Posts Tagged ‘facebook’

Social Media Landscape In China [Infographic]

02 Mar

Ogilvy has released an infographic detailing the major social media players and their Chinese counter parts. Although the infographic was first published six months back, the rise of services like Groupon and Quora in the west and Tencent in China rendered the previous infographic some what irrelevant.

According to the new infographic, the online trade segment is competed by eBay, Taobao and 360 buy. In the social networking segment LinkedIn is pitted against Welink and, and Facebook against Renren and Douban. Twitter is competing with Sohu and QQ in the microblogging category, with Youtube facing competition from in online video sharing. The online music sharing is being battled out by Spotify and Xiami and Foursquare is competing with Jiepand and Kai in the location based services segment and Groupon is facing competitors like Manzuo and Meituan in the daily deals sector.

All in all the infographic does a pretty good job of showing the fact that every Social Media segment is being fiercely contested by local and global players in China.

Note: You can click on the infographic to enlarge it.


What Marketers Need to Know About Facebook’s Switch to iFrames

24 Feb

Jeff Ente is the director of Who’s Blogging What, a weekly e-newsletter that tracks over 1,100 social media, web marketing and user experience blogs to keep readers informed about key developments in their field and highlight useful but hard to find posts. Mashable readers can subscribe for free here.

Facebook has recently announced a lengthy list of significant design and feature changes for Pages.

One particular item is emerging with perhaps the greatest challenge and the highest potential for Page owners — there is a new way to present custom content on Facebook Pages. Tabs and FBML are going away. Get ready to friend iFrames. Here’s a basic rundown and some tips on how to make the switch.

Background: Starting With a Clean Canvas

frame image

iFrames are not new. An iFrame is a standard HTML tag that allows one page to be inserted into another. It would seem like a pretty obvious way for Facebook Page owners to customize content, and Facebook did experiment with it a while ago before discovering security issues. But as of February 10, iFrames are back. Facebook Markup Language (FBML), which has been the primary custom content creation tool, is being deprecated.

FBML is a subset of HTML that has additional Facebook specific functions. For example, the FBML tag <fb:visible-to-connection> requires a user to “Like” a page in order to see certain content. Existing FBML Pages will still be supported, but new ones cannot be created as of March 11. There is no immediate need to worry about existing FBML based Pages. In the software world, the time horizon for “deprecated” is often measured in years, if not decades. Still, you’ll want to continually delight your Facebook visitors, which means that there are iFrames in your future.

Learning to Love iFrames

iframe chart image

The switch to iFrames means that developers can create dynamic web apps using their standard tools (HTML, CSS, PHP, ASP, JavaScript, Flash, etc.), register them as a Facebook “Canvas” app and then embed the app on a custom Page via the iFrame. Some limited info about the Facebook user is available through the API.

This all sounds much more complicated than it really is, and in fact it is probably simpler than the old process. Most developers are celebrating. “iFrames allow marketers the creativity and flexibility similar to that afforded by webpages, while developers can streamline integration with one process for Facebook canvas apps, Facebook Connect website widgets, and now Facebook custom Pages,” says Vikas Jain, director of business development for Wildfire Interactive. If you can create something for the web, respect Facebook’s ToS, and (preferably) hold it to 520 pixels in width, you can now present it as custom Facebook Page content.

Great content is only the start. Page owners can now have a more direct relationship with their Facebook visitors. “Right now the implications are countless,” says Patrick Stokes, chief product officer for Buddy Media. “Conversion tracking is probably the first thing that marketers should be focusing on. iFrames mean that you will be able to recognize the visitor, track their source and note their IP address in order to present a customized response. These capabilities are much stronger through iFrames than they are in FBML”.

Mark Spangler, director of client services at Stuzo|Dachis Group is also expecting “exciting personalization options which should now appear seamless to the user: Customized landing views based on user location or referral source, dynamically updating the view for specific content, loading of Flash elements and interactive front-end features which formerly could not initially load on custom Pages.”

