Inside Social Apps San Francisco – Early Registration Ends at Midnight

Inside Social Apps San FranciscoCalling all social app community members: The 2013 Inside Social Apps Conference and Job Fair is in San Francisco on June 6-7. This industry-facing event takes a deeper, more targeted approach to discussing topics and trends that impact social app developers, marketers, investors, and platform operators. Join us for two days of insightful panels and presentations from industry leaders and network with recruiters and job seekers from top tech companies.

Early registration ends tonight at midnight. Register today and save $500 over onsite pricing.

Stay tuned for our agenda and job fair participants in the coming weeks. We hope to see you in San Francisco!

Registration Now Open for Inside Social Apps San Francisco

Inside Social Apps 2013After a successful run in New York City, Inside Social Apps returns to San Francisco on June 6 and 7. Join industry-leading developers, marketers, investors, and analysts for two days of in-depth discussions on the hottest topics affecting social and mobile platforms.

Registration is now open for the event; register before January 25 and save $500 over onsite pricing.

Past Inside Social Apps speakers have included professionals from Zynga, Facebook, Google, Salesforce, TrialPay, Starbucks, Wildfire, and Disney Interactive Media Group.

Look for the forthcoming agenda and list of speakers on the event website.

In conjunction with Inside Social Apps, we’ll also be hosting our first-ever Tech Fair on June 6, providing you with an additional opportunity for recruiting among top industry candidates. If your company is interested in hosting a Tech Fair booth, contact Trevor van Woerden, Senior Sales Manager, Advertising, at

We look forward to seeing you in San Francisco this summer!

Last Call: Join us Monday for Inside Social Apps NYC

Inside Social AppsJust a few days remain until Inside Social Apps in New York City. Come join us on Monday, December 3 for a full day of focused panels, presentations, and fireside chats by experts in the social and mobile industries. Session topics include:

  • Platform opportunity in 2013
  • Mobile app discovery and marketing
  • Social game design and development
  • Maximizing audience engagement
  • Monetization and investment strategies

You can view the full lineup of speakers and check out our agenda on the event website.

Register before December 3 and save  $170 on a conference pass or $200 on a combo pass for Inside Social Apps and AllFacebook Marketing Conference on December 4-5.

We hope to see you in NYC!

Facebook suggests upcoming events and recently released albums in News Feed

Some Facebook users are seeing stories about upcoming events and recently released albums in their News Feeds, we’ve found.

The new stories are similar to the “upcoming concerts” module that some users began to see last month. Now, Facebook is suggesting some non-music events, as well, based on their location, pages they Like and friends’ plans. Previously these suggestions appeared on users’ event calendars but not in the feed. Users don’t typically visit their events page very often so they were less likely to discover these options. As long as the recommendations are relevant, users may welcome seeing suggested events in News Feed.

A new music-related module highlights a recently released album by an artist that a user has listened to on Spotify. Users can click to begin streaming the album through Spotify. It is unclear whether Facebook is offering the same feature for Rdio users.

[Update 12/6/12 -  We've now seen the recently released albums feature directing users to Myspace. The module now also includes a link to Like the artist's page on Facebook.]

News Feed has always been a place to see stories and activities from friends and pages users have explicitly connected to, but these modules show how Facebook can use Open Graph data and other cues to generate new types of stories. We may begin to see more News Feed items like this, which do not come directly from a user’s friend but might be interesting to users. Trending articles and trending videos were an early example that seemed less personalized, but for example, Facebook could let users know about a new movie opening this weekend if the user watched a trailer for the new release or likes a similar film.

Another benefit of these types of stories that don’t come directly as the result of a user’s friend taking an action or making a post is that they lend themselves well to sponsorship. Upcoming events, recently released albums, the hypothetical movie module or other similar features could easily be options for ads in the future. If Facebook moves toward a feed with these algorithmically generated stories — as opposed to straight friend activity and page posts — new ad units will feel more native. For instance, there could be a “Happy Hour” module for bars and restaurants or “Ongoing Sales” for retailers or online stores. Businesses could pay to be featured among other organic recommendations.

