Rabu, 31 Maret 2010

Now You Can Update Your Facebook Status via Yahoo Mail

Yahoo’s social media strategy of lots and lots of Facebook is coming to fruition in a big way today, with the web portal rolling out deeper integration between Facebook and Yahoo Mail.

Last month, Yahoo unveiled its first Yahoo Mail/Facebook integration by allowing users to import the e-mail addresses of Facebook friends into Yahoo contacts. Today’s two new features make Yahoo Mail a lot more social.

The first feature is simple but effective: the ability to update your Facebook status via Yahoo Mail. Once you log in with your Facebook account, you can choose to simultaneously share your status updates via Facebook and your Yahoo network with a straightforward status update box in your inbox. The second feature is also cool: Whenever someone emails you that is also your Facebook friend, their Facebook profile picture will appear in the email.

As we highlighted in Google vs. Yahoo: Who Has the Right Social Strategy?, Yahoo’s goals seem to be centered around partnerships and becoming a portal to the social media world. If Yahoo keeps adding features like these to its various other properties, it has the potential to become a social hub.

Does Facebook integration make Yahoo Mail more enticing? Let us know what you think in the comments.

The iTunes App Store Comes to Facebook

Interacting with the iTunes App Store just got easier, thanks to the new App Store Facebook page.

Developed and powered by Vitrue, the new page puts the App Store inside Facebook — making it easy to search for apps, share them with friends, find out which apps are hot right now and which are deemed “essential” by the iTunes editors.

In the Featured tab on the App Store’s Facebook page, you can see top apps and view the sales charts for paid and free apps across different categories. This is the same information that you would get from iTunes or from the App Store application on your iPhone or iPod touch, but it’s all in Facebook.

Click on the “Get App” button and a browser window for that application opens up (and if iTunes is installed, iTunes opens as well), allowing you to download with a single click. Underneath each app is a Facebook Share button that lets you share the app with your friends on your wall. The coolest part of the page is the Search & Share tab. Type in a keyword or a description for instant results, which you can then post to your wall.

Vitrue is planning on adding more features to the App Store’s page, which will make it much easier to sift through the 170,000+ apps offered. There are also some interesting promotional implications for app developers, who can use Facebook to easily publicize their apps.

Vitrue uses their SRM (Social Relationship Manager) to power the new App Store page. I’ve been able to take a look at what tools like this can do for small and large businesses looking to manage their social media sites, and the results are impressive.

What do you think of the App Store’s integration with Facebook? Let us know!

Cast Official Votes for “American Idol” via Facebook

Idol Fanatic promises to do what FOX’s television enterprise American Idol never has: It lets fans vote for their favorite contestants via a Facebook application — at any time.

The application uses Ribbit — a web-based phone service à la Google Voice (Google Voice) — to dial in user votes during American Idol’s allotted voting period. Each week users start with five votes and can earn more for each Facebook friend they invite.

In order to maintain the legitimacy of the voting process, Facebookers are required to provide a telephone number that is then used to create a Ribbit account. When the voting lines open, Idol Fanatic uses those Ribbit accounts to automatically dial in the votes submitted via the app.

Idol Fanatic also creates a shared experience around American Idol voting, as it allows users to see who their Facebook friends are voting for and to discuss the show’s contestants.

The application is a brilliant use of web technology — it lets fans cast their votes in a couch-friendly and social fashion that aligns with how television viewers are consuming media today.

Whether or not American Idol and FOX will approve of the new voting mechanism remains to be determined. When we inquired regarding concerns about the app being shut down, we were told that the application complies with voting guidelines and is “on the up-and-up.”

Facebook Proposes Revisions to Privacy Policy

In keeping with a new tradition, Facebook is ready to alter its Privacy Policy and Statement of Rights yet again, but it’s asking for user feedback before making the changes permanent.

The proposed changes encompass an array of things, including location (another sign of things to come), new language related to sharing, information on controls for data shared with third parties, and more explanations to make features like the “Everyone” setting more digestible to users.

Some of the changes are preemptive in nature. Location-sharing, for example, doesn’t yet exist on Facebook, but we know that details of what’s to come are expected to be revealed at f8, Facebook’s developer conference.

The new language hints that those QR Codes discovered earlier in the month could be forthcoming in relation to location. According to the blog post on the changes, Facebook has “removed the old language and, instead added the concept of a ‘place’ that could refer to a Page, such as one for a local restaurant. As we finalize the product, we look forward to providing more details, including new privacy controls.”

Users are encouraged to offer their feedback on the Documents tab — which also includes the full text of the proposed policies — via the Facebook Site Governance Page. There’s only a seven-day window, so make sure to check out the changes and offer your feedback before 12:00 a.m. PDT on April 3, 1010.