But don’t expect things to change overnight. This is a change that lies firmly in a divide between the aspirations of the marketing department and the freshly fueled capabilities of web developers. Companies that can bridge that gap wisely will likely see the best and fastest results. Involver’s VP of marketing Jascha Kaykas-Wolff is advising marketers to proceed slowly and plan carefully for the best results. “The switch from FBML to iFrames is not earth-shattering right now. However, in the future — and as Facebook evolves their ToS — iFrames will allow for a much more immersive experience consistent with your brand’s corporate experience. The evolution of Facebook becoming the replacement for the branded micro-site is well on its way.”

Using Facebook

frame image

The best and simplest news for Facebook marketers is that they may not have to try and pull someone away from Facebook to get them onto their site. There are now better options for accomplishing their sales or branding goals entirely within Facebook. “We’ve found, in doing Facebook ad testing, that Facebook ad respondents tend to convert better when they land on a page within Facebook,” observes Search Mojo CEO Janet Miller. “iFrames now opens up a whole new world of possibilities for what can be delivered, including e-commerce, directly through a Facebook Page.”

Some of the selling may first have to occur internally as social media initiatives frequently need to fight for budget. Linda Bustos, director of e-commerce research with Elastic Path Software, notes, “Any new web development poses a challenge for social media. C-level execs want to see ROI from social initiatives — something that has historically been hard to prove.” In this case, she points to the improved tracking capabilities and the ability to monitor activity via Google Analytics as a unique opportunity to measure social media costs versus benefits. Additionally, businesses should find it easier to convert existing web apps for Facebook use with iFrames.

The Endgame for iFrames?

The concept of businesses investing money to keep users on Facebook may seem like part of Facebook’s master plan. It probably is. Will Facebook Pages evolve into self-contained store fronts? “It will be interesting to see how Facebook handles this. One possibility is that they will require that all transactions be transacted in Credits, which is how they would get their cut,” speculates Buddy Media’s Patrick Stokes.

iFrames for Pages may be a win-win for all sides but it will require planning and some investment. As always with Facebook, you can’t ignore the huge user base, and you have to be open to new opportunities to interact. iFrames is very much a work in progress that warrants serious attention.

Disclosure: Buddy Media is a Mashable sponsor.

More Business Resources from Mashable:

- How 5 Companies Are Using the iPad to Increase Productivity
- How The iPad Is Helping Businesses Go Green
- How Facebook Deals Are Helping One NBA Team Connect With Fans
- 4 Small Business Mobile Predictions for 2011
- How Brands Can Make the Most of Facebook’s New Pages

More About: business, facebook, facebook pages, iframes, MARKETING

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Nearly Half of Americans Use Facebook; Only 7% Use Twitter [STUDY]

24 Feb

A new report from eMarketer finds that most adult Americans with Internet access use Facebook at least once a month, and a full 42.3% of the entire American population was using the site as of this month.

By contrast, Twitter‘s penetration rate was much lower, sitting at around 7% of the total population and 9% of the Internet-using population, according to the report.

Late last year, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that the company saw around 250 million daily users of its 500 million-strong user base. The young exec made the point that Facebook’s products — including Photos, Places, Groups and Messages — are features that people use more frequently than they use other, more established services with similar features because Facebook’s products are inherently social.

Twitter, on the other hand, is driven largely by so-called power users, and only 21% of registered users are actually active on the site. Another interesting and related Twitter usage stat: 22.5% of users are responsible for 90% of all tweets.

One important stat to note, however, is Twitter’s year-over-year growth. Last year around this time, Twitter’s penetration rate was around 7%, and by the end of this year it’s expected to be at 11% for American Internet users, or 16.5% of the population that also uses other social networks. In terms of the overall U.S. population, the numbers are still small, but the growth is steady.

