Twitter’s Site Upgrade Reveals New Social, Transaction Possibilities for Third Parties

Twitter has launched the biggest redesign in its company history, introducing a new interface for Twitter.com that makes it easier to share and consume information with other users. The company is now providing features to users that are quite similar to what outside developers have already built — but the move also creates more possibilities for third parties.

Here’s a closer look at what’s visible now, and what could be coming in the future. Overall, the change is likely to reinforce Twitter’s value to marketers, in ways that are similar to Facebook’s Pages feature.

The new Twitter site includes a right-hand pane, that defaults to a variety of information about users — follower counts, follow suggestions, trends, and other information that you could see in the previous right-hand navigation column on the site. But Twitter is also including a way new way of reading tweets: if you click on any tweet in the left-hand column, you’ll see detailed information about it appear on the right, including items mentioned in the tweet and tweets mentioning the user who tweeted.

And, if the tweet includes links from any of 16 companies who have signed business deals with Twitter, you’ll also have the option to view the content of the link in the right-hand pane. Most of the companies are the in the media business, but a couple aren’t and they point the way to how Twitter could build out its value to many more third parties.

One is Etsy, an online handmade items store. If you click on links to Etsy listings, you have the option to view the media in the listing. The listings include images of the crafts, or other products for sale, as well as their prices.

The other non-media company is Kiva, an online microlending site. Its links reveal the profiles of entrepreneurs in developing countries, looking to raise money for their businesses.

In both cases, you’d need to click through to the home sites to make a transaction. But Twitter could decide to introduce a payments system directly into its interface, minimizing the amount of clicking required to make purchases — allowing people to buy what they see in links, without having to leave the site. That could ease the flow of commerce through the service, and open up new revenue streams for itself, if it decides to take a cut of the money it helps generate.

Similarly, it could enable a variety of other interactions within these panes. Perhaps it could allow some social games in here as well at some point? For now, the feature looks more like how companies are using tabs on Facebook Pages, and less like a full-blown developer type service, but that could change.

We asked the company for more details about its plans for this pane and its platform during its launch event today in San Francisco. For now, employees we spoke to said, it is trying to refine the new product — but it is clearly open to exploring these sorts of ideas, judging by some of its early partners.

For more details on the wider launch, be sure to check out Techmeme.

PayNearMe Expands Its Payment Platform Beyond Credits

A month after we wrote about PayNearMe’s new option for Facebook users to pay for Credits at their local 7-Eleven, the company’s business plan has become significantly more official: it’s announcing the launch of a full platform today, along with partnerships with virtual currency company Super Rewards, Friendster owner MOL, Amazon.com, Lexicon and several financial services.

PayNearMe’s solution, aimed at people without credit cards or other electronic payment methods, is pretty simple. Users who can’t pay online can now choose how many Credits they want to buy, print out a receipt, and visit their nearest 7-Eleven to pay in cash.

Although people without access to traditional electronic payment aren’t always visible online, they’re a market worth $1.3 trillion annually, according to chief executive Danny Shader. “We’re trying to make it easier for that other quarter of the country to conduct transactions,” he says.

That group is certainly visible to Facebook app developers, who have been reaching out to teens through companies like Rixty, which sells virtual currency through Coinstar machines in supermarkets.

Over time, PayNearMe hopes to expand to even more services. “Our growth strategy is dependent on signing up additional interesting merchants, and having those merchants inform consumers that they can pay this way,” says Shader. “In most cases, we’re better, faster and cheaper than all the alternative ways this audience can pay.”

That plan could also be good for the growth of virtual currency and games driven by micro-transactions. Ease of payment is often the biggest obstacle for users, and each new option can help grow the market considerably.

Facebook Restores the New Publisher’s Ability to Auto-Format Links

Facebook has made more changes to its new content publisher, including restoring the ability of users to paste a link into the status publisher and have it automatically format a rich media post. While this functionality was available in the old publisher, it was stripped from the new version, forcing users to choose the type of content they wanted to publish ahead of time. This restoration will make it easy for users to add a link to a status update they’re composing.

