Facebook just announced a slew of video related updates yesterday, designed to increase their presence in the video space dominated by YouTube. The main reveal included the launch of a dedicated app for Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and Samsung Smart TV, with more platforms to come. This app, much like YouTube’s SmartTV app, will allow for a leanback type experience. According to FB’s blog post, the app will allow users to watch videos shared by friends or Pages you follow, top live videos from around the world, and recommended videos based on your interests. You can also catch up on videos you’ve saved to watch later, as well as revisit videos you’ve watched, shared or uploaded.
Having obtained early access to the beta of Facebook Graph search (currently only available to US English users), I immediately (of course) dived right in to see if I could replicate the funniest Facebook Graph searches that have been making their rounds on the web. While the feature certainly didn’t disappoint, it was also time to test out the more serious aspects of Graph Search for hotels, restaurants and all things local… the power of lasting social recommendations.
Just as Google has been trying hard to put a ‘social’ twist to all things search, Facebook has now put a ‘search’ twist to the social experience. From the standpoint of a local business like a hotel or restaurant, the most irritating thing about social platforms is that they do not offer referrals with any longevity… i.e. it’s not very easy to dig up the best Italian restaurants your friends have been to (or like) in the past few months, without racking your brains and doing some serious timeline stalking (doubt if anyone has the time or patience either). Most social platforms have been trying hard to fix this problem…FourSquare’s interface changes are a great example, with a renewed focus on local discovery and highlighting businesses and specials near you.
Now that I have your attention with my intriguing post title, allow me to explain just what I mean… and boiling frogs and organ donation do indeed feature in this little blog post!
All the recent furore over Facebook privacy has shown no signs of abating…and for good reason. Privacy, after all, is a sensitive and important issue. Or is it?
There’s no doubt that Facebook has made a startling entrance in the online world and taken over our browsers and mobile screens rather quickly. Official stats from Facebook claim that 400 million users currently use the service and almost half log on every day. Globally it appears that people now spend over 500 billion minutes per month on Facebook…an enviable record for any platform.
The amount of information shared on the site has also grown in leaps and bounds. Users typically share a substantial amount of personal information, photos and information on personal preferences. Choices of who we connect and communicate with also give away loads of behavioural information (in fact, Mark Zuckerberg claims he can predict a relationship breakup in advance of it actually happening, plus who you may end up with next, with a 33% accuracy based on this data alone).
Matt McKeon recently put together a great graphic that illustrates the amount of data that is now publicly available via your typical Facebook account. Check out where we stand in April 2010 in the graphic below…and visit the site to compare how things have changed since 2005.
In an eerie but mind-blowing integration of Facebook Data, X-Box has developed a superb online game demo that is bound to give you goose-bumps! Enough said, check out the demo at www.prototype-experience.com (depending on your Internet connection, loading may take a couple of minutes, but is worth the wait! To really experience the demo, be sure to sign into your Facebook account…!)
While most traditional marketers, media gurus and public relations experts grapple with just how to leverage the power of digital media and social networks…real emerging trends sometimes go unnoticed. Sometimes all it takes is to tap into the world…and particularly the people around us to realize just how life as we know it is changing.
A picture may be worth a thousand words…but most hotel PR & Marketing managers today would be at a loss for words at the plague of user generated photos out on the Internet today. Hoteliers may need to get used to the fact that competing with their ‘official’ previews of what to expect, past guests have provided quite an unflattering visual footprint for those to follow. It’s no secret that hotels pay thousands of dollars for painstakingly taken, doctored photos that would entice even the most hardened globetrotter to positively drool in anticipation…and hit that book button. Great pictures DO sell.
Just as the transparency offered by the Internet in terms of rates has given many a hotel revenue manager gray hair, the ability to easily share rich media on the web promises to do the same for the marketing ilk. One only needs to turn to photos posted on TripAdvisor or Flickr to obtain unflattering photos of virtually every nook and crany of your hotel these days. Plus aesthetic slip-ups and the dreaded ease with which users can now take and publish photos online virtually guarantee that any dirty rooms, dropped drinks, deteriorating facilities and other ‘oops’ moments get their 15 mintues (or perpetuity) of fame on the Internet (as if old high school photos resurfacing on Facebook wasn’t bad enough!).
So is it all bad news?
A great 60 minute interview on Charlie Rose with Marc Andreessen, the man behind Netscape and Opsware, both companies that were acquired and made Andreessen a billionaire. In this interview Marc talks about a variety of topics, including Cloud Computing, Facebook, Twitter and Ning. Some really great insights on tech development and the (non) impact of the current recession on Silicon Valley. A must watch for any tech enthusiast!
You can watch the entire interview below (note: 60 mintues long!)