For now, the upcoming events and recently released albums modules are not sponsored. Facebook is likely gauging how interested users are in seeing these types of stories by how frequently they click through. There is not a way for users to provide direct negative feedback on the units, such as hiding them or marking them as spam.

Join Us for Inside Network’s Give Thanks Mixer

Raven Bar SF LogoIf you’re reading this, we want you to know that we’re thankful for your readership. If you’re a San Francisco local, we’d like to share our gratitude in person at Inside Network’s Give Thanks Mixer at Raven Bar this month.

Inside Network Happy Hours bring together app developers to connect and reconnect over drinks and casual conversation. Drinks (and food) are on us with your RSVP. Read on for full details.

Who: Social and mobile industry professionals
What: Enjoy free drinks, free food and discussion of the latest game, app and platform trends with industry peers and Inside Network’s team.
When: Tuesday, November 13, 6pm – 8pm
Where: Raven Bar, 712 Montgomery Street, San Francisco, CA

Please RSVP on Eventbrite prior to the event and join our Facebook Event Page if you plan on coming out. We hope to see you there!

Eventbrite Reduces SXSW Overcrowding, Says Facebook Connect Doubled its Sales

Eventbrite shared data at its South By Southwest Interactive panel on social commerce showing that when the site integrated Facebook Connect at the start of 2009, it hit its inflection point and doubled gross ticket sales that year. The data could inspire more ecommerce sites to consider significant Facebook integration.

The site has also become an even more crucial tool for organizers of SXSW events this year, since the conference reportedly grew 33% to 20,000 registered attendants from 15,000 in 2010. Eventbrite’s ability to cap or cease RSVPs while leaving an event’s page up helps party sponsors avoid negative sentiment by reducing overcrowding and the number of people they have to turn away at the door.

Facebook Events, which experienced a surge of popularity at SXSW 2010, doesn’t offer this function, allowing thousands to RSVP to a party with a capacity of 300. This limits the feature’s value to organizers of popular or exclusive events. Facebook should consider adding RSVP cap or suspension functionality to expand the scope of the gatherings the feature can be used promote.

Eventbrite has previously indicated that Facebook is its top source of referral traffic, but today co-founder Julia Hartz also noted that it ranks Google search at number two, Twitter at number three. and LinkedIn at five or six.

Prior to the Facebook integration, Eventbrite’s referral sources in 2008 ranked:

  1. Direct traffic
  2. Google /organic
  3. / referral
  4. Yahoo / organic
  5. Google / cost per click advertising
  6. Facebook / referral

The self-service event promotion and ticketing service website has deepened its Facebook integration since 2009, now allowing users to see events their Facebook friends are attending. The average Facebook share of one its events drives 11 clicks and $2.52 in sales, compared to $2.34 via email share, $0.90 via LinkedIn, and only $0.43 via Twitter.

Last year it looked as if Facebook might partner with Eventbrite to let Facebook users earn affilate fees from ticket buyers who they referred. However, the system never went live and Hartz confirmed the sites have no official partnership at this time.

Post-Purchase Shares and Music Generate More Revenue

Hartz explained that 40% of Facebook shares from the site occur pre-purchase, but that the 60% occurring post-purchase generate 20% more sales per share. This indicates that ecommerce sites should focus more on driving post-purchase shares.

Another new data set Eventbrite revealed was the breakdown of average revenue generated per Facebook share of different event categories. Music events drove an enormous $12 per share, suggesting that musicians have a lot to gain from selling their own concert tickets via EventBrite, especially those with existing Facebook followings.

The rough breakdown of revenue per share by category is:

  1. $12 – Music
  2. $11 – Fundraising / Charity / Giving
  3. $6.75 – Social Events / Mixers
  4. $5.75 – Food / Wine
  5. $2.10 – Classes / Workshops
  6. $1.90 Conferences / Seminars
  7. $1.10 – Networking / Clubs / Associations
  8. $0.90 – Business / Finance / Sales

These figures could be slightly confounded by total number of events in each category and the quality of the event’s page. Still, they demonstrate serious revenue potential from promoting fundraising, food and wine, and social events through a combination of Eventbrite and Facebook.

