Parse, the Facebook-owned app development platform, held its first Developer Day conference in San Francisco Thursday, and the company launched some key new products at the event.
Developers utilizing Parse can now schedule recurring tasks within the Parse dashboard, such as sending emails to users. Parse notes that this improves the speed of these tasks. Parse also launched an analytics tool that gives developers a single dashboard to measure app usage, monitor the effectiveness of push campaigns and track any data point.
Parse can now be used to develop Unity games for iOS, Android and Windows platforms. Parse also launched user and image modules to accompany its cloud modules. The user module allows app developers to create and manage a seamless login/log out experience, while the image module lets developers easily resize or crop images with a few lines of code.
Facebook has added an interesting tweak to the event creation process for pages. Now, page admins can create events targeted with certain demographics, so only people within these subsets will see the event. For instance, if a restaurant wants to have a ladies’ night event, they could properly target so only women could see the event page. This capability is only for events created by a Facebook page — not a user.
A Facebook spokesperson commented on this new feature to Inside Facebook:
Pages can now target their events so that only people in the target group are eligible to see a story about the event’s creation in their News Feed. This will ensure that the people connected to a Page will only see the most relevant events in their News Feeds.
The Facebook gaming ecosystem is changing rapidly, as King has taken the throne of the app market. While Zynga is still a major player, other contenders, such as Kixeye, Wooga and Pretty Simple (among others) are playing for bigger slices of the pie — leading to more competition and higher revenue for Facebook.
Most of the game developers responsible for the growth on Facebook will be at the Casual Connect conference this week in San Francisco. Facebook’s Dan Morris, the company’s lead for mobile games partnerships, will speak at Casual Connect Tuesday about mobile gaming.
Here’s the info on Morris’ discussion:
One of the biggest problems for games on any platform is getting discovered by the right people. With unique reach across mobile and desktop and users who play a diversity of games, Facebook can help your mobile game find and engage its audience. In this session, you will learn how Facebook provides multiple paths to success for developers by connecting the game experience across platforms, bringing more valuable users to your game, and partnering with smaller game studios.
Inside Facebook will provide coverage of Morris’ discussion, while Inside Social Games will cover other aspects of Casual Connect.
Readers: What do you want to know about gaming on Facebook?
Image courtesy of Pet Rescue Saga’s Facebook page.
1. Use a Facebook page to create your event and add your personal profile as a host.
- Invitees have a link to see all of the other events you have created.
- Invitees have a link to like your page.
- Your personal profile can directly message all of the invitees (however, abuse of this feature can be seen as spam.)
2. Don’t make someone search for information on your event.
Make sure the important stuff is at the top of the details section and can be seen without hitting “See More.”
- If there is a separate registration website, put that first!
- At the end of the details section, list all of the links someone would be interested in: main event link, tickets, audio, video, Facebook page, Twitter, Instagram, and all other event links.
- Third party Facebook event aggregators such as HUGECITY recognize these links and highlight them for their audience.
As more Facebook users check their News Feed from their phone, the mobile app install advertisement is becoming the hottest trend for developers. But it takes more than just a screenshot of the app to get a user to download it.
Leah Na’aman, the marketing manager for SocialClicks, talked at the Inside Social Apps conference recently in San Francisco to share some best practices for really reaching customers and potential app users through the News Feed.
The one fail-proof tip? Blue hair.
Nasdaq fined for Facebook IPO - Nasdaq has been fined $10 million by the Securities Exchange Commission for alleged securities laws violations related to its mishandling of the Facebook IPO. The $10 million fine is the largest ever imposed against a stock exchange and comes into addition to the $62 million Nasdaq owes trading firms due to sustained losses during the botched IPO. Facebook’s IPO took place on May 18th, 2012 and was overrun with glitches preventing trades and orders from going through. Nasdaq has agreed to pay both fines without admitting or denying the accusations.
Waze integrates Facebook Events - Waze announced integration with Facebook Events. If a user has connected to the app with their Facebook account, the app will now provide directions to the event with a single click. Users do not need to know the address before hand to be directed there. The crowd-sourced traffic and navigation app also provides users with the ability to see the location and ETA of friends who have RSVP’d to the event. Facebook has been in talks of purchasing the app, but has talks have since broken down.