Senin, 15 Maret 2010

Yahoo Mail Makes Friends with Facebook

Yahoo revealed a new strategy: lots and lots of Facebook. Today the company announced that it’s gradually rolling out the first feature to come from the partnership — Facebook Connect integration with Yahoo Mail.

The new feature means that Yahoo Mail users can now connect their Facebook accounts and integrate their Facebook (Facebook) friends’ e-mail addresses into their Yahoo Contacts list. Users can visit the Import Contacts page to be guided through he Facebook friend import process.

Of course, this is just the beginning of the full Facebook Connect feature bonanza on Yahoo. You can expect functionality to be integrated into News (), Sports, Finance and even Flickr () in the months ahead.

Given that Facebook is now 400 million members strong, we have to believe that there’s a significant shared user base between Facebook and Yahoo. In a perfect world, Yahoo will see those users stay on Yahoo properties and use the Facebook contact and sharing functionality to push Yahoo content out to the world’s largest social network and generate more traffic in return.

Facebook Threatens to Sue Daily Mail Over Sex Predator Claims

According to the Guardian and Global Dashboard, Facebook has threatened to sue Daily Mail over an article that wrongfully claimed Facebook makes it easy for older sex predators to approach and seduce minors.

Daily Mail’s article, which can (in edited form) be found here, was written by a former police detective Mark Williams-Thomas, and had originally been titled “I posed as a girl of 14 on Facebook. What followed will sicken you.” It contained the account of the author posing as a minor on Facebook, which, according to him, attracted sexual predators right away.

The problem? He wasn’t really using Facebook to conduct the experiment, he used a “different social networking site,” as explained in today’s update to the article, added at the bottom by Daily Mail staff. The full text of the update is as follows:

“In an earlier version of this article, we wrongly stated that the criminologist had conducted an experiment into social networking sites by posing as a 14-year-old girl on Facebook with the result that he quickly attracted sexually motivated messages. In fact he had used a different social networking site for this exercise. We are happy to set the record straight.”

Needless to say, this caused a strong response from Facebook, which is still referenced throughout the article. According to the Guardian, a UK spokeswoman for Facebook said that the company was considering legal action due to the “brand damage that has been done.” “If you were a Middle England reader and your child was on Facebook, this sort of thing would have a very serious effect on what you thought of us,” she said.

Facebook has a point here; besides the obvious erroneous reporting, the article details how someone posing as a 14-year-old girl would get messages from older men (more accurately, users whose Facebook profile indicates they’re over 18 years old), which cannot be done on Facebook. Therefore, Facebook can argue it has measures in place to prevent exactly the kind of behavior the article describes, unlike the unnamed social network the experiment was conducted on.

We’ve contacted Facebook’s UK PR representative on this matter but have yet to hear back.

Apple App Store Has Twice as Many Apps as Facebook

Information within Flurry’s report inaccurately stated that Apple’s app store has more than twice the number of applications as the Facebook platform. The Flurry report meant to say that Apple had more than twice the number of apps as Facebook at its 18 month mark than Facebook did during its 18 month mark (November 2008)

Based on the updated report, we have struck out incorrect sections of this article. We apologize for the error.

A study by mobile application analytics company Flurry reveals that Apple’s App Store now has more than twice the number of applications as the Facebook Platform, despite Facebook’s much larger market of users.

Flurry estimates that as of its eighteenth month this January, the App Store for iPhone, iPod touch and (shortly) iPad devices has 140,000 applications, while the Facebook Platform only reached 60,000 apps in its first 18 months. The discrepancy might exist because the App Store provides a clearer path to revenue and return on investment than Facebook’s until-recently ad-supported application platform.

Regardless, the difference is surprising because Facebook has 400 million users, while the iPhone OS used by App Store applications has significantly fewer.

iPad Spurs Increased Developer Activity

The report revealed that developer activity for App Store software has increased 185% since Apple announced its iPad device. In general, Flurry’s report voices tremendous expectations for the iPad; we’ll see if consumers buy the device in large enough numbers to justify the development surge.

Where Did iPhone Developers Come From?

Flurry also did some research to find out where iPhone developers got started. Did they start with iPhone apps, or did they serve up something else beforehand, and if so, what what was it?

It turns out that the iPhone is still a viable place for startups with no established brands or customers — for now. This might change as companies with the resources to market their apps continue to enter the market. Upstarts probably won’t have the resources to compete for attention.

The majority of iPhone app developers come from other backgrounds; the graphs below show which ones. But around one fifth of developers are native to the iPhone OS and the Apple App Store.

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