Now Showing: Activity Story for Friendship After Users Attend the Same Event

Facebook is testing a new type of activity feed story which describes how two users became friends after attending the same Event. Automatically posted to the Recent Activity section of both users’ walls, the story says “[User X] and [User Y] are now friends after both attending [Event].” The story subtly encourages users to attend Events by implying these gatherings help them make friends.

The “friends after Event” activity stories follow a number of other changes to the activity feed this year. Facebook added Like this Page or Open Graph object and Unlike buttons to feed stories about Likes, and activity stories about comments began showing snippets of the comments themselves.

Facebook implemented a purely aesthetic redesign of Event pages in July, but otherwise hasn’t improved its Events in-house app in a long time. In fact, Facebook reduced discoverability of Events during the recent user profile redesign by removing the Events tab which listed RSVPs. Event discovery or deeper integration between Events and Places check-ins could be in store for the coming year in a similar way to how Page discovery and Places/Pages integration was a focus in 2010. The new activity story will help users become aware of Events, albeit ones which have already taken place.

Friends after Event stories appear instead of the standard friendship activity story when two users who RSVP’d positively to the same Event become friends shortly after the Event. Its currently unclear how long the window of time following the Event lasts. Friends can Like or comment on the story, allowing them to endorse the new friendship . When users see this type of story, they internalize the tie between attending gatherings of people and forging new relationships, inspiring them to go to more Events in search of these connections.

The increase in attendance to real-world happenings is one of Facebook’s great gifts to society. Therefore, an activity story extolling the direct benefits of getting out of one’s home and meeting other people at an Event organized on Facebook reminds users how the site has changed their lives for the better.

[Thanks to Brittany Darwell for the tip.]

Facebook Groups – A Walkthrough of Group Email, Docs, Chat, and More

Facebook’s Groups is a powerful new product allowing for sharing, organizing, chatting, and collaborating with a set of friends. The product is heavily integrated into the rest of Facebook’s core apps, but also includes new features such as Docs, and enhanced functionality such as automatic Event invitations and Group Chat. Here we’ll take a detailed tour of how users can create and use Groups.

Group Creation and Privacy

To start a Group, users click the “Create Group” link in the Facebook home page’s left navigation sidebar. This may be buried under the “More” button if a user is already a member of several Groups. Users will then see a pop-up where they can name the Group, use a typeahead to select friends to add to the Group, and choose a privacy setting to make the Group open (Group name, members, and content visible to everyone), closed (Group name and members visible to everyone, content visible only to members), or secret (Group name, members, and content visible only to Group members).

Non-members of open Groups can see the Group name, existing posts, members, description, Group Events, and can view but not edit Docs. They can’t see the publisher or Group Chat. Non-members of closed Groups can only see the Group name, members, description, and Group Events. Users must be a member to Like, comment, or subscribe to posts.

A drop-down menu in the Group creator lets users choose a favicon which will be shown alongside the Group’s name in the home page navigation panel. Choices hint at the types of Groups Facebook thinks users might create, including a red plastic cup, a soccer ball, a solidarity fist, and many icons already used on Facebook such as the video camera, and briefcase.

Group Editing and Admins

Once created, users are brought to their new Group’s page. In the top right, a Group’s founder and anyone they’ve set as an admin can click “Edit Group” to change the settings chosen when the Group was created. The default Basic Information tab lets admins enter a description of the Group, but they must click the easily missed tabs in the left navigation sidebar to upload a profile picture for the Group, and assign admin privileges to members. Members can only be made admins one at a time, which makes creating an egalitarian Group by sharing the privilege with large numbers of members a laborious task. Admins cannot remove admin privileges from those who have been admins longer than them.

Admins can remove members from the Group by going to “See All” in the members panel of the Group page, then clicking “See All” on the members page, then clicking the “x” next to a user’s name, or by clicking the “x” next to a user’s name in the members tab of the “Edit Group” page. Admins can permanently ban users from joining the Group, viewing the Group’s content, or finding the Group via search by checking the “Ban Permanently” box when removing a user.

