Facebook App Center: The Good, the Bad and the Confusing

Facebook apps confuse me and I’m not ashamed to admit it.

Smartphone apps don’t confuse me. I locate an app in the app store. I buy or download it for free. It shows up on my phone and I can use it, play with it, listen to it, whatever without any connection to any website or social media network. It’s a mini computer program. I get it.

Facebook apps, on the other hand, come with strings. There are games that you must play inside the walls of Facebook. There are games that (apparently) you can play outside and just report your activity on Facebook. There are apps that lead you to a website that you could have landed on faster by typing the URL and there are apps that seem to do nothing more than leave a trail on your wall.

To take some of the mystery out of Facebook apps, the social network has finally released their new App Center.

Google Flags Ustream.tv as Malware; Should it Be Allowed to?

What if one of your biggest competitors was given authority to label your business as legit or harmful? Would that be fair?

Well, I just tried to visit ustream.tv–the popular live streaming video site–and was greeted with this warning:

Now, I am a conspiracy theorist through and through, so immediately I start making the connection that YouTube is somewhat of a rival to Ustream.tv and that this just doesn’t smell right.

Does anyone have any deeper insight as to what is going on here? Surely if Ustream.tv can host malware, then YouTube can too. Judging by the warning above, it doesn’t appear that Google has even found any recent malware, so it looks even more suspicious.

Chime in if you have anything to add, while I go back to my tinfoil hat. ;-)

Facebook’s US Growth Stalls; Can’t Get a Foothold in Asia

Here’s something we like to do at Marketing Pilgrim. Discover two interesting stories and tie them together for you.

Take, for example, news that Facebook’s growth in the US is starting to stall…

…Facebook’s user growth rate in the U.S. is slowing sharply. In April, U.S. unique visitors to the website increased to 158 million, up just 5% from a year earlier, according to research firm comScore Inc.

Consider that in 2011 growth was running at 24% and in 2010 a staggering 89%.

As the WSJ points out, the slowdown is likely due to the fact that Facebook is already used by a whopping 71% of all 221 million internet users in the US. So, it’s to be expected that its growth rate would slow down.

Twitter Turns to TV Ads for Hashtag Pages

Hip and cool Twitter has partnered with a major sports organization to promote their hashtag pages. Considering the NBA Finals are getting underway and Major League Baseball is in full swing those would be the logical choice.

Well instead Twitter, the Internet darling, is pairing with NASCAR and they are running their first ever TV ads to promote the union of Internet savvy and, well, rednecks. Here are two samples of the ads.

Cup of Joe: Malcolm Gladwell Is Wrong…I Hope

Yesterday the internet went ablaze when popular author and speaker Malcolm Gladwell said in an interview (above) that history will exalt Bill Gates, and many will forget Steve Jobs. He went on to talk about how Gates has spent his retirement doing charitable things, while Jobs worked tirelessly til his early death on expanding Apple. Gladwell ascertains Gate’s charitable work will leave a greater impact on humanity than Apple’s legacy.

I think that the web’s response has completely lost touch with the context of the interview and most coverage has been focused on sensational headlines meant to drive up CTRs. I mean let’s face it, saying anything negative about Steve Jobs online, is like kicking a puppy in front of a class of third graders.

Need to Go Mobile? IAB Has a New Online App That Can Help

“By 2013, more people will use mobile phones than PCs to get online.”

Think that fact is freaky? How about this?

“19% of kids aged two-to-five know how to play with a smartphone application…but only 9% can tie their shoes.”

Mobile’s not going away. It’s rapidly becoming as common as the TV and the microwave.

And here’s one last truly wild fact, in India, more people have cell phones than toilets.

The IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau) knows that going mobile is vital to the success of any small business and they have a new web app that can help you get started. ‘

The project is called “Tap into Mobile.” Get it? Tap, like the action you use to trigger a smartphone response, but also like when you tap into something. . . . clever, huh?

The Over Sixty-Fives Stake Their Claim on the Internet

With every passing day, more and more Baby Boomers are crossing that mystical line labeled 65. It may only be 12 months older than 64, but culturally, those 12 months make a big difference.

As a nation, we’ve come to think of 65 as old, probably because of its standing as the legal retirement age. But honestly, how many people are actually retiring at 65? How many can afford to?

One thing is for sure, this generation’s 65, isn’t the same as the one before it. These sexagenarian’s are still getting things done and 53% of them are doing it on the internet.

According new data from the Pew Internet and American Life Project, this is the first time usage in the over 65 group has crossed the 50% mark. And once they’re online, they stay there, with 70% saying they use the internet on a typical day.