Facebook has also removed the ability to delete a link while in the process of composing a link-based story in the publisher. Users instead can switch story types using the publisher’s tabs, but in doing so they’ll lose any description of the link which they’ve written.

Facebook’s publisher helps users share some of the 30 billion pieces of content distributed per month on the site. While it can post simple text status updates, or upload photos and videos, the publisher’s ability to reformat any URL into a compelling snapshot of that website is its biggest strength.

You can post a news article link and the publisher auto-populates with the article’s headline, lede, and an image. Insert a YouTube URL and you get a streaming video player with a thumbnail of the video and its description, or paste a URL ending in “.mp3” for a streaming audio player complete with artist and album name. By creating a compelling post without requiring the user to type anything, Facebook has made sharing a fluid and natural part of browsing the internet.

For the last few weeks, though, users had to know whether type of content they wanted to publish before they started composing. If a user began writing a status update about an upcoming concert, then decided they wanted to include a link to one of the artist’s songs, they’d lose their original text. By restoring auto-formatting of URLs placed in the status publisher, Facebook takes the burden of choice off of the user.

However, users can no longer reverse this process to turn a link story into a text-only status update. Previously, while composing a link story, users could click an “x” button to remove the link, turning the optional user-entered description into a status update. This button has been removed, forcing users to click the status publisher tab or reload the page in order to clear the link. Switching to the status tab caused the publisher to drop the link story in progress — description and all. While users can switch back to the link tab to regain their progress, they must copy and paste to use their link description as a status update.

Users can still post a hyperlink in a simple status update, though not by clicking the “x” button like before. Since a hyperlinked status update is smaller and can be shown on mobile devices, some reports say it can get better news feed placement and more clicks than a full-sized rich link story. Those concerned with their news feed optimization can achieve this trick by pasting a URL into the status composer, letting it auto-format into a link, then clicking back to the status tab. This will show the URL unlinked in the composer, but it will become an active hyperlink once published.

While these changes may seem minute, at Facebook’s scale the loss of just one second on each share costs millions of hours in productivity a month. As long as Facebook’s mission is to “Give people the power to share”, it will continue to iterate on the publisher.

Thanks to Brandglue for the tip.

Open Audience Manager Helps Sites Publish Feed Stories to Those Who’ve Clicked Their Like Buttons

Today, DefinedLogic launches Open Audience Manager, a tool which helps enterprise-level companies manage the Like buttons on their Open Graph-enabled web sites.The browser-based tool lets clients treat those who’ve clicked each Like button as a different audience to which news feed stories can be published.

Large companies that have a diverse audience spread across their Like buttons could benefit from the ability to communicate on a granular level, delivering highly relevant content customized for each user segment instead of having to broadcast the same message to everyone.

Unfortunately, Facebook doesn’t permit the tool to adopt existing Like buttons without resetting their Like counts, so clients must create their site’s Like buttons through the Open Audience Manager to access the publishing functionality.

DefinedLogic is a traditional IT consulting service, but a portion of its team of 60 employees worked to develop this software-as-a-service. Clients pay a monthly fee depending on how many Like buttons they’re tracking with OAM, plus a start-up fee for customized integration into their existing workflow and analytics systems. The tool is launching with one large, undisclosed retailer, DefinedLogic tells us, and it is testing with two more retailers as well as two agencies. It is also working on a stock, self-serve version of the tool without customized integration, but that won’t be ready for market until next year.

A client first uses the tool to create Like buttons for their site. They enter Facebook’s required Like button information, including site name, page title, public description, type, thumbnail image, and page URL. OAM then generates a code for that Like button to be embedded in the client’s site. As new buttons are created and receive their first Likes they show up in the Dashboard, which also displays a client’s most popular Like buttons.