Group Email

Groups can act as email lists. Admins request a Group email address which will have the format “[Any untaken prefix]” Note that a Group’s email address cannot be changed once it is set. Members can send emails to this address from the email address they’ve connected to their Facebook profile, and the message will show up on the Group page. The message is then syndicated out to all Group members who have email notifications turned on for “Posts on the Wall of one of your groups.” Currently, Gmail is routing some Group emails to the spam filter — something Facebook will have to work out if it wants users to replace their present listserv system with Facebook Groups.

Group Notifications

All members can click “Edit Notifications” on the Group Page to turn on or off email notifications from that specific Group. They can also select whose actions generate both email notifications and in-Facebook notifications which appear as red counts on the globe icon in Facebook’s top navigation bar. For granular control over exactly which actions generate notifications, user can go to Account->Account Settings->Notifications.

Group Publisher

At the top center of the Group Page, users see the Group’s name, its privacy setting and the content publisher. Alongside the standard post, link, photo, and video content choices present on the news feed publisher, the Groups publisher includes tabs for creating an Event or Doc (more on those later). When users click one of the content types to compose, they’ll see the distribution parameter for the post, which always reads “Post: [Content type] with [The currently viewed Group’s name].” This reminds users that content posted within a Group is only visible to Group members.

Group Feed

Below the publisher, a Group’s existing posts are shown in similar fashion to the news feed. Each time a member visits the Group page, they’ll see the posts made since their last visit above a gray line marked “Older Posts”, and content they’ve already seen below the line. Members can click a button on a post to subscribe to notifications of future Likes and comments to that post, or to unsubscribe if they wrote or are tagged in the post. Below the content, all Groups show a “Report” button for notifying Facebook of terms of service violations of intellectual property infringement, and open and closed groups show a “Share” button for posting the Group page to the news feed.

Group Events

Clicking the Event tab in the publisher brings up the Group Event composer. Members can type in an event name, select a date and time, choose a location, and input context which will appear in the Group feed story about the Event. A lock icon lets members set whether the Event can been seen or RSVP’d to by only Group members and invitees (default), or by anyone. All Group members are automatically invited to a Group’s Events, but this can be changed through the “Add Details” link. Once created, a Group’s upcoming Events are shown in the right sidebar of the Group page.

Interestingly, Group Events can have a Places page set as the location of an event — something not available to non-Group Events.


If a member clicks the Doc tab in the publisher, they’re prompted to add a title and begin composing a collaborative text document. Members can use simple formatting tools like bold, italics, and numbered or bulleted lists. Once saved, the Doc is posted to the Group feed and shown in the Group page’s right sidebar. Any member can then edit and save the Doc, while only the creator can delete it. Recent Changes are shown in the right sidebar of the Doc editor, and Members can use the arrow buttons below the Doc’s text to cycle through the Recent Changes listed by author in the right sidebar. Comments can be posted at the bottom. Group Docs don’t support simultaneous editing, so members won’t be able to see changes happen in real-time and instead must refresh to see another member’s edits.

Group Chat

In the top of the Group page right sidebar, users see the profile picture thumbnails of all Group members who are currently online, with those who are active showing a green square in the lower right hand corner of the thumbnail, and those who are inactive but online showing a gray square. Users can click Chat with Group to open a Group Chat window at the bottom of the page. Typing a message and hitting enter pops up a Group Chat window on the screen of all online Group members, and once that Chat window is minimized but not closed, red counts denote additional messages. Users will see profile pictures with status squares at the top of the Chat window, but won’’t see the “other user is now typing” icon as with one-on-one Facebook Chat. Currently, there’s no way of knowing if a Group Chat is going on without you, something you might want to be notified of so you can join the conversation.

Leaving and Inviting Others to a Group

In the right sidebar there are also links for inviting additional friends to the Group, or for leaving the Group. Upon clicking the “Leave Group” link, users are shown a warning that other members won’t be able to re-add them to the Group. This prevents a user from being repeatedly added to a Group against their will, as there is currently no permission step when a current member adds a friend to a Group. Users can, however, request admission to a Group after they’ve left, and simply need to be approved by an admin.


