Facebook Q4 social logins: up in retail, down in music

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Competition — namely Google+ — is growing in the social login space, but Facebook is still the social login leader in Q4, according to a study released recently by Janrain. While Facebook is still the  No. 1 choice for users connecting with sites overall, the social network is downwardly trending with music apps and B2B sites.

However, Facebook is seeing increasing social logins through retail sites and media sites. Overall, 45 percent of social logins throughout the Web in Q4 happened via Facebook, but Google+ isn’t far behind at 35 percent.

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Google rejoins Facebook Exchange

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Google has decided to rejoin Facebook Exchange, the company announced in a blog post Friday. Google’s DoubleClick Bid Manager will become part of the FBX network, allowing its ad partners to deliver retargeted ads on the social network based on web browsing history.

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Hacking Facebook ads using Google+ Circles

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Too often, marketers get caught in the social network wars that users do, neglecting that while a certain social network may not be their favorite to use, there is definitely a marketing advantage to using it.

It’s way too easy to focus on Facebook, and forget that Google+ and Twitter are out there with hundreds of millions of users waiting to hear about your product. As a result, I really try to avoid these biases to ensure I’m taking the best that each network has to offer in my marketing campaigns.

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Facebook builds photo sharing app for Google Glass

glass-photosGoogle today announced a number of new partners, including Facebook, with apps for its wearable computing device Google Glass.

Facebook developed its own app Facebook for Glass, which will allow users to post photos from Google Glass to their Facebook Timeline and friends’ News Feeds. Users can share photos they’ve just taken or upload past photos. To include a caption, users can speak their description aloud. The app includes options to share with the public, friends only or privately with the “only me” setting.

For now, the app enables photo sharing but not other types of status updates or posts. If Google Glass eventually comes into wide use, Facebook is likely to develop other ways for people to share, browse content or connect with friends through the device. The social network aims to let people access Facebook from any platform, whether it’s web, mobile, smart TVs or emerging categories like wearable computers. Generally, though, it focuses its own development on the top platforms like web, Android and iOS, whereas apps for less popular platforms like Windows Phone and Blackberry are done by those companies themselves.

“We look forward to exploring Facebook experiences across new types of mobile devices; this is only a first step,” Facebook Mobile Product Manager Erick Tseng wrote in a post on Facebook.

More information about Facebook for Glass is available from the social network’s Help Center. Other partners with apps for Glass announced today are Twitter, Tumblr, Path, Evernote, CNN, New York Times and Elle.

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HTC reveals HTC First, an Android smartphone pre-installed with Facebook Home

HTC-LogoHTC 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.HTC First

“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.HTC First colors

Facebook roundup: mobile app, lobbying, HQ expansion, mental health and more

fb iconFacebook finishes 2012 as No. 1 mobile app in U.S. – Facebook edged Google Maps as the top mobile app in the U.S. at the end of 2012, according to ComScore. Google’s app had been No. 1 until October when Apple implemented its own maps product as the default in iOS 6. However, Google put out a new version of its maps app, which has been very popular. Google Maps has been within the top 5 free apps in the Apple App Store since it launched in December, according to AppData.

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legalFacebook lobbying surges in Q4 - Facebook spent $1.4 million on lobbying efforts in the fourth quarter of 2012, according to disclosure forms filed with the clerk of House of Representatives this week. This is the first time Facebook has spent more than $1 million on lobbying in a single period. During Q4 2011, Facebook only spent $444,000. Facebook’s yearly spending for lobbying increased 196 percent from $1.335 million to $3.99 million. Comparatively, Google spent $16.48 million on lobbying in 2012, up from $9.68 million the previous year.
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Guest Post: Deeper Metrics, Advertising Everywhere and a Showdown with Google, 2013 is the Year Facebook Grows Up

This is a guest post by Alex Peiniger, CEO and cofounder of social media analytics web service quintly.

It’s been an exciting year for Facebook, from the introduction of its new ad formats, to its expansion into social gifting, to being the most watched IPO of the sector. The social networking giant now counts over 1 billion users on its platform, but the question remains — especially following its IPO and initial stock market performance — how does Facebook monetize its sizable consumer base? 2013 is the year Facebook grows up: brands are shifting toward deeper KPIs to measure fan engagement, while Facebook itself has either just launched or is set to release new features that will help advertisers make the most out of the platform.

Here are predictions for 2013 on what will matter to brands on Facebook in the coming year.

1. Facebook Metrics Will Shift To Interaction-Driven KPIs

Facebook metrics are growing up. In the past, size mattered — that is the size of your Facebook fan count. But what we’re seeing is more and more of our clients are shifting their focus away from superficial metrics like fan counts to more interaction driven KPIs such as People Talking About This, interaction rates and response times. As Facebook continuously improves the ways for page administrators to reach the right audience for their content, it’s far more important to reach fans via News Feed and to engage with them, than to simply count that someone Liked your brand. From discussions with our clients, we are also seeing these KPIs going into internal reporting with C-level management, who are demanding more from social media campaigns. We expect that 2013 will finally be the breakthrough year where we stop talking about fan numbers and brands really start dissecting metrics that delve into a fan’s interaction with a brand.
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Facebook returns to No. 2 spot among U.S. video sites, beating Yahoo, Vevo

Facebook is once again the second largest video site in the U.S., according to ComScore.

