Without Fanfare, Facebook Releases Updated Android App, And It Still Has Chat

fb-new-android Facebook quietly released an updated Android app Thursday, and those attached to the ability to chat within the app will be happy. But that's likely to be a short-lived satisfaction, given confirmed news reports this week that Facebook will eventually remove chat from its mobile apps and force users who want to keep in instant contact with Facebook friends to download the Messenger app. The current update, available now in the Google Play store, isn't remarkable different than the old version. Facebook's very limited release notes say improvements have been made to reliability and sp [...]


Native Mobile Apps May Dominate Now, But The Mobile Web Will Endure

Time spent with apps If you’re lucky enough to be a huge brand marketer with unlimited budgets, what I’m about to say probably doesn’t apply to you. You have the good fortune to focus on providing not only a phenomenal mobile website experience, but a great experience in mobile apps, as well. Not or, but and, as it should be. So, you can feel free to use the contact info below to discuss how to take your campaigns to the next level and stop reading this column. For the other 99% of us, the recent announcement by app analytics provider Flurry that users are still spending more time in apps than the mo [...]


Flipboard Buys Zite From CNN For Deeper Personalization

Flipboard Former Flipboard competitor and news aggregator Zite will soon become the algorithm behind a more personalized Flipboard. The latter is reportedly paying roughly $60 million to CNN for Zite. CNN acquired Zite in 2011 for just over $20 million. Zite emerged from the ashes of “discovery Engine Worio.” Worio used search technology to help users discover relevant or personalized content. In a sense it was a precursor to some of the "anticipatory search" and intelligent assistant technology on display today with Google Now and Expect Labs. Zite maintained a stand-alone identity during ro [...]


Facebook Buys Israeli Mobile Analytics Company Onavo

Onavo Facebook has acquired Israeli startup Onavo. TechCrunch first reported the news, which was confirmed by a company blog post. The acquisition price wasn't announced but speculation puts it between $150 and $200 million. There are essentially two aspects to Onavo: consumer-facing apps that help users manage data and save money and an app-analytics business. The company's consumer-facing apps have been around since 2011. They compress data to make plans go further; they also provide visibility on data usage to mobile subscribers: By compressing your data, Onavo Extend can increase the power o [...]


Facebook Announces Preferred Marketing Developers Innovation Competition Winners

facebook Facebook has released the winners of its most recent Preferred Marketing Developers (PMDs) Innovation Competition. According to the announcement, the competition is held twice a year to highlight developers that have built tools to, "Help businesses realize their goals through Facebook." The most recent PMDs competition theme was "From Conversation to Conversion" and focused on direct response marketing solutions. According to Facebook, the following six winners were selected from more than 60 entries. Facebook PMDs Innovation Competition Winners Optimal (Grand Jury Prize): "Optimal [...]


Facebook Says Run Your Promotions From Your Page, No Contest App Required

facebook-pages-logo In an about-face, Facebook announced it is doing away with the requirement that contest and promotions be run through apps. Up to now, page administrators were required to run all promotions through an app. However, "illegal" contests run from page timelines were fairly rampant. Starting today, page administrators can opt to run a promotion from their page, from an app, or by using both. The following practices, once banned per Facebook's Page Terms, are now permitted: Collect entries by having users post on the Page or comment/like a Page post Collect entries by having users m [...]


Facebook Mobile Login Adds Separate User Sharing Controls

facebook Facebook has tweaked its mobile login system -- a system that the company says is used more than 850 million times each month. The primary change is an extra layer of user control over sharing. Mobile apps that use Facebook login are now required to ask about sharing on Facebook in a separate step from the login itself: Don't want to share your music playlist or workout routine with friends? You can choose to skip sharing altogether. Clearly separating sharing means people can decide whether they only want to use Facebook Login for fast registration without also sharing back to Facebook. [...]


Facebook Mobile Pages Integrate OpenTable And TV Listings

Facebook mobile OpenTable Dinner and a show. Facebook is introducing new content and features to selected mobile Pages to make them more engaging and useful. The company said this afternoon that it is integrating OpenTable booking into Facebook mobile Pages for restaurants in North America. In addition, TV listings information will appear on TV and movie Pages. In the latter case, "Listings will be based on your current time zone and include the channel name, air time and a description of the show or movie playing." In the case of OpenTable, users will be able to book restaurants directly through their mo [...]


Xyo’s App For Me Uses Facebook Likes To Find App Recommendations For Users & Friends

mobile-apps-200px App developer Xyo has released App for Me, a new mobile search app that identifies a long tail of apps based on Facebook Likes. When a user performs a query using the search app, App for Me will deliver relevant app recommendations based on the user's Facebook Likes, as well as offer app recommendations for the user's Facebook friends. According to Xyo, App for Me search results will display Facebook friends, "...most likely to be interested in a long tail of over 600 types of apps and 120 game interests." Xyo cites that 10 percent of apps get 90 percent of the downloads, with users foc [...]


Facebook’s Parse Tool Will Strengthen App-Developer Ties

Facebook + Parse In a Facebook "whiteboard" session today at the company's headquarters, it introduced press and analysts to its recently acquired mobile app development platform Parse and its former CEO Ilya Sukhar (who heads the Parse unit of Facebook). Sukhar seems like he could be Mark Zuckerburg's first cousin. For those who've never heard of Parse, it was a two-year-old startup acquired in April by Facebook. It's now part of the suite of tools Facebook offers for developers (Facebook Platform). Parse's mission was/is to take the complexity out of developing native mobile apps for multiple platforms (i [...]


