Social Pressure: Investors Versus Consumers

Both money and relationships are vital for sustainability, yet it is money that has been the main cause of many broken relationships. It is souring Facebook’s too, with its 900+ users.  Will they run away from the new monetization schemes as investors did, post IPO?

Investment risks

Facebook’s first angel investor and member of its board of directors, Peter Thiel recently sold most of his Facebook shares as the company’s stock fell. For companies, hedge funds from those such as Thiel, are a security boon because of their sizable investment that cannot be liquidated the first year. Mutual funds being more common tend to retreat in large numbers the moment stocks drop. Both situations are deadly for a company. And that’s the kind of pressure Facebook is currently faced with.

New investors are therefore hardly encouraged.

Relationship risks

In response, Zuckerberg seems torn between pleasing his users and investors. CEO Mark Zuckerberg has admitted to his company’s volatility.

And so we witness the revival of Facebook Gifts, first featured two years ago and subsequently shut off because it proved profitless. This time around, Facebook’s commerce initiative could work for users who see it as a way to increase their bonding with their friends via the network. This is still not as risky as some other ventures, such as advertising, no longer a free service.

Marketing with different rules

COO Sheryl Sandberg has made it plain that payment will also be required to access additional features provided by the network. The strategy is similar to how other social networks operate, but considering this to be a free for all network, new users will think twice before joining Facebook, while current users may reconsider staying put on the network.

It is clear Facebook is not cut out for the cut-and-dry advertisers and all attempts have been fruitless. The pressure has led to privacy violations and protests from users. Despite that, Wall Street Journal reports how the social medium continues to provide internal as well as external user data to marketers.

Facebook asks users to verify their real identity through their phone numbers. Now marketers can target customers by matching Facebook’s email and phone numbers with their own lists. And yes, these companies have also received enough ROI to continue on this path. But users are displeased.

Apps and mobile are perhaps the only two ventures that to count on, both as user and investor attraction. Facebook apps and Facebook Fan pages require little investment and returns are high. Mobile app ROI are even higher, with small and medium sized businesses showing keen interest in making their presence felt on both platforms. Both combined as Facebook mobile apps could produce impressive numbers.  This means rather than seeing users as consumers Facebook can focus on mobile companies and Facebook developers as their partners. Organic advertising will bring relief to all

 

Seemi Munir Originally Found this Post on Avenuesocial

 
Seemi Munir was born as a Leader,inspires others to work to their highest potential.She is an Expert in Business Development, Financial Strategic Planning, and Profit Growth.

Facebook Changes…No Not Again!

Facebook’s notorious reputation of making sudden changes is slowly dissipating. Facebook has just updated the iOS SDK, which is now available as version 3.1 with native UI. And this time, everyone seems prepared, for a change.

When author Andreas Ramos wrote a post about Facebook’s changes, his advice at the end of it was in fact a warning to ‘not rely on Facebook’ because it was ‘run by kids’ who do as they please and ‘won’t even notify’ when they make changes to their site.

Remarks such as these may have contributed to spur CEO Mark Zuckerberg to action, perhaps to prove people such as Andreas wrong? More concerning is how quickly the pendulum swung to the other side, with Facebook’s fast paced changes. Their two main goals are to move to mobile platform ASAP and to monetize.

Instead they now send an advance notice on their website to Facebook developers to prepare for any new change in the layout or feature are all put up to read on their website. Highly recommended is the Developer Roadmap page.

But the main issue is how well Facebook developers and users are adapting to the changes. Or are they not? Perhaps everyone became too comfortable and lazy coding during Facebook’s pre-mobile era. Even users felt disoriented. And by now the second and third parties should accept that such pace in development will continue because of Facebook’s very dynamic outlook.

While most of the changes are not too visible on the UI, their main pages and features have undergone a major upheaval. Such as Facebook’s Fan Pages, where in June this year, HBML was completely deleted and replaced by iFrame apps. On the exterior, as Facebook Timeline layout was enforced, so did Facebook Fan Page layout converge to become more interactive through the new ‘Message’ feature and provided better user control over posts and feedback.

Advertising and marketing also took on a new look, with features such as ‘Sponsored Stories’ and ‘Reach Generator’ to expand the fan base, thereby removing PPC (pay per click) advertisements.

