off the shelf tools to try, as you can see from my own Facebook shop.  The only thing is clear, doing nothing and just ‘listening’ as so many companies seem to be doing, is no longer an option.

Nudge win London Hackathon as judged by Mark Zuckerberg

Toby, Mark, Iskandar and Geoff at the Facebook Garage London

Ever tried to go to a Facebook party and found the tube lines were down? Our entry in the recent Facebook Developer Garage London Hackathon saves you the pain.

The hackathon gave us 5 hours to write a cool Facebook app that used the new Open Graph API Facebook recently unveiled.

TubeWarning (http://www.tubewarning.com) checks your Facebook events and two hours before an event checks the tube lines for you.  If they are down you get a nice email telling you what the problems are. Nice, simple and it just works.

Mark Zuckerberg said to me the next day “I told David Cameron about your app this morning, and he thought it was pretty cool!”.

Cool indeed. Thanks Mark!

Toby presents on stage

Tube Warning in action - thanks to the winning team which consisted of Pankaj Naug, Rafal Wieczorek and Steve Folkes.

Why Microsoft really wants to buy Facebook

If you’ve been following Web 2 you can’t help but notice, plastered on the front cover of the FT this morning, the $15bn valuation Bill Gates just handed to fresh faced Mark Zuckerberg (pictured) and his Facebook.

This doesn’t make sense if you think of Facebook as just another social network. The potential earning from display advertising alone doesn’t really stack up to $15bn does it?

However, since June, Facebook is now two things – first it’s a social network that lets you find old friends and share photos but second, and much much more interestingly, it’s an application platform.

You know the applications, those added extras you can play with friends like SuperPoke, My Aquarium, and Scrabulous. For now they are just for fun but the more serious apps are coming.

Why the Platform

The platform cuts “adoption friction” for new software because users start with having a password and being logged in, familiarity with how the user interface works and they’ve got their friends around them. With traditional web apps it could take 6 months for an ordinary non-technical user to get to this stage – with Facebook it’s 6 seconds.

The other serious application platform is Microsoft Windows. Mac and Linux/Unix are its only competitors left. There was a time when there were many, I had a summer job working for IBM selling OS/2 Warp (a Windows competitor at the time) and I can remember enviously watching the swarm around the Windows presentation stand in Gleneagles back in 1994…

The only swarm now is around Facebook and Microsoft knows it. The new platform war is for the social web platform. The competitors are Google (Orkut), MySpace, Yahoo, Facebook, MSN, and Linked In.

This $240m investment is a bit about advertising but I think it’s more about platform. The race to be the number one web application platform has begun and Facebook has a very big head start.

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