Groups collates collaboration functionality from a number of other web services and brings them where people’s friends are. However, a major strength of Groups may be its inherent virality — similar to how users enjoy receiving friend requests, they enjoy the social validation of being added to a Group. As such, users are happy to add others to their Groups, and soon many of Facebook’s users will have alternative channels to the news feed through which to consume content.

How Facebook Groups Integrates With Other Core Apps: News Feed, Events, Mobile

Facebook’s new Groups product is not a stand-alone feature, but instead integrates with existing features across Facebook. Here’s how Groups interacts with the news feed, Chat, profiles, Pages, search, Events, the old groups feature, privacy, notifications, and mobile browsers.

News Feed

Facebook’s content publisher now includes Groups as distribution parameters for sharing. This way, users can set a news feed status update, photo, video, or link to only be visible to members of a single Group. When a user posts to their feed with a Group as the distribution parameter, all Group members will get a notification stating [Group member] posted in [Group Name]. Members will see a story in their news feed similar to wall post stories stating “[Group Member] > [Group name]: [content of the post]”.

If a user is tagged in a post to Group they’re a member of, they’ll receive notifications of future Likes and comments to that posts. If a user isn’t tagged, they can hit a “Subscribe” button on the story to receive notifications of future activity to the post. Users will also see a number of new news feed stories pertaining to Groups, including those they’re not members of, such as “[Friend Names] were added to [Group name] by [User name]”, and stories detailing Events hosted by a Group.


Users can’t select a Group as a recipient of a chat from the Facebook home page. Instead, users must access a Group from the home page’s left navigation sidebar, and click the “Chat with Group” link in the top right corner of the screen. Users will then see a chat window pop up at the bottom of their screen, with a row of profile picture thumbnails of Group members who are currently online at the top of the Chat window. Those actively online show a green square in the bottom right of their picture, while inactive but online members show grey-blue square. There’s no word yet on Group Chat will integrate with existing third-party instant messaging clients.

Profiles and Pages

User profiles never show any Group information. Even if a Group is open, you and another user are friends and are both members of the same Group, you won’t see their Group affiliation in their profile info, nor will you see stories about their activity within the Group on their wall. All Groups, regardless of visibility setting, are only visible through Facebook search to Group members. Pages do not integrate with Groups at all. Pages cannot be added to Groups, set Groups as distribution parameters for their updates, or tag Groups in updates.


Facebook Events created from the home page or Events page currently cannot select a Group as a set of people to invite. However, Events are an option in the Groups publisher, allowing users to create an Event hosted by their Group. Additional non-Group members can be invited to the Group Event once it has been created. Group Events appear in the hosting Group’s right sidebar Events panel. Comments made to an Event hosted by a Group will not appear in the Group’s feed.

Old Groups

While the new Groups product in many ways replaces the old groups feature for communicating with a set of friends, old groups won’t be deleted. Users can navigate to their old groups by clicking “More” on the Facebook home page’s left navigation sidebar panel for Groups, then clicking “See All”. Once on the Groups Home Page, users can click “Show Older” to reveal their old groups. Currently there is no way to convert old groups into new Groups. Once a user has full access to the new Groups product via the home page’s left sidebar, they’ll no longer be able to create old groups.


The Groups product does not appear in a Facebook user’s privacy settings. Users can only go into Groups they are the creator of, click Edit Group, and change the privacy setting to either Open (Group name, members, and content visible to everyone), Closed (Group name and members visible to everyone, content visible only to members), or Secret (Group name, members, and content visible only to Group members).


Users can set what actions will generate notifications across all their Groups by going to Account->Account Settings->Notifications. Email settings for individual Groups can be changed using a link at the bottom of the Groups Notification settings. Users can also go into each Group they’re a member of and click the “Edit Notifications” button in the top right corner to decide what actions in that specific Group will generate notifications, and what email address these notifications will be sent to.

Mobile Browsers and Apps

Users can access Groups via through a navigation link at the bottom of the home page. This brings up a list of a user’s Groups, both new and old. Users can tell if they’re viewing a new Group because it will say “Group” in bold above the update input field, oppose to “Wall” in old groups. From new Groups users can post and read existing posts, as well as view the description, privacy setting, and other Group members. There is currently no support for Groups in the Facebook for iPhone app.

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