The core of Open Audience Manager is the Pages tab, which lets clients see a list of all their Like buttons and associated Like counts. From here clients can access each Like button’s publisher where they can craft feed updates to be sent to that button’s audience. Text, image, image link, and footer action link (next to the timestamp) can all be customized to create a rich, highly targeted feed story.

After publishing, clients can view analytics about each story, making it easy to see what kind of content best engages a Like button’s audience. Graphs and counts show how many clicks each element of the story received, how many Likes and comments the story itself generated, as well as how many Likes it drove back to the original Open Graph object. Post Activity lets clients see all the comments made on the each instance of the stories they publish, since there is no single, centralized version of the story as with those published by Facebook Pages. Without the tool, tracking the conversations surrounding Open Graph object-authored stories would be extremely difficult or impossible.

Using the Administration options, a client can set up different privilege sets for a sites different management teams. For instance, engineers could only be allowed to create new Like buttons, while the marketing team could only be permitted to publish stories. Like buttons can be set up under different channels, allowing a single person to manage to numerous separate sites with a single license of OAM.

DefinedLogic’s product is especially useful to large retailers looking to implement hundreds or thousands of Like buttons on their website. For instance, a clothing company might have products which appeal to very different demographics. A message about any one product might be irrelevant to 90% of the people that Like their official Page. But by using OAM, the company could send sale information about men’s belts to only their users who’ve Liked men’s belts on their site. Those seeing the story are much more likely to click, and the company doesn’t bother the rest of their user base. DefinedLogic is currently working on integration with product databases so if a company lowers the prices on 500 of their items, OAM could automatically publish “Fall Discounts” stories to anyone who Likes one of those items.

The barrier to Open Audience Manager’s success is Facebook’s precautions against companies bait-and-switching those who Like objects on their sites. Facebook doesn’t allow companies to change the destination URL or other properties of a Like button to prevent a user’s Like from being reassigned to something they don’t approve of. Therefore, to use OAM with a Like button, it must be created within the tool. DefinedLogic has included a proxy system so clients can in fact change the destination URL of a Like button, but OAM still can’t adopt existing Like buttons without severing the connections the buttons have already made.

DefinedLogic is still optimistic, though, as few companies have already fully rolled out the Like button on their sites. Even those who have implemented the button might still consider switching to OAM. “I’d rather lose 10 Likes than not be able to communicate with the next thousand” said Vidar Brekke, Emerging Media Strategist for DefinedLogic. He says that while Facebook is trying to protect its users from having their Likes reappropriated, users already Like many dynamic Open Graph objects. “If you Like the New York Times home page, that will change every day.” If Facebook created a protocol for the authorized transfer of publishing capabilities to a new app ID, it would stimulate experimentation and more widespread integration of the Like button.

By making Like button more easy to manage, Open Audience Manager encourages third-party sites to integrate the Like button and begin reaching specific niches of their audiences.

Facebook Grows in Egypt, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, but Faces Challenges Ahead

[Editor's Note: The data cited in this article is excerpted from Inside Facebook Gold, our data service tracking Facebook's business and growth around the world. Please see Inside Facebook Gold to learn more about our complete data and analysis offering.]

For several months running, Arabic has been one of the fastest-growing languages on Facebook. Like other languages, the biggest gains for Arabic have come from a handful of countries: in this case, Egypt, Morocco and Saudi Arabia.

At first glance, these countries seem too widely scattered to be a cohesive market. A resident of Morocco probably might not be able to carry on a spoken conversation with a Saudi Arabian, three thousand miles and several dialects away. However, the written language is the same. And Facebook has been busy going after this greater Middle East market, inking a deal in February with a regional ad service provider that allows it to better target users in the area.

Since then, Facebook presence has continued to expand. Here’s a view of three months of growth for Egypt, Morocco and Saudi Arabia:

With penetration rates and overall user numbers beginning to reach an interesting size, it’s worth a brief look at what might keep Facebook from becoming dominant in these countries.

The good news for Facebook is that there’s not a clearly entrenched competitor — decade-old competitor Maktoob, for example, said recently that it has 18 million total users, but it’s not clear how active the site is now versus what Facebook has already gained.

