All posts tagged Facebook

  • Twitter and Instagram are no longer ‘friends’

    failwhale

    When it comes to the social media/tech world, there are super powers, established brands, up-and-comers and a whole bunch of wannabes. What we often forget is that the super powers — the Googles, Facebooks, Apples and Microsofts — were all, at one time, wannabes. Every one of them. Not a single one sprung full-grown from the head of Zeus.

    I wonder, however, how many years it will be before we see another social media start-up go from wannabe to super power? It seems that any established social media brand that shows beastly potential will eventually be bought and co-opted by one of the industry giants. Yahoo bought Flickr for $40 million in 2005 when the photo-sharing site was barely a year old. The next year, Google bought YouTube for an eye-popping $1.65 billion (which, after all is said and done, might be the steal of the century) before the video site turned two. And earlier this year, Facebook paid $1 billion for the one and a half year old Instagram.

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  • Zynga, Facebook having some tough times down on the farm

    It’s been a tough year in Farmville. Make-believe fields are sitting fallow and make-believe cows aren’t getting fed. I’m sure if there was a make-believe John Mellencamp, he’d be in Farmville right now organizing a benefit concert.

    Let’s get this straight, up front. I’m not hating on Farmville or Mafia Wars or the other game you play on Facebook where you pretend you’re a vampire. I’m a gamer. I get it. I’ll even confess that I was hooked on Scrabulous (the Scrabble rip-off) back before Hasbro, the owners of the real Scrabble, shut it down.

    These days, I’d pretty much forgotten about Farmville and Mafia Wars. Thankfully, Facebook made it easier to hide those annoying, bordering on maddening, requests from friends to join their games or, even worse, the announcements that one of your friends had just added some critter to his farm.

    But in making my life a little more pleasant, the Facebook team ignored the goose that laid the golden egg. That goose, gamemaker Zynga, announced Wednesday afternoon that it posted a $22 million loss in its second quarter. And just like that Zynga, which made a fortune selling virtual (i.e. make believe) commodities for real (i.e. real!!) money, saw its stock pummeled, losing nearly 40 percent of its value as investors rushed for the exit. Zynga, maker of Farmville, Mafia Wars, Words with Friends and dozens of other titles, raised $1 billion last December when it went public. At its height, Zynga stock reached $15.91 a share. On Wednesday, it had sunk to $3.12 a share in after-hours trading.

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  • Digg’ing its own grave: Hard times for social media pioneer

    Digg HQ sign

    Remember Digg? Just a couple years ago, it was a major player in crowd-sourced news. Getting a link on the the site’s front page meant tons of traffic. Nowadays? Not so much.

    Digg is done. A New York tech firm called Betaworks bought Digg last week for a mere $500,000 — about what they find under the couch cushions over at Google. Just four years ago, Digg was valued at $160 million. To put that in perspective, that’s like spending $900 for a Ferrari that sold for $300,000 in 2008.

    Of course, a $900 Ferrari might still get you from point A to B, but I’m not sure you can say the same about Digg. Of Technorati’s top 15 ranked blogs, I found the Digg sharing icon visible on only one site’s individual posts. All of them had Facebook and Twitter icons; most had G+, several had LinkedIn and a few even had Pinterest share buttons.

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  • Facebook vs. Google: In this David and Goliath battle, David is packing heat

    5812858349_6253e05e6b_z

    Just two years ago did anyone think that Facebook would be going head-to-head against Google for ruler of the Web? Google? Of course. The Internet giant had no peers in the search engine business, it’s Gmail had become the dominant email provider and it had added blue-chip tech start-up YouTube to its lineup, not to mention the even bigger purchase of Double-Click in 2007 (here’s a list of all of Google’s acquisitions)

    The question wasn’t whether Google was king but whether any company could challenge its supremacy in the forseeable future. While Facebook isn’t in Google’s league when it comes to estimated market value, it has carved out a niche in social media that Google has, so far, failed miserably at tapping.

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  • Facebook uncovered? The Daily Beast peeks under your news feed

    Flickr photo by laverrue.

    Take Thomas E. Weber’s little Facebook experiment for what it’s worth — some interesting insights into how FB decides what to put into your news feed. I wouldn’t go so far to say that Weber’s piece on The Daily Beast has “cracked” the code. Some of what he reports are things most habitual FB users already know — that the “most recent” part of your feed seems to be arbitrarily put together and that your visibility increases the more people comment on your posts.

    The Daily Beast set out to crack the code of Facebook’s personalized news feed. Why do some friends seem to pop up constantly, while others are seldom seen? How much do the clicks of other friends in your network affect what you’re shown? Does Facebook reward some activities with undue exposure? And can you “stalk” your way into a friend’s news feed by obsessively viewing their page and photos?

    To get the answers, we devised an experiment, creating our own virtual test lab within the confines of Facebook and tracking thousands of news-feed items over a period of several weeks. The focal point of our experiment: Phil Simonetti, a 60-year-old Facebook newcomer who allowed us to dictate and monitor his every move.

    Besides the lack of earth-shattering revelations, there are few problems with Weber’s test. His sample size was fairly small and the “experiment” took place only over a few weeks. It also seems that he relied more on the collection of anecdotal evidence, rather than a data set that could be scientifically analyzed.

    Still, it’s an interesting read, even if a little pointless considering that it seems Facebook changes its algorithm and interface depending on which way the wind is blowing.