An analyst for the firm said, “eMarketer’s new Twitter usage estimates are lower than our April 2010 forecast. Since then, Twitter has continued to gain traction but at more moderate levels than we had expected.”

The microblogging service celebrated 100 million new accounts created in 2010, and a lot of that growth was due to the company’s investment in official and device-integrated mobile apps.

What do you think it’ll take for Twitter’s growth to really skyrocket and reach more of the population? Or will this service remain a niche product for the web-using elite? Let us know your opinions below.

More About: adoption, facebook, penetration, stats, twitter

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The Art of the Facebook Page Design

22 Feb

Everyday more and more businesses around the world are creating presences on Facebook.

Some companies opt to bring users directly to the page wall or other tabs (e.g. info, photos, RSS/blog, discussions and links) and use product images or company logos instead of more elaborate landing pages.

Regardless of where a user lands when they first arrive, something needs to capture their attention.

As we’ll see in the examples of pages from the 50 Top Facebook Pages of Brand’s Worldwide represented below, some pages may come right out and ask for the “like”, some may have a variation on the call to action with a contest, gift, upload, sign-up now, or shop now type message. Some may appeal to emotions. Some will be memorable. And some, quickly forgotten.

In truth, Facebook is about more than the ongoing interaction between businesses and users via status updates. We believe it’s also about the art and design of engagement and a vital new component to the corporate brand identity—the Facebook page design.


