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Facebook’s First Offsite Widget: Comment Box

fconnectesFirst announced in May, Facebook Connect ports your Facebook data to other sites—or, in other words, it’s a way to let visitors to your site comment with through their Facebook profiles. Facebook reported yesterday that over 6000 sites have signed on for Connect.

Facebook also announced its first offsite widget in conjunction with Facebook Connect: the Comments Box. To this point, Connect featured several plugins to extend its capabilities, but this is its first full widget.

fconnectcommentsboxAny guesses what the Comments Box is for? No? FB explains:

The Comments Box is a great way for any website, blog or photo gallery to add social comments to their page in just a minute with a few lines of code.

So if you always wanted your website to look like your Wall, you’re in luck.

Social Media and Sacrifice

Facebook has had quite a week. If it is true that there is no such thing as bad publicity then this week has been a social-media-collagewindfall for the social networking giant. I have even read some conspiracy theorists who believe that the whole terms of service ‘incident’ was intended. I’m not sure I can go there but to be honest it does make some sense. The amount of new traffic and new visitors compared to those who may have de-Facebooked themselves is probably significant. Many fence sitters may have gotten curious enough to finally check it out while those who left had grown weary of it in the first place. It’s the classic case of so many theories and so little time.

Why the Social Media Genie Isn’t Going Back in the Bottle

By Jim Tobin

A couple of weeks, ago, Geoff Livingston wrote a post called “What Will You Do When Social Media Isn’t Special Anymore?” While I agree with part of his premise (that social media won’t remain the shiny new object forever), the other part (that traditional agencies will soak up the social media work) is simply wrong. Here’s why:

Historically, specialists stick around

Geoff argues that once the PR, advertising and interactive agencies figure this all out, they’ll take the work back. This should be true, but it never is.

  • 1996: “Once advertising agencies figure out HTML, they’ll do all the web development. These interactive agencies will be absorbed.” Should’ve been true. Wasn’t.
  • 2000: “Once the interactive agencies figure out the tricks of SEO, specialists in search engine optimization will go away.” Again, didn’t happen.

A Little Bird Tells Us a Twitter Search Update is Coming

It’s been more than four months since Twitter co-founder Biz Stone revealed new features that would soon come to the micro-blogging service. Today we learn that Twitter is ready to start–or "commencing to begin" as one of my in-laws likes to say–adding "search" front and center on a users’ homepage.

…we’ve placed Search and Trends into the signed-in home pages of a limited set of accounts to get a better sense of how it works for folks before we release the feature completely into the wild. Most people will not see this test, just a small, random subset.

Here’s how it looks:

What I find puzzling is how Twitter approaches the roll-out of new features–there’s just no method to its madness. There are so many great features, that users practically beg for, but we’re often left with either a feast, or in this case, a famine.

LinkedIn Traffic Continues to Grow

By David Lindop

It’s pretty rough out there in the job market at the moment. Budgets are getting tighter as credit is harder to secure, and many companies are weathering the storm by locking down recruitment and laying off staff. Perhaps this goes some way to explaining why the professional networking site LinkedIn has seen its U.S. unique visits shoot up by an impressive 22% over the past month according the all-knowing comScore.

6.3 million unique visits in December 2008 rocketed to 7.7 million in January 2009—driving up the average time on site by over 100%.

Let that sink in for a minute—Americans spent double the amount of time revising their resumes and networking with professional contacts than the previous month!

Facebook Hits 175M Active Users

Some of us measure our popularity in the number of Facebook friends we have. Facebook measures its popularity in the number of “active users” it has—and that number hit 175,000,000 on Friday the 13th, according to a Tweet from Dave Morin of Facebook.

This comes 39 days after the site reached 150 million active users early last month. While from some reports, Facebook was adding 600,000 new active users per day in early December, the longer term average was far below that (the dates here, except for the date on the final report, are taken from CNET stories):

  • From August 26 to November 3, the site added 20 million users in 69 days, or about 290,000 per day.

Google Buying Twitter? Not a Bad Idea

Vegas should forget the Super Bowl or March Madness, the real action is betting on what Twitter will pick for its revenue model.

Forbes lays down its wager by pointing out the vast amount of data that passes through the micro-blogging service each day.

Twitter is developing a range of analytics and metrics products and services built around the information contained in "tweets," the e-mail and text messages that pass through its platform. "We can measure the tweets," Twitter’s Kevin Thau says. "We’re trying to figure out what are the appropriate metrics around engagement and how to convey those."

There’s certainly a possibility that businesses might have an interest in the aggregated data that comes from Twitter’s stream of consciousness, but with free data already floating around the web (e.g. Google Trends) will companies really open their wallets and pay for it?