It is certainly no secret that Facebook’s privacy settings have been the target of much debate over the years. Questions about their coverage and users’ control over them have been discussed continuously, and Facebook, to their credit, have continued to expand these controls to allow users to protect what they do not necessarily want people to see.
Still, it seems that Facebook privacy settings change almost perpetually, so the wonderful people at the Wall Street Journal have put an infographic together to showcase the most up-to-date settings, which you may view below.
On Tuesday, Facebook announced the launch of Graph Search, its new search platform that personalizes the information you are looking for as it pertains to your fans and/or interests. Want to check out a restaurant where you live? You can see how many of your friends have been there. Or if you just moved to a new place, you can see how many people share the same interests as you. What about that photo you liked that was posted in 2005? You can search for that too. Graph Search aims to deliver personalized results based on not only your friends, but also what you and your friends like. Mark Zuckerberg today called it “a new pillar in the Facebook Ecosystem” (alongside current products such as the News Feed and Timeline). Check out the video below:
Alright, let’s get the obvious out of the way: Facebook is going after Google. By creating a search engine, which is the flagship product of their biggest competitor, Facebook has signaled an attack on Google’s strong hold on search (akin to Google’s launch of Google Plus). That being said, Facebook is in a more unique place to challenge the search giant than Google was. By using the information users already upload to their platform each day, Facebook can create more personalized searches that are not only more relevant, but also more accurate. Think about the following scenarios:
You watched a funny YouTube video but can’t remember what it was called.
A former colleague posted an article that had a quick blurb about something that interest you.
You found an old picture from high school online.
Now ask yourself the following questions:
Where did you watch that video?
Where did he/she post that article?
Where did you see that picture?
If Facebook is a part of any of those answers, your search on Facebook will check your social network in order to recall those items instead of a broad internet search, regardless of how little information you have on the item. That’s not to say that Google will become obsolete (you have to go somewhere to find “how to beat Super Mario Galaxy”), but expect a seismic shift in how you search for things online.
What does this mean for marketers? Well, for one, your page will appear more relevantly in searches among your fans and their friends. If a friend of a fan searches for recipes on Facebook, and you’ve posted about recipes recently on your Page, a new potential fan will now be exposed to your brand and may choose to Like it. Furthermore, with every new innovation coming out of Facebook comes a potential revenue stream, so you can expect a paid search component to Graph Search as the product is rolled out. Either way, for personal or for business, expect things to change with the search experience.
P.S. for those with concerns about exactly how your information will appear in search results, I’ve included the below video. In short, you can customize which personal information is shared and how, and Graph Search will include the information or not.
P.P.S. If you want, I’ve included Facebook’s intro video for Graph Search below as well
Do you have a friend/know someone in a relationship on Facebook? Do they remind you of that fact in every-other Facebook status update they post? Fortunately (or unfortunately), you’re not alone in the “Obnoxious Facebook PDA” department. The wonderful people at Buzzfeed have compiled a list of reasons why this group is…well…the worst. Some of our favorites are below:
There are plenty more, so be sure to check them out here. And for your sake, we hope that your EdgeRank does not place their posts within visible range of your Newsfeed.
Last week, Instagram announced that it would disable the ability to view their images on Twitter’s platform. Users can still share their filtered photos via the micro-blogging site, but the tweets would only display a link that drives back to Instagram’s platform instead of allowing followers to view the photos on Twitter.
This was done for two reasons:
Instagram, which Facebook purchased for $1 billion back in April, does not want you to view their product on Facebook’s primary social media competitor. Instead, it would rather you view these images on either Instagram or Facebook’s platform. This is probably one of the reasons Instagram started rolling out user profiles on their website a few weeks ago (their website only drove you to either the iTunes app store or Google Play store prior to this). In the interest of social media sharing, they won’t prohibit you from sharing the photos on Twitter, but driving back to their own platform helps in the self-promotion of their product.
While we are unsure whether or not this is in response to the above, Twitter announced a filtering function for their platform. Now, Twitter has a product that directly competes with Instagram/Facebook. You can view some comparison shots here.
Will Twitter’s new filtering program compete with Instagram? My guess is that Twitter users will be more inclined to try the filters on their platform before trying out Instagram, which in effect cuts into Instagram’s growth. However, I don’t feel that current Instagram users will convert back to Twitter for their photo sharing, especially since the functionality is still available (albeit via a link). However, only time will tell who will win your (properly filtered) heart.
So I’m sure many of you saw the following post at least once on your Facebook news feed this week (or posted it yourself):
Basically, Facebook users posted this statement in an attempt to retain ownership of the content they post on Facebook (vacation pictures, statuses about cats, etc.) and forbid Facebook from using them for commercial purposes. While a valiant effort, this does not work for three reasons:
As with most of these situations, posting something as a Facebook status update does NOT protect you from whatever you are accusing nor does it constitute law. Similarly, I cannot simply post “I hereby state that Facebook owes me $1 billion” and assume that Facebook is suddenly bound by law to pay me.
When you sign up for an account, you agree to Facebook’s Terms & Conditions, so there’s not a lot you can do to change them (although Facebook does allow you to update your privacy settings). That being said, Facebook is required to inform you when their Terms & Conditions have changed, so it’s important to pay attention to the changes.