Total Fans 22, 113, 350 | Food and Drink | United States


Total Fans 19, 386, 229 | Restaurant | United States


Total Fans 16, 509, 052 | Food and Drink | United States

Red Bull

Total Fans 15, 002, 570 | Food and Drink | Austria


Total Fans 14, 903, 838 | Food and Drink| United States

Converse All Star

Total Fans 12, 522, 419 | Fashion | United States

Victoria’s Secret

Total Fans 11, 273, 214 | Fashion | United States


Total Fans 10, 903, 272 | Fashion | United States

Windows Live Messenger

Total Fans 9, 555, 443 | Technology | United States


Total Fans 8, 902, 303 | Food and Drink | United States


Total Fans 8, 328, 915 | Technology | Japan

Monster Energy

Total Fans 8, 264, 999 | Food and Drink | United States


Total Fans 7, 907, 457 | Fashion | Spain

Victoria’s Secret Pink

Total Fans 7, 861, 520 | Fashion | United States

Dr. Pepper

Total Fans 7, 730, 330 | Food and Drink | United States


Total Fans 7, 482, 885 | Food and Drink | Italy

Ferrero Rocher

Total Fans 7, 464, 229 | Food and Drink | Italy


Total Fans 7, 428, 300 | Food and Drink | United States


Total Fans 7, 227, 700 | Attraction | United States


Total Fans 7, 015, 657 | Restaurant | United States

Adidas Originals

Total Fans 6, 983, 666| Sports | Germany


Total Fans 6, 446, 255 | Food and Drink | United States


Total Fans 6, 216, 176 | Technology | United States


Total Fans 6, 111, 927 | Fashion| Sweden

Starbucks Frappucino

Total Fans 5, 632, 778 | Food and Drink | United States

Google Chrome

Total Fans 5, 452, 638 | Technology | United States

Taco Bell

Total Fans 5, 398, 834 | Restaurant | United States

Walt Disney World

Total Fans 5, 224, 835 | Attraction | United States


Total Fans 5, 196, 258 | Technology | Canada


Total Fans 4, 680, 341 | Technology | United States


Total Fans 4, 663, 512 | Restaurant | United States

Nike Football

Total Fans 4, 622, 955 | Sports | United States


Total Fans 4, 493, 274 | Fashion | France


Total Fans 4, 429, 660 | Automotive | Germany

Hollister Co

Total Fans 4, 178, 668 | Fashion | United States

Mountain Dew

Total Fans 4, 127, 589 | Food and Drink | United States


Total Fans 4, 024, 562 | Fashion | United States

5 Gum

Total Fans 4, 021, 548 | Food and Drink | United States

Forever 21

Total Fans 3, 972, 013 | Fashion | United States

Buffalo Wild Wings

Total Fans 3, 864, 310 | Restaurant | United States


Total Fans 3, 826, 717 | Sports | United States


Total Fans 3, 816, 027 | Retail | United States


Total Fans 3, 719, 656 | Restaurant | United States


Total Fans 3, 715, 460 | Sports | Germany

American Eagle Outfitters

Total Fans 3, 689, 587 | Fashion | United States


Total Fans 3, 679, 491 | Restaurant | United States


Total Fans 3, 659, 709 | Fashion | Italy

Sony Ericcson

Total Fans 3, 656, 301 | Technology | Sweden

Abercrombie & Fitch

Total Fans 3, 653, 314 | Fashion | United States


Total Fans 3, 604, 929 | Fashion | United States

Written and compiled exclusively for Webdesigner Depot by Debbie Hemley. Debbie is a blogger and social media aficionado. She works with businesses to develop content and social media strategies. Read her blog posts on All the News and follow her on Twitter

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The Social Media World Before Twitter And Facebook [Infographic]

10 Feb

A world without Twitter or Facebook seems distant and almost non existent. Yet still there was a time, long ago (hrmm..), when they didn’t exist. As a matter of fact, Facebook didn’t even exist 8 years ago and Twitter even less. So, if you feel like you’ve been using Twitter or Facebook for ages, well then you’re wrong. Some say Social Media was invented at the same time as the Internet was. The reason why is because at that point we all got a forum where we could interact with people all around the world. However, the real term Social Media really started way later. There are literally hundreds of social networking services on the Internet today, and many that you have never heard of.

You might not know it, but there were actually a few successful social networking services before Twitter and Facebook even though when reading their names you might not recognize them at all. Some of us used the Internet purely to look up information and send files back and forth. Some even used chat rooms and message services like ICQ or AOL Instant Messanger.

But mostly, we never touched the social networking world or even came close to it before Facebook and Twitter. You will be surprised to know that there were actually quite a few services that you would file under the category of Social Networking Services. The whole thing started with an email, and it is on that road that we will soon come to Facebook and Twitter. Watch the whole pre-Facebook and pre-Twitter world unfold in front of your eyes with this awesome infographic designed and created by Online Schools. Interesting indeed!

The History Before Facebook TwitterThe History Before Facebook TwitterThe History Before Facebook TwitterThe History Before Facebook Twitter


How to Reveal Fan Only Content on Facebook

02 Feb

How to Reveal Fan Only Content on Facebook

This content from: Duct Tape Marketing

One cool little trick that marketers often use on Facebook is to hold back content for “Fans” only. The pull behind this is that you can then give a little perk and encourage folks to “Like” your page and become a fan.

There are 3rd party apps like those from North Social or Wildfire that can make this happen for you or you can do a bit of coding with FBML. I wrote a how to article on installing the Static FBML app here - you might want to visit that first as you will need the app installed to take advantage of today’s tidbit.

This image greets non fans

I installed a Static FBML tab called Free eBook and put an image that encourages people to become a fan and offers a free eBook for doing so. There are lots of ways you to take this. Some organizations offer coupons or discounts for becoming a fan or access to early registration – really anything of value can be a great incentive and will generally increase your number of fans. (Visit my Fan Page to see is in action)

The code that makes this possible is the FBML attribute – fb:visible-to-connection. This is the same code that Facebook uses to show or not show your profile to friends or fans and it’s pretty simple to employ.

(One tip – if you are an admin of your page and logged in you will see both the fan and non fan content so you must test your implementation logged off or from a different username.)