Sandberg speaks at D11 - Facebook COO, Sheryl Sandberg spoke at AllThingsD conference, D11, this past Wednesday. Her first return to the conference since 2008, Sandberg discussed Facebook Home, dropoffs in teen demographic, search and ad placement. She also discussed temporary sharing apps like Snapchat and the lack of trust in Facebook. Sandberg explained, “We need to be transparent about what’s happening on the site. We have always given you lots of options, when it comes to sharing, but it was too confusing. We are trying to simplify that, and make it more visual.” She added, “We don’t need you to share more to make our ad model work better.”
Facebook released an update for its iOS app today with a number of small changes and improvements, including faster loading for events and a way for users to easily save photos from Facebook to their phone.
Events was one of the sections that hadn’t yet been completely rebuilt for speed like the News Feed, photos, messages and other areas have. Now, the main events page and individual events themselves seem to load much quicker. This could lead to more RSVPs and interactions on the event page from mobile now that the product is not so slow.
Now when viewing a photo fullscreen, there’s a new ellipsis icon with options to save the photo, share it or report it. This makes these functions more accessible for users. Previously, a user had to take a screenshot of their phone to save an image, or leave fullscreen view to share or report it.
Facebook has established new restrictions for how many event invites a user can send at one time and how many pending invites an event can have, according to users who are seeing a notification preventing them from inviting more friends.
The Facebook Help Center confirms that users cannot send more than 100 event invites at a time and an event can only have 300 pending invites at once. This could hinder the efforts of some event planners or promoters, but also help users avoid getting too many invitations they aren’t relevant to them. As a result, event organizers might experiment with Facebook’s paid options for promoting events to users who are most likely to be interested in them.
The social network has long had different mechanisms in place to limit spam and unwanted invitations, but this latest cap seems to be a development from some time in March or before. Social media author Mari Smith pointed out these rules last week, and user Cory Wijnhamer provided a screenshot of the notification he saw to AllFacebook:
HTC today revealed the HTC First, the first Android smartphone that comes with Facebook Home pre-installed on the device.
With Facebook Home pre-installed on the HTC First, users can get all the experiences from the new Facebook Home app, such as cover feed and chat heads. But the HTC First packs some exclusive Facebook Home functionality that the app won’t have like the ability to feed in email and calendar notifications to the home screen.
“It’s a great opportunity to bring mobile and social together,” said HTC CEO Peter Chou at the event today held at Facebook’s headquarters.
Instead of building the mythical Facebook phone or its own mobile operating system, Facebook decided to partner with mobile device manufacturer HTC, and build an Android app that functions as a home screen replacement, without the need to fork or modify the Android OS.
“Android was designed from the ground up to support these deep integrations,” said Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook. Zuckerberg also revealed the Facebook Home Program for all original equipment manufacturers of Android devices, so in the future, more and more Android manufacturers could potentially design devices like the HTC First, with Facebook Home pre-loaded as the default home screen.
The HTC First will be available exclusively from AT&T on April 12 for $99.99, with four color choices including red, light blue, white and black. Pre-ordering for the HTC First begins today.
As Facebook rolls out its new Timeline design, some users have noticed that there’s no longer a way to display events they’re attending or view the events their friends have RSVP’d to. A Facebook engineer says this is a bug and the company is working on a fix.
In the old layout, users could access an events tab similar to what is currently available on business and fan pages. With the redesign, which only applies to user profiles, tabs have a new look and several new ones have been added for movies, books, fitness and apps. Events were part of this when the company initially launched the new design, but at some point in the past two weeks it stopped working.
Facebook product engineer Bob Baldwin answered a question on Reddit today about the issue. He said there is a bug that events lead Ed Maia is working to fix before re-enabling the module.
[Update: Privacy advocacy group Europe-v-Facebook.org explains that when the events module first rolled out, it revealed a user's past public events, which had not been previously available to a user's friends or other users from Timeline. The group says it notified Facebook of this issue. It is unclear whether the events bug Baldwin mentioned is related.]
Screenshot from Matt Navarra.