Facebook has sat by and watched as prominent application developers
have made millions upon millions of dollars on its platform, primarily
through virtual currency. Not surprisingly, Facebook wants a piece of
the action and is moving to take a piece of the action.
But that may not be so easy if the results of early deal making efforts
are any indication. Application developer Zynga, which operates some of
the most popular social gaming apps on Facebook, including Farmville
and Mafia Wars, may leave Facebook and set up its own gaming social
network after negotiations with Facebook over the use of Facebook's
upcoming universal payments and credits system reportedly fell apart.
Two words are increasingly surfacing in discussions of an internet that becomes more and more social each day: 'privacy' and 'security'. The reason: the
social web seems to be increasingly eroding personal privacy and introducing new
online security concerns.
Many groups believe that something needs to be done, and it appears
that governments are starting to eye action of their own. But is it too
With all of the interest in local and mobile advertising going on right now, Facebook has been quickly preparing its own location-based check-in feature. And now it looks like the social network could be close to launching.
And Facebook is seeking the help of McDonald's as an initial launch partner. When check-in to McDonald's from their status updates — which could happen as soon as this month — they'll also be able to feature a McDonald's product in their post. Doesn't that sound like fun?
As individuals become increasingly comfortable sharing information online, they are also ceding their privacy in new — and sometimes dangerous — ways. According to a Consumer Reports survey released today, over half (52%) of social network users are oversharing online. And cybercriminals are taking note. The information shared on social networks is particularly susceptible to criminals looking to find and steal personal information.
At a panel in New York sponsored by Consumer Reports today, speakers
agreed that consumers are posting risky information online. But many
companies are exacerbating the issue with confusing — and frequently
changing — privacy policies.
Consumers have been more concerned about Facebook privacy than usual since the social network introduced "instant personalization." And now it looks like advertisers might have a reason to be wary of Facebook policy changes as well.
According to a letter that Facebook sent out to advertisers late last week, brands that have been buying CPM ads on the network may soon find their campaigns becoming less effective.
Twitter seems to be everywhere these days. Twitter has gone way beyond techies and first-adopters. It's now used (and promoted) by major brands, celebrities and politicians, amongst many others.
From this perspective, Twitter would appear to be quite 'mainstream'. But is it? Based on the figures published in this year's Edison Research/Arbitron Internet & Multimedia Study, the answer is...it depends on what you mean by 'mainstream'.
Popular European music streaming startup Spotify has been able to survive and thrive in a tough market that has seen its fair share of startup casualties. In an effort to maintain its growth, it has announced the largest upgrade since it first launched in 2008.
The goal: turn Spotify into a "total music management platform". The means: a hefty dose of social features.
Facebook has been getting a lot of flack recently. As I wrote last week, Facebook's expansion of Facebook Connect, "instant personalization," opens up a host of privacy issues for users.
And now there's another reason to distrust Facebook. Today it became clear that a privacy hole on the site has made people's event history public. For instance, if you want to go see what events Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has been attending, you can do so here.
That's embarassing. And not just because Zuckerberg refuses to use the default privacy settigns on his own site. Quite simply, the company isn't prepared to handle sensitive personal information online.
Facebook is thinking big with its new releases this week. The social network unveiled several new features at the company's f8 developer conference in California, including an expansion of Facebook Connect that adds social aspects of Facebook to partner sites, without any work for users.
This new feature, called “instant personalization,” is a way to access your social graph in more places online. But if users don't particularly want to know their friends' opinions on new sites — or if they have privacy concerns — opting out will become increasingly tricky.
Facebook isn't just a social network. By almost every reasonable standard, it is officially the winner of the social networking wars. While other popular social networks, including MySpace, may not disappear into the void completely, Facebook has left them in the dust.
But the war to become the world's dominant online social network is just one battle in a larger war that seeks to shape the future of the web. And Facebook is gearing up for battle.