But being the only contender, at least for the moment, does not equal safety. As Facebook has found during the “Everyone Draw Mohammed” scandal, when it was banned for a time in both Bangladesh and Pakistan, its own desire for openness can play against it when users or governments get offended.

Saudi Arabia, the most religiously strict of the trio we’re looking at today, did not ban Facebook at the time. But its own priorities may lie elsewhere. As more Saudi women find access to the internet and create Facebook profiles, the country’s clerics could turn against it. In a February article, the Global Post pointed to both increased online freedom for women and a cleric naming the network “corrupting” and “the door to lust.”

In Egypt and Morocco, the potential problems are more political. Take for instance Egypt’s contentious 2011 presidential election, in which Hosni Mubarak, who has been president for 29 years, will take on Nobel prize winner Mohammed ElBaradei. For the moment, Facebook is a strength for both men.

ElBaradei, on the other hand, has accumulated almost 250,000 followers on Facebook and called for civil disobedience. Egypt’s freedoms are fragile and potentially subject to change; if Facebook finds itself unintentionally allied to ElBaradei, it could potentially suffer censorship.

Similarly, in Morocco, which is ruled by one of the world’s few remaining monarchies, civil rights groups have taken to Facebook to call for change in ways not condoned by the government.

It will take time for the political and religious authorities in these countries to learn about and understand Facebook. The results won’t be entirely predictable. One potential outcome could be a user exodus to a culturally sensitive network, like the recently-founded Madina.

But for now, Facebook is still enjoying unimpeded growth in these markets — and that trend may well continue into the future.

The traffic and growth data cited above is excerpted from the full Facebook Global Monitor, September 2010 edition. The Global Monitor is available through Inside Facebook Gold, our data and analysis membership which also includes analysis on developments, risks and opportunities in the Facebook business ecosystem. To learn more or join the membership, please visit Inside Facebook Gold.

Announcing Inside Virtual Goods: Tracking the US Virtual Goods Market 2010 – 2011

With an up-to-$750 million acquisition of Playdom by Disney, an up-to-$400 million acquisition of Playfish by Electronic Arts, the acquisition of Tapulous by Disney, and hundreds of millions of dollars in venture investments, virtual goods are impacting businesses across the media landscape. Virtual goods, and the companies that create them, may be bringing the largest disruption entertainment, communication, and e-commerce infrastructure businesses have seen in years.

Inside Network is proud to announce a new original research report by Justin Smith and Charles Hudson that presents a comprehensive examination of the size and future of the virtual goods market in the United States, entitled Inside Virtual Goods: The US Virtual Goods Market 2010 – 2011. This is Inside Network’s second annual edition of the US Virtual Good Market report. It will be released on September 28, but is available for discount pre-order now.

Where will the virtual goods market go in 2011 and what are the biggest opportunities left unclaimed? How will existing players fare as Facebook continues to reshape the social gaming landscape, and larger and more sophisticated players enter the market? Inside Virtual Goods: The US Virtual Goods Market 2010 – 2011 provides deeper insight into monetization, development, and the key questions facing the space in 2011 than you’ll find anywhere else.

Get the Annual Membership
Get Annual Membership (Includes Report + 3 Additional Quarterly Issues): $2,495 $1,995 USD*
OR Buy Single Report: $995 $795 USD*
* Pre-order discount ends September 27, 2010. All pre-ordered reports will be delivered on September 28, 2010.

About the Report

Inside Virtual Goods is a new report researched and created specifically for entrepreneurs, investors, and analysts interested in the growth of this exciting new category of online commerce that is fueling the growth of games-as-a-service businesses. During a research phase spanning the last few months, co-authors Justin Smith and Charles Hudson have spoken with dozens of executives and entrepreneurs from all parts of the ecosystem in order to form what we believe are the most detailed estimates, analyses, and predictions for 2010 and 2011.