Facebook Wants More App Developers Using Sections, Offers Best Practices & Adds New Analytics to App Insights

facebook-wrench-screw-featured In an effort to get more app developers on board using sections, the Facebook Developer blog released a list of best practices for creating customized sections and added section timeline analytics to their App Insight tool. After replacing aggregations with app sections last month, Facebook has rolled-out sections to everyone, and according to the blog post, "...are seeing almost 200 million items added daily." With sections, users can rate movie, TV show and book content directly on their timeline, as well as include ratings from apps. By highlighting a number of apps already using section [...]


Facebook Likely In Talks To Buy Social Navigation App Waze

Facebook Mobile -iphone iOS devices Will Facebook acquire social traffic and navigation app Waze? TechCrunch ran an article today claiming that three Israeli papers, Calcalist, Ynet and The Marker, have reported that Facebook is in talks to acquire the company in a billion-dollar deal that would help further grow Facebook's mobile efforts. According to the article, a private source confirmed the deal along with a price range of $800 million to $1 billion, although a spokesperson from Facebook and from Waze both said they will not comment on rumors or speculation about the business. Waze uses crowdsourcing technology to let [...]


Facebook To Lose Three Electronic Arts Game Titles In June

Entertainment software developer Electronic Arts (EA) announced it will be retiring its Facebook games The Sims Social, SimCity Social and Pet Society on June 14, 2013. While The Sims Social reportedly gained as many as 10 million daily active users (DAU) in 2011, EA reports that activity has fallen off for its once-popular titles. With social games moving from browser to mobile devices, Facebook confirmed earlier this year that it is focusing on more action games for hardcore gamers. Currently, AppData reports The Sims Social and Pet Society at 500,000+ DAUs and SimCity Social at 100,00 [...]


Will Facebook Launch Its Own Phone At Its Android Product Event On April 4?

Facebook Invite Facebook is announcing big news next Thursday at its Menlo Park headquarters. Invitations to attend a product announcement invited media professionals to  "Come see our new home on Android." Will it be a Facebook phone? Speculation is that this might be the long-rumored Facebook phone. 9to5Google reported that Facebook joined forces with HTC and has been working on a major marketing campaign to support the upcoming product launch. Marketing Land will be on site during the event with live blogging to cover the product announcement as it happens next Thursday, and updates here and on our [...]


Facebook Redesigns Timeline: Streamlined Look, More Prominent Apps, Developer Tools & Rules

facebook-home-page-featured The "Pinterestization" of Facebook continues. The company today introduced changes to Timeline that allow users to more easily and prominently display collections of things they like (via apps). This was part of the introduction of an overall Timeline redesign. Images in posts are larger and are seen on the right (a mirror of some of the recent News Feed changes), while other photos, music and recent activity are clustered in a slightly narrower column on the left. There's also a bigger emphasis on apps as sources of self expression. App-based custom collections (movies, books, im [...]


Facebook To Showcase New Newsfeed On Thursday

Facebook Mobile -iphone iOS devices Facebook is holding a press event next Thursday at its Menlo Park, California headquarters. We'll be there live blogging the event at 10 Pacific/1 Eastern. The purpose of the event is to showcase a new look for Facebook's newsfeed. This may be both for mobile and the PC. According to an earlier article on TechCrunch (discussing mobile), the look of the new feed will be bolder and bigger, with new navigation: The news feed of the evolved Facebook app I’ve seen creates separate feeds for a few different content types including news and photos. Users navigate between them by swiping [...]


Finally: Facebook’s Pages Manager App Officially Arrives on Android

FB-PAges-Manager-In-Action Android wielding Facebook Admins can now rejoice! Facebook Pages Manager has officially made its way to the Android operating system. The app can be found in the Google Play Store for U.S. and U.K. users and is in the process of being rolled out to a a limited number of regions including Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. According to an official press release, the app includes all of the same features of the iOS version that was launched back in May of 2012. This includes the ability to: Check on their Page activity View Page Insights Respond to a page audience  Pos [...]


Facebook Augments Development Platform With Alerts For Developers & Groups For Apps And Games

facebook-logo-square Facebook made many a developer jump for joy last week as a handful of changes were rolled out to aid in development. The two most notable implementations were the ability to create groups around a specific app or game and the addition of alerts for developers' apps. The new developer alerts will deliver messages to the people listed as admins to the app when a number of actions occur. The developer alerts will be triggered on the following actions: Breaking changes - If functionality is being removed or changed that affects an app, an alert will be delivered. These reminders will [...]


Facebook Questions Is Finally Dead

facebook-question-mark Talk about stringing something along: Months after removing its dedicated Questions app, Facebook has finally removed the "Ask Question" option from the status update text box above the News Feed. That currently leaves users with two options: Update Status and Add Photo/Video. Facebook Questions first launched in July 2010 and was thought to be an eventual challenger to Yahoo Answers, the king of the Q&A space. But, as I wrote in my August article, Facebook Questions Has Died A Quiet Death, that never happened. At some point earlier this year, Facebook quietly removed the dedicated Q [...]


“Explicitly Shared” Facebook Actions Aim To Drive Visibility To Prominent Sharing

facebook-logo-square So far the Open Graph has been a boon for apps as users can auto-post and share without a second thought given. Well this week Facebook announced a new shared parameter that will help users cut through the inevitable noise that the Open Graph (and auto-posting) causes. Instead of having an action within an app fall into one's ticker, the new explicitly shared update will appear as if a user entered the post directly within Facebook. This new parameter was designed to be mainly used for items that users would want to be sharing on Facebook, not low-signal activities like in-game pur [...]


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