The ones who are managing well are those who are reading up. It must be more than annoying because not only is it time consuming, it is also extra workload. However, it’s worth the trouble, especially for developers, because creating Facebook applications are a whole lot different.

It is always wiser to maintain a positive attitude, this goes for developers and users alike. Embrace change, and everyday will feel like new, better than a dull routine. Make the best use of their features and you can’t go wrong. Easier said than done…but with complete commercialization on the horizon, Facebook is certainly balancing it all pretty well so far.

Seemi Munir Originally Found this Post on Avenuesocial

Seemi Munir was born as a Leader,inspires others to work to their highest potential.She is an Expert in Business Development, Financial Strategic Planning, and Profit Growth.

 

Better Now Than Never: Apple’s Faith In Facebook

Following IPO’s subsequent downfall, the young entrepreneur was pelted with harsh criticism by investors and media alike. One company however, stood by Facebook. What had Apple Inc known the rest didn’t?

They said he was not groomed for the real world of business. That his company’s volatility was high risk investment. A Forbes article instigated he was not ‘up to the management task.’

Just a few days earlier Facebook’s stock hit an  ‘all-time low,’ where the share price was down by half of the IPO figure. Investors panicked. Facebook was silent.

Then Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s CEO reemerged. Which seemed coincidental – or well planned. His interview at TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2012 resulted in Facebook shares rise by 4.6%. The following day, Facebook officially integrated with iOS on the launch of iPhone 5. The network’s shares rose even further by 7.7%.

Retrospect. Apple and Facebook had been busy hatching a great plot. Apple needed social desperately. Facebook needed mobile desperately. Together they have managed to produce what may be the best of social experience on mobile to date.

Maybe Apple believed all along about Facebook’s immense mobile potential. Perhaps they could afford the risk as well, unlike many small investors. It isn’t just about social and mobile integration, which is not uncommon on other OSs. Apple’s improved hardware and software features seem perfectly designed for social networking:  Of the 200 new features installed on the iPhone5, Facebook takes the largest piece of the cake from the App Store.

Reason for the tech company to have shown confidence in the network is the latter’s continued population growth, an ocean of commerce. The large screen display on the smartphone is intended as a major attraction for advertisers, who were always hesitant about mobile platform because of their small estate. iPhone 5 has a larger screen and great graphic display, which provides fair room for both user and advertiser.

Since networking is an absorbing and therefore time-consuming activity, users can now make the most of it on the iPhone 5 which has stronger more battery power compared to any other smartphone. Faster internet browsing has also been made possible with the new A6 processor chip. Photo viewing in panoramic mode is also an added incentive for photo viewing.

The ‘Like’ tab has been optimized through push notifications for all apps which will divert traffic back to Apple’s App Store. Voice recognition feature, Siri, can be used to post Facebook updates verbally. A very convenient feature for those who are commuting and where typing post on the touchphone is extremely irksome.

All in all, it’s a partnership blossoming with mutual benefits, both for Apple’s and Facebook app developers. And one that has accelerated the downhill slide for the desktop computer, where once upon a time Facebook was born.

 

Seemi Munir Originally Found this Post on Avenuesocial

 
Seemi Munir was born as a Leader,inspires others to work to their highest potential.She is an Expert in Business Development, Financial Strategic Planning, and Profit Growth.

Brilliant Business Acumen Show at Tech Event

For all the tech geeks out there, it’s time to come out from behind your tablets, mobiles and PC screens and into the real world.  Because neither emoticons nor chat messages can substitute the real you. Whatever you have to sell, it will be have to be through your physical appearance. And Mark Zuckerberg will vouch for that.

TechCrunch is a media platform that covers all things technology. TechCrunch Disrupt SF is an annual global event. It serves as an introductory platform for startup ventures. (Yammer started off here). The event concludes with a grand trophy, which is a cash prize of USD 50,000 to the most innovative startup of the year.

This year, Disrupt SF 2012 attracted scores of startups (estimated at 300) and angel investors from all over the world. For instance, the all-women run Forerunner Ventures. Another business initiative was presented by Hacker Rank as “The Olympics of Programming” for “building the largest   collection of the world’s most interesting problems for hackers to solve.

The presentation of each has been aggressive on the Battlefield. Microsoft GM Rahul Sood criticized p (k) Prior Knowledge, a cloud-based predictive database startup for application developers. Sood suggested a balance of business with creativity and for p (k) to include marketing professionals in their all-engineer team.