We focused and organized the report around the following areas:

  1. Social Networks, Applications, and Games - The explosion of the virtual goods market on social networks is one of the biggest stories of 2010. We delve deeply into the trends, stats, key players, opportunities, and challenges facing the space this year and next.
  2. Mobile Applications and Games – Mobile application developers that have been early adopters of the free-to-play model are now seeing significant growth in 2010. Our study breaks down the key opportunities and challenges facing this emerging space going into 2011.
  3. Casual MMOs and Virtual Worlds - Virtual worlds and casual MMOs continue to grow as a meaningful share of the virtual goods opportunity in the United States. Our study breaks down the key drivers for success in this segment, trends in monetization and engagement, and the prospects for the future.
  4. Hardcore MMOs and Free-to-Play Online Games – Developers in the MMO / MMORPG space have been among the earliest adopters of the free-to-play model. We explore why free-to-play MMOs are succeeding, revenue and user trends, and the key issues facing this space as we head into 2011.
  5. Emerging Areas: Console Games and Subscription MMOs – As the virtual goods business model becomes more well understood, it is beginning to show up in new and interesting areas of the games and entertainment landscape. We highlight a few of the more promising areas where virtual goods are emerging as a promising opportunity.

Each section contains:

  1. A brief history on the evolution and growth of this space in the US, including a description of key players.
  2. Estimates on the size of the US virtual goods market in 2010 in that area.
  3. A diagnosis of the key opportunities and issues facing the growth of that space, including our outlook and projections for 2011.

In addition, prior to delving more deeply into each market segment, we’ve provided an overview of the emerging payments ecosystem that is growing to serve these new businesses. Traditional e-commerce infrastructure providers only offer a partial solution, and the virtual goods payments layer is currently in a major state of flux. In the report, we describe the variety of solutions that have been brought to market to date, and the key challenges facing the industry from a payments perspective as a whole.

For more details, check out the full table of contents below.

The annual membership, which includes the report and three additional quarterly updates, is USD $2,495. Alternatively, you can obtain just this report for USD $995.

The annual subscription brings you a total of four comprehensive reports comprising months of original research. Recent reports have covered:

  1. The Future of Social Gaming. Social games make up over half of the US virtual goods market. This report provided detailed coverage of exactly how this industry has managed to thrive, who its most valuable players are, and deeper insight into monetization, development, and customer acquisition than you’ll find anywhere else..
  2. The Spending and Usage Patterns of the Social Gaming Audience. Who are the millions of users whose time, money, and engagement have made social games into household names and their developers into technology industry celebrities? This report presented the only independent, original research into user profiles, behaviors, and attitudes toward social games and virtual goods.

Although the report will not be released until Tuesday, September 28, we are offering a special pre-order discount for those who purchase now. The pre-order price of US $795 for this report or US $1,995 for a one-year subscription is now available until September 27.

We are looking forward to continuing to cover the evolution of the space over the coming year. We look forward to hearing from you!

Table of Contents

1. Introduction

  • How We Got Here: A Brief History of Virtual Goods Worldwide
  • Defining Terms
    • Registered users
    • Active users
    • Average revenue per user (ARPU)
    • Average revenue per paying user (ARPPU)
    • How do different developers manage their businesses?
  • Growing Virtual Goods Markets in the US
    • Social Networks, Applications, and Games
    • Casual MMOs and Virtual Worlds
    • Hardcore MMOs and Free to Play Games
    • Mobile Applications and Games
    • Emerging Areas: Consoles, Subscription MMOs
  • Methodology

2. The Virtual Goods Payments Ecosystem: An Overview

  • Large Payment Platforms
  • Mobile Payment Providers
  • Offer Providers
  • Direct Payments vs Offers
  • Pre-paid Cards
  • The Arrival of Facebook Credits
  • New Payment Providers
  • Managing Fraud
  • Related Companies

