Posts Tagged ‘Apps’

Has Facebook come Full Circle on Privacy?

Friday, December 4th, 2009

Don’t let the numbers fool you: Facebook’s steady rise to the top of the social media heap wasn’t by magic or luck. Instead Facebook has grown from Harvard’s Ethernet to 350 million users by aggressively trying new things, for good and the bad.

For a while it seemed that the one thing that Facebook would never get correct would be the privacy issue.  As Facebook has grown from a college-only hangout to a widely used networking tool for everyone, Facebook has had to reconsider their privacy policy along the way.

After a few miscues (cough Beacon cough)  it seems Facebook has understood that controlling privacy is one of the best ways to keep their expansive user base. Now with several changes, they’ve made privacy so easy that even an orangutan can do it.

  1. Shutting Down Beacon: Facebook’s Beacon was meant to be the start of social media advertising but ended up being too pervasive.  Facebook has since shut down the service and settled a lawsuit surrounding Beacon’s privacy practices.
  2. Marketer’s Beware!: Facebook change the rules on marketers may protect Facebook more than the user, but with all the different contests I’ve been seeing lately maybe this is a good thing.
  3. Scam Crackdowns: One of the best and worse things about the Facebook platform is the apps. That’s why its great that Facebook is cleaning house and getting rid of apps that are scammy. Now if someone could just get rid of Farmville (someone had to say it!).
  4. Eliminating Confusing Policy Rules: Getting rid of all the network mumbo-jumbo and simplifying the system makes sense.  At one point I was on three different networks and controlled each privacy setting individually.  Now with simple controls for each piece of content I put up and easier privacy language, most people are going to feel a lot safer on Facebook. More importantly this plan has been discussed since July, meaning that Facebook may avoid the backlash they’ve felt every other time a change has been made.

It is this concern over people’s privacy that have allowed Facebook to grow to 350 million people worldwide.  By tweaking their privacy, Facebook has taken the lead on an issue where other major social networks like MySpace ended up failing.  Now the question is: can it last?

What do you think about Facebook’s privacy changes?  Do you feel safe online?

Introducing M.insight: The First Mobile App Designed for PR, Marketing and Advertising Pros

Tuesday, June 9th, 2009

We’re really excited about launching the M.insight mobile app today, for the iPhone/iPod Touch, Blackberry and Windows Mobile devices.

Our colleagues often ask our recommendations on great blogs covering marketing communications and social media.  And quite honestly, with a bewildering number of blogs covering the space, it can get a bit overwhelming trying to decide which ones to read regularly to stay on top of news affecting our industry or clients.

Well, M.insight is designed help.  It’s a simple, free mobile app that aggregates content from a hand-picked group of highly respected blogs and news sites within the industry so you don’t have to dig through hundreds of blogs to get to articles that really matter to you.  And M.insight delivers this up-to-the-minute content right to your smartphone, so you can catch up on your reading whenever you have a few spare minutes.  You can add as many of your favorite feeds as you like, or delete feeds you don’t care about.  You can even monitor social media right from your smartphone.

Check out to learn more about the app and download it to your smartphone.

We really hope this app becomes a useful and time-saving tool for our colleagues and peers.  We’d love to hear what you think!  Let us know in the comments section.

M.insight Splash Page

M.insight Splash Page




















M.insight Categories

M.insight Categories

The Most Annoying News of the Week

Thursday, March 5th, 2009

Facebook has been making some waves this week with the big announcements about the home page redesign as well as pages turning into profiles, etc.  However, in what will surely be the most annoying news of this first week in March, they’ve also allowed their Apps platform to use the Chat function.  From TechCrunch:

Aside from adding an enhanced social element to applications, the new feature could also help apps go viral much more quickly than they would using the standard Email invite system most Facebook apps employ. Developers can now present users with a list their friends who are online (even those that don’t necessarily have their apps installed), who they can then send invites via chat messages. Invites sent over chat have a greater sense of urgency and intimacy, so it’s likely that they’ll be more effective than invites sent through the site’s Email system.

While both Apps and Chat on Facebook are great, useful tools, putting the two together like this will definitely annoy a lot of people (myself included).  Chat on Facebook might already be seen by some as annoying on its own.  I can’t imagine getting an IM from someone asking me to save them from dysentery on the Oregon Trail is going to create lots of new converts to Facebook in general.

Sure, you can turn off chat but what if you actually use it to talk to other people?  There is no “invisible” setting (yet).  Essentially, what this Apps platform update has done is pigeonhole anyone who uses Chat on a regular basis and alienate those who only want to use it selectively.

Is it Friday yet?

Photo credit, smanography.