Facebook had their first earnings report as a public company last week, where a bunch of facts, and figures were released. But, according to some information released during their 10-Q filing this week, approximately 8.7% of active Facebook users don't represent real people.
8.7% may not sound like a huge amount of people, but considering that the social network has a staggering 955 million users, 8.7% represents a 83.09 million accounts. That figure has also ballooned out from the social network's pre-IPO estimate of between 5-6%, but CNET has said that its probably the result of Facebook adjusting the way it calculates the bogus accounts.
CNET also says that someone can quality as an "active" Facebook user if they use the service to log into other websites, but don't actually need to visit Facebook. The document also shows that 4.8% of Facebook's monthly active users (MAUs) are duplicates, or an extra account that someone created in addition to their main profile. This could be by mistake, to 'cheat' in social games, or because of other reasons.
Facebook have officially launched their App Center, which is the social network's storefront of desktop and mobile applications, which is now available in every country that Facebook is. The App Center first debuted in English-speaking countries such as Australia, Canada, India, Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa, and the United Kingdom.
Then, last week the App Center hit Brazil, France, Germany, Russia, Spain, Taiwan and Turkey. Now, it is completely global, in every country Facebook can be used in, the App Center is there. If you log into Facebook.com, you'll see an App Center bookmark on the left side of your homepage, as well as in the Facebook apps for iPhone, iPad and Android.
Facebook continues to grow, and needs to feed itself into new markets, with mobile being a very important one. Considering that international users make up 81-percent of Facebook's staggering 995 million monthly active users, it's a step in the right direction. I don't personally play any games on Facebook anymore, I'm tied up working so much that I don't have the time to mess with them anymore. But it's nice to know that my wife can jump into SongPop now, direct from the App Center on her notebook, or Galaxy S III.
You know what? I love numbers. I think this is why I love technology so much, specs, GHz, core clocks, frame rates, power consumption, I could go on forever. Social networking site, Facebook, have released their energy usage report for the year of 2011, with some interesting details.
Facebook's total annual carbon footprint for each monthly active Facebook user is 269 grams. Facebook have put this into context in the report as detailing that for one person's Facebook use for the entire of 2011, had roughly the same carbon footprint as one medium latte, or three large bananas, or a couple of glasses of wine. I'll take the latter, thanks.
Facebook's total energy usage from office space, data centers, and other facilities was approximately 532 million kWh. Greenhouse gas emissions, also known as our carbon footprint, comes from many different areas: data centers, office space, employee commuting, employee air travel, data center construction and server transportation totaled approximately 285,000 metric tonnes of CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent, which includes greenhouse gases CO2, CH4, N2O, and HFCs).
Facebook had their earnings call late last week, and one piece of information I looked past was the fact that the social networking giant admitted that 1 billion pieces of content are shared through Open Graph each and every day.
Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that Facebook's priorities are mobile, platform and social ads. So by sharing all of these pieces of content, advertisers have a bigger opportunity to get their brands in front of Facebook's near 1 billion users.
Since Open Graph launched, most apps have seen incredible growth thanks to the fact that all of the actions that users take within those apps are shown on their Facebook Timeline, and friend's Ticker and News Feed. It has been said that thanks to Open Graph, social video service Socialcam sold for $60 million.
During Facebook's first quarterly financial report, the social network is shown to sport more than half a billion monthly active users on mobile. This quarter's results showed that an astounding 543 million users use the social network from a mobile device.
This number is expanded considerably from the end of 2011, which saw 432 million mobile monthly active users, a jump of 110 million in 6 months. Since Q2 of 2010, Facebook have been adding an average of 48.5 million mobile users each quarter. As a percentage of total users, mobile users have grown from 32.2-percent of Facebook's user base, to 56.9-percent today. Quite the jump.
The problem here is, Facebook heavily relies on its revenue from advertisements, which are hard to show on mobile, and ill-suited for the platform. The smaller screens on smart devices make Facebook's ad model much less attractive for marketers. But on the desktop, its a different story. The bigger screen, higher resolution, make it much easier to display ads without distracting the user too much, on mobile though... bigger problem.
Facebook shares were trading above $30 for a few weeks, but they dropped earlier this week, where they closed on Tuesday afternoon at a month-low of just $28.09. Facebook stock dropped 0.55-percent on Tuesday, after a huge 8.6-percent fall the day before.