3. Social Networks, Applications, and Games

  • Introduction
    • The Global Rise of Facebook
    • The Virtual Currency Payment Ecosystem Explosion – and Migration to Facebook Credits
    • Increased Optimization for Virtual Goods
  • Social Networking Platforms Today
    • Facebook
    • MySpace
    • Twitter
    • Google
    • Others
  • Significant Changes to Facebook Platform Dynamics in 2010
    • Distribution & Engagement
    • Monetization
  • Social Application and Game Genres: How Do They Perform?
    • Role Playing Games and “Hardcore” Mini-MMOs
    • Simulation and City Building Games
    • Pet Games
    • Poker Games
    • Gifting Apps
    • Arcade Games
  • Who’s Buying Virtual Goods?
    • Gender Breakdown
    • Age Breakdown
    • Geographic Breakdown
  • How Are They Spending Money?
    • Item Type Breakdown
    • Payment Method Breakdown
  • Market Size Estimate
    • Total Number of Monthly Paying Users
    • Total ARPPU Per Month
    • Total US Virtual Goods Revenues from Social Networks in 2010
    • A Quick Look at Revenues for Top Social Game Developers
  • 2011 Outlook
    • Growth Rate
    • Major Risks that Could Hamper Growth
  • Leading Companies

4. Casual MMOs and Virtual Worlds

  • Introduction
  • Demographic Breakdown
    • Gender
    • Age
  • Payments
  • Analyzing the Market Opportunity
    • ARPU
    • ARPPU
    • Market Size Estimate
  • 2011 Outlook
    • Growth Rate
    • Key Challenges
  • Leading Companies

5. Free to Play MMOs / Hardcore Games

  • Introduction
    • History of free to play MMOs
    • Emergence of the free to play MMO market opportunity in the US
    • Major genres for free-to-play MMOs and hardcore games
  • Analyzing the Market Opportunity
    • Total Player Base
    • ARPU
    • ARPPU
    • Payment methods
  • 2011 Outlook
  • Leading Companies

6. Mobile Applications and Games

  • Introduction
    • History of virtual goods model in US
    • Major genres for free-to-play iPhone apps and games
  • Analyzing the Market Opportunity
    • Total Player Base
    • ARPU
    • ARPPU
    • Payment methods
  • 2011 Outlook
  • Leading Companies

7. Emerging Areas

  • Console Games
  • Subscription MMOs

8. Conclusion

  • Overview: 2010 Market Estimates
  • Looking Ahead: 2011

9. Appendix: Company Index

About the Authors

charles-hudson-headshotCharles Hudson

Former VP Business Development, Serious Business & Host, Virtual Goods Summit

Charles Hudson is the former VP of Business Development for Serious Business, a leading social games developer on the Facebook platform. In addition to his work at Serious Business, Charles Hudson organizes two of the leading conferences in the social gaming and free-to-play games industries, the Social Gaming Summit and Virtual Goods Summit.

Prior to Serious Business, he was formerly the Sr. Director for Business Development at Gaia Interactive, a leading online hangout for teens. Prior to Gaia, Charles worked in New Business Development at Google and focused on new partnership opportunities for early-stage products in the advertising, mobile, and e-commerce markets. Prior to joining Google, he was a Product Manager for IronPort Systems, a leading provider of anti-spam hardware appliances that was acquired by Cisco Systems for $830 million in 2007. Charles holds an MBA and BA from Stanford University.

justin-smith-headshotJustin Smith

Founder, Inside Network

Justin Smith is the founder of Inside Network, the first company dedicated to providing news and market research to the Facebook platform and social gaming ecosystem. Justin leads Inside Network’s Inside Virtual Goods and AppData research and data services, and serves as co-editor of Inside Facebook and Inside Social Games.

Prior to Inside Network, he was formerly Head of Product at Watercooler, one of the leading application and game developers on the Facebook Platform. Prior to Watercooler, Justin was an early employee at Xfire, the largest social utility for gamers, which was sold to Viacom in 2006. Justin holds a degree in Computer Systems Engineering from Stanford University.

