Following Twitter’s announcement that they will soon offer Twitter Web Analytics Facebook are to release a subscribe button. At first, this may not seem like a big deal, however this will have massive implications, which will ultimately benefit the world’s largest social network a great deal. Read the rest of this entry
I’ve purposely waited a bit to post this, as I didn’t want people to think I was posting to benefit from adding keywords surrounding recent events to improve search rankings (like Mashable did). It’s taken from a Google+ post I put up a few days ago.
So, is it going to be the death of a celebrity, a catastrophic event or the airing of a popular tv show that spells the end of Twitter?
I really love Twitter. To be honest though, whenever one of the three types of events above occurs, I turn my back on it until everyone gets off their soapbox.
Facebook is the same. Status updates like “Who gives a f*ck about some crackhead when so many people are suffering in Norway” make me want to just delete my account altogether. The other side of the fence is just as annoying, “This is the worst thing to happen to music since the death of John Lennon”. Oh please. It’s devastating, but Lennon changed the shape of pop and rock music as part of the most influential band the world has ever seen.
I want to get a couple of things straight before I start singing the praises of Google Plus. First of all, I LOVE Twitter. Absolutely love it. Secondly, I live with Facebook because it is the easiest way to keep up with people I know that are scattered all over the place. For me, Twitter is like eating cake; something I do regularly because I really enjoy it. Facebook is like ironing clothes, something I feel compelled to do to keep up appearances.
So now I’ve set the scene, here is an outline of the feature I like most about Google plus. Read the rest of this entry
Following on from my Facebook fatigue or just lazy journalism article comes news from Online Social Media, who also source Mashable and TechCrunch, that Facebook and Skype will work together to provide an in-browser video chat platform.
This, I believe, is awesome news. It’s great because you will be able to video chat with friends and family easily through the social networking tool that you use most regularly to keep in touch with them. Brilliant! I would call it Faceypook. They will probably not call it Faceypook.
Those benefits (and my proposed working title for the project) to one side, lets discuss one of the main objectives of university careers offices – getting students and graduates in front of employers. I’m not talking about your established graduate recruiters, but the masses of other opportunity providers out there. The majority of these providers have Facebook pages and more or less every student has a Facebook account, and despite the great work so far in linking the two through university Facebook pages, the benefits are there for all to see but could be much higher. There is a great opportunity for careers services to facilitate these online conversations.
In its current state, it is difficult to take advantage of Facebook’s massive reach within the student community in relation to careers advice and opportunities. In the eyes of most students, Facebook is for friends, photos, family, etc, not for finding employment. Careers service Facebook pages are gaining more interest, Salford University are doing some great work and reaping the benefits, but often pages are used as a referral mechanism to events or information outside the remit of Facebook. How great will it be then when (although it is tbc) Skype video chat through Facebook becomes a reality? It will, I believe, be the catalyst for students to use video in their job search and become more aware of the need for a professionally maintained online presence.
Careers service Facebook pages will become meeting points for job seeking students/graduates and potential employers – facilitating video interviews between the two. As a recruiter, I’d pay for that service – to chat directly to job seekers. I imagine that Skype’s group calling functionality will be implemented at some point, thus enabling calls to be moderated if required. What a great opportunity for organisations to tap into a fantastic recruitment market and for students to ‘meet’ employers and hone their interview technique!
Lets leave the ‘video can be used to discriminate’ chat at the door for this one. My stance on this issue is that if an employer is stupid enough to let the age, race, gender or a disability affect their recruitment decisions in a video interview, by excluding the video interview process you simply postpone their discrimination until the face-to-face interview. The opportunities that come with being able to tap into the world’s biggest social network outweigh the potential negatives brought about by “what if”s.
On a sidenote, if you hear a loud groan when the Skype/Facebook video chat service is released, that’ll be Google realising that Google+ is now even less likely to take off properly. Ah well Google, chin up, 4th time lucky eh?
Add your thoughts and comments on how this service could be rolled out or whether you think it’s a good idea or not, alternatively tweet thoughts to my account – @OnlineAStevens.