The code in the FBML app using fb:visible-to-connection

Okay, so let’s break this down. For the most part this is very simple HTML with a little FBML

  • the fb:visible-to-connection code is what tells Facebook to make and not make parts visible to fans
  • the fb:else is an attribute of this code that identifies what should be shown to non fans – you simply wrap the non fan content in fb:else and the /fb:else closing tags. In this case I have used an image that encourages visitors to become fans.
  • the next code, starting the h3 tag, is the content that is shown only to fans and this can be whatever you wish. I have used simple content with simple HTML.
  • the last bit is close the /fb:visible-to-connection to tag. You can have other content on this page that is not related to the fan only offering and it would outside of this tag
Fan only reveal on Facebook

This is what fans see after they his Like

This is s very simple demonstration of how to use this function. You can add your own style using external style sheets. A good place to learn more is Tim Ware’s HyperArts Blog.

You can directly to the free eBook tab I installed here – if you are already a fan you will see the link to the download. If you are not a fan yet you will see an image urging you to become one – hit Like and you’ll see the free eBook download.


The Pope OKs Facebook Use For Catholics

24 Jan

Those of us who have experienced the Catholic guilt have seen it come on at unexpected times (I get it if I even think about short-changing a waiter on a tip), but I must say I've never experienced it while using Facebook. If you have, though, today is your lucky day because Pope Benedict XVI has given social networking his blessing. Officially, he said:

"I would like then to invite Christians, confidently and with an informed and responsible creativity, to join the network of relationships which the digital era has made possible."

Sadly, the pope (unlike Queen Elizabeth) didn't join Facebook, but gave his blessing to millions of Catholics. Of course, it wouldn't be a dictum from the pope without some guidelines. He encourages users to be open and honest with their use, and to not confuse online friendships with lasting, in-person relationships.


How to (fully) integrate WordPress with Facebook

03 Jan

There are a number of Facebook tutorials, including my own offering examples of FBML to add additional functionality to a Facebook fan page.

However, on many occasions these tutorials fall short of the mark, with no server side functionality currently available via FBML, connecting to databases, or consuming information from other sources is difficult.Third party services fill the gap, but are often expensive, or cumbersome to implement.

One of the most common questions I get asked regarding FBML is how to integrate a WordPress blog, or blog posts on a Facebook fan page tab. This tutorial takes you through the steps of doing just that, with no third party application required.

For my own Facebook page, I have opted to offer exclusive content (not available on my main blog) via Facebook. In addition to that, fans and non fans see a different opening tab, giving them incentive to ‘Like’ the page.

Here’s what we are going to end up with:

1). A tease and reveal tab created via a Facebook application
2). Exclusive content which is only available to Facebook fans
3). Some added spice in the form of Facebook Javascript (FBJS) to cycle the posts elegantly.

Here’s what the final result looks like:

See the example live here. (Obviously) you’ll have to fan this page to see the posts.

Step by Step

Here’s what we need to do. Step by Step.

1). Create a new WordPress category to house the exclusive content
Find the new category ID
Exclude the category ID from your RSS feed and main blog
4). Obtain a Facebook application key and application secret
5). Download the latest Facebook libraries.
6). Setup a directory in the root of your WordPress install
7). Ammend and upload the required files
8). Change Facebook application settings to point to your new files.

Step 1. Create the new category

A relatively simple process, creating a new category in WordPress is as simple as going to the category section and adding the details. Further information (for those who need it) can be found on the codex.

Doesn’t really matter what you call this. The important part of the process, is working out what the unique “category ID” for the newly created category is.

Step 2. Find the new category ID

The category ID can be found simply from within the WordPress admin section. When you have created the new category simply hover over its name, and you’ll see this in the toolbar..


Unsurprisingly, cat_ID represents the new category ID. Keep this handy, as you are going to need it to exclude the category from your main blog.

Step 3. Exclude the category

There are three places we are going to remove this category. One is the sidebar of your WordPress blog, the other is inside the main blog loop – and finally the third is your RSS feed.