Zynga shares were also hit, as the company is closely tied into the success of the Facebook platform, where they saw a drop of 5-percent on Tuesday, closing at a year-low of $4.58. The cause of these drops come after Capstone analyst Rory Maher released a report claiming Facebook's U.S. user base declined 1.1-percent over the last six months, as well as the European Facebook user base experiencing decline.
But, with 900 million monthly active users, Facebook can't see continuous growth - there will be stages of stagnation in their user growth, and maybe we're seeing the early signs of this. Looking into the future, Facebook's areas of growth seem to be international. Japan, Russia and China are their next markets to concentrate on.
In a post-IPO world, Facebook isn't doing too well, shares are down 19-percent since their launch in May, down to $30.72. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has said right now, his hardest job is figuring out how to adapt Facebook to mobile devices.
Zuckerberg said in an interview from the Allen & Co. media conference that bringing Facebook's features to smart devices is difficult because the user experience is vastly different to that of a desktop PC, at the same time Zuckerberg placed down the problems of running a newly public company. Zuckerberg said "things are not much different". "I'm focused on building product".
Facebook is currently under pressure to grab more advertising revenue from its mobile service in order to maintain growth. In order to do this, Facebook are developing location-based features that will allow marketers to target users with more relevant pitches.
Nintendo's social app 'Miiverse' on the Wii U isn't so social, won't connect to other social networks
Nintendo is amping the Wii U's social capabilities with Miiverse, a social network that will debut on their upcoming Wii U console. Miiverse may sound like a great idea at keeping Wii U users social, but the social network doesn't connect to other social networking sites as Facebook or Twitter.
Nintendo representatives say that the decision is actually in keeping with the company's existing policies. Miiverse is integrated into the Wii U's system menu and games. The social network will be featured in-game, where users can pause mid-game, access Miiverse and ask fellow Miiverse users for advice, or to just video-chat before getting back into the game.
Nintendo has reiterated they have no interest in implementing other social networks into the console, but hope that the Miiverse will allow users to build their own communities based around gaming.
Finally. Facebook have just unleashed the ability to not just delete your comments, but edit them. I don't see how it took them all these years, but the ability seems to be available to some, and not all at the moment. On my account, I can now edit and delete comments.
One of the best things about this new ability is that Facebook will show the full edit history for a comment, so that everyone who takes a look at the conversation, you'll get the full context. Not just the edited bits to make someone look good in an argument, or whinge session.
As you can see from my above picture, the ability is there. Don't worry about the conversation, my local retailer are having a buy-one-get-the-second-item-half-price sale, which is pretty damn amazing, and I really want a new TV. There's no ability to edit the post itself, just a 'delete' option which is quite lame considering the new 'edit' ability is live for some.
We reported yesterday that Samsung was working on a Facebook competitor. We cited a Korea Times article as the source. Samsung has come out today on their official blog and denied the claim saying that it was groundless. They are saying that it is a rumor and no such project exists. They do admit to upgrading "Family Story," however.
The full denial, as seen in the blog post, is quoted below for reference:
There have been inquiries and a few articles claiming that Samsung Electronics is going to offer a Facebook-like service, being developed under a code-name called 'Samsung Facebook.' However this is not true and the rumor is groundless.
'Family Story' has been available since February 2012 on Samsung Smart TVs, Smartphones, Tablets and the web*. This service, like its name, is a family-oriented convergence service that focuses on sharing and storing families' special moments.
It is true that we currently are working on upgrading 'Family Story' as we always thrive to provide consumers with enhanced experiences, but this is far from a "Samsung Faceboook" as some are claiming it to be.
It appears that we may have gotten this one wrong, but at the same time, an upgraded "Family Story" could easily be considered a Facebook competitor as they both look to achieve similar results. I wouldn't count Samsung out quite yet just because of this denial as it could be they just don't want the competition to know.
Samsung is trying to get into the social networking game, if an article by The Korea Times is to be believed. The article, which cites a Samsung official, claims that Samsung will enter the social networking market early next year with a Facebook-like service which Samsung hopes will be able to compete with Facebook.
The new service is designed to be available on a wide variety of internet-connected devices such as TVs and cameras, as well as computers and tablets. Family Story, Samsung's current social network, provides a nice framework for Samsung's developers to build upon. The current Family Story has a focus on photo sharing and schedule reminders.