Get the Annual Membership

The annual membership, which includes the report and three additional quarterly updates, is USD $2,495. Alternatively, you can just download this report for USD $995. Although the report will not be released until Tuesday, September 28, we are offering a special pre-order discount for those who purchase now. The pre-order price of US $795 for this report or US $1,995 for a one-year subscription is now available until September 27.

Get Annual Membership (Includes Report + 3 Additional Quarterly Issues): $2,495 $1,995 USD*
OR Buy Single Report: $995 $795 USD*

* Pre-order discount ends September 27, 2010. All pre-ordered reports will be delivered on September 28, 2010.

Facebook Launches Places in Japan

Facebook has officially launched its location service Places in Japan. Only 1.1% of Japan’s population  is on Facebook, but the user base has grown 21.6% in the last 3 months. Facebook may have chosen Japan as the first country outside the U.S. to gain access to Places to further spur this growth. It could also be because the country has sophisticated mobile phones able to access Places, and Japan has been quick to adopt both the iPhone and Foursquare.

Those in Japan with the Facebook for iPhone app or a mobile browser which can access touch.facebook.com will now be able to check in to Places and see where their friends are. The Japanese have historically been seen as aggressive early adopters of new technology, making the country a good fit for the relatively complicated Facebook feature.

Despite Facebook trying to keep Places exclusive the the United States, industrious users found a way to access it through U.S.-hosted VPN accounts. Now Facebook seems ready to roll Places out to new countries, but only those savvy enough to fully embrace it.

[The stats from this article are excerpted from Inside Facebook Gold, our membership service tracking Facebook's business and growth around the world. Click here to learn more about our complete data and analysis offering.]

Facebook’s Top 20 Gaining Pages: Megan Fox, Gaga, South Park, More Music and TV

Facebook’s Top 20 Facebook Pages this week were mostly related to musicians, most of whom were either nominated or performed at the MTV Video Music Awards on Sunday. There were a few TV shows, many from Fox, that were gearing up for their fall premieres later this month and a few random Pages including YouTube, Megan Fox and Facebook.

Our data comes from our tool PageData, which counts the number of Likes added to a Page each day. It took between about 523,800 and 310,000 new Likes to make the list this week.

Top Gainers This Week

Name Fans Gain Gain, %
1. Facebook 18,271,763 +523,755 +2.95
2. Lady Gaga 17,585,794 +514,495 +3.01
3. YouTube 12,881,264 +499,007 +4.03
4. South Park 12,433,232 +462,508 +3.86
5. Eminem 12,826,496 +457,497 +3.70
6. Family Guy 16,924,495 +425,884 +2.58
7. Justin Bieber 11,194,831 +423,552 +3.93
8. Lil Wayne 11,405,390 +411,762 +3.75
9. Shakira 8,278,681 +400,500 +5.08
10. Megan Fox 13,124,020 +371,413 +2.91
11. The Simpsons 6,879,257 +370,125 +5.69
12. Katy Perry 8,110,833 +364,863 +4.71
13. Rihanna 8,653,327 +361,779 +4.36
14. Linkin Park 11,942,864 +355,577 +3.07
15. Selena Gomez 8,926,753 +329,442 +3.83
16. Michael Jackson 19,695,814 +321,555 +1.66
17. Beyoncé 7,059,945 +317,545 +4.71
18. Taylor Swift 10,075,778 +315,832 +3.24
19. David Guetta 8,389,946 +312,045 +3.86
20. House 13,487,077 +310,099 +2.35

A group of Pages that were not TV- or music-related was small, but included Facebook in first place on our list this week. Facebook added 523,800 Likes to its Page to grow to 18.2 million. In third place was YouTube’s Page, adding 499,000 to reach a total of 12.8 million. Megan Fox’s Page took tenth place this week, adding 371,400 Likes to a Page 13.1 million strong; she posted an ad teaser for her Armani underwear campaign.

Onto the musicians.