1) Removing from the sidebar

See Under ‘ Hiding the category for the sidebarin this post, which uses a very similar technique to create a custom newsletter using WordPress.

2 & 3) Removing from the main loop and RSS

I’ve used a custom plugin that I’ve created to handle this. You can download it here, but please remember to set the $category_id_to_remove variable at the top of the plugin prior to upload. It looks something like this for you code junkies curious.

add_filter('pre_get_posts', 'exclude_category');

function exclude_category($query) {


$category_id_to_remove = '-1127'; // this should be changed to the catID

$query->set('cat', $category_id_to_remove);
return $query;

Ammend,  upload and install in the usual way that plugins are installed. To test that you have successfully excluded the category, simply create a post and assign it to that category. It shouldn’t appear in either your RSS feed, or your main blog. Sorted.

Step 4. Facebook app keys

To obtain Facebook application keys, you’ll have to create an application first. Visit this URL to begin the setup of a fresh application.  You can call this whatever you like. Accept the terms and click next, you may be required to fill in a captcha prior to moving on. You’ll be presented with a number of options, which we will have to fill in later. Right now, the only tab you are interested in is the “Facebook integration” option. You should be able to click on that to obtain both the ‘application secret’ and ‘application key’. Save these as you’ll need them for later steps.

Step 5. Facebook API Libraries

Facebook don’t make things terribly easy for developers, as there’s a fair bit of hunting around before finding the API libraries for PHP. They do however make life much easier for getting the information out of the Graph API.

These are currently housed at Githubs, and are available via this download link.

Download and extract the class (facebook.php). (As this file may change / get updated). I have however included this at time of writing in the main demo download below.

Bear in mind that this is the new Graph API – and not the old Restful API.

Step 6. Setup a directory

You can do this locally, prior to installation. You’ll need a directory for images, and the main code files which I’ve already written for you.

Download the full zip folder here.

These connect through to WordPress etc . Should look something like this.

Facebook.php – The main API class downloaded earlier
incfunctions.php – Any additional PHP functions (I’ve used a trimming function to shorten my posts)
Index.php – The main FBML page used by Facebook
tinthumber.php – A generic image resize PHP script, makes things pretty.

Step 7. Ammend the files

The only file that you will have to deal with is “index.php” everything else should be fine as is. The following are the sections of code that may need tweaked.

Lines 7 & 8:

$appapikey = ‘YOUR API KEY HERE”;
$appsecret = ‘YOUR APP SECRET HERE’;

refer to Step 4 if you can’t remember what these are.

Line 9:

$main_app_location_http = ‘’;

Change this to whatever server domain you’ve installed on. Will be the same as the domain for your WordPress install, inside a sub directory.

Line 48:

$number_of_posts = 5;

Change this to determine the number of WordPress posts that will be shown / cycled through inside your FBML application.


AND $wpdb->term_taxonomy.term_id IN(1127)

Change 1127 to be the same category ID that you determined in Step 2.

Line 110:

Determines what image / HTML to show to visitors who aren’t currently fans of your page..

Save the file with your settings, and upload it. At this point viewing the URL in the browser ( should show you the content shown at line 110.

Step 8. Change Facebook settings

Now that your application has been created, and uploaded, all that is left to do is to perform a few tweaks to the application page to set it all up. Log back into Facebook and follow these steps:

To set the app settings

1) Visit the following Developer Apps URL
2) Select the application name that you set in step 4 and click edit settings.
3) Click Facebook Integration
4) Set the canvas page name to anything you want
5) Set the canvas URL to the HTTP location you uploaded everything to. (Will be the same as the variable $main_app_location_http used earlier.
6) Set canvas type to FBML
7) Set tab name to ‘Extra content’
8) Set tab URL to ‘index.php’

Save changes and click ‘Back to My Apps’ at the top of the page.