According to the official:
By the end of the year, we will have a polished and finished version of Family Story that will be offered first to Samsung device users for free. The new service will become available in the first quarter of next year at the earliest.
The eventual goal is to expand our social media service across different devices from different companies across different mobile platforms. That includes cameras, televisions and blue-ray players.
We are confident that the service will be popular globally. That means we need to guard against the possibilities of a data bottleneck. That's why we want a server-based computing structure and disperse with a network of servers across different countries.
I personally never saw the point of Ping myself, but Apple tried to push the social network for music, and failed. Miserably. Instead of continuing to support the sinking ship that is Ping, Apple have decided to ditch Ping and use their strong partnerships found in social networking giants Twitter and Facebook to make Apple's various software and service offerings in the social scene that customers actually care about.
Even though Ping is available in iTunes 10.6.3 and the iOS 6 beta (where it doesn't work), it will disappear in the next major release of iTunes which is due this fall. After that, Apple will use Twitter and Facebook for their social networking needs.
Did you even use Ping? Ping never really even made my radar...
It's always a difficult task to choose the next profile picture that you're going to use. You put a lot of thought into the process and probably look at several photos for a while before deciding. You may even ask a friend or two what they think. It turns out that there is also some cultural influence into the decision as well.
Your profile picture has different qualities depending on your culture. According to a new study, Americans tend to focus on the face and usually have a close-up shot where the face takes up most of the frame. This is contrary to Taiwanese users who tend to have some background visible and a much smaller portion of the frame taken up by the face.
The study was done twice after the first one found the correlation. The second time around they increased the sample size and locations in which they were drawing participants from and the findings still held true. The study also showed that Americans preferred a more intense facial expression such as a huge smile while Taiwanese tended to have a less intense expression.
The researchers explain:
Overall, the two studies clearly showed that East Asian Facebook users are more likely to deemphasize their faces compared to Americans. Specifically, East Asians living in Hong Kong, Singapore, and Taiwan exhibited a predilection for context inclusiveness in their profile photographs, whereas Americans tended to prioritize their focal face at the expense of the background.
Facebook's App Center will feature the option 'Send to Mobile', which will allow users to purchase apps on their desktop, or tablet, and will have a notification delivered to their phones. This is something already found in Google and Apple's app stores, but instead uses Facebook's notification system.
This option is said to be [hopefully] ready in time for the App Center's launch later this year. The way it works is you'll choose an app through the App Center, and you'll have the option to directly launch the app if it's not already installed, or go to the iOS App Store, or Google Play to download it if you don't.
The App Center will be the first storefront to sell apps for both platforms together. The social networking site won't be directly selling, or making money off of iOS or Android apps. Facebook want a tighter grip on the mobile market, and hope to build its App Center into the main repository for socially-oriented apps across all of the major mobile platforms.
In the midst of Facebook's IPO, Microsoft have launched their social networking site, So.cl. So.cl isn't competition for Facebook, as it's designed to give students the ability to network with peers to share information.
A Microsoft rep has said to CNET:
FUSE Labs' So.cl project is now accepting all users interested in joining the site. So.cl is an experimental research project focused on the future of social experiences and learning, especially among younger people.
Describing the app itself, Microsoft have said:
So.cl (pronounced 'social') combines search and social networking for the purpose of learning and is the latest experiment from FUSE Labs.
Social networking site Facebook are currently in the midst of their IPO roadshow, and have just updated their mobile site and apps. This includes updated apps for the iPhone, iPad, and Android apps.
Facebook have taken a leaf out of Instagram's book, which, they own now. Where the images on Facebook are significantly larger, which means the news feed shows one large post instead of two or three on the iPhone/iPod Facebook apps.
Pictures are now 300-percent larger than they were before, and Facebook haven't noted any other changes. Facebook haven't mentioned whether this will arrive to other mobile, or non-mobile devices, but it will most likely happen in good time.
Microsoft is rolling out what they are calling "the most significant update to Bing since we launched three years ago". The new update will roll out over the next few weeks as Microsoft introduce a new way to search that is designed to help you take action and interact with friends and experts "without compromising the core search experience".
