Posted on December 13th, 2007 No comments
Last month, Google announced a program called OpenSocial that lets anyone create social “applications” that users of social networking sites can use within those sites. It was largely seen as a response to Facebook applications, which can be created by anyone and promoted to Facebook users. You know that Google, always wanting to be at the center of every business transaction while supposedly doing no evil.
Facebook apps had an estimated 14 million users in August, which is amazing given that they only started to become available in May 2007.
Now we also want to share the benefits of our work by enabling other social sites to use our platform architecture as a model. In fact, we’ll even license the Facebook Platform methods and tags to other platforms. Of course, Facebook Platform will continue to evolve, but by enabling other social sites to use what we’ve learned, everyone wins — users get a better experience around the web, developers get access to new audiences, and social sites get more applications.
LinkedIn, Friendster and Bebo are following suit, with Bebo using Facebook’s protocols. (Um, sorry, but I just have to say — have you honestly ever heard of Bebo? Are you “Beboing” right now? Hats off to their marketing people for using this announcement to get their name out there. And for the record, Crunchbase says Bebo has 34 million registered users and 7 billion monthly pageviews. So I guess my unfamiliarity makes me not cool, or maybe too old.)
Hey, you Time Magazine people, are you listening? Last year you declared “You” to be the Person of the Year. Now the Word of the Year is OPEN.
Posted on October 12th, 2007 No comments
A company called Compete Inc. just published these very interesting stats about how people use Facebook. Just in case you’ve been living in a cave, Facebook is the semi-private membership-based social network that started on colleges, but is now open to anyone.
There’s a great graph showing how much of a typical person’s time is spent browsing profiles, “poking”, looking at photos, joining groups, etc.
Of note, they claim:
- 14 milion people used Facebook’s third-party applications in August.
- 16 million people browsed photos in August, with the average person viewing 150 per month.
- “Poking” was only engaged in by 0.3% of active members (have to say, I’m not surprised as I’ve never understood that feature, and if I have I always apologized before, during and after doing it.)
I’ve been actively using Facebook for a good year now, and even moreso once they published an API that lets anyone create a social application that works with other Facebook users (Scrabulous addict here if anyone wants to play!)
A lot has been written about Facebook and I’m not going to add my little voice to the blabbitybla fest about it, but I do have to say that I find it incredible how a service that’s focused on friend-to-friend interactions has turned into such a juggernaut. You can’t do anything on Facebook without some friends who are also users and agree to connect with you. It’s such a delicious irony that Facebook grew so large by limiting adoption. It’s like one of those exclusive clubs that becomes more popular simply because not everyone can get into it.
It’s also amazing how quickly third-party applications have taken off. It appears that Facebook is not far from most of its traffic coming from features that its users are creating for each other. The user-generated content trend is evolving into one of user-generated experiences.