To add the application to your fan page

1) Click Application Profile Page
2) Click ‘Add to my Page’ – if you an admin of several fan page, select the appropriate one.
3) Visit your fan page
4) Click the + icon beside your tabs, and select ‘Extra Content’

Voila! That should be you up and running now, having created your first Facebook FBML application. Simples!

You should be able to expand upon the code that I’ve provided, and I’ll be adding to my own offering as I now have a fair idea how things work. Next stage will be to perhaps syndicate some RSS, or integrate my Twitter account.

Articles which proved to be useful:

Facebook JS slider – I’ve used a large proportion of this code to give the sliding left and right effect.

How to detect fan of a Facebook page. – Hooray for the REQUEST object giving additional information from Facebook. var_dump to the rescue.

Some things developers need to know when developing for Facebook

JQuery isn’t supported, Facebook don’t allow you to link to external scripts when creating a canvas application. Instead a JS library called FBJS is used. That said – an open source project to mirror JQuery functionality inside Facebook looks promising.

Body tag’s are not allowed inside FBML canvas.

When creating an application for a tab, some functionality will be restricted, particularly user auth calls as tabs can’t redirect.

$is_fan = $_REQUEST['fb_sig_is_fan']; this code works out if the current user session is a fan of the page or not without needing to find the user ID. The above paragraph explains why userId can’t be fetched normally.

Facebook tab widths for designs are 520px.


You can of course change the images which are used, and the surrounding HTML to create your own custom FBML app. Standard WordPress programming can be used because of the inclusion of the core libraries at the top of the script, so those of you familiar with writing plugins or custom code should be right at home. Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

How to (fully) integrate WordPress with Facebook is a post from: Webdistortion


How To Be Popular On Facebook, Quantified

26 Dec
Hugh Pickens writes "Network World reports that Facebook has just released an analysis of the word usage for about one million status updates from its US English speakers with the words in updates organized into 68 different word categories based on the Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count (LIWC)--a text analysis software program that calculates the degree to which people use different categories of words across a wide array of texts. The results? To be popular on Facebook all you have to do is write longer status updates, talk about music and sports, don't be overly emotional, don't talk about your family, don't refer to time and use the word 'you' a lot. Facebook's study also confirms something that bloggers and Fox News have known for years: negative comments produce more online activity. Sure, Facebook users might click the like button more often on updates expressing positive emotion. But Facebook found you can't beat negativity for user engagement, as dismal status updates garnered more comments than positive ones."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.


Facebook on Track for $2B Revenue in 2010 [REPORT]

15 Dec

Forget the $1 billion figure thrown around earlier this year; sources close to Facebook financials say the social network is close to reporting revenues of $2 billion for 2010.

If these reports are accurate, Facebook’s annual revenue would have more than doubled since last year, when the company made around $800 million.

While astronomical compared to most startups’ revenues, these figures are hardly a surprise to anyone familiar with Facebook’s advertising and virtual currency advances in the past 12 months.

The company now competes with Google for online ad dollars from major brands as well as small businesses that need targeted marketing with high ROI. In fact, Facebook serves around 50 billion display ads per month and is on track to serve 1 trillion display ads for all of 2010.

And when it comes to revenue from virtual currency — revenue that comes, in a roundabout way, directly from Facebook users themselves — Facebook is seeing more cash all the time. The blockbuster success of casual games from studios such as Zynga add up to more coin in Facebook’s coffers when users pay with Facebook Credits; for every dollar the user spends on Facebook Credits, the social network gets 30 cents.

Virtual currencies aside, the lion’s share of Facebook’s revenue still comes from advertising and marketing — a game that Facebook is really just beginning to play well.

Right now, Google and Facebook are both ramping up for an epic battle for location-based ad dollars, especially where small and medium-sized businesses are concerned. How Facebook performs in 2011 may have a lot to do with how it competes in offering a compelling and effective location-based marketing platform for businesses of all sizes.

Reviews: Facebook, Google

More About: facebook, facebook credits, Revenue

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