Microsoft point out that the search industry is built on keywords, links and labels - static nouns pointing to pages. Whilst this approach is great for finding sites, searching is not just about finding information or data, its about taking action. You might search flights, or accommodation, and usually when doing so, you'd like to take action in the form of placing a booking, etc. Microsoft note that 68-percent of people tell them they expect to get something done when they type into a search box.
Bing ups the ante on this, where you're you'll be able to share virtually everything you do, where you are, who you are, all in real-time. The new updated Bing will include a "brand new information architecture" with three columns: the left will feature familiar algorithmic results, the middle provides a "snapshot" of relevant information and services, such as maps and reviews, whilst the sidebar to the right will include social-orientated results.
According to a new study done by the Harvard Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience Lab shows that talking about oneself on a social networking site engages portions of the brain that are responsible for love, pleasure, and rewards. Curiously enough, these same sections of the brain are active when having sex.
This good feeling that is associated with posting about oneself explains why 80% of the average user's social networking posts consist of self-disclosure. These social networking posts account for 30-40% of the average user's speech output for each day. To verify this, Diana Tamir and co-author Jason Mitchell hooked participants up to an MRI to monitor brain activity while being asked questions.
The questions were about their own and others' attitudes on various subjects. The point of the two different questions was to discover if there was a difference between talking about oneself or someone else. The findings show that talking about oneself engages the nucleus accumbens (NAcc) and the ventral tegmental area (VTA) which are both associated with rewards. As previously stated, these same regions are active during sex or eating good food.
Tamir told the LA Times, "we didn't know if self-disclosure was rewarding because you get to think about yourself and thinking about yourself is rewarding, or if it is important to have an audience."
When President Obama announced his support for gay marriage yesterday on Twitter, it was pretty obvious it was going to be a historic day. Twitter has now released some data about tweets following his announcement and the data confirms what what was already suspected. The number of tweets sent was double that of the previous record last June when New York legalized gay marriage.
At its peak, the number of #gaymarriage tweets hit 7,347 every minute. At this rate, over 1.6 million #gaymarriage were sent yesterday. This amount, double that of when New York legalized it in June of 2011. The data released also shows that the number of gay marriage tweets has steadily increased since the inauguration of Obama.
However, the percentage of total tweets has stayed basically level except for the occasional spike like yesterday or the day last June. So while there are more, that could be due to the overall increase in users and tweets. However, the spike after Obama's support certainly shows that people agree with the President's sentiments. Twitter is a great way to track people's feelings as the 160 character micro-blog is more conducive to openness.
Social networking giant Facebook have just announced App Center, a portal for the social networking site that is designed for app discovery. App Center is designed for socially-oriented apps, features an in-depth rating system that provides developers with demographic information on user ratings.
The new App Center covers both iOS and Android, making the new Facebook feature one of the only places someone can find apps from the competing stores side-by-side. Apps found within the new App Center will sport detailed individual pages laying out the apps' function.
From there, users can browse apps for their particular device, be it iOS- or Android-based, and apps that require installation on a mobile device will link users directly to the iOS App Store, or Google Play for Android users. Developers will have the keys to in-depth demographic data on app usage, with sample pages from Facebook show app ratings broken down by gender and age range. The App Center will give developers the ability to offer paid apps, as well as in-app purchases.
Apparently Twitter's security was breached which resulted in the compromise of 55,000 accounts. The credentials to these accounts were subsequently posted online. Twitter has now said that they are launching an investigation into the matter of how these accounts were compromised. Luckily, it seems as though most of these accounts were banned spammer accounts.
Twitter posted on their official communications account, TwitterComms, that "We're looking into the situation and have pushed out password resets to potentially affected accounts." They also confirm that many of the accounts were spammer accounts or duplicates. "The list of alleged accounts & passwords consists of more than 20,000 duplicates. Also suspended spam accounts & incorrect login credentials."
Still, compiling a list of accounts that big most likely wasn't done through brute force, as that would take some time. Of course hackers affiliated with Anonymous are attempting to take credit. When don't they? It would be an odd move considering how much the group uses the micro-blogging service. The accounts were released in 5 Pastebin posts and Twitter has said that many of the usernames and passwords weren't linked together, meaning incorrect combinations.
It will be interesting to see the results of the investigation. Like I stated before, it is unlikely that this was a simple brute-force attack.