With tough competition, the judges’ panel, which includes CEO, Yahoo! Marissa Mayer, had a hard time deciding this year’s trophy winner.

The Facebook legacy

The highlight of this year’s TechCrunch Disrupt was the Fireside Chat with Facebook’s CEO. With 950 million users, there’s no looking back for Facebook’s CEO. This was his first appearance following the IPO plummet, which seems to have cleared the air a bit. It wasn’t just about what he spoke, which he could have sent on an e-mail.

Zuckerberg presence seems to have reassured investors that the social network has a viable future worth considering seriously. No sooner had his conversation ended with Michael Arrington of CrunchFund when Facebook shares rose by 4.6%.

Zuckerberg spoke of deeper mobile integration and monetization, work on “long term projects and build good stuff,” and plenty of opportunities in gaming and search conduction. He added how Facebook applications drive morale, such as on Instagram.

The interview also dispelled rumors regarding a Facebook mobile. Facebook is keener on integration on “all devices” than invest in hardware, Zuckerberg confirmed.

Referring to his own codes, Zuckerberg said “Everything we do breaks, but we fix it quickly.” It emitted laughter from the audience, but Facebook users still criticize the cost of such ‘mistakes’ that resulted in irreversible privacy loss.  However, Zuckerberg admitted to “betting too much on HTML5 than native” being their “biggest strategic mistake” in mobile development, now rectified on iOS with Objective C as programming language.

With all said and done, all startups and seasoned businesses should learn from this: there is no room for mistakes in the tech world, whether it’s one user or 950 million of them.

Seemi Munir Originally Found this Post on Avenuesocial

Seemi Munir was born as a Leader,inspires others to work to their highest potential.She is an Expert in Business Development, Financial Strategic Planning, and Profit Growth.

Of Music, Sports and Social Media

The closing ceremony of Olympics 2012 was all glitz and glamour, showcasing the music and fashion culture of Britain in its prime. The event appeared more a rock concert than sport-oriented. But the audience looked thoroughly entertained and even the participants didn’t seem to mind being sidelined for the show. But what this Olympics event apart was how it outclassed all other sport events in history as far as duration and artists was concerned.

The main reason for the exaggerated attention to music can be attributed to the amount of social activity that revolved around the event. Olympics 2012 has been considered most technologically advanced and social-centered event in the history of the Olympiads and frequently referred to as ‘social games’ or social Olympics ‘The organizing committee was aware of the discussions that poured in by the minute on various social networks. Facebook was the most active network, followed by Twitter. So much so that Facebook apps and games were especially created with the Olympics as their central theme.

Olympics is not the only sports event to provide music-rich entertainment. Soccer too has seen a flurry of music activity, featuring some of the most distinguished artists. ‘Waka Waka’ was the official song for FIFA 2010 performed by Shakira. The song caught the world’s attention for it colorful mix of Afro-English performance.  Ricky Martin’s ‘Cup of Life’ for FIFA 1998 became an instant hit. Jennifer Lopez’s ‘Let’s Get Loud’ was dedicated to spur up the US soccer team in 1994.  The list goes on. The commercial interests of such partnerships are great for both: the event attracts a larger crowd because of the added entertainment while musicians receive instant worldwide publicity and high sales record.

Perform, a sports media group survey revealed that1 in 4 American citizens ‘follow sports via social media.’ Certainly encouraging news for those planning future sports events. Social media provides quick updates through posts and news rather than watching entire lengths of programs. This works out especially for those who are not as passionate about sports. Not only do the fans benefit, but so do the participants. By creating Facebook fan page, participants have the opportunity to interact with players. This is also a fair means for achieving recognition especially for the newcomers and amateurs.

With these three very powerful influences future sports events are likely to be even more exciting. The culturally rich and vibrant Brazil, the next Olympic venue is definitely going to make the most it all.

Seemi Munir Originally Found this Post on Avenuesocial
Seemi Munir was born as a Leader,inspires others to work to their highest potential.She is an Expert in Business Development, Financial Strategic Planning, and Profit Growth.

Facebook’s Messenger 1.9 is all Smiles

Facebook’s attempts are not just to go mobile, but partner with the most successful feature services. However, making apps for Facebook for mobile platform is not just challenging for third-party developers. Facebook’s own in-house team feels just as challenged.