I meant to write a post in response to this Decline In Users Hints At ‘Facebook Fatigue’ article from Sky News, published on Yahoo on June 14th, sooner but I was on holiday. I had no data connection, so I did some real world things like being taken for my stag do (no doubt pictures soon to appear on Facebook) and taking the little fella to the beach, instead of having my face stuffed in my mobile.
The point I wanted to raise about this article, and similar knee-jerk ‘news’ content that gets spewed out, is that sections of the press seem to be constantly looking for an anti-Facebook story. Don’t get me wrong, Facebook doesn’t need me sticking up for it, and there are plenty of negative points that you could raise about them. But if you’re going to do this effectively, at least get the calculator out and apply some forethought before you start predicting the beginning of the end for the world’s leading social networking site.
The article is based on the fact that Facebook recently lost 100,000 UK accounts. This equates to only 0.3% of the 30m UK accounts in existance. I doubt that this minor drop off is keeping Mr Zuckerberg awake at night. I’m sure instead he will be thinking about the fact that, according to Checkfacebook.com, their 30m users equate to 67% of UK internet users. Also remember that this is account numbers we’re talking about. The 0.3% will be dead wood, accounts that are not being used. The other 99.7% of UK accounts are using Facebook as their main platform to share content they have created themselves and content they come across online.
Here are some other Facebook facts that indicate that the world is some way from suffering from a severe case of ‘Facebook fatigue’:
- Facebook has over 500 million active (and active is the key word here) users worldwide, Facebook.com
- 30 billion pieces of content are shared through Facebook each month, Facebook.com
- 1 out of every 6 pages views in the UK are attributed to Facebook – twice the number of Google, Experian Hitwise
There will be a saturation point at which growth slows to a stop, but they have prolonged their life span by embedding themselves on near enough every website with like/share buttons – 250 million people engage with Facebook every month on external websites. They’ll be ok for a while yet. With this article, could it be that Sky and Mr Murdoch were trying to avert people’s attention from the fact that he had to sell ‘social networking fall from grace case study’ MySpace for 10% of what he paid for it this week?
Facebook will continue to grow in 2011 and I personally think that their next step will be into the online voucher market, to counter the proposed merger between online coupon provider Groupon and location-based social networking site Foursquare. I also think they will look to improve their photo and video upload service within the next year, as the existing interface leaves a lot to be desired.
Have you found yourself using Facebook less recently, or do you even use it at all? Add comments below or tweet to @OnlineAStevens.
So, Google have introduced their +1 button.
I don’t think that this will have Facebook quaking in their boots. First off, for personalised recommendations (i.e. X number of your friends +1’d this) you need to link your Google account to those of your friends. Who does this really? I’d say 5-10% of Google account holders. We pretty much all have a Google account (and if you don’t, you should) but we use it for the tools like Gmail and Google Docs rather than as an integrated social media account. The average Facebook user has 200 to 400 friends that they communicate with/see statuses from regularly through the social networking site. Can anybody boast the same exposure of their social activity via their Google contacts?
Secondly, in relation to the anonymous +1’s, you have a situation whereby the most popular content, not the best quality or most accurate, rises to the top. I believe that rather than creating a nice cream-topped Irish coffee of search results, they will actually resemble the froth that gathers on the water of an inner-city renovated docks complex. Content from people like Piers Morgan and Lady Gaga will probably end up on the first page of our search results and, be honest, do any of us really want that to happen?!
Not that Facebook are quaking in their boots at +1, but they do have an opportunity to provide a superior alternative. They could do this by enabling their users to catalogue all of the Facebook pages and content that they have liked. So, when using my Facebook profile, I can access all of the articles and pages I have previously liked – using it as a read later type service or as a personalised Stumble Upon type service full of Facebook pages that you have previously liked. Also, and this would be the most effective element, friends can view each others Like catalogues. Your friend Dave has great taste in music? You would search through his Like catalogue music section and Like the pages yourself. Suzie always posts interesting news stories before you hear them through mainstream news channels? Browse through the news section of her Like catalogue and find out where she gets all this info.
Why will this work for Facebook? Because, like Google, everyone has a Facebook account. The difference is that Facebook accounts are integral to their social online activity.
What are your thoughts on this?