#TheStream Issue 8

Welcome once again to our look back over the previous week’s top news in social, tech and marketing. Lots of stuff here, hope you find it valuable!

Facebook App Center

The boys and girls at the big F (can we call them that?) have been very busy and last week announced their very own application store ‘apptly’ named App Center (queue the bad joke groans). U.S. spelling of centre aside, this will be a great way to drive the discovery of apps. At the moment, Facebook is the place for organic discovery but searching and installing apps is currently not a great experience and sometimes confusing. The App Center should fix this and encourage further organic growth as people begin to install more apps, should this take off a la Apple’s App Store.

“In the coming weeks, people will be able to access the App Center on the web and in the iOS and Android Facebook apps. All canvas, mobile and web apps that follow the guidelines can be listed. All developers should start preparing today to make sure their app is included for the launch.”

Facebook also announced that it will be introducing paid for apps:

“Many developers have been successful with in-app purchases, but to support more types of apps on Facebook.com, we will give developers the option to offer paid apps. This is a simple-to-implement payment feature that lets people pay a flat fee to use an app on Facebook.com. If you are interested in the beta program, please sign up to receive more information.”

Just in time for their IPO, Mark & co must be viewing this as one of the ways to justify their proposed share price as they look to make Facebook the one stop shop for people’s online activities.

Facebook File Sharing

Just a few weeks after Google finally released Google Drive, Facebook has begun rolling out a file sharing system. It works through the ‘groups’ functionality and although very basic at this time it might just be the shot in the arm that makes Groups more appealing. The once popular stomping grounds have been a bit lackluster since the introduction of Pages but with each new iteration they have slowly but surely begun to become a great place to collaborate/communicate with small teams of people. This latest update allowing you to share any file type is a very welcome addition and further enhances Facebook’s corporate potential and a nice edition for those using groups for clubs etc.

Facebook Testing Highlight Posts Feature

Like an interesting mix of Twitter‘s promoted tweets and Tumblr‘s highlight post feature, Facebook have begun a small experiment allowing any user to “highlight” their status updates. This means that a status update etc will be featured at the top of your friends News Feed, there will be no disernible characteristics to highlight it beyond its position in the feed. The test is working in two ways, one where users have to pay a small fee and the other allowing users to do it for free. Facebook have said that this is a simple experiment to gauge interest in this kind of functionality. TechCrunch have an interesting break down of the test here.

Bing Social Search

Last week Microsoft announced the integration of social networks into Bing‘s search results. Handling it in a very different way to Google’s “Search, Plus Your World” announcement, Bing looks to become a real alternative to the established search giant. We wrote about this one last week which you can read here.

Google+ Hangouts On Air

Another week and another Google+ announcement. This time for what is the network’s killer feature, Hangouts. For a while now Google has been running “On Air” Hangouts with celebrities and politicians (namely President Obama) and allowing a select few to hold their own Hangouts On Air. Now after the clear success that this has been, and probably due to the large number of messages they will have been getting from people requesting to use the On Air feature, Google are releasing the Hangouts On Air to everyone. This is fantastic news and the potential for marketing purposes is huge. Expect to see interviews with CEOs, celebrity endorsements, surprise Hangouts, consumer focus groups, special screenings and much more in the very near future.

Tumblr Announces Storyboard

Tumblr has become a place full of fantastic pieces of content. Once you start scrolling on your dashboard it is very hard to stop and you end up getting lost in a world of wonderment… (ahem sorry slight fanboyitus). Basically, there is a huge amount of stuff on there and some of the best stuff gets lost. So to help get eyeballs on the best of the best…stuff… Tumblr has launched its own curation blog called Storyboard.

It’s a great initiative which shows just how powerful the young blogging platform has become. Storyboard will also be revealing interesting  stats about various trends that exist within the network. The first one is an infographic on F*ck Yeah blogs, if it exists it probably has a F*ck Yeah Tumblr.

SoundCloud Announces 15million Users And A New Look

The audio social network has grown quickly since announcing 10 million users in January. Hitting 15 million users last week, the team announced Next SoundCloud, the new look and functionality that is currently being tested in a closed beta for select users.

The new announcements were:

See more:

  • A more interactive waveform player
  • A simpler and more attractive profile
Share more:
  • New reposts let your friends, fans and followers repost your sounds and sets for others to hear
  • Real-time notifications to keep you up-to-date the second something happens
Hear more:
  • Play your sounds continuously: press play, explore and keep listening
  • Forget playlists. Sets let you build collections of sounds you like in one Waveform
Find more:
  • Easier and more intuitive navigation, including keyboard shortcuts
  • New search with faster, better results and search suggestions
SoundCloud has a number of high profile users from deadmau5 to Snoop Dogg and is becoming a great service to share not only music but other interesting audio segments and podcasts. As it grows in size it needs to be another network that is considered as part of a companies communications strategy. As ever those that get there first and establish themselves will be the winners in the long run.
Foursquare Personalised Coupons
In an effort to begin to become profitable, Foursquare has announced personalised coupons. This new service will be part of an updated app that is due for launch in July.
“We’ll essentially be offering promoted placement of specials within our redesigned app, targeted using the same technology that powers Explore, and some other premium features,” a Foursquare spokesperson tells Mashable.”
As ever, this sounds like something with a lot of potential if location sharing and the Foursquare network begin to grow to the kind of numbers that we see on other niche networks e.g. Instagram. However, despite some dedicated users (like yours truly), location sharing has a long way to go but Crowly and his team are in this for the long haul.
“Video sharing and photo sharing are fundamentally different than location sharing,” he said. “People are still warming to the idea of location sharing. We are inventing this category, or really pushing it forward.”
The Foursquare CEO also hinted at another new service, stating:
“We’re getting really good at connecting people with places, and connecting those places with people,” Crowley said in the interview. “Instead of serving up places we think you might be interested in, we can do the same things for businesses, and [tell them] these are the folks that are most likely to come here, based upon their check-in habits, based upon the places they’ve been to and their friends have been.”
Check out this Mashable article for a some more info.
Lolcat
Teehee!

Wrist Kitteh

And there we have it, Issue 8 of #TheStream has come to a close. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s