Lady Gaga ruled the VMAs, both with her crazy outfits and her nominations/wins, and so took second place this week, adding 514,500 Likes and now boasts a total of 17.5 million Likes on her Page. Eminem also performed at the event, came in fifth place, added 457,500 Likes to grow his Page to 12.8 million. Justin Bieber was also on hand at the awards show, added 423,600 Likes to grow his Page to 11.1 million.

Lil Wayne wasn’t at the VMAs because he’s still in jail but his sporadic updates have helped his Page take eighth place, add 411,800 Likes and grow to a 11.4 million total. Shakira followed at number 9, adding 400,500 fans to a 8.2 million total by promoting her new fragrance and eminent world tour. Katy Perry, also a VMA presence, added 364,900 Likes to take twelfth place with a total of 8.1 million fans; she’s been touring, promoting her TV appearances, remixes and perfume. Rihanna was next at number 13, adding 361,800 Likes to a Page that now has 8.6 million fans; she’s premiered a new single on Sunday.

Fourteenth place Linkin Park was also a presence at the VMAs, the band has been promoting its singles and new album and setting up its current tour. The band added 355,600 Likes to grow to 11.9 million. Then there was Selena Gomez at number 15, who added 329,400 Likes to her 8.9 million-strong Page. Michael Jackson’s Page came in at number 16, adding 321,600 Likes to the Page’s 19.6 million fans.

Beyoncé came next at 17, adding 317,600 Likes to pass 7 million; she won an award at the VMAs and has been promoting her fragrance on Facebook. Taylor Swift was number 18, adding 315,800 Likes to pass 10 million; she also performed at the VMAs and had performed at a football game. Finally, DJ David Guetta was number 19, adding 312,000 Likes to reach 8.3 million.

TV shows rounded out the list, all of which have been heavily promoting their upcoming fall premieres.

South Park” was in fourth place, adding 462,500 Likes to grow to 12.4 million. “Family Guy” was in sixth place, adding 425,900 Likes to come in just under 17 million. “The Simpsons” was at number 11 on the list, adding 370,100 Likes to reach a total of 6.8 million. Finally, medical drama “House” added 310,100 Likes to grow to 13.4 million.

Fan Appz Launches Places Integration for Paid Subscribers

Fan Appz is launching a new Places integration for its paid clients today, that founder and chief executive Jon Siegal tells us that it will allow brands one more opportunity to reward loyal Facebook fans in addition to the company’s current software offerings.

Previously, Page administrators could create promotions specifically for Facebook fans, or make these promotions available to fans who took a particular action on Facebook. With the new Places integration, Page admins using Fan Appz can create discounts or rewards specifically for people who check in via Facebook Places.

Fan Appz’s integration also allows brands to build Places rewards in different ways, requiring fans to check-in a minimum number of times before unlocking a discount, for example.

Siegal tells us Fan Appz’s Places integration is designed around the idea that brands want to reward their most loyal Facebook fans, who often tend to be their best real-life customers. This is Fan Appz’s first Places integration, but Siegal tells us it won’t likely be the last because the company has others plans for Places integration, but also hopes to evolve with Facebook’s changes to the platform.

If you recall, Fan Appz offers white label applications for a variety of brands, allowing them to create activities around these brands, including quizzes, polls, coupons and Top 5 lists and has a reach of 100 million Facebook and Twitter users. Siegal tells us the company currently works with the NBA, NFL, NBC Universal and Fox Broadcasting, in addition to tens of thousands of small and medium businesses.

Fan Appz offers several versions of its software – clients of the agency/enterprise version for big brands and professional version aimed at small/medium businesses will be able to utilize the new Places integration, whereas the users of the free version will not. When we profiled Fan Appz earlier this summer, we noted that the company’s roadmap aimed to help brands connect to customers wherever they were, in this case, that includes Places.

One example of how Fan Appz’s Places integration works can be found on the Page of the Santa Clara, Calif. Westfield Valley Fair mall. On the Promotions tab are two promotions enabled by Fan Appz: one for a 15% off coupon at Betsy Johnson for those who check-in via Places and another for free Jonas Brothers tickets.

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