This need for external support was also strongly felt for their messenger service as well. Which led to their acquisition of Beluga, a popular group messaging service. Facebook Messenger that became a standalone Facebook app for the PC and smartphones. But to compete against other social networks such as Google’s Chat as well mobile devices in house text services proved that something more than just words was needed. So now we have their updated Facebook Messenger version 1.9 for iOS and Android, which allows users to add emoticons such as smileys and hearts.

The change may not sound like a big deal, but will definitely thrill the teenagers. Apparently, Facebook has been pretty thorough in their research and the reason for this latest development: Renowned research company Pew’s recent report shows a rising trend of teenagers prefers using social network’s messaging services to interact with their each other on a daily basis. The percentage exceeds those using IM, phones or e-mails. Use of emoticons complements text in a quick and easy way. Some even go as far as to say they give ‘life’ to a message.

But why Emoji? The use of emoticons to complement the text changes the appearance and meaning of the Apparently, this Japanese artwork seems to have gained more popularity around the world more than any other emoticons. This led to the alternative keyboard on the iPhone dedicated exclusively to Emoji.

What next? With every update comes another new challenge, which is how to improve it further. Some comment suggest how adding video to messages will be another plus point for Facebook Messenger. Google on the other hand has the video chat, but not emoticons yet. So it’s highly likely they will borrow the idea from each other.

Unless of course Facebook decides they would much rather go for another acquisition. The first one that comes to mind is Skype whose users have exceeded 40 million. And they have a great set of emoticons too. Earlier both Google and Facebook had considered buying the company on more than one occasion. That is until Microsoft purchased it. If Skype is reconsidered, it will involve incentivizing the partnership with Microsoft. Except for one drawback: Skype is just as weak in their mobile strategy as Facebook and right now, Facebook is in a state of panic in going mobile.

The best and, as was mentioned at the beginning, the most difficult choice would be to make a Facebook application which would be combination of all of the above.

Seemi Munir Originally Found this Post on Avenuesocial
Seemi Munir was born as a Leader,inspires others to work to their highest potential.She is an Expert in Business Development, Financial Strategic Planning, and Profit Growth.

Facebook’s Need For Speed-y Action

“We’ve rebuilt the app so it’s faster and easier to use.” With this latest statement issued at the iTunes store, Facebook has gained several points with its mobile users.

When in Rome…Facebook may have understood the need but seemed to have avoided the eventual: which was to go native on the iOS. Finally, they recently hauled their mobile app on iPhone and iPad by switching from the web-friendly HTML5 to i-friendly Objective C. The 5.0 version update contains more than double the speed than its predecessor.

We can only guess the reason for delay. Could be because HTML5 allows direct access to content and updates, whereas using Objective C means rerouting through the app store. By the time the app opened to Newsfeed, it would be time for the user on the go (Facebook needs to be reminded of this), to get on with whatever is on their busy agenda. Another reason could be HTML5’s cross-platform compatibility.

This delay proved costly as users deleted the app because of its snail-paced speed. Goes to show the company needs to speed up its decision-making and action process too. But what they have made it clear that mobile is the way to go. And hopefully they’re reading up on feedback too.

Users do understand the trouble that goes into making technological changes. One little feedback among a torrent of spam can prove to be most useful for companies like Facebook, who attempt to balance their monetary success, which is not happening as well as expected, but also to fulfill user demands that are just as fast paced.

So time is most crucial here, because of the growing competition among social networks like Foursquare that are completely mobile. And no sooner have they improved on speed come a another hail of comments about how they need to work on other features such as sharing and to pay equal attention to other mobile devices such as Android and Blackberry.

On the other hand there are Facebook developers who have to contend with the changes too. They have been content since the introduction of Facebook App Center on iPhone, because that meant they did not have to make create two separate apps for the web plus iOS. It may be that they would have to do a little more learning. Right now Facebook apps on require a blend of PHP and HTML5, but it’s likely that it will soon become mandatory for all programming languages to be device-specific. It’s now a question of how cross platform compatibility will be possible when and if the change does happen.

Seemi Munir Originally Found this Post on Avenuesocial
Seemi Munir was born as a Leader,inspires others to work to their highest potential.She is an Expert in Business Development, Financial Strategic Planning, and Profit Growth.