The social network saw 53 million unique video viewers in July. That’s about a third of Google’s audience, but higher than the number of unique viewers on Yahoo sites and Vevo, both of which were ahead of Facebook in May.

Although Facebook’s viewers are up from 44 million in May, average minutes watched per user is down from 27 to 21.7. That’s fewer minutes per viewer than any other site in the top 10 besides Amazon. Google sites, by comparison, averaged about 525 minutes per viewer. However, ComScore’s data only looks at U.S. video views, so Facebook’s global reach is not reflected in the chart below.

With YouTube, Google still dominates the U.S. web video space, but Facebook could possibly capitalize on its own reach if it ever pushed more in that direction. It seems the social network is heavily focused on photos first, but a number of video sites and apps, including Vevo, Socialcam, Viddy and Chill, have seen positive results from integrating Facebook Open Graph.

With advertisers constantly pushing for new ad formats, we wonder whether Facebook might introduce more video advertising opportunities. With the page post ads now being tested in News Feed, advertisers have more prominent ad space than ever. We could see some companies, particularly movie studios, pushing video ads in this spot.

Among online video ad properties measured by ComScore, Facebook doesn’t even rank. Google, Hulu and a number of video ad networks and exchanges make up the top properties in terms of total ads and minutes viewed.

Google acquires Wildfire, maker of social marketing software

Google today announced that it agreed to acquire Wildfire Interactive, a social media marketing software company that is a popular solution for managing pages and apps across platforms.

Terms of the deal have not been disclosed, but AllThingsD reports that it could be around $250 million, plus earnouts and employment agreements. Wildfire was widely expected to be acquired this summer, after other major players in the space — Buddy Media, Vitrue, Involver — were also bought.

Wildfire is a member of Facebook’s Preferred Marketer Developer program, certified in pages, apps and insights. Co-founders Victoria Ransom and Alain Chuard started the company four years ago focused on building apps for sweepstakes, user-generated contests, quizzes, coupons and incentive-based surveys. In 2011, Wildfire broadened its service offering to include page management and monitoring tools. Besides Facebook management, the platform now allows marketers to manage Google+, YouTube, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn. The company serves clients including Virgin, Cirque du Soleil, Gilt Group and Spotify. It also helps build apps for Facebook’s own use, including the voting app it used for its proposed policy changes earlier this year.

Google was reportedly interested in Buddy Media, but that company sold to Salesforce. Now with Wildfire, Google gets a popular platform and large sales team. The Redwood City, Calif.-based company has about 350 people. Unlike Buddy Media, Wildfire doesn’t have access to the Facebook Ads API, but it’s unclear to what degree Google was interested in that aspect of the platform. Wildfire works with Adaptly to provide social advertising services for its clients.

In an announcement about the acquisition, Google wrote:

In a complex and changing landscape, businesses want to manage and measure these efforts in an integrated way. We’ve been working towards this end for some time. For example, Google Analytics helps businesses measure the contribution of hundreds of social sites; our Admeld service has helped to serve ads in Facebook developers’ social apps; and our DoubleClick platform enables clients to run and measure ads across social websites. On Google+, brands use services like Vitrue, Buddy Media and others to manage their pages, with many more to come.

With Wildfire, we’re looking forward to creating new opportunities for our clients to engage with people across all social services. We believe that better content and more seamless solutions will help unlock the full potential of the web for people and businesses.

Facebook roundup: Instagram, IPO, pages, Google+, Pinterest

Facebook’s Instagram acquisition was all Zuckerberg – The Wall Street Journal reports that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg basically acted independently when pursuing the company’s latest acquisition of photo app Instagram. The board was “told” that the company would be bought.

Facebook IPO set for mid-May – TechCrunch reports that Facebook’s IPO date is set for May 17; The San Jose Mercury News reports it could be as early as May 14.

Class-action suit seeks refund for Credits purchased by minors – Arizona-resident Glynnis Bohannon filed a class-action suit against Facebook this week. She is seeking a refund after her young son bought Facebook Credits without her consent.

Facebook replacing corporate blogs – A recent survey found that companies are increasingly choosing to create and manage Facebook pages rather than blogs.

Google+ developer to bring hangouts to Facebook - Mohamed Mansour is a Google+ extension developer who plans to enable Google-like hangouts on Facebook allowing multiple people to video chat at once. Mansour became frustrated with Google+ after a redesign broke some of his extensions.

PinView turns Facebook into Pinterest – A new app, PinView, visualizes Facebook Timeline as a Pinterest board.

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