Specific to the post above, Facebook’s Statement of Rights & Responsibilities (see #2) already state that you own the content you post. And while you do grant Facebook a royalty-free license to use it, deleting a post/image that no one has shared immediately ends Facebook’s right to use it!
My favorite part about the post is the use of the Berne Convention to further validate the claim. However, the Berne Convention is simply an agreement between countries to recognize copyright infringement. For example, under the agreement, France recognizes that content posted within its country can still be copyright infringement, even if the content originated in the US.
Overall, it’s very important that people protect themselves and their identity when using social media. And it is admirable that some people take well-intentioned steps to do so. However, understanding the above points and what constitutes legal protection is paramount to ensuring that you remain safe on the internet.
For a more humorous approach to the above (and insulting, if you posted it), check out this video:
We know it’s a few days after Halloween, and while hopefully your candy has lasted you this long (though if you’re like us, it probably hasn’t), we thought we’d highlight a Halloween fun from the team over at Facebook that you might not have noticed.
On October 31, instead of the typical “What’s on your mind?” sentence that appears within the status bar window, Facebook decided to be a little festive and feature a different message. You can see what I mean below:
Well, like Facebook, we want to know! What did you do for Halloween? What is your favorite Halloween candy??? Also, did you happen to notice this change or no?
Back in June, Coca Cola posted a video hosted by two YouTube celebrities, iJustine and TheComputerNerd01. The video highlighted a Rube Goldberg machine that essentially poured the soda into a glass and promoted the message of sharing a Coca Cola with a friend. The video then drove viewers to their Facebook page in order to share a coupon with their friend. You can view the (really cool) video below:
There are two things I want to point out about the performance with this video:
The video was posted in June, but it has benefitted from a healthy boost over the past month. Take a look at the below chart:
By the end of June, a brand manager may have seen the PR placements end and the video views grow stagnant and determined the program’s success accordingly. However, about 500k views have been accumulated over 4 months after the original upload! If this video is anything, it shows that a video is never done performing for a brand.
Coca Cola tapped two YouTube “celebrities” to star in the video and help convey their brand messaging in a fun, engaging way. This trend has been growing among brands, as these celebrities bring with them a huge fanbase and often lightheartedness about them (for example, iJustine is not an expert in soft drinks and discusses a wide range of topics on her page).
So is this effective? Well over 800k views and a 98% approval rate would point in that direction. And while I agree that this video was effective, I’d caution brands who do the same. This strategy is not fool proof. And at the end of the day, it’s going to be engaging content that wins out. What makes these celebrities engaging is that fun lightheartedness. And if you’re too focused on communicating a very specific brand message without any wiggle room, then you may need to be careful with this approach.
As we’ve said over and over again, content is king. And while some will simply see this as a 3-minute advertisement, I will say this: it definitely made me want to share a Coca Cola with a friend.
How well do you actually know your friends on Facebook? A new app from Ben & Jerry’s aims to find the solution for us all! The app, called “Wanna Spoon?,” searches through your Facebook friends to look for common connections like favorite brands, vacation spots, birthdays, and ikes, among other details. If the app finds a common connection with a friend of yours, you can post a pre written message on their wall saying, “Using a fancy algorithm, Ben & Jerry’s decided we’d make great spooning partners.” Your common friend then also receives a coupon for B&J’s new Greek Frozen Yogurt. Neat way to take advantage of Facebook’s open graph feature, or creepy ad campaign? Let us know what you think!
Facebook Partners With Olympics to Create Social Hub
Today, Facebook announced that it has created an interactive social hub for the 2012 Olympic Games in London. The launch comes a week after rival social networking site, Twitter, announced event pages for large scale events such as the Olympic Games coming up in just a few weeks.
The Facebook hub invites users to “Like” the page in order to obtain up to the minute highlights and updates about their favorite teams in the Olympics. Users can also follow their favorite athletes- Currently there are over 100 Olympians on the site, and more are scheduled to join in the coming weeks. Although the Social Hub looks like an amazing platform, will it be enough to overcome Twitter and become the largest destination for conversation about the Olympic Games on the web? What do you think? Let us know in the comments below after you check it out!
In an attempt to stay relevant in the social space in the eyes of advertisers, Twitter has taken major steps to improve brand visibility on the platform. It seems that Twitter, just like Facebook, is trying to evolve and stay relevant in the social space.
-In the coming weeks Twitter trends are now switching from location based, to “tailored trends”, lists of trends relevant to user lifestyle. Data collected from previous tweets, as well from linked Facebook profiles will help compose a unique Trend list for each user. This seems to be Twitter’s long anticipated response to Facebook’s personalized Ad platform.
-Twitter also recently unveiled Hashtag pages that allow people to “view the Conversation” on a web domain. NASCAR was first to utilize this new feature, highlighting it at the 2012 Pocono 400 NASCAR Race. The pages utilize algorithms to share photos, tweets, and other event information in one location. Check out the page here: https://twitter.com/hashtag/nascar
Hey Twitter, from all of us at RXL- Congrats on growing up! Can’